Lost in music (and Hackney)

Along with my half-marathon entry came some new found enthusiasm for this running malarkey so I got out of bed bright and early (in a bright and early 9:45 kind of way) and started on day 1 of putting some more mileage in and remembered that there was a route on the Serpentine Running Club‘s website that takes in the marshes and so I had a look to see how long that route was and it’s eleven miles and 99% off road so I chopped a few miles off it and went out hoping my new route would be about five or six miles.

I got to where the cows used to live and there’s a sign I hadn’t seen before warning people about a cattle grid.

Which would be ok but a) there’s no cows because someone stole them or ate them or something; and b) it’s not a grid. It’s a metal sheet but not a grid. And because I’m a pedant, that’s going to bug me every time I see it.

I leave Walthamstow Marshes and go into Hackney Marshes and there’s a marked difference between the amount of people in Walthamstow Marshes and the amount of people in Hackney Marshes. i.e. there’s hardly any. Am I the only person brave/stupid enough to go over Hackney Marshes?

It’s very quiet on this part of the river.

I leave the deserted river path when I can and a man comes down the path and he looks like a right cockney geezer type and he says “awright” in a cockney geezer type of way and I think he’s just saying hello and not enquiring after my general welfare so I say hi and I get to the bit where my route says I’m supposed to not go on the road like I did before but to carry on going round the sports field bit but I can’t see a path and I didn’t bring my map but I thought I was supposed to follow the river but I can’t see the river anymore so I carry on going down the side of the field and the river reappears and then there’s nothing but trees.

And I’m trying to forget I’m in Hackney and can see nothing but trees and more trees and even more trees.

And I see the cockney geezer type man again and he smiles at me and I’m glad I’m not alone in all the trees even if the only person around is a cockney geezer type but cockney geezer types are usually to be trusted unless you’re in Eastenders and called Tiffany and get runover by one but luckily enough my name isn’t Tiffany. And I’m not in Eastenders.

And I’m still running and running and thinking when are all these trees going to fuck off and I see a clearing just up ahead. Yay.

And sitting down in the clearing is a man with a small dog and I don’t usually trust men with small dogs but this man is cute and as I’m looking at him thinking I wish I had clean hair and make up on and hadn’t just ran five miles and look like a complete minger then I could ask him directions and maybe he’d give me his phone number, he looks up and sees me looking so I run off past him and I eventually see a signpost which points in the direction of Walthamstow Marshes and so I follow the direction of the signpost and cross a bridge but I still don’t know where the fuck I am and I see a path that seems to stop somewhere in the sky.

So I get to the top of the path and yay, I’m at the riding stables and know where I am now.

And so I head off in the direction of my house and take a couple of pictures of some weeds on the way.

One day I will stop taking my camera out and taking pictures of weeds. Especially as soon I’m bound to get an email from Bernard saying are you supposed to stop and take pictures when you’re training for a half-marathon? Um.

And if I don’t get my seedlings past the seed-tray-in-the-kitchen stage soon, Phil‘s going to win the gardening competition as well as the pizza competition.

But at least I’m not growing my plants in a pile of shit.

Although the spinach is still woefully lacking in compost.

Today’s route

Miles: 6.30
Total time: 1:15:09
Average pace: 11:56
Total calories: 673
People over Walthamstow Marshes: Loads
People over Hackney Marshes: Hardly any
Cockney geezer type men: 1
Cute men with small dogs: 1
Jeff Buckley – Yard Of Blonde Girls
Junior Senior – White Trash
The Damned – White Rabbit
Justice v Simian – We Are Your Friends
The View – Same Jeans
The Fiery Furnaces – The Vietnamese Telephone Ministry
The Libertines – Up The Bracket
Ween – Untitled Baroque #3
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
Kula Shaker – Under The Hammer
Ben Folds Five – Twin Falls
The Young Knives – Tremblings Of Trails

A mile of midges

I had to be back by 10 this morning because Ben’s coming round to change my lock so I set my alarm for 8 but had forgotten about the power cut the other night and my fake sunrise clock had set its alarm itself for 7 so that woke me up making its bleepy noise so I got up and turned off the bleepy noise and went back to bed to wait for my other alarm to go off at 8 but the cat decides it’s time to get up and starts punching me in the face and I say cat, stop punching me in the face, so she bites me instead and I’m staring at the clock and the alarm goes off at 8 so I get up and turn off the alarm and warm up for my run by playing on the internet and I eventually get my arse into gear at about 9 and take my new wireless headphones out for a test run but I only get as far as the corner of the road and they’ve stopped working. Bah. I take them back home and look at the instructions and realise that after I’d stayed up late last night waiting for my headphones to charge so I could play with them, the instructions say to charge the headphones AND the adaptor. Bugger.

