A field of dead crows
I didn’t slack on Saturday. While thereisasixpackunderhere and Travelling Hopefully were out doing their very first ever parkruns, I was out running in the pouring rain. My kit got so wet, it was still wet two days later and came out of the washing machine drier than it went in.
A few weeks ago, iliketocount and I went down to investigate the nearest part of the Royal Military Canal to see if it was a suitable place to run. It runs for 28 miles from Seabrook in Kent to Cliff End in East Sussex and I had hoped it would all be towpath, but the bit near us only has a bit over two miles of track and the rest is grass. Ho hum.
Still, as it was such a nice day outside yesterday, I decided to cycle five miles down to the canal and do my scheduled five mile run there.
After the decision came the dilemmas. I really wanted to take my camera to get some pics of the canal and any cows I saw but didn’t want to run with my camera, so I decided to take my iPhone with me in my Belkin armband.
As I was going to be cycling 11 miles and running 5 miles, I thought I’d better take some water but as I was going on my mountain bike due to it having more gears and I didn’t fancy struggling up the hills like I do on my lady of the manor bike, I didn’t have anywhere to put a water bottle (ahem, iliketocount… can you put a water bottle holder on my mountain bike please?) so I decided to wear my new outdoors/cycling jacket which has deep pockets and carry it in that and then I’d take a carrier bag and put my jacket and water bottle in that and leave it with my bike and hope it doesn’t get stolen while I’m running. House keys would go in my Karrimor wrist wallet. I hoped that with an armband, wristband and trion:z bracelet on one arm, and a Garmin on the other, I’d a) still manage to run with all that extra weight; and b) not get laughed at for looking like a complete twat.
Swallowing my pride, I cycled down to the canal, locked my bike up, shoved the carrier bag containing my jacket and water bottle behind my bike and started off on my run.
All was well until I got to the field of shit. iliketocount and I had passed this field the other week and all the shit was in one big pile quite far away and although we could smell it, it wasn’t overpowering. Since then, the farmer had spread the shit all over the field and IT FUCKING STANK. Think of the stinkiest festival toilet you’ve ever smelt and multiply that by one thousand and you still won’t be close. I didn’t stop to take a picture due to fear of my iPhone getting contaminated.
Once I got past the field of shit, things were a bit more pleasant and I was happily running along until I got to a bridge
and on the other side of the bridge, the track had run out and so I had to run on grass, not my favourite thing to run on.
A little bit further up, just as I was coming up to 2.5 miles, the point at which I was going to turn around and come back, was some info about the canal
On the way back down, I noticed some black things strung up on poles. Thinking they were bin bags, I was reminded of the time I mistook a Muslim girl who was kneeling on the floor praying, for a bin bag and went over for a closer look. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK, THERE WERE SEVEN OR EIGHT DEAD CROWS STRUNG UP ON POLES.
I assumed they must be strung up there to warn other crows not to fuck around with the corn or wheat or whatever yellowy countryside stuff it is that’s being grown there.
I left the field of dead crows and got back to my bike where I was greeted by LOTS OF COWS. Yay. There were cows to my left
and cows to my right
which kind of made up a bit for the dead crows but I’d still like to shoot the farmer who shot the crows and string him up to a pole and see how he likes it.
I cycled back home and managed to cycle up the road I usually walk up (Helsbels can vouch for its steepness) and while I was going down the smallest country lane in the world ever (which also happens to be iliketocount’s favourite lane to run down and one which he says no traffic will ever ever ever go down) a huge tractor thing carrying about twenty thousand bales of hay or straw or whatever yellowy countryside stuff it was looms up behind me and so I stop and go off to the side and it’s so tight, I get off my bike and I don’t want to step backwards too far in case I go down a ditch and I’m holding the bike tight towards me and I’m pulling my arms in and holding my stomach in and even holding my eyeballs in to make me smaller and give him more room to get past and he squeezes past me so close, the straw or hay or whatever it was almost brushes my nose and after the huge tractor thing has gone I carry on and get home slightly knackered but feeling quite hardcore.
Distance: 11.56 miles
Time: long time
Speed: not much speed