Running From Reality – 14 December

In my mind’s eye, I am about three or four years old, on a fairground carousel, I think it was in New Brighton – that famed St Tropez of the North West. I am wearing a dress, with pictures of yachts, flags in suitably nautical colour scheme, watched by my pops. I am squealing and chirping with delight.

It is now a few years later, I don’t remember which birthday, but I do remember my grandmother, Iye Iye telling me that she received a telephone call from my pops asking to be rescued from my friends! They had all refused to go home, unless my pops gave each one a kiss. He didn’t and they all did go home. That as I recall was probably the last birthday party of mine he ever attended.

Another summer holiday in Brittany, a small place called Nevez, a campsite run by Mme Guefarda. She drove a tractor, served a mean cider, and ran the campsite where I managed to bite my knee –  and I am still bearing the scars today. Year after year, we holidayed there, introducing the French holidaymakers to tomato ketchup, and the curiously named ‘tap job’ which was my pops’s favourite ‘torture’ for us kids. Each year without fail, a stream of children would arrive at the tent asking if my pops could go out to play.

A weekend away in Kent, involving us travelling from Liverpool by train, and I was treated by pops to afternoon tea in the dining carriage, en route. I can remember feeling so grown up, being allowed to dine on my own.

Teenage years in Liverpool and the O Level years, when I was by far the most envied girl for one thing alone and that was my pops coming to school and whisking me away for sneaky Chinese lunches.

The other memories are too numerous to mention, and why am I writing this now? Thursday is my running day, but not today, I am visiting my pops in his new home. My pops has Alzheimer’s, a disease that has torn his memories from him, and now has torn him away from his home and family.

His sense of humour is still intact, he still gestures to imaginary objects in the window, to make me look and be fooled. He remembers the famous family ritual of the budgie bounce and practices that on me, with a big grin. His physiotherapist is playing with a soft ball and whilst all the other patients gently return the ball, he rather craftily serves up dummy throws to make the physiotherapist move to catch the ball, wide, high and low. Never throwing the same each time, he takes a wicked delight in his actions, no matter how much I try to change his delivery, he continues to be mischievous.

I miss my run, but I miss my pops more. He can’t really talk to you, conversations are a curious affair of you trying to work out what he means, and answering accordingly, hoping that it makes sense to him. He has his lunch and I note that he still eats very properly, using his napkin on his lap.

I spend about an hour and a half with him, about the same time it takes me to run 11-12km. Normally in that time, when I am running I feel a sense of achievement, of me doing something that makes sense and makes me happy. Today that time is spent with someone who now no longer knows who he is, who I am and what he is doing there.

My running time is occasionally a happy time or an angry time or even a ‘meh’ time, but this time I am not running and it is a sad time. Pops has a tear running down his face, slowly trickling and he wipes it away, I cannot stop the same thing happening to me.

Why write this? It’s not my usual running blog type story, it’s not jokey, but when I run, I can make sense of ‘stuff’. It maybe the stupid stuff, such as what am I going to do in the week, or the big things that are bothering me.

Mr JCR’s uncle recently emailed me to say he had read one of my blog articles when I had my potty mouth on. He pondered on how things change over time, and what is now acceptable wasn’t  when he was younger. I think about that now, and I realise my potty mouth is still going to work…

I hate Alzheimers, I hate the fact that the only significant medical research went down a rabbit hole, that pretty much led to nowhere. I hate the fact that millions of families have a loved one stolen from them by a disease that seemingly can’t be fixed, despite the fact that it is going to affect more and more of us.

I effing well hate the fact that this stupid disease is something I can’t fix with running. I can’t fix my pops, I can’t bring him back but I’d love to. But there is one thing I can do, and that is to run when I can for Alzheimers. So I am starting my New Year resolutions early, I am going to sign up for virtual runs for Alzheimers, so when I do run, it may not help my pops, but it will help others.

So Alzheimer’s I am telling you, the combination of me and others, mean your time of devastation is going to come to an end. Fuck you Alzheimers (sorry Alan) – You may have stolen my pop’s memories, but you haven’t stolen mine and you won’t steal my determination to make a difference. Today’s reality of Alzheimer’s  is one I am happy to start running from.

Watch this space for my Alzheimer’s running reports.

11 December – When A Shit Present Turns Out…

… to be one of the best presents you get! Rewind to last Thursday night in Cornwall. We’d seen Young Marx in Plymouth and we’re at N&As home, having a nightcap. At this point we decide to swap our Shit Christmas presents.