I grab my normal headphones and look at the clock and it’s 9:20 and I think can I get round the marshes in 40 minutes and I decide that I can if I don’t stop to take too many photos or stop to walk too much so I get to the marshes and it seems the marshes are speaking in kilometres now as this sign indicates.

You’d think over the marshes there would be some interesting fauna like stuff to take pictures of but once again, I come back with only a picture of a dandelion or four.

And I think to myself I’d better stop taking photos of weeds or Ben’s going to have had a wasted trip and I’ll still have a dodgy lock so I carry on and as I’m coming up to the last stretch a man overtakes me and he’s running in a very strange way and wiggling his bum like some kind of girl and I’m wondering if I wiggle my bum when I run and I decide I probably don’t and when I get to the last stretch there’s about a million midges and the midge army is out in force and the air is thick with the little bastards and I have to keep my head down otherwise they’re in my eyes and my mouth but at least it means I keep running and eventually I get to the road and the midge army dissipates and I get home by 9:55 and Ben comes round at 10:25 and tries to fix the new lock but the new lock is too big so he puts my old lock back on but with the new barrel and says he thinks he has a smaller lock at home and he’ll check. So it was just as well I didn’t try to fix the new lock myself as I would have been totally stuck and all this new lock old lock fixing business has taken nearly two hours and I say thank you, and I am way behind in my schedule of things I was going to do today which involves updating a website and doing some garden stuff like putting my seedlings into bigger pots before me and Dave from Liverpool who used to live in Ireland until last Thursday when he moved to Walthamstow go and investigate the restaurant which Time Out reckons do the best pizzas in London. Look, my seeds are growing, they’re bigger than Phil’s ๐Ÿ™‚

And the sunflowers outside.

And the spinach that needs a bigger pot and more compost.

And the rocket.

And the lillies from last year are growing again. Yay.

Clearly I am the best gardener on the internet.

Today’s route

Miles: 2.94
Total time: 33:46
Average pace: 11:30
Total calories: 300
Signs in km: 1
Dandelions: 4
Men running like a girl: 1
Midges: millions
New lock old lock hybrids: 1
Human League – Non Stop
The Killers – Smile Like You Mean It
Kaiser Chiefs – Thank You Very Much
Peter Bjorn & John – Up Against The Wall
New Model Army – No Rest
The Damned – Is It A Dream?
Bikini Kill – Rip
Rolling Stones – Satisfaction
Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out

Another crappy run by yours truly

I went out for a spin round the park and the park’s quite quiet which was nice because it’s mid to late morning and usually gets busy by then and I do a lap of the park and then go up to the sports field and there’s someone running there. What the fuck? I’m used to having the place to myself and I think maybe I should stop him and say excuse me but this is my sports field, go and find yourself your own sports field and then I think well he looks like he could do with a bit of exercise so good for him for getting out there and not sitting at home eating a fry up whilst watching Saturday morning telly.

I pass him again and wonder why I always seem to run in the other direction to other people, even at races, and I go back to the park and wonder if I can do another lap and I decide I can’t as I’m going so slowly someone’s going to stop me in a minute and ask me if I’m dead so I go home to do some garden stuff but I need to buy some more compost to plant more seeds and I’m very happy because the seeds I planted are growing, yay. Look, here are some sunflowers, chili plants and basil growing.

And in here we have some rocket.

And some spinach.

And a sunflower. It is in there, honest. It’s that green dot.

And I’m wondering where to get compost from as funnily enough I don’t want to go to B&Q, even if I have still got a ยฃ9.98 credit note to use up (no, that’s not my compensation; my claim is in the hands of the arbitrators at the mo) but I don’t know where else to get compost except for Woolworths which will mean battling my way up the longest street market in Europe, and the idea of that is less than appealing and there’s always massive queues in Woolworths and the queues take even longer now that the staff in Woolworths have been given a script and ask the customers if they got everything they needed and was there anything they couldn’t find and if there was anything else they could help them with and it’s all very annoying and I think maybe I’ll give Woolworths a miss.

Today’s route

Miles: 1.58
Total time: 16:09
Average pace: 10:14 minute/mile
Total calories: 152
People running in my sports field: 2
Seeds growing: lots
Mark Ronson – Stop Me
Scissor Sisters – She’s My Man
XTC – Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me)
Calvin Harris – Acceptable In The 80s

Operation Garden – Stage 6

Mark came over yesterday lunchtime in his campervan so I asked him to take me to B&Q and they had tons of purple slate, hurrah, so I got another 8 bags and have finished the borders now. Here’s the obligatory before pic

and here’s the obligatory after pic

Got some more plants in B&Q and very nice they are too, here’s what the front half of the garden looks like at the mo

Just about presentable, I think ๐Ÿ™‚ย  More presentable than the pic below, anyway!

