This year, just for something different, I spend my birthday hiking over the top of the huge-ass hill behind my house on our second group excursion. Lorraine proves her uber-fitness by branching off and heading up Stony Rise, an almost vertical goat track that leads to the water tower at the top. The one and only time I attempted Stony Rise was about ten years ago, when I was considerably fitter. I remember thinking that (a) there's a reason humans aren't goats (okay, my thought processes get slightly murky with exertion), (b) the track would never, ever, ever end, and (c) I was going to die. Upon finally reaching the top I fell to the ground with sheer, jelly-legged exhaustion and this little old lady came rushing over to ask me if I was okay. When I explained, within ragged gulps of breath, she nodded sympathetically and said 'oh yes, dear, I know exactly what you mean. I do Stony Rise twice a week and I often find it rather challenging.'
My dedication to the cause is even more admirable (I believe) given that today is not only my birthday but also my only day off this week. Because on Monday I started back on the dreaded 9-5 treadmill. It was all rather sudden, even though I'd been in the market for a job for a little while. But one minute I was wandering around the house trying to find excuses not to write (my best was last week's decision that all the spare electrical cords - from old computers, phones, MP3 players etc - had to be housed within individual snaplock bags), and the next I was accepting a job with a start-date the following Monday. To be honest, I wouldn't have even been looking for work if not for the fact those damn kids of mine expect to be fed daily (or, to be more accurate, hourly). And the writing game ain't all that good at that (especially not when you spend your time snaplocking electrical cords instead).
Unfortunately Monday was also the day the Australian Open tennis tournament started, which is my favourite viewing time of the entire year. However, looking on the bright side (which I am determined to do this year, even if it blinds me), starting work now also means I miss out on the last week and a half of LEOSHS (see previous post), so it's not all bad!