Then later I was to fail history. I still think history failed me. It failed to capture my interest. No-one ever explained why I should care. Why should I care about the run-rig system or the American war of Independence? The first world war I could get more. My grandad, who lived with us, had fought through and survived the war, although he never spoke about it. Well he laughed about spending the night in haystacks, but he never mentioned the trenches, the rats and seeing all his friends get blown up.
And then I was to carry on to fail Modern Studies. Again...Communist China - hard to relate to when you're in rural Orkney.
Fast forward a few years and we arrive at - oh yes - my last CBT essay.
I'm doing my CBT course because it suits my work that I do it. I don't like it, but I'm trying to be fair. It seems quite a shallow therapy to me and it seems to have stolen all its components from other therapies. I've spent a lot of time with practitioners of other approaches, as teachers and mentors, and they've shown me completely new ways of looking at and understanding things. Their approaches are being undercut by CBT because it promises gains for short-term investment, so is supported by financers and managers. I don't want to go off on a rant, because that serves no-one. I'm not going to topple the edifice that is CBT. I just want this course to be done, so I can move on - and now I have to re-submit. I'm not getting away that easy.
I think there's some kind of universal law at work, but I can't put my finger on it...like the more you struggle the worse things get. The more you want things to be over, the longer they take.
Then on Friday there was a wasp behind my curtains. Not an idiom this time, but a real thing. A great big wasp appeared out of nowhere. As the general rule here is that you get your boyfriend to sort out things like this, I tried telling Peter. He opted to give me a hand by playing the keyboards in the sitting room, so I performed a daring capture of the wasp in a honey jar, by myself. There were a number of things that could have gone wrong, not least of which would have been taking a header out the window (we are three stories up). The wasp kept flying, as they do, to the very top of the window, which meant I was balanced on my tiptoes, at full stretch, on top of a small, shaky chest of drawers.
Anyway it was fine. I took it to show Peter and he celebrated by carrying on playing.
On Saturday I was tired, and I knew I had a 10 mile race the next day. We went to Gullane and had a slow and enjoyable bimble around the beach. The sun even came out for a while. We found a football and a coconut. What more could you ask for?
Sunday; Peter was going for a long run - and I had the Great Run 10 miler.
I think it's fair to say my running's been a bit shit lately, and I seem to be accumulating injuries at an alarming rate. Dunbar 10K was properly hard and hideous, so I had little ambition as I ran up the road to the Queen's Park for my race.
I was determined to not set off at an uncomfortable rate. The last thing I wanted was fireworks in the first 2 miles and then a suffer-fest for 8. Edinburgh is a hilly course, which kind of suits me. It means you can't take your splits too seriously as an indicator of how you're doing.
I set off at a moderate pace, stayed within myself and didn't look at my pace except as the miles bleeped on the Garmin. At first my legs and hips were horribly stiff but over time I was relaxing.
It was cold in the shadows, warm in the sun, and there was a stiff westerly as we crossed the Meadows. It was never a joyous experience but I gained confidence as the race went on. In the 9th mile, going up the last hill, I was passing people who were now walking. It's a nasty hill, and almost always into the wind, but I know the course like the back of my hand, and knew there was just one more short rise before a long downhill sweep to the finish. I hammered this, and pleased myself by taking 3 minutes off last year's time. (Last year I had a hangover, so it's not quite a fair comparison, but given my average pace was only 2 seconds slower than the pace of my recent 10K, you'd see why I'd be pleased.)
Cool, calm and collected.
So today I wrapped up warm, because there is a Baltic wind blowing (probably not, as it's coming from the West. Geography wasn't really my strong suit either.) and did an easy 7 miler.
And then I spent 2 hours on my darned essay. That's my plan. 2 hours every Monday until it's finished or it's the re-submission dead-line date, whichever comes first.
Next weekend it's got to be another long run. I wonder what kind of a meal I can make of that.