Wednesday, 30 March 2011

"Bambi" watching

Jac dropped me off at Trent Bridge in Nottingham today so I could get a 15 mile run in.
I was to run along the side of the Trent for a brief few hundred metres, then follow the Nottingham/Beeston canal towards Wollaton Park. I was at this point following the route of the Robin hood way which I had run last year as part of Rory Coleman's 30k race.
So now it was over to Bramcote ,then onto Balloon woods and heading out to Cossall under the Motor way and heading home.
This stretch from the motorway (M1) to cossall is a favourite, as its down hill normally muddy and slippy and great fun (I know I'm weird). Well I'm picking up speed, smile on face when I come around a slight bend and have to try and anchor up. Standing in the middle of the path is 3 young deer which see me and move of a damn sight quicker than I can across the field.
Obviously I'm watching with great pleasure as its only the second time I have seen deer this close to home. Then another 6 come belting across the path to catch up with their mates. We must have been watching each other for 5 minutes before they got bored watching a scruffy bloke with a steaming T-shirt and in need of a change of clothes . To say it made my run is and understatement as I was getting fed up with the drizzle ( as you may know I like to be kept like a tomato ). 
Rest of the run was OK but less rain more wild life would have helped.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Three B's

Birds, Butterflys and Mr Blue sky

I've had Mr Blue sky by E.L.O. going around my head because of the cloudless bright blue sky I have been lucky enough to be working under these last two days down the allotment ,while there I've seen a fair few butterflies (admirals and cabbage whites) and birds too (mainly Robins, kestrels and pigeon's).
Wednesday and today have been glorious, and I have been making good headway in digging over the parts of the allotment that still have brambles in them, and clearing the nettles and weeds already showing their little heads (Do they never stop coming back?), the amount left to clear is so small compared with the area we have got ready to plant in.
As far as planting goes, the seeds in the greenhouse are coming along nicely; the broccoli, leeks and cauliflower are showing through. I have planted out some parsnips, beetroot, spinach, early peas and more broad beans.  The place is turning white because it's getting well covered in cloche just in case we get any more frosts (I  don't want to get caught out after these lovely warm days).

On a running note I've got a steady week only 44 miles to do, last week I clocked up 55. Just been looking at a route from Cromford along the canal to home,  it's about 17 miles and should be flat-ish.

My Dad recently loaned me some books on the local canals and it's amazing what a difference it makes to a run when you know more about them, you start to notice things you took for granted in a different light and also its amazing what you have been running past and not noticed or realised what was there.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011


As Jac said earlier in the week we went to York. I love looking at old buildings and so set off around the walls of York while Jac went and  made her wrong way round slippers ( actually they look very good even if the design is on the sole), I was surprised how much of the wall remains and the good condition they are in and was also impressed with the architecture you could see off the wall and of the surrounding buildings. Looking across the roof tops is where you really see the old buildings so while shop and house fronts forever keep changing with the times , a roof only changes when its leaky. I must also point out  this is where Jac and I differ as I take pictures off the architecture and landscape and find roof tops beautiful, Jac takes picture of textures and close up interesting shapes.

If you are in York take a look at and in the merchants guild hall this is an amazing building with an impressive history to it.

Also this week I have had a day clearing more of the allotment ,a never ending task it seems but very rewarding as you can see what you have done.  I've also got a lot of seeds planted so will be waiting like an expectant father for them to show there little heads.

My other love of running went well on Tuesday night as I beat my previous course best by 1.03 Min's and I have been told it could be a course best but we will wait and see as I think the  5.3K course best is a time off 18 Min's or so and mine was 19.25 mins.


