| 2019 | 03 | 31 | trucking |

This was such a good weekend. Honestly. 

I spent yesterday doing the one thing that I really do enjoy - paddling. trashing up and down the thames.

we did the first 13 miles upstream, meeting another crew at Longridge before we all headed downstream toward Windsor. the sun was out, we were paddling nicely and everything was generally quite perfect. 

lunch in town. blueberry muffins and a twist of drama. 

i hate drama. 

actually, it was quite an interesting situation. one that i've only ever been on one side of but watching it as a bystander was the interesting bit. the woman before us in the queue had been served one of those sugar filled starbucks drinks, but the server had opted to slide it across the counter. lady was not impressed. in fact, i'd say by her vocal detestation, she was very not impressed.

phrases like 'this isn't mcdonalds' and 'do your job', 'the customer is always right' left her surprisingly loud face and again. i was torn. in fact, the customer is not always right. we should be respectful of one another and whilst, yes, maybe him serving her that way wasn't to her liking, but given how much of the cost of her drink would go into his wages - i'm more on his side. 

anyway i digress. 

the point being. we should all just be nice. why can't we all be nice. 

not enough people act out of pure kindness, it's always questioned, doubted and undermined. 

three weeks.

In three weeks time I will have completed the DW. I'm scared because.

Well I don't know.

Because it's not my natural habitat?

Obviously the river is. Obviously the outdoors is. but this year has been the steepest learning curve for me and i'm not sure it's enough.

> before august last year, i'd never paddled a proper racing k2. let alone added in the other complications of challenging weather, long sessions and portaging under pressure
> this is my first year of doing the watersides (thameside 1 also but we didn't do it) and paddling on the canal. I know water is water, but it's different water.
> it's not just that i haven't done this before it's that we're trying to do quite well. if this was just a case of paddle the course, do the bits in between - it would be fine. but we don't just want to get sucked into the pack.

> i don't like to tell people, but my health right now sucks. in a really big way. i don't want to write it all down here but i would like to have this as a record of where things are at. got it? got it.

imagine every time you went to do something, feeling like you'd already done it ten times before starting. sitting on the start line of waterside c last weekend, my heart rate was all over the place, i was short of breath and my legs were burning from lactic acid. before the start. this is my new normal though. if i want to do the things i want to do - it's just something i have to accept.

stuff like running up the stairs can wipe me out.

our paddle yesterday was awesome, but by the end I was hurting. for me, it's normal, but one day i'd like to not have that constant pain. we went into windsor afterwards and honestly I could have just laid down right then and there. in a corner. we sat in a restaurant for an hour. my hands were hurting. i could have cried. getting changed in the car park i wanted to be sick -

i'm really nervous of the downtime from the dw. i'm prepared for it - don't get me wrong, but i'm scared. i'm now more worried about that than the actual race.

same applies to next weekend's race. waterside d. it's going to be 5 hours. i'm desperately trying to improve my iron stores but unfortunately it's a huge uphill battle, i'm using more than my body can keep hold of. blah. lots of people are anaemic. but they're not being idiots.

it's very strange because in terms of numbers, i'm back where i was last september. before those two months of hell. my GP suspects this time round i'm better at managing it and in some way used to it but i'm so anxious that one day i'm going to wake up and whatever is keeping me propped up will be pulled out from underneath me. if it can hold out for another 3 weeks that would be swell.

in the meantime.

keep trucking.


| 2019 | 03 | 27 | toasties. it's all about food |

last night was a bit busy. we paddled and then after going to my dads i took a detour and didn't get home for another 4 hours. that's a bit naughty given the race thing i'm training for ...


the lust list

- i am obsessed with paddywax candles. but right now i really fancy the sea salt and ocean diffuser.

- a haircut! i'm trying to grow out my hair so it's a bit wild and messy, but i'm holding on for the next few inchies.

