Tuesday, 26 February 2013

I've got the remedy

Recently I have been trying out various cough and cold remedies that people have suggested on Facebook.  Credulous fool that I am I believe everything that I read on social media (ahahaaa not really) and have been giving these things a go. In my defence  I should like to say that I have now been coughing for nearly a month.  It's become very boring and quite frankly if someone could convince me of the benefits of smearing Murdoch's poo behind my knees, I'd be tempted to give it a go.  So there it is.  I'm trying out stuff so you don't have to. YOU'RE WELCOME.

Crystal menth

Big thanks to my lovely friend Suzie B for this tip.  The real name for this magic substance is menthol crystals, but I've decided to call it crystal menth, to make me sound all cool and edgy.  Yep. Instructions on this are quite simple: 

1.  go to the pharmacy and ask the nice lady behind the counter for some menthol crystals. Mine cost me £1.76. Bargain.
2.  go home
3.  put some hot water in a bowl
4.  put in a few of the menthol crystals - you really don't need many
5.  stick a blanket over your head and prepare to be blown away by the strength of the menthol that you're inhaling
6.  pop your head out of the blanket every now and then to blow your nose. It's likely to be streaming
7.  enjoy the sensation of your lungs opening up, making breathing feel easy for the first time in well over a week
8.  notice that the vapours are fading
9.  feel sad
10.  start jonesing for your next hit of crystal menth
11.  is it too soon to have some more?
12.  how about now?
13.  oh god, I want some more meeennnnnttthhhh
14.  go to menth rehab, it has all become too much

Vapour rub on the feet

I can't remember who posted this one.  I was probably floating about in a crystal menth haze at the time.  Aaaaaah menthol goodness.  I digress.  Anyway, the post said that putting vapour rub on the soles of your feet is supposed to be just as effective as putting it on your chest, leaving you free from coughing and therefore providing you with a lovely night's sleep.  I think that this hint was aimed at children, but given that I'm supremely childish, I thought it might work for me too.  Here's how it works:

1.  slather a huge amount of vapour rub all over the soles of both of your feet
2.  put a bit more on, just for good measure
3.  put on your safety socks, especially if you have laminate flooring like I do.  No point slipping and breaking your neck.  Why not choose a nice cheerful pair like these?
Safety socks
4.  go to bed and wait to see if you stop coughing
5.  lie awake, wondering what sort of witchcraft it is that might make the restorative properties of the vapour rub transfer from your feet to your sinuses.
6.  cough.  Wonder whether it's working AT ALL.
7.  cough less as you drift off to sleep
8.  wake up at 1am
9.  wake up again at 3am
10.  wake up when the alarm goes off at 5.55am.  Ponder the fact that you do indeed seem to be coughing a bit less
11.  note that your feet seem quite nice and soft, thanks to the fact that they have spent all night marinating in nicely scented vasoline (mmmmm meeennnnnnth)
12.  start coughing again

So there we have it.  I'm still coughing.  I haven't been for a run for over two weeks.  But I think I'm nearly at the point where I'll be able to run again without coughing up one (or both) of my lungs, so hopefully this weekend I'll be able to hit the trail again.

If anyone has some other cough remedies they'd like me to try, feel free to let me know in the comments below.  

Thursday, 21 February 2013


You know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of blog posts when you're reduced to writing about your dreams.  Not your 'hopes and dreams'.  Your actual dreams that you had while you were asleep. Please feel free to stop reading now.  It's not going to get more exciting as we progress.  It's just that I've been poorly.  Nothing serious, just a cold and nasty cough.  Not life threatening, but certainly bad enough to mean that I spent Saturday through to Tuesday this week in bed feeling sorry for myself.  So I've done little else to tell you about, except dream.  Sorry about that.

Firstly a real gem. On Tuesday night, I dreamed that I was sat at my desk in the office eating a Tesco melon and grape medley for breakfast, as I often do.  In my dream I sit there and start to cry, much to the consternation of my colleagues.  I am crying because the melon and grape tub is not as nice as the one I had from Sainsbury's last week.  End.

I wish I was making this up, but that really was it.

Then last night, it was even more banal, if you can believe that.  Yesterday during the day, I spent half an hour looking for my house key.  Couldn't find it.  Went to bed.  Dreamed that the key was in the pocket of a pair of walking trousers that I'd been wearing.  I woke up, looked in the trouser pocket and there was the key!  So I'm a dream psychic, but only of the most boring variety possible.  Still, at least it saves me the bother of getting a new house key cut.

Oh god.  I'm even boring myself with this one.  Also, I think the excessive amount of vapour rub I'm swimming around in has made my head go a bit funny.  So I'm going to leave it there with the dreams, except to say that usually my dreams are much more interesting.  Like the time I dreamed that I was rushed to hospital because I had unrelenting diarrhoea and was told by the doctor in A&E that it was because I was becoming a vampire and my body was therefore rejecting all food.  I woke up saying "Kill me now, I DON'T WANT TO BE A VAMPIRE". So there, you go.  It's not always fruit and house keys.

