Sunday, 28 March 2010

Where'd the weekend go!!

The weekends seem to be spinning past at an increasing speed as time goes by despite my best calming intentions! Friday’s excitement was Rosie’s, much to her surprise winning the girls 5k at school for sports relief. Such a surprise that she did not realise until her name was called out in the assembly afterward...Toby had the usual battle for fourth place but is getting closer. Saturday started early as we were down to the High school for Freya’s trumpet solo, nerves rendered her virtually senseless but she played “Beauty and The Beast” well....beautifully. I had not heard it with accompaniment and it was such a lovely piece, however there were lots of other lovely ones and so she was very pleased with a special mention. Pressure off she and her two cohorts went on to get first in the trumpet trio in the afternoon. Happy girls!
Garret and I headed off to Oban on Saturday night to see Frankie Bolye Live for as birthday treat for him (Garret not FB). Well, it was still just his birthday when the man took the stage after an incomprehensible Compare. There was apparently only one designated driver in the audience (me) and so the appreciation was raucous and happy. We travelled through a time vortex to get back here (start of British Summertime) at 2am and a dreamless kip for a few hours...a very few as the Easter Bunny run beckoned. A good run with good natured participants willing to show up on an (initially) drizzly day. Disaster only beckoned once as the tent very nearly took off and things proceeded to order. The afternoon has passed in an agony of results compiling (wrongly three times...) and photo posting. Enjoy!
I do actually deserve a G and T now but I happen to know that I have lots of T and no G.....

Monday, 22 March 2010

The Mighty Deerstalker

Another race, another start line but a slightly different one this time. The ratio of male toilets to female ones and the lack of queues at the latter gave the first clue as to average competitor ,young, male and in a variety of bizarre fancy dress. The day, contrary to the forecast was clear and dry and so the organisers kindly decided to delay the start by ten minutes so we would all get to use our head torches properly. Liz checked her bum bag one more time and we were off hurtling towards the first obstacle...a wall of hay bales to climb over. Liz and I clambered over with hands held tight as there was a very real danger of getting split up. A handy shove from behind and we were over and off. A few minutes later we rounded a corner into a field and were funnelled into a series of three specially dug out pits full of mud just to get us in the mood. Clawing your way out of these with 1,200 or so other maniacs is not easy but hands still held we made it out together. No sign at all of Naomi or Garret and so began the first hill. Good job we practised up Dun na Cuiche (well it would have been it had been twice and a bit higher) as we toiled up in the longest queue I have ever been in, we were still smiling over the balance logs and up to the top of the hill. Then came the descent- ricocheting from tree to tree with head torches lit in the gloom. Our cries of “Liz..are you there?” “Where are you Fee?” haunted many people’s run from there on in as we tried to keep in touch. A fiercely undulating mountain bike track got the legs pounding nicely. One last plunge into the woods, more trees, more hands desperately outstretched to stop a too speedy descent, over a wire fence, under a net and almost into the arms of a bystander. Caught Liz ,the downhill Queen to cross the bridge together and onto the riverbank which was scarily pleasant. Mulling over the news that Liz gave me about being ¼ way through I felt somewhat troubled as we were already an hour into the run, this however turned out to be a joke (!) and we were ½ way through..easy! Round the next bend came a stony river crossing so once again hand in hand we plunged in gasping and exited onto the muddy bank to follow the soggy footsteps of our fellow nutters. The path then took us back into the river and up it for ¼ mile or so splashing and ,in my case falling heavily on one knee. Good job I had something nice and cold to hand to bathe it in... Liz was up and off and when I was out the calling resumed. Soon we were approaching the scree slope up the next hill, this we climbed almost entirely with hands grabbing forward to catch the heather (or on several occasions as we got higher the gorse bushes) and stones behind the person in fronts trainers. Apart from trying to go past those who caused their own special scree falls behind them it was a case of stay in line and I was losing Liz fast. The most amazing site ever was to look up and back at the mile or so long line of head torches steadily ascending. To keep us from getting too complacent there were more balance poles at the summit which I crossed holding hands with another woman as balance challenged as myself. Then the descent... grassy and open at first then into the trees again..Still no Liz. The banter was good though around me.
Marshal “Looking good Guys..keep going! well done Guys”
Me “..and girls!?”
Marshal “Yes, yes and Girls ..well done”
Voice from behind “and Romans!”
Marshal “Ohhhhhkay yes and Romans..well done!”
Slowed down by a marshals’ voice warning of a steep drop and the necessity to hold the ropes I obeyed going backwards hand over hand down a knotted rope (with a Roman swaying above me) abseil fashion 100ft or so wondering just how they got them to hold with so many on each rope..... then off and on...can see Liz! Can’t get past though....lots and lots of mud, along a bank of a burn and I am passing loads of people and feeling fine. Back across the river I fell into and out into the town where I finally caught up with my running buddy. Here some kind marshal told us enthusiastically that it was 1k to go..this was not true! Through the famous tunnel we went, still able to crack a joke or two, more streams, more muddy banks and a wee ladder over a dry stone wall, we can hear the tannoy and Liz is urging me on and calling me “Fiona” a bad sign. I lose her again at the last water crossing as two small children appeared to have attached themselves to both legs and were dragging me back (well, that is what it felt like). Desperately trying to catch up I make a bit of time on a small hill and am proud to still be running when so many others are not. Finally the floodlights and a tube to crawl through and I am behind Liz (antlers still intact) and then the cargo net and the finish line...Hmmm not that easy. I can’t get the net up and the marshal is shouting at me to crawl which I frankly thought unreasonable , at last out of the net and CRAMP in my left thigh. I hobbled in and dimly registered as I was removing my chip a 2.29 time. Then I got very, very COLD!!

