I'm busy - or about to be busy. I've started back at university this week - 11 hours a week on-campus over three days. I'm working the other two days. I've 'accidentally' chosen two literature subjects this semester, which will mean reading at least eight novels and two plays over the next three months (as well as all the critical articles, etc). Then there are the other two subjects and their workloads. And time and attention to Olle's schoolwork and life. My exercise plan, such as it is. Life in general. Blogging, here and there.
In my last week before studies commenced, I did not sort out my tax files (I did at least visit a new accountant, but in the process of gathering all the pieces of paper together to take to her, discovered that two crucial pieces were missing. I'm supposed to be solving this mystery, but have let it ride.) We did have more minor improvements done to the ground floor of our house - carpet ripped off the stairs, the banisters (which were a dark brown wood varnish) painted white, which looks brilliant, and the stairs themselves painted black. Everyone but me loves the black stairs. I'm ambivalent. I loved the old raw wood that was exposed when the carpet was taken up, though I could see that it would need a vast amount of expensive work to get it varnishable. I'll come around to it (and it's not that I hate them). We had a roof gutter mended (just before some rain, so good timing), a bit more wall painted and a few little annoyances mended by our friendly handyman. The house is now looking very swish and it's time to approach the big question: to removate the top floors or move? Since we can't stomach the idea of selling, buying and moving (we spent most of 2003 in that state and haven't yet recovered), I guess renovation is our fate. Why renovate? Well, on the second floor we have the tiniest and most ridiculous bathroom ever invented (our "caravan bathroom", I call it). Above that we have an attic which is reachable by ladder. The idea is to make the attic into a bedroom reachable by stairs and turn Olle's bedroom into a proper bathroom. The current ridiculous bathroom would become a walk-in wardrobe or something.
I haven't even got to the point of getting quotes, so all this is a long way off, but I'm becoming resigned to the idea. I'd thought I'd manage to get through life without having to renovate - co-parent and I are the world's least-enthusiastic renovators ever. The thought of having to go to bathroom shops and choose taps almost makes me keel over. But it will probably have to be done.
I've just recovered from something which I didn't mention here - benign positional vertigo. I had my first bout in late 2005 - I did mention it then, but didn't have a name for it. This time, it came on out of the blue while we were on holidays in January. Unlike the first time, I felt somewhat sick and nauseous in the daytimes. After three weeks, I finally went to my GP and got a diagnosis, which was a relief (I'd been wondering if it were just psychological). It lasted six weeks in all and I wouldn't say it's entirely gone now. The swimming-head sensation when I sit up in bed has gone, but I often still have a sense of skull-fogginess (that's the best way to describe it). I stopped drinking alcohol a month ago but still get very tired by night-time and sleep very deeply (that's nice) - it's hard to wake up in the mornings, as though something in my head has settled into position and finds it hard to move. All of this is apparently age-related - oh bliss.
On another age-related front, my walk-run program came to a halt last week when I developed a sore, slightly swollen, right knee. Both knees had been absolutely fine for the first three weeks. So I'm not sure whether to treat this as an inevitable side effect of running (as all the naysayers tell me) or as a specific problem which can be corrected. I'm feeling despondent about it. I'd been really enjoying my walk-runs, getting that old feeling back. Running energises me in a way that no other exercise does.
I think I made a couple of mistakes: I didn't do the warm-up stretches a couple of times and I also did a downhill run. Downhill puts the most strain on your knees and I should probably avoid them until I'm considerably fitter.
The funny thing is that as my right knee gradually unfolded from its swollenness and returned to normal, my right knee began to be sore, even though I'd stopped the running. I think it's an imbalance thing. I might go and see a Feldenkrais practitioner I know (who is also a runner) and give it one last shot. Maybe I should just stay at this stage, doing less running than walking?
I'm sure there's more to say but must go for now...