Joyful June 10/6

This week felt like the longest week. I worked 45 hours. That’s quite a lot.

I slept a lot today. Mostly with her highness, on the sofa. She slept more. Gosh, I love sleep.

Fife the cat

Fife, asleep on me, about 1.30pm

Fifi the cat

Fifi changes position, 2.30pm

Fifi the cat

Fifi wakes up, 3pm

Fifi the cat

… and back to sleep

Hanging out the Fifi has been a treat this week. I’ve been flying in and out the house. No times for games or much time for cuddles. Nice to hang out, even if we didn’t do very much.

I’m off for an early night – yes, more sleep – and then seeing my friend Clare tomorrow. We started out in newspapers together. Thirty years ago! Flipping heck!!


Call me Sherlock

I am currently enjoying some time off work with a mini break to see a dear friend coming up. In other words, I am having a great time wth the prospect of more good times to come. ūüôā

Today I gave the kitchen a thorough cleaning and ploughed through a mountain of washing.

As I pottered about the kitchen I noticed Nadia 3 was looking decidedly peeky, sort of… stumpy.

I should explain; Nadia 3 is a spider plant, separated from Nadias 2 and 1 when they grew too big for their pot and were threatening to evacuate. They used to live as one in my old office but my new office doesn’t have windows, or much in the way of fresh air, so I brought Nadia home, divided her up and now she is three in the brave new world of my kitchen.

Nadia 1 lives on the shelf my the stairs, Nadia 2 on a shelf by the window and Nadia 3, until this afternoon, was living on the kitchen table.

I don’t think it’s the table that’s the problem. Just one little furry missy who can get on to the table with ease.

The evidence is all there. Sudden shortening of the leaves ending in blunt stumps. A general shrunken demeanour; Nadia 3 has lost her sparkle. I mean look at her.


Nadia looks decidedly gnawed. Like iams aren’t good enough.

Fifi the cat

who me?

Good job for one little cat that spider plants aren’t poisonous. Although they now all like out of the reach of prying paws.

Yoga cat

Did you know many yoga asanas are based on the movement of animals?

Makes sense, doesn’t it, the natural stretching they do can flex and strengthen our office-battered, car-traffic-commute-from-hell stressed bodies.

Fifi is a yogini supreme. She can relax with the best.

Fifi does Shavasana

Fifi does Shavasana

She likes to meditate.

cat meditates

Fifi contemplates her chakras, probably

And sometimes she likes to gate-crash my relaxation session.

cat gatecrashes yoga

That blanket’s for my benefit, not yours, missy

Things that hold back my runs: no1

You know how it is. It’s early, it’s dark, it’s damp, it’s chilly.

And there she is, jumping on to the arm of the sofa, which means she wants a cuddle.

How can anyone say ‘no’?

Fifi the cat

Cuddle me kitten

So I compromise. I pick her up, I stroke her 100 times while she purrs and dribbles down my running top and I try not to fall asleep standing up.

Then, monster that I am, I put her down on the sofa, go out the front door and hit the road. This is her early morning workout…

Fifi sleeps

Missing me dreadfully - yeah, right

As it was I ran my best 3.32 mile circuit this morning, beating my previous time by 43 seconds. My first mile was pretty slow too, so really pleased.

Call of the wild

Is it me? Is there a full moon?

This morning’s run was like The Fantastic Journey meets Night of the Living Ned*.

I set off at 5.15am all looked normal. As I got to the bottom of the road I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye on a fence. A squirrel. It was clearly as surprised to me as I was to see it and decided to make a run for it, in exactly the same direction as I was running. The squirrel was clearly unhappy that we were now running mates and kept looking to see if I was still there. After about 10 metres the squirrel was going to run out of fence but he now had a fair momentum going and I wasn’t stopping, I had my Endomondo app clocking up my performance.

At the last second Squirrel Nutcase made a flying leap to the right, into a bush and vanished.

About a mile later a pale ginger cat galloped along a wall beside me, probably hoping I would be letting him/her in, but again leapt off into the darkness of a garden and disappeared.

I was half expecting a labrador too come bounding up and bark meaningfully but no, now the real weirdness kicked in.

First off was some idiot in a car who decided to demonstrate his appreciation of seeing a woman running by beeping his horn repeatedly. It’s not even 6am at this point. I wasn’t going to be remonstrating with him about the finer points of the highway code re sounding car horns after dark, but I was cringing as I jogged on along the road.

Next I pass a man at a road junction who was literally staggering drunk – finest zombie impersonation I’ve seen in a very long time. All stiff limbs with one arm out at an angle for no obvious reason. I was delighted to see him take a different route. But then I pass a pensioner in a flat cap, marching down the middle of Burton Road. There is a pavement.

Usually I see two buses and another runner if I’m lucky. Maybe a taxi.

But these little carry-ons do pass the time as you plod along. No surprise I ran my fastest mile during the drunken zombie episode.

Cheeringly I clocked up five miles in just under an hour which is a pb for me. Wonder if I can book the squirrel and the cat for Thursday…?

* A Ned is Scottish slang for a ne’er-do-well fool displaying almost certain criminal intent. It’s an acronym which stands for Non-Educated Delinquent

Spooky running

Maybe it was the dark stillness at 5.30am. Maybe it was the distorted, amplified sounds that echoed through the streets after a rainy night. Maybe it was the gusting wind and the eerily warm air, but I was as jumpy as a cat this morning when I set out interval training.

Actually,¬†I was jumpier than a cat, the ginger tom who charged down his road, bell on collar a-tinkling, made my heart leap and I had a ‘what’s that?’ flap about what turned out to be a leaf.

But I struggled womanfully on, against the wind, up the hill and tried not to think of anything spooky.

Of course, I made the mistake of turning off the main road, on to what turned out to be a street with an even steeper incline but useless street lamps. Puddles galore which¬†I didn’t see till I’d charged into them, soggy socks – lovely.¬†¬†But by the time I was on the home stretch I found the spray of water gathered up by the 43 bus oddly refreshing.

Did all this fear and flapping make me run any faster?

Well the good news is I’ve started measuring my runs using an app, so I emit a strange sonic beep periodically as¬†I puff along, but the bad news is I can’t understand what it says yet. it seems to think I reached a top speed of 25 miles per hour, which¬†I think¬†I might have noticed! Studying the website¬† tonight.

Oh joy, my running mojo’s back

I am a bundle of smiles and bouncing cheeriness.

The sky is grey and rain is pending, the cat has picked a fight with a neighbour’s cat, though thankfully her fury was only vented through the closed kitchen window where she hung from its frame, growling and puffing like a feline boxer.

Mr M snored half the night and wheezed most of the rest while I had a most unpleasant nightmare featuring a cast of people I’ve no desire to see in reality or dreams.

But all this is nothing; my first post-holiday run was a one-off, my running mojo’s back.

I set off at 7.30am this morning and decided to take the river route, along the Mersey and up into the park in Didsbury, round the woods and through the marshlands before jogging home.

Not fast, but not wheezing, not pushing hard but not feeling like my legs are like jelly.

So I ran for an hour, though I stopped to take some snaps of a glorious morning – before the grey clouds loomed to cast their shadow over Manchester. Harry the personal trainer may not approve of this as a training technique, but sometimes the joy of running and sharing the joy is greater than the science of training. Which I may use as my defence next week.