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I used to work 12 hour night shifts.  I stopped seeing friends.  My back seized up.  I lost my appetite for everything: food, sleep, life.  The money was good but seriously, the price was too high.

When I gave up the shifts I felt like a creaky old lady waking up from a winter sleep. All I wanted to feel was healthy again.  It was January.  After New Year’s I watched everyone set their new resolutions.  I waited until late January to begin mine.

I was an awful runner; it just felt good (if a little traumatic) to get blood moving round my body again.  I’ve always been bad at sports.  Right from the beginning, my P.E. teachers took against me.  I liked monkeying around, which they had no patience for.  And they mistook any earnest attempts to play sports for some giant pisstake, I think.  But I was really TRYING!!

Stepping outside in winter to run felt very public, particularly on London’s roads.  But being outside did something.  I ran and I panted.  Watching my breath condense in the cold air made me feel like I was really breathing.  Running in the pouring rain made me feel a bit of a wild woman (I looked like one too to the amusement of Australian tourists).  I felt the sun rise.  I heard the parakeets shrieking around in the early morning mists.  My trainers crunched on frozen grass.

That was years ago and I still haven’t tired of my runs.  The seasons come around like old friends.

I don’t run with a camera, obvs, but I have my phone with me every time.  And every now and then I’m still moved enough by a scene to stop in my tracks, fiddle clumsily with my touchscreen, and capture…

These pics reflect my relationship with my body and my neighbourhood from a specific time in my life.  They’re lonely times, but peaceful; they’re mine.

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