Sleep Paralysis

The Howling Stump.

This photo, from 2009 is of a hawthorn tree in Leicestershire. I used to pass it on cycle rides to Market Bosworth but it was only visible in the winter when the hedges were clear of leaves. It looks to me like it belongs in a story of haunted houses.

Sleeping can reveal that I am aware of how my mind deals with sleeping or waking. Falling asleep is like flicking a switch, the switch has to do several things at once. It will switch off hearing and bodily movement. The mind has to do the opposite switches when we wake up. Something seems to break the sequence when we’re in REM dream sleep.

Sometimes, we want to wake from a dream and have to struggle. Sometimes, we wake but the switch to allow the muscles to move doesn’t come on immediately. This leaves me in a state where I am awake but can’t move, not even to open my eyes. This is a state of Sleep Paralysis. I get this about once a year.

Fuseli Night Demon

It’s not just me, this theme has attracted artists like Fuselli. SP seems to reflect the times, demons in the past and UFO alien abductions more recently (especially in the USA where aliens ISNA more popular theme). Others have recounted the feeling of crushing or a sentient presence in the room. I don’t get any of that but the strangest I have had is a loud grinding buzzing sound inside my head.

Quick run!

8°C, stormy, 55mph gusts.

Woke very early, fizzing with energy. After breakfast, I got the turbo out. While on it, I recalled that I have a pair of running shoes.

A decade on, these shoes get a second run. I bought them for an event at my last school and have only used them in gyms since. They’re not ideal gym shoes but seemed fine on the slabbed pavements around here.

I feel great now, let’s run again soon. Next is a bike ride this afternoon.

Later: a third workout.

The tail end of Storm Gareth still has some force. No longer is it dangerous but the return leg was non-stop hard work

Ainsdale long loop, walk.

Wintery, -2°C, cold brisk E with some sun and snow showers.

I hiked with MapMyRide+! Distance: 13.50km, time: 03:53:01, pace: 17:16min/km, speed: 3.48km/h.

Top temperature today was -2°c though the snow underfoot was still quite powdery. Take away for windchill and it’s -11°C. You can avoid that in the dunes, much of the route runs in the valleys. I chose one of them to stop for lunch. Part of the route was familiar and marked with coloured posts.

The initial idea behind this route was to include a visit to a wreck out just below the mean tide line. I knew the sea would be far out but there was lagoon like water blocking the way. There is no way that I’d wade out to the sand bank where the wreck lies, not in this weather.

Fun thought- the image of me, knelt in remote dunes negotiating details over the mobile of my new house purchase in bracing winter weather.

Summer cold.

23°C ,cloudless blue, perfect day.

What a day to get a cold. I have so much to do here at home. Garden, marking and decorating.
At least this may explain why the last few days hiking were not as energetic as normal. Often, I get back feeling that my stamina is indefatigable. Mike R. had a cold mm last week’s expedition. That’s where it came from, no-one else has one.​

My partner pointed out that I have just been on a very demanding (physically) course, in bad weather where I get cold and wet. With all that on top of wind, rain and lugging a heavy load, the expedition was lead by a guy who had a cold.
It’s not surprising then…


High Blood pressure, or not?
Playing with a blood pressure gadget at home. I  got three readings within a few minutes:
172/93 x77
144/78 x92
111/81 x113
100/63 x 120
Systolic/diastolic x heartrate.
Perhaps best ignore this device.

The standard top measure is 140/90.
If the first readings are right, I have high blood pressure. In order to improve I should:
1 eat less salt,
2 eat more fruit and vegetables,
3 healthy weight,
4 Drink less alcohol,
5 exercise more.
But I cook without salt (and ready meals- never), eat almost only vegetarian, Bmi 23, 1 unit per week average, 10-14 hours exercise each week.
Ignore it?
It’s probably like the bathroom scales. They’re not much use either if you weigh yourself at a different time each day.

Race horses.

10°C, light SW wind, heavy rain subsiding to light.
It has been a winter of storms. So many have passed over this island, and more are jostling to do the same. There are so many that we could regard this as all one storm rather than a chain of individuals. The Met Office now gives them names, Imogen is on its way.

With the scene set, picture a muddy field in the Wirral, most of the grass is obscured by thick gravy like reddish mud. In this field is the venue for a schools inter county Cross Country race series.
I took the young lad (who, it turns out, did very well for his school).
I dropped him off, on time and then took off to move the car.
Most of the day saw me searching for him having missed the race. Meanwhile, the youngest groups ran first.
I picked a spot where I could be easily seen, and could easily watch the races go off.
The images remain in mind now, it reminded me of a horse race. Lean and lithe, these kids stood pale from the cold and high on adrenaline. All sinewy and with only one thing on their minds, their race.
The start gun, actually was the proper thing, and loud too. The kids stood on the line, straining for a clue that the gun was about to fire. The whites of their eyes were visible. They took the event seriously, and very seriously.
Soon, the trigger pulled, all set off across the acres of gloopy mud. The front runners remained fairly clean but the trailing ones soon picked up the sloppy mud kicked onto their legs and lower bodies as they shrank into the far edge of the field.
Later, they would finish, strung out with a hollow look on their faces. Some would wobble to a stop and vomit from the exertion.
All the while, others stretched and sprang up and down to prepare themselves. Or, maybe they were cold.
The weather didn’t let up.

BMI 23.4

12°C, grey but dry.
Two months ago, I weighed 14St 12lbs. That’s too much, clothes were getting tighter, and my BMI was at the top of the range (25).
Most of it was lost on the Scotland hiking trip: 8lbs lost, 2lbs in Corsica and the rest since the return to work.
All I want to do is keep it just below 14St.