Tuesday, 26 January 2010


It's nearly February and there is still Christmas food in the house.
It's all bad, too - Quality Street and chocolate orange.
All the good I am doing with running and walking and working out is being undone by Christmas food.
Tonight it was six times round the 660-metre loop on Paignton seafront with rests in between. Mine went 2.52, 2.45, 2.47, 2.48, 2.48, 2.50, so if you take the first one as a 'sighter', they were pretty consistent. I finished ahead of a couple of people I would normally finish behind, so I was happy.
Then I went and spoiled it all by eating something stupid like Mrs H's fabulous risotto and a fistful of Quality Street...

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Walk Home Wednesday

I HAVE started a new thing, a thing which will probably last all of a fortnight.
I am going to get a lift to work on Wednesdays, and then walk home.
I have no idea.
Maybe it's something to do with my carbon footprint, maybe it's to do with fitness. Certainly I need to get some miles in with some long races coming up this season.
So I ducked out of the office door at 5.05 and stepped it out for the six miles home. I made Torre Station at 5.22, then the Grand Hotel at 5.37. I made up a bit of time up over Hollicombe (5.50) and was at Manor Cross by 6.00. A couple of shortcuts through town saw me at Conway Road for 6.15, then a final push up the hill brought me through the door at 6.27. Not bad going. A benchmark of 1h 22m is set, and I'm not sure I could go much faster without breaking into a trot, which I'm not going to do.
I never even put on the iPod, which I had carefully pre-loaded with inspirational tunes.
It will be more fun when the evenings are lighter, I reckon.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Winter Wonderland 2

Well, it's been a while.
It did snow that night, but not all that much.
Mrs H, Reg and I went out walking in the morning and it looked like thisTitter ye not, that's a lot of snow for Paignton.
Then, over the next few days, it all turned to compacted ice and slush, and it wasn't so much fun. Mrs H was just waiting for me to fall over, but I just about stayed upright.
Her car still won't start, though. It's a mystery, and one we hope to get solved with a bit of expert intervention this weekend.
Both daughters have gone back to Bristol now, Older one on the train and Younger one thanks to a drive up the M5 through the blizzards yesterday.
Blizzards might be going it a bit, but it was certainly snowing pretty hard around Bridgwater, and Bristol itself had a good thick blanket of the stuff.
The drive back was pretty grim, but brightened somewhere around Wellington, where the grey motorway stretched away into the fog, with white banks on all sides. A heron suddenly appeared from the side of the road and flapped lazily across six lanes of traffic, about 12 feet off the ground, in brilliant detail against the gunmetal late afternoon sky. It was just high enough to avoid everyone and treat us all with the disdain we deserved, and as it crossed the hard shoulder it spread out its great curved wings ready for landing.
OK, it's not a herd of wildebeest crossing the Serengeti plain, but it was a bright spot in a dull journey.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Winter Wonderland 1

SNOW is falling, all around me.
Outside the cul-de-sac is quieter than usual, because no-one has ventured out much tonight. We made a slippery dash to the Spar shop about nine, but there's no sound out there now.
Someone has spread grit across the road, which is nice. I have put a couple of shovel-fulls on the steep sloping driveway in the hope of being able to get the car out tomorrow.
Mrs H's car is refusing to start at the moment, so we are a one-Mazda family for the time being.
So, the big question is this. When the alarm goes off in the morning and we look out of the window towards Collaton and the green hills beyond, how much snow will there be?
At the moment you can just see a handful of tiny flakes fluttering about under the orange street lights. A dusting has settled on the ground, about the thickness of icing sugar on a mince pie.
The weathermen say much more is up there in the clouds, waiting to fall. How much will there be?