Paul in Philippians 4:11 claims he has 'learned to be content whatever the circumstances'. I'm trying to emulate him but rapidly reaching the conclusion there are different levels of contentment and at the moment I'm a fair way from the top.
|Concentrating on running in Howgill Nick, no room for other thoughts (Click pictures to enlarge)|
My Rt eye still hasn't stabilised seven months after the initial cataract operation. Driving is still out of the question, curtailing travels and activities. Trying to read with out of focus lenses is uncomfortable and frustrating - and after seven months my old brain frequently forgets to apply the prescribed drops four times a day. But hey ho, life is for living....
Thankfully, I can still laugh at erstwhile trials and tribulations - like last Tuesday, for instance, when I turned up for a planned appointment at the hospital for a fluorescein angiography (dye test) to be told such tests were only done on Thursdays.
|...and all that remains of Gill House under the trees|
By Thursday they'd lost the relevant documentation so I'd a long wait until some other doctor was cajoled into writing fresh notes - by which time the effect of the eye drops had worn off and my pupils weren't dilated enough for the test. So there was further delay while more drops were dribbled in to do their stuff. Luckily, I have the patience of Job - and a reasonable sense of humour!
|The soggy landscape near Scar Top where Patrick did speed walks and I try to run|
I can still run, which keeps me reasonably sane! To have the world to myself in the clear, early morning air, to run and empty my mind of all its troubles and clutter, is an excellent way to 'be content whatever the circumstances'. Maybe Paul was a runner, though I can't quite imagine him sprinting along the Damascus road in a pair of shorts - unless he'd just broken out of that prison......
|Running in the clear air of Grassington Moor|
Until last week I had three serviceable running watches, two Garmins and a very old bog standard one acquired as a freeby with a subscription to 'Runner's World'. By a remarkable co-incidence, in the space of seven days, the straps broke on all three of them! The main one, a Forerunner 110, was immediately sent back to Garmin for a replacement - setting me back £49.20.
|I know a bank whereon wild thyme grows....|
After sending it I wondered if it was worth the money, whether to stop recording all my runs for, after all, I'm not training or racing any more. I run simply for fitness and pleasure. But how else would I be able to say I ran 43 miles over the last two weeks, with 4,710ft of ascent? Or that I've run 38,580 miles in total since the beginning of my running career? Does it really matter any more?
|It's not all easy - among those heathery humps|
On a weekend betwixt those 43 miles we were invited to a garden party, but weather dictated it took place in a barn. It was to celebrate six years of happy marriage between Jonny Jowett (poet, pianist, singer, fish farmer) and his charming wife, Beverley, former member of the British Mountaineering Council, a keen, competent climber and runner.
|...or even in steeper parts of the ghyll|
It was a gradely do, attended mainly by members of the climbing fraternity and entertained by Jonny playing and singing songs from his album, Naked, songs which have travelled Europe on my mp3 player. A folk singer whose name I didn't catch (or can't remember through the haze of Becks and Stella) sang a fine selection of her own songs with guitar accompaniment before two entertaining sessions on a didgeridoo.
|Jonny and Beverley Jowett on a walk to Mossdale Scar|
It's time for bed - to be up early for another appointment at the eye clinic and possible laugh a minute - though things may get a little serious when the Consultant, Mr Estephan, pokes that great syringeful of steroid into my eye.
I may or may not see you next week....