Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Underneath the Lemon Tree: A Memoir of Depression" - Mark Rice-Oxley

Another non-sporting book review, and insight into my eclectic book buying habit...

"Underneath the Lemon Tree: A Memoir of Depression" - Mark Rice-Oxley 
To be sure to give the book its complete title "Underneath the Lemon Tree: A Memoir of Depression", this was one of those books that does spring off the shelves at people it comes with a knowing smile and a "you really should read this it is so, well, just so" kind of comment. Given that I am it seems an utterly suggestible person and at least I gave the description a read on-line and then caved to the mildest peer pressure and gave it a go. In the end I came to understand what it was that those knowing smiles were trying to say.
Customarily I begin to gush about why I thought the book was great and why you might enjoy reading it, well I am going to try to be more measured in my overview. The book is written by a journalist and family man who is laid low with a bout of depression, and seemingly true to his nature journals his experience of the condition and his efforts to understand what it is whilst seeking to come to terms with life after diagnosis. It is brutally honest its chronicling while so well written as to give insight into the processes of descent into and ascent from depression within the context of personal, family and work life.
As someone who through family and personal experience has had some insight into the subject, and moreover the devastating impact of not talking about the subject of depression, it was so beneficial to read such a clear account. I want to at this point say much more but then actually I realise that I can't articulate the subject as well as the author... so in fact in the end I am be joining the ranks of those who give that knowing smile and say quietly "you really should read this it is so, well... just so". Most of all though I will do what I have always tried to do and listen to the person I mention this book to, because listening can do so much in so many ways for people affected directly or in directly by depression. The book doesn't offer a cure all, or a happy clappy way forward, it is genuine real and just firmly and quietly says "there is something more to come... go with the rationalising / healing process and you'll be just fine".
Footnote:  It is true that I most often find more in a biography than almost any other form of literature, the human conditions is true to us all in its many shades and nuances and in general makes for compelling reading. So much so in this instance that the next book I picked up was a sporting challenge biography. If it so happens you have not ever picked one up I challenge you to find one by someone you relate to and open its cover - happy reading.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Kit review - Nike compression T-shirts

What is the second thing that I put on when I get ready to go running? Okay, so no one wants to know what order I get dressed in but a piece of kit I have become reliant upon are Nike compression sleeveless and capped sleeve t-shirts. They act as a terrific light base layer, and if you ensure you have the right size compress with just the right amount of vigour. I have found that wearing them all but eliminates joggers nipple, even over a marathon (though my only 26.2 miler to date was in cold and rain and not fierce hot sweaty weather). Compared to one other base layer brand I have the fabric is very forgiving on the skin, even around the seams.

Frankly I think the manufacturer might prefer that I use one of their images 
- rather than me with my less than six pack six-pack!
I own 7 of these Nike compression t-shirts between the sleeveless and capped sleeve, I bought one and then found that I liked them so much I purchased more. I even have three different colours in my kit box by now (white, black and red

Saturday, March 02, 2013


Set back? Well I am used to those by now... I have been suffering all week long with a cold (which happily came along with a fever courtesy of the kids). So I have not so much as laced my trainers all week, which I was kind of okay with until my diary pointed out that March was arriving. As things go I could be in worse shape, I could have done more mileage in February but for the bug I would have topped January's 75 km handsomely. What can you do? I am super cautious with colds after twice in the last year having severe chest infections.

Spring is showing some signs it is on the way, we have enjoyed a dry spell that left my trainers weeping all the harder when I abandoned them this week. It is from here that juggling the training (and I have to up the distances from here) gets that little bit harder as the spring seems to generate more pulls on time - more work projects, more home projects - the desire to shake things out after what was a dark cold icy Winter puts running time under pressure. Still pinch punch first run of the month and all that... hopefully my symptoms will have eased enough to let me get round a regular medium distance tomorrow and get the month going properly.

Footnote: I left the computer on and when I came back to do something else noticed that someone found my blog using the search term 'Sue Thearle Pregnant' wherein I discovered that back on Monday July 31st... 2006, I mentioned those three words talking about a breakfast television sports presenter - randomness utter randomness. Can't think they went away happy as it was an irreverent list of what my wife made of the then presenting roster, haha... what is the most random search that has found your site? (outside of those spam ones of course)