After all the festivities and a little snooze I decided that "training" today should be a walk around the route I will be using here in north London. So it was on with the new trainers and out the door for a brisk walk.
After 10 minutes I had passed by the pizza shop (free delivery ... but shut :) ) and was up by the town hall, having avoided the piles of rubbish lying on the pavement. Some of the shops here have changed since I was last around - the little photocopying shop, where I got copies of my CVs when I was made redundant in 1994, is not there; the phone shop where I got my first mobile phone (and the owner would make up special connector leads for you) is gone. The only shops open today were Asian run off-licences (for non-UK readers these sell alcohol, cigarettes and chocolates) and grocers.
Next along on the flat, past closes of new houses built in the grounds of what used to be a mental hospital, past the locked and guarded gates into the main complex (which is now mostly apartments) and then a short pause. Not three yards away, over a low wall, stood a fox surveying an open grassy area. He and I observed each other for a while; he suspiciously sniffing the air and backing away slightly while I stood quietly, making calming sounds. After a pause I wished him well and resumed my walk but as I carried on I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he followed me for a while, and when I turned my head he saw that I noticed him. Do you believe in "Spirit Guides"? Last year mine was a stag - maybe I have a new one this year. I must read my book and see what a fox signifies for me.
: Feminine magic of camouflage, shapeshifting and invisibilityCycle of Power
: Nocturnal, Dawn and Dusk
The fox is a totem that has touched almost every society on the planet. It is a totem that speaks of the need to develop or the awakening of camouflage, invisibility and shapeshifting. It is one of the most uniquely skilled and ingenious animals of nature. It can teach these skills to those whose life it enters.
The legs of the fox are adapted to running. There is a tremendous stamina to them, an ability they can bring to others. Their favorite gait is a trot, and it is believed that they can trot indefinitely without exhaustion or the appearance of such. Few animals of a similar size can outrun a fox. Learning to establish a trotting pace is essential to those with a fox totem for their overall health and success.Animal-Speak
The Spiritual and Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small
Ted AndrewsLlewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
p 271 - 277 ]
Since I had spent a minute pausing with the fox I took a slight short cut down a path by the side of the railway line. The path is rough and uneven in places, not a good running surface. When I'm running this route I'll stick to the road which will take a few hundred yards more. There was a light sprinkling of rain and the smell of vegetation wafted freshly over me. At the end of the path I started on the fourth side of the square along the North Circular Road. Fortunately after a few yards there is a path through to a side road with less traffic. The path here is good and rises slightly up to the road junction.
Finally I walked the last few yards along the road and back into my estate, across the car park and into my flat. The total route took me 38 minutes so I guess that makes it about 2.5 miles long. I'll have to see how long it takes to run, maybe tomorrow.
To bed soon now, good night.