This is a tradition with our friends, to spend a small amount of money £10 or less on a present that is useless and makes us laugh. Over the years, we’ve exchanged a penguin-shaped tea service, broken lava lamp, body part shaped keyring, a modesty poncho for outdoors toileting, non-working tools and plenty more besides. This year, we gave N a nano-lego dog kit and A a magnifying glass toenail clipper, whilst Mr JCR was the recipient of an anatomically rude set of corkscrew, bottle opener and stopper and cycling LED lights, the latter will pimp up his very serious road bike.

I, on the other hand (bad pun, sorry) got these little beauties. I bow to no-one in my love of fluoro and bling, when running. We live in a home where bling and fluoro are unknown, so my eccentric running style is utterly at odds with my home style.  But to my delight, (which really wasn’t the point) I now have black running gloves with glowing fingertips. The fingertips remain a cool, calm, collected white during the day. And at night, the fun begins, they change colours fading in and out, they blink and each glove is different, so I can strobe away, causing temporary blindness to oncoming traffic.

Having seen Social Media  go crazy about the advertised VI Poo product – suggesting that it is wholly inappropriate to give a toilet spray as a gift, may I recommend the honourable tradition of giving a ‘shit’ present, instead? It may just be the best present you ever give.

Tomorrow, the blingy babes and I go out for a run!


3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t….


run a Marathon. So goes the latest Map My Run advice and there are three reasons, which can be found and are discussed fully here

In summary though, they are:-

  1. You’re not ready
  2. You can’t devote enough time to train
  3. You need more race practice

As I have no intention of running a marathon unlike my super fit friend J, (who was in fact an iron woman, before the term was ever coined), I thought I would adapt this advice for a more normal likelihood in the JCR household.

So, here are my three reasons for not running with a Marathon (or Snickers bar if you’re American or if you can’t remember that Snickers used to be called Marathons in the good old days!)

  • You’re not ready –

this is because you have forgotten to buy the Marathon/Snickers bars in the first place. Next time, be prepared and buy a family pack, that should do a whole week of running.

  • You can’t devote enough time to train –

running with chocolate requires dedication, first of all you need to practice the unwrapping whilst running. Secondly, you can’t run with chocolate on hot days, it’s just plain nasty. Smudged chocolate on your hands could get you arrested for indecent running. If your need to run with chocolate occurs in the summer months, you are unlikely to have sufficiently cool enough days to practice. Unless you live in the UK of course.

  • You need more race practice –

in the JCR household, first in the cupboard gets first dibs at the chocolate. Many practice sprints help your access to the goodies, this is technically called ‘interval training’. As any seasoned runner knows, interval training is a crucial tool to help with Marathon running.

And if these hints have helped, you may like a ‘sweetie’ inspired playlist on Spotify:-

Chocolate Girl – Deacon Blue

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard

Push The Button – Sugababes

Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Raspberry Beret – Prince

Girl From Mars – Ash

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This – Eurythmics

Sad Sweet Dreamer – Sweet Sensation

I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – Four Tops

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Flake – Jack Johnson

Cake By The Ocean – DNCE

I’m The Fat Man – King Pleasure and The Biscuit Boys

Cream – Prince

Marathon – Junkie XL

Salt Peanuts – Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie

Ice Cream Man – Blur

I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

You Got The Love – The Source and Candi Staton

Chasing after the boys – 13 November

Well you’re never too old…, or at least I’m not!

There have been a number of new men in my life since I started this running malarkey, luckily Mr JCR seems relaxed about it.

From Rolysmate and his lovely meemum, to Irish John’s philosophy ‘a run, is a run, is a run’, and Mr Run himself who was my partner in crime on the other side of the Adriatic, when Lucifer decided to visit.

I have learned something from each and every one of them and in their collective honour I have created on Spotify my A to Z of men’s name songs, with a couple of ‘generic male oriented songs’ for added effect.

This testosterone filled playlist, is an eclectic list and frankly I’d not heard of some of them, but now I have and I love all the tracks, and I hope my fellow C2Rk male runners like their tribute.

Oh and these boys spurred me onto my first 11k run too!

