Monday 25 April 2016

Blackthorn winter......

      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.
Blackthorn flowering in the field below my study   (Click pictures to enlarge)
 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....
Frosty mornings - ideal for running
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.
Some of my running friends
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.
Jubilee Tower - kestrel haunts
      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.
Gathering clouds - well wrapped up on Saturdai's run
      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!
On Sunday's run - me and my rapidly expanding waistline
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


  1. All the photos are just lovely.
    I think it is very easy to put on an extra few pounds over the winter. I'm sure you'll run them off in no time!

    1. Agreed Karen, I put on weight every winter - but it's supposed to be Spring! Need a bit of heat to sweat it off...

  2. I agree with Karen (Happyone) ...
    All the photos are just lovely, I always enlarge them to have a look.
    My favourite is the one with the greylags.

    The weather this year has been topsy turvey and we had a very short snow flurry yesterday - with night time temperatures below freezing.

    With the bank holiday looming near I wonder what the weather may be like?

    As the song says 'Keep on Running'.

    All the best Jan

    1. It sure is topsy turvy Jan. It's snowing on the surrounding hills just now - and it's the Tour de Yorkshire tomorrow (Friday), a185 km cycle race. I don't envy the riders on these steep hills and dangerous bends. I'll stick to running!