Thursday, 13 May 2010

And The Rest Is History

The Pirates post about natural order got me thinking.

The local authority in which I live is undertaking a huge schools modernisation programme at the moment. It’s been on the go for a few years now.

The school where I spent my teenage years has finally been demolished. All that remains is a smoking pile of rubble. It was used as a decant facility while a number of older schools were rebuilt. Strathaven Academy being one of them, so it meant that my big lanky son attended it for a couple of years. Kind of strange attending parent’s night in your old school.

Anyway, the imminent demise of said educational establishment struck a cord with a former student and prompted the creation on a face book page celebrating the survivors of Ballerup High School.
Now I have been known to spend an inordinate amount of time on that particular social networking site, green dotting until the wee hours of the morning.

My membership of the group has put me back in touch with many an old school friend I had long since lost touch with. I left school and moved away from my hometown with in a month of each other.

I was one of those invisible people at school. Not ultra clever, nor uber delinquent, just sort of flew under the radar. I didn’t go to school discos coz they were always on a Friday and a Friday was a Karate night. God I sound like such a geek. Nae wonder I was invisible.

I got a message the other night from a lad I grew up with and he mentioned an old primary school photo that someone had posted.

Oh no, I thought.
'I don’t want to see it. I’ll stand out like a sore thumb.'

I was always in the back row along with all the boys. Being tall was not much of a laugh when you're 11 or 12.

'No, its ok don’t worry. You’re in the middle row. Ah, but you still might not want to see it.'

Why? said I.

Coz we’ve got the same haircut!!! Remember your Mum used to cut all our hair!?!

OMG I had forgotten all about that, or more like wiped it from my memory. Oh, I shudder at the thought of all those awful school photos.

I think I’ll just keep those school memories locked up where they should be. Firmly in the past ;-)

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A Wild Weekend

The conductor breenges through the sliding door and sets about turfing people from their seats.
Make way, move it fatty. Beat it. She rearranges the furniture to accommodate these two geezers and a shit load of gear.

Now I had only moments earlier bagged myself one of those coveted table seats with the socket for my laptop. For I planned to get properly smashed out of my box on pink wine and watch Atonement on DVD.
Alas Atonement went unwatched, but I had one of the most interesting train journeys in a long time.

I had missed the earlier train by 5 seconds. I swear that guy cackled as he flicked the switch and closed the doors right in my face. I had two choices. Gracefully walk back down the platform heading straight for the nearest pub and indulge in a spot of early evening power drinking or crumple in a heap right there and blub like a baby for the next ten minutes. Take a guess dear reader.

By the time I actually got on the train I was ready for a session. I knew it was never going to be peaceful, but these to geezers just took over the place. They had more gear stuffed into rucksacks, soft bags, hard bags and I've never seen so many bungee cords wtf?!?

So my bottle of pink wine is opened and I neck the first glass, ahhhhhh and breath.
I am minding my own business, writing up some notes for the Clyde Stride runners and marshalls. And these two are jabbering on Olympic athletes this photo shoot that and my ears prick up. Oooo that sounds cool. Now it's hard not to listen in, especially when folk are sitting next to you. Honest, Your Honor. Next thing I know we're engaging in a spot of banter. I was warned before that I've not to talk to strange men on trains; it gets me into trouble (more about that later in the year).

Five minutes later this dude casually walks down the carriage. It's only the guy they've just been shooting. He's familiar to me but I can't place him. So he ditches his first class seat to comes and slum it in cattle class with the photographers. The penny drops. Its Leon Taylor Olympic diving silver medalist and mentor to wee Tom Daly. He's into sports psychology and the next thing I know we're blethering about ultra marathons. All very surreal. The rest of the journey passes in a flash while I am entertained with witty banter, political (ahem) debate and stories of frozen hair.

My weekend got progressively crazier. The Pirate and I travelled up town, north of the river no less to attend the most unique gig ever. The incredibly talented Caitlin Rose was gigging in a cinema in Islington and we had standing tickets right next to the bar. For future reference you need more that 5 minutes to drink a whole bottle of wine and still catch the night bus home. It was around this time I indulged in my only running of the weekend. Up and down streets checking bus stops for an N19. She was amazing, if only slightly pissed. Much the same as the rest of us.

A slightly delicate Pirate drove us home from our city crash pad in time for a quick shower and head back up town, north of the river again to Camden. Twice in two days I'm surprised it didn't give him a nose bleed. We were to meet up with a bunch of his old mates from his rockabilly days. Now I've never been to a rockabilly club, I'm too young you see, and not wanting to look out of place I asked for advice on what to wear.
'Aucht I'm only wearing my jeans. You do the same.' I'm so glad I completely ignored this instruction and went for all out glamour. The tightest fitting tiny waisted below knee dress I could find. The reddest lipstick I could lay my hands on and the biggest hair I could fashion.

Talk about double standards. The blokes had followed the Pirates lead and were dressed identically in manky blue jeans, boots, and tee shirts. The girls however......weet woo.
I had a nice time, the blokes were all lovely and made me feel very welcome, but I like my fella scrubbed up well in a uniform ;-)

For your viewing pleasure check out the amazing Miss Caitlin Rose

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Ultra Deluded

It's amazing how surrounding yourself with people who “do” lulls you in to the belief that maybe you could “do” too

Last year, after the Cally Challenge I remember having a conversation about how I should keep the momentum going and get stuck into the next challenge.
I had deluded dreams about having a crack at RAW. Maybe not all of it, but half should be do'able. What I didn't account for was having a training partner who on the face of it would be ideal for motivating me to get my arse in gear, but who would sooner crack open another bottle of 14.5% at twenty to midnight. Managing 12 miles was my limit last year, broken into two legs. If it wasn't for Big Davie the Polis the last leg would have been shorter.

This year it's the Montane Highland Fling. I've been chatting to lots of club mates, first time flinger's and associated mates who are all buzzing about it. I've even been offered training runs already, ahhh the perils of red wine and Facebook :-)
One leg of a relay does not a potential ultra runner make.

My other half hates running, and runners even more; so I've got nae chance of help there.
I said in my last post I was going to stick to marshalling and my new found status as race director.
But do you know what? I'd like to run a bit more..... further I mean.
How do you do it?
Just get out there and put one foot in front of the other?
Is there more too it than that?
Of course there is. The whole mental side is a biggy for me.
I'm an emotional creature. A wreck if you will. I can cry at the drop of a hat.
I need support that nurtures me along. TTFU doesn't work here. U'uh girlfriend. I need there, there, there.

It's a whole year away plenty time to think about it. I guess in the meantime I either get out there and put one foot in front of the other or crack open another bottle.
What-cha reckon?

Mrs Mac x