MrIrishRolyRuns playlist is just here

Andy You’re A Star – The Killers

Ben – Michael Jackson

Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Denis – Blondie

Goodbye Earl – Dixie Chicks

Frankie – Sister Sledge

Geno – Dexys Midnight Runners

Diary of Horace Wimp – ELO

Ivan Meets GI Joe – The Clash

Jackie Wilson Said – Dexys Midnight Runner

Song for Keith – Mike Strickland

Louie Louie – The Kingsmen

Mickey – Toni Basil

Nathan Jones – The Supremes

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Peter Gunn Theme – The Blues Brothers

The Mighty Quinn – Manfred Mann

Rudy – Supertramp

Girls and Boys – Blur

Telegram Sam – TRex

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top

Tracy Jacks – Blur

Ulysses – Franz Ferdinand

Is Vic There? – Department S

Warwick Avenue – Duffy

X Offender – Blondie

You’re The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White

Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie

Maneater – Hall and Oates

A Message To You Rudy – The Specials

7 Things Drinking Runners Should Know*

One of the consequences of becoming a nearly serious runner, is you start acquiring kit and shopping in places you’d never have considered previously. Old Jan in Selfridges, New Jan in Sweaty Betty.  Also, your reading habits change, Old Jan reading Vogue, Elle etc, New Jan reading Runners World and various running blogs.

Not knowing much about running really, except that I enjoy it, I do look at articles offering help from time to time. My latest epic is the 7 things older runners should know, from the Map My Run team.

Find it here

And this list, is I am sure very good advice but a little bit goody two shoes for me, so here is my alternative view on the Sage Seven

*To be taken with a big pinch of salt!!!

Know Your Limits

It is critical as an older runner that you pace your wine/whiskey/beer drinking. Hangover running is no fun, and no spectator wants to see a wrinkly runner vomit!

Warm Ups Matter

Who can disagree? You should never, ever go headlong into a drinking session, without first considering the order of drinks. Personally I am bubbles first, and wine second. Or Gin first then wine. The warm-up drink is critical to consider before imbibing.

Accept Your Pace

No longer a spring chicken…, no longer able to keep up with your running buddies? That’s me to a T. So I now no longer try and keep up with my friend J (she of the hollow legs). She can out-drink and out-run me every time, oh and out-swim, out-cake, out -Limoncello, out-garden. Pretty much any activity J can outdo me. So now I accept my flaws, and cry silently into my glass.

New to Drinking? Then Sip….

As the article says, you’re the only one judging you and your performance. So if you can’t keep up with your friends who possess hollow legs, then sip and alternate the alcohol sipping with water. You know it makes sense.

Take Care Of You

Clean eating and proper hydration is all. My advice is always have nibbles with your drinks, take on some water, and at all costs avoid the late night shawarma or kebab temptation.

Add Strength

This is all about mixing up your training to make you stronger, if you run – try some weights. If you drink, try a new one that you’ve not tried before. My newest – Rhubarb Gin with Ginger Ale – dee-lish – who knew?

Take a Day Off

Rest days in running are important, and even more so when drinking. If you feel it’s all too much and you have fallen prey recently to the late night shawarma or kebab, I’d say a rest is in order….

A Deck of Ginger Ale – 8 October

You’re right, this title makes no sense whatsoever…, but it does to me and a few other folk on C25K.

I created  a Spotify playlist and download list on my phone to honour a fellow runner, who was sorely missing her music due to being deaf in one ear and then suffering a loss of hearing in her good ear. Thankfully she is better now.

In response to my post about creating this 80’s biased playlist, I got loads of responses from fellow C25Kers including somewhat to my surprise a whole host of 80’s music fans amongst the men. I don’t why I was surprised, but I was.

Anyway, Decker, LardofAle, and Ginger Bohemian came up with another great list of songs for me to consider, so the new Retro Runners playlist is called ‘Deck of Ginger Ale’ in their honour.

The first 4 songs to go on it are:-

Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty – – Thanks to Antet

I Ran – Flock of Seagulls – Thanks to Razouski

Talk Talk – Talk Talk – Thanks to Lardofale

Tainted Love – Soft Cell – Thanks to me

Retro Running Playlist – How It Works – 5 Oct

After having a lot of fun creating the ‘retro runners’ playlist, I now have the pleasant or nightmarish job of deciding what else goes on the playlist. It’s mainly 80s music, predominantly the UK scene and so far 4 women have been the main selectors of content.

But having publicised it to Razouski (the lady in whose honour this list has been created), Antet and Polly 2810 on C25K, it seems the guys liked 80s music too… So now I have a huge ‘shortlist’ to compile and decide which music to download next and to add to the retro runners’ playlist. This is not quite as easy as it seems.

My rules for downloads are:-

I am allowed one download per run completed each week

And I am allowed a further download if I meet the target km for the week.

