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.

So, that was 6 miles on Saturday, and on Monday, I went to the gym and did Audiofuel’s Thru the Gears on the treadmill.

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: 1:19:22
Speed: 8.85mph
Calories: 359

Distance: 5.01miles
Time: long time
Speed: not much speed
Calories: 431

Moo to the Beat

I get a lot of emails from charities, asking me to promote their event or campaign. I mostly ignore these (unless they’re from Cancer Research UK or other vivisection-funding charities, who get an email telling them why I won’t support them) but last week I got an email from Rebecca Moore from the World Society of the Protection of Animals and included in her email was a picture of a cow

which obviously automatically made her my New Best Friend (unless she’s the Rebecca Moore who was mean to me at school, but she assured me she isn’t).

The WSPA are currently running a campaign called Not in my Cuppa trying to stop the introduction of US style mega dairies into the UK (where cows would spend the majority of their life indoors in very unpleasant conditions).

They’re looking for people to take part in Run to the Beat for them. Unfortunately, I’m doing Folkestone Half that day but if you want to do the race and want a worthy cause to run for, what better than cows?

(Posted also on Planet Veggie)

Teacher’s pet

As I’d run yesterday, I had a look to see what gym classes were being held today and I saw that not only was there a spin class, it was also with my favourite instructor. The only downside was that it was at 12:15 and I prefer to do classes in the morning, but I thought I’d get on with my ECA (End of Course Assignment) in the morning and then head off to the gym.

Of course, what really happened is that I spent all morning catching up on my emails (nothing exciting there), asking Facebook if I should run or bike to the gym (one for bike, one for run, one for running pushing my bike and one for, um, going to the pub; thanks Scott…) and Twitter which mostly involved welcoming back Travelling Hopefully from New York and quizzing her as to whether she ran round Central Park (yes) and did she wear her new gorgeous and perfect-for-NYC dress (no).

I packed up my running commute rucksack with all the stuff I usually take to the gym, i.e. face wipes, gym towel, toiletry bag, phone, wallet, keys, gym card, gym key, bottle full of water, then remembered I was running there, not cycling and so took out the face wipes, toiletry bag, wallet and poured the water down the sink.

Now the weight of my rucksack was light enough for this lightweight, I set off for the gym.

As I went through the industrial estate, I saw a Winnie the Pooh on the ground (I’m assuming it was ‘a’ Winnie the Pooh and not the real one)


and so I picked him up (Winnie is a boy Pooh, isn’t he?) and put him in my bag and carried on my way but then I thought oh no, what if whoever dropped him comes back to look for him and I’ve taken him away for ever and then they’re really really sad: as sad as my friends’ daughter was when she lost Mr Bear (although Mr Bear wasn’t lost for ever as Ben went out the next morning and found him happily sitting on someone’s wall) but then I think oh well, they can go to McDonald’s and get another one, can’t they?

I got to the gym and there was about 45 minutes until the class started (I underestimated just how long it would take me to run 2.5 miles; I thought there’d be a lot – if not most – of walking involved) and so I went on the rowing machine for 20 minutes, then went across to the spin bikes and did 15 minutes warm up.

I decided today that I would put more effort in, as my effort at spin isn’t hugely different to my effort at cycling on the road; the main difference being that when the spin instructor says we’re going up a hill, I don’t get off and walk. So, I went very fast on the fast bits and had my resistance high on the climbing bits and the best bit was when the instructor played this:

and spinning to that was absolutely fantastic and so much fun, but then ‘She Bangs’ by Remy Martin or whatever his name is came on, but despite that it was the best spin class ever ever ever and after the class had finished and I was in the changing room getting my bag, the instructor came in and I was a girly swot and said I really enjoyed that class, it was great and she said aah, thanks, you’re really improving; I’ve really noticed a difference and I think yay for me and then I said now I’m going to run home and she said I went for an hour and a quarter run this morning then cycled here and so I think ok, you win and then I ran home and I decided to run down the dual-carriageway which was a good choice as there were cows


and a baby cow



Run: 5 miles
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Spin: 45 minutes

Round the bend

I’ve been slacking slightly less. Only slightly though, as I went to the gym on Saturday morning (which was empty. And I mean empty; I was the only person there. I’d been expecting it to be packed but nope, obviously all the people in Ashford were outside Greggs queuing for cakes) and today I did a short run. A very slow, short run.

