Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sometimes I think that happiness can best be achieved through a reasonable level of physical exertion

So, it's been a while since I blogged, and I know I've used this excuse before but we've been busy running and spending too much time on certain other websites. Last Saturday, Vikki went out running (yeah, really!) so I took the three boys out on adventure. My intrepid explorers and I crossed to the North bank of the Cowie and then struck West upriver, under the viaduct, through the gap in the wall and up the squelchy path to the weir. I can vaguely remember crossing the river at the weir, but either I was a lot crazier, my parents were less responsible than me, or it was after a much drier spell. Anyway, we continued up to almost under the A90 road bridge before the path became too difficult to follow and we had to turn back. It was good fun, nobody got hurt, we only got a bit muddy and Lachlan and Calum both said they really enjoyed it. A great way to spend a couple of hours!

Our garden contains an apple tree, a plum tree, a small cherry tree, some rhubarb, several strawberry plants, and a blackcurrant bush (from Ribena). Sadly, this picture shows pretty much everything we've managed to harvest this year - 7 blackcurrants and a handful of brambles (which come from a number of out of control plants that have sprung up around the place. There are a few plums in the tree but really, it's not very impressive. What's gone wrong?

Yesterday we all went to Hazelhead Park in Aberdeen for a change. As ever it was good fun, with the kids playing in the park, and Vikki and I trying to remember if there used to be trampolines and a wooden fort when we were kids (does anyone else remember the fort or did I make it up?). Magnus wore his special rucksack for the first time, allowing Calum to walk him round like a dog. We bumped into our friends Alex and Lela with their son Ross, which was a pleasant surprise.

And today, we had a thrilling exciting trip to the local garden centre (how middle-aged are we?) to buy some plants and some wood chip so we could redo some of the front garden. Unusually, the weather stayed fine, and we didn't get bored or argue so we actually managed to plant everything as well. It's looking good.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Happy Tent(h) Birthday, Lachlan

Well, I'm fair shattered after a busy weekend.

For his birthday, Lachlan had asked that he have some friends over for a sleep-over in the tent, and a trip to the pictures to see Ice Age 3 (as expected, very good but probably not quite as good as the first one).

Of course, that means I've been collecting cakes, ferrying kids to and from the cinema, putting up tents, getting pizza, lighting fires for marshmallow cooking (mmmmm), trying to sleep in a tent next to a bunch of noisy kids in a tent, taking down tents, and generally running around after small people.

Also, I managed to run over 15 miles on Saturday morning. I struggled towards the end, but pleased to get the miles under my belt. First time I've run that far, and first time I've run the equivalent of a marathon in a week, which felt like a good threshold to cross.

Vikki was running in the Forfar 10K today. Not a PB, but a good time in tough windy conditions, and 21 points in the Club Championship by being the first Stonehaven RC woman to finish.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Greetings to the Scots bovine

Whilst on holiday at Center Parcs, much time was spent in the contemplation of nature (as seen through the bottom of a beer glass). On one particular evening, I was sitting outside with the crossword, and I ended up scribbling a couple of haiku in the margin. I'm not saying they're any good (and they're possibly not strictly haiku depending on how you interpret the whole syllable/"on" thing) but Vikki thought I should note them down using my phone and add them to the blob. Of course, I totally forgot about them until now, but for what it's worth, here you go:

clouds drift slowly by
the wind whispers in the birch
as the pigeon calls

dusk falls over all
silence reigns in the twilight
the trees are still now

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Clachnaben Trail Run

The last time I went for a long hill run with the club, we took on Mt Keen, and I turned back before we reached the top in blustery, snowy conditions.

Today's jaunt up Clachnaben with a few of the Cosmic Hillbashers promised to have less snow, but low cloud, wind and rain made for a tough trail run.

The first five miles up Glen Dye to Charr Bothie was a nice paced run, but after a brief comfort break we turned up the hill and the steep path soon reduced me to a walk/run and took us into the cloud where it got colder, wetter and more difficult to see. We were able to all keep in sight of at least one other person, which was reassuring in unfamiliar territory, but meant there were a couple of witnesses to my fall - I caught my trailing foot on a protruding rock and hurtled forward into a puddle. No physical damage, but I'm sure I'll hear about it again ;)

It was a big relief to reach the Hill of Endocher and be able to run down to the saddle and then back up to the Clachnaben summit. A number of our party decided to continue to Mount Shade and Threestane Hill, but I took the more direct option back to the car park.

As ever, I felt shattered at the end, but happy we'd reached the summit and had a good, tiring morning out - just a shame we got no views.

17 miles with Dave Morrow

** Copied from Vikki's Fetch blog for you non-Fetchies - enjoy! **

My longest run ever! In miles and time.
Alarm clock was set for 5:30am. :-S Not been up at that time since I had to for feeding the baby... But I dragged myself out of bed somehow and got dressed before going downstairs. Two bits of toast and marmalade and no time for a cuppa . Took the camelbak filled with Taut energy drink and water. Finished eating my toast while walking up Arduthie Road. Dave was a keener and met me before I got to the Esso garage. He hadn't read my previous blog entry so I filled him in about my worries re mileage increases. He thought I would be fine with doing 17 but said maybe we could go for 7 miles along the Auchenblae Rd, 7 back then the rest round Stoney. But then we thought it might be too tempting to go home so we decided to go for the 8.5 miles out and back. The weather got rougher - v wet and windy. At first I kept thinking I was holding Dave back as he normally runs by himself and is obviously much quicker, but he reassured me it was an ok pace. He was good to run with as he was telling me all about his marathon experiences and we were discussing food while running. Jelly babies or gels etc. Bit different from my usual topics of finance and novels with Richard. It was a good run and I thank Dave for being so encouraging and informative. Now both guys are away on holiday for two weeks so will probably run with Iain next weekend. We're going to a wedding next Saturday but will have to fit in a quick 13 miles before the ceremony.
My legs feel a bit iffy but I'm taking it easy for the rest of the day and might have a glass of wine tonight