I believe it is a sign of age that time seems to speed by without us noticing and we sometimes don't get round to doing things we said we'd do. Well mea culpa. Mea definitely culpa!
Just before Christmas, as I finished the knitted gifts and wrapped them ready for giving, I remember thinking that I must take photos and post them on my blog. Did I do it? Well obviously not. Also, I have not picked up the beautiful Oregon cardigan since the last time I photographed it as it was put aside in order to finish my gift knitting. This result of this rather long-winded explanation is that there is no knitting to show which is a shameful state of affairs and must be rectified forthwith!
In an attempt to draw attention away from my failings I've gathered together some photos taken over the last few weeks. I really do need to announce my next fund-raising activities too so more of that later.
On Christmas Day the horses were allowed some treats - Polo mints (sugar-free of course as they are both as old as the hills with teeth that need all the help they can get!).
Although they both love anything minty it is Esther who would trample over you to pick it from your pocket. She can't even wait until Mike gets close to her!
Kizzy is much more demure. You may notice that her rug is rather on the large size as I had to put her into one belonging to my elderly gelding as she managed to rip the surcingles off her own in a frenzied act of rolling in the mud. Horses just loved to roll.
These next photos were taken on a walk we did recently. We are blessed with a wonderful network of public footpaths and as I'm a Footpath Warden I like to take full advantage of them.
The last week has been very cold with very heavy frosts and most of the ponds were still frozen when we ventured out.
This is a view of a pond walking across towards Soggs. You can see that the water is still frozen solid.
I loved the colours and the way the trunk of the young silver birch gleamed in the low sunlight. There is such beauty in every season, even in decay.
I took this down in Bodiam, on a walk over to Salehurst, looking back towards Staplecross.
It was the linear feel of the scene that I liked as I could see it would translate well into a fabric collage embellished with embroidery.
Now, about those goals.
It would be easy to sit back on my laurels in 2009, using the uncertainties of the global economy as an excuse not to continue fund-raising for the Alzheimer's Research Trust. That coupled with the fact that I did not get a place in the London Marathon has meant that I have had to think long and hard about what to do this year. Granted, I will need to work harder to get publicity this year and even harder to persuade people to make donations but I know that every charity will need support this year as people tighten their belts.
Now just because something is difficult is no reason for not doing it and so this year is going to be even more of a challenge for me - I'm eschewing the multiple marathoning of the last 4 years in favour of............speed. I realised that the thing that would test me most of all would be to increase my speed over 3 race distances namely 10k, 1/2 marathon and marathon.
You could be forgiven for thinking that this is an easy option as I won't need to train as hard. Wrong! In marathon training I just plod along at my own comfortable pace and my body has adapted to the increase in mileage. The reason that an increase in speed will challenge me is that each time I have tried to go faster in the past I have injured something - both hamstrings, right calf, right quadricep, groin, lower back, both ankles, illiotibial band - I could go on! I've pulled, torn, ripped and strained parts of my body I didn't even know existed and kept my Physiotherapist in business.
I'm still in the process of finalising the target races but full details will appear on my new fund-raising page at Rapid Redhead as soon as possible. Training is going to be tough!
There is also something else that I may be involved in but I can't talk about it yet. Suffice to say that if it goes ahead then I suspect the publicity side of things will not be a problem.