How to combine running with a slight emotional breakdown.

There is a song that reminds me of such an unbearably devastating and heartbreaking thing that happened a few years ago that whenever I hear it I burst instantly into an overwhelming fit of crying. (This story gets chirpier, so stick with it!)

Out running one night I decided to forego my usual running playlist or repeated play of any song I’m currently obsessed with, and instead played random songs from my iPod. As I was running along the river, which is where I encounter most of the misfortunes and odd people that I do while running, this particular song started up. True to form I instantly start crying through the song (I have to listen to the whole thing once it’s started). So I’m running along heaving and wailing, blowing my nose on my top and wiping away the mascara that’s running down my face. The next song is decidedly more upbeat, it’s that Lily Allen song about London, so to jolly myself up a bit I try to sing along. So I’m stumbling along with tear clouded eyes singing about pimps and crack whores and little old ladies being mugged, which is punctuated by sobs and coughing and more nose blowing when I stumble over a stone and my headphones fall out and I stand there in my snotty top, with mascara smeared down my face and swearing quite strongly and repeatedly when I notice a man jogging past me who has probably been running along just behind me for a while and has therefore been witness to my pathetic display! As he runs past me he gives me a wide berth and speeds up a little and he looks a little concerned but gives me a wave, forces a smile and says “good evening”. On the plus side I’ve burned off 1413 calories. How many glasses of wine will that buy me?


Fun at the pool


What a fun filled afternoon at the pool! First Henry had a poo in the pool and in his attempts to flee the scene and distance himself from the evidence of his antisocial behaviour, he succeeded in leaving a little guilty trail of unpleasantness across the poolside tiles. As I desperately tried to fish it all out of the pool with my hands, while chasing several merrily bobbing peas around before they floated towards our fellow swimmers, I managed to indecently expose myself as my bikini top went regrettably astray. Having eventually cleaned up our embarrassing mess and furthermore restored myself to some sort of decency as our neighbours looked on, Henry came over to me, waving a brightly coloured, wrapped up tampon he had found in my bag asking “Mummy can I have this sweet?”

It’s so nice to know we can conduct ourselves with such appropriateness and decorum in any social situation.

Conversations with my children- part 1

Getting into the car after school the other day a little boy shouted hello to my 4 year old son Henry. The little boy was waving enthusiastically.

Me – “Who’s that Henry?”
Henry – “He’s my friend.”
Me – “That’s nice. What’s his name?”
Henry – “I don’t know.”
Me – “Is he in your class?”
Henry – “No.”
Me – “Who’s class is he in?”
Henry – “I don’t know.”
Me – “Oh, ok. So you just play with him in the playground?”
Henry – “No.”
Me – “Oh. So where have you seen him?”
Henry – “I don’t know.”
Me – “Have you ever seen him before?”
Henry – “No.”
Me – “Oh. Right. But he’s your friend?”
Henry – “Yes.”
Me – “That’s nice.”

Snippets of conversation from my classroom


Snippets from a discussion with my class today, after reading a book about dinosaurs. It went something like this;

Me – “……so, as we found out in the book, dinosaurs died out millions of years ago but nobody really knows why.”
Child 1 (little voice piping up from the back) – “I do.”
Me – “Well yes, as we just read there are lots of ideas of how it happened. Some people think there was a big rock that crashed into the earth, some people think that volcanoes erupting caused them to die out, but nobody actually knows definitely what killed them off.”
Child 1 -” I do.”
Me – “Do you? Tell us what you think happened.”
Child 1 -“It was a rocket. My daddy told me it was a rocket. A rocket landed on them and squashed them.”
Me – “A rocket? Goodness. That’s an idea that wasn’t mentioned in the book. Very interesting. But even though there are many ideas about what happened, nobody knows exactly what it was that made them extinct.”
Child – “I do.”

Me – “The book also gave us lots of information about the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Who can tell us something they remember about the Tyrannosaurus Rex?”
Child 2 – “It was one of the biggest dinosaurs.”
Me – “Yes. Well remembered. It was one of the biggest dinosaurs but it had very small what?”
Everybody (calling out) – “Arms!”
Me – “You’re right. It was one of the biggest dinosaurs but it had very small arms, and nobody knows why.”
Child 1 – “I do.”
Me – “Do you? What do you think? Why did it have small arms?”
Child 1 – “So it can wave to its friends.”
Me – “There’s another interesting idea. You’re thinking very hard. I’m sure there are lots of different ideas about why it had such small arms, but as we read in the book, nobody actually knows exactly why.”
Child 1 – “I do.”
Child 3 – “I saw a real dinosaur once.”
Me – “Did you? Was it in a museum?”
Child 3 – “No, it was walking along out side my house.”
Me – “But that couldn’t have been a real dinosaur could it. Dinosaurs are extinct aren’t they. They died out.”
Child 4 – “And nobody knows why!”
Child 1 – “I do.”
Me (silently, in my head) – “7 and a half more days. Only 7 and a half more days until the Summer holidays


Early mornings and idiots.