1.Ready to race...
2.Liz with her very own deerstalker
3.Hay Bales
4.The "scree" Hill
5.First hill

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Running, painting and blogging-just a normal day in the life of....

The preparation is done..last training session tonight at js before the big race on Saturday night. Weird feeling really as it is such a different race with so many unknowns that a PB is out of the question and the word is complete not compete. The frightening bit to me is actually getting to the starting line...the minutiae of the preparations bog me down...will it rain at night? what condition is the tent in? Do we take food or not? blah di blah di blah. The children are happily sorted for the night and plans to get Toby to work also sorted (albeit requiring an early rise on Saturday morning for me but as Garret points out I won’t sleep anyway...). The next two days are my rest days so I guess I will be painting again. I have finished the walls up the staircase and landings...all of it requiring three coats and painted the lining paper in the sitting room ready for the bookcase and DVD shelving (when built) to be slotted into place. The sitting room is slowly returning to an acceptable place to be but I suppose the scraps of discarded wallpaper on the floor don’t add to the ambience so another “rest day” job. So tired now that the spell check is working overtime so off to bed.......

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Mothers Day special

Mothers day so what shall we do as a big treat?? Get up early (not as early as we would have needed had Toby not done the animals and walked the dogs and made the porridge...what a boy!) and head amid drizzle and rising winds north to Glencoe where things were...not much different. After a fair amount of dithering in the car park we went for it and spent an windy and wet few minutes laughing on the outside but secretly wondering on the inside on the access chair...but... what a great day! The snow was slowish and grippy so after a couple of runs we swung back to the plateau,grabbed Rosie and swept her up to the Main basin before she knew what had hit her! She did great and was far more controlled than me in every way. She has the knack of looking as though she is going slowly but you just can't catch her up! She was smiling at the bottom and through the next couple of runs. Freya did the Haggis Trap and survived but the old aching legs from the run yeasterday caught up with me by 3pm and so we headed down to the Plateau for a couple more goes and then down leaving the dynamic duo for a few more death defying runs alone.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

A not so Mighty Pre stalker preparation run......

