Wuss, moi.

I planned the run in my head.

I got dressed in running gear.

I started the warm-up routine.

….

Then I felt too cold.

The head was full of excitement from a breakthrough in the morning’s work.

Chewie was still wrapped up in bed.

But mainly, I felt too cold.

So I chickened out of the run. I changed back into home clothes. And am now back at work.

Wuss, moi.

Feeling…

Good

Because…

Spoke to ma-pa yesterday.

Active user count for Todo.txt for Android touched a new high.

It’s freezing cold but sunny.

Weight didn’t increase despite yesterday’s gorging on chocolate and kaju katli. It dropped by 0.2kg.

I’m about to head out for a run.
(It was a wonderful 10K, half with boys who were half brown by the time we finished)

I saw KJT run the 100m hurdles. I think I’m in love with her :)

Continue reading Feeling…

Welcome Autumn

Today is Autumn equinox, the traditional start of Autumn up here. The weather makers seem to be well informed of the dates.

We had beautifully sunny weather all of last week. Then yesterday it rained on most of our run. Now there’s a forecast of rain for this whole week.

It’s getting chilly in the night. I’ll take out one of my duvets this week.

It’s getting darker in the mornings. I can keep the south-facing window in front of my desk open all morning—seeing the slowly shades turn from black to dark blue black, then through various shades black and blue, into bright blue. Or if it’s cloudy, into a dull light blueish grey.

The leaves had already started turning colour. It’ll still be a month or more before the autumnal colours really shine but the shades are already visible occasionally.

The garden has noticed as well. There aren’t as many apples on the tree as before. The petunias are almost gone. Berries are fully ripe, which means they’ll soon start turning black and dry. The begonias are still thriving but the geraniums have reduced flowering. And the grass in the backyard never fully loses the moistness from the morning dew.

One of the good bits about autumn—apart from the beautiful colours and dark mornings—is that it’s my favourite running weather again. I don’t need to care about the warm and hot days. It’s the season of running in cool fresh air, with an occasional shower and often lots of mud. The runs will be harder—summer’s hard ground provides better support than the muddy or boggy autumnal trails. But the runs will also be far more pleasant. Continue reading Welcome Autumn

How to cure a headache…

I had a mild headache and bad tinnitus when I slept last night.

I woke up with a headache, and the tinnitus returned soon after. So I skipped the morning work session, and went back to sleep. Woke up late, then spent another few hours reading in bed. The headache had only become a bit worse.

Now, finally, I’ve managed to get rid of the headache.

How?

  1. Treated myself to a mini roll stolen from R’s stash
  2. Went for a run in the woods in lovely weather – 15°C with a light drizzle.

Simple remedy, and one with no negative side effects (other than her cursing me for stealing her dessert stash).

Continue reading How to cure a headache…

Walk the dog…

I wake up early, make a coffee, and start working straight away. So, by 9 or 10 AM, I’ve got in 2-3 hours of work, and need a break. The dog and I go for a walk.

We return, we have breakfast, and I head up to work again. He sleeps.

After another couple of hours of focussed work, I’m in need of a break again by noon/1PM. So, unless R has already claimed it, the dog and I go for another walk.

We return, have lunch, and watch TV for a bit. Then I return to work upstairs, and he goes back to doing what he does best – sleep.

By around 6 or 7 in the evening, my head is screaming for a break again. Literally screaming – tinnitus has been getting quite bad lately. So we do whatever helps. A.k.a. the dog and I go for a walk, again.

I have always loved walking. I went for lone walks after fights with parents as a teenager. I enjoyed going for lone walks in Delhi in my early 20s – it helped living so close to Siri fort forest. I loved walking around the campus in Calcutta, and at the sea front in Bombay.

I occasionally enjoy company on my walks. I go for a daily walk with Dad when I’m in Karnal. I also enjoyed walking around with a few friends in Bombay and Calcutta. Once in a while I even enjoy having R come along for a walk.

More often, I prefer to be alone. Walks are my time to let the mind wander, or focus, or rest. Let the mind do what it wants while the legs, the lungs, and the heart get some loosening. After all most of the non-walking time is just the opposite – mind at work, everything else resting. Having company on a walk means the mind has to engage – converse, debate, listen (to remember). Not rest. Not recover.

Walking with Chewie isn’t the same. He doesn’t tax my mind too much, yet keeps my heart entertained. He loves all the tracks – muddy, sandy, gravely, boggy – that I keep exploring. He loves hills as much as I do. He enjoys exploring smells in the woods. He loves rivers and the sea. He enjoys being out and about, likely more than even me.

So, when I hit a mental road block with work, I look at him, and he’s up for it. We go for a walk.

When I’m anxious or tense, he takes me for a walk.

When I need to clear my head, or escape tension in the house, he indulges me with another walk.

I’m grateful to have him, always, on the walk.

Sometimes when I’m deep in work, when it’s -4°C and horizontal rain outside, when my body is still aching from the previous run/ride/swim/yoga, he comes and nudges my arm away from the keyboard with his nose. He wants to go for a walk.

I coddle him, delay him, curse him, plead with him. Then he wins. We go for a walk.

Continue reading Walk the dog…

Welcome to the UK…

They were initially bemused by the complexity of bus timetables, bin collections and—most of all—by the changeable weather. “In our country, when it’s summer, it’s summer,” says Ziead Alsaouah, Mr Batak’s son-in-law.

—The Economist | After the exodus


I had a very similar reaction to the weather when I moved here 8 years ago.

North India, where I spent the first 24 years of my life, has a very predictable weather. When it’s summer, it’s hot and dry for months on end. When it’s the rain season, it’s raining almost every day for a month. And when winter arrives, it’s bitterly cold, mostly dry, and frequently foggy (recently smoggy) for months on end.

Contrast that to the weather here on the island – it’s common to have at least two seasons in a day. Three’s not uncommon either. We had two months of constant dry, warm summers this year, and it’s already caused a mild panic. If we get a week of snow in the winter, news bulletins are full of ‘snowcalypse’ references.

It’s unsettling, at least initially, for people coming from places with stable, ‘continental’ weather patterns. Where culture, life, traditions, activities are based on the season, what do we do when the seasons just aren’t anymore?

Continue reading Welcome to the UK…