In the great scheme of life you never have enough. Of course there are protective measures you can take with socks. They can be assiduously flyped before hitting the laundry bin. You can hang them on the line Ark style, pegged neatly two by two. In the end, if push comes to shove, Asda do 6 pairs for £8. As for time…. Well, I have looked at the diagram of the universe turning over on itself, a flyping of time and space, but I’m afraid all it made me think of was a cheesy quaver and my universe (and mind) has failed to perceptibly expand. No matter how much I try to peg out my plans I seem to run out of rope and if I find myself in Asda I know in my very bones that’s another hour run into quicksand. Of late I have a frustrating sense of endlessly chasing though a mire of minutiae trying to catch an elusive golden hour, the faintest glimmer of which I can see speeding away towards the horizon at warp speed. Oh for the longeurs of 14, when I resorted to reading War and Peace to wile away seemingly endless small town Summer afternoons. Were there the option to skip back in time from one end of the cheesy quaver continuum to the other, I would be at the front of the list in running shoes and noise cancelling headphones carting a giant “to do” list and a mountain of sticky “post it” notes.
In an attempt to multitask my way into a spare afternoon today I took the dog to the butchers wearing my running kit, thus combining shopping, dog walking and a warm up for today’s 5 K run. This was not an unalloyed success. Despite the general murkiness of the day, every cyclist, tractor and low loader in the area had decided to precede me and, mindful of the potholes either side of the road, to drive in the middle of the road thus prohibiting any safe overtaking. Mum’s choice of wellies proved infinitely more sage than my running shoes – I positively squelched back to the car. However, as a warm up it was not so bad and the run proved distinctly less painful than yesterday’s ( a day dotting about in the car dealing with assorted chores on the best day in ages does not loosen the muscles it seems….).
Walking soggily by the river, though, did for a time manage to dispel any sense of urgency. Either side of the path the grass and young nettles are now knee high. The tight rosettes of comfrey from a few weeks ago have telescoped into five foot towers, just beginning to come into flower in every shade from palest blue and peach to an almost stygian crimson, attracting the attention of ponderous bumble bees. Hedgerows were bright with blue alkanes and may blossom. By the road tight pinheads of rowan flowers were just waiting for a smidgin of sun before opening.
A squadron of three ducks circled overhead, passing low over the river before returning to take another suspicious look at the walkers. The solitary swan, one of last year’s cygnets I think, ostentatiously ignored us, intent on preening its sleek plumage. I dawdled, consulting Dr G. Oogle on the topic of stellaria (chickweed) the varieties of which are legion! Lyra made a friend of a spaniel pup, until he started to get on her nerves at which point she gave one of her very rare, very loud, baritone barks and pranced off smugly, boundaries thoroughly asserted. Feeling there might be a lesson there, I pranced off to my garret after my run, exuding “she who does not wish to be interrupted.” I feel better already….