Lordy, but is it just me that thinks the days are getting darker, not lighter? Seems like we wake in darkness, the sun drags itself above the horizon, effortfully hauls itself up to the treeline and then, exhausted by such Herculean efforts, sinks back over the rim of the land once more with a barely disguised snore.
All I can say is thank heavens I've finished all illustrations for Stormy Weather ahead of its impossible deadline. Trying to paint pale watercolour washes in these kind of light levels would be an exercise in severe eye strain, three helical daylight bulbs notwithstanding. No. Stormy Weather the artwork is tucked in a plastic slip, zipped into a portfolio and awaiting transport with me down to London. Handing it over to Bloomsbury in three days time which is hugely exciting, but slightly overshadowed by the imminence of the Great Winter Run which is - gasp - tomorrow.
To which the only proper comment is YEEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH, what the hell possessed me to sign up for it?
My dear children yawn and sigh and roll their dear little red eyes so far backwards in their heads I swear they'll cause their eyeballs to slip down the back of their mocking little throats, but for Mummy, it is a Very Big Adventure, this going for a run-thing. They are deeply unimpressed, and only the littlest one can be persuaded to haul ass out of her bed on a Saturday morning and tool into chilly Edinburgh along with her loyal Daddy to come and watch Mummy be very embarrassing,turn very pink, and, alas, probably come in very almost probably last. Speed not being one of the things I seem to be able to get the hang of, no matter how much I train. Speed, breathing, elegance and, let's not forget, discovering an inner ability to glide uphill without sounding like I'm about to blow all gaskets.
Everyone says - get a grip, it's only 5k, but I have to point out that the first 1.5k are up a hill that is steeper than a steep thing. Yup. That steep. I can hear you sucking air. I knew you'd be impressed. Heck, I'm impressed, and I haven't even seen this hill myself. If I was a mad keen competitor, I would undoubtedly have already run the course twelve times over, but I don't want to win, I just don't want to make an absolute idiot of myself.
However, my inner Dammit-I-Want-To-Win demon may well rear its ghastly head tomorrow and give my feet wings, but somehow I doubt it. I suspect halfway up that hill I may just settle back into the gasping and clammy embrace of the Bloody-Hell-If-I-Get-Out-Of-This-Alive-I-Swear-I'll-Never-Do-Anything-So-Dumb-Ever-Again demon. This demon and I have met before on Scottish mountaintops when, confronted with a horrible, horrible vertiginous ridge, my legs turn to overcooked linguine and I begin to plea-bargain with a divine being that I'm pretty sure doesn't exist. At which point, that demon surfaces. I'm told it hangs around A&E wards too...
Anyway. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? With luck, a healthy glow of cardiovascular virtue and that glorious feeling of a fear vanquished. And possibly, a photo to scare the children.