I’m going to get a new fence and also I think I’m going to get a quote for the shed to be taken away and a lawn to be put down at the back, or maybe half lawn, half decking. Hmm, yes, that sounds good!

Right, think I’m going to go and enjoy a glass of wine in my nice tidyish garden ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh and the ibuprofen is definitely helping my leg, well it was yesterday until I decided to walk about 3 miles, oops, the nurse did tell me not to do too much walking. I will rest from now.

Operation Garden – Stage 5 (I think)

Damn, have changed back to this template as I just wrote a post and it disappeared and the CSS went funny so might not have been the template’s fault but just to be careful have switched back. Wasn’t so keen on the new one, anyway. I might even design my own one day…

Anyway, not everyone’s idea of rest but I worked on the garden a bit this morning. Here’s the bit I worked on. This is a before pic

And here’s what it looks like now

’tis coming along, huh? I put some weed control fabric down, so hopefully that’ll help stop more weeds coming through. And yes, the dead flowers have come back from the dead. They woke up about 10:30, must just be late risers I suppose. Here they are, bright eyed and bushy tailed ๐Ÿ™‚

I need some more gravel but I’ll have to wait for Ben & Sheila to take me to Homebase again as Homebase don’t deliver gravel and neither do B&Q. I also need some more compost so I can plant some more seeds and flowers. Think I’ll take a trip down to B&Q. Don’t think I’ll wait for the bus though, I will rest tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

Aw, and as I write this I keep seeing people jogging down the road, aarrgghh, not fair!

You sow the seed…

…and sometimes they grow. Sometimes you buy them from B&Q and they’re dead within a week. Like these ones

I haven’t seen them awake for ages now, think they’re dead. Oh dear. But the lillies are ok, but not growing any lillies yet. How long will it be?

The purple flowers are ok too but I forgot to take a pic of them. My nice plant isn’t so nice anymore, think I killed it because I didn’t support it and the long bits fell over and fell apart. Oops.

My salad stuff’s growing though, here’s some spinach

and here’s some spring onions

and here’s some radishes

Yum. Who’s coming round for dinner then? ๐Ÿ™‚
But bestest of all, the sunflowers are growing, hurrah! Hope the sunflower flower bit comes out.

I would thin them out into separate pots although it might be a bit late now but I ran out of compost. Maybe a trip to B&Q again? Ooh, I’m turning into one of these sad people who spend their weekends in DIY Centres. Again.

Walk-in, limp out, centre

Aarrgghh, what a waste of time that was.ย  Went to the walk-in centre, waited 40 minutes, just to be told by the 15 year old nurse that they couldn’t do anything and I’d have to go to Barts’ minor injury clinic.ย  She did call her colleague for a second opinion and they stared at my knee for a while and said I might need crutches – eek!ย  The nurse also said I was very brave for not taking any painkillers.ย  “Brave”?ย  Am I five years old?!ย  I should have asked for a lollipop.

Ah well, I’ll go to Barts after work tomorrow then, that’ll be fun.

My little vegetable patch is growing, hurrahย  – the radishes, spring onions and spinach have all started growing and more importantly, so have the sunflowers, woo!ย  My nice plant has died though, or mostly dead anyway so that was a waste of ยฃ7.99 and the sleeping flowers are looking a bit dead too, but I just gave them some water so maybe they’ll perk up a bit.ย  The purple ones are ok though.

If anything’s still alive by Saturday, I’ll post some pics.

Still limping

Quick update on leg situation, it’s still bad, no better and no worse so I’m still limping about at 2 miles an hour although this seems to be quicker than some people on the street, how can people walk so slowly?

Trying to motivate myself to get to the medical centre tonight, can’t keep putting it off, or my knee’s never going to get better and I’ll be limping forever!

Radishes are growing though, so will post a pic soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Where have all the flowers gone

I was being at one with nature again in the garden bit of an East London B&Q. I bought some more flowers, here they are, they're nearly as nice as next door's blue carpet that they've dumped in their garden.

And here's my new little flower family that's brightening up my garden

Planted some spinach seeds and sunflower seeds, might be too late for the sunflowers but fingers crossed, I love sunflowers. Here's a pic of one of the sunflowers that grew through a crack in the patio last year, there were 15 of them. Now that kind of weed I can live with!

I might do stage 5 of the garden tomorrow, watch this space. Or I might go and buy some more flowers. Or both.

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