Thursday, March 25, 2010


Finally got back out to Malvern after what seems an age and ran the usual 90 on / 90 off hill session on the 10k route. Felt largely rad, apart from the initial anaerobic strides out of the Rose garden. Today for the first time I managed to run the entire route, with only a little lagging - no hands-on-thighs walking action!
I took my usual photo stop at the trig point and noticed a spindly looking chap running up the footpath and down the other side so I bolted after him and had a moment of mad dashing down the north flank of the Beacon before peeling off 'round Sugarloaf Hill.

Silly boy - don't race while training!

Back at the Rose Garden about an hour later, it began to rain so I scoffed my Milky Ways and ducked into Waitrose for a bun. Met my old mate Charlotte on the road down to the station. Nice to catch up and make a plan for some drinks in a few weeks. She's off climbing at Font in a few weeks. Moi? Jealous? Non...

I called into the AA bookshop before heading home and picked out a couple of books - Honore de Balzac's 'Eugenie Grandet, which was apparently a huge influence on Karl Marx's writings.

The other is a pocket sized book printed in Peking in1967, bound inside a red plastic cover and embossed on the front with a red star - 'Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung'. A bargain at £1.50. The Chairman grins from behind the tissue paper. A free rendering of that eternal plea of Marx and Engels occupies a page of it's own -

Five to six billion (!!) copies were printed between 1964 and 1976 and it was a requirement to own, read and carry the book at all times. The back cover has a little slip pocket.

What went in there?

It's the Little Red Book. I quote, from the foreword, "We have compiled Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung in order to help the broad masses learn Mao Tse-Tung's thought more effectively." 

Maybe I 'll start carrying it around at all times myself, just to see what effect any one particular quote has in, say, the context of sitting down waiting to sign at the job centre. It's not mining to quote at random, and its not very scientific, but, for fun: "Ask your subordinates about matters you don't understand or don't know, and do not express your approval or disapproval...We should never pretend to know what we don't know, we should "not feel ashamed to ask and learn from people below" and we should listen carefully to the views of the cadres at the lower levels. Be a pupil before you become a teacher; learn from the cadres at the lower levels before you issue orders...What the cadres at the lower levels say may or may not be correct; after hearing it, we must analyse it. We must heed the correct views and act upon them...Listen also to the mistaken views from below; it is wrong not to listen to them at all. Such views, however, are not to be acted upon but to be criticized." from Methods of Work of Party Committees (March 13, 1949) pp.378-79.

I don't know anything about Mao's China, and I don't expect to garner much about it from the Little Red Book but I am stoked to have come across such an iconic and genuinely historical document. Not to mention a little surprised to have never seen a copy in twenty years + of stalking the shelves of bargain book stores. It was enough to form a certain kind of tolerance from lyric sheets, and the likes of Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Dave Diktor (MDC) and Rob Wright (nomeansno) replaced any meaningful education I could have been engaged in, when it came to South Asia.

'Mao tse Tung Egg fu yung Brown fried rice sure tastes nice
Peace through food Change folks mood One billion fed Alive not dead
What's food for? No more war Love thy earth And all it's worth
All give thanks Bread not tanks
Don't forget Ho And Timmy Yo Mao tse Tung'



  1. Sorry Paul, I accidentally rejected your comment - to answer your question though yes that's exactly what happened to the picture above but I quite liked the effect so I left it at that.

    I try to resize pictures first, which gives you a little more control but I agree that the whole thing is a bit random. I'm not exactly a computer whiz type so I often leave things to chance...

    I'm usually pretty good about ignoring the racing impulse in training but I figured it was a down hill section and it's good to train for that too! Running fast down hill is the reason I prefer fells over any other type of running in the first place.

  2. Cheers Si. Glad it wasn't just me with the photos! I tried resizing as well but couldn't get it right - will prob have a mess about with it later.