Monday, 9 July 2018

Two weekends, too many sunny days.

It's that terrifying day of the year - MOT day - so I'm skulking about at home when I would rather be outside - waiting for the call... I've got a sore ankle which I've been giving no concessions to which will probably benefit from doing less too. I think it's from running downhill. I give it a couple of days off hills and its fine. I run some hills again and it's not so fine. But not TERRIBLE. Maybe I'll go a plod on the flat later or maybe I'll go a wee spin on the bike. Anyway, I'm trapped, so I might as well blog.

As you know, there was an 8 month winter and then suddenly the sun came on. It's been shining so long that the people of Leith seem to be getting more measured in their drinking - and sitting in the shade instead of turning the colour of spam in the direct sunlight. 

So, at the end of June we went a run round Gullane.

And the next day we went a cyclo-swim to Thriepmuir. It was a nice, laid-back way to spend the day. I'd had a more ambitious cycle in East Lothian in mind but the heat was bellowing down and it all seemed a bit full-on. It was much more fun to make our way on mountain bikes up the Water of Leith, under the shade of the trees, to the Pentlands. We met Kathy Henly and Graeme Dunbar there just as we were getting tucked into some cake and coffee from the food caravan at the Ranger's Station. Well I don't know what else to call it. I had some carrot cake with super-sweet icing, thanks for asking. I was a bit concerned that Calories out < Calories in.

A good bit of chatter later we set off for Thriepmuir.

By then we weren't sure about going swimming. That always happens. The nearer you get to the water, the less appealing it all seems - the reality of the hassle of getting changed sets in and you remember what it feels like to be a bit cold while getting bitten by insects. It's just rarely like it is in the movies. And swimming...that's never quite as easy as it looks!

Anyway, I got over it all and went in.


And actually it was fine.

Somebody had taken their inflatable bed up to the water-side with them, and presumably it had blown away. While we were swimming a bed came by anyway - so we hopped up on it.

In Club Tropicana drinks are free...

The water was shallow all the way across and it really was warm. We swam across and back a couple of times.


Meanwhile, as you know, Peter is losing it more and more every day. He talks about nothing but butterflies. It's getting too much for me. We went a run to Gullane on Friday and he headed for his favourite nettle-fields babbling about small David Copperfields. I ran off and left him to it.

I was just having a bit of a stand (as you do when you're running in your 50s), enjoying the peace when something patted me on the shoulder and then somersaulted into the nearby long grass. It was a tiny bird! It didn't emerge so I had a rummage in the grass to see if I could see it, and behold!

A tiny, little baby bird. I took a few pics but it was difficult because I was holding the grass with one hand. I was a bit worried it was ill or injured, but I needn't have been. After a while looking at me with its bright, black eyes, it shot back over my shoulder and into a nearby bush! I think it was just practising its flying and mistook my shoulder for a fence-post momentarily.

Ah, that's better.

Then we found a toad. I found one too and tried to pick it up but it peed all over my hand and I let it go.

The next day I wanted to go a cycle again and Peter wanted to go to Cove. We kicked around possibilities and thought a train to North Berwick would be a good idea as otherwise it would be an 80 mile round trip. Then we were late leaving because we'd been waiting for the Postie to deliver a new router to us (which he didn't, BAH!!!!) so we just took the van to North Berwick. Peter was in charge of the trip as he knows that part of the country much better than me. Half way round he made some decisions about what we were doing but forgot to tell me. He had us pushing our bikes up through bumpy, grassy trails and on treacherous tracks through the trees. It was quite good fun but very, very slow and at last I wondered out loud how far it still was to Cove. "Oh didn't I tell you?" quoth Butterfly Bill, "We're not going to Cove". I realised eventually that what we were doing was the 18 mile circuit, more or less, that we'd once run with Nick W, except with a different line round the shore at Tyninghame.

I'm off to try and pump up the suspension on my bike.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Another weekend

It's been a terrible weekend with the sun burning down. Thanks goodness the skies were a little milky on Saturday by the time we went out. Peter had stuff to do in the morning so we didn't set off until (even) late(r than usual). In the morning we checked the scores on the doors for the WHW race and were please to see that Nick W had set off steady and survived the first night. As the day wore on he moved decisively through the field.

We took a trip down to Gullane. Yep that's right. Peter was full of talk about butterflies. He was going on a special butterfly trip on Sunday and was ever so excited. I half listened. Sometimes.

There are gull chicks on the roof across the way.


Every week there is something new going on down at Gullane and this week it was swifts, and kites.
Swifts are pretty hard to take  a photo of. They're um...swift. Some of these might be swallows too. I don't care.

Oh yeah, swifts and kites and long grasses. There were some very long grasses and the pollen count is "very high". I'm not sure I've ever seen that on the weather forecast before. Sure enough, neither of us really suffers with Hay Fever, but we were both sneezing a bit.

Peter found the trap door down to the underworld but managed to resist going down.






It was good to get down to the beach again. Because we'd set off so late it was super-late by the time we finished and we still had to do a food shop at Tescos. Tempers might have been testy, but we survived.

When we got home Nick had worked his way forwards from 31st place to 15th place and was on the final leg of the journey. Shortly after that he finished - now in 13th place! Hurray! That was easy!! Well done Nick.

The next day PB was up and off early to go to his butterfly convention in Berwick. I took my bike out with a 50 mile route in mind. The sea at Portobello was sparkling and the day unfolded nicely from there.



Solo cycles on the road are pretty hypnotic and I don't have much to say about it. I had some excellent cake back at the Lanterne Rouge - this time the chocolate and Guinness cake. A bit further along the road, Mr Badger, who we'd seen 2 weeks previously and at the time was protesting his untimely death by giving off a mind-blowingly terrible smell, had calmed it down to just a bit of a whiff. There was much less of him than there was before, too. I guess if you cycle the roads regularly you get to know the road-kill. There was a deer in the ditch half way up the road from Aberlady to Haddington, but something had been eating it so you could see its ribs.

To change things up a bit, instead of heading home via Cousland I headed onwards to Dalkeith and back into town that way. 

PB arrived home quite soon after I did. He hadn't worn any sun tan lotion so his head was bright red.
Dragonflies had been the thing. Butterflies not so much.

Has anyone ever watched Bojack Horseman? We're addicted to Bojack Horseman on Netflix. At first it seems too preposterous a premise to bother with. An insecure and depressive ex-actor who is also a horse? Don't be absurd. Watch it a few episodes and you'll be hooked.