One Week Ago!

It doesn’t seem a week ago that I was just leaving to go to the Bournemouth Marathon festival to run in my first official 10k event.Well,as they say,a week is “a long time in Politics,or,in my case,in my body Politic.Yes,I was proud of myself for crossing the finishing line in under 64 minutes that day,and it seemed that I might have a few days to recover ,bofore I carried on my recreational running routine with my local Moors valley Parkrun,

Yes,today,on this Saturday,I lined up with the other trusty park runners for my 7th outing -many have done 50;100;and some have completed over 150 such runs,All these people do so while living a busy life,and fitting in oh so many activities like breakfast nging up children,holding down jobs of various descriptions and I am always amazed by the sheer diversity of folk who rock up week in week out.

For me,right at the end of this event,I fell over,wounding my pride,bashing my knee,and generally looking a bit stupid.After dusting myself off and crawl past the finishing line,I sloth off home to licks my wounds .As I do,with that feeling sorry for myself kind of thing that we men are apt to do-It’s not our fault,we don’t have children or go down mines anymore -I check Facebook ,of my feed as it were.Scrolling down the funny anecdotes,cute animal posts,and the general detritus of our social life,two posts caught my eye for reasons that will become quite clear now.One Post was about a top man that I have been inspired about who posts on the group “Verwood runners”.He is always so positive ,upbeat and just a top human ,rather like so many in our communities up and down this great country of ours.His post began with an apology:During this week,he had been admitted for a stroke to the unit at Bournemouth!Why,when I read that,my aches and pains and general wounded pride melted away in the mist of time,and I thought about this wonderful person and my heart went out to him  and his family at this time.

Sometimes,perspective is so very very important in life. Now,he won’t truly know theaffect that his example has had on me these past 7 weeks or so.During that time,I have sat at the bedside of my son at the National heart hospital hoping that he would recover from a serious infection.While that was going on,this man has been posting about his runs,his mountain bike riding and he has been of an encouragement to oh so many people in the community.To me,when I’ve been tired with other stuff,just like all those who turn up for the Parkrun each ,it’s been people like Paul Lambert who have kept the light on by his example and light and I sincerely hopes that he gets better soon and I wish his family and friends the strength that they will surely need .

So,Yes,one week ago,I was lining up with nearly 2000 others at Bournemouth to do the 10k.Boy,I felt proud of myself that day,and today,I still feel proud,but for different ways.

Today,my son has been married for ten years and that is a wonderful place to arrive at when illness threatens to take so much away from us.

I’m not sure if events are connected,or wether we get inspired by different people and we observe their fortitude and courage.All I know is that I’m grateful for inspirational people within our community and I wish them all co tinged success in their life and for what they do for our community.

  This is my blog post for today and I Thankyou all for reading it,supporting my quirky muses and for thinking the best of me.



Peel back the clouds!

If I could unwrap the dark clouds from up above ,would I see the sun from its celestial home ?It shines ,I know,it lives,I know,it emits it heat ,I know,I know ,I know.But,alas,today,the dark rain close ups hover overhead in my local sky across the forest ,in my small town,and ,I reckon,to the towns and cities nearby.With the onset of social media,it intrigues me that webcams can be set up to beam pictures back of places I ventured as a small child.Then,I would escape to these beaches and coves in all winds and rains at this time of the year.Really,the coastl8ne of Britain has so many facets to its character that I never got bored with it.Its that knowledge that the whole had nterland is organic,but,subject to erosion,that observation is tinged with sadness because so much of the coastline is eroding that you have to savour it ,devour its views ,store it in your memory box.

My memory box for views,although the same as my memories for sound does sustain me in grey days such as Today,when you might wish to creep under the duvet ,going back to sleep,requesting that the world carry on without you as your on a life strike.Many people grapple with seasonally adjusted depression,causing anxiety ,pain and emotional suffering for them.Of course,there is a big difference between the blues,that is,one or two days of feeling down,lethargic and generally fed up,than full blown “black dog”,where the ravishes Of depression coke any life you have from the inside out.That mental parylisis is the scourge of many a fine human and my heart goes out to anyone suffering in that way.

As the rain clouds above open,I reckon that my sight line will change,as I become that rain watcher.There is always something comforting about watching the rain descend from the vantage point of your interior,that brick shell ,that sand and cement bonding that you rely on to keep you warm from the elements around you.Yes,that structure ,that canopy against the rain droplets .When I was a boy,the canopy could be a shallow cave nestled in the cliff side,as it promised relief from those driving rains coming off the Atlantic coast.Yes,I have often written about them,as the repetition of my words somehow acts as a memorium to those days,from around the mid September times,until the pre lent and upto the Easter period.