- the sun. though this year i'm going to pursue the tan less and stay in the shade more. spf kids.


| 2019 | 03 | 26 | letters |


we'd been out running. in the rain. my hair had fallen out of my tie and was damp through. you were in a vest which had become borderline see through and we were slightly lost in the woods.

mud. mud everywhere.

you'd been holding my hand when the summer storm properly hit and pulled me in close.

i'd never been kissed in the rain before.

it was that night you put a letter through my door.



here we are.

it would seem that despite not wanting to, i like you a lot. i mean. a lot.

like i think about you a lot.

more than once an hour and i'm a busy person so you're not helping.

okay. it's more than once. it's probably all that's on my mind. get off my mind. get off my back.

you. i don't know. i think you get me.

when you call i answer. i don't answer to anyone.

you make me giggle .

i like the sound of your laugh too.

i keep getting a weird impulse to buy something because i think you'd like it.

i want to talk to you all the time.

i think you might have been the one to wear down my defenses. i think you might have trampled my boundaries. i think i've problematically pushed you higher up my priorities list than i should.


| 2019 | 03 | 25 | buses |

what a weekend.

saturday was busy in a 'ticking over' kind of way. a combination of chores, moving stuff, coffee and facetiming an ex kept me busy until late afternoon where i collapsed into a nap.


yesterday was waterside c (which i'm determined to call b). it was one of the final puzzle pieces, and included the first portage we would be doing on the day.

i had a very clear race plan in my mind for this race. and we had something to prove.

back in the front.

24 miles. 35 portages. they're not equally spread out, and in reality i think this race is split in two. the first half there's a lot of 'doing'. running uphill, higher portages, the tunnel and then of course, crofton. 

the latter stage - waterside a - is a very clean 14 miles. portages are all on the right and then they're not. 

I don't know this course well, so was worried my pacing would be horrific. the thing about the portages is that you can fully recharge and go again - weirdly it's almost like my interval training has been for just that. i'm starting to review the way i'm looking at this race. it's not a long paddle. it's a paddle, then a run, then a paddle, then a run. 

don't get me wrong i'm not naive to think that it's that simple. but it's definitely not just a paddle. 

i've been keeping an eye on a few other crews performances - a couple of mixed, some men's and a couple of k1's to properly measure our progression across the races. it's very interesting. 



this is the first start i haven't felt completely panicked. i had two jobs yesterday. ensure a clean race and empty the tank. definitely hit the latter, the first was a bit less tidy. it's a bit scrappy on some of the portages. 

the tunnel was interesting. a real test of nerve. i was terrified. i hate the dark. we've been over this. but once we were in there and paddling - there's no stopping til your done. 

I wish I could remember the book in which I first encountered that mindset. 

Rather than it being a conscious choice to move - it's actually a decision to stop. your legs will keep going until your brain tells them otherwise. 



| 2019 | 03 | 23 | to all the things i've before |


tomorrow is waterside c.

i've finally pieced together the big race using these smaller pieces and now my mind feels ready. it feels achievable.

when i last competed in an endurance race, i didn't know the route but i knew what 60 miles felt like. this time - i know the route but i've never paddled so far.

it's going to be interesting.


I remember this night. 

I remember this photo.

| 2019 | 03 | 23 | glass teapot for two |

the why::
my push towards lighter living involves reducing my use of daily consumables and throwaways.

I started by critically reviewing those things which I do daily and how they could become more sustainable. For me, no morning is complete without a cup of tea, but would you believe it? Even the staple british beverage is not safe from plastic.

The UK tea council confirmed that 96% of the 165 million cups of tea we drink daily come from teabags.

For a long time now, I was under the impression that all teabags went in the compost bin an disappeared forever... but some background research reveals that manufacturers use polypropylene to seal the edges and this does not compost. So we're left with a product that isn't quite biodegradable.

Further complicating this is the advice given by the government waste body Wrap - it's actually more sustainable to compost them at home (removing the plastic where possible) and either accept you'll have plastics in your soil or fish them out yourself, than to send them to landfill.

So. With that in mind. I'm just going to try and avoid them completely - safe in the knowledge tea leaves break down just fine.

Cue. The teapot.

the what::
This glass teapot facilitates the use of loose leaf teabags every day in a fairly stylish design.

I wanted something I would actually want to use, but also to make enough to share.

the how::
simply put your loose leaf tea in the middle section of the pot and pour your water over it, allowing the leaves to steep for as long as you like.

Tea is definitely down to the person.

my thoughts::

I partly regret not getting the teapot for one as I prefer it aesthetically, but hey ho.

