08 July 2010


I remarked the other day to a Facebook friend, who was facing the prospect of playing violin in a performance of Strauss's Four Last Songs, that they get better the older one gets. After the concert she agreed (although she's got a long way to go before she's as old as me). I am increasingly conscious of the fact that I do not get satisfaction from listening to the rock music to which I was devoted years ago, and I have a feeling this is because it is rooted in time - overloaded with memories which don't come with classical music. Maybe because rock is linked to individual performers - who have aged at the same rate as me. When I listen to (for example) Four Last Songs - ignoramus and Philistine that I am - the identity of the singer, conductor and orchestra are unimportant to me. The music has an existence independent of them, whereas (for example) Roadrunner is inextricably connected in my mind with The Modern Lovers, and that period of my life in the late seventies and early eighties when so much was going on that I look back on with nostalgia.

Or perhaps Richard Strauss is just a much better composer than Jonathan Richman. I suppose that's a distinct possibility. Unfortunately Strauss didn't provide me with such useful titles to reuse for blog postings - when you see Beim Schlafengehen on this blog you probably needn't worry too much, but if I use Im Abendrot it might be a different matter. And if I raid Das Lied von der Erde for Der Abschied it will probably indicate that I am really in trouble ....

Yesterday my training schedule asked me to run 6 miles slow. How difficult could that be? But after a frustrating day's work, mostly trying to extract money from recalcitrant clients and drum up some publicity for my intellectual property podcasts, it might just have been that the release when I got out on the road meant I couldn't help myself. That's the only reason I can think of for the revelation that I got down to 6:03 minutes per mile at one point (only for a moment, though, and it might well have been a Garmin glitch).

I can feel a big change coming over my running as I get fitter. In the mornings I can walk downstairs normally: my calves and Achilles tendons are holding up well. I managed half my run yesterday forefoot striking, and maybe by October I'll be able to keep that up for a whole Marathon. And I am feeling more content otherwise, making better progress with work.

I do have many things about which to remonstrate with myself. Failing to treat my work as a business, in general: not taking payments on account before getting down to work with clients, who then fail to pay, promptly or sometimes at all: and being too trusting. My late and very good (and much missed) friend Peter Farmery once told me never to trust two particular individuals. I am not going to disclose who they were - I will say that one was a member of his chambers, which was telling, I thought - but I have made the mistake of trusting the other, and find myself much the poorer and hugely let down as a result. But also wiser.

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