Tuesday, 17 March 2020

An episode of sporadic bloggery

Jar of glass rods viewed through a teleidoscope


I thought I'd write one of those sporadic blog posts that I very occasionally do, just for something to do really. They've not put Holby on tonight and I was sat here doing nothing so I decided to do this instead.

Well, these are some pretty weird times we're in, aren't they? The news footage of empty London is weird; it's like the start of 28 Days Later but real. The social distancing thing is barely making a difference to my life, if I'm honest. I'm just glad that Boris has said we can still go outside and exercise because if I couldn't go out for a run every now and then I'd go loco. I stopped going to the gym a couple of weeks ago. Being with (and being one of) those sweaty people huffing their breath everywhere in a sealed, air-conditioned room suddenly seemed insane. And there would have been so much wiping down of equipment with sanitiser and paper towels that a session in the gym would have felt more like some kind of lycra-clad extreme housework rather than a workout, so the gym is a no-go zone for me for the foreseeable.

I get a workout on a Friday morning, though. Since the start of the year I've been volunteering at the foodbank warehouse and there's plenty of lifting and shifting involved with that. I really enjoy it. I never knew that I could get such satisfaction from packing a box; arranging a selection of items in a crate so that the crate still stacks but nothing gets squashed or damaged is my kind of challenge. It's like a puzzle from the intelligence round of The Krypton Factor but with baked bean cans, packets of biscuits and Fray Bentos pies instead of differently shaped blocks.

What else has been going on, apart from a tonne of Creation is Messy testing while a pandemic wreaks havoc across the world? Well, I ran another half marathon the other week.

Red face clashing with neon green shirt

After my first half I said I'd never do another but I had a guaranteed place in the Cambridge Half Marathon as a result of volunteering at the 2019 one and it seemed daft not to take it. It's a flat course in the beautiful city in which I live, and I knew the medal would be good, so I decided to go for it. I did two months of training with many long runs along the river in stupidly windy conditions (oh, the days of being stressed out at the constant stormy weather seem so insignificant and long ago now) and on Sunday 8th March I ran the 13.1 miles a whole twelve minutes faster than my first half marathon. Woohoo! I also raised £200.00 for The Trussell Trust. Massive thanks to all who donated.

The medal was indeed good

I bought myself a thing. A few months back there was a beautiful old kaleidoscope on an episode of The Repair Shop and I was captivated by it. I had a toy kaleidoscope as a kid and I loved that thing. I got on Etsy and found a fella called Roy Cohen who is some kind of kaleidoscope genius. I favourited his shop and vowed to return to it when I had some spare cash. That moment happened a couple of weeks back and I purchased one of his mini teleidoscope necklaces.

Teleidoscope necklace by Roy Cohen

This magical little thing transforms anything you look at through it into a kaleidoscopic groovescape. I love the fact that I can wear it wherever I go. Looking at stuff through it is endlessly enthralling and it makes even the most quotidian things all pretty and psychedelic. The photo at the very top of this post is my jar of CiM glass rods.

Cyclamen plant viewed through my teleidoscope

The teleidoscope is so beautifully made and the craftsmanship is exquisite. I shall definitely be going back to Roy's shop for one of his larger traditional kaleidoscopes at some point.

When working I'm filling my ears with the usual audiobooks and podcasts. I'm currently listening to The Last Witness which is the second book in Denzil Meyrick's DCI Jim Daley series.

These are crime fiction thrillers set on the west coast of Scotland. They're a bit gritty but the characters are fab. The books are sort of Irvine Welsh meets Val McDermid and I'm really liking them. It's always good when you find a series of books you enjoy and you know you have a wodge of them to look forward to.

On a similar crime-related note, I'm obsessed with the mortem podcast. It's not for the squeamish; it's all about forensic pathology, so it's very death and dissection heavy, but it's absolutely fascinating.

When I fancy something not-so-grim I opt for Off Menu, an always amusing podcast by James Acaster (I love him) and Ed Gamble. It involves food and funniness and it's always guaranteed to make me laugh out loud in the shed.

I think I've gabbled on enough now. I've got an episode of The Good Doctor to watch so I shall go and do so.

I hope you're OK. Hit me up on Facebook or Instagram if you're feeling bored or isolated. Comments on here are pretty pointless as I get so many spam comments it's really hard to filter out the actual genuine ones, but yeah, Facebook or Instagram are good places for a bit of interaction if the old social distancing is getting to you. The links I just gave you are to my business accounts but you can send me a friend request on my personal Facebook (be warned, I do sometimes swear and I barely mention beads on that one) or you can follow my personal Instagram if you like.

Stay well. X