It started off going up a hill, so of course, at 0.14 miles, I stopped to walk up the hill. I eventually start running again when it levels off at the village hall and go up the trail that goes through the field and Courtney Love starts singing She Walks Over Me and I can keep in time to this and I wonder why I can keep in time to this

and not to Audiofuel and then a woman with a dog on a lead pulls her dog to the side and stops to let me go past and I don’t say thank you as I don’t like the stupid countryside people with their stupid countryside dogs that they have to keep on leads because they are VICIOUS DEVIL DOGS and not the nice friendly dogs that used to be free to play over the marshes and not walked around the field tied to a lead. And then further on there’s another stupid countryside person with a stupid countryside vicious devil dog and she pulls her dog away too and stops to let me go past and I think aren’t any dogs round here allowed to run free? and I get to the top of the trail and I’ve done a mile and I only wanted to do two miles and so I need to turn round and go back the way I came but I don’t want to run past the vicious devil dogs again and so I go back down the road and on the other side of the road is a footpath and although I haven’t got my glasses on, it would appear the black and white things I can see the footpath is heading towards are COWS! I haven’t seen cows for ages and ages and I think shall I go and investigate the cow field? and then I think no, as I haven’t got a camera with me and I need cow based photographic evidence if I’m going to go and see cows and so I continue down the road and it’s quite busy and cars keep going past and as I get to a particularly sharp bend, I can see a van coming and I have to stop and let the van go past and I keep stopping to walk and I think how come, when I was just beginning to run, I’d never stop to walk, even if it meant slowing to a 13 minute mile shuffle but now whenever I get a bit tired, I just give up and walk?

Distance: 1.97 miles
Time: 23:03
Pace: 11:42 m/m
Calories: 196
People in gym: 0
Vicious devil dogs: 2
Vans on bends: 1
Stoppings to walk: a few

Juneathon 2009 Day 8 – The Bends

I know this is supposed to be a jog blog and not a bike blog but I’m scared of running on the roads here but getting less scared of cycling on them and so I went out for a ride today and decided to go and see the cows.

I get round the corner and I see a squirrel and that’s the first time I’ve seen a squirrel here, as I’ve seen bunnies, sheep, horses and cows but no squirrels and I’m trying to remember the route that avoids the bad road with the bends that I hurt my ankle on and a bit further on, someone’s dumped a sofa


and I think aah, it’s just like home and I get to where I think I’m supposed to turn off but then I think what if avoiding the bad road means I miss the cows? and missing the cows is unthinkable so I carry on going and I get to the bend where I fell over and hurt my ankle and just before the next bend are brown cows.  Hooray.

Brown cows

And black and white ones

Black & white cows

and I get round the corner and there are even more cows

Black cows

and I stop looking at cows and head off home and I get to the main road and I think if I carry on straight, I can avoid going up the hill and so I carry on and there’s temporary lights in the road saying wait while the light’s on red and it is on red and I wonder if I have to stop or shall I ignore it like a proper cyclist but the decision’s taken for me as the light changes to green and I don’t get to behave like a proper cyclist and I turn off into the countryside bit and I see another squirrel and I think squirrels are like buses and then I think actually, they’re nothing like buses at all and I get home without cycling on the pavement once.  Go me.


Stats (cycling)
Distance: 5.2 miles
Time: 36:20
Speed: 8.6mph
Calories: 148
Dumped sofas: 1
Squirrels: 2
Squirrels like buses: 0
Cows: a few
Weight: 9 st 5
Juneathon’s completed: 8/30

p.s.  Don’t forget to enter my competition to win a copy of the Crisis Cook Book

Baa, moo (learning the language of the country)

I moved to the countryside on Saturday and I was going to go for a run yesterday but it looked a bit windy, so I stayed in instead, trying to remember the new systems of the house, such as cold drinks go in the cold drinks cupboard and hot drinks go in the hot drinks cupboard, unless they’re unopened cold drinks, then they go in the hot drinks cupboard until they’re opened, then they go into the cold drinks cupboard.  And also there is a specific space for tinned tomatoes in the cupboard and I need to learn how to close curtains properly.  And I thought he was an easy going kind of chap. 

