We had several different treats planned ahead of Mike's birthday next week and this weekend I was supposed to be running the Beachy Head marathon - my favourite trail marathon. Please note "I was supposed to be running" 'cos now I can't.
'Cos the lurgy has struck in redheadland. Last week Mike went into London and the next morning he complained of a sore throat which quickly developed into something more than a cold with flu-like symptoms. He was completely knocked out by it and it was obvious that it wasn't simply 'man-flu'! For a few days I thought I might escape it but by Tuesday I was feeling heady and rather grotty. Then the killer blow for me came yesterday when it progressed to my chest.
Now every asthmatic knows that you can deal with physical activity when you have a head cold but when it goes to your chest then it's a big no-no as it puts too much pressure on your heart and can lead to serious complications. I clung onto hope for the whole of Tuesday and Wednesday but when I checked my breath-flow this morning it had dropped by a whopping 200 points so it became clear that I would have a DNS (did not start) against my name at Beachy.
|My normal flow is around the 400 mark!|
I was doubly disappointed to miss it because one of my running chums will be completing his 600th marathon there (makes me seem like a lightweight doesn't he!!!)
After I'd come to terms with not doing Beachy I started to hunt around for a replacement marathon to fill the slot without bunching together with the raft of marathons I have towards the end of November. Fingers crossed I might have a place in a marathon the week after but I won't know for sure for a few days.................
There's been some knitting going on along with jam & chutney making (it's that sort of season isn't it). Mike's mittens are progressing slowly. I'm using the yarn double and had to frog my first attempt as the cuff felt too loose and I wanted a snug fit.
|I love my sheep stitch marker|
|The cuff is designed to be folded over and half is knitted on slightly larger needles so that it folds over nicely - a clever touch I thought.|
You can read about the baffies and see what they'll look like here on Kate's blog. I'm knitting the plainer version rather than the stranded one as I want to conserve my dark grey and didn't want to use the beautiful white ptarmigan wool for something I'll only wear on cold nights in bed.
|My first attempt. Note I used 3 double-pointed needles.|
It's a toe-up construction using the Turkish Cast-On method and circular needles, which I'd never tried before but was very easy and I'll definitely use again.
I haven't run at all this week, for obvious reasons, but have pottered around the land for a walk each day just to get some fresh air. I wandered into the horses' field the other day to pick a few more blackberries, to make blackberry and apple muffins, and was struck by the glorious colours of the leaves and berries:
|Golden Field Maple|
|Bronze and gold Euonymus leaves with vivid pink berries. I take photos of them every year as they always stop me in my tracks!|
|As the leaves start to fall I notice birds nests. A tangle of sticks built to protect precious eggs.|
|The ivy in the hedges has finished flowering, provided some late nectar for bees, and the berries are forming. The wood pigeons and blackbirds feast on them during the winter months.|
|The buttery leaves of our climbing hydrangea look stunning. When they fall you can see the russet-coloured stems of the plant which add an extra dimension to a winter planting.|
|The yellow leaves are of a Golden Hop|
|The bright yellow flowers of this low-growing hypericum shone out on a gloomy day|
Next week is another busy one, well if we've both recovered that is!