My ageing body must have anticipated the current blackthorn winter and conveniently spread an extra layer of fat around vulnerable parts to ensure I keep warm. A rare visit to my bathroom scales today revealed I'm almost half a stone overweight. So that's why I can't run! I've been struggling. Last week my dawn runs got shortened to 3 miles each while Sunday's planned run was cancelled altogether resulting in a mere 13 miles for the entire week. I suppose that's better than nothing. Just.
Dunno about the rest of the country but Yorkshire experienced three cracking days midweek when I could stretch out on the lawn soaking up healing ultra violet rays and topping up with Vitamin D. To while away the balmy evenings I found a warm sunny corner to sit topless while topping up with some rather nice Australian Merlot until sundown. Note to self: Must look for some larger glasses....
There were keen white frosts as I trotted through pre dawn fields, joined on Thursday morning by a herd of frisky, bawling stirks I suspect had recently been separated from their mums and weren't too happy on their own, so pleased to have a bit of human company.
One sunrise a solitary kestrel circled round the tower and I wondered if a pair had built a nest up there, ninety feet above the ground and a thousand feet in the air. What better lookout, albeit a wee bit draughty..... On the same morning a skein of geese bugled across the flaring sky and I've kicked myself for not having a camera ready to capture the scene. It would have made a wonderful video.
We were lucky to complete a pleasant four miles on Saturday morning while the sun still shone and before the temperature started to drop. Even so, the dreaded blackthorn winter was closing its grip causing my wonderful partner to don an extra layer for a windy circuit of the reservoir.
A flock of greylags were feeding in a sheltered bay, oystercatchers criss-crossed noisily over the water while a solitary pied wagtail lived up to his name running along the dam wall, doing what wagtails do.
The sky clouded over as we headed for home to stoke up the stove and snuggle in its warmth. We snuggled in its warmth all day Sunday too - until it was time to visit friends in Knaresborough who wined, dined and entertained us regally late into the night. I'm told I ate 'quite a lot' and got gently reprimanded for scraping my plate clean. It's a good job I didn't lick it too or I'd never have been invited again!
Looking back over last weeks restricted activities and over indulgences, it's possible that the so-called blackthorn winter had very little to do with the extra pounds I discovered today.......mmmm
|Blackthorn flowering in the field below my study (Click pictures to enlarge)|
|Frosty mornings - ideal for running|
|Some of my running friends|
|Jubilee Tower - kestrel haunts|
|Gathering clouds - well wrapped up on Saturdai's run|
|On Sunday's run - me and my rapidly expanding waistline|