Also, whilst I am a huge fan of this brand - they have made sure that their tea temples are fully biodegradable - it should be noted that this is through industrial composting and not all their packaging can be recycled....sigh. Small steps.

But please. Rethink your teabags. My takeaway from this is that you need to start looking at every aspect of the process. For me, I've still got to work on milk production,




| 2019 | 03 | 22 | 41. thats the magical number |

before bed, i shower under water so hot it would make most flinch. but i embrace the heat. it washes the sweat from my face with a satisfaction i hadn't felt in a while.

i lie in bed drawing circles on my skin with increasing pressure. i stop after threatening to break through and turn over.

the emptiness in my bed once scared me but now i embrace it as i stretch sideways, releasing tension in my lower back.

i remember i meant to book a restuarant for dinner the next day and flip back over to grab my discarded phone from the floor.

carluccios. i think. or  maybe the pub down the road.

sighing, i sit up and rub my face. this needs some thought.

my feet feel uncomfortable against the soft carpet and i notice i'd not managed to wash all the dirt from between my toes. i scrunch my mess of hair and delight in the fact it's now below my neck.


i stare into the mirror in front of me, a daily scrutiny. hmmm.

bloody perfection.


| 2019 | 03 | 20 | bbq flavoured chickpeas |

i feel like, if you read my blog you think you're getting some kind of insight into my mind.

doubt it.

a lot of the stuff i write on here is either massively over-dramatised, fictional or just utter waffle.

if you really want to tap into the real inner workings - check my notes app. oh boy.

it contains my most candid thoughts, there are long meticulously drafted messages i considered sending people. there are thoughts from 3am.

words, i should have said.
words, i still can say
words, i'll never utter

i've considered more than once going through my notes and pressing delete. some are really painful to read. some still are just painful in real time.

it's weird isn't it? different people's reactions. i like to keep my emotions simmering on the surface. i think that makes me very changing and emotive. others are more consistent, with changing emotions deeper on the inside.

my most recent one is from a conversation i had in my head last week.

i like to write down my shower arguments too.

i don't think people realise how busy i am - always thinking, writing, conversing. i'll be singing. there's no off button. it's just a constant onslaught.

sometimes i wish i could turn my brain off.

maybe that's why i nap all the time. not my anaemia.


| 2019 | 03 | 20 | pitter patter |

// things what happened this week

- i ran into a wall

- i ran outside really fast

- i ran outside really slowly

- i ran in between for a little while



| 2019 | 03 | 19 | hair |

These are different moods. 

| 2019 | 03 | 19 | end credits |

 the time is 2am.

i sit propped up in bed with a pen in one hand and my notebook in the other. i'm staring at my blank page.

i want to fall into my bed. i want my head to touch my pillow and fall asleep.

instead. i reflect. i turn back through the pages of the past year and imagine how things were. i think the reason i don't sleep is that my imagination is too vivid and the picture it paints is more enticing than sleep.

i am just a bundle of musings. i dream too much when i'm awake.

i long to tell my stories. to write and write and share the experiences.

yet. i'm drawn inwards.

lost in my sea of faces.

dreaming so vividly i can make it feel real.

there's a hand mussing my hair, holding the back of my neck. a ghost.


| 2019 | 03 | 19 | busy bees and naughty trees

my name is sophielola.

i'm currently sitting at my desk staring into the remnants of my coffee, deliberating another. the conversations happening over the top of my head are ones I should probably listen to but i half don't want to switch my ears on.


mondays are normally bad days.

but sometimes they're just the worst.

sometimes we don't talk about it, but everyone dreads beginnings as much as they dread an ending.

i've just realised. at 0945. an ending is unavoidable.

i don't really understand.

i don't want to understand.

i just wanted reassurance. 
but that was never going to happen. 

so i'm taking back control

i'm going to say no.



bearing no likeness to that which i feel for
you fight for your right to keep thoughts deep inside
to hope and commitment and endless devotion
arms empty and open, dismissed and denied
tarnished and branded by shifting emotion
your artwork the marks in my heart and on my outside
tireless persistence and spiteful resistance
you leave me then plead me remain at your side

ripping and rending and sewing an ending
i sing to myself in a sorrowful key
abandoning fragments intended for mending
again i descend to the space, in between.



