Sunday, 25 April 2010

Update on my Training

Training under an April Sunday shower!

Today’s training was hard hard hard! I set off with my trainer friend, Al, at 11:30 am. Although, there was some promise of a splendid sunny Sunday, the skies gave way to a downpour midway through our 4-hour walk. It took us two hours to walk along the canal from Manchester City Centre to Sale (a pleasant suburb in Greater Manchester). In the dry part of the afternoon, it was lovely to share the wonderful sunshine with ducks, fishermen, all manner of narrow boats meandering past, runners, joggers and other walkers. It really was bliss! However as we arrived Sale the droplets turned into downpour and at this point, we did a U-turn and pressed on homeward bound. My pace slowed down, and Al (a hard task master) was on my case to keep up my pace. But the sludge and slippery pavings at various points on the course made it difficult for me to maintain my pace (well, that’s my excuse anyway :) By the 3-hour mark, I could feel a dull ache in my legs and the sharp pain jabbing my feet. (I’m still struggling with feet issues which is being managed by regular Podiatry and Physiotherapy clinics - apparently my ongoing tendonitis/foot/lower back problems are a result of my aging flat feet/damaged nerves). By the 3 1/2-hour mark, my lower back started on me and it took every ounce of energy to complete today’s training. It was agony!!! For my efforts, I managed 12 miles in 4-hours. I really need to up the anti next weekend, if I am to complete the 15-mile walk in May in 5 or 6 hours (being more realistic) as opposed to spending an entire day completing the route (lol). I must find an extra 1.5 hours in me to succeed in this walking challenge (yikes!)

All in all, my training hasn’t been too bad in the last four weeks or so. Prior to going back to full-time teaching, I was managing TWO 1.5 to 3 hour walks a week. Since returning to work, I am walking the 40 minutes each way to the school and then committing to a long walk on Sunday. Well, just under a month to go... so, keep supporting me through reading my updates and/or sponsoring me online (or via post). I really appreciate all your support and well wishes!

Until my next post...


Sunday, 18 April 2010

POEM: Textures

On the windowsill

sits a feathery cactus

bulb and a silken candle.

Tidying fly-away braid

neatly beneath headscarf, I watch

yolk gel escape

into a milk jug.

A minute or so later,

heated gloop becomes

spongy eggs.

Beside the pan: creased silver

foil envelops flesh of freshly

baked bread.

For the meal later:

rice grains washed twice

in sieve, gravelly cr-ra-cr-ra

grating wired nerves while a few

grains scurry down


beneath tap

water, stream of cold

and smooth like the smooth sheet

which wrapped slothful curves - tangled

between thighs and whys? - the night

before in my lover’s den.

Catherine Mark

Monday, 5 April 2010

POEM: Bananas and buzzards

I’ll race you to Oyiboland

where we’ll feast on

bananas and buzzards...

is what I might have said to my boy

cousin whose hands were chained

to a pole in the middle of our Umugbede


chained up all day and all night,

he cussed all night and all day.

Mad, he was.

Catherine Mark