Dunno what sins I committed to deserve such retribution but currently I'm battling a gang of little demons conspiring to stop me running and cut me down to size. "Let's give him a good dose of flu for starters, that'll zap him" the little blighters had said back in October. And it worked, possibly because I missed having a flu jab this year. It sent me to bed for a wee while, feeling weak as a kitten. As it does.
|It's not quite this bad, but bordering on it......|
Then they said "Let's make sure he's totally zapped. How about activating his diverticulitis. Oh, and let's stir up his IBS for good measure. That ought to drain the goodness from his system and stop him doing all that silly running he seems to enjoy". And they were right, it did stop me. I was reduced to walking streets of my home town like a zombie while becoming quite knowledgeable of all the best loos and refusing to venture into unknown territory.
|Who wants to run in weather like this anyway? A November view from my study|
Then the crafty sods must have noticed I'd started working out in the gym, pumping iron and using a treadmill in an attempt to get fit again. It wasn't long before they came up with their Coup de grâce. "There's only one way to stop him, let's blind the b-gger, he can't run if he can't see". And they very nearly succeeded. In spite of having one of the best eye surgeons in the world (Mr Fayyaz Musa) to perform a cataract operation, the demons somehow sneaked into the theatre to make jolly sure things didn't quite go according to plan. I left the theatre with only one functioning eye, my left, the weakest of the two, and strict instructions to neither bend down, lift anything heavy, go swimming or get soap in my eyes. A disaster.
"So far, so good eh, one down and one to go" I can imagine my nasty little demons bragging in a cackle of ecstatic glee.
|Drops that govern my comings and goings......possibly for months ahead |
So life is currently confined to 4 hour slots between 4 sets of drops - with a 5 minute rest between each drop. Patience is not one of my virtues, and my memory isn't too good either. I've bought a timer and set it to ping every 4½ hours throughout the day. Not that I always hear it over the loud music, radio or occasional TV. And it's the farthest thing from my mind when I'm sat in my friend Abdul's chippy down town, or dreaming of warm faraway places over a cappuccino in Caffe Venezia. I've to be careful. Buses past my home in the sticks run only every two hours.
|Victoria Tower beckoned me upwards on Sunday - glad my camera can still see clearly!|
It was a beautiful day yesterday, though bitterly cold, and Castle Hill was beckoning through my kitchen window. I donned my running shoes, just to enjoy the feel of them again, and set off with a camera to enjoy the day as best I could. It's a strange sensation walking with only one eye. Unless I cover my right eye its blurriness affects the clarity of my left eye which is a bit disorienting. I'm a little nervous crossing roads in traffic and frightened of bumping into people walking the pavement. Of course, I'd always blame them!
|Gorse flowering on the slopes......|
I'd no such problems walking through open fields and strolling gently uphill to a favourite viewpoint. The sun shone bountifully. Little brown birdies (couldn't see what they were) chirruped among the flowering gorse, possibly sheltering from the icy wind that stung my face. It was a delicious wind that prompted a feeling bordering on ecstasy as I wandered around the perimeter of the hill I've circuited on scores of occasions during morning runs. Even as I walked plans began to form in my mind. Half of me was endeavouring to bring panoramas and misty horizons into focus. My running half was taking measurements, working out sensible distances in suitable open places for strides or repetitions.
While walking home I stopped to take a photograph
of a herd of sheep. A friend caught up and predictably
asked the stock question. "Why aren't you running?"
I had to laugh...
|'But those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint' (Isaiah 40, v31) Photo from the Internet.|
Words of inspiration and power at times like these. They roll around in my head while putting drops in my eyes, before going to sleep, or while 'lifting my eyes to the hills'.
Talking of hills I've been reminiscing (again) about Munro-bagging experiences with Stuart Scott while pondering over his excellent photographs. Here's another of them.
|A winter jog over Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich and Lurg Mhor (Photo courtesy Stuart Scott)|
To shorten the distance to those remote Munros we'd spent a wild sub zero night in Bhearnais bothy after being wind-blasted off our feet during the approach over the bealach from Gerry's Hostel at Craig. I remember waking to find a starving mouse picking crumbs, or something, from my beard. I flicked it away and it went skidding across the floor to collide with Stuart! Then, while washing up after breakfast, Stuart's plate got caught by the wind, blown into the swollen river and washed away at great speed never to be seen again. I remember it as if it were yesterday - yet often have difficulty recalling what I was doing a couple of days ago!
Oh dear, Heston Blumenthal is pinging to say it's time for more drops, so enough of my ramblings until the next installment.
Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the time when I can Run, run, run...
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone....Cheers!