| 2019 | 03 | 04 | people |

isn't it weird how someone can be so important to you and then become so little - go back to being a stranger.

friends, partners, team mates, colleagues..... the list goes on.

the photos are gone.
old clothes have been donated.
my phone doesn't ring at 1730 as you're driving home.
i don't drink hot chocolate like i used to. i pretend i don't know you.
i listen to new music now.
i make small talk with people and pretend i don't miss the way you knew what i was thinking.
i can pretend i don't know you're out there.
things are different now. i have new lipsticks. new shoes. new socks.
pressing your fingertips into the back of my neck.
the sideways look you'd give me when you thought i wasn't looking.
the way you'd hold my waist.


the secret fear of failure.


| 2019 | 03 | 16 | thanks |

please listen to this.

it makes sense.


| 2019 | 03 | 14 | run to the water |

endings are never an end because we keep ghosting each other and we get away with it because if you were never a thing to begin you don't owe anyone anything. you see?

things i shouldn't think about but still do.
>> my mind wanders to the time we spent walking through woods. the side glances. the laughter.
>> to skateboarding round dorney lake on that windy day.
>> to eating chocolate croissants in the heat of the french sun, burning on my nose but not giving a damn because i was perched on the highest point i could find
>> to almost holding your hand. and the way your hair looks after you've been out

things i don't think about but probably should
>> my future. i can't see beyond tomorrow. it's like there's a block. it's like there's nothing there. i think i know why though.
>> finances.
>> what i'm doing


| 2019 | 03 | 13 | lollipops and jam sandwiches |

I think I get it now.


I think i understand how the way we were treated before does not define our futures. i'd expect a second chance. so i'm able to give those too.

if you can't forgive someone, you are still allowing them to dictate your own happiness. if you can let go of the hurt then the only person you're helping is yourself. it won't change things for them. because if they hurt you that badly - then they don't care.

just recognise the bits within yourself which carry worth. the value.

we're getting cake. i like cake.


this has been such a monumentally huge realisation for me.

nothing lasts forever.

so be it.

--- if now is all we have i want to make it count.

the world moves fast and sometimes i just want to stop. sometimes timing isn't right and there's nothing we can do.

we fall for the wrong people, we get up and try over and over and that's just it isn't it.

if its meant to happen, there won't be any second guessing.

sometimes we have to just live in that moment. sometimes take the tiny moments. ignore the bigger picture. smile.

it won't make sense. things don't need to.

stop over thinking.

it's hard because truly, everything happens for a reason. people don't enter your life by accident.

i've spent so long thinking over the things i have no control over but really there's no need.

i simultaneously am important and then i'm not.


| 2019 | 03 | 12 | to those things i left at the zoo |

it's back. 

i love it. the inability to sleep. 

let me tell you something you won't realise in your unconscious state of bliss. 4 am is truly the loneliest time. 

it's not nice. the rest of the world is asleep except for a few internet friends across the globe and it's 

i'm sorry for the above. it's a waste of time. 

i talk drivel, nonsense and giggle. but there are few points, and they are made far between. 

i used to be afraid of being myself. of publicly just being the goof i am, and part of that is because so is everyone else. 

i feel quite hypocritical. i talk about individuality and doing things 'your way', yet in my daily life there are some days i don't abide by this at all. if you see me being me - you're probably one of the lucky few.

this feeling of inadequacy extends to my private life too. i don't allow myself to enjoy my truly dorky activities, i have a soft spot for things i don't allow myself to vicariously enjoy them because it feels wrong. 

i don't share my music and truly i want to write so many things on here that i don't for fear of the judgement that will come with. 

i don't allow myself to follow my dreams. i stop myself sitting and practicing my singing because i worry it's not a good use of time. 

i don't think i'm likable to other people. i'm not funny, or sweet and i don't say witty responses at the right point in conversations. all in all. i'm quite up front and sometimes come across as rude. 

i've toned myself down a lot and allow the bits of me that are probably most my character to hide away. 

i was being myself .and i hate it. i want to delete it. i want to delete that part of me and never see it again. 

but it's tiring. hating the parts of you that make you you. 

it's a struggle. 