But today I thought I would be brave and venture out and try not to get run over by a tractor or a sheep or run over by anything really and I decide to be sensible and not take my iPod so I can hear the cars coming as I’m going to have to run along those stupid roads without pavements things but I am unable to get out of the door without it and I decide to be semi-sensible and take it with me but have it on low and I can’t be bothered to wait for my Garmin to get a signal and I think it will probably be a lot quicker round here anyway so I start without it and hope I can remember where I need to turn off and after a little while my Garmin gets a signal and I carry on running and I see a turning and I think I need to go down there and I cross the road and there’s a car coming and Shaun said there wouldn’t be any cars but I don’t think he’s to be trusted anyway, as he could have told me about the cold drinks/hot drinks thing before I moved in and discovered he had OCD and then I could have stayed at home with my cupboards that are in disarray with hot and cold drinks happily intermingling and I could put the tinned tomatoes anywhere I feel like it, maybe in the hot drinks cupboard if I’m feeling particularly rebellious and then I get to a field with nothing in it

and I think what’s the point of having a field with nothing in it? there should be sheep in it and I wonder when I’ll see some sheep and just up the road there’s some lambs chasing a pigeon

and I think aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, cute, and across the road are more sheep

and I think I’m bored of sheep now and I want to see some cows but I’m not up to where the cows live yet, but there are some more lambs playing with some hay or straw or something

and then I see an escaped lamb

and I wonder how he got out and maybe I can steal him and take him home with me, as he’s cuter than the ugly sheep at the bottom of the garden and then I get to where the cows live but they’re a bit far away

and so I leave the far away cows and carry on running and then there’s another road and I don’t remember this road being here when Shaun took me out on Sunday to show me the route and I wonder if I’ve gone the wrong way and I carry on going left and don’t recognise anything because it’s all just green and looks the same everywhere and no burnt out cars or shopping trolleys to act as a landmark and seven cars come down the road and I could have sworn Shaun said I wouldn’t see any cars and I’m getting fed up of getting out of the way of cars and I can’t see round the corners and I think if a car comes round the corner I’m going to get squished and then a car does come fast round a corner and I nearly fall into a ditch full of nettles and I think I want to go home to London and run round the marshes and I don’t like the stupid countryside with its stupid pavementless roads and nowhere to run and then I’m nearly home and back on a pavement and there’s a squashed dead pigeon with no head and I wonder where its head’s gone and I get home without being run over.


Distance: 2.4 miles
Time: 31:00
Pace: 12:43 m/m
Calories: 222
Boyfriends with OCD: 1
Lambs: lots
Sheep: lots
Far away cows: lots
Pigeons with no heads: 1
Roads with pavements: 1 and a bit.


Um, a two mile walk is the same as a six mile run, right?

I have too much sleep and get up knackered and I think why am I knackered, I haven’t had a drink for a week and have been getting early nights and everything and I should be as fit as a fiddle but I decide I have to do my six miler anyway and I even have some cereal for a change in the hope that it will give me energy and I set Cedric to pace me at 10:30 minute miles even if anything over 10 m/m is really crap and means you’re not a proper runner because apparently you’re only a proper runner if you do 9 m/m but who wants to do things properly anyway? and I do my usual wasting time on Facebook thing and laugh at the old school pictures the former Miss Lamb has put up and I put a potato in the oven to await my return from my long run and I get out the door and see the recycling bins and remember that someone stole the clothes I put out for recycling and I wonder if they were cold or just had an impeccable sense of style and I also wonder why they took the orange jumper but not the black Diesel combats that had only been worn once and I get towards the bridge and there’s a car coming towards me and I look behind me and there’s a man running up to me and I slow down to let him overtake but he tucks in behind me while the car goes past and then he overtakes me and I should have said thanks or something but I don’t as I’m too knackered and I go through the bridge and think what if I didn’t turn the gas on the oven properly or what if the flame goes out and there’s gas pouring into my house? and then I remember I’ve got an electric oven and I go over the next bridge and there’s plastic covering all over it and it’s quite nice and cosy although it’s a shame I can’t see the river while I’m going over it and I remember I nearly skidded across the next bridge and so I walk over it this time instead of skating over it and I’m feeling really knackered now and I think I’m going to have to stop and walk and so I do stop to walk and then I see the cows and two of the cows are kissing and then they stop kissing and one of them starts licking the other one’s neck and the one having its neck licked is looking at me like what are you looking at? and I’m thinking well, I’m looking at you having your neck licked by the other cow, it’s not something I see every day and I’m still walking and I’ve got two miles to walk and then I think ah, I’ll call it cross-training, cross-training is good and I cross the boardwalk and up the steep bit and onto the path and there’s two girls running and I think not fair, I want to be running but it’s not happening today and then they start walking and I think maybe I should run now and overtake them but then I think no, because I’ll probably have to stop and walk after two yards and they’ll laugh and point at me and so I walk a bit faster and overtake them that way and then one of them runs and overtakes me and I wonder why she’s left the other one behind and I get to the stables and wonder if I can manage a bit of a jog and I think I’ll wait ’til I’m round the corner where no one can see me if I have to stop again and I get round the corner and run really slowly up to the bridge and I get over the bridge and across the road and my iPod’s playing crap songs, well it might be crap but I’ve never heard most of it before and I think I’ll skip through the songs and see if there’s one that will give me a bit of a boost and Death House Chaplain’s Wherewithal comes on and I think hooray, I like that one and although it’s not exactly a good running song I decide to run until it finishes and then Graham Coxon is singing All Over Me and Graham Coxon is cool and although I hate to skip through Graham Coxon, this song is even less of a good running song and so, sorry Graham, I skip through it and Marc Almond starts singing Sex Dwarf and I think ah, that’s more like it.

