Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Running Away

The theme of this post is running. Everything in my life seems to be on fast forward at the moment, everywhere I look people and thoughts and ideas are galloping off, over the hills and far away. I seem to have adopted a slightly elegiac mood recently, in contrast to the world around me. May, surely, is the best month of the year, yet all I seem to do is shake my head sadly and contemplate the way the year is running away with itself. All this rampant growth – be over soon, I say, with an air of resignation. The lilac’s on the turn already. The tulips are over for another year. The hedgerows are poised in that delicious moment where they are half-dipped in cream, yet all I can think is that in a blink of an eye everything will be heavy and torpid and the nights will be almost drawing in. Cheerful aren’t I? I need to emulate my grandmother, who at 95 is full of plans for the future. She runs a critical eye over her patio garden and thinks about getting it grassed over and more roses planted for next year. I feel fear stalking me and my heart tightens a little when she says this. Think positive, she says. I want more summers, no reason why I can’t have any more, she says. I should think I can count on a few more summers myself, so let’s hope I shake off my morbid torpor and live in the moment a bit more. What’s not to like about these unexpected long hot days, after all? (Especially as they are apparently about to end).

But my big news is that I’m running. I'm pounding the pavements with all the zeal of the newly converted. Why has it taken me so long? I love that clean, empty feeling I get when I run. I feel like I’m running away from everything. Clients annoying you with their strategy meetings and their need for ‘seamless integration of next-generation services’? Run, run. Kids whingeing? Lengthen your stride. There’s nothing else I can think of that combines that trance-like, meditative quality of mind, with the grim determination of making my body keep going, despite the pain, and the little voice in my head that tells me to stop and have a nice cup of tea instead - childbirth, possibly, though I don’t think I’d be signing up for that three times a week. Like childbirth, with running any pride in your appearance has to go out of the window (though I admit running isn't quite as undignified). Not content with being sweaty and puce in the face, my running mate kindly pointed out that I have this habit of closing my right eye when I run. I don't suppose it's very fetching and I have no idea why I do it.

Meanwhile, in my non-running life, the garden is coming into its full vigour and demanding my attention. I can weave my way lazily through the alliums, the rampant honesty, the self-seeded poppies, and of course, the weeds. Dandelions and buttercups are everywhere, but huge clumps of bluebells and forget me nots have appeared alongside them. My ‘canary bird’ rose is out in all its shining gold glory. The cherry blossom’s over for another year (there I go again) but the willow tree is just taking on it’s deeper tinge of green and the children will soon be able to be lost underneath its canopy again. The herbs and vegetables are growing by the minute, too. The children are blowing bubbles and some land amongst the deep blue and the paler pink geraniums, where they shine like iridescent fairies. Maybe I won’t run away just yet.

On an entirely separate note, I went to stay with an old friend in London at the weekend. I hadn’t seen her in ages and she greeted me with the news that one of the candidates on The Apprentice is someone she knows very well. And she knows the outcome (well the final two, a least). Now, I love The Apprentice. It’s the highlight of my viewing week. But I am such a child that, after downing a substantial quantity of wine, I forced her to tell me what happens. I am soooooo cross with myself. But don’t worry, the secret’s safe with me.

29 comments:

Milla said...

I heard as well but am keeping shtum. Well, I know one of them so can still enjoy some of the unfolding. I just adore the Apprentice, though don't think this series is as good as previous ones, not just the grabby BB quality of some of the contestants meaning a grubby earnestness has gone, replaced by rampant greed, but the editing means less sense of hopeless panicky "task" doing and more blunder and spite in the boardroom. Am JUST the same as you about sap-destroying morbidity, it stalks me at the moment, I all but but my hands up (partic at night as the creeping night thoughts start earlier and earlier) to keep it all at bay. The summer garden is over too soon and the winter drag goes on for months - at least you have only recently gone off autumn, I've loathed it and its dying of hope for years. Great to see you blogging again SM. Wish I could get the running, cave in too easily, enjoy it for about 100 metres and then surrender in horror.

Elsie Button said...

oh come on - do tell! - can i guess? - is it Raef? - so want him to win - he is a gem!

