On Tuesday I ran with my wife and did an extra bit to make it 11.6km (7.2miles). The mental trick of setting out to run further, rather than ‘I might do an extra bit after she finishes’ does work.
I was thinking that I should increase the length of my longest run each week but Thursday marked the ’13 months until the postponed ultra marathon’ day. What would be the purpose of doing longer runs now, unless I was likely to do a long race later in the year? Of course, there might not be any – and I don’t see myself doing one, even if there are.
Wednesday and Thursday were spent clearing the stream at the end of the garden – what a surprise, more brambles, nettles and ivy.
We live at the end of the village but the prevailing wind would share our bonfire smoke with everyone else. On Friday, the stars aligned (or, more accurately, the wind direction changed) so I lit the two huge bonfires that bore testament to all the recent days spent ripping ivy off walls and removing nettles and brambles.
It was hard physical work keeping both tended, while adding some scorch marks to the bramble damage to my forearms. I decided that gave me an exemption from the run I had intended.
My wife’s parents used to live next door to us and my father-in-law was a great one for bonfires. I could pretty much guarantee that, within 10 minutes of me lighting one, he’d be coming out to join me – cigarette in one hand and garden fork in the other.
He’s been dead for 10 years now but I still expect to see him walking over as the smoke starts to rise.
Saturday was our 33rd Wedding Anniversary – where in earth did all those years go?
I had an anniversary run to celebrate – a little over 10km (6.35miles) in just under the hour. It felt really good, despite the return of the heat, and I could (for once) have gone faster. I fear that this might find out if the Achilles are really ‘cured’ or if their tendency to get injured is waiting to make a comeback.
On Sunday I could feel the run in my legs (to say nothing of feeling the previous evening’s ‘Ottolenghi’ slow cooked lamb shoulder in my stomach) but such is the duty of the unpaid personal trainer that I ran with my wife – just over 7km, a little over 4.5 miles.
With lockdown, my hair is now into my eyes so I run in my ‘Galibier’ headband. I’ve had it for years but at least I feel entitled to wear it now after doing the Telegraph/Galibier climb last year.
For a while now I’ve been convinced that I’m feeding most of the rooks in the area. They have found our chickens’ run and are eating the pellets at a rate the chickens could only dream of. Sadly, the chickens are either cowards or rook lovers as they show no sign of making any effort to repel the raiders.
I decided to act so I rigged up some strings with silver foil tied to them so that the movement of the shiny bits would scare them away. As far as I could tell the rooks were not at all impressed and took no notice.
Next I set up a rudimentary scarecrow (scare-rook). Another failure – in fact, I suspect that the rooks put the word out that all the birds for a 10 mile radius should come over to laugh at the old bloke’s pitiful attempts at bird scaring.
My third attempt has been to cut out the silhouette of a hawk (as viewed from above) from a sheet of plywood and put that on a pole so that approaching rooks would see the potential predator and make themselves scarce. The jury is out on this attempt.
With only two remaining, elderly, chickens I’m not inclined to go much further but I think I do have some netting which I might be able to rig up as a roof to the run – if I reduced the size of the run. I’ll give it some thought.
Interesting stuff this week
1. BBC News website: The days of queuing for fish and chips are gone
The fabric of UK society collapses
2. My African proverb of the week: If you cry for rain don’t complain about the mud.
3. BBC News website: Coronavirus: Three firms still positive despite the virus crisis
Three … a whole three!
Confirmed cases of Coronavirus for Oxfordshire: population c. 690,000
14/3 – 22
21/3 – 44 (x2 from previous week)
28/3 – 113 (x2.5)
4/4 – 356 (x3.2)
11/4 – 653 (x1.8)
18/4 – 1070 (x1.6)
25/4 – 1336 (x1.25)
2/5 – 1540 (x1.15)
9/5 – 1688 (x1.09)
16/05 – 1902 (x1.13)
23/05 – 2020 (x1.06)
30/05 – 2065 (x1.02)
6/06 – 2093 (x1.01)
13/06 – 2109 (x1.007)