Well, the festive season was certainly good while it lasted. All the little demons that plagued me throughout the last three months of 2015 sulked and hid their faces in the light of all that peace and good will from Christmas Eve onwards. From the gastronomic excesses of Christmas to the haggis, warming malt and scintillating firework displays that welcomed the dawn of 2016, Old Runningfox and his wonderful partner had much to be thankful for. Most of all, for the gift of each other, kindred spirits whose togetherness makes the world a better place to live.
|Muffled up on a freezing New Year's Day run by Loup Scar|
While thousands of noisy revellers thronged the streets of London to welcome the New Year we spent the evening quietly in front of our TV. Then, around 10.30, came our traditional Hogmanay meal of tatties, haggis and neeps leading to the midnight chimes, a toast to the New Year before watching the incredible firework display centred around the London Eye.
After scraping ice from the car windscreen on New Year's morning we drove back to the Dales on surprisingly quiet roads. We'd the same thought in mind, to get home, get changed into running gear and record a few miles to open our 2016 account. And that's exactly what we did.
|Keeping to the flat stuff along the Skuff|
After one or two tentative runs I'm getting used to running with only one eye, but still felt happier keeping to ground that was reasonably flat - two miles along tarmac and two miles along the riverbank. It seemed all the cars missing from the roads were parked en masse in Dales villages. Hebden, Grassington and Burnsall were heaving with nary a parking space to be found. Maybe something to do with New Year resolutions and keeping fit?
Next day it was time to exercise our minds, with various cryptic crosswords, as the heavens opened once again, livened up the beck and turned fields into a muddy morass.We've discovered that at times when no newspapers are printed we can download Guardian crosswords from the internet to keep our brains active. Or semi-active in my deteriorating state!
|Yay, back among the rougher stuff two days later|
There was another brief weather window on Sunday morning that had us donning our studs and, for a change, setting off up the ghyll to test my blurred sight on the rougher terrain. Beyond the old Miner's Bridge the track becomes rockier and I'd to concentrate on lifting my feet to avoid tripping. But all went well, we'd a good run and back home to beat the rain - just.
|Running for home down the ghyll - to beat the rain|
At my next hospital appointment, possibly in the next seven days, I should be given a date for the operation I'm told will restore sight to my Rt eye. For me, that will make for a Very Happy New Year.
For everyone else, regardless of circumstances, may 2016 be a year to remember - for all the best reasons.