Downloads made each Sunday

The weekly km is determined by my training system as follows:

Week X = 1 x run 7km, 2 x 6.5km

Week Y = 1 x run 7.5km, 2 X 7km

Week Z = 1 x run 8km, 2 x 7.5km

If I run more than 7.5km on Sunday, then I am allowed 4 downloads this week

Also I hadn’t quite thought through my rule-set, as I am intending ramping up the distance to 10K. Not sure what my new download incentive rules will be post 10K, but am open to suggestions.

This week’s  4 downloads will be chosen from:-

Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule The World – Thanks to Polly

Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty – – Thanks to Antet

I Ran – Flock of Seagulls – Thanks to Razouski

Talk Talk – Talk Talk –  Thanks to Lard of Ale

Don’t Go – Yazoo – Thanks to Ginger Bohemian

Tainted Love – Soft Cell – Thanks to me!

I now have to create the ‘long’ shortlist, from named songs and also named artists…. more to follow on this one I think




1 September – Booms, Bums and Boars

Today is the first of September and with the wind change come a few more changes too.

First of all, the hunting season begins,  we live in the country and hunters have hunted here for many years. They used to have the right to roam across your land freely, but now they are obliged to follow the Divieto Di Caccia signs, which mean “No Hunting”. The day is misty, cool, wet with a very thunderous looking grey sky. I decide fuschia pink is the perfect running colour, for two reasons it is cheery, and hopefully wearing it I won’t get mistaken for a wild boar….

The second major change is now we are allowed to have garden fires again. After a bit of a cock-up on the garden administration front, our garden bonfire pile is at a height way over 2 metres. It would do very nicely for November 5th, although a bit insensitive for me to think that, living  as I do in Italy.

A random thought passes through my mind if I get my route wrong and a hunter makes a mistake, today is the day I could be both shot and burned and no one would be any the wiser…

Back to the basics of running again, down the Slope of Hope on my warm up walk. Up the Hill that Kills, just before Lovers Lane I see Lord Kitchener, today very nattily dressed in a blue and taupe banded polo shirt, with taupe bermudas.  He actually says buongiorno to me and he has a surprisingly deep voice, I never noticed that before. I wonder if the real Lord Kitchener did too, that would be spooky. Up Lovers’ Lane and back again, at the end I decide to run off- piste and not take the usual route out. I run partially back up the Slope of Hope, which Mr JCR informs me is a 30 metre gain over about 360m. Now I didn’t do anywhere near that, but I did have a go, so am proud. The drizzle has upped, and I know without looking that my hair is twangy, and to quote Disco Tex ‘my chiffon is wet darling, my chiffon is wet’.

Back right down to the bendy scary road, cripes  almost taken out by one of the many steel grey Fiat Puntos around. So I hug ever closer to the road edge, although the roughness and camber isn’t favourable. Running slowly, and behind me comes the Frescofrutta juggernaut. This is the second time I’ve encountered him, and like last time, I give him the ‘Allo ‘Allo salute, as a thank you. I don’t know if he does actually slow down, but it seems so to me. Anyway it’s good karma.

Past the 5 dog house, mercifully quiet and then Paloma Faith comes on with Upside Down. I love this song but it gives me a real tempo challenge, so I run in cadence perfection to Paloma, but it’s faster than usual and my running motion goes a bit haywire. Still it’s fun.  Aargh that was a flash of lightning and the thunder is getting louder. Maybe running in the hills under trees isn’t such a great idea JCR! I then remember an episode of QI when they  said the best way to survive a lightning strike is to crouch on the ground with your bum in the air!  Quite what the villagers would say about me if I adopted that pose, heaven alone knows. I could pretend to be truffle snuffling maybe? After all it’s Autumn.

Mechanical Voice Lady tells me it’s been 5km running now, so I slow a bit and come to a stop for my cool down walk. Today I did my best km run of 6.31 with my other 4 all around 7.25 to 7.30 timing. So that’s 5k in under 37 mins, well I’m chuffed with that. And it was Paloma what did it, I just don’t think I could run at the moment at her tempo for a full 5k.

Walking back up the Slope of Hope, past a man wearing a long sleeved rugby shirt, longish bermudas, and carrying a capacious umbrella, he looks a little perplexed at a pink faced, pink-vested sopping wet podista, who seems oblivious to the weather. And I am, because the rain was beautiful, it gave me a personal best time and most of all, it kept the hunters at home, so I get to live and run another day. Face colour, a cooler raspberry diva!

