Bulls and burrs
Right now I am emerging slowly from a self-inflicted quagmire. The last six weeks of my life were sucked into a vortex of time compression, accompanied by lashings of stress. There has been little running going on. Kind of hard to fit in into the remaining five hours a day that have been free for sleeping. Having said that I did fit a number of 6am runs in before sheer exhaustion took over.
Whoever said that moving house was up there amongst top three ‘stressors’ in life is bang on the money. Never ones to take the easy path in life, we opted to not only move a five bedroom house on our own but to also undertake a significant and radical renovation job on the new house at the same time as holding down jobs and attempting a veneer of parenting of two young kids. Not sure if we got away with it with the children. They have been looking at us strangely for the last month at least, wondering out loud if their real mum and dad had been replaced with vacant-eyed automatons.
I think the lowest point was on day three of the self-move after a third 16 hour day on the trot of shifting 2000 books, 11 book cases, heavy appliances, five bedrooms full of crap, trampoline, BBQ, a model railway set up big enough to fill a small house on its own, sofas, beds etc and realising we had totally filled the two bedrooms and two sheds available for our use that were not off limits due to major building work, that I sat on the stairs, feeling literally more tired than I had after running my marathons. No wonder I lost two pounds in a weekend.
Further compounding the knackeredness and multiple loadings of said Luton truck, was the High Husband Hoarding quotient added into the mix. As I lugged the 5000th box of Husband Crap, I did question him with a large amount of steel in my voice, quite why he still needed the Crap that he had shipped to New Zealand, left in the boxes for nine years unopened, shipped back to the UK in boxes unopened and I am now trying to wedge the stupid box into a crevice of space we don’t have for it to sit there until OTHER PEOPLE move it next time we move. I think he got the point and promised he would ‘have a clear out’ sometime. He is a man. Of the the Hoarding sub species, so I would wager this will not happen. But I can wager, I am never touching those boxes again.
Anyway, as I dusted more builders dust off my work clothes today and trudged across the exposed concrete floors in the new kitchen this morning, searching for my handbag under the rolls of underlay and behind the builders’ radio and coffee mugs, I did have a moment of hope as I realised it is going to be pretty darn lovely when it is all finished.
To top it off, I look down the 140 foot garden to fields and a view of Cley Hill right by Longleat Forest (and Centreparcs).
On Friday, I was off work and in between arguing with the kitchen fitter that the SECOND work top was damaged and needed replacing and advising the plumber that the new boiler was not heating the radiators and pointing out that the builders had put a door in the wrong place, calling BT to find out why after two site visits they had STILL not managed to intall the ‘phone and internet, I managed to get our for my first run from our new house.
I trotted off from my front door and within two minutes was running on a bridle path across fields. It was all new territory and a sheer joy to be exploring on my own two legs, wondering what was around the corner was intoxicating. As I emerged from some single track through woods, I crested a hill to pop out in the glorious spring sunshine to a stunning vista across rolling fields with a farm in the distance. I carried on around the back of the farmhouse (passing a field of bulls that were thankfully encased behind a fence) and on along the bridle path through more stunning countryside. Returning, I realised the bulls were indeed behind a fence BUT with a wide open gate. As they started ambling ever more quickly to observe the woman in the bright pink running top, I must confess my pace picked up to Olympic 100m levels (well in my head) as I ran my little socks off to get to the next gate and safety. Gulp. Still it is so pretty to run that route that I will have to find a way to deal to the bulls.
Yesterday I attempted another new route, trying to find the best entrance into Longleat Forest. With my superb sense of direction (read this paragraph with a large dollop of sarcasm) I instead ending up running down a gravel road and having a heart to heart with a power substation. Not terribly helpful when running late (literally) for the school pickup.
In the interests of time, and feeling all Girl Guide like, I decide to be adventurous and clamber over the barbed wire fence (actually this is probably not something your average Girl Guide would do – more likely, a psychiatric ward escapee) to drop down the other side and take a short cut home.
What I hadn’t planned was the extreme level of stinging nettles underneath, so instead I adopted the ‘fence shimmy’ where I attempted to shuffle along whilst holding armpits at a ridiculous level to avoid barbed wire, to a point with only moderate stinging nettles rather than Jungle of Stinging Nettles.
I plop down on the ground, feeling unscathed and quite pleased with myself.
Until I look down.
I am COVERED – and I mean COVERED with those burrs that stick to you like Velcro. For some bizarre reason they have taken a particularly avid interest in attaching themselves to my backside, shoes armpits and my chest, the latter like some sort of forest nipple warmer which is most disconcerting. Probably not as disconcerting as the view the drivers on the A36 have as they watch a woman standing in the middle of a field plucking things from her body and laughing in an hysterical “I really do have to get to school NOW” kind of way.
So, it would be fair to say, that route won’t be added to the favourites for new local running routes...
Happy trails J
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