30 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 29 - engineering talks and a 'sleep'

The night before (although I didn't mention it in my previous post after our Cambridge outing) I was updating a career's presentation on engineering for a local grammar school.  Not just any grammar school but the school all three of my sons have been to (my youngest is still there in sixth form). First thing I set off for the school.

Unfortunately I was unable to get into the classroom to setup despite arriving earlier.  This was a little worrying as my PowerPoint presentation included some embedded videos which sometimes present a problem to classroom AV systems. I anticipated correctly! Fortunately I had a plan B and everything was up and running but I lost about 15 minutes.

The sixth former's were very good and it was an interactive session.  Needless to say I didn't manage to finish my presentation but that wasn't a problem.

An hour later and I was prepared for my second presentation and confident I'd get through it this time. Again, another even larger bunch of interactive and engaged sixth former's meant I didn't finish my presentation again! Previous years I have managed to finish it but on reflection the discussion and questions in these last two sessions were quite encouraging.

Returned home and I was so tired! The long running sessions, early mornings and going out the day before had taken their toll. I decided that I would do what my body was telling me so I ... slept! So one Juneathon 'sleep' and my wife had a Zumba session.

#Juneathon Day 28 - Cambridge with family

A great day with my wife's cousins from South Africa and Canada in Cambridge.  We even went on a punting tour on the river Cam in the rain. No running but, of course, I did some walking.  I'm really starting to taper more seriously now so I hadn't planned to run today anyway - sorry Juneathon!

27 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 27 - 24 miles, tapering, gay marriage and career's talk presentation prep

A 24 mile run but it was hot ... and I almost tripped but didn't and a lady gave a gasp! So 10 miles on Thursday, 10 miles on Friday and 24 miles today and my legs and knees are fine. Now it really is serious tapering for two weeks before the Race to the Stones ultra, gulp! And I'm a little worried about the terrain too.  And we have a heatwave on the way, I hope it's not too hot! 

Great news about gay marriage in the US.  I can't figure out why anybody would want to stop two people committing to spend their lives together. Why would anybody believe that heterosexual love is somehow different to the love between two people of the same sex? 

Also spent some time updating my engineering career's presentation which I'm giving on Monday.

#Juneathon Day 26 - a humid 10 miles and 2 weeks to the ultra

Did another 10 miles in the evening - it was pretty humid too. Despite the humidity it felt better than the day befor., I've another long run this weekend, just not as long as before but still long and it will be hot too. 2 weeks until the 100k ultra, I'm actually feeling good about it now, I just hope my body concurs on the day!

So all Juneathon commitments met including my wife with another Zumba session.

26 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 24 - soreness, stretching and reviewing a book

Soreness in my leg made it difficult to do much exercise but did some minimal stretching.

In other news I've received a pre-release copy of 'The Dark Forest' by Cixin Liu for review ... watch this space :-)

'The Dark Forest' by Cixin Liu

#Juneathon Day 25 - explosions, postbox smashing, 10 miles and a 'ThreeBook Problem' I have

Still had some soreness but decided to go for a run anyway.  Legs felt very tired, I think I need an extended rest! So difficult to get going but felt better after about 6 miles, a bit like an old rusty engine. Ran 10 miles altogether and my wife did Zumba.

In other news we had some excitement when some gas cylinders exploded at a local Scout campsite. Fortunately nobody was hurt, silly neighbour had a fire burning close to the campsite's gas bottle store.

All this excitement! It was only on early Sunday morning that thieves smashed the postbox across the road with a sledge hammer, and no I didn't hear a thing. All these happenings has put our sleepy village in the news.

The book I received to review (see my last post) presents me with a bit of a problem, more of a 'Three Book Problem' rather than a 'Three Body Problem' (the name of the trilogy.  I'm presently reading a book for the book club, which interrupted a Murakami book I was reading (in the background I've been reading 'War and Peace' but find this very easy to return to although I forget the names, it's a bit like a soap really).  Well, now I have to read 'The Dark Forest' for a book review prior to it's launch.  I've suggested to the other book club members that maybe we read 'The Three-Body Problem' (the first in the trilogy which I've read) so that I get some time to read the 'The Dark Forest'. Notice how I cunningly discounted 'War and Peace' to enable me to use the 'Three Book Problem' title ;-) 'I will probably be lynched for suggesting 'War and Peace' is a soap!

