The first day of a New Year is a Parkrun Day so I started this month taking part in one of my favourite activities. The route of our local Parkrun includes a couple of laps around a riverside field. It gets very muddy at this time of year. The keen runners regularly fall over trying to retain momentum on the slip-slidey surface. I tend to take things easier in such conditions, although this doesn’t help with my attempts to improve overall pacing.
Later in the month temperatures plummeted and the field froze – an improvement for running but utterly chilling on my bike ride in. After one particularly freezing event I chose to run home rather than cycle as at least this kept my body temperature at an acceptable level. On a previous week I had got so cold I still felt unwell the next day. Such are the trials of winter when coping with gear inappropriate for the conditions.
I know there are those who suffer seasonal affectiveness disorder and have much sympathy for the challenges this brings. I try to keep my mood steady by going outside each day, even if it is just a short ride to my local gym for strength training. Over the past few weeks husband has been joining me in this as his leg injury is still bothering him, effecting his running activity. Thinking it might be improving he ran one Parkrun alongside me, the slower pace limiting the effort he needed to expend. I was amused by his comments afterwards – that the view from my more relaxed place in the pack is so different to that amongst his fast and focused brigade.
We celebrate daughter’s birthday in January. She booked a few days off work so was able to enjoy some R&R as well as getting outside in daylight for walks, and also trips to the cinema. The family meal at our local pub was enjoyed by all, as was pizza night on the day itself. I ate more that weekend than I normally would in a week.
Unless, of course, that week includes Christmas. In this month’s Edward Explores my intrepid teddy bear came out of hibernation for the festive season and was rewarded with a delightful new friend.
I posted reviews for 9 books in January. Robyn added a further 3 reviews.
As is customary in these roundups, click on the title below to read the review and on the cover to learn more about the book.
The Raptures by Jan Carson, published by Doubleday
Good Choices by Bonny Brooks, published by Open Pen
The Failing of Angels by Chris Tutton, published by Avalanche Books
We Are Not In The World by Conor O’Callaghan, published by Penguin
Matilda Windsor is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin, published by Inspired Quill
Amongst Women by John McGahern, published by Faber & Faber
The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino (translated by Rebecca Copeland), published by Canongate
Wilder Winds by Bel Olid (translated by Laura McGloughlin), published by Fum d’Estampa
The Long Field by Pamela Petro, published by Little Tolller
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao, published by Rock the Boat
Beartown by Fredrik Backman (translated by Neil Smith), published by Penguin
The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth, published by Andersen Press
Sourcing the Books
Robyn has been enjoying some well deserved time off work and will share the books she received in January with next month’s haul.
I received this very pleasing stack, some of which I read immediately.
As ever I wish to thank all the publishers who send me their books to review – the arrival of a book parcel remains a cheering event in my day.
My thanks also to those who share my words across their social media platforms. Your continuing support is always appreciated.
And to everyone reading this, I wish you and yours good health and as much mental stability as can be mustered in these challenging times. May we strive, at all times, to be kind xx
You must be super fit with all the running, cycling and gym work! I haven’t been back to the gym yet this year – they are taking as many steps as feasible but I was nervous about being in a closed environment while Covid numbers were rising.
Always working to improve fitness – exercise has been so important for my mental health
I certainly find it a boost to the spirits to just leave the house and walk in fresh air. no ipod, just the birds for company
Absolutely. I believe I may be unusual in running without headphones – I too like to listen and observe nature, possible as I live in a rural location and run mostly along tracks and lanes.
They’re also a bit dangerous when you share space with cyclists that come up behind you