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Running

Sunday February 13th, 2011 in Audio books, Cooking, Sport | No Comments »

Today I went on my weekend long run. I usually try to run for between 60 and 90 minutes. I meet up with a group when I can, but often I end up going by myself.

I run pretty slowly so it’s physically fairly easy, but I find it psychologically challenging. At the start it seems impossibly long and far.

I would almost certainly enjoy listening to a story tape while running, but I’ve always resisted this. It feels like cheating because facing the boredom and loneliness is part of the challenge for me.

It’s also true that I do some valuable thinking when I’m running. I’ll start the run feeling confused and stressed about something, but by the time I’m really tired at the end, I’ve generally distilled the issue down to it’s fundamental core.

For example, at the start of the run I might wonder, “Are face cloths really a good idea? Or are you just wiping germs onto your face?” But by the end of the run I’ll have got to the heart of the matter, “I really need to do a load of towels this afternoon.”

So maybe I use the running time to work out the issues in my life. And I couldn’t do that while listening to a story tape.

On the other hand, I always listen to a story tape when I’m cooking on my own. I would never make muffins in silence. Perhaps this is weakness though, and I could use that lonely sifting time to resolve my feelings towards my father. Dunno.

Making and mending and being twee

Sunday January 9th, 2011 in Audio books, Cooking, Craft | No Comments »

I’ve just started listening to Things to Make and Mend by Ruth Thomas read by Finty Williams.

It’s a story about craft and friendship so I’m concerned that it might be twee. I have a highly developed (and perhaps somewhat arbitrary) twee-dar.

I first started dismissing people/films/art movements with this word after interviewing a potential housemate for a sharehouse. I had a vague sense of dislike for the girl, which became a pounding hatred when she said that she enjoyed riding her bike through a local park while drinking a coffee.

Riding a bike while drinking a coffee. Seemingly a lovely activity? NO. It is not lovely. Drinking a cup of coffee can be lovely. Riding your bike through a park can be lovely. Doing both of those activities at the same time is NOT LOVELY. Your lips would be burned while going over bumps trying to take a sip. You would spill coffee on your clothes. You may not be able to brake in time to avoid small children, Frisbees or dogs. It is a dangerous, silly activity.*

So either this girl was a liar or, my preferred theory, she did ride through the park drinking a coffee simply for effect.

So I vetoed this girl after the interview. Other housemates said, fine, but you need a reason. I said she was twee, they all agreed and we found somebody else.

Since then, I have always been on the lookout for people who do “lovely” things just to seem like someone who does lovely things. This is my personal definition of twee. Although, to be honest, I actually use the word twee to slag off anything nice that I don’t like.

Anyway, due to the title, Things to Make and Mend, I briefly toyed with the idea of making some muffins while listening to the story tape. But that would definitely be twee.

* Slightly worried that I might be wrong. Have not actually tried to drink coffee while riding a bike. If it is, in fact, a lovely activity, I am very sorry to potential housemate. I hope you found somewhere nice to live with a window box and gingham curtains.