 The Three-Body Problem

24 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 23 - busy, interrupted but followed by intervals

A busy day at work where I only managed to start doing what I set out to do in the morning after 4pm, so many distractions and interruptions. Oh well.

I went with my youngest son to the gym and did half an hour of intervals and running up inclines, tiring. My wife did another session of Zumba.

22 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 22 - almost then repeat

So almost went for a run and then almost went to the gym but instead did my ITBS rehab strength routine and then a good stretch. My ankles are still a little stiff and my left ankle is still sore, much like yesterday but I can feel it's getting better.  Hopefully it will feel okay tomorrow. I'm also really tired at the moment, sigh! My wife did Zumba again.

#Juneathon Day 21 - Father's Day, ankles stiff so ...

On Father's Day I knew I was going to struggle to fit exercise in.  My middle son was visiting from Birmingham and went back at 5pm.  My youngest son came back from work at about 6.30pm and my eldest son was driving home from York and would be home 8.30ish, so I decided to try go on a run in the time in between.

However, my ankles were not feeling quite right.  They have been a bit stiff and near my left heel it felt a bit tender and swollen.  I did this either on the inclined treadmill running session or the 33 mile trail run on Thursday, not sure which?  Anyway, I didn't think it was worth risking any further injury as I'm now tapering for the 100km ultra in just under 3 weeks.

I ended up doing my ITBS rehab strengthening routine and some core work followed by a good stretching session. My wife was doing a Zumba routine at the same time. So that was my Juneathon.

21 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 20 - Bristol Uni and a good day (not for Juneathon though)

Went to Bristol University today with youngest son. It's our first visit to Bristol Uni and I was impressed. Lots of walking there with tired legs! After getting back picked up my middle son from the station, he has come down from Birmingham for Father's Day :-) Managed a little stretching later but that was it really. A good day though. 

20 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 19 - when 20 miles became 2

I set off for a 20 mile run and did 2 miles! I just didn't feel well enough so I decided to cancel the run. I normally say if I'm not feeling quite right or am still feeling particularly tired after 10 minutes or so then I'll stop. So that was my Juneathon day. My wife did a Zumba session too.

Sophie's running the 69 mile run The Wall on Saturday (today actually, as I'm late writing this blog). Good luck and keep going Sophie 😊

19 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 18 - lots of rowers, a hot and humid day and my longest run ever

I'm at the peak of my training for the Race to the Stones ultra so I thought I'd best get my longest run completed as this weekend is pretty full.  I set off along the Thames path towards Henley with legs that really felt very heavy after yesterday's gym session (see yesterday's post). I really didn't think I would get that far especially in the heat and humidity but decided to carried on anyway.

Loads of rowers practicing at Henley in preparation for the Henley Royal Regatta, consequently I was continually dodging rowing coaches on their bikes keeping up with their crews.  You also have to keep a look out for boats suddenly emerging across your path as they are maneuvered onto the river.  I felt a little self conscious, this middle aged man trudging along amidst all the athletes, some with national insignia on their clothing, not that self conscious though :-)

Ran past Shiplake (and Shiplake college) and was about a mile away from Sonning I think.  I turned around and started running back.  I could tell that I was going to run out of water and so was looking for somewhere to fill up my water bottles.  Eventually spotted a guy I know who was taking launching his rowing boat onto the river.  He suggested I fill up at Hurley lock and described where there was a tap.  

I found the tap! It was so good to have fresh cold water on such a hot day.  Completely refreshed I finished off my run, just over 33 miles which is my longest run ever!  I'm really not sure how I'm going to run another 30 miles though!!! Panic!

So that was my Juneathon day.

18 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 17 - the incline, The Wall ultra-marathon and Sophie's blog

I decided to do a session at the gym today. My eldest son's (Trevor) girlfriend (Sophie) suggested gradually increasing the inclination on the treadmill up to 15%. I think she said to level it each time but instead I ran for a period and then recovered walking. I then gradually increased the inclination in 1% steps always running at each inclination.  By the time I was at 15% I was getting really tired! It was pretty humid and warm in the gym so I was sweating quite a bit.  A personal trainer kept glancing over at me, he was either concerned or surprised (or both) at this middle aged man (probably concerned).