Finally it is the summer holiday! For this tired, overworked teacher now is the time to relax, get a few lie ins, have some fun days out and enjoy a well earned break from school. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work but there’s nothing I love more than not being at work. Nothing. You hear of these people who wake up early every morning with a positive, ‘go get ’em’ attitude, seeing every new day as a challenge, an opportunity, and who can’t wait for the day to get started. I’m not one of those people. I do wake up early in the morning but my waking attitude could be described as slightly less positive, in fact it could be more accurately described as negative. I seem to have missed out on acquiring that enthusiastic attitude for early mornings and sometimes I feel I could happily live a challenge free life where I am able to lounge around in bed and spend my days doing whatever I pleased. But sadly, this is not the route my life has followed. So, accepting this sad state of affairs and resigning myself to a life relatively void of luxury and leisure, this past week I have been working on developing my morning persona, attempting to create a more enthusiastic attitude to all things early. This has involved setting my alarm an hour earlier so that I can go out for a run, yes a run, instead of lying in my nice, comfortable, oh so difficult to get out of bed. Surprisingly for me this has in fact become quite a pleasant habit. I admit that on a few days it has been known for me to stand inside the gate that leads on to the street for a few lingering minutes thinking things such as, ‘what AM I doing?’ and ‘whose bright idea was this?’ before I eventually manage to physically force myself out the gate and set off bounding energetically down the road. On returning after completing my 5km I fully expected that I would feel rejuvenated, full of life and ready for the day. This hasn’t quite worked out. Instead most days I feel quite tired and ready for a snooze, but I do feel like I have accomplished something and I feel pretty fit and healthy. However, today was different.

Today I returned home in a completely different state of mind and not a good one. As I first set off I saw just ahead of me a group of 3 young men walking along in the road, dressed just in shorts and trainers like they were preparing to go running too, one in the middle of the road and one on either side so that they filled the whole road. They quickly noticed me running towards them and, I won’t go into details because it was all very vulgar, obscene and misogynistic, and it makes me furious to even think about it, but they started off by saying “are you going off for a little run sweetheart?” and then proceeded to suggest other things that I could be doing to them instead accompanied by illustrative gestures, which to be honest I didn’t need as the words were descriptive enough, and making general idiotic comments as they began to jog along right up close beside me. Then they got a bit ahead, laughing and calling out other suggestive stuff as they went. Not long after that we came to a steep hill and I quickly caught them up and was running alongside them. Out of the corner of my eye I could see them all speed up trying to get ahead again, not wanting to be overtaken, especially by a woman. And so it gave me considerable pleasure to effortlessly (well, initially effortlessly, but eventually it was killing me quite a bit to keep going at such a pace, but there was no way I was going to slow down!) power on past them and continue uphill as they quickly ran out of breath and slowed down, obviously not actual runners. I carried on up the hill leaving them behind, all three clearly pissed off big time at being beaten by a ‘girl’. I finished the rest of my run feeling really angry and annoyed. It’s one thing being bibbed at and having people shout ‘alright darlin’ and that sort of mindless thing, which although annoying and patronising is something that women put up with because it’s usually done in ‘fun’ or, more likely, male stupidity. But this had been something different, really quite threatening and intimidating and it made me furious that they thought they could talk to people like that. If this was a Hollywood film no doubt my overwhelming anger would result in me running a personal best for the 5km, or overcoming some emotional barrier to smash any previous time. Unfortunately this was not the case. I did however have the joy of knowing that I had got one over on those idiots by being fitter than them and running faster than them, and so to finish I will actually quote one of them (I won’t bother adding the accompanying gesture) – “you can suck on that baby”.

My first post!

I’ve decided to set up a blog! I can sense your combined excitement and anticipation from here. I’m not going to write any more right now as to be honest it’s quite late, I’ve had a busy day and I have a cup of tea getting cold which won’t do at all. So if you could just take this as a little introduction to my impending blogging that would be jolly lovely indeed! So, until my next thrilling post……….