Saturday, 26 November 2016

Under leaden skies.

The Milky Way - Incredible isn't it?







Having no weekend isn't very good prep for the week and I've been lost all this week. On Tuesday I thought it was going to be Saturday the next day and confused people by saying so. It was a good enough week. I had two enjoyable early morning cycles to work in a twinkling frosty wonder-land - and rather hesitant cycles home in the dark on icy paths, watching out for ice and also for ropes.

Some numpties strung a rope across the cycle path last week and took a woman off her bike. Fortunately there was no major harm done but it breaks the trust - you know. My immediate reaction on hearing this was to think we should hunt down the perpetrators and either string them up with their own rope or drag them behind a car with the same rope until they looked like a beef in a butcher's shop window.

Oops. Easy girl. That's how wars are started.

It's hard to really see what anyone would get out of that though. You know. Lets take someone off their bike and hurt them. Maybe it'll damage their bike too. Then they'll be sore for a few weeks and it'll be inconvenient. If they don't have much money maybe they won't be able to get their bike fixed. Then they can start taking public transport to work. They'll become a bit less fit. Maybe they'll have to use the failing NHS a bit more. The waiting times at the GPs will go up a bit. Maybe they'll take some time off sick and their colleagues will start to feel the strain too. Maybe someone else will go off sick too from trying to cover two jobs at the same time. Happy days.
Or maybe they'll just lose confidence and feel like the world isn't a safe place and stop cycling for that reason. I need to stop. I'm getting back to my "string them up" as a solution.

So anyway. I actually think quite a few of the cyclists on the cycle path behave pretty badly too. Since I'm telling the world off, I might as well say about that too. Some of the cyclists get way aggressive. Their style of cycling is bullying. There are families with small children also using the cycle-paths and I've seen cyclists cycle far too fast, far too close, presumably out of some sense of entitlement that it's their path. I don't like that either. And I have a hypothesis that whoever put up that stupid rope had been harassed in some way by a cyclist and didn't have the sense to realise that not all cyclists are the same.

"Thanks for telling us off."

You're welcome.

Anyway. I was in something of a woolly dwam all week. Blogger is underlining that, questioning my integrity as a speller but I've googled it, and it's in the Oxford English Dictionary. I was in a state of semi-consciousness or reverie for much of the week. Something about the cold and not being out in the light and the long hours of darkness, and no time off pulling me underground.

So it was good to get out to the beach today. We were both sleepy. Dawdled along. Talked rubbish. It didn't seem that dark when we were out but looking at the photos you can see that it was. It's really just a glorified twilight.

I've handed in all my essay stuff so I can relax for a little while.

Evening things call.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Home Alone

Tragic

Beautiful Trees

Leaden Skies

All kinds of folly

Axis of Evil

Bleached Santa with a Gun to His Head?

It's official, it's a shame for me. Tragically home alone and trying to write an essay while everyone else in the world just has a good time. Buchanan is up North, striding out manfully on trails with his Hokas on. There will be photos and stories. I'm hoping to God he's not been drinking that cheap version of Red Bull he buys out the Co-op or there will be no end to it.

So it made sense that I'd plan to write my essay this weekend while there's no-one around. No distractions. But what an ordeal. And I mustn't let myself off the lead for too long just now or it will get away from me again. Or I'll get away from it.

I've promised myself if it's pretty much done tomorrow I can have a day off and go to Gullane and run around at the beach. That's my incentive.