After my gradually increasing inclination session I dropped the inclination to zero.  I then did a short run at 10 mph which felt so much easier when the treadmill was level, after which I warmed down. Finished off with another good stretching session.

My wife did another Zumba workout so we were properly Juneathoned.

You really need to visit Sophie's blog at sophiedidwhat.blogspot.co.uk which is a mix of beauty product reviews and fitness events. She's running 'The Wall' (Hadrian's Wall) on Saturday which is an ultra-marathon of 69 miles - I think she might be the youngest competitor!

17 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 16 - very tired ...

Very tired today and altogether a very busy day. Considered going for a run but ITBS playing up and physically tired so did a good stretching routine instead. Not very Juneathon I know but felt right considering how I'm feeling.

16 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 15 - the Ankerwycke Yew, signing of the Magna Carta and then the pub

Went with a walking group around Wraysbury this evening and visited the Ankerwycke Yew on the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. The ancient yew is believed to have watched over the signing of the Magna Carta. It is also believed that Henry VIII met Anne Boleyn there. The yew is thought to be 1500 to 2500 years old. Met some of the ECO-villagers there too.

The area has always had special significance and across the Thames are the meadows of Runnymede, "Runnymede, said to be called the meadow of the Runes, or magical charms, the field of mystery, and the field of council" (Gordon Gyll, History of Wraysbury, 1861).  What I had not realised is that the Thames has changed course several times since the signing of the Magna Carta and you can see a previous route on the walk that we did.

Of course the Queen had earlier been unveiling the statue of herself at Runnymede (i.e. across the river) but the real action is said to have happened on this side of the river.  Some historians dispute the significance but regardless of this, it is what it represents to us today.  Last night was a calm, still, beautiful summer's evening and hardly any people were around this ancient yew (despite all the celebrations earlier) and if we choose to mark the signing of the Magna Carta as a step towards democracy in the world then let's hope that the future yields more of the calmness that was about yesterday evening.

That was my Juneathon exercise for the day, not that bad really as it acted as a recovery walk after my long run on Saturday. We did end up in the pub afterwards and that was really good for recovery!

15 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 14 - last minute strength and stretch session

Had a meeting today (I know it's a Sunday), came back and had a BBQ. Afterwards I relaxed and then did my IBTS rehab strength session followed by a stretching session just before midnight. Still not got rid of the ITBS, sigh! My wife went to a Zumba class. That's all folks!

14 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 13 - regattas, a royal barge and a trail run of 30 miles with a new pack

Today (13th) I did a long run from home to just past Henley along the Thames Path. 15 miles out and 15 miles back. Started and ended with a steep hill. Almost all the route was trail and a bit slippery which is definitely quite a bit slower going than prepared path or road. The ultra I'm doing in July will be  trail so this was more representative.

Queen's royal barge dazzles at drizzly regatta

On the way I went through Marlow Regatta so lots of dodging teams carrying boats, people dressed up for th enclosure, kids running around - but it was fun and interesting. Went past the royal barge, Gloriana, which was taking part in local Magna Carta celebrations.

As you can see it was not sunny weather but good for running I guess, it's not my photo by the way. Eventually arrived in Henley where preparations are under way for the Henley Royal Regatta which is the weekend before the Race to the Stones ultra. We are attending it for the first time so that should be fun.

For the first time I ran with the Salomon S-Lab 12 litre pack.  It was very comfortable and allowed me to carry 2.5 litres of water which used up over 30 miles.

Arrived home and then helped my eldest son to unpack a very full Espace with all the stuff from his university room.  Finished and then 10 minutes later we had friends over for dinner, so it was altogether a very busy day.

Juneathon commitment upheld, another 30 miler and my wife did another Zumba class :-)

13 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 12 - a humid 10 miles and ultra concerns

Last minute 10 mile run this evening with Fleet. It was humid so had to stop a few times for Fleet to have a drink. After getting home we had a quick takeaway, really tired so off to bed. 

In other news, a family with two children has offered to look after Fleet when we are away in the summer. He and they will have loads of fun :-)

Approaching the peak of my training for the ultra, need to do a long run on Saturday. I'm not sure if I've done enough? Using a new pack on my long run too.

