Saturday, 14 September 2019

More sausage than he usually gets.

So what's happening?

Well not much, thanks for asking. Peter was away in Spain for a week. I was working most of the time. I'm not exactly signed up for a race, but I'm on a waiting list. You had to enter in advance for the Pentland Skyline this year, which had entirely gone by me. Maybe it's been like that for a while. Obviously, being over 50 now, I like the way they used to do things in the old days. I miss the days when the Skyline was enter on the day and cost £5. I could be wrong, but I don't think it even used to hurt. It used to be fairly easy. I ran it rather well.

So I might get offered a place in a race. Seemed like an idea to train - just in case. I set off for the Pentlands early last Saturday.

At first I thought I might do a dawn raid and arrive for sunrise and all that. Things happened. Plans were changed. I set off from Flotterstone car park at 7.50am. I was hoping the cows wouldn't be loose over the path up Turnhouse. I get better at cows when I'm doing them all the time but after a spell away my cowphobia comes back. I was so relieved to see that they were in a distant field as I crested the first mound on the way up T-house, that I stopped to celebrate and take a picture. Just at that moment a deer came out from the woods on the right hand side and then sproinged away to my left through the bracken.

After that I kept on slowly and steadily. It was actually a bit more windy and cold than the forecast had said, so I felt under-dressed and I didn't hang about. I thought I'd do the high tops up to Scald law and then cut down before East Kip and take the path between the hills to Black Hill and head back that way.

It was warmer after that. I went over Black Hill, Bell's Hill, Harbour Hill, Capelaw and then round the back of Castlelaw to get back to the car.

Big dragonfly on Black Hill. My fb friends in the know say it's a female common darter laying eggs.

On Wednesday I was off and Peter finally made it back after getting held up over night in London in the BA strike. I expected him to be complaining bitterly but the all-you-can-eat buffet in the free hotel they put him up in had done a lot to ease any frustrations he had. We went a run around Gullane just because and I got the first draft of the Spanish Blog. We discussed possible titles. "More sausage than I'm used to" was one possibility.

Butterfly Free

Last night it was the Harvest Moon. It was a cloudy evening and we woke up to a cloudy day.

We thought about going to the Pentlands, but neither of us could really be bothered. We went for a turn round the shore at Gullane instead. Peter gave me the 2nd draft of the Spanish blog. I put up some protest as I often do. "I've heard that before. You're just trying out your stories on me. I'm a real person with feelings." He acknowledged that that might be so, but in a short while he continued anyway.  My mind glided off like a gull on a strong westerly. At one point I had a thought. "It's just as well you had done all those Tynecastle Bronzes, you would have known exactly what you were doing." I pronounced. He looked at me side-ways. "Yes. I just said that." "Oh."

Not camp at all.

Anyway it was nice. I'm off to do something and then have dinner.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Not Me.

I can't remember what happened after all that. It's so long since I wrote a blog. I don't really know what happened. I've been working too much. It was the new moon the other day so this must have been a couple of weeks ago. Nice and misty. Some of my favourite photographs are the ones I take hanging out the window at home.

There's a juvenile gull on the rooftop across from me and I like it. It makes an ugly fuss when it wants something. And it stands on the plastic dome. They seem to stay quite young and dependent for a good while, which I find surprising. Gulls act so bad-ass, but they're obviously a bit soft.

One day I went out running and took this picture of a beautiful fly.

Peter was trying to be humorous in this picture but you can see that the crucifix beside him actually makes him squirm. He hates religion. Obviously he got burned at the stake in another life.

Here's the little Juvo on another day. He was down in the street on another occasion and some prick in a BMW drove towards him to run him over. Luckily he hopped out the way. I swore at the BMW driver. It was an ugly scene. Sometimes I forget I'm a nurse.

So then this was the day of the Thieves Road Ultra. I tell ye it was a warm day and I felt guilty despite it not being my fault and I slunk around at Gullane half enjoying myself but feeling a bit bad.  What if Peter or Nick or both of them died? It wasn't technically my fault they'd entered, and they had had a second chance to pull out, but still I think we all  pretty much knew I was to blame.

There was a nice cool breeze at the beach but I didn't think there would be anything of the kind in the hills.

I needn't have worried though. Nick did the sensible thing and dropped out at 25 miles and spent the afternoon listening to the cricket in his car. Peter crossed the line quite some time later. I hear he was wild-eyed, frothing, swearing, dangerous of approach. I think he was 5th. He was very unhappy about some of the terrain in the 2nd "half", particularly peat hags.

The next day we went an 8 and a half mile run. That was how far I needed to go to get my mileage up to my Strava weekly running goal. Yes Strava is the boss of me. I don't care. Peter was toiling, having run 42 and a half miles the day before. We had to get him some water from the ice-cream van to keep him going. I made a nav error and he called me a dick-head.
He was a little delicate for a number of days after. 

Then the next Saturday, which was last Saturday, suddenly a great wind had sprung up. Nick was up for coming too and so we drove to Gullane again. There wasn't much stopping for photos, or at least not early on. Peter was saying maybe there would be a sheltered corner somewhere and all the butterflies would be there. I cruelly told him he was dreaming. We ran into the wind initially and then enjoyed getting pushed along the beach by the wind, whilst getting our legs sand-blasted clean.

On the return journey we headed for the woods to get a bit of cover and found the Buddleia bush where all the butterflies had been hiding. Peter was over-joyed and Nick and I looked on patiently as he ran and whooped and snapped and exclaimed.

I tried to accentuate the moment using photoshop but unfortunately the butterflies are nearly too small to see. There were a lot of them, take it from me.

Look at that. That's art that is.

The next day the three of us headed out to the Lammermuirs, only pausing at the Lanterne Rouge for coffee and cake. Peter and Nick went round the far side of the Hopes reservoir on an adder hunt and I puttered up the main track on my own, which did something to mitigate the difference in our abilities.
Nick took off up the steep bits like a bat out of hell, Peter took a more measured approach and I just kept on keeping on. It was very nice and quite different to get up above everything for a change. We could see all the shore, very green and blue, where we usually run. The hills were much more austere, although we had some fun with a leveret and there was the odd red admiral showing off on the purple heather patches.

The Present Moment.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Not it.

So this was going to be it. A 42 or so mile race across the hills. I was not 'ready' and it didn't seem like a particularly good idea. The best I could hope for was to rock up fairly fresh and then go steady.
There has been very high humidity recently however, and so many thunderstorms they're beginning to seem normal, and there was a big thunderstorm warning all over Saturday. On Thursday afternoon at work I saw the email saying the race was postponed. Anyone who couldn't do it could have a full refund. I couldn't do it knowing I had an opportunity to pull out now and possibly not have sore feet for the next 2 months, so I pulled out. Peter and Nick are still in though!

So Saturday seemed quite surreal when not only were we not having to get up at the crack of dawn to do a great big horrible race, but it was really quite a nice day. The organisers are probably sick about it and I feel bad for them, but it was nice doing the familiar scoot around Gullane. You've seen it all before so here are a set of fairly random photos taken throughout the week.

I came across Mr Mousey on the way home from work on Tuesday.

It seems he might be a field mouse on his last legs.

"So what other races are you going to not do?" I hear you ask. Well I might not do the Hardrock 100 and that one right across Greece, I definitely plan to not do that and I also might not do the Loch Ness Marathon and the Paisley 10K.