but i probably should be more me. even if it means i devote entire days to geeking out in secret. or completing my projects. or 

i have a wish list this year. i really owe it to myself to finish it before i grow old and look back with only regret in my heart.

starting with.

i'm gonna go be the duvet monster i want to be.


| 2019 | 03 | 08 | fondant and i fancy |

my usual kayaking information source has been a bit off grid recently, so i turned so some of the most unlikely of places for guidance regarding my race on sunday.

it's an out and back, the old classic running set up but via kayak, with an interesting turn at the bottom.

i've been advised to complete the entire event with my eyes shut paddling backwards.

we'll see how that goes.

running this morning felt amazing. 

my body was at the point where it would have been oh, so easy to stay in bed - but my mind had committed so off i trotted. 

4 on 1 off x 11. as you do. 

the sun was up, the air warm and everyone was smiling. including me. 

i've started listening to a podcast as i run, because that way there's a complete dischord between the cadence and audio cues. makes it easier. 

i'm glad though, because in times of quiet i often turn to my music, and have started to sing again. first time in two years. 

yoga was also yesterday. more time for quiet. 

pennies fall hardest from the sky. but once they've dropped. there's no going back. 
it's not a nice feeling when you've 


| 2019 | 03 | 07 | what i'm not is a piece of cake |

life is about timing, and inches. 

the right place, the right time. 

one half a step too early, or one half step too late. you're not where you could've been. you're not where you needed to be. and if everyone is a half step out then.... well it's all a mess really. 

the margins for error are so small. but. even the smallest things can be the most important. 


do you ever wish you had a time machine?

what would you use it for?

today, i'd go back. i'd unmake certain meets. i'd never wave 

hindsight - the most useless of superpowers.

or if i couldn't go straight back as myself, but as the version today....

well i'd go back and grab my hand of then. i'd take myself for a walk and show me the beauty of the day. 

the strength of the wind. 

i'd distract, refocus and redefine what i needed. 

what i wanted. 

our past doesn't determine our future. it just gets us here. but from here, we do the next bit. 


making decisions used to be easy.

but now easy decisions are traps and no one wins.


~ you used to use my full name with such force i could feel the syllables bounce around your mouth. you'd drive home each of my names with quiet intensity and it would make me feel so ... so noticed. it was half sing-song too. i don't know why, but it made me feel so special. so complete. i think it was that, coupled with the eye contact that was perfect.

shame you were a wanker ~


did you watch the black mirror episode where each pairing had an expiry date? what if that's true? what if we just don't have a way of measuring it yet.

what if there's an unforeseen clock that decides how long your relationships last, and it's just down to you to make the most of them.


| 2019 | 03 | 05 | twinkle twinkle little car |

howdy to my readers in america. just wanted to give you guys a lil shout out on this here wednesday


foxes - body talk
bon ivor - for emma, forever ago
passenger - all the little lights

my albums. if i could never hear anything ever again.


this week, i did what i consider the right thing, disregarding what i wanted to do.

what i want doesn't always equal the best choice.

i'm trying to make smarter choices. I'm trying to not get carried away by whims and fancies and stay focused. but i suck at that.

because sometimes it hurts and i want a hug.

i think i was the only one who had fun.

i just want to confirm it was really windy which is why we all look so fab.


| 2019 | 03 | 04 | what is this? spring break? |

What a weekend.

What a whirlwind.

what a wondrous time to be alive.

I think i need to talk a bit about my spring ring.

it was a gift from someone who i think in the end i wasn't the nicest to, however, i think i've since rebuilt that bridge. i hope.

anyway. he gifted me a spring in exchange for a mood ring I gave him (obviously, we're 12) and we sat in the theatre watching the lion king stretching it out so it would fit in between another one he'd already pulled apart and created the below mangled mess.

I became quite attached to it, purely from a durability perspective. then one cold morning, it was gone.

by that point we were no longer speaking, so I felt it a natural progression of things.

cut to a month ago (twelve months after).

after a cold paddling session, i spotted something glinting in the snow. lo and behold. the ring. albeit a little worse for wear and slightly misshapen. still.

but. within a week it was missing.

so i messaged him, i guess out of the blue, to see if he could organise a replacement.

long story short, he's been to B&Q, halfords and now his stationary department think he's obsessed with pens and springs.