11 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 11 - trying to start a book and #Zumba again

We've a new member in our book club and I'm pretty sure that we will soon be five in total :-) The problem is that I'm really into another book and now have a second book to read this month.  I keep telling myself that I will start the new book once I've finished the chapter I'm reading ... then the next chapter, and the next etc etc. What do I do?

I decided not to run today and joined my wife doing Zumba in the privacy of our lounge. It's actually quite hard work! And difficult! And I'm really not very good at it! But so what :-) That was my Juneathon today (and my wife's).

#Juneathon Day 10 - a bit sad and very busy

Would have been my Dad's birthday on the 10th :-(

A very busy day in London, no lunch, was home by 10ish, had food then ... did IBTS rehab routine and good session of stretching to finish just before midnight. Whew!

09 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 9 - lead legs, a 1 year old and a new book club

Ran just over three miles this morning with Fleet. My legs felt like lead! Not aching but very heavy legs. Fleet did his business in the middle of the trail path so had to run back with a packet in my hands, oh well.

Met up with my wife's family in Romsey. Three generations present with the youngest member turning 1 :-) Always enjoy meeting up with family and wish I was organised enough to arrange more meetings. Took an hour and a half to get there and a little longer to get back.

Really tired when I got home. Struggled to read some QA documents and then a had a short nap (must be getting old). At the pub by 8pm for our first local Men's book club (not that women are excluded particularly). A couple of pints and a chat about books, life and everything.  Set our first book too 'A Colder War' by Charles Cumming, in case anybody would like to join us reading it.

So all Juneathon commitments met by me and my wife, a run for me, Zumba for her :-) 

#Juneathon Day 8 - rehab routine, ultra food worries, ultra worries generally ...

After yesterday's long run I thought it would be a good idea to do my ITBS rehab routine. That seemed to to go okay. Finished off with a good stretching session.

I almost always get post run munchies the couple of days after a long run, not a problem to sort out though :-) Not as big a problem as running nutrition.  

This ultra is presenting me with a real challenge as to what to eat? I can run a marathon with gels and water and that's fine but 30 miles of gels starts to become too much to stomach.  The gels really start to become too sweet.  So I figured I'd try Cliff bars. The problem I've found with them is that they are a bit too dry when you've been running for a while, tasty at the start, but when you've run a few miles they're like eating compacted muesli. I tried using them again yesterday. Half way through my run I munched on my Cliff bar and it sort of sucked all the water out of my mouth and was really difficult to swallow.  Now I know I was hot but I'm pretty good at staying hydrated, I just couldn't finish it, it stuck in my throat. I know some runners swear by them but they don't seem to work for me.

So what to do?  Today I ordered a new running backpack (I've found my trusty Camelbak too be a bit small) and the sales guy is an ultra runner (I think) and he says that he just uses ordinary flapjacks as they are more moist.  I shall have to try that.  Any other ideas would be really appreciated.

My Hokas have proved to be very successful, phew! On Saturday I felt my toes were a bit tight so on Sunday I tried using the thinner inner soles that were supplied with the shoes, perfect, relief!

I've also ordered some merino wool briefs but I won't go into details. Needles to say that I had a pair when I first started running and they were brilliant.  I've put off buyng a pair because of the price but now with the ultra coming up I think I need to take a little bit more care ... 

I also need a running hat, a light possibly white one. I used to have one but I lent it to my wife and have been fine up to now but I think I need one for the ultra.

This ultra is such a long way, sigh, 100km, I hope I can manage it, gulp! I'm hoping to do a 20mile+30mile back-to-back this weekend but I'm not sure how I'm going to fit around my other commitments, I'll have to see what I can do. After this weekend I start tapering.

My wife did another Zumba session so we're all on track for Juneathon.

07 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 7 - my longest run 32.5 miles

After yesterday's 14 mile run, 32.5 miles today. I'm tired. It was hot. We're now having a BBQ. I'm tired. Fiona went to a Zumba class. I'm still tired.

06 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 6 - glasses, lawn and 14 miles

Busy day today. Chose some glasses, two pairs. Mowed the lawn, it was long so I had to do it twice. Did a run of 14 miles, I have a longer run tomorrow if my ITBS doesn't play up. My wife did Zumba again so she's doing well too.

