Sunday, 26 November 2017

Eyeballs out at sea-level and baltic in the hills.

On Saturday we went for a run round the shore with Michael G, who we've not seen for ages. The run was billed thus: "Do you fancy 4-8 miles SLOW at Gullane on Saturday?". Haha. Fool that I am, I took this at face value. It was 8.5 miles eyeballs out. I just about managed to hold on. There was a very sharp wind blowing and we had to keep moving just to stay warm. I am not complaining. The harsh wind and brisk pace blew away every suggestion of a cobweb that might have been left over from the week, and it was very nice to see Michael. Peter and Michael looked a bit surprised when I suggested the pace had been stiff, saying they were just jogging. Honestly, is that supposed to be helpful?

For today the forecast was looking sunnier. We contemplated an early rise to catch the sunrise. It looked like the earlier part of the day would be sunnier. We both slept in - but as luck would have it, the sun stayed out pretty much all day. We'd thought about the Pentlands and hummed and hawed, but we both settled on the Lammermuirs. I'm glad we did. I like the Pentlands but the scenery on the drive to the Lammermuirs beyond Haddington was just lovely.

The higher we got in the car the more the puddles were frozen over on the road and by the time we got to the car park at the Hopes Reservoir it was damn hard to get out the car. Get out the car we did, however, at the crack of 1pm or so...and after a mile or so of running up hill I was able to take my hood down.

There is a stretch - I'm not really sure where it starts and where it ends - but going up the steep hill - where I had a course record for a section on Strava for a while. Then someone took it off me, so I was looking to see if I could get it back - which warmed me up. I didn't get it back - the road was a bit slippy, and I was over-dressed. One for the warmer weather I think.


I did quite a lot of grouse whispering to get this bird's attention.
It's got lovely eyes!

Some friendly people came over the hill with their dogs and told us about a route which I didn't really take in. They mentioned "going round the back of the big house" after which I stopped listening and instead just imagined shouty men with guns and big dogs. 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

More low light, shadows and colour.

Peter was off to do his 40 miler this morning. (I've just got a text. He says he was 11th overall and 1st old bloke.) There was going to be sun, but only in the morning, so I thought I'd stay in town. The traffic was getting silly yesterday, heading onto the bypass and then on the turn off for Kinnaird Park. I guess the Christmas Shopping thing has started. 

The lovely low sun was coming through the windows and hitting our race tat, (you know, plastic cups and what-not). The blobs of light on the wall are considerably more tasteful than the things they are reflected from.

Eventually I got out the house and headed for the Water of Leith. I had an ambitious plan with built-in flexibility. I was thinking I could go up the Water of Leith and then hook onto the 7 hills route and go up Corstorphine Hill. If I was feeling super-duper at this point I could have gone down the other side and through Barnton, down to Cramond and then back that way. I think that would have been about 15-17 miles.


The section of the Water of Leith that goes past Murrayfield is open again. It's the first time I've been up that way. It was nice not to have to cut through back streets. There are still at least a couple of blocked sections though; at the Dean Village and then again on the stretch past the skate park. 

Corstorphine Hill was looking as pretty as last time we were up. I was reassessing my ambitions at this point. I was kind of thirsty but couldn't be bothered with going to shops and all that. I thought I could cut back down past Ravelston Dykes and go home that way.


So in the end it was a 12 mile run, which was good enough. No pictures after the Dean Village and it wasn't nearly as good once I was back in amongst the Gluhwein swigging populace clogging up the streets.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Low winter sun, eating scones, drinking coffee and biting wind.

It was all about the low winter light today - well that and the new shoes - and trying not to overdo it before Peter's ultra tomorrow - it was about that too. I guess it was about a few things.

First off it was about getting out the house. Not an easy thing. It looked bright out there, but it was cold. I work a long, long day on a Friday and I'm fuzzy on a Saturday morning. It doesn't help that we've been binge watching Hannibal on Netflix. It has descended from being kind of interesting to utter horse-shit. But we've invested so much time. I heard a good phrase yesterday, it's the sunk-cost trap. We can never get the time back we've spent watching that series so we soldier on...

There's only one to go. Hannibal Lecter the psychopath and his counter-part Will Graham with his 'empathy disorder' are spending a lot of time in darkened rooms staring into each other's eyes. It's got a kind of homoerotic vibe. All the women in it are idiots. Sadly that seems to be a bit of a theme on the telly. But there's just one to go and once it's over we'll have to figure out what to watch next. Mindhunter was great. Then we watched 'Travelers' which became unwatchable. We watched one episode of 'My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' out of desperation, and to be fair it had some admirable quirks. But neither of us can do musicals. Just too clunky. Anyway, I digress.

We dillied and dallied this morning and then when we finally got down to the car, Peter realised he'd forgotten his Suunto and had to run back to get it - which actually worked out just great as I had a new pair of Hokas on order and they arrived. He slung them in the back of the car so I could try them out today. Sadly I'd already picked out my outfit, so I may have clashed a bit. The colour of my shoes is not-so-subtle, but what they have going for them is they are Clifton 3s which are the best shoes I've had in ages, and perhaps because of their full-on colouring, I managed to get them off t'internet for £70. Bargain.

We're adjusting slowly to the loss of Falkos. What we have found out is this;
1. The Village Coffee house coffee is really good but their scones are expensive. 
2. The Gannet's Deli does better scones and they're less expensive but their coffee isn't as good and they aren't open on a Sunday. 

It being Saturday we sent Peter to the Gannet's Deli for coffee and scones. Odd use of the word 'we'. Do you think I could get him to go to both the Gannet's Deli and the Village Coffee House?

"What's wrong with your legs?" I hear you ask. The thing is, I have to sit in the driver's seat and look out the window.

This is what I saw......amazing cloud formations. And the crows were playing about. It was peaceful. And I had to put on my new lemon shoes.

  And then we were off. The light was amazing but the wind was cutting and I could hardly bear to stop. When we got down to the beach, a glance in the wrong direction meant an eye full of sand. It just wasn't lingering weather.

Alien messages.

The cold wind and the bright sun were very uplifting though and we had to rein it in. Makes no sense for Peter to do a big run before running 40 in the Tweed whatever Ultra tomorrow, but being kind of excited about it he was tempted. Classic schoolboy error. I could have done more too but called it. I can do more tomorrow. But it probably won't be so nice.