I'll just help you get into the Christmas spirit with a couple of photos of my wreath for the front door. A couple of months ago I bought a cute little bunny ornament who was wearing ice skates and had a hat and scarf made of sparkly silver tinsel. Mike rolled his eyes at the concept but I ignored him as clearly an ice-skating bunny just had to come home with me.
I designed the whole wreath around him but guess what? As I was attaching the cord to hang the wreath the pin came out of his head and he crashed to the ground (stone tiles) and lost his face and 2 legs. Hey ho! Thankfully I had a sparkly silver butterfly to pin on instead but I do miss my bunny as he was dangling down inside the centre of the wreath and looked super-cute.
This is very different from my usual offerings which are very traditional using holly and berries with bright red ribbon.
Now it's time for the walk. We Brits always moan about the weather don't we and I was heartily fed up of rain and mud so when the sun peeped out last week we just had to go and make the most of it. I was so glad that we did as Rye Harbour was breathtakingly beautiful and I took loads of photos plus we spent some time in one of the hides watching the wildfowl whilst enjoying our flask of coffee with some homemade banana cake. I'll let the photos do the talking:
|All along the access path there were empty mussel shells. The gulls pick them up from the water's edge and then drop them from a great height to smash open their shells so they can eat them.|
|The colour of the sky was reflected in the lagoons|
|Peeping out from the hide. Although it was bright and sunny there was a cold wind which was strong enough to whip up foam on the edge of the lagoon.|
|First to appear was a coot.|
|There was a group of Shelducks at the far end but I couldn't get a decent photo of them.|
|Then a pair of Tufted ducks came into view|
|The wind turbines were whizzing around.|
After coffee we headed along the path towards Winchelsea but on the way back we went down onto the beach as the tide was far enough out.
|The remains of Camber Castle|
|Can you make out the wooden posts sticking out of the gravel? We wondered what could have been there as they were nowhere near the breakwater. Were they perhaps part of an art installation?|
|Ditto my comments above.....|
|......and again here when my shadow became part of the picture.|
|As you can see, we were well wrapped up against the wind!|
|You can just make out the outline of Dungeness Power Station on the horizon|
|I love sand patterns made as the tide ebbs and flows and these reminded of of art nouveau trees|
|The shingle is really hard to walk up and gives your legs a good workout!|
|There were so many of these little birds scuttling along the shoreline (Possibly Sandpipers or Turnstones?)|
|I was fascinated by the line of pylons marching to Dungeness|
That was a lovely morning out and certainly blew the cobwebs away.
Marathons (or rather ultra marathons) 131 & 132
These were the last 2 days in the 10in10 Challenges I wrote about in my last post. Both were at the same venue, Betteshanger Country Park where I celebrated my 100th marathon last year and I thought we'd be running the same trail route.
However, when Traviss and Rachel had arrived at the venue they found that part of our usual route had been cordoned off due to the ongoing reorganisation and so we weren't able to access one of the paths.
This meant Traviss had to create a new route in a different area and with only a couple of hours in which to do it I think he did a grand job! When he announced the route, which had shorter laps, there was a collective groan but it was actually a very pleasing route and I managed a good time on it.
At the start there were the usual announcements but there was also a very special one as Sophie Goodwin became the youngest person ever to complete 100 marathons as she was 21 years and 156 (I think) days and earned herself a Guinness World Record. What an amazing achievement for one so young!
As we set off I felt really good, as the route was much quicker and had less hills, so good that I pushed extra hard reaching 16.5 miles in 3 hours, 1.5 miles more than the week before, went through marathon distance in 4:55 and finished 28.5 miles in 5:20. The next day we were back to most of the usual route with hills and mud but I still felt very strong and finished 31.1 miles in 6:28 which was very pleasing as it was very muddy with fog/heavy drizzle for the 2nd half.
I was very pleased with how my legs felt both days and had a lovely catch-up with my running chums with lots of chatter en-route which helped pass the miles. So that's marathons 131 & 132 in the bag. Onwards and upwards.