As the sounds and tHe smells of rain always excite me in the strangest of ways,I feel like the emotions of the times release in me a sort of recipe and in that recipe are all the ingredients of the full life spent living near the sea ,it’s foibles,it’s character,it’s dimensions,it’s topography,it’s breathe and Ardour.

Now,as I look out of my window,the rain doth descend,but it doesn’t drive you from ever thinking you couldn’t stand up,you can deal with this rain ,these clouds ,and when they lift,you can dust yourself off again,living in that moment that might spark an expression other than the banal,the trite,the canned energy of a small battery that runs down and becomes nothing.

It’s times to find that energy,that glow,that transparent ebullient life from the surroundings that occupy our innermost being.

My Update for tonight!

They told me that there was a software update,they told me they told me they told me,

Will my life be really better ?

Will I leap nt the air following  to its installation ?

Will I,will I,will I?
They gave me a choice to either install it now,later, or,I can’t remember,can you?

There is always a choice,politicians love giving us choices,

Don’t they,don’t they,don’t they?
So,have you been told from your devise about this wonderful update?

Have you,have you have you?
I wish there could be a laugh update,a smile update,a positive update,

I do,i do,I do.

Now,if I keep saying later for my update,am I a Luddite,a bore ,a grumpy old man.

So,I’ve passed on my update,and ,accordingly to those forbidden fruit people,I’m missing out,

But I’ll just smile to myself,I’ll just have a laugh and keep positive ,so that’s my update for tonight!

Monday night muse!

That elusive quality ,that state of being,that often unquantifiable thing that is happiness:Oh how many of us pursue it,only to find it from a source that surprises us.

Today,as I endeavoured to regigue my teaching life a little from a pattern that has existed of a Monday for well over 13 years,I realised that the fault was with my attitude.Why Yes,a treasured pupil had moved on to pastures new,but who,barring someone who had taught another for 13 years on a one to one basis should,or would ever understand what it is like to change your routine.So,as the power to accept ,to redefine rests with me,I asked myself:Why didn’t I prepare for this obvious eventuality seeing I knew that it surely must come to be?Having given a fair amount of thought to it,I realised that I just didn’t want to accept the reality the organic growth of another human being into an adult is their right and not my domain.So,this right of passage for my pupil is a test of my own principles as such.Am I a liberal in wanting people to make their own way in life,and not wanting to control others.Sometimes ,those who control others are extremely timid themselves,wanting to map out not only their lives,but the lives of others.Being risk overse,the thought is f doing something across the whole spectrum of ideas can cause real fear,but the only thing we must really fear is fear itself.So,I ask myself,why I didn’t plan for my pupils right of passage?Truth is,I don’t know,it’s not that I’ve never said goodbye before,and this balance of caring without ensnaring a pupil is a delicate balance that we all struggle to master,if at all.

No-where in any teaching manual do you ever grasp the enormity of change,and as the teaching journey reaches its peak for us all,the interchanges become more intense for us the teacher,than for the pupil,because they are moved ng through the corridor that is their life,be it in academia,or in the artistic world.Their need to grow has to take precedence over our need to hold unto the past which is,at best,a blurred copy of the real reality.As the metaphor holds good that we in our careers are like the hand in the bucket of water:As we put our hand in we notice the ripples,but soon after we pull it out,the water reaches its own level,and it’s like as if we never had put our hand in it.As I reflect on the meaning of the word humility tonight in my muse,I meditate on its root,which is the word humis,which we know to be the soil.As the soil can often be a lowly substance,so to us,we have to accept our small part that we have to play with the pupils that we help.They are with us for a short period,and then they must move on down that corridor.

For me tonight there is the ever present need to check myself,to meditate on why,when,how,the critical thought ,the whole purpose of education.This is ,to me,a life’s work.Truthfully,I don’t understand it fully,but I still endeavour to ask the questions.Im nosey,or,to put it in a more cultured way,I’m curious,but the results are the same.

So,tonight,I sat and played,I listened to the sounds,the harmonies,the textures,the tokens of my contribution to the art of Pianoforte playing.In rekindling this for a brief couple of hours,I heard musical messages,I played songs that one of my sister who is queen the ill at the moment loved:”Carlifornia Dreamin,that Mamas and Papas classic.Oh my,couldn’t Mama Cass sing so very well,and the strains of that middle 8 are as clear as a bell as when I opened her Christmas resent to me all those years ago.Sounds have always infected my mind,dressed it with its perfumes of sounds ,and like a delicious Panacotta,melted in my sound bud mouth.

So ,one pupil moves on,as everyone should be allowed too,but I still have my music currency .Tonight it was stroking the keys of my Piano on a tri darling wn memory lane to the golden years of American Popular music that has infected my mind and my soul so nice I were a small child.Im lucky to be satisfied with a very tiny amount of talent,a massive massive will to survive anything that life can throw at me,and an ego to believe that I have someth ng to impart ,which,in turn,explains why I write to blog posts.

