Sadly life does get in the way of blogging ... and running. It strikes me there's a lot to catch up on so let's try and skim through a bit of what has been happening in the world of #egdonrunslondonforclic
Labelled With Love – 14th / 15th January
And if life ever did get in the way it was the start of last year when we finally lost our mum to the curse of dementia. But Ian (my brother) and I didn't let it get in the way too much and a year later we still haven't finished clearing the house. Hence I head off to Kent that weekend – a snowy Kent with the threat of flooding.
Saturday morning was my home from home Pegwell Bay parkrun. But the usual carpark is shut?!? Further investigation reveals that the expected storm tides are responsible, and what's more the footpath to the country park has warning notices posted. But parkrun is still on. The pre-run briefing does come with a health warning. They have sent the ice-breakers out, but not recommended as a day to go for a pb. As it happens I am around in 24:15 – my quickest parkrun for some time. A good start to the day. A day that saw the filling of countless dustbin sacks.
Sunday morning and I wake full of enthusiasm – get out there and knock a little 8 miler (I tell myself). But it's cold out there. House clearing is physically (and mentally) draining (I tell myself). Cathartic is the word (apparently). And I still am suffering the dog end of the post-Christmas manflu. Nahhhh – give it a miss!?! But we did attempt to address our main outstanding problem – the garage! Where I chanced across the fort that my dad made circa 1963 / 4.
The story was that it had to be finished in time for Santa to deliver. The poem might claim that "not a creature was stirring – not even a mouse", but that was clearly not the case in our house, 'cos dad was definitely still stirring, and apparently turning the air quite blue with profane and profuse use of the dreaded "B word". So how did I pay him back? Simples – by stuffing a series of ever-ready batteries down the circular turrets. And 50 plus years later they are still there. I fear this might constitute some sort of health hazard.
Crikey ... to think that dad did all that just for me. With a tear in my eye I take one last photograph of this much loved artifact and decree that it should be tip-bound (a crass and c%&p snap decision that I have since rescinded).
Hello Bovington - 15th January
But in another parallel universe many Egdon Heath Harriers are heading to Bovington (famed for its tank museum) (and tank training area) for Bustinskin's "Dirty Devil Stampede". Bustinskin is Weymouth's famed triathlon club and their director Mark Steen has asked Mel'n'Kim to be the warmup act. And for some reason the Egdonites have decided that evening dress is the order of the day.
Apparently they put on a fine show (drawing heavily on material earlier made famous by their lesser known namesakes).
Afterwards, following in the (caterpillar) tracks of some of the army's finest, they all got very wet. And finally they received a very generous donation from Mark to CLIC Sargent
Because They ARRRRRRRR!!!!!! - The PyRATs of Portland, 21st / 22nd Jan
What is it about Egdon Heath Harriers that EVERYTHING involves dressing up. Sat 21st and our de-facto Social Sec Simon has organised the "PyRATs of Portland". Some might claim this is a social run. But it is my understanding that RAT actually stands for Real Ale Trail. This is essentially a pub crawl. And a logistical challenge since it starts in the south of the island, finishes in the north of the island, and is a pub crawl. I have a plan. I will drive to the start, walk home afterwards, and then will be forced to do a proper LSR on the Sunday to reclaim my vehicle.
Well I think we visited eight pubs on the day. These included the New Star Inn. The last time I was there I was the ONLY person who bothered to get dressed up for an ABBA tribute night at the nearby theatre and I got some VERY STRANGE looks. But today the locals seemed to regard a troop of pirates with relative indifference.
Here we are in Portland's historic and atmospheric George Inn.
And on the Sunday I was happy to complete a half decent twelve miler back to pick up the car from outside the Eight Kings.
Pottermore Or Less – Thurs 26th January – Fri 27th January
Well to date I guess Mel'n'Kim have largely been the public face of #egdonrunslondonforclic. But the next week would give Hayley and myself a chance to take centre stage. But first I have another little matter to attend to since I am due to attend Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with daughters Madeleine and Anneliese.
Ha – but before that I'm contemplating the meaning of life (like you do) and b£$$%r me sideways ... what is that HUGE WET PATCH in the middle of the carpet. My usual plumber can't come for two weeks and so an alternative is arranged for Saturday morning (the day of our fund-raising quiz night "Quiz Me For CLIC"). And meanwhile I'm off to the smoke!
I am staying at the Wembley Travelodge (particularly convenient for the N Circular!) But it is equally convenient for the Grand Union Canal, and I enjoy a decent 10k along the towpath on Friday morning.
In the spirit of some of J.K's later books, maybe this theatrical event was somewhat bloated, being spread out over two evenings! But we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. And then a dash back to Weymouth for my appointment with the plumber (and quiz night).
Quiz Me For CLIC – Sat 28th January
I have long harboured a desire to perform the role of "Quizmaster"(or in this case "joint quizmaster") and tonight would be my chance. Hayley for her part has agreed to take on responsibility for the small matter of catering for 90! And Mel'n'Kim have agreed to do a bit of singing during the "Magic Of The Musicals" round.