Recipes for disaster

We were sitting in a little cafe today, alongside the River Trent, when we overheard a potential customer  asking if  there were any savouries.  The answer "no, there might be some over the footbridge" seemed a bit bizarre to us, and its only after she left that it became apparent that the question had been misheard, and the owner had thought she asked if there was any sailing....
It set me and Col off giggling again as it was only last night we'd listened to the Radcliffe and Maconie show on the radio and laughed at the cafe and restaurant experiences of  the listeners, they included

Imagine the waitress in this scenario, with a really grumpy voice
Customer: Can I have a cheese salad sandwich please?
Waitress: No, we don't sell them
Customer: But you sell cheese sandwiches, and you sell ham salad sandwiches
Waitress; Yes,
Customer: Could you not put the cheese in with the salad?
Waitress: No  because that would make it a cheese salad sandwich, and we don't sell them

Customer: Is their an alternative to the soup for starters?
Waitress: Yes
Customer: What is it?
Waitress: Don't have it

This is wrong on so many levels
Customer: Do you have anything vegetarian?
Waitress, Yes, fish
Customer: Fish isn't vegetarian
Waitress: Yes it is, you cant make fish into a pie, so of course its vegetarian.

British Customer service, at its eccentric best, eh? 

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

sole love

We had a pretty hectic weekend - on Saturday me n Col went to York; I was going to a felty slipper making workshop while Col was taking photos of historic York on his new camera.
I've made felty bags before, but this time the whole technique was very different, it still worked from outside in, but used cold water all the way through, and the added complication with slippers is that, unlike bags, its quite important which way the design goes otherwise it ends up on the sole of the slipper rather than across the top  - Hmmmm like I said its quite complicated, and theres lots of turning backwards and forewards involved, consequently me and several other participants ended up with lovely slippers with the unique twist of design detail on the sole, rather than across the top  - personally I think the sole of any shoe is largely overlooked, and my sole design is both subtle and lovely!
They're not quite finished yet - I'll post a piccie when they are
On the Sunday I went to a collage workshop run by Helen Hallows, and had a great time learning more about her techiques

Monday, 7 March 2011

scorpions, strange christmas presents and spikey shrubs - it can only be running

Col went off to marshall an Ultra Race over the last weekend, an ultra is anything over the marathon distance of 26.2miles.  This was a race where people ran 29miles along the Grantham canal on the Saturday, and then ran the 29 miles back on the Sunday.  Pretty impressive huh?  Col ran it last year, I can only dream of running such a distance, and yet one runner, took part and had only been running since Christmas; apparently his wife bought it him for a Christmas present, while not meaning to sound ungrateful, its not a present I'd be that grateful to receive!
Many of the runners in this Ultra are in training for the Marathon De Sables which is a dessert ultra, and as if running in the dessert heat for 5 days over sand dunes isn't enough, they have to carry their gear; water, food, clothes, sleeping bag, first aid kit, cooking utensils etc.  As though this isn't unnapealing enough, the rocks that they cross are razor sharp and often slash running shoes in half, the spikes on the shrubbery are so long that they can pierce the sole of a running shoe and there are  scorpians to contend with too;y one runner had to pull out of the race before he'd even started when he got stung by a scorpion that was hiding under the break pedal in a car he was planning to drive the day before the race - ouch.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

How to get rid of cold callers

Spring is nearly here - on my run yesterday morning, I saw daffodils in bud, a squirrel and a rabbit.
And when Col went out on his run later in the day, he'd been marshalling an ultra race, he saw even more bunnies.
I'm still smiling at how incredulous yesterdays cold caller was, I let him tell me all about the High definition, super duper, fantastic and amazing TV bundle I could have, before letting him know I didn't have a TV.
He seemed to find it very amusing, but equally couldnt wait to get off the phone quick enough  - one way to get rid of cold callers I suppose.
It also got me thinking about other things I've tried or heard others do  to get rid of cold callers; I think my favourite which I still use is to answer the question; "Are you interested in doors and windows", "No thanks i've already got some!"

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Allotment 2011

I know Jac's been putting a lot about her arts and crafts she's doing,but i thought it's about time to tell you how the allotments coming on.
Today I have been down to put in the potatoes a main and a first early crop. Also I now have all the red and white onions in ( 9 rows ) I know it sounds excessive but being veggie we get through loads . We are about through all the onions from last year now. The early broad beans set at new year are now about 1.5 inch's high and the garlic is a good 4 inch's high.
When I remember I will put some photos on ,but I need to remember to take the camera down first.