We are having a barbecue

Seems there’s little point in having a garden and a barbecue without using it. We have 4 burgers and ketchup, and mayo, and salad, and brown sauce, and buns. We did have exotic ideas about corn on the cob, but it had gone totally manky so we gave up on those. 

Yesterday I achieved 9 miles (parkrun oversleeping failure) and it was easier than the last time I’d done that route. Tomorrow I will be rushing to intervals training having worked from home – I thought N was working from home and would be in for the furniture people/Royal Mail/etc but I was apparently way off on that one. Still. Intervals last week was so brilliant, despite my being 14 minutes late, that I’m going again. I want to do Tallinn half some sort of justice in September. Now I’m not going to be heading to Indy, and thus not battling jet lag for a month afterwards, I feel like putting in some effort. 

I’ve finally finished the socks I starred in a state of woe in mid-April. I’d picked up the Metro on the way into work, stumbled across a familiar looking face, read underneath that someone had been arrested for his murder, and had to buy some emergency knitting supplies to get a grip on myself. Plain vanilla socks, repetitive motions to soothe the soul. 

Awful photo. 

I’m also knitting some Jaywalker socks for N

Love this pattern. 

In the interim, I have met with friends, admired the view from the office window, and painted my nails very sparkly. I am working on a cotton sweater for N for our wedding anniversary, but it is black ribbing and impossible to photograph and very boring once I have. 

I also went to Chessington, camping, with the Rangers, and had an excellent time. It helped that it was sunny. I liked the Bubbleworks Ride, then something involving laser guns shooting at spiders. And the pseudo safari. Did not enjoy dragons drop. Had to have some chocolate to recover from that. 

I left the upside down bits to the Rangers. Also, face paints make people smile at you. 

We have done a spot of gardening today, mostly clearing leaves from the ever shedding magnolia, and digging stuff we don’t like, or which is dead, out. We have a private blackberry patch behind the garage, and a massive bramble in the front garden. Massive. We also have a huge slug issue and some out of control roses. The garden hasn’t been looked after for a couple of years and it needs more attention. We’re not very good gardeners, but are gradually feeling less daunted as we make decisions. I think my next decision is a buddelia bush where the dead Rose was. And to jettison the hanging baskets. I have no idea what to put in them. Two are full of dead stuff. Two have some anaemic looking ivy. None gladden the eye. 

Tallinn first. I wasn’t going to bother to do anything bar get round because the previous trip to Indy whacked me out so massively. This week I’ve been putting more effort in, and I want to keep doing that and finish in a respectable time. 



Yes, I exist…

Yes, I will blog over the weekend. As my business trip (of 2 weeks – the second in 2 months) has just been cancelled.

The best thing about this is that I’ll be home for N’s birthday. The worst bit? I put a deposit on his birthday present while I was over last time, with the intention of bringing it back this time, and, um, yes. We have a birthday present in limbo. It wouldn’t fit in the case (I had packed ready to bring it back on this trip…).

With luck, the cancelled trip will happen later this year, and it’ll be a Christmas Present. In the interim, I think it might be new trainers for his birthday.

Proper post, with some knitting pictures, somewhen soon.


Handy Cross Runners Grant and Stone Wycombe Half Marathon

The only, only thing wrong with this race was my epic lack of preparation. 10 weeks post op, I have gained about 2kg, and utterly failed to do any meaningful running since, well, the referendum (and the only thing that I did do was the Vitality London 10K). I’ve been too busy trying to keep units running, getting over jet lag, and losing weekends to guiding. I really am not on form: there have been two “long” runs in the run up to this. 10 miles last Thursday, and 8 miles while in Indianapolis. Neither of which involved hills. Mid week runs have been 2 miles at best and speed work has not happened. I cannot wait for term to end so I can get to running club sessions.

Oh wow. The hills (N tells me a total of 1000 ft climbed. And, looking at the race profile on Strava, I can well believe it). I walked most of them. A muggy July day, and I was most determined to keep moving. This I achieved. N ran with me, and we got round in 2:16:59. The last couple of miles were mostly downhill and flat (we’d run up those hills on the way out), other than something described as Hell Hill. Nothing like as steep as the one at the end of the Leith Hill Half, but it went on rather longer. There was motivational music half way up it. I didn’t feel very Rocky at that point, but it actually helped.

And I loved this race. It’s got a really friendly atmosphere. It’s very hilly: the pressure is off. It was trails in places (could have done with my trail shoes, really), and road. It went through West Wycombe Park: one of the┬álandscape Gardens of the 18th and 19th centuries, purportedly designed around the female form. Not quite Stowe, you know. Bit more base. Moving on from the Italianate terraces that Pope adored, but still full of symbolism.

“What’s that?” Asks N, as we jog through some sheep and past a sort of temple thing.

“I think it’s supposed to be a representation of a clitoris…fairly abstract.” Not exactly what you expect to discuss mid race. I wrote an essay about English Landscape Gardening at uni. Unsurprisingly, given my occasionally gutter mind, that bit stuck.

So. Aside from lack of preparation, it was great. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I got to spend 2 hours with my husband without having anything to worry about. We got nifty medals, and bananas, and a Mars Bar, and masses of water, and nothing really peculiar in the goody bag. The last mile lacked the beauty of the rest of it, but given the difficulties of finding anywhere to host the race (and the football stadium had way more loos than Wycombe Rye, so there was no need to queue, which was a massive improvement on last year), I’m not sure that really matters.

So. Back next year but with more training. Because it was all down to me that I didn’t do better.

I did well enough.