Lord, I'm really going now.  Please feel free to tell me your most interesting / boring dreams, it's only fair, I promise I won't laugh. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A square peg in a round hole

The first in what may become an occasional series of blog posts, on things in my world that confuse me so much that it makes me wonder if I'm supposed to be here, instead of, say, the 14th century when this sort of malarkey almost certainly didn't exist.

Today's instalment surrounds my workplace toilet.  I know.  Not the most exciting or glamorous of settings, but there you go.

Firstly.  Why do people do this?

Is it significantly more time consuming and stressful to put the new toilet roll on the holder?  Is there a reason that I'm missing why people do not put the new roll on the holder? And perhaps the most burning question of all.  Do they do this at home????  

Secondly.  Why does our liquid hand soap have an expiration date?  

What will happen if we try to use it after it expires?  Will it represent a Health and Safety hazard?  Will we spontaneously combust?!

So many questions. So much confusion.

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Despite the fact that I inadvertently dressed myself like a Ribena berry this morning, today has felt very grey and miserable.
There are some days when you know you just shouldn't watch the news.  You've woken up, still with that annoying tickly cough, and taken the dog for a walk in the pouring rain, which is being blown into your face by a cold wind.  So far, so average.  You get home, dry yourself off, and the dog and give the little guy his breakfast.  You go back to bed for a moment to warm up and wake up half an hour later (standard).  To see the news that Oscar Pistorius seems that have shot his girlfriend.  Woe.

At first it seems like a tragic mistake, a Valentine's Day surprise gone wrong, perhaps.  But as news starts to seep out, there is talk of previous "disturbances of a domestic nature" and the devastating blow that he has been charged with murder.  Woe and more woe.

I have spent all day feeling very upset by all of this.  Oscar is a hero of mine and there's been more than enough recently of sporting heroes falling off their pedestal.  I'm going to reserve judgement until we see more facts and less speculation, but in the meantime, suffice to say I'm gutted.
Oh Oscar
In other news, I had a flat tyre today, £70 down the pan on a new one, and late back from lunch as a result. Murdoch's got the squits and I have a giant spot on my cheek.  I'm not going to take a picture of my face, but here is an artist's impression of it.

It's alive and it's eating my face!!!!!!!!
So generally speaking it's been a pretty foul day.  Thankfully the past few days have been pretty cool - lots of great work stuff going on and managed to get out for a brilliant run on Sunday.  Got taken on a ridiculous hilly, muddy, slippy slidey run along the Greensand Way by @claz0r and @leestuartevans.  We ran through a lot of WEATHER that day.  Brrrrrrrr.  So mustn't grumble.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Busy body

You know those people who don't blog for a while and then do a post apologising, but you know, they've been so busy.  As though they have not had a spare second to throw some thoughts onto their blog.  As though they must take the requisite time to ponder, to cogitate.  To craft it.  Well I say foo to that. FOO.  I have been busy, but quite frankly most of my blog posts are pretty much just brain farts anyway, so I might as well settle down and write one instead of watching a Murder, She Wrote repeat on ITV3, which was my original plan for the evening.  

So what have I been up to?  Well work has been BUSY.  I've been tasked with writing a lot of new business proposals, am in the process of on-boarding two new clients, attending networking events and even looking at organising our potential office move, from the aspect of getting input from all of my colleagues and taking a look at our company culture and making sure that our new offices and working practices represent who we want to be.  Phew.  All fun stuff, but all on top of my regular client delivery type work.  Yikes.  It's all go.

Outside of work, I'd love to say that I've been doing an awful lot of running.  But in reality I've been spending quite a bit of time not running.  I've been thinking a lot about running.  I've spent literally hours feeling guilty about not running, but very little time tying my laces and getting out the door.  To point where I was starting to get seriously worried about whether I'd even make it to the start line of the Brighton Marathon in April.  But not worried enough to get out the door HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA.  In case you were wondering, that's what my panic laughter looks like.

So at the weekend, I unleashed my new and improved cunning plan for marathon training.  It's revolutionary yet astonishingly simple, all at the same time.  I have made arrangements to go running with other people, on the basis that if I've arranged to meet someone, it's much harder to make excuses and procrastinate until it's "too dark" / "raining" / "Countryfile is on".  

And it worked!  On Saturday morning I went out for a short trot with B, only just under 3 miles, but a really enjoyable run nonetheless.  And then on Sunday, I made use of the services of my friendly local badass ultra runner who you can find here (even though he hasn't updated it for ages.  I expect he's busy).  I wanted to go for 10 miles.  The plan said 13, but as I'd only previously got up to 5.2, I didn't want to go crazy.  We ran to Guildford along the River Wey canal path and instead of turning around and running back to Godalming, I suggested that we go uphill and head back through the countryside on a path I knew.  So we did.  And it all felt great.  I finished the run still feeling strong and as though I had plenty left in the tank and haven't had any muscle soreness since.  So the main thing I have gained is a bit more running confidence, which has been seriously lacking of late.  More of the same this weekend, with the possibility of enlisting some new victims running buddies.

I think that's enough for now, I've tired myself out with it all.  Oh, one last thing.  If anyone should feel like sponsoring me for the Brighton Marathon, I just set up my new JustGiving page here