Remembering her

A few days ago I found out the sad news that my Aunt Sheila passed away. My Granny’s daughter, I always kept in touch with Sheila and seemed to have a nice and unspoken kinship with her.

Sheila had a bit of a sad few last years, a brain haemorrhage left her not really herself and in a bit of a bad way. Just 66 at the time, she was hospitalised, and eventually put into palliative care in a care home.

She did well there, and improved in many ways, but eventually her lifestyle and everything finally all caught up with her and on Friday 17th October, aged 68, she slipped away.

Sheila was very close with my granny, they lived together in Lochaline (near Mull) for about the last 20 years of my granny’s life.

Granny died in 2002, and I went to stay with Sheila to help her prepare for the funeral. I spent 5 days with her and I really helped her, and I think my granny would have been well proud of me.

See more here:

Since my granny died, I kept in touch with Sheila and always sent her birthday and Christmas cards and presents. I’d send her a home made hamper with stuff I knew she’d appreciate in it, and kept in touch. It was good to be able to do stuff for her.

In 2002, when I drove home from my granny’s funeral, day became night and on the way I saw some rainbows and sunshine which really stuck with me. Now when I see rainbows, I smile.

The other day in work when I looked up, I saw this rainbow in the distance. And it made me smile and be grateful.

Sheila’s funeral is on Monday 27th, in Lochaline. She didn’t have too wide a social network, so I don’t think there will be many people there, so I want to make it special if I can.

At my granny’s funeral, Henry Scott Holland’s poem was read out. And it made it really special. And if you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you’ll know I regularly ‘drop elephant ornaments’ in memory of my granny.

Well, I wanted to get a special poem for Sheila. Something to remember her by. Something the reverend could read out. Sheila always liked a good joke and a good laugh, so I wanted to get one with a bit of humour if I could. But still capture who she was and how I’d remember her.

So I wrote this:


Remember me, whist I forever sleep.
My love in your heart, to always keep.
That distant laugh, that hidden smile,
Will bring me back, to you a while.

Remember the laughs, the smiles and jokes.
And don’t forget, that I liked my smokes.
Stand tall, be proud and be yourself for all to see.
Be strong, be nice and be who you want to be.

Remember the chats and laughs we shared.
Unspoken strength throughout despair.
Throughout the darkness, let the brightness shine.
Feel now no grief, and know you’ll be just fine.

Remember us and all we are.
In the sunshine, rainbows and twinkling stars.
Remember all of the good times we had,
Just smile, remember and please don’t be sad.

Remember too that I am close,
just by your side when needed most.
And through this time that we’re apart
know that I’m there, deep in your heart.

Monday will be hard for me, for reasons I won’t go into on here…

…So I’ll need my cape, and I’m lucky to have a good friend travel a very long way to be with me and help me on the day. I’m very lucky to have her.

And I’ll be wearing my ‘remember your cape’ necklace she gave me too. :-)

Anyway, I’ve come up with something I’m going to do, to remember my Aunt (and her mum, my Granny).

Here’s where the little elephant ornament I bought in San Diego comes in handy.

It just so happens that it’s head hinges open so that something can be put inside his body.

So I printed out my poem for Sheila, and the ‘All is Well’ poem for Granny and folded then small, and put then inside it.

The next step is to drop this colourful little elephant that came all the way from San Diego.

I’ll drop it at some point on Monday, probably after the funeral, at Keil Cemetery. Or around Lochaline somewhere.

Hopefully it will be a nice personal thing to do to remember her by, and hopefully her friends will like the poem too.

Ps: if you have a cape you can lend me on Monday, I’d appreciate a shot of it. ;-)

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A swim and some Pool rage

Oops. I upset someone today. This morning before 7am! I made him really really angry. And maybe even ruined his day. All in a wee spot of pool rage very early in the morning at Bellahouston.

The ‘fast’ lane was busy, with around 6 people, 4 guys, 2 women. I always get in at the deep end of the pool so that I’m just swimming and not stopping (or chatting) in the shallow end.

Swimming away, I caught up with some people a few times, and sometimes one or two people caught up with me. When this happened, I was aware, stopped at the end, and let them pass.

Swimming in lanes is a bit like driving. You need to be aware of those around you, if there’s restricted space, you can let others know you’re there (tapping on toes), and if other swimmers are catching up with you, it’s best practice to move over and let them get on their way.

I’ve written about ‘Pool ettiquette’ before here:

Anyway, so I was swimming away, and as I got towards the shallow end I started to catch up with a swimmer and could see bubbles from his feet. Not quite close enough to tap his feet to let him know I was there, I slowed a bit. But not fast enough.

He slowed right down and his legs spread a little, more like breast stroke than front crawl. And as a result I caught his leg with my arm. Because he’d taken up so much room stopping, there wasn’t room to turn.

So I stood up, turned and got back on with my swim. (This may have looked like I was angry, but there’s imply wasn’t room to turn, so I stood and got on with it). Then about half way down the lane I noticed someone touching my leg, then he yanked on my leg.

