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Musings while out in the Park


The thing to do is not to think about it too much. Just get out and do it.

Just do it.

My week day ritual of arguing with myself, before I've had a chance to wake up properly.

Good job my body knows what to do, and decides to ignore my brain this once.

It's mild and not raining. This is what I firmly tell myself.

Not many cars in the car park and can't decide whether that's a good thing or not. Quick trip to the loo. Wash and dry hands under the automatic dryer, before opening up the cuffs of my hoodie to allow a blast of hot air to temporarily fill my sleeves like balloons. Toasty.

Re-tie my right shoe lace. It's always the right one that needs fixing.

Take a different route, or at least a different starting point. A gravel path that circumvents the car park towards the children's swings.

I want to have a go before I run, to get warmed up, but there are grownup's with small children.

They can be such disapproving spoil sports.

Damn, my map-my-run phone app refuses to function. For a smidgeon I think to myself, "Blow it then, home!"

Remind myself I'm made of sterner stuff.

I chuckle to myself at that.

Okay, you know the route and the distance, move it!

Check the time on my phone.

Okay.

Stride out. Brisk walk pace. Warm up.

Ears on alert as I enter the forest trails. It's squirrels that spook me as they run up tree trunks, leaping from branch to branch like spider man. That's my imagination for you ~ it's how I see them.

The squirrels don't seem to have got the memo alert that says they should be hibernating.

Not too many errant toddlers around as yet. They can be quite frisky, like dogs on long leads. I can get tangled up just the same.

On bad days when my legs won't do my bidding, they can run faster than me ~ the toddlers and dogs alike.

Embarrassing.

Mothers with buggies, their toddlers 'exploring,' are heard urging their kids to stay dry and, "Don't step in the puddles."

Spoil sports.

Of course that's exactly what two year olds do.

I always smile at these knee-high whirlwinds even if their mothers are too busy chatting to someone-else to really notice.

Though I think it's me that's invisible.

I say hello to people passing, well most people. Tend to ignore the fisherman with their rods and wicker baskets containing who knows what. They tend to be solitary types.

I ignore all solitary types.

Just because.

Dog-walkers. Always out and about, they're creatures of habit.

Is it the dogs 'needs' to be met that come first, or the fact that the owners induce a routine and the dog follows suit? It's been a long time since I've owned a dog and I can't remember.

I expect it's the humans.

I always see the same people doing the same route at the same time. There's a strange comfort to be had with that. Knowing where I will be saying, 'hello' to certain people.

They're missed if I don't see them.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes are out in force. I don't like running passed them. Just in case. It's the small ones that want to jump all over you.

Skittish, yappy, with claws they don't know how sharp they are.

"Oh, they're just being friendly," say their owners.

Er, no they're not.

Means I have to stop-start and constantly loose rhythm.

Frustrating, especially as I don't want to be here today and just want to get it over and done with. Its hard to get going each time I'm forced to slow down or stop.

There's a couple of horse-riders out as well and I definitely stop running until these beautiful animals go by.

I rode a horse once and fell off. I refused to get back on, which is what I think you're meant to do after an incident. So you don't loose faith.

Still, they are tall, elegant creatures that nod their heads and shake their manes ever so politely as they trot by.

Reminds me of men who are secure in their masculinity; in being a man. They have greater strength and power. Yet choose to be calm and respectful.

Autumn has thinned out the trees and the undergrowth ~ easier to see across neighbouring paths that run parallel or criss-cross.

Beware dogs and children coming around corners.

Why are some paths muddier than others?

Did it rain overnight? Huge puddles. My feet are getting wet.

Mud splatters.

Still wearing summer 'runners' leggings that show off my lily white calves, with now dark streaks.

My legs are a source of amusement. Friends find it funny that my legs hardly change colour even in summer. I look like the proverbial Brit with, 'just arrived at the beach' body.

I guess nowadays that's where fake tan comes into its own. It's not for me though.

I wonder whether anyone will notice that I haven't shaved them? Then wonder if I might get a bit miffed, worried even, if anyone got that close to my legs while out running.

Running.

I use the term loosely. More like jogging.

My speed a wee bit faster than a brisk walk. A trot rather than a gallop, but it beats sitting on the sofa.

Will be so much happier when the job is done for the day.

Can tick that box.

Autumn leaves have turned into mush in the mud.

Slippery underfoot, don't want to fall over. Again.

I fell back in late Spring. Going downhill, tripped and did a rather spectacular roly-poly, collecting twigs and grit in my hair until coming to an abrupt halt. Grazed knees and elbows but no broken bones, in case you were wondering. Bruised ego instead.

Can hear the motorway traffic sharp and jarring today. The loudness depends on which way the wind is blowing.

There's hardly a breeze.

Where is everyone going? To work? Bluewater shopping centre?

Countdown to Christmas and the jingle bells of opening and closing cash registers. The Suits rubbing their hands in glee.

Stop for breath at the top of a hill. My heart pounds in my chest as I try to even out my breath. Coughing. Trying to appear more fit than I am.

On a clear day from this hill you can see clear across the Thames to Essex. Not today mind. Overcast and cloudy. The weather that is.

Some days you can see that Essex is having the nicer weather and I wonder what they're celebrating.

My car's recent MOT and Service ~ more or less okay, no 'big things' required doing. A number of filters were changed but I'm not convinced they actually needed doing. I thought they were as good as new. Only didn't realise they'd been changed until after the event. They forget to ask me I think. The expense! They can hardly replace them back again, can they?

Do men fall prey to this? Are they as trusting in these matters as we are?

Hmm, need to 'bump off,' or edit out characters in first draft. Or do I? They seem to knit together, have a purpose. They keep the storyline moving along otherwise what's the point?

Is having a crocodile in the River Dart totally bonkers? Not in my world it's not. Nor is having a friendly pirate as my protagonist's boyfriend.

As well as a husband, and an ex turning up out of the blue.

Decided ~ at this moment in time any way ~ that I have started my story in the right place. Pleased that I changed that detail earlier in the week.

Moved chapters around.

It means I can continue without the doubt that something's amiss niggling away as a distraction.

Nothing's cast in stone though.

What is the matter with me today?

Unsettled.

Need to write.

Need to read. So I can write.

Need to stop worrying and get on with it.

Need to 'chase' Agents.

Need to sort out another round of Agents.

I can take rejection. I can take the not hearing back. It's the actual sending out of manuscript thats hard.

Difficult.

Makes me feel vulnerable and exposed.

Stop to say, "hello" to Margaret, a regular dog walker with two dirty white terriers that are pooping on the path a little ahead of me. Charming.

We muse about the weather, like you do. Margaret that is, not her dogs.

She needs to, "Get round before it rains, " she said.

Is rain forecast? Don't know, nor care.

Get talking to a couple seen running passed me earlier. There's an assumption on my part that they are married or 'together' in some way. They have a cosiness about them that people who have known each other for a long time, celebrate.

'Comfortable familiarity.'

Their conversation blends with each other.

"See you here often, have you thought about the Saturday Park Run?"

"Yes, I have. Working up to it, need to get fitter!"

"No you don't! Come and join us you won't be the slowest, and the more the merrier."

Is this a compliment?

I feel a New Years resolution coming on.


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