Well, that's the longest I've gone without posting. So what happened?
First off, I was ill. I didn't really notice the onset because I had my period and was feeling rotten anyway – although I did notice it was worse than usual. However, when it came to an end and I still felt nauseous, ached all over and had a permanent light headache (which isn't usually one of my symptoms) Mum decreed I should stay off work to recover. So I did, for two days. This might have been a good time to post at length, but firstly, looking at a screen wouldn't have helped the head, and secondly, this coincided with the most beautiful weather we've had this year. So I spent a lot of time in the garden on a blanket. This appeared to do the trick. I went back to work on Friday and then went to the gym as usual, but did come out feeling rather as though I'd overdone it. The next week was rather busy and tiring, mostly because I was trying to catch up with things I hadn't done because I was off work. I've been getting to bed well before midnight and falling asleep as though I'd been switched off, which isn't like me.
The pain in my ribs has mostly died down. Thanks to Rosemary Grace for her suggestion - I think it's probably the right one. I desperately need a new, more supportive sports bra. Should have got one weeks ago, but I've been putting it off. I hate bra-shopping. Really hate it.
I've never had much of a problem finding clothes that fit me (apart from jeans), but bras are a different matter. I wouldn't have thought I have an unusually large, um, chest, but lingerie designers obviously disagree. Most styles in the high street only go up to DD, and as I'm usually E or F, there isn't much to choose from. (The style I bought last time has always been discontinued. That would just make life too easy.) As I head back out of the changing room for the third time, in the vain hope that I might have missed some nice ones round a corner, the saleslady always asks if I want to be measured. I'm not a big fan of being touched by strangers, even when not in my underwear, but sometimes I let her on the grounds that I'm not doing so well finding anything for myself. Usually, I end up trailing after her as she collects every style they carry in my size, even the ones that look like armour-plating or an explosion in a doily factory. There's usually one that fits OK, but the process takes hours.
I always end up feeling like a huge overdeveloped creature. I tell you, in my next life I shall be a B-cup.
Moan over. The better news: I'm back up to 20 minutes run at the gym. I think I've finally solved the blister problem: ordinary fabric plasters over the hot spots, held in place with surgical tape at the sides running from the top of my foot to the instep. I was using Compeed blister protection before, but I think they're better as cure than prevention (they do ease the pain on blisters you already have). The fabric plasters have a bit of give, so they don't pull at the skin underneath.
Notwithstanding the 20 minutes, I think Dietgirl is still going to beat me into the ground when we do the Race for Life:
"On a grassy high school althletics track, I ran one kilometre as per Mistress Julia's instruction and did it in 6:09, which ain't Paul Radcliffe but it was well over a minute and a half faster than the last timed kilometre back in early April. Woo!"
Inspired by this, I kept an eye on the treadmill readout on Friday to see how long it takes me to do a kilometre – 10:17, which isn't going to break any records. I admit I can run faster than that, but not if I want to keep going for 20 minutes. D-Girl has been at it longer than I have and has actually done some proper running outside, which I keep meaning to do but am too much of a wuss.
However, I will have to do it this week, because I'm down in England visiting my D. B. So I can't go to the gym. He goes running himself, and I'm hoping to go with him, which I've never done before. It scares me, quite a lot. He's tall and thin and has long legs, and has been running regularly for a couple of years. I suspect he will slow down to keep me company, but it'll be a bit embarrassing: I don't think he knows quite what a weedy runner I am... So wish me luck.
In other news, I've just finished reading Tom Jones, which I started when ill. It's the perfect invalid reading as it has no plot of any importance and nothing terrible happens. I've also just got my hands on the last of the Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones, The Crown of Dalemark. I love those books. They're vaguely in the same genre as Tolkien – a story about liberating your country, set in a fictional world which has a much larger back-story which emerges as you read – but everyone is human and the epic is told through a series of smaller, more intimate stories which follow a few characters at a time. It's all very cleverly done. The books were reprinted in 2003 but now seem to be out of print again in Britain - I had to order them through Blackwells. It was worth the wait.
I also saw The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy last weekend and enjoyed it, overall, despite having read the book altogether too many times as a teenager (I know, I'm a geek). I used to be outraged when they changed the plot in film adaptations, but here I was OK with it... perhaps because h2g2 has already been through several incarnations and plot changes, and Douglas Adams had a hand in writing the new screenplay, so I know he wouldn't be spinning in his grave. I thought Zaphod was very fine, although I do NOT like what happens to his second head. Yeuccch.
For purposes of comparison, I've been watching the early 80s TV series, repeated by the BBC, and enjoying it hugely. They're all terribly posh and the special effects are... special. Just not effective. Trillian looks like one of Bananarama. But oddly, post-Franz Ferdinand, Ford's clothing no longer looks as outrageous as it would've done. I feel terribly affectionate towards the whole thing.