Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 1 February 2020

Kanata parkrun number 118

We arrived here in Ottawa late last night, but we did manage to drag ourselves out for a 9 am burst of exercise.

Whilst Helen volunteered, Sue and I donned our crampons and set off along the narrow icy paths.

Had we thought about it, we may have aimed to mimic Gayle and Mick's parkrun podium achievement last week, but sadly Sue fell back into fourth place, despite just being dressed in a t-shirt and leggings, and it being minus 9°C.

I was delighted to be able to match Gayle's success, if not her time - my first ever 001 finish token!

I suspect that we both needed to go overseas for such successes - my time would certainly put me well down the field in any UK parkrun. 

What fun!

Friday 31 January 2020

Bottled Water!

Philadelphia airport is so hot that you need plenty of liquid. We found ourselves sitting next to an advertisement for 'LIFE WTR', masquerading as an art installation - one of many that brightens up this airport. You might be able to magnify the picture and read the text. The picture on the right is intended to represent birds in an aviary.

I found that gazing at these images for a while during our 8 hour (yes, really!) stopover was quite calming.

Thursday 30 January 2020

Thursday 30 January 2020 - An Iris Day

A glance into our garden this morning gave us the first sight of irises, thanks I suppose to the warm January weather. A pleasure to see, as are the many garden birds that come to visit - notably blackcaps and goldcrests, as well as an unexpected visit from a little egret, which I've never before seen in the neighbourhood, let alone in our small garden.
Anyway, I was in a cheerful mood as I pottered along by Sinderland Brook, in the company of a lone redwing, to the recycling centre. Dead kettle and Xmas lights duly placed in the small appliances container, I set off to return home via Waitrose.
I was disappointed to see this load of rubbish, dumped (at SJ 752 902) about 30 metres from the recycling centre's entrance.
A stroll down the disused railway led to the path to Waitrose, where (at SJ 756 900) this was the scene.
There are some disgusting people about. I wonder whether anyone will try to identify the culprits from the rubbish they have dumped.
After visiting the supermarket, I took a route home that crosses the disused (the map incorrectly identifies it as 'dismantled') railway between Timperley and Glazebrook. This is a route where people are actively trying to get the five mile section of railway returned to use. The 'Stop, Look, Listen' signs are still there!
A few saplings may need to be removed, but happily there is no rubbish to collect just here, nor on the rest of my path to the Bridgewater Canal and onwards to home..
That's all from Timperley just now. The next few postings will be diary entries, more for my own and Sue's reference than any other purpose, and they will mainly duplicate scenes from previous years. We'll enjoy it all the same. (Apart from the long waits in airports.)

Wednesday 29 January 2020

East of West, West of East - by Hamish Brown

Hamish Brown is well known as a Scottish hillwalker and backpacker, and inspirer of the TGO Challenge. He still turns up, at the age of 85, at the signing in desk in the Park Hotel, welcoming each year's batch of Challengers as they finish their adventure.
Last year I managed to get the last (display) copy of a book that he brought along that was published in 2018. I've finally got round to reading it, and very enjoyable it is too. It intersperses Hamish's ('Ham's') own recollections as a seven year old, and his notes about historical detail, with letters flowing east (his gran and elder brother writing from Scotland) and those flowing west from Japan and Malaya written mainly by his mother, but also by his father and himself.
The final chapters, which I am looking forward to reading, tell of his father's escape from Malaya, after Ham and his mother and young brother manage to reach the safety of a family reunion in South Africa.
Thanks, Hamish, for bringing these books along last May and providing such an interesting read.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

The TGO Challenge - Vetting Days (14)

The map above (try clicking on it for a better version) shows some of the routes I've been vetting (not sure why the north coast route shows in green), and indicates that quite a few of my vettees will encounter each other, and may even bump into their vetter.
The Portavadie starters won't meet anyone I've vetted to date, and the north coast route could be a bit lonesome. However, there's a pleasing range of different routes, and I'm sure everyone will enjoy themselves. I hope my input has provided a reasonable balance between getting the Route Sheet completed properly on the one hand and trying to offer constructive comments on the other hand.
Sue and I will shortly be heading overseas, leaving our trusty decorator in situ, so I'm taking a three week rest from the fairly time consuming occupation of vetting.
I'll leave you with a picture of a bridge I had to cross in Glen Builg on my first TGOC crossing in 2007. My vetter (the wonderful Ian Shiel) didn't point out this particular obstacle, on which a workman bravely posed for me after I'd stumbled across!

Monday 27 January 2020

The TGO Challenge - Vetting Days (13)

Perhaps I should have written about last night's Book Club Christmas meal, where book club members and partners who aren't members congregate annually at Shan's house with such tasty goodies as soup, curry, beef lasagne, cauliflower moussaka, beetroot pie, bilberry trifle, lemon roulade, and After Eight Mints.

Anyway, I didn't take any pictures, so enough of that....

Today's Challenge picture shows a group of us, replete from the pleasures of Charleton strawberry farm, making our way along Kinnaber Links to the Park Hotel in Montrose on 23 May 2019, after a joyous finish to our 200 mile (or so) walk. Included in the picture is one of this year's team leaders, who has the responsibility of nudging one of the event's sponsors across Scotland. She certainly won't struggle with the last day, as I know she took the same route last year.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Saturday 25 January 2020 - UK National Track Championships at the Velodrome

After a routine Saturday of parkrunning etc, Sue and I enjoyed our first visit to the Velodrome as spectators. We usually just use the café, and we've had a track taster session (great fun!).

Today we were joined by Paul and Jeanette (thanks a lot for the lift) for the evening session, and we enjoyed watching the men's sprint finals (won by Hamish Turnbull), the women's Keirin (Lauren Bell), the women's 10 km Scratch race - pictured above - (Ella Barnwell) and the very exciting men's points race over 30 km - 120 laps of the track - that was won by Rhys Britton in a tight finish.

A most enjoyable evening. We must go again.