Joan of Arc – OMD
Rock The Casbah – Clash
Save a Prayer and Planet Earth in succession – Duran Duran
People are People – Dépêche Mode
Back to Black – Amy Winehouse
Unbelievable – EMF
Girls and Boys – Blur
Upside Down – Paloma Faith
The Reflex – Duran Duran
Strong – London Grammar
Everything Must Go – The Manics
Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis
Can You Feel It? – Michael Jackson
London Calling – The Clash

Distance 7.01
Time 54.55
Average Pace 7.50 min/km

29 August – Allo, Allo it’s all a bit scary

There’s a constant whining noise in my ear, and it’s annoying me. It’s about 6.30am and am still in bed. Mr JCR seems oblivious to this noise, I am getting very ratty now.
Oh yes I had forgotten Lucifer has sent his younger brother, who according to Dr Google may be called Michael. That seems a bit rubbish for all the Michaels in the world.

I digress, with Michael being in Italy, the heat is back and so are the damn mosquitoes, and this pesky little lady has been buzzing around my ears. Okay I give up, just get ready for running.

Kit on, out onto the Slope of Hope, same plans as last time really aim to run for 33 minutes and see how I feel. Maybe do 5km if near the mark. Up the Hill that Kills, it’s hot again but the trees give welcome shade, turn into Lovers’ Lane and see Anouska and Albino, she’s looking very smart today in a black chiffon number, I am wearing my Tango combo, scorching orange top with orange and blue diamond checked shorts.

Back down Lovers’ Lane and decide I will brave the scary bendy road again, at this point realise I haven’t heard from the MMR mechanical voice lady and then spot it isn’t on. That’s a running on the spot faffing about, then I go on. Down to the bendy scary road, it’s quiet, the children are still on holiday, so there’s no school bus or ferrying mums and dads to worry about.

Minding my own business and then whoosh I get overtaken by a cyclist – nothing unusual about that except that Pumping Jack Flash, appears to have forgotten his bike. He is kitted out in the full cycling regalia, the zip top with its hamster pockets at the back, and curiously, he is running in cyclist nappy pants. He was very pleasant, said Buongiorno and moved smoothly on. He was wearing acid green, together we must have looked like a colour blindness testcard. But where was his bike? He wasn’t wearing clip-on bike shoes, so I guess he is a closet runner, or a runner who can’t afford a bike, just the clothing. Or maybe he just forgot to do the laundry this week, we’ve all been there!

Carry on past the barking dog house that gave me a fright on Sunday; no wonder –  there are 5 dogs in there barking away. Mechanical voice lady informed me it had been 3km of running, which I knew was actually 4 because of the Hill that Kills and Lovers’ Lane loop being missed. I decided to carry on until the 4km mark which was 5km. Difficult to tell my pace but I believe it was about 38 minutes to do the 5km again.

As a non-molto chic podista, I do try to encourage motorists to be nice to all podistas by acknowledging them with a hands up if they slow down or give me a wide berth. It however does look remarkably like the salute given by the German Captain in ‘Allo ‘Allo, all those years ago.

So today’s stats included about 15 ‘Allo ‘Allo waves, and exactly 3 eff offs – one of which was aimed at the 5 dogs, the other at a moped rider and a third at the Carabinieri Forestale (long after they’d gone) who cut a corner and frightened me.

Scarily, my distance recorded on Map My Run comes out exactly at 6.66km – the mark of you know who, maybe Lucifer and his younger brother are sending me a message? But then they missed the 1km I did early on and wasn’t recorded, so they’re not that smart.


Born In The USA – The Boss

Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

Let’s Go Crazy – Prince and The Revolution

Doginabag – The Fratellis

Smile Like You Mean It and Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll (in succession) – The Killers

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Rio – Duran Duran

Purple Rain – Prince and The Revolution

Can You Feel It and Thriller (in succession) – Michael Jackson

Strong – London Grammar

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

Scooby Snacks – Fun Lovin’ Criminals

Creep – Radiohead


Distance 6.66 km (but it was nearer to 8km, with the missing loop and warm up walk missed off)

Time 57.47

Average Pace 8.40 mins/km



27 August – Poop Scooping and Santa’s Scooter

It had got very hot, Lucifer having being summarily dispatched earlier on in the year, had sent his little pesky brother Michael to haunt us, so although not hitting the 40s we did have mid 30s to contend with.