Stats (running bit):
Distance: 1.76 miles
Time: 18:39
Pace: 10:34 m/m
Calories: 168
Thieves with impeccable dress sense: 1
Plastic bridges: 1
Cows kissing: 2
Cows having their necks licked: 1
Stats (walking bit)
Distance: 1.70 miles
Time: 23:33
Pace: 13:49
Calories: 147
Long runs successfully completed: 0
Proper runners: 0

Back down to earth

I survived the Three Peaks Challenge, only falling over on Ben Nevis four times and Scafell Pike six times but I’ll blog about that some other time, and today I get up bright and early to go for my long run as I’ve got a half marathon in five weeks and I’ve only done about five minutes training, oops, and after I get up bright and early I go back to bed and get up about 9ish and get out the door about 10ish and I have to go and investigate the new cows that I’ve seen from the train, three smaller black ones, although I’ve gone off cows a bit now and sheep are the new cows, especially pretty Cumbrian ones

which, sorry Mr Sorelimbs, are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay prettier than your Welsh sheep, although Welsh sheep are prettier than the ugly Kent sheep although the Kent sheep don’t mind their photos being taken, unlike the camera shy Welsh sheep and I go over the boardwalk and there’s a cyclist cycling towards me and he hasn’t dismounted like he’s supposed to and I think well, I’m not getting out of your way, I’m allowed to run along here and he’s started to wobble and I think ha ha, hope you fall off but he doesn’t fall off and he frowns as he wobbles past me and I go and see the new black cows

and now there’s eight cows over the marshes which is two more than last year and last year had two more than the year before that so maybe there’ll be ten cows next year, hurrah.

And I’m going through the filterbeds and stopping to walk as I’m a lightweight even if I did just walk up and down three mountains and Sleeper comes on my iPod and I think hurrah 90s indie, my favourite and I start to run again and after it’s finished I start to walk again and I look behind me and there’s a fat man with a walking stick behind me and I stop to take a photo of the river which appears to consist only of green sludge

and Fat Man with Walking Stick says something and I take my headphones out and he says he’s never seen the river so dirty and I say no, me neither, I was wondering if the duck was standing on a log or just on the green sludge and he says it was standing on a leaf and I say oh and he says do you run every day? and I say no, not every day and he says you should, I walk every day and I say um, I run three times a week, and I’m wondering why I feel the need to justify myself to a Fat Man with a Walking Stick and I’m thinking well I just went up and down three mountains and I bet you haven’t and he says he comes here every year and I say to Hackney? and he says no, he lives in Spain and I put my headphones back and and say bye and run off and go round the football field and I get to the path in the foresty bit and one of the footballers comes over and sits on the path to do his laces up and I think I don’t want anyone joining me in the foresty bit and I’m trying to decide whether to be scared or not and I’m wondering why he chose the path to do his laces up, he could have done that on the field and I’m wondering if he can run in studs and if he’s going to run after me and murder me and I decide he probably isn’t and he’s probably just doing his laces up and I carry on and then I’m walking again and then Sleeper comes on again and I think hurrah, 90s indie, my favourite and I run again and I get to the steep bit and because I’m hardcore and can walk up and down mountains, I run up the steep bit and then I get home after running for the first time in nearly three weeks.

