|Back in my elements......(Click to enlarge)|
OK, it was more than a wee cough. It's taken 16 days, a week of antibiotics and a week confined to barracks to shake the nasty bronchitis bug out of my system. At last, it appears to have gone and today, for the first time this month, I sneaked out before dawn to test the water. My alarm sounded at 7.10am and I awoke to half a gale battering the window. Regardless, I sensed a peculiar thrill at the prospect of running again, feeling the wind on my body and getting back into that wonderful rhythm. After a quick cup of coffee I stepped out into the darkness, clicked my Garmin and set off to face the elements. And the traffic. I reckon most people in the neighbourhood set off to work between 7.30 and 7.45 for there was a constant stream of cars tail-gating along the mile of road to the Castle Hill turn-off, and in both directions. This minor road along Ashes Lane is narrow and so is the footpath. Some of the wider vehicles were almost brushing my sleeve, so I was much relieved to eventually turn away from the noise and blinding lights for the final steep climb into a traffic-free zone.
I was back in my elements, breathing easily and relaxing into a steady rhythm I felt I could keep up for the rest of the
morning. A faint smudge of pink in the south east horizon was where the sun was rising behind a thick blanket of dark cloud. A stiff westerly gale was flapping my wind smock. If there was any birdsong it was drowned in the constant roar. Crows, or maybe they were rooks, were enjoying a game of flying into the wind, then being flung back like tousled bits of black rag. I wish I could do that! Rabbits were conspicuous by their absence. Either they don't like wild weather or our local poacher had already worked the hill with his two whippets. I doubt the latter for I saw no-one. I'd the world to myself and boy, did it feel good after that enforced lay-off. After three circuits I descended, reluctantly, and headed for home feeling smug and invigorated. Old Runningfox is back in business......
|......and more atmospherics from my Study window|