I have to admit i felt a little depressed reading about evenings drawing in again, and the good weather coming to an end !!

It is very sad that children can't just run out onto the village green and be freeer - or ride their bikes to their friends houses etc. very sad.

Lovely post and enjoyed hearing about the garden. I love bluebells!

DevonLife said...

Oh SM, love your spirit of flinging off the blanket of morbidity and slipping into a pair of pumps. I so want to take up running but just think I might keel over.

I have the problem that I'm a skinny minny (think Zola Budd) so people think I'm fit fit fit, but I'm not not not.

The embarrasment of having to be given a lift home on a trailer by a kindly sniggering farmer could shame me out of the village.

Like your mums spirit too. Your Suffolk mums are alright.

Blossomcottage said...

Oh you can tell me SM, then I won't have to watch anymore, I want to give them all a good shake they are so useless!! sorry I know you like it but do any of them have any common sense? Oh well each to their own and I will wait for the last one and peek in at the end just so I willknow who was the best of the worst! As for the running, never any good myself terrible knees, not like my Dad who was on the list for the Olympics until Hitler put paid to his chance and he went onto to fly and bomb instead of running. I keep saying I will give it a go when I see the first runner with a smile, so get smiling SM and then i will have to put my money where my mouth is. Great blog.
Blossom

ChrisH said...

Running is a brilliant cure for the blues - I feel evangelical about it - but I know that not everyone can or would want to run. Yes the shoes are expensive but compared to, say, the cost of a gym (we got a very cheap deal on ours) they're not too bad and will help stave off strange aches and pains. The other bit of essential kit - as I'm sure you know - is a good bra! Speaking as someone nursing bruises I would urge you to keep your eyes open! My left knee (it's always the left side, sigh!) is a mass of scar tissue from a couple of bad running falls. Don't be put off - you will feel so much better about everything if you run regularly!

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

I have no idea waht or who the apprentice is but there you go the joys of being a foriegner no doubt!Good to see you back Suyffolk Mum!

Elizabethd said...

Isnt it sad that we have to be so aware of evil amongst us. I remember being a child in rural Cornwall, and spending hours of the day playing by the creek, completely free.

Inthemud said...

The Apprentice is highlight of my week too, so don't tell, like to find out properly at the end, shame you know now!

Am impressed with your running, keep it up.

Know what you mean about time running away , oh for more summers! I think that is why people move to sunnier climes. Yes, tulips gone over, bluebells finished and garden is in full bloom with rhododendrons, wisteria, azalias, irises just coming, all wonderful, but soon al gone again...........I look forward so much to Spring and in a brief moment it's gone again.

HER ON THE HILL said...

We're a bit behind you up here in the frozen north! What's that about long hot days? It's been sunny and the sun's hot, but the wind is still cold - apart from last Sunday when it really was beautiful bikini weather (I made the most of it!).

I am in more optimistic mood than you SM, which is unusual for me who has spent most of her life worrying about the passage of time. I will now really annoyingly tell you that your mood and your need to run are such clearly a sign of stress. When I was so stressed, depressed and beyond coping all I wanted to do was run (not literally, just run away). I had to get away from everyone and everything. I used to take myself to France or Cornwall. I have to agree that popping out for a run would have been easier (and cheaper!) but stamina is not my thing. Get sore throat and brain screams 'OK, BORED NOW!' after about the first five minutes! Was always more of a sprinter - gets it all over and done with faster. Big hug. xx

LittleBrownDog said...

Lovely to see you blogging again, SM, although I can't be as enamoured about the running. Doesn't it give you a headache? I imagine I'd be purple in the face and gasping like a trouper after the first 50 yards, although people tell me it does make you feel great.

So sad about children not playing out any more - they miss out so much.

And yes, indeed - my friend Susie who knows about these things says it's going to rain for a month.

elizabethm said...

Hi SM, great to have a blog from you. I think I agree with HOTH that you sound as if you are stressed. Take a blanket outside and lie under a tree, have a picnic with your lovely children, have a snooze, have a nice time and take care of yourself.
I watched the first series of the apprentice but now cant stand the grasping, greedy, crassness of it all (well, look at me on my high horse!). The running is impressive!

