Sunday, 8 January 2017

No cheese, thanks

Yes, thank you for asking; I had a lovely Christmas and, well, I suppose a ‘measured’ new year. You might be thinking that the latter is a veiled reference to measures of alcohol, but, no; the usual attempts at holiday discipline were exercised and I emerged from the obscene consumer driven mire not completely unscathed, but at least missing no limbs.

I read that 2016 was a shoddy year and most folk are keen to put it behind them. Will 2017 be that much better? Well, I’ve just this minute received an email advising me I have been selected for a £350,000 prize, so things are looking up I must say. 

Among the holiday purchases was an old leather chair and cushion. It’s a bit battered but I’ve been on the lookout for one, at the right price, for years.  Now as I sit here in my cast-me-up dressing gown by the hearth, I must say I can see myself morphing in Rowley Birkin, Paul Whitehouses inebriated character from the fast show.  I think I resemble David Stott from Vic Reeves big night out.

Talking of fast shows, yesterday’s Cross Country mud fest at Herrington Park near Sunderland was a hard day out for an old duffer, and running in unseasonably mild temperatures with only shorts, vest and hat for effect (although I have no idea what impression I was trying to affect),  I overdid it. Even with the benefit of a slow pack start, I crept up to 58th place after lap 2, before capitulating in the strength sapping Wearside slop to come in at 101st  from a field of around 550. The last time 50 or so runners got past me was the super-lubricated claggy descent during the 2009 Ben race. Yesterday, I may as well have replaced my 10mm spikes with raisins, or donned a set of clean brushed cotton floral pi-jim-jams and a pair of travel ballerina slippers for the number of mud-watts of power I successfully generated. The only saving grace was a star performance by the young ‘un who won the womens race and the fact that I didn’t have to queue to get out of the park, having undertaken a covert reconnaissance of exit points and available spaces near the gates during a short and unconvincing warm up, before moving the car to the optimum spot.  I didn't need a warm down!

Getting back to the house, I scrubbed the xc shoes and took a scraper to my legs, before having a pre-bath shower, then managing to fall asleep in the bath itself.  My heart rate was still abit up on the usual this morning, so today will be two short runs rather than the longer Sunday run.  But its leftover steak for lunch and something about chips and peas is in the ether.

The current read, Steinbecks Cannery Row is not a thick affair, but coming on the back of Le Carre’s the night manager, I may need something lighter.  I asked Aunt Aggie last night for a recommendation, but she was rather down-beat as she sat among the box of Christmas bobbles and tinsel that are destined for the loft for another year. When I asked why so sad, she felt compelled to admit that she had put a teaspoon in the knife compartment of the cutlery drawer on purpose and was subsequently wracked with guilt.  Her new year resolution is to improve upon her cheese making skills, but we're going to have a sit-down serious chat soon about where she stores the curd and some of the more exotic smells that are coming from behind the kitchen radiator.          

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