So as it turns out, I’m not running the Virgin London Marathon this year after all.
Things started out well. I began training in October, but unfortunately something* happened in November, the consequences of which are still ongoing. I stopped running on January 1st, and didn’t run again until February 11th. A mixture of physical and mental fatigue, ill-health and other issues robbed me of any motivation.
My training plan reset itself to the point where I would only be running one-third of the distance by the time of the race, whereas my long runs alone needed to be about two-thirds of the distance. Plus there was no chance of me achieving the fundraising target, especially as half of it needs to be raised by mid-March.
After taking advice from the Mind fundraising team, and the personal trainer that they have contacts with, I have decided that it is for the best to withdraw and concentrate my efforts on the Tough Mudder in May.
Disappointing, but ultimately for the best, for me, for now.
*This something will be spoken about when I am able…
When your landlord tells you “you cannot live there any more” because they are unable to deal with the mould problem without completely gutting your flat, then you know your living situation isn’t great.
Since June we’ve tried to find somewhere, with very little success. And the reason is contained in the above graphic. If you want to rent in London, you can only choose two of the following three options:
- Within your budget
- Within reasonable commute of your work
- Meets your needs
There are any number of flats within commute of my work which fit my needs, but which I cannot afford. There are plenty that I can afford which are within reasonable commute of my work, but which don’t fit my needs. If I want to be able to afford somewhere that fits my needs then I have to be so far away from work that the extra travel costs mean I may as well have picked one of the unaffordable but closer places!
Landlords, being rapacious scoundrels (and that’s me being polite), hold out for the mythical ascetic tenant who wants to drop £5000 per month on a cardboard box under a motorway flyover. They are less concerned with real people, their real needs, and their real wages. Over the past 8 years house prices have risen by 28% in London, whilst wages have risen 12%. And that’s just going back to 2007. In 2007, house prices were at their most unaffordable. The situation has got worse since then, even accounting for the dip in property prices caused by the financial crash.
How much longer can this situation go on? Something has to give.
I wondered why so few people had responded to my last post, as it got quite a bit of traffic.
Then someone mentioned in passing that they tried commenting twice, but got error messages each time. I checked the site, and my own test comments on multiple devices had the same result. Turns out Bad Behavior, a plug-in I use to combat spam bots and brute force log-in attempts, was doing its job a little too effectively!
I think I’ve fixed it, and the test I tried seems to work, so if you did have a comment then please do try again!
Asking for a friend…
And that friend is me.
Hallowe’en may be past, but I have been thinking about fear, terror, horror and all the associated synonyms. I’m thinking about fear because of a thing I want to do, which I don’t want to publicly commit to, because if I wind up not doing it I’ll feel guilt and self-loathing like I always do when I publicly commit to something then fail to do it (see my long history of postponing my Tough Mudder entry – now delayed to May 2016). It’s not NaNoWriMo, just before anyone starts thinking that.
I am a very fearful person, and I don’t know what about. When I entered counselling at LSE during my PhD year, the counsellor mentioned that I constantly spoke in the language of fear, was drawn towards fearful things, and was studying a fearful topic (international terrorism and war crimes). She told me that fear drove me. Towards what, or from what, I’ve never figured out.
I don’t get scared by horror movies, and it is rare that any story unnerves me (House of Leaves and The Thing on the Doorstep being notable exceptions). There are things that do scare me though.
But what scares other people? I’m curious, because the thing I want to do involves scaring others. What are the things that unnerve you, make your heart stop then begin to pound furiously, cause a sinking dread in your stomach, raise the hairs on the back of your neck and begin the voice in your head that says whatever you do, don’t turn around, don’t open your eyes, don’t open that door…
Given how hard it is to unnerve me, maybe if I find something that scares me it will be guaranteed to terrify others…