I find myself craving for the clocks to change this week. The street lights are out of kilter with the darkness and it feels too easy to shirk a morning run because it’s so dark outside (I know it will still be dark at the end of October, but at least my running route will be well lit if the Council decides to switch the street light timers).
‘Lit’, according to The Youth who are my authoritative students, used to be slang for ‘intoxicated’ i.e someone so high on booze or drugs that they would only be able to smile and therefore, ‘look lit up like a light, Miss’. (Honestly). But before I can nail down such game changing information, I’m told that the phrase has already moved on. ‘Come on Miss, keep up’. Now I have to juggle with the news that ‘well lit’ also now means that something is flipping amazing (they used a different adjective) or it can describe a person being ‘popped’ or hyped up about an upcoming event.
So if I’ve got this right, I am now well lit about the prospect of my usual running route being well lit by the end of October. I’ll need to ponder this on a run before opening my mouth again in public.
At bootcamp we’re now starting in the dark under the interrogative stare of the instructor’s head torch, but still finishing in daylight to scrape the mud off our trainers before driving to work. In a few weeks it will be dark all the time and I can stop wearing mascara.
Yesterday, Bootcamp Bill ran us through darkness to the far side of the park where he’d spotted the only street lamps that were still switched on. It was a nifty move to get us exercising in a pool of light – he said it was for our personal safety, but we knew he really wanted to check we were planking and not just asleep on the grass. With street lights come houses, and in this particular spot they are of the expensive Victorian variety. As we burpeed and sprawled (Suzy Dent, have a word with British Military Fitness please, before Bear Grylls gets totally carried away with new Brit Fit verbiage), one of these imposing front doors thrusts open and a shaft of light fires across our sweating, noisy troop. In harmony we turn to see the fine figure of a well lit man. He was certainly ‘popped’ but even in his combo of boxer shorts and wellies we could tell he was less than excited about our dawn chorus. Apparently he was also less than excited that, after finally getting off to sleep, his baby son was now well ‘stoked’ about our presence.
We ran back into the darkness. The muscle memory of parental sleep deprivation was etched too deep in most of us not to feel some spasm of shame about igniting New Dad’s fuse.
On reflection, I’m ready for Autumn. Like morphing language, I’m stoked about change. I’m well lit about scented candles, fairy lights, carved pumpkins and bonfires and they’re all best against a dark backdrop. Time to turn out some lights and have some fun. I’m sparked, I’m candled, I’m lit.