In brightest day, in blackest night… (the end of shielding)

  No, I haven’t been passed a ring from an alien policeperson (nerds will get the reference).    It’s been just over a year since shielding began, it’s been just over a year since I became a virtual hermit, and that year begins to end on Tuesday.     With the exception of a magical week in Wales my world has been predominantly our flat, with a rough 3km circle of wandering there and back distance.  The physical impact can be seen in an expanded waist line, despite cycling Lands End to John a’Groats on the exercise bike and almost half way round Iceland, and becoming mildly addicted to Cockney Kim, Jamie the Lad, Gregg of the unfeasibly low body fat on Applefitness+ the simple fact is in normal times I walk about 10k a day, these days I’m lucky to average three.  I’m lucky, I have got out a bit. I have friends who haven’t. We’ve not had major problems with getting food (thank you Asda for having collection boxes you can walk to) and we’re as safe as we can be.    I may be lucky but that

Getting fit for heart surgery

  A dramatic, but appropriate, title for my first long blog in a while.     First up I’m fine – I don’t feel any different from all of the other times where my cardiology team has hinted that the time has come to do something about my aging dicky ticker.  Aging is a good word – it was 46 years ago today (if you’re reading this on the 11 th  November) where they did my original operation at Great Ormond Street.  Even back then they suggested they’d need to keep an eye on my pulmonary valve… and so they have…    My interventionist called the 46 year gap between valves remarkable – I think he was being polite, I’m a freak.  Most people with Fallot’s I know have had one or two valves by now.   So, I know I’m lucky…    The luck continues, I’m a scientist, I read the developments I watch the progress of technologies… Due to the weird internal anatomy of my heart I haven’t been a candidate for transcatheter valve implantation… until now.  The plan will be to have a good look around, check tha

In the Year 2029...

So that was the 2010s… a decade of running, running, gongs, running, fighting for services, losing friends and falling in love & getting married. Any retrospective of a decade focuses on the highlights and or the low lights, and skips over the middling murk of normal life that we live in most of the time. So, I’m not going there. Instead, I’m going to jump into my TARDIS to 2029 and look back at the 2020s… In 2029 I’ll be almost 60, I’ll still be running and will finally have got a t-shirt worthy number of parkruns done. I’ll still be moaning about my hip, my ankle and probably other bits of me. But I’ll still be plodding, often with Mrs Jiminy beside me, in costume (from the second decade of Marvel films), around courses and taking our annual pilgrimage to Newcastle and the Great North Run. Work will still be work, although I’ll note we are all complaining about the pay and car parking despite the fact that money was outlawed in 2025 and we all access work remotely by

I was last (man) and I loved it...

I'm overweight and over slow - work has been hell, and my buttocks are moulded into the shape required to sit in the cheap seats of a virgin pendalino... However, that doesn't matter cos this weekend I was racing the personification of Death himself (a him this time, not anything interesting from the fertile mind of Neil Gaiman). The Beat the Reaper is a run like few others, two laps of a mixed terrain course... muddy enough to demand some grip, tarmacy enough to demand some cushioning and with an array of death's little helpers popping out to scare the willies out of the unsuspecting runners... Mrs Jiminy and I dress for the occasion... The other feature is that the Reaper is real, a ringer in plain sight - he starts at the back and races the pack, chases down those who dare think they're fast enough - I don't I was happy only to be lapped by the front 15 or so. So, on to my race strategy - sounds odd, I was the last man how the hell could I have a

Singing in the rain, the sunshine & the wind…

This is our holiday week; other people’s children are back at school, its mid-season enough to be cheaper, mid-season enough that most places are still open, it’s mostly warm enough for Jiminy (Mrs Jiminy?), and mostly cool enough for me… For various reasons we’re both significantly under fit, so knew that our game plan for the week was common sense and plod… and plod we did, the Whitley Bay park run was beautiful with views to St Mary’s Lighthouse and the coast, then the perennial Great North Run… I’m not sure if it was my 18 th or 19 th but it’s an event, not a race (at least not where I am)… to give you an idea of the scale I was 1 ½ miles into my 13.1 as Sir Mo finished… it was hot, it was crowded, but the locals were as fab as ever; jelly babies & haribo, ice pops & water pistols, high fives & fist bumps – first or last it doesn’t matter- it’s a half marathon of fun and friendliness.  We also had a mad dash around to find the elusive Elmers… recommended for a fun

Been a bit busy... sorry...

It’s been a while, the longest gap since I started this blog many years ago…  It’s been a while for many reasons, not least I’ve been a bit busy and injured – and as regular readers know (well knew, its been a while) I don’t blog well when I’m injured.  I’ll start with the busyness… the good busyness… Jiminy Cricket is now Mrs Jiminy Cricket, we got married in June, with a small select gang of our closest friends up in Scotland – she looked as radiant as ever, I looked hot… We followed this with a day of celebrations for more of our friends – we started with our local Parkrun, followed by a walking tour and then finished with a proper party and one hell of a cake.  We had friends from all of our worlds; some travelling for days to come and see us and join us in our happiness… THANK YOU ALL We planned the hell out of the wedding and the celebration day, and between Mrs Jiminy Cricket’s attention to detail and my Bridezilla moments we had an almost

That was the year that was....

My first blog in seven months... Sorry, so this is a bit of a round up... a reflection on 2018 if you like... Friends have died this year, people I cared for, people I loved and people I admired for what they did and how they did it. Some, like me, were born with their heart condition - none of them would have considered themselves sufferers, they looked forward to each new day with a smile, a grimace or the occasional ache and pain but they then lived that day.  Not in some new age claptrap YOLO, live life to the max, being a warrior, because those ways are intensely tiring and when you are living life you don't need something else to tire you out. There will always be regrets of conversations not finished, or worse not started, of hugs not given and news you can no longer share, but I am proud of them, the lives they lived and hope my part (however big or small) in their lives made them smile. One thing that would've made many of them smile would've been the cost