Wednesday 21 May 2014

A weekend at Wold Farm....

Can't I even have a little bottle of wine?
If all goes well throughout this year the legendary Ron Hill will complete a 50 year streak - meaning he will have run at least one mile every single day since December 1964. Car crashes, operations and minor injuries could not stop him. He would run even if he had to do it on crutches up and down a hospital corridor. Well, so far as streaks go, I've failed miserably. Not that I could possibly have attempted a run after my recent operation - trailing various drips, catheters and other unmentionable accoutrements - and especially after an epidural anaesthetic that left me without legs for a short time. I've had other problems too over the past few weeks that left me weak and woozy so, again, very little running. A cocktail of anti-biotics meant I couldn't even cheer myself up with an odd glass of wine, let alone a wee dram! Hopefully, all is now well and I can start rebuilding again. I'll be eternally grateful to that consultant surgeon and his team, provided I live that long!
     One or two short three mile runs, mainly up my local Castle Hill, are all I've managed since that wonderful birthday
Wold Farm campsite under a blue sky...
jaunt along the Dales Way earlier this month. Until last weekend. Early on Saturday morning we took a 90 mile drive to the East Yorkshire coast for some invigorating sea air and a visit to the amazing bird haunted sea cliffs at Bempton. The weather was glorious, warm balmy sunshine tempered with a cooling breeze. Ideal for cliff top walks - and running. We stayed overnight at Wold Farm, a difficult to find campsite. Even our Sat-Nav managed to get itself lost!  It was an ideal location, just 400m from a coast path that runs along the top of 400ft high chalk cliffs that are home to over 200,000 nesting seabirds. Puffins and gannets are the main attraction but razorbills, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes all live happily together on adjacent ledges and steep grassy slopes.
Sunshine and sea air on Sunday's run..
It was our first visit to the area so very much an exploratory one, getting to know the lie of the land, the best viewing points and finding routes to run. As regards the latter, it didn't take my wonderful partner long to scrutinize the map and join up a few lines to make a very pleasant Sunday morning circular through fields of oilseed rape, along the campion clad coast path with the sun on our bodies, wind in our hair and the sound of the sea on the rocks below. It was all very bracing and exhilarating. We could get to liking this place.... Before leaving we couldn't resist a quick walk to the RSPB's viewing point at Bempton cliffs to watch and listen to the cacophonous colony of gannets that nest annually on the rocks below. I love to watch them, and especially when they're diving.
     At the last count there were nearly, 8,000 nesting pairs crammed side by side onto every availlable ledge
Gannets, puffin and razorbills...(Picture from internet)
or flat (ish) piece of rock. Whilst half were sat tight on their solitary egg the remainder wheeled around noisily, riding the wind on wings as long as my extended arms. They were joined in the air by tens of thousands of guillemots, fulmar, kittiwakes, razorbills and puffins till one wondered how they could possibly avoid crashing into each other. In all my life I've never seen so many wonderful birds and I couldn't help wondering what they all find to feed upon, how the sea sustains such huge colonies? The Bempton colony of gannets, I'm told, often fly hundreds of miles, as far as Dogger bank, searching for shoals of fish. But where do all the others go, and how much of their time is spent searching for food?
     Pondering this question we returned to Wold Farm to pack our tent and begin the long journey home to enjoy a nice glass of sherry and the fragrant aroma of our evening meal simmering slowly on the cooker. No Dogger Bank for us.  Most of our hunter-gathering is done in a quick dash round our local Tesco - though I've sometimes been accused of being a gannet!


  1. I have also known Sat Nav's to get lost !

    I do not think you've failed miserably has ups and downs, and I so enjoy reading your blog, and looking at the pictures you post.

    Hope this bank holiday weekend is going well and you've been able to get out and about and enjoy a glass or two of wine at the end of the day.

    Cheers ....

    All the best Jan

  2. Thanks Jan....I try not to do 'downs' but occasionally there are little blips on the 'ups'.
    I hope you and yours are enjoying a wonderful Bank Holiday too, whatever is your pleasure. Ours is good so far, dodging the rain and running in new places.

  3. Very glad to hear the operation was a success and you're back at your running so quickly:). I've been sitting in bed reading blogs thinking I need to get up now and do 10k around the lake. As usual, you've inspired me!

  4. a 50 year streak would be great, I'm at 898 days and while I have a injury I can still run and have done 5 runs of 3km and 2 of 4km this week and I think I will end up with another week like that...

    All that said I hope like you I am still running into my 80's