Pipany said...

Great to see you back SM and I so know what you mean about running; I blogged about it what seems many moons ago now and loved the freedom of thought it brought. I really should get back nto it but I just can't seem to. Good for you.

As to your attitude to things at the moment - yep, am there too - instead of enjoying the good bits at the moment, I am just waiting for the bad bits that inevitably follow. Great eh? Think HotH hit the nail on the head - we are both STRESSED and need a holiday, pref together somewhere hot with no kids (love 'em though we do) or hubbys (love 'em too) just for a while, drinks included. No, not very likely is it? Ah well, keep on running! xxxx

Faith said...

Glad you havent run away from us SM, always enjoy your blogs though this one bitter-sweet. Hey we havent even started summer yet as far as I am concerned.... dont wish it away. At least the little girls were allowed to go to the butchers, some parents I know won't let their children out of the garden, even if watched.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Ah you can tell me SM because I don't watch the Apprentice - so I don't care.

Yes know what you mean about kids out in the World - still worry about mine even though they have left home . . .

Gawd are you mad running . . .then again I love walking . . . I can't run because I have knackered knees and ankles - I used to love the feeling of running as a child.

Frog in the Field said...

Hello Sufflok Mum, a lovely post as usual, thought provoking indeed.
My children have absolutely no road sense whatsoever, we think there's a huge rush if two cars appear at once here!

Stay at home dad said...

Nice to see you back. I have just got into running too, although I have no need of a bra as yet. I agree with your sentiments entirely - just me and the grass...

Raef to win...

KittyB said...

We've only had a week of summer, I can't bear to start thinking of shortening days yet. Know what you mean about the hedgerows though - love 'half dipped in cream'.
Can't understand the delights of running - it hurts! Knees, lungs, and yes, the sports-bra problem. I would rather walk briskly any day!
xx

CAMILLA said...

Hi SM, great to see you back,

I am hopeless at running now, although was pretty good at it when younger, which seems moons ago now.

Roses are starting to bloom in the garden, and cannot believe the Wisteria my HL hacked down 2 years ago has begun to creep along the portico to cottage, thought I had lost it entirely.

I missed the last Apprentice, I love that programme.

Camilla.xx

Woozle1967 said...

Great to see you blogging again, SM - have missed you.xx

Jan said...

Lovely post, Suffolk Mum.
I do a lot of walking because it's the easiest/pleasantest way I know of keeping reasonably fit...and sometimes I run round the garden ( when Im pretty sure no one is about!!) although my cats zoooom away up trees or under bushes pretty fastish...

Rob Clack said...

Any day now the swifts will be away, then the swallows and martins. Before you know it, it'll be Christmas! There, don't you feel better? R

KittyB said...

Hey you - where've you been? I hope you haven't literally run away. xx

bodran... said...

Hello i'm a bit late to this post but reading it brought back may that lovely luscious month that makes me sad and exultant all at once....Keep up the running and don't worry about your eye everyone will just thnk you winking xx

Livvy U. said...

Hello, I'm even later than the last commenter (or should that be commenttee?) - but haven't been around for a while and am flitting about catching up with my favourites, and find this post, which is so beautifully written. That's all I wanted to say, really, so nice to find such good writing. Hope you are still running, but that life has slowed down a little for you since you last posted. All the best, Livvy

Victoria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victoria said...

Just tried to send you a comment. Not familiar with this sort of sign in?? Wanted to say, finding your blog, was struck by the similarity to me, same circumstances, need good job around kids, sick husband so almost single Mum! Not far from you, hey we might know each other!!
my blog, if you want to visit is
http://anyscribbles.wordpress.com
Best wishes, Scribble

Livvy U. said...

Hello, I hope you haven't run right out of town... Livvy x

Grouse said...

Well I am back after such a long break and its good to see your blog again. Totally with you on the pain of losing spring and summer and the fear of it before they've barely arived: and yet I get a sense of excitement in the autumn at the prospect of preparing it all for next year, so dont know what I'm worried about!
Just able to run on my ankle after 3 yrs..it is now full of metal and still painful, so dont think I'll be doing the marathon.....

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