#Juneathon Day 5 - Gina Grant favorited my tweet and nice people at Apple

Just managed to get in my exercise after a busy day on a client's site.  We had to do a presentation to the whole company which I had had no time to prepare for and success, nobody nodded off! Some people even said they enjoyed it - probably just humoring me. Then spent a day of quality procedures and meetings there, nice group of people :-)

Dropped off my iPhone for a battery replacement and then they replaced the whole phone.  Then because they were busy and it was getting late they didn't charge me anything.  Thank you nice people at the Apple store, I was impressed by your service and will be buying from you again despite your size and wealth.

Eventually drove home and squeezed an ITBS rehab exercise routine in before midnight using the hardest Thera-band, black 'special heavy' band, as instructed by my physio ... it was tough!  Then did a good stretch routine after midnight. I've just noticed that the bands go up to silver and gold!!

The twitter link to my post on my first Zumba session was favourited by Gina Grant. Yes I know it was probably somebody pretending to be her and she probably didn't follow the link to my blog and she hasn't noted that I'm a middle-aged, not very cool, British male, but let me dream ...

Gina Dance,
Gina Grant

... I think I'm going to do more Zumba :-)

I'm also now been followed by a Japanese Zumba instructor and dancer, good on him or the business for following me.

So Juneathon totals are the same as yesterday plus a ITBS rehab routine (ouch) and stretch (ouch, ouch).  My wife has done Zumba every day so far.

04 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 4 - Cross training ... ummm doing Zumba!

Well I had to have a go with my wife, in the privacy of our home, with the curtains drawn of course ... I had a go at Zumba ;-)

Now I'm a middle aged man, proper middle aged (i.e. over 50). If you are in your 40s don't call yourself middle aged, it hasn't really happened yet. But when you hit 50, that's when you realise that you've probably expended half your life. Anyway, I was saying, I'm middle aged and a man, and I've discovered (mainly from my sons) that no matter what I do I will never look cool (can I even say that word 'cool') plus I'm a dad which negates any residual 'coolness' that might be sticking. So no matter what I do, I'm never going to look cool doing Zumba!

Funny, well I can do that without trying too hard. So my wife was very encouraging but also had a good laugh. It was actually quite a good workout and probably helped my ITBS.  It did require a great deal of concentration though, far more than I would concentrate running.  The young ladies on the video were very encouraging too, they weren't laughing (fortunately).

Gina Grant and Tanya Beardsley, my Zumba teachers - I'm encouraged to watch their every move ;-)
Will I do it again? Well, one good thing about getting older is that you don't care as much about what people think so I will do it again. You know what? If I learn a few steps and feel confident enough I might even go to a class ;-)  How to embarrass your children :-)

In other news, for the first time in my life I've joined a political party!

Janathon totals are the same as yesterday plus Zumba (not for Fleet though).

03 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 3 - bug splatter and a new connection

I managed to go for a run a little earlier this evening and it was warm and sunny too. It was so good running across the fields with Fleet, it felt more like summer :-) It was really hard to start though, I felt really tired and my legs felt heavy but after half a mile I warmed up and it was okay.

I did, however, experience a bit of bug splatter - poor bugs drowning in my sweat, my family were not very impressed.

This was the longest run I've done in my new Hokas and they seem fine so hopefully they will help in my long run this weekend - if I'm really lucky I might even do a back-to-back run, fingers crossed.

I did have to throw one of my Thorlos socks away as the heel had worn a bit too much, it's hard to say goodbye to running socks :-(

Accepted a Facebook friend request today from the runner I crossed the finish line of the London Marathon with hand-in-hand.  He's just completed the Comrades and I think grew up in Kwazulu Natal like I did, very pleased we've made the connection :-) 

8 Juneathon running miles today making it a total of 13 Juneathon miles so far.  My wife has now done three nights of Zumba too.  Fleet is at 13 miles as well.

#Juneathon Day 2 - rehab for me and dog poo posters

Did my ITBS rehab routine this evening which are a set of strength exercises that end up being more tiring that you would expect. Quite a few of the exercises are done using a Theraband (a big elastic band).  All this followed by a whole load of stretching.  It's a bit of a boring routine to be honest and must be even more dull to read about it.

