Visitors, French Cafe Playlists, and a Week of Running Ahead

The sun is setting on a busy day. I’m sitting in the junk room, trying to gather my thoughts while sipping a cup of black coffee, and listening to a “Paris Café” playlist on Spotify. I’ve just pulled on a zipped hoodie – combating the after-effects of having caught the sun earlier in the day.

My in-laws visited today. My brother-in-law brought power-tools to help construct a raffia fence along the edge of the garden. My mother-in-law accompanied him to oversee operations, and to watch the tennis at Roland Garros with me (or at least, when I wasn’t cutting the grass, washing up, or washing up some more). We bonded over running injuries today – I showed her the lump on my achilles tendon, and she showed me her ankle – which apparently hurt, but looked fine. Thankfully my rugby playing daughters were not present, or it might have turned into a pop-up meeting of hypochondriacs anonymous.

While writing this, a Frenchman is expertly playing an accordian in quite the most wistful manner you might ever imagine. He has given way to a crooner singing about some disaster of the heart or other – I can’t understand a word of it, so can only imagine the subject of his anguish. Perhaps his girlfriend didn’t share her peanut M&Ms with him? (I would have been distraught too)


I have the week off work. The possibilities of how to spend the coming days are many, but I fear procrastination may defeat almost all of them. It’s not that I’ll waste my time off – I’ll find all manner of interesting things to do – I just won’t get around to many of the things I should perhaps have been doing. It’s interesting how the most mundane rabbit holes become increasingly interesting when faced with doing anything productive instead.

The one thing I will do during the week is run.

As mentioned a few days ago, I’ve re-started the “Couch to 5K” programme – partly to support a good friend, and partly to avoid my backside establishing it’s own gravitational force. I’m hoping that “Park Run” will be back up and running in the autumn – it will give me something to aim for – and something to do each weekend. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s a pretty common international movement where parks organise 5K runs for all abilities – usually on a Saturday morning. You register on the park run website, get a barcode, and off you go. You can of course buy all manner of “official” merchandise – such as wristbands or waterbottles – or just print out the barcode and tuck it in your sock. Lots of people do.

I guess the attraction of doing an organised run is both to run in a group – where you get swept along by the crowd – and to have medical people on-site, should anything unfortunate happen – you know, like the town finding out you have no running talent. I’m pretty sure the town know I have no running talent, having seen me trudging the streets over the last few years – that’s not the point of running though.

There’s probably really good research on the huge release of endorphins after running. It’s hard to explain – you often feel like absolute garbage during a longer run – especially if pushing out to a longer distance – but afterwards a huge wave of euphoria sweeps through you. Body chemistry is an amazing thing.

12 replies on “Visitors, French Cafe Playlists, and a Week of Running Ahead”

Go easy on the running with your injury and take all the rest you need. I used to represent my school for running but ironically, I’m not even sure I can run now, really. Or not tried in recent years.

I’m sunburnt too and it HURTS to walk around but at least we got a hot day in Wales today lol. I’m off this week too and having a BBQ tomorrow, hopefully if the weather holds up.

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for several months, that was about the extent of my physical exertions – and then a friend started running, so I thought “well that’s as good an excuse as any” – and it guilts me into doing it, which is half the battle.

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I used to run a lot more and effortlessly too. Once I’m out there, I good to go. The missus and I were out your way a couple of years ago. We did the grand tour of London and Paris. We’re from Seattle. I could actually see living somewhere outside of London. Now, as for the French accordian player, I can’t way I noticed even one of them while we visited Paris. Have they become more of a stereotype you only see in movies?

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I don’t think we’ve ever seen one either. I imagine every country has cultural stereotypes of one kind or another. In the UK I suppose it’s the toweringly tall policeman in the old style helmet, telling people the time 🙂


We’re starting to have friends and family over again, and it feels so refreshing and lovely. To do it without stress, without masks…it’s wonderful. Glad you got that. My husband has taken up running in the last few years, has done a 10k, more recently a 5k. He really loves it. But he, too, has injured his foot, though he has no idea how or when, just that one evening it started really hurting. Like, go to urgent care level pain. It’s almost better now, 10 weeks later, but still not quite. He tried running yesterday and loved it, but today his foot is pissed off. Some injuries take a lot of time, sadly.

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My achilles healed up – I think it was just one of those freak accidents where you bend over while cold, and something pulls (oh crap, that means I’m getting old and falling to bits) 🙂


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