Determined as ever to complete our training goals ahead of next weeks Mighty Deerstalker Liz and I set off eventually this morning after her domestic chores and my breakfasts ( for,appropriatley enough threee actual deerstalkers) to run a ten miler incorporating Dun Na Cuiche. I popped the hill in right at the beginning which made us feel pretty chuffed when we had done it but with another 7 miles ahead to go. We caught up on gossip and chatted our way around the route with a little help from our canine running buddies. they only showed signs of confusion when we ended up at argyll Adventure...a mile and a bit from our house and turned round.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Profetic Photo

I seem to have stumbled down Memory Lane and now cannot find my way out again...This picture was taken sometime in the mid 70s at a garden party with fancy dress competition. Very topical (if you can see the writing on the placard..."1/2d per day extra for the Crimea Nurses") as nurses were making a push for ( no striking tho' nurses dont do this!) higher wages. I have no idea if they were successful then but I was involved in a simelar dispute when I was all growned up and indeed a nurse. The porters and ancillary staff took a stand on our behalf and we were granted a respectable pay rise which was back dated bring a nice fat wage packet one month I seem to remember.....

Ps I came first in the fancy dress...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

It is Sunday so it must be skiing....

An early start this morning as Toby, the man on a mission arrived in our bedroom complete with bowl of porridge and cuppa tea and a time limit of 8 minutes to get it down our necks. Dogs were walked, animals fed, Rayburn sorted and girls marshalled into breakfast detail. We were in the car a little shell shocked at 8.30 heading northwards. In order that Toby could go over some maths problems with Garret I took the rear seat next to Freya and annoyed her all the way with games designed to keep my mind off being sick. The precipitation in the car park did diminish the spirits primarily but Toby' s force of will carried us through and onto the access chair lift before we knew it. Rain turned to snow before the top.The snow was soft and very skiable ( an opinion shared by all the others that showed up too to take advantage of the ace conditions) although varying visibilty meant one moment the mountain was unveiled before you and the next swished away behind a grey curtain. We managed though and had lots of friends up there today too with the guys from Dalchenna up for Rhias birthday treat. We even managed to drag Rosie along Mug's Alley more than once although Freyas suggestion of the bottom
of the Bunny run met with disapproval and an instant falling over. Toby and Garret span around and about the hill, sometimes with Freya and I and sometimes with teenage friends! This was ultimatley and literally Tobys downfall as he took massive tumble whilst skiing with Shannon. Thoroughly winded and a bit bashed around he was forced to call it a day at 3.30. Previous to that he and Freya fell off the wall tow just to upset me as I then had to follow Garret down the wall to them... Happy Valley was great and F and I even managed to get with the speed and go for it! Despite the fall ( remains to be seen if T will compete in the basketball Comp on Tuesday... An expert in timing... My boy!) a great day all round... Arrived home 20 minutes before our very nice guest who had been pre warned of snowy plans). Bed beckons...zzzzzzzzzzx

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Down Memory Lane

This week my brother has been cataloguing slides left by my father. A huge job as he left 3-600 films which equates to 5-10,000 pictures. some of these are filtering along to us daily by e mail and I love them. It is fantastic to re awaken old buried memories in this way...must be a time of lie thing.
My Christening some time in father is to the very left with my Great Uncle Reg next to him,Liz Alison and Nigel are there with my godmothers (the glamorous lady at the back of the armchair with her husband behind her) daughter on the chair (this chair appears in an astonishing number of photos). Holding me is my beloved Godmother who took her responsibilities to heart and became my very own special person, Aunty Edith. Her husband who is the clergyman made a dedication to my Father, then deceased at my Wedding. My mother is to his left and my godfather Philip to his right.

I am the baby here, this tricycle, already aged went on and on and I remember riding it to the shops.

We always took a photo on Easter day with the eggs...something I still do.

My Parents' lovely Rose Garden.

My Favourite! The magic roundabout gang...I am Rosalie, Alison Florence and Nigel a rather reluctant Mr McGregor...that beard hung around for years!!

My First Christmas..I still have the teddy in front of the tree.

Being held by my Grandmothers Father Ernest Petheram...born 1883 I think.

My mother and Father in the Dales...this was probably taken when on a visit to Nigel at School in Skipton.