Sunday, April 28, 2013

The subconscious mind and acupuncture.

Have you ever turned left when you should have turned right, or vice-versa? Ever wondered why? I did this last week when taking my son to the hospital at Liverpool. Although we make the trip a couple of times a year, and although I know the way perfectly well, at the end of my road, I turned left instead of right, and it wasn’t until I was a hundred yards or so along the road that I realised my mistake and turned around. But my question is ‘why did I turn left?’ Did something happen subconsciously that made me take the turn? Did my subconscious know something that I didn’t, such as if I’d turned right as I was supposed to, we might have been involved in a traffic accident? I’d like to believe that we do things for a reason, even if we don’t know what that reason is, and that sometimes, a far greater power steps in to help us avoid incidents. Of course I could have just not been concentrating, and I’ll never know for sure, but it would be nice to think someone was watching out for us.

As anyone who has read my blog knows, I sprained my ankle in a mudrun last year, and I’ve been plagued by problems with it since. In order to help my recovery, last week I went for some acupuncture. I also had treatment for my hip, which is also painful, and although I was a little sceptical, I must say that a couple of days later, the pain has noticeably lessened, which is a good thing as next Sunday I’m competing in the Mad Monk run. I will be going back next week for some more treatment, but I wonder who first thought it would be a good idea to use people as pin cushions to help treat them, and who was the first person to actually let them do it? It sounds more like something a sadist would do, but as long as it works, I’m quite happy to continue with the treatment. 

Now although these two things are about different things, they are tied by another strange occurrence. When I was in a running shop in Chester a few weeks ago having my gait tested and buying some new running shoes, the lady serving me mentioned that if I hadn't tried it, then acupuncture might help with the pain from my sprained ankle. I didn't think much of it until a week or so later I was on a course and the instructor mentioned that he had just been for acupuncture, and that he swore by it. Again it seemed that someone or something was guiding me to give it a try, so I obtained the details of the person the instructor used, and well, if you've read this far, you know the rest. 

Serendipity. Chance. Good fortune. Divine intervention. Whatever it is, things often fall into place for reasons we cannot fathom. Shakespeare said it best when he wrote: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Deadfall (new cover), marathon training and a short break

I recently hired Karri Klawiter to design a new cover for Deadfall (she has previously done covers for The Kult, Killers, Day by Day and The Heist, The novel hasn't been available in paperback since the previous publisher closed up shop, but I'm preparing a new paperback version that will hopefully be available soon.

For now, Kindle and Smashwords ebook copies are still available:


A team of mercenaries race to an abandoned mining village to rescue two children held hostage by rogue ex-soldiers. But the kidnappers are a ruse, the real threat more terrifying than any of them could imagine.

Aided by a couple of unsuspecting eco-warriors, mercenary team leader Amber Redgrave must fight to survive against foes that don't sleep and don't feel pain.

Now as the body count rises, so do the stakes, and when the dead won't stay dead, there's going to be hell to pay.


I recently decided to enter my first marathon (I think all this exercise is either my mid-life crisis or the fear of my own mortality. Either that or I'm just going crazy): The Lock Ness Marathon in September. It's still around five months away, but my training has already hit an obstacle when my previously sprained ankle started playing up again. I don't know whether this was compounded by changing my running style, as I have tried to adopt a midfoot strike, which involves different muscles to those I was using previously. It's supposed to be a more efficient way of running, as my previous style was more of a heel strike, which is like putting the brakes on all the time. I will have to reserve judgement until I can run again. 

I also had my running gait analysed at Up & Running in Chester, and as I assumed I do slightly overpronate, but not as badly as I feared. While there, I purchased a new pair of shoes (Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13), but I've not been able to try them yet. But as I'm running in the next Wild Warrior race, The Mad Monk next month, I really need to get training again (this one involves yet more obstacles and an open water swim across a river), but I don't want to rush it and make the pain worse, so I'll just have to settle for less impact exercises such as cycling for now, just to keep my fitness levels up to scratch. 

I really missed not being able to run over the last couple of days though as we had a short break in Greenacres at Porthmadog. I was itching to run along the beach (featured in the picture below), but knew that I had to restrain myself. Anyway, here are a couple of photos I took while there:

It was quite strange seeing a little sunshine while on Black Rock Sands, but then having snow-capped mountains in the distance. 

This second photo is of Llyn Celyn, a large reservoir in the valley of the River Tryweryn in Gwynedd, North Wales. The water was so calm that it resulted in this perfect mirror image.