Yesterday I meant to go a run up Arthur's Seat but then I had a strange sock fail not far from home. One sock crept under my heel and balled up under my arch. I stopped and leaned against a lamp-post and took my shoe off and sorted it out, tied my laces up tight and set off again. But then it did it again. I have no clue how this came about. Not new socks. Not new shoes. Never happened before.
I was reluctant to turn back but it seemed like if I didn't go home and change my socks I'd end up giving myself some weird injury or blisters on my heel, Taking note of my surroundings I noticed there were more than the expected (and much more than the desired) amount of Hibs Fans stotting about and I deduced (No Shit Sherlock) that 'The Hibs' must be playing 'at home'. I resigned myself to the fact that my home territory would be invaded for the rest of the day by a lot of drunken ding-bats with green and white scarves. After I'd gone home and re-socked I headed to Portobello instead, to avoid the football. The sun came out for a little while and lit up the beautiful trees on Leith Links and this was only slightly marred by the knowledge that just up the road ding-bats would be saying "Sunshine on Leith" to each other and taking it as an omen that 'their team' was going to be in some way favoured by God in his heavens. Maybe they'd get a night of celebrating by banging bin lids. Who really knew just how good it might get? I have it on good authority that God doesn't actually care about 'The Hibs' and never has.
"Oh My" I hear you say. "You're just being unpleasant because you have an essay to do and you don't want it!"
Well you're quite the analyst aren't you?
"Are you actually taking this all out on me, your ONLY blog reader?"
Yes I'm sorry, I was.
The sun went away again and although it was good to be out I got pretty tired of the prom and all the people and I turned around early. I thought maybe I'd run 10 miles but it was only 8.5 in the end.

I didn't actually do much essay stuff  yesterday. I kept getting distracted by things. I tidied up quite a lot more than usual. Damn near got the hoover out. I even found myself trying to clean a stain on the carpet in the sitting room that has been there forever. It was a glass of red wine, more than a decade ago. Cleaning it has made it much more noticeable - sort of picked it out. I'm looking forwards to Buchanan going on about it when he gets home.

This morning, I just started right away at 8.30. Right into it, essay world. I didn't stop at all until 12.30pm and then it seemed fair enough to have a cup of coffee and go out for a run.
I was going to run round Arthur's Seat but also wanted to dump off a load of old batteries in the battery recycling thing at the Scotmid. I've been meaning to do it for well over a year. Once I was round there I thought I'd diversify a bit and make up my run as I went along. I ran up Calton Hill and from there could see the horrors of Princes Street, so I thought I might go and skirt around it, avoiding the thickly crowded patches as much as possible. Princes Street Gardens is surprisingly nice. I ran along the far side on the grass next to the trees. There was no-one there but me and the magpies. I never think to go there. I went through the graveyard at the far end and then through the Grassmarket, up onto George IVth Bridge and down the Mound, always trying to avoid the shoppers and tourists. Then I cut back home, just shy of 5 miles. It was lovely to get out. But now it's nearly 4pm. And I still have to have a shower. And I need to get as much as I possibly can done before Peter arrives home at 9...

If you catch me signing up for any more courses - especially year long ones, just give me a slap.


Saturday, 12 November 2016

Early decorations.

Still Life. Avocado with Garmin. Just needs a bit of adjusting.





beautiful cute out-of-focus sanderlings



I can't believe how lazy I've been with the photos today. Yet why keep a Buchanan and snap yourself?

Because I missed out on taking photos of Fatbike Originals Bruce and Jason, and lots of other stuff. Missed out on the sun being out as well.

Oh well.

I've got nothing new to tell you. The week started with my 50th birthday and a snottery cold. I lay about on the sofa reading CBT papers about social phobia and trying to breathe.
Then the week was busy with work. There's not much time to think. Come Friday I felt better and my cold was very 'productive' on my cycle to work. Finding I'd forgotten a hanky and blowing what I hoped would be a discreet snot rocket  I found I was left with a three foot silver streamer, about half an inch thick, which wouldn't neatly detach from my nose. It ended up festooned over my handlebars, my gloves, and my shoulder. It glinted in the sparkling morning light.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Harsh

My birthday cake at work. Smart colleagues!















Damn. It is my very last day of being in my 40s and I feel like hell.

The week was long and hard with poor sleep and I have been surrounded by people with bugs.
Still I seemed to be resisting getting anything myself. On Friday at work I was very tired but the day was brightened by my lovely colleagues who had made me a rice-cake cake. One of them, Colin, had written me a song, and sang it to me. It was a song about my lunches. They also gave me a £50 note for my 50th birthday. I won't see them tomorrow so they decided to celebrate early.
Come 6pm I thought I had made it, cycling my ass down the leafy cycle path in the dark and the rain. A sizeable week done and dusted.

On Saturday it looked okay outside but the weather forecast suggested it was going to be cold and blowy. Indeed it was. P and me went for a slightly longer run - running from Gullane to Yellowcraigs and then back along to Gullane along the beach. I was stiff and sore to start with but thought I would ease off as I ran. I never really did, but I enjoyed being out anyway. The wind was bitter but we'd come layered up. The low light was catching the spume off the sea and it was atmospheric.

