No Woman is an Island

So here we go:

Things I like about being on my own

I get the laptop all to myself, all of the time (Russell was on it A LOT)

I faff around for ages before leaving the house

I eat when I want to

I listen to the Arches on radio 4 (not so much because I like it, but because Russell resolutely refuses to have it on for one second)

I spend even longer in the shower

I cook as much food in quantity, but cook half as many times, and have half the washing up – genius

There’s only one spot by the fire, and I get it all the time

Why those things aren’t so great

I get the laptop all to myself – and am now up to date with ‘Made In Chelsea’ (if you don’t know what this is, good on you, you have my respect, I am ashamed)

I faff around for ages before leaving the house and waste hours of my life and am late for everything

I eat all the time

I listen to the Arches (what is Matt going to do to Lilian???)

I spend too long in the shower

I find myself eating a lot of last night’s dinner, only cold

I don’t really ever bother lighting the fire

This is how I was feeling a few days ago. I’ve spent the last 12 days ‘on my own’ after seeing the last 6 months constantly with Russell. As with so many changes, you think you’re prepared for it, and then it goes and throws you a curve ball. I had images of myself sat in the dark eating baked beans out of a tin and jumping at the slightest sound outside or in. I had fanciful ideas of going a little bit crazy.

I didn’t know that I was going to start running like a very tired elephant .


After leaving Russell in London 2 weeks ago, I cashed in on my energy stores by getting up at 4am on Tuesday, driving 6 hrs back to Wales, working 6.5hours, and then going and volunteering at a local race after work. I was so wired that night, I couldn’t get to sleep till midnight. I thought to myself – this is the new me – I’ve got loads of energy and it’s never going to leave me. I woke up on Weds feeling like a train had hit me. Running has been an uphill struggle since. I felt that I had irrevocably turned into said slow elephant. Heavy, grey and with a bad face on, I dragged out a 10mile run. Every mile hurt. The next day I took it down to 6miles. Every mile hurt. And it felt like 10miles anyway. I was completely overwhelmed with the looming marathon, in what is now just a week’s time. And I fell into a sort of lethargic, incapable lull.

So I thought I’d start a specialist advice column for your most obvious and pressing questions – what Nina did next:

How to do things when you’re on your own:

Q. What do you do when you’ve got two rucksacks to carry up a mountain. And only one pair of shoulders?

A. You clip the rucksacks together.

Q. How do you take a photo of yourself doing this (and your stupid camera doesn’t have a timer function on it)?

A. First you try take one at arms length.


line-breakThen you get clever and use the car windows as a mirror, while on the phone – so many gadgets!


Q. How do you show spring happening in a creative way?

A. You sit down in the middle of the path with two rucksacks on, and take pictures of beetles and bluebells.

Q. How do you stay warm in bed at night?

A. You don’t. Just get cold and wait for the weather to get warmer.

Q. How do you deal with the ‘talking to yourself/sheep’ thing?

A. You don’t. Just let it happen. It’s natural.


line-breakline-breakQ. What do you do when the sky goes this weird electric type blue colour that you’ve never seen before, and there’s a rainbow, and the sun is casting incandescence and shadows over the rocky shoulders of the Molwyns, as well as these crazy white rays through the blue that look like they should be announcing the coming of the Messiah or something, and you’ve never, NEVER, seen anything so moving in your life? And you’re probably thinking that because you’re all on your own up a mountain?

A. Cry a little bit whilst standing outside watching it, until you get cold, can’t take it any more, and go and listen to the Arches.

Q. What do you do when you’re running like an elephant?

A. I followed the golden rule and took two days off running. It worked and I had an amazing 10km run on Friday, a great track session on Sat and a gorgeous run in shorts and vest in the sunny sun sun on Sunday.

I have to keep a lid tightly on my energy so as to keep it for my Marathon. Isn’t it ironic that when I’m running shit, I get so panicky about the Marathon, and can barely summon the energy to get up in the morning. And when I’m running well, I couldn’t give two sods about how well I do in Marathon and what time I get?

Being in such a good mood makes great things happen. So I’m sitting outside a café today writing this post, and a guy has come to pick up his daughter waitress, and he’s playing this gorgeous song, and I go up to him and ask him ‘what’s that?’ and he writes it down for me: Georgia Ruth. You should DEFINITELY listen to this. She releases her debut album tomorrow, she’s Welsh, and she doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. You can tell all your friends that you discovered her. It’s the new soundtrack to my life.

Just incase you thought you’d leave it for later…


21 thoughts on “No Woman is an Island

  1. Q. Does this blog contain enough questions?
    A. Yes
    On the plus side Nina, there’s still plenty of time to go crazy. Also I think that your brain is like your muscles, they work best with rest and lots of energy and so the thoughts you have when you are running well and high in energy are most likely to be the most rational. I love the six image spring montage. And keeping with the question answer theme…
    Q. Wouldn’t it be better to wear one of the rucksacks on your front (sharing your shoulders)?

  2. this is annie, but it will say anonymous. Lovely talking to you tonight. Good luck on Sunday, will be thinking of you and sleep well, angel x

  3. LOVE this post. 🙂

    Not only funny and full of witty observations, there is even a bug so cute that you want to give him a big bug hug! No, on second thought no bug hug (squish).

    In particular I liked your yyin yang about being single, How each experience is both good and bad.

    • I know. I’m not going to go putting music in every post – but it just informed the last one so much that I had to! Video is really cool too I think. Love ‘blink my flip’. Definitely going to use that again. Nina

    • You would have fickin loved the sky! It was better than what I said. I’m lighting the fire tonight – just to burn the rubbish you understand! Thanks El. x Nina

  4. Aw bean, loved your post. Keep a lid on the pre marathon freak-outs and go with the calm, happy version. You’ll be superb.

  5. Hello Nina
    Your description of the sky sounds amazing, i often admire the setting sun and cloud formations here in bournemouth while walking toffee the dog who i’ve had for a little over a year.
    Anna my older sister is visiting from Perth. Australia and is currently staying with Milly who has just had baby number three ” Olivia Phoebe”.
    On saturday Anna and i went to Krys’s for tea with your Mum and Tanya. Milly’s e-mail Is .
    Good luck with the marathon
    Cousin Geoff

    • oh great to hear from you Geoff. Thanks for reading the blog. ‘Olivia Pheobe’ – what a great name! I heard about your Oxford trip. Looking forward to meeting Toffee one day. x Nina

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