Sunday, 27 December 2009

Needing some quiet time....

The person in our lives who is at the beginning of the life cycle isn't being very considerate given the current challenges and keeps trying to throw a spanner in the works. So far this week we've visited H-ford hosp twice, once for an abortive effort by Charlie to appear 4 weeks early and once for Paula's 2nd intestinal obstruction. I would quite like all this business to end to be honest and to have a nice healthy Paula & Charlie... so please cross fingers. Each visit to the hospital leaves me grateful to live close to such a good hospital and to have the resources of the NHS to hand (Hannan you couldn't be more wrong)... and amazed how it can be right to charge £3 p.h. parking at a hospital.

Of course, the impending arrival of a baby gives people carte blanche to shop for incredibly cute clothes. Cue Bob's & Gills present for Charlie...

From Christmas at Rob and Gills 2009

Here's to a peaceful New Year. My mantra this week is 'spread the love' - do as you will.

Tough times...

I naively thought the end of the school year would bring a time of relaxation and reflection. I was only half right and instead of relaxing I've learnt that exposure to the opposing ends of the life cycle brings out not only the most sadness but also the best in people.

Sadness as Paula's father, Paul, took his own life on the 21st. He'd struggled with severe depression for much of this decade and this wasn't his first attempt at ending his life. His sense of isolation was always worse in the winter and perhaps this was one year too many. He certainly didn't suffer from lack of love or family support... although when someone's under the power of depression it is hard for them to realise this.

Such terrible news brings home how hard life can be and how often unconditional love isn't enough to help people see the best and the good in life. However, despite the difficult years Paul's legacy will be his three wonderful daughters. All are highly successful and happy women who have a positive impact on society every day through their work. That doesn't happen by accident, it takes hard work by two committed and loving parents and Paul will certainly be remembered by Paula as a loving and hard working father.

I asked Paula whether she would mind if I was clear about how Paul died. People seem troubled by suicide but I think it's very important to directly address the stigma associated with mental illness and depression. Depression has touched me in many different ways and since it works so hard to suck the love and light out of people it's the hardest of all diseases to fight. Having watched how Paul struggled with his illness, and what an effect it had on his daughters, I don't want to belittle his efforts and the efforts of his family by not talking about how he died. He wasn't a coward or weak, he was just someone who felt, wrongly in my opinion, that he was alone and that life was simply too hard to endure.

Paul will be remembered by us at his best, as a loving and committed father.

From paulas family, cross and track

Monday, 21 December 2009

You know it's cold when...

you are wearing not just glove, but winter gloves, on the turbo.

From turbo cold

But whatever the temperature it's good to be doing something again... having been struck down with an evil virus for the past week doing something, anything, it a bonus. Somewhat frustratingly one of my bodies pre-programmed immue defensive mechanisms is to consume my body weight in chocolate every day. I am pretty sure this is a vital fuel for my leukocytes but it doesn't help the 'body is a temple' plan!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Ever organised a race?

Yes? Then this will make you smile. No, marshalled? This will make you smile. Never been involved? Then skip it.

Vidcredit - Slayer. Thanks.

Friday, 4 December 2009

9 & 41

A beautiful frosty morning, but no proper Shepard's warning, so I used my new ninja rear light (bought in an effort to fend off the more proximity friendly cars) to make a little red glow all of my own.

From commute and p - bump

I'm aware that I'm in danger of becoming a little evangelical - but it was perfect to have the world to myself.

From commute and p - bump

In the bump department things are proceeding as expected. That is to say slowly and tediously (for P at least). All the women I've spoken to have split pretty much into two even Marmite camps, 'Loved it' or 'Hated it'. I think it's safe to say P is quite sure she is in the latter camp. Unfortunately there is pretty much nothing I can do or say to reduce the suffering, beyond the normal offering sympathy & support. If my belly looked like this I wouldn't be too chuffed either!

From commute and p - bump

Now I'm no doctor (medical :) ) but aren't normal bellies symmetrical? Charlie-the-unborn seems to be a bit lop sided. I hope he straightens himself out or we'll be entering him in the worlds first circle swimming contest.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

I need a Shepards Warning...

Tomorrow will take me to 9 & 41. I've ticked off #2 on the list. I've getting there with #3 as I've hit 1:30's for 500m but only by breathing every 2 so that might be doable. However, I'm typing this at 10:55 so #1 is proving to be a bit of a struggle.

9 & 41 will leave me with 6 commutes to do in 2 weeks to hit #4. That, to be frank, is unlikely. But if it is going to happen I need motivation, and tomorrow should be frosty and, if I'm lucky, a 'proper' sunrise. It's what I need, even if I don't deserve it!