I won't bore you with too many details but for a little taster try this little poser? "The biggest selling singles of 1963 and 1964 were both songs by the Beatles, but which Liverpudlian entertainer unexpectedly recorded the biggest selling single of 1965?" - answer to follow :-) (oh yes and click hereif you want to try the music round)
Hayley did a magnificent job, as did Pete, my joint quizmaster. We were hugely grateful to so many friends for supporting us so generously (and baking cakes) and were delighted to raise well over £700 for our chosen charity.
"Morning Ladies ... "
To quote one early morning dog-walker ... There are some definite benefits to being a late convert to this running lark. And while a number of my fellow chaps are out there LSRing on a Sunday morning with a view to nailing London in under three hours, my more natural LSRmates veer more towards the distaff side.
But we did receive a little bit of stick for having the temerity to set something up as an alternative to the main event. To borrow Hayley's words:
"10 miles done this morning in this beautiful weather ☔️ The beach road on the turn around was particularly lovely. Thanks to Stella for organising and planning the route and thanks to the other "splitters" Keith and Zara."
Portland Coastal Half Marathon – Sunday 5th February
And then suddenly I seem to be right back where I started with the post-Christmas manflu, getting in from work and putting myself straight to bed.
But Hayley and myself (and Zara too) have entered Bustinskin's Portland Coastal Half Marathon as a good excuse for a LSR. Simples – turn up and run. But at parkrun yesterday Egdonite Jane disavowed me of that view with a "have you seen the kit-list?" (no I hadn't). Before I know it I have invested in a first aid kit and am desparately searching out whistle, torch, space blanket, hat, gloves, ice-axe etc ...
This was one tough run ... hilly, windy and very muddy. Sadly there was no way I was going to keep up with the other two, but ultimately, it was a very satisfying trip around the rock. I'm seriously hoping the manflu is finally under control 'cos I seriously need to get out there and get some proper miles under my belt.
On The Road To Damascus – Feb 6th – 13th
At last a proper week's running – follow the plan to the letter, with the bonus of walking to and from work to get a few extra miles on the clock.
But also something of a Damascene (ha – great word) moment for me. I have joined the CLIC Sargent London Marathon Runners Facebook Group and there is a post stating that one Christopher Pinnock has set up some sort of Strava group. Now I know what people say - "if it's not on Strava it didn't happen". If that's true then, to date, everything I've done has been a figment of my imagination.
I join and b£$$%r me sideways if before I know it I'm not drowning in a new world of segments and statistics. You'd think this would appeal to my saddo statto side but sadly the figures just don't add up. Reckon I might be getting the bike out on a few of those segments before long ;-)
I Will Survive – February 19th
This Friday and it's Egdon Heath Harriers Awards Evening. I shan't be there (more of that later). But Mel & Kim have been asked to perform Carpool Karaoke there. Strangely there are some other members who will use any excuse to don women's clothing and, with backing singers Simon and Brian, the ladies have raised another £173 for our chosen charity. Well done to them and more huge thanks to our running club colleagues for their continuong support and generosity.
Family Matters – February 19th – 20th
But I have a long standing alternative engagement. Celebrity? fan Jim ("Nick-Nick") Davidson claims that he grew up thinking the place where he lived was actually called "Charlton Nil". But in reality all London marathoners should know where Charlton is – after all you run through that area of South-East London twice. My mum and dad were both born and raised there and as a child there was constant talk of those halcyon days when (believe it or not) Charlton Athletic were one of the top teams in the land. And mum and Auntie Brenda were at Wembley in 1947 when we WON!!!! the FA Cup.
And this weekend I am meeting up with brother Ian and cousins Marian and Judith to donate this model of the cup, made by mum and signed by the winning team, to the club museum.
After that a trip to the West End with daughter Anneliese to see the greatest musical ever (I refer of course to Les Mis). It doesn't disappoint. Considering I spend the last 20 minutes or so sobbing my heart out, I come out feeling strangely uplifted.
Saturday morning is a visit for a very satisfying parkrun in picturesque Osterley Park.
I decide that some culture is in order with a first ever visit to the National Gallery but not before a premature trip to the Mall. And later we all meet up again to see daughter Madeliene starring (in the ensemble) of the Cygnet Players production of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels".
Finally it's a long drive home to Weymouth because at 11AM I have a date for another Egdon Heath Harriers alternative Sunday Long Slow Run.
Near Far – Wherever You Are – February 21st
Phew ... the whistle stop tour is nearly complete.
It seems there is actually an alternative alternative EHH Sunday LSR and Mel'n'Kim are doing that. Not so much long / slow as long / slow / muddy!
Led by Hayley, we set up for a 16 miler. Five ladies today (Hayley, Jane, Zara, Lucy and Stella) but we're also joined by Matt. A particular pleasure to (finally) get to meet Jane, who alongside Stella, is recipient of a club London Marathon ballot place. But then it turns out that we were fellow sufferers somewhere around Portland Bill two weeks earlier on the coastal half!
We head over to Portland, back around the back of Weymouth, and along the waterfront to the end of the Stone Pier at which point Matt decides to recreate a scene from Titanic (sadly we missed the pose here).
But the rest of us prefer Stella's selfie option.
And finally back to Sam and Josie's excellent Sandsfoot Cafe for coffee. By the time I get home that's another 17.5 miles clocked up – there's only one place I'm going after that (to sleep)
Thanks for reading,
(oh yes – and of course, the answer to the question is "Sir Ken DODD")
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