We have had another successful birthday party. This time it was for Louis, who was 10 yesterday.
30 children, all dressed up in their chosen characters, dancing, swinging, playing, screaming and apple-bobbing around the house and garden. The joys of paper cups and plates become highly visible at these times, and the large poodles’ clearing-up sequence when no one is looking.

The great thing about an event like that is that it is totally all consuming. It is impossible to think about anything else, to do anything else. All day was spent in preparation, the cake, sandwiches, prizes, wrapping presents, preparing the room and then all of a sudden it is happening. The gate opens and kids are running towards the house and expanding into every available space, laughing and running, jumping and shouting for 4 hours. At the end there is just the odd empty crisp packet and twisted paper cup floating along the floor in the breeze.

I like the parties. I really do. I will happily do them every year. But I also like the total distraction from me and my head. Running has become the other time when I really do not think at all. Unfortunately I cannot yet run for more than an hour, so it is all the space I get away from the endless thinking, sorting out, working out, reworking out that seems to endlessly turn, day and night.

I have got so much from the running that I am now bringing the tools back into my early mornings at work, too. Long deep breathing to calm the mind, mantra to stimulate hormone flow and lots of calming thoughts.

It is working.