Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Pre-Christmas catch-up

I'm really struggling to get back into blogging at the moment as it's always been my happy place and there really isn't much happiness around just now and even my positivity is feeling rather drained. So to try to inject some joy into things I'll attempt to do an update of allsorts, in no particular order.

Here's a selection of some of the virtual running events I've completed since April. There are several more medals still sitting in our quarantine zone as we have got into the habit of quarantining all letter and parcels, just to be on the safe side. It's a real mish-mash of events from multi-day events lasting for a month, marathons & ultra-marathons run all in one go and ultra marathon events spread over a number of days or weeks.

I've really enjoyed the sense of community in the long-distance ultras. It all started with a Centurion event during the first lockdown when I ran 50 miles over 5 days to earn the wooden medal on the left. The next one I did was the West Highland Way which was 95 miles completed over 7 days but with no bling this time!

I had great fun doing the M25 Vultra (ie 'Virtual' ultra) which was Rik's excellent idea for us to cover the actual length of the M25 motorway in our own respective areas. That was 117 miles which I completed in 23 hours over a couple of weeks but my favourite of his was the 'Lockdown Vultra' which he named 28 days later, after the last lockdown, and I managed to cover my highest monthly mileage ever, 424.86 mile, claiming my place as 2nd lady!

This was a favourite too; LeJog ie completing the infamous journey from Land's End to John o'Groats, which was a  total of 874 miles. You had 12 months in which to complete the distance and I managed to sneak in at 12.5 weeks so was very pleased with that!

Each time you logged your mileage you could see yourself progressing along the map and if you clicked on each section you would see photos of the area you were passing through:

They sent virtual postcards along the way to highlight interesting features we'd be passing in the real world and that made it interesting:

When we'd finished we got a nice tee shirt and a medal:

Shelley doesn't look very impressed though!

It was a fun event with many people, of all abilities, taking on the challenge either walking or running and there was a great community on Facebook.

I then went on to complete another of their events, crossing the distance of the Pennine Way along with the Centurion 100 mile event for which I received a small version of their real-life buckle. I was supposed to running their South Downs Way 100 mile event this year as part of my fund-raising but like so many other events it was cancelled.

In knitting news I've finished and blocked Aubade and it's gorgeous, so light but warm. I'd decided to finish the hem and sleeves with an i-cord edging but after I'd done the first sleeve I found I'd made it too tight so I had to undo it and make it looser. I did this by inserting my needle into the row before the start of the i-cord and just snipped it off and started again. It was surprisingly simple to do and I'm so glad I did as it's perfect now.

Right now I'm swatching for  'Snowy Forest' from Laine magazine 10 using a pairing of Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply, one of my favourite yarns, and Rowan Kidsilk Haze from my stash:

I'm quite excited by this latest rendering from Laine as there are several things I will definitely be making including Skog (using a gorgeous green yarn from Biches et Buches), Breukelen & Dyyni. All of those should keep me occupied during the latest lockdown - we're in Tier 3 here in East Sussex and I suspect we'll be in lockdown for a long time now.

It feels rather strange that I haven't crocheted anything this year, especially as I'm a much more proficient crocheter than knitter! I just didn't feel like it.

Today I've been busy making Pannetone along with some Seville orange marmalade, which is a tradition for the day before Christmas Eve and we will be sampling them tomorrow. The pannetone is in the oven now.

Orange peel ready for marmalade

Chopped, candied peel for the pannetone

A homemade collar to to encourage it to rise well and protect it as it bakes

I still have many photos of Nature and wildlife to upload but I'll save them for next time and leave you with a photo of my beautiful orchid, Dendrobium Nobile, which I haven't managed to kill yet - I don't have a good track record with orchids! Plus the Xmas lights on one of the houses in our village that I took when doing one of my early morning runs.

Stay safe everyone.

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