Sunday, December 23, 2018

Nearly there

As Christmas is looming large on the horizon I thought I'd better do a quick catch-up.

Yesterday was my last marathon of 2018. I was delighted to learn that the weather was supposed to be better than in recent days when we've had torrential rain and strong winds and indeed it was a lovely day with lots of sunshine and only a slight breeze.

It was another of Traviss and Rachels events over at Deal and I do rather like this route as the sea views are glorious and there's lots to see - dog-walkers, plenty of sea birds, cyclists and some interesting Victorian architecture. I only took a few photos of the scenery as I really wasn't feeling the running love yesterday.

Registration time

By 8:30am when we set off, the sun was out and it was very pleasant. I wasn't going to push for a time as Mike and I have only just recovered from bad colds - I had to miss the marathon I'd intended to run 2 weeks ago as for the first time since 2011 I found the cold developed fully and went straight to my chest so, as an asthmatic, running was a no-no. For poor Mike it went to his sinuses and we were both shocked at how much it took out of us.

It was an out and back route of 5.25 miles per lap which meant 5 laps for a marathon or more for an ultra. My first lap felt fine although I just ran at a pace that felt comfortable and I completed it in 55 minutes. I headed out for my 2nd lap and at the halfway point I had a major mind meltdown and decided I didn't want to continue. Yes, really! I am usually completely focused and rarely have negative thoughts so it was a bit of a shock I can tell you.

I always smile when I see this pier as I love the starkness of its architecture.

As luck would have it my favourite young man was also running and he was a lap ahead of me at the time and came alongside me for a catch-up which took my mind off quitting for a while. As we headed into base camp he refused to let me stop and cajoled me into heading out again for another lap which we jogged at a gentle pace whilst putting the world to rights. Of course, by the end of lap 3 I was over halfway and so it would have been silly to quit so off we went again but I'd decided to do a run/walk strategy and James very kindly stayed with me as he wasn't aiming for a fast time.

Chatting with him really helped take my mind off whatever it was that was getting me down and I can't thank him enough for sticking with me to the end. There was lots of hugging with fellow runners and I was delighted to see these two lovely ladies before I finished as Loulou (left) has battled all manner of horrid health problems this year and Kirsty (right) is such a kind friend and helped keep her going when things got tough.

Half of David, LouLou and Kirsty

I don't know what my time was as my Garmin battery died but it was definitely over 6 hours. Hopefully whatever gremlins got into my head will disappear before the new year as I have a marathon on 1st January to welcome in 2019.

On the knitting front I've finished all my gift knitting and am back to working on my jumper.

You had to block it aggressively to a certain circumference. I transferred the stitches onto a long blocking wire but only just managed to get them all on (hence the cork to stop any falling off).

Then the stitches were picked up, a section knit back and forth to make the back higher then the sleeve stitches were put onto holders (I just used scrap yarn). The lacy pattern was done on a single strand but then another strand was added for the first section. I used 2 strands of the yarn in the yoke held together.

I've now started the next section which has a different yarn added into the mix so I exchanged 1 strand of the yoke yarn for a strand of Kidsilk Haze in a mottled brown.

I've got several balls of this shade and thought it would be a good opportunity to use some of it.

In the section after this I'll be adding in this dark chocolate Kidsilk Haze which I think will give me the same effect as the  pattern piece.

There was much excitement the other day when my Parcel arrived for Kate's latest club, Knitting Season, which starts in January.

In other news we've got a new batch of sheepy guests. They are mostly Texels, a breed originally from the Netherlands.

Their coats are incredibly dense which makes them difficult to extract when they decide to explore the bramble patches! I've been pestering the contractor who cuts our hedges to come and cut them back but each time he's been due to come something has gone wrong and now the ground is far too wet to bring a massive tractor onto the fields.

I love the way they stand with their 2 front legs all neat and tidy!

Since our previous nextdoor neighbours have moved we are seeing more inquisitive squirrels in the garden - he used to shoot them.

It didn't take them long to discover the seed-feeder on the window.......

........and the nuts at the feed-station by the hedge

They're great time-wasters as you find yourself just standing watching their antics!

As we hurtle headlong into Christmas may I wish you all a very happy and peaceful time and for those of you who struggle at this time of year I send you extra hugs.

No comments: