If you are of a certain age or were born in a certain part of the world (I’m thinking born pre-1981 in either the Britain, Ireland or Siberia) you will be all too familiar with the title of this blog post.
The rest of you, wandering around naked with underfloor heating and colour television, will have to try to imagine what I’m trying to describe.
It is waking up in the winter with the prospect of another long cold day in front of you with nothing but a pair of itchy wool school pants, cheese sandwiches, random acts of bullying and corporal punishment to look forward to. And then to come home to the smell of boiled vegetables and a crushing shed load of hard homework.
The only chink of light would have been toasting your chilblains in the open fire or playing with a new set of markers.
What makes me think of this?
No, it’s not the potential economic nuclear winter that they keep feeding us to keep us living in fear. Nor is it the onward march of middle age and my need to bask in the nostalgia filled pools of my youth (Although with the amount of harping on I do about cold beaches and the like I’d forgive you if you thought that was the reason.)
As I’ve indicated in previous posts I’ve become the designated ‘keep-the-heat-in’ person in our family. Think designated driver when you’re drunk – a right pain in the tits but the only way you’ve got to get home so you’ll tolerate him.
As a result of this ‘eco-facism’ that I’ve signed up for I have the heating turned off in some of the un-occupied rooms in the house. .
I walked into one if these
chest freezers rooms this morning and it hit me – the smell of a cold bedroom.
The smell of waking up to frost on the inside of the glass.
You often get that smell when you visit your parents’ house and go into your old bedroom. A mixture of moisture, cold air, beds and curtains.
Those were the days when your parents didn’t have to send you back up to get dressed. You’d come down for breakfast fully clothed as there was no sympathy for the fool who liked frost bite.
I closed the door quickly in case the wife smelled the room. She’d have me cranking up the heating just to get rid of the smell. She tells the story of her parents storing bottles of Tanora (think Irn Bru but nicer) under her bed in the run up to Christmas.
The Tanora froze.
Anyhow, that has nothing to do with running which is why I set up this blog so I’d better set out some running plans.
The current ideas floating around my head are for a Spring Ultra marathon and then either a marathon or another ultra later in the year. This would allow me to arse about for another month or so with no plan and just recreational running for company. The springtime ultra will (currently) be either the Highland Fling (52 miles) or the Wicklow Way Ultra (51km). I might do both but the Wicklow way would only be for training. At the back of my head is the idea of doing one of the really long ultras in 2013. I was tempted to enter the west highland way in 2012 but that would have been a big ask and I don’t like doing things I haven’t got a reasonable chance of finishing so the Highland Fling (the first half of the WHW) seems like a sensible start.
After that is too far away to worry about.
Now, these plans are like the plans that Germany is currently making to use money rather than tanks and stukas to take over Europe – ambitious but fraught with uncertainty.
So, in the words written by a freed Roman slave over two thousand years ago and only now just robbed from the internet:
It’s a bad plan that allows no room for modification.
So when I’m training for none of the above don’t be too hard on me.