Saturday I donned rubber gloves to do the weekly litter pick outside the front of our house. I love Italy very much, the people and food and culture are all fab, but there is one thing that I do not understand. Towns and cities are invariably cleaner than those back home in the UK. Generally you don’t see wanton littering. Here nonnas and parents tell their children off for littering, but then chucking stuff out of the car in the countryside is apparently fine. It was hot and I hate doing the job, but I loathe seeing the rubbish even more. And so I find myself picking up someone’s very human message. Go figure, you carry toilet tissue with you, you do your business and then you chuck it out the window in the front of someone’s house…

Sunday morning, the usual faff of putting on the interval timer, Map My Run,  music, and I treated myself to Mr Smooth on the Week 9 podcast. I am but a simple bear, and what seemed to happen was the ‘shuffle’ element, seemed to reshuffle each time either MMR, the interval timer or Mr Smooth came on, even mid-record. Frustrating – not sure I am going to bother with the interval timer any more…  A competition between an interval timer beeping and Mr Smooth is no contest at all.

So the usual descent down the Slope of Hope, all is quiet even the balcony dogs aren’t out. I turn into the Hill that Kills, and notice that the Farm Fresh Eggs house have built a small presepio – that is a Nativity scene, but they’ve made it out of garden implements. Cute! Decide it’s way too dangerous to take a picture, as that may f… up the technology even more, but make a mental note to do it nearer Christmas time, when it will seem more apt. Making my way to Lovers’ Lane, I see the piadina lady coming with all her cookery stuff to set up her stall. Evidently she’s in a hurry, I feel the rush of air as she passes. No Albina and Anouska today, I think they probably go to church on Sundays.

Running back I get ‘goosed’ by the barking beagles, who always catch me out, so another unplanned leap in the air and I continue. Today is all about seeing if I can run 5K, if I can’t no big deal, but if I can that would be fab. Retracing my steps back down the Hill that Kills I turn towards the Scary Bendy Road. This is a long wideish road, with curves aplenty, recently tarmaced and it reminds me of a winding staircase. It has falsi flatti, which are very deceptive.

I pass yet another ‘dog’ house on the left, they go mental and the cacophony of barking follows me around the corner, where there is another gap and they have another go. Okay any thoughts of being calm and collected on a Sunday morning go out the window, so I tell them to eff off. At that time two pedestrian runners came into view. Oops, I don’t know if they heard me or not. I cling onto the hope that as my Italian friends say, swearing in English in a foreign country doesn’t count!

At this stage the Mechanical Voice Lady tells me I have run 4km, mmmm that’s at about 3 minutes to go on my scheduled timer of 33 minutes running, I decide that I should go for the 5K if I can. Engaging tiptoe gear, helps me slow down my pace, and I keep going until yes, I did the 5k. All in all about 38 minutes, that’s not bad because it’s still blinking hot here.

In all my haste to make sure I did the 5k, I hadn’t really planned my route, so was 3.2km from home. Ho hum, a bit longer than the planned warm down walk, but okay needs must. There is something very bizarre about being a runner when you are walking, I always feel the need to swing my arms more briskly as a signal that this is not a stroll. So briskly swinging my arms, walking back up the Bendy Scary Road towards home, an oncoming scooter waves at me. Well what do you know it’s Babbo Natale, and funnily enough his scooter is a very Christmassy red. I think I have a scoop, Babbo Natale spends summers in Le Marche, he cuts his beard – a summer cut – very sensible indeed, and favours a scooter over his reindeers.

This makes me smile, people here are so very friendly compared to back home in London. I make my way slowly back up the Slope of Hope, and turn the corner, to see that even though I did shit picking only yesterday, I have to litter pick again today.


Dear Babbo Natale,

I know it’s only August but for Christmas I would like you to ask the motorists around here to take their ‘messages’ and their rubbish home.

Lots of love and in hope.



Back to Black – Amy Winehouse
Rehab (twice in succession) – Amy Winehouse
Help Me Rhonda and Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys
Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
Crazy in Love – Beyonce
Hot In the City – Billy Idol
Mony Mony – Billy Idol
Girls and Boys, Tracy Jacks, and Parklife (in succession) – Blur
Crazy In Love – Beyonce
True Faith 94 – New Order
Glory Days – The Boss
Hungry Heart – The Boss
Mulder and Scully – Catatonia
Reap The Wild Wind – Ultravox
Joan of Arc – OMD
Back to Black – Amy Winehouse
Andy You’re a Star – The Killers

Distance 8.19km
Time 1.13.29
Average Pace 8.38 mins/km
Personal Best of 6.56 mins/km
1st 5k done in 38 minutes – yeesss…. 🙂