Kind of sums up my day really, earlier I was writing procedures for a quality manual (yawn). The most interesting part of my day was giggling at the 'dog poo' poster competition that the kids around our green are designing that we plan to use as permanent signs to dissuade dog owners who don't clear up their dog's poo.  I want to design a poster like that :-)

Juneathon total for me is 5 miles but now hopefully improving in rehab and also a bit more stretchy
Wife has done another Zumba session.
Fleet (my dog) is annoyed with me because he's had his deworming/ anti parasite treatment.

02 June 2015

#Juneathon Day 1 - the story so far ...

What a way to start Juneathon! I'm physically really tired but to explain I'll rewind a little ...

For those who don't know (I'm using the plural here so I'm being optimistic that more than one person will read this) I ran the London Marathon this year.  It was a little last minute as Asthma UK contacted me the Wednesday evening before the last charity entries had to be entered on the Friday to ask me if I'd consider running for them as they'd lost some runners (must have been a particularly long and difficult training run). 

It just so happened that I had been training for the Great Welsh Marathon so I felt I'd be okay training wise but I still had to do some fund raising. However, I had had an asthma attack at Christmas (my first and hopefully last) and it really brought home what a lot of what more severe asthmatics had to deal with all the time - so I agree. Well London Marathon all went well, I didn't get sub 4 hours but I did know 8 minutes of my PB and came in at 4 hours 2.5 minutes :-)

This must of induced a slight loss of sanity as I then decided to enter myself for an ultra! I looked around and decided to enter the Race to the Stones event, a 100km run across the Ridgeway ending at Avebury Stones - 1km for each year that my wife and I have been around I said, sigh! Now I have to do the training but, BUT I seemed to have acquired ITBS since the London Marathon, sigh (again).  So my long runs become a little bit painful, ouch (after about 16 miles). But the ultra is only on the 11th July, gasp (panic).  So I've developed a random pin ball approach to my training where I try to do my longest run, skip the back-to-back run (too much pain) and then do a lot of tiring stuff to compensate, wait for the ITBS pain to subside, go to my physio for encouragement (and different pain) and then run another even longer run hoping to do a back-to-back and then not doing it.  

So I did a long run on Friday night of 24 miles, did a pain induced skip of the back-to-back run on Saturday, compensated by tiring myself out dancing at a wedding on Saturday night (great wedding it was), tired out on Sunday and then it was Juneathon!

It was Juneathon AND I have some new Hoka super padded trail shoes that I believe (a lot of faith here) will help me with my ITBS.  So I took my brand new Hokas and my almost 9 year old collie (see below for a picture of him) out IN THE RAIN last night and (with aching legs) went for a run across the fields, in the wind for a whole 5 miles, it was dark too, and thus completed the beginning of the Juneathon slog - thanks Cathy. Here we go again, a month of relentless exercise and the promise of an ultra soon after :-s

I must add that my good wife is also endeavoring to do Juneathon but without the blogging (I have to do it instead), so for the record she did Zumba last night.

I have no time to edit this so it's getting posted with no checks, sorry!

My Juneathon total is 5 miles 

01 June 2015

Juneathon again! More running with this chap ...

He's 9 years old this year so he skips the very long runs ;-)

Blowing off the dust on my blog with a review ...

Had a great time at a wedding over the weekend and also met up with Robert Sharp so I thought I'd blow the dust off my blog with a a review of his novella. Oh yes, and its been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award in the novella category so all the more reason to read it :-)

I found this fast moving Egyptology sci-fi fantasy mix a great read. The story has two threads, one set in ancient Egypt and the other set in present day. The author flips between these two threads at an ever increasing pace as the action intensifies and the mystery is unveiled. This is so refreshing, the reader is not left frustratingly on a cliff hanger to only wade through yet another chapter by which time the pace has diminished somewhat.

Naturally, I’m not going to unveil the mystery or reveal the thrill of the action but this novella was compulsive reading and I’d definitely recommend it. I normally prefer longer reads but this novella has changed my mind. I’ve now got to wait for Robert Sharp’s next book! I wonder if this one will be made into a film?