10 replacements are on their way.

it's been a bloody whirlwind if you ask me, but i'm not taking this damn piece of metal off my hand.



had some conversations that needed to be had, had some that didn't. also didn't have some that didn't have to be had and avoided some that did. 

i basically covered all categories of chat there. 


i really struggle with holding a grudge. when i should. when anyone would - i can't help but offer forgiveness.

i can hate someone with my very being but when they light up my phone i can't help but engage with the dialogue. 

do you know a very sad and real issue our generation has? it's not so much who is lighting up our phones - it's the fact that they are. most of the time, when someone is lonely they'll reach out. but not because it's you but because they're after a dialogue with anyone.

knowing that, it's so much harder to trust in the genuineness of someones words. or even, the attention they're giving you. because quite often, it's an investment of their own to increase return. 

if you find someone who is willing to pick up the phone, who wants to remember your words - then they're worth holding on to. they're worth recognising as rare and keeping safe. 

you're a person. go outside and do the thing you do best. 

| 2019 | 03 | 04 | the sun shines brightest after rain |

If not now, then when?
if not me, then who?


when you have nothing left, you create something out of that nothing. and with that something - you find greatness.


you have to face yourself tomorrow. are you gonna be okay with what you see in the mirror?


the time to act is now.


i choose to rise, not to fall
i choose to live, not to die
i choose.


when you get to the point you can't take it anymore? you cannot quit. just because it hurts.


champions keep going when they have nothing left. that's what separates them. when they're ready to give up. that's when they get going.


every human has what it takes to get past what's in their way - if they decide to.


the obstacles should be scared of you. when you see something in your way you tear. it. down.


success doesn't know about cold, or hungry, or tired. you can't just say you want it. you've got to turn up and perform.


inch by inch, play by play, til we're finished
we're in hell right now.
and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us.
or we can fight our way back
into the light
we can climb outta hell

one inch at a time.


when i first started to read about ultra marathons, ultra events and generally participating in something requiring you to endure the line between tolerance and pain.

but everyone talks about the times they hit the wall.

no matter the distance, no matter the athlete. everyone tells of that time that truly broke them.

it's not just about how bad it was, it's about how you pick yourself back up again.


I truly anticipate during the DW there will be moments I don't want to keep going. It's going to feel long, uncomfortable and probably at times - boring. repetitive. slow. but when I'm faced with these situations, i have two mantras.

inch by inch.

because i know we're not going backwards. it doesn't matter how far, how long - if you keep clawing out those inches you're gonna get there.

if not now, then when.

this one fires me up from the failure of my first ultra marathon. the pain in my foot paled in comparison to the pain in my soul from having to stop. i'd placed so much on that race, so much of the previous six months had been resting on the success of that day. to see it blow up so spectacularly made me realise that unless I'm truly injured there is no pain that can't be overcome. there is no discomfort that won't fade with time except failure. that's so much worse than enduring discomfort. 20 hours. i live that every day. and then some.

what's your why?
it's not enough to want something. you need a motive. what moves you? what drives you? anyone can have talent. but you need that extra something to drive you forward.
if you're not careful your talent will take you places your character can't keep you.


anyway this is waffle but basically. i'm scared of the dw, because i can't live with myself if i back down from the fight. i'm more frightened of failure than i am of that race. 


| 2019 | 03 | 01 | you're not invited |

Bassment Jaxx - Raindrops.

Summer of 2013. damn

now this is a throwback. 


he drove his parents ford fiesta in dusky blue and would insist on chaffeuring me everywhere. like.

annoyingly so.

this song takes me back to one summer evening. it had been a painfully hot day, and you could taste it in the air - sweat and suncream, dust and salty fish and chips.

we were driving back through marlow, his music but my selection and I remember. I remember thinking this was ridiculous.


not so much anymore.

relationships are circular. the more you give, the more you could get back. but also, the more you give, the harder you're gonna fall when they're not keeping the relay going.

I spend weeks toeing the fine, dangerous line of emotion.

people are precious.


please see the 4am ramblings of a bedraggled 20-something on less than two hours sleep.

welcome to the land of coffee and sugar.

I have just eaten half a daim cadburys bar and will be completing it soon.

thank you for tuning in.