I stood up and he said:
‘When you see bubbles, you’re meant to back off’.

I’d obviously upset him. Oops. ;-)

I didn’t reply and just let him get on with it. I swam to the the end, and there he said something else in a rage. It really wasn’t worth fighting over on a Wednesday morning!

I could have said, ‘Actually, bubbles mean I’m catching up with you, and you should be aware of who’s around you, and catching up with you, and let faster swimmers past you’.

But I didn’t want to prod a monster, so just left him to his rather angry early morning swim. If I was proved wrong, I wouldn’t even mind, but he seemed very adamant to make his point. And seemed very angry indeed.

I think I might just have ruined his day! Lol.

Swimming a should be relaxing, calming and enjoyable. But it maybe just ruined his day. Hey ho.

I might try another swim tomorrow morning, see if I can do it without upsetting someone. Lol.

2000m in 42:29, a bit slower than normal, but then I’ve not had pool rage inflicted on me before. ;-)

Here’s what I did anyway:

250m FC swim
250m FC arms only
5 x 100m FC swim
750m FC arms only / swim / arms only by 250m
250m FC swim

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Sunday food prep

Last week was a 2 day week at work, and as a result I wasn’t to organised food wise. I found I was hungry most of the time, and craving food / sugar later on in the day.

I ate good breakfasts and lunches, but they weren’t enough. But I really think I need to EAT MORE and eat well too.

Today I was off swimming teaching (training day / holiday from learn to swim), and I spent the day with Fit Girl, reading and in the last hour or so prepping food.

People have asked me what I’ll do when I don’t have swimming teaching every Sunday, now I know. Probably, rest, recover, read, spend time with Fit Girl and prep food for the next week.

Here are my lunches for next week. Chicken, chilli, salad bowls with grapes, sesame seeds and extra virgin olive oil. :-)

I’ve prepped some snacks too, and will start the day with water, a swim and a breakfast of eggs and berries. :-)

I’m still off the coffee (green tea when I was out today, strawberry smoothie yesterday), and I’m still off running. My leg / hip flexor still isn’t right, so I’ll stay off running at least until Thursday, if not a little longer.

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Time to be brave

Time to be brave and stand tall.
Chest up, head held high.
I’ll be there, whatever it takes.

In the sun rays and the rainbows,
I’ll remember and be there for you.
And I’ll remember my cape too.

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One more star in the sky tonight

One more star in the sky tonight…

Today I found out that after a few years of being not too well, my aunt passed away, peacefully in her sleep, after a nice and eventful day out.

Time for me to stand tall, be there and remember her: Cape time.
I’m sure everything will be ‘awight’. ;-)

Night night Aunt Sheila, I hope I helped to brighten your world. X

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Wk40 into Wk41 – Too much too soon

Hands up. I made a rookie mistake. Too much too soon after no training for a few weeks.

Doh. Sometimes it’s easy to forget you’re not a super human. ;-)

My runs were going ok this week, unusually sore calves on Tuesday morning after my 6 mile easy run on Monday. So rest day Tuesday.

Then Wednesday a few easy runs, totalling 10 miles and a 4 mile run on Thursday. A rest day on Friday meant I’d done 4 runs in 5 days. I felt ok on the runs, but had clearly lost some level of fitness.

Then Saturday I couldn’t miss the opportunity to do a longish run with my brother Ewen. And about 6 miles in I started to feel a niggle in my right hip flexor. I can run through niggles, so I kept going. Problem was it turned into a pain. I can run through pain too. I know I shouldn’t, but I did.

So now my right hip flexor is sore and in need of some rest. With the Southside 6 in 2 weeks time, 15.4 miles, it’s not ideal. I’ll just need to take done rest from running and see how it goes.

Despite the pain today, it was a good hard run. I pushed myself more than I normally would and got a 5.0 Garmin training effect. HR was 158 on average.

I’ll take some rest from running at the start of next week, and instead get into other stuff like swimming and a bit of strength work.

Sun: Rest (or Strength)
Mon: Swim
Tue: Strength
Wed: Swim
Thu AM: 4M easy Run PM: 4M easy if ok
Fri: Swim (or Strength)
Sat: Long Run 8-10M
Sun: Rest

If it’s not right on Thursday and into the weekend I’ll probably need to seriously reconsider my entry into the SS6 and maybe give it up. I’m not up for running 15.4 miles if I haven’t trained for it and I’m either injured or not ready. It’s just not worth it.

We’ll see how it goes. :-)

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7.45M / 12k route wi my bro

One of my other brothers, Ewen, is in Glasgow on Saturday and he’s asked me to go on a run with him: 12km. I don’t really do km, so it’s 7.45 miles.

I made a route for us:

Thankfully he’s not as fast as my other brother Neil, and it should be quite a nice run and a chance to catch up.

I’ll be showing him the sights of Festival and Pollok Park past the cows etc, St Andrews Drive and Shields Road. Not too many hills. Should be good. :-)

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