The Birthday Adventure or Gem and the Healing WellJune 9, 2023
Gem Has Some Mini AdventuresJuly 25, 2023
Hi! Me again, I’m still around, and I have a couple of adventures from June to tell you about at some point, but first it’s time for the annual photo an hour project.
I started taking a photo an hour on the 23rd June 2016. And I’ve done it every year since, though sometimes I do it on the 24th because I completely forget on the 23rd and Timehop reminds me.
If you want to check out the wealth of excitement that has made up my day in previous years, then they’re over on Lipstick Lettuce & Lycra still. Links below.
Yes, it is Saturday, but Pugs care not for weekends and want their breakfast, like, right now please.
I am having my coffee in bed, worrying about how hot it is going to be and sharing some my morning affirmations on Instagram. Todays were:
One step at a time, One hour at a time, One day at a time
Put your crown on
I have had a Parkrun barcode for about 10 years, and never once actually been to one. Today, I have decided to go to my first one, despite, or possibly because of, the heat. I have Run Norwich in a couple of weeks and I feel hideously underprepared and freaking out about attempting to do any running in the heat.
I plan to ride my bike down there and immortalised my running outfit just before I left the house at 8am.
Enjoy the view of the cardboard boxes waiting to go out for recycling and my chins which I hope are just a bad angle.
When I was half way there my bike started making weird noises and I realised I had a flat tyre and had to push it the rest of the way.
Parkrun kicks off at 9am, It took me 44 minutes and 55 seconds to complete a very sweaty 5k, which is ok, as I was aiming for under 45 minutes. As I was a Parkrun first timer I think a lot of people assumed from looking at me I was a first time runner. Lots of people said encouraging things while I was “running” which was kind of nice, but also made me absolutely know they probably thought I wasn’t a runner.
It was very hot. This photo was taken while I was collapsed on the grass at the finish chatting to a couple of friends who had also run and had nearly 20 minutes to recover by the time I finished.
Lots of people came over to check I was ok because I was bright red and sweaty.
After I have recovered, I now need to get home, and I have to push my bike on a squishy tyre. It’s hot and I am tired and it is taking me about a million years.
Eventually Mr Gem comes out to rescue me and help me push the bike home which at least means I have company in my misery. It takes about an hour to walk a mile and a half home. My feet hurt, my back hurts and my hips hurt and I feel very sorry for myself.
It’s ok, I feel better after half an hour in a room with air conditioning and an ice pop. So I collapse on the sofa in my nice loose and cool Oodie sleep tee that my Mum got me for my birthday.
Pugs still want to sit on me even if it is a million degrees outside.
I remember that I am booked in for a Pilates class this afternoon and I am overthinking whether to go or not and whether it will be nice and stretchy post parkrun or make me ache more.
I decide I will go to Pilates, also I thought about it for so long that it was too late to cancel so I leave myself extra time to walk down there as I am achey from the mornings adventures.
I remember the days when I never had to consider whether it was going to be difficult to get to places on foot and walking was just my mode of transport.
It’s still bloody hot, but it looks like it is going to rain. The weather forecast says it isn’t going to rain. I hope it is. Please rain. I hate hot.
I arrive early at Pilates and turn the lights off on a poor woman who is cleaning the mirrors because I didn’t notice her. We have a chat about the exciting neck fan she is wearing, and she decides she also has time to polish the floors before the class starts.
I go back downstairs to get reception to turn the air conditioning on. I am being a bit sneaky about this because I know that everyone else will undoubtedly arrive and decide it is the perfect temperature and we don’t need air con on, but I am hot. If it is already on when they arrive then it’s more likely to stay on.
Class finishes at 2:15pm and I slowly walk home. There is a park on the way with these things growing. When I was a kid we called them Granny Pop Out of Beds and I love them.
Apparently they are a hideous nightmare for gardeners that is impossible to get rid of. I forget what it is called now.
There you go.
It’s not raining. The Pugs and I are sitting approximately 2 foot from a fan on full blast.
Nothing else exciting is happening. We’ve had all today’s excitement now I’m afraid, this is as good as it’s going to get.
I speak to people with dogs sometimes and they say things like “Oh I just leave their food out all day and they pick at it when they’re hungry”
This is not how Pugs operate. We had to buy special bowls to stop them inhaling their dinner in under 30 seconds and they behave like they are starving whenever there is food around.
Dinner time is at 5pm and if I so much as take a deep breath from 3:30pm onwards they leap up and look excited.
This is Waldos “Why are you starving me?” face.
The Pugs have been fed and I go into garden to get the washing in.
A spider has set up camp directly across the front of the garden bench. I do not like spiders and do some interesting moves attempting to get the washing off the dryer without going anywhere near it or turning my back on it in case it pounces on me.
I tried to take a photo of it so I could use it for this post, but it was so absurdly tiny that you cannot see it and I wasn’t going to get any closer, so this is what the bench in the garden looks like. There is a spider in this picture somewhere.
It is time to take the Pugs out for their evening constitutional.
Just before we leave a courier brings me a dress I pre ordered from Light Ldn, I am excited, so try it on, and then decide to wear it for walkies.
I get Mr Gem to take a couple of photos so I can show it off on Instagram and notice that I have developed some exciting tan lines from Parkrun this morning, even though I was wearing Factor 30 sun cream.
It must be warm because the Pugs are actually sat on the cool mat, normally they avoid it like the plague and still want cuddles even though I am boiling.
We haven’t hit the absurd 40 degrees plus temperatures of last year, but anything over 21 is too hot for me, and it’s about 30 degrees today.
I realise as I am writing this that whinging about it being hot is becoming a theme in my photo an hour. I wonder if I should move it to October or May when I am less whingy?
We’ve obviously cooled down by 8pm as the Pugs are back on laps for cuddles.
This year is almost definitely one of my least interesting photo an hour years! Looking back I wonder how I ever had the energy to do so many things in a day. Today I have done Parkrun and Pilates and I may as well have climbed a mountain. I am pooped!
We have a couple of beers and watch Bank of Dave on Netflix. It is a nice, reassuring British comedy. I like it. If you want something easy to watch then I recommend it.
I told you I was pooped! It’s not even 10pm on a Saturday and I am in bed with a hot chocolate and a book. I am so totally rock and roll.
I’m still writing a nightly diary, something I started doing while I was in hospital having my stem cell transplant. I don’t really know why, it’s unlikely anyone is going to serialise them after my death so people can read about the exciting day that I had hot dogs for dinner or that I found work very boring today. But still, I write them, and each time I fill one I put it on a bookshelf as I can’t throw them out.
And that was a day in my life in June 2023. Looking back on these is interesting. Some things change, others don’t. I’ve documented the day of the brexit vote, pandemics and cancer, yet in reality these are all just very boring days.
I hope to be back again in 2024! (Maybe I’ll book something exciting!)