Thank you for your attention tonight.

Remembering my first 10k

To all the runners who gave of their hearts best,

To all the stride lengths and arm rotations and cadences,

To all the runners from 9 to 90,and to all the age numbers in between,

To all the spectators who shouted their words of encouragement from the sidelines,

To all the marshalls who thronged each route “suited and booted”,

To all the heart beats who were there,and to those that the runners remembered on their shirts,

Thank,Thankyou Thankyou ,for making my first 10k oh so memorable.

Two days to my 10k!

It’s Thursday night,and yes,that’s a prime example of stating the Obviusoy us,but I wrote those words for a reason:It’s two days before my first proper Athletic event in over 45 years.On Saturday,I will endeavour to complete my first competitive 10k run along the seafront from Bournemouth peer to Boscombe peer and back again.

Butterflies aren’t fluttering as yet,but I’m aware of the looming hour of 4 O Clock this Saturday with an estimated 2 and a half thousand participants in this event that is but one of many taking place over this weekend.Its all part of the Matathon festival weekend with so many exciting events and an expected total of 24,000 people taking part with a wonderful array of Women Children and  Males taking over this period.

Whatever my result,I feel just very lucky to be taking part at all this weekend,as ,this time last year,I was awaiting bowel surgery and had undergone a lengthy period of illness over the last ten years.Now,a year on,Ive managed to do the train as best as I can,and have lost enough weight to make exercise enjoyable.Now,I not saying that I’ve got the solutions for exercise and diet because I definitely haven’t,but I have a measure of determination that has carried me through through this year.So,8n a way,I’m hoping that this run can act as a springboard to other events in the next few months and coming year.

Over this year,I have drawn on my discipline as a Pianist to keep me motivated in the pursuit of my goal.Daily practice ,even when I dget don’t always feel like it,has,and co tinges to be for me,a strength that I’ve drawn on to prepare myself for this event.My feelings about this are also important as I approach Saturday too,as I feel that I might be emotional if I can cross the finish line while still because no upright.Sometimes,emotions are brushed under the carpet as not essential to life,but really,they can be our main drivers,and they are tied into our instincts too.Sometimes,they can manifest themselves through tears,which provides a release to a deep emotional state.Also,they can show up in an inward feeling like when we feel about ur heart has been touched,or they can be that feeling of awe.To elaborate,when you realise that many will take part in these events over the weekend who grappling with demons that can’t be perceived on the surface ,but have been debilitating for them.

Finally,we mustn’t forget the charities to which these will raise much needed funds for over the weekend.On a personal note,I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who donated to my just giving page in aid of “Save the Children”,these donations have meant so very very much.

If,by reading this piece,you have felt that I am worthy of a donation please visit my just giving page under the name of Adrian Smith.

Finally,whatever race your running in life,I wish you joy and success in it and I hope that there are enough people in your life who ,like me,have aided you in your endeavours.

One week from now!

Over the last six weeks,I’ve stepped up my exercise regime as the countdown for the Bournemouth Marathon festival looms.My event is the supernova 10k,which reminds me of a Vauxhall hatchback,but there you go,that’s what the organisers in their wisdom have named it.So,what have I been doing these past weeks?Well,as the father of my former pupil suggested,I turned up for my local Parkrun six weeks ago,and,as they say,the rest is history.

Each week,at the Moors Valley country park ,I try my best around the 5k circuit there with some truly inspirational people who turn out in all weathers to compete each week.This week,was the 100 Parkrun,and they have been taking place today at nine o clock up and down the country.When I write the word inspirational ,I am truly in awe f so many of the runners,many in their twilight get years,who get their turn There week in week out to battle against themselves,and to compete in the overall event.As I often say abut my running,just to be able to complete this event would have been unthinkable a year ago.Back then,I was awaiting bowel surgery resection and life wasn’t too good for me as regards my health.Now,a year on ,I find myself on the cusp on the Bournemouth 10k next Saturday,and although I can’t promise that I will be that fast,the very fact that I’m confident of getting round the distance is a cause for pride.

From the previous years,I reckon that over 2,000 runners will take part in this event,with so many more completing the half ,and full Marathons.On a personal note,I am quite looking forward to my event,and I know that I have trained hard to be in shape for it,and it is my intention to enjoy the day ,to soak up the atmosphere,and to raise some money for safe the children fund.

If you have been interested in this edited story of my getting to this point in my running,please visit my Just giving page in the name of Adrian Smith ,safe the children fund,Bournemouth 10k Matathon festival event.

     Underneath you can see a picture of me as I pass the finishing line in a previous Parkrun.