I did it, I did a 10k charity run! I’ll write more about this in another post but we did it! We ran around 8km of the whole 10km which is about double what we’d ever managed in a training run. Turns out the encouragement of a crowd and someone laying out the kilometre markers for you is a massive help to achieving your goals. 16,000 people ran in the race and there was such an atmosphere. Strangers cheering you from the side of the road might sound corny but when you’re at the 8km mark and your back hurts and your calves are numb, it’s like an adrenaline shot.
It was also freezing cold, so more than once I was glad to be running the race and not watching. But some of our friends braved the cold and came to watch us run, and we all rewarded ourselves with a Giraffe brunch and prosecco.
2. Friday Night Lights
“This must not be planet earth,” Cole told his partner, “This must be hell.”
But it wasn’t. It was just Odessa.
I loved this book. Odessa is a small town America in West Texas, a town that has two things: oil and American football. A journalist spends a year following the high school football team the Permian Panthers and all of the things that spin off it. It’s not a sport, but a religion, with town heroes or enemies made under the floodlights on Friday night. It says a lot about American obsession with sport that these kids near kill themselves on the field, are allowed to not achieve or even try at school for fear it’ll get in the way of their training, are physically and mentally flogged by coaches and adults of the town, and yet their future doesn’t lie in the Superbowl. More often than not they end up the same as the men in the stands. Oil workers with crippled bodies dependent on a dying industry. It hardly seems worth it but the book shows why they do it.
I celebrated my friend’s birthday twice this week – once with a drink on her actual birthday and again with everyone at a party in a pub in Green Park. It was one of those great nights where I didn’t notice the time until I left, got home in plenty of time to get a nights sleep, and woke up with a manageable hangover cured with ibuprofen, sleeping and a walk through the sleet to watch England beat Wales in the Six Nations.
4. Booked flights home
I’m going home at the beginning of March! I can’t wait for some Spanish sun and home TLC. My return flight has cost me less than a return ticket to Devon used to on the train, and one of life’s greatest pleasures is finding a cheap ticket. I spent all of this week trudging home in sleet and icy winds with a chill-chapped face and cold feet dreaming of Spanish warmth (FYI, that above photo was taken 23rd December)
5. The Moorside
I’ve been either too busy or too brain-dead in the evenings to be bothered watching anything new or exciting. I’ve been binge-watching Modern Family and enjoying the reliability of it. But on Wednesday I finally watched something new and a little different: The Moorside. It’s strange watching a drama about something you remember happening in real-life so vividly. Dewsbury is just one town over from where I grew up, so when the whole ‘kidnapping’ of Shannon Matthews was a real shock. The drama focuses on a woman who knew Karen Matthews and helped coordinate the massive community effort to help find her. And, of course, the subsequent controversy when Shannon was discovered to have been ‘kidnapped’ by her own family. It’s gripping, mostly because its inching towards a conclusion that you know will still stump you, no matter how they choose to unfold on screen.