Wednesday 30 December 2015

A very blurry Christmas and fuzzy New Year......

Christmas activities flashed by in a blur - literally. Neither are things looking good for the first few weeks of the New year. But hopefully, by the end of January, I'll have my Rt eye back and functioning properly so I can resume normal activities. Until then, life is restricted to 4 hour slots between squeezing drops into my fuzzy eye. The Consultant ophthalmologist, Mr Musa, seemed rather non-committal when first asked if I could run, but the word 'running' didn't appear on the list of things I couldn't do so I assumed it would be alright!
Setting off by the river - Christmas Day  (Click pictures to enlarge)
Since we met a quarter of a century ago it's become traditional for my wonderful partner and I to run on Christmas Day morning as a prelude to the day's indulgences. These begin with bubbly and nibbles in a neighbour's house at 11am, then continue unabated until bedtime with never an empty glass. I'm glad Christmas comes but once a year. I'm getting too old for such things!
Returning by the quiet beck in Hebden Ghyll - Christmas Day
The riverbank was surprisingly quiet as we made our way towards Burnsall under a blue sky with glorious sunshine, the only sounds being the chattering river and a storm cock singing loudly from a tree top, perhaps presaging the following Boxing Day gales.
Running on Christmas Day - because no-one said I shouldn't
Running along a rocky path where I'd previously fallen and fractured ribs I'd to be ultra careful picking my way along in a blurred semi-blind state. Intense concentration was beginning to hurt by the time we reached Loup Scar. I'd had quite enough and turned for home.
Pouring the 2nd bottle of bubbly (amazingly without spilling) - Christmas Day
Touch wood, my temperamental nether regions have so far survived their onslaught of festive fare. On Christmas Eve I'd staggered across to the car with our regular meat order in a bag I wouldn't have wanted to carry very far.  Perhaps all the wine and bubbly is making it more palatable?
Then relaxing beside a pile of presents. Cheers everyone...
Boxing Day was a bit of a stinker but I was told "We can't just sit here all day doing crosswords" so I'd to don boots and waterproofs to combat lashing rain, flooded landscape and impassable riverbank.
Down by the fish farm - bridge over Hebden beck on Boxing Day

Down the ghyll the ground was like a sponge, oozing water at each step, and it wasn't long before I was flat on my back down a slippery slope. Bang - courtesy of a very old pair of boots with no tread. Why wasn't I wearing more sensible studs?
A raging Hebden beck on its way to the Wharfe - Boxing Day
Another glorious day followed, too good to resist a 4 mile run into Burnsall and back along the Skuff. The temperamental and noisy River Wharfe had dropped sufficiently for us to once again use the path along its bank - just. Farther downstream the build-up of water later demolished an 18th century bridge, cutting off gas and electricity while splitting the market town of Tadcaster into two halves.
Path by the Wharfe as floods receded
Apart from a local lady with her dogs and an elderly neighbour sweeping away storm debris, we'd the circuit to ourselves. Not a mallard on the river, a rook in their treetop village or any bird in the sky. Even the storm cock was silent, presumably resting  until time to shout warnings of the next oncoming holocaust - Storm Frank.
The benign looking River Wharfe between Loup Scar and Burnsall Bridge
Away from the river an ominous silence brooded over the sunlit Dales landscape as we jogged gently home along the Skuff. Viewed from above through a camera lens the Wharfe between Loup Scar and Burnsall Bridge seemed peaceful and benign. Little did we know what devastation was about to be executed in its lower reaches......
......oh, my bleeper's going, time for more of those stinging drops.
Happy New Year everyone
......but until then, here's a little something to amuse.


  1. Enjoyed your new year post. As I have enjoyed your posts for many years. All he best next year. From a fellow Kansas City

    1. Thanks fellow runner, and all the very best to you too in 2016. Wishing you lots of PR's. Cheers!

  2. Sounds like the perfect Christmas Day! Usually we golf Xmas morning but this year we were out of town so we ran on the beach.

    So glad to see you're able to run in your semi blind state. And glad to hear things should be back to normal soon.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Thanks Barbara. Must admit our Christmas activities went better than expected. Sounds like you'd a good time too, running together on the beach. Wishing you all the best for 2016 - running in those fast new shoes...

  4. Good to see you out running ... enjoyed the photo's and post. Thank you.

    Happy New Year Wishes - have a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge already LOL !!

    All the best Jan

  5. Thanks Jan. We've a bottle of bubbly chilling too - not to mention a rich red wine to go with our haggis, tatties and neeps - and a fine single malt to accompany the chimes. Oh, and the haggis will be marinated (read saturated) with a delectable amber liquid from north of the border. So here's wishing you all the best for 2016 - before things get a bit out of hand. Cheers!

  6. Here's to 2016 may you run many mile fueled by the best wine!

    1. I need something a bit stronger than wine to fuel me at the moment Coach, but hopefully things will come good again in time for Spring.
      All the best for your racing activities in 2016. Will look forward to your reports. Cheers!