Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Colour me your colour

I don't know why I've got the song 'Call Me' by Blondie going round in my head at the moment but I have and the lyrics at the start reminded me of something else I haven't shared. I won an adult colouring book from the lovely people at Search Press, based in Tunbridge Wells which is only about 20 miles away from home. I have a huge collection of their craft books as their range of subjects is immense.

My lovely free gift came about via a 'review-it-friday' draw on their Facebook page and I was one of the lucky winners. In exchange we had to write an honest review of the book, Tanglewood Collector's Art Edition', on Amazon which I wrote here.

As soon as I saw the cover I thought the bunny would make a wonderful embroidery project (which reminds me of something else I need to share!). The stylised flowers are reminiscent of the 60s/70s designs I love.

A book with a bunny on its cover always gets my attention!

Another bunny was hiding inside.

I loved spotting the hidden creatures

I wondered if anyone 'adult' fills this in and actually frames them?
I haven't done any colouring other than doodling since I was a teenager and the whole adult-colouring thing hadn't really drawn me in (like the pun?) but I thought I'd have a go any way and surprise, surprise it was a lovely way of losing oneself in something completely different.

It didn't matter that my colouring could have been bettered by a small child, it freed my mind completely and that is priceless.

I borrowed some of Mike's very expensive Caran d'ache coloured pencils and supplemented them with some cheaper ones found on Amazon in a good range of colours. Yes, you can tell the difference but unless you intend to take this up as a serious hobby I don't think there's any need to spend a fortune on the crayons (I got 36 coloured pencils for the price of 2 of the expensive ones).

I cut my teeth colouring in the back page. It was great fun and I discovered it can be done with a cat sitting on your lap!

 Feeling a bit braver I've ventured inside and started playing with this design:

Now I just pick it up and start doodling whenever I sit down with a cuppa and don't feel like knitting or crochet. It makes a nice change.

St. George's Day marathon (aka an alternative to the London marathon!)

Another of Traviss and Rachel's fab events down at the beautiful Samphire Hoe which I now know and love (well, except for that long stretch of concrete sea wall they make us run along 7 times!). Before I left home I announced that I wasn't going take my camera this time as I always take squillions of photos of lichen and skies, but Mike convinced me to take it in case I missed a great opportunity and thank goodness he did as I got to spot an Adder - photo later.

I'd dressed in my outfit from 2 years ago, same event but at a different venue, but my cap had been modified for the Valentine's Day Challenge last year and I figured that as it was largely red and white it would do.

I missed this event last year as my naughty car wouldn't start on the morning of the marathon so I was very happy to arrive there bright and early. I did, however, have to make a detour en-route.  I'd just passed through a village where I saw a Police car in the middle of the road and 2 Policemen talking to a man standing by a telephone box. I didn't think anything of it until I'd gone about 1/2 mile further when I found the road closed off because a car had overturned and 2 Policemen were busy tidying up  the road so I guessed that the man I'd just seen was the driver as there didn't appear to be any casualties.

As I approached the scene there were cones across the road and one of the Policemen gestured for me to turn round and go by another route. Sounds simple doesn't it but in getting round that stretch of road I had to double back on myself and head down many single track country lanes to get to where I needed to be which was a detour of just under 9 miles! 

Thankfully the rest of my journey was trouble-free and I arrived with plenty of time to prepare. The weather conditions were perfect at the start, cool with only a slight breeze along the seawall rather than the gale-force conditions we usually experience there.

Dee was busy snapping as usual

There was lots of red and white on show

Ruth. This was her 498th marathon with her 500th coming very soon. I'm uncertain if I'll be able to be there as my eye operation is quite close to the date.

At the start there were the usual announcements and I was delighted to find I'd completed 1500 miles with SVN events which means next time I run an event I'll get a special number with my name on. Then we all sang 'Jerusalem' in recognition of St. George's Day. I was standing next to Ruth and we were singing without looking at the words until we both confused our lines and started giggling!

Then we were off and the weather was absolutely perfect, cool and bright with only a slight breeze along the seawall unlike the horrendous conditions we've experienced there sometimes.

There were lots of hugs and kisses from chums I haven't seen for ages as I've had to miss so many marathons in the last few months and it felt great to be back out there. There was much friendly banter and I was feeling really good and soon settled into a steady pace, churning out 42 minute laps for the first 5 laps and feeling really strong and focused.

If I'd maintained that pace I would have gone sub 5 hours but on lap 6 of 7 my right knee started to niggle. I took a short walk break to see if it would stretch out but it didn't so I had to decide whether to push on with a run/walk strategy or be sensible and resort to a fast walk. Commonsense prevailed and so I walked the last 1.5 laps at a good, but rather ungainly pace as I had to throw my right leg out to the side as the knee didn't want to bend! I think the knee issue was due to the amount of gardening I did last week as I'd been scrabbling around on my hands and knees and the next morning it only twinged a  bit and today it's right as rain and has been taken out for a short run.

Of course, during my walking phase was when the camera came out and Mike was quite right as if I hadn't taken it I would have missed this little beauty:

A gorgeous Adder

Aren't the markings magnificent!

I also managed to get 2 train drivers to wave to me and one even gave me a full-on blow on the horn as I waved my red and white flag on my last lap. I still wave to trains which is a throwback to being a child and growing up near one of the last railway lines to have steam trains. As kids we'd hang over the bridge above and the train driver would always sound the whistle for us. My antics made some fellow runners smile too.

The other benefit of walking was that I got to chat with one of the Rangers who was out taking photos of the beautiful Early Spider Orchids which he showed me (I'd tried spotting them myself but couldn't see them as they are very low-growing):

Isn't that simply stunning

Then there's the obligatory photo of lichens which I can't resist taking. However, thanks to the Ranger, I now know that this is Xanthoria and that it likes a drop of bird poo (which is just as well as there's plenty of that around there!).

My finish time was 5:18:24 which, although slower than I thought it could have been, was still a pb for that course so I'm rather pleased with that thank you very much.

Onwards and upwards as they say!


Anonymous said...

I feel tired just looking at all these mega marathon runners! Go you

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Susie
Over the last few days I've been catching up on your news, marathons etc. although sorry to hear about your health niggles, hope things settle down soon.

You always include a great amount of photographs for us to see, thank you.

Enjoy these last days of April and have a happy Bank Holiday weekend

All the best Jan

Bekki said...

I've never stopped colouring in from being a child! It's so therapeutic. I think you're doing a lovely job with your colouring. That adder has really beautiful markings, It's rare to see one in the wild.

Susie Hewer said...

LOL Julie - I mix with some seriously bonkers runners who've achieved amazing things!

Susie Hewer said...

Lovely to hear from you Jan and thanks for your good wishes.

Susie Hewer said...

Hi Bekki and thank you for being so kind about my attempts at colouring. You must be an expert. I've only seen a live adder once before and that was at the same place. Other than that I did find a dead one near our pond a few years ago which was a surprise as everyone told me there aren't any round here!