Arriving home I was feeling shaky. The flat next door is between rents and so somebody has been giving it a lick of paint. A lick of bargain basement toxic gloss by the smell of things. Our flat seems to be fairly porous given how our mouse ranges around - it disappears for months and then pitches up one day as if it had never been away. The flat was stinking of paint when we got in, anyway and we had to commit the ecologic crime of having the heater on and the window open at the same time. The back of my nose burned but I thought it was just the vile paint and we enjoyed a night of watching total caca on the telly. We watched the second half of 'Fright Night' which we'd taped and I had never been able to bring myself to watch. Peter was laughing at me as I shouted advice at the telly. How can they be so stupid? DON'T GO INTO THE HOUSE IN THE DARK!!! Some of the plot was a bit problematic. The vampire had a minder guy who could be out in the sunlight during the day. Not a vampire then. But then a volley of bullets didn't kill him and his reaction to a stake through the heart was to release several litres of green gloop, and then kind of disintegrate into his constituent parts. What was he? "It's only a film" was Peter's response to my enquiries about this. Hmmm.

Then we watched some of a film called The Guest which degenerated from being a bit intriguing to phantasy bullshit where a bullet-proof mystery psychopath takes on the CIA, who are armed to the teeth, and somehow picks up only a few minor wounds and evades capture. He didn't have a super-power so I think it was just because he was quite handsome.

We didn't bother watching the end. I went off to bed, and Peter stayed up to watch part of a third film.

I had hoped that I would be right as rain again today, but I'm not. All night I had a sore throat and dreams about having a sore throat. Today I went for a walk to the shops in the late afternoon to get some fresh air but I felt like I was the guy wearing the diving suit to run the London Marathon.

Supposing I survive the night, I will be ducking under the finishing arch of my 40s at 6.15am a bit the worse for wear. It's not been an easy year. Maybe 50 will be better.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Low light, long shadows and falling leaves.












Lyme boy seems to be getting better. Thanks goodness. The photos above are from last weekend. We never got going until the afternoon and enjoyed a run in the late afternoon sunshine. Unfortunately the coffee I had at 4pm worked its stimulating magic until 2am, so I was a bit tired the next day.

We went out for an 11 miler yesterday. It was cooler and the light was more blue-grey. Setting off down the Archerfield road, leaves were falling silently from the trees. Neither of us had much oomph but it was good to get out. The tide was a good way out so we could run below the rocks on the sand.











On the last stretch back to Gullane we were hailed by a cyclist - who turned out to be Peter's brother Neil. He's just finished an intensive spell at work and was finally getting out on the bike.


I am driving myself crazy today, trying to ready a book on anxiety disorders and finding it impossible to keep my eyes open. Just how in the hell am I supposed to read a book if I can't stay awake? Eh? Eh?
It's potentially interesting. It should be interesting. I've got all the disorders in the book. Obsessive compulsive? Did I lock the door? Did I put the cooker off? Will the street be a sea of fire-engines when I get home?
Social Anxiety. I meet people and I think thus. "There's spinach on my teeth isn't there? Why are they wrinkling up their noses? Do I smell of onions? Are they judging my moustache?"
Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Worry and the secondary worry about worry. Am I worrying too much? Will that make me ill? If I get ill, who will drive Peter around in the van?

Not quite enough anxiety left over to keep me awake though.

I was hoping to do a lot of studying today but we're stalled at 12 pages and that'll have to do for today.

There's one great cure for anxiety that I know but I can't recommend to punters. Perspective. Go climbing and scare the living daylights out of yourself and all your worries disappear. It's simple. Or go swimming in the sea in the winter and all the other stuff just floats off.

Childish thought for the day. The only thing that is keeping me going with this course is if I don't finish it I might have to pay the £3,500 tuition fees. There are a thousand good work-related reasons why I should be doing it, which is why I am doing it - but I wish I wasn't doing it. It's too short ago since I was last studying and I'm absolutely sick of it. I hope I win the lottery. £100,000 would do. If I did, I would stop the course immediately. Immediately. And happily pay the tuition fees back. I would not spend one more moment on it.