Distance: 6.53 miles
Time: 1:23:09
Pace: 12:44
Calories: 561
New cows: 3
Total cows: 8
Frowning cyclists wobbling on the boardwalk: 1
Fat men with walking sticks: 1
Rivers made of green sludge: 1
Mountains climbed: 3
Jimi Hendrix
The Gossip
Mark Ronson
Sonic Youth
Stereo Total
Franz Ferdinand
Foo Fighters

Return of the cows (and about bloody time too)

I don’t do my running commute on Tuesday due to having run on Monday, and Wednesday night I’m in Kent counting sheep thus proving that a) I can count to 11; and b) Shaun isn’t lying when he says that there are usually more than three sheep at the bottom of his garden.

Thursday I’m too knackered to do my running commute due to not getting home ’til about 1am and Friday I’m not feeling well and even feel unwell enough to pass on a girly night out with free champagne but on the train home after work I’m doing my usual looking-out-of-the-window-to-see-if-the-cows-are-there thing and fuck, THE COWS ARE THERE!!!!! Woo and hoo indeed. At least, I think they’re cows as I haven’t got my glasses on but they definitely look like cow shaped lumps to me and I get a bottle of wine to celebrate the return of the cows and also some crisps and chocolate and I go home and drink wine and eat chocolate and crisps and get up this morning bright and early and remember the cows are there and so I head out and wait about sixteen hours for my Garmin to get a signal and I go and stand over the other side of the road to see if it’ll pick it up any better from there and I see a strange ladybird type bug thing that’s black with orange spots.

My Garmin springs into action by the time I’ve finished taking photos of the strange ladybird bug type thing with orange spots and I decide to take in Springfield Park as I’ve got to do seven miles this morning and when I get to the top of the hill that I walked up really really slowly sprinted up really really quickly I see two recycling bins pretending to be cows.

But they can’t fool me and I know they’re not real cows and so I continue on my quest to find some cows and I go over the boardwalk and look over to where the cows should be and I can’t see any cows and I walk a bit more and I still can’t see any cows and I think I’m going to cry or puff my cheeks out or stamp my feet or maybe even all three at the same time but then I think I can see some cow shaped lumps in the grass and then I see a tail waving and HOORAY THE COWS REALLY ARE BACK. Yee hah. And so I run up to where the cows are and there’s a man going towards the cows and I’m thinking get the fuck away from my cows now but he doesn’t get the fuck away from my cows and he goes over to the fence and I think that’s not fair, I want to stand there, that’s nearer the cows and then I wonder if I get my camera out will he fuck off and I get my camera out and he does indeed fuck off and I take pictures of the cows.

And this year’s cows are even meaner looking than last year’s cows.

And after I’ve finished looking at cows I remember I’m supposed to be half marathon training and so I say goodbye to the cows and continue on my run and I get back to the path by the river and there’s a man in running gear taking photos and I’m thinking oi, I’m the only runner over the marshes allowed to take photos and I wonder if he’s got a blog and I don’t know if he’s got a blog but he has got two bottles of water in his belt and I think two bottles of water? why do you need two bottles of water and I continue over the bridge and past the sex change pub and through the filterbeds and then I’m feeling a bit knackered and I stop to walk and two bottles of water man passes me and then he stops and takes a photo of some ducks and I see that actually he has four bottles of water and I think how thirsty can someone get? and as I get closer I see that actually it’s five bottles of water and I’m thinking fucking hell and I realise that it’s probably six bottles, three on each side and his t-shirt is covering the sixth bottle and I’m wondering if actually they’re all empty and he just can’t be arsed to take them out of the belt thing and he’s still taking photos of the river and I wonder if he’s doing the same route as me but when I get to the edge of the marshes he’s disappeared and I see this sign

and the pedant in me is pretty sure that it should be practising with an “s” not a “c” and then the pedant in me is also wondering why Golf has a capital “G” and then just to be really really pedantic, I’m thinking it’s not a park, it’s the marshes and wasn’t there anyone at Hackney Council who was involved in the process of making this sign born with more than half a brain cell and I’m thinking obviously not and I continue on my run and I get to the foresty bit and there’s a man fishing and I thought there was a sign to say no fishing and I’m thinking OI, MISTER, LEAVE THOSE FISH ALONE and I’m wondering whether I should take his photo and plaster it all over the internet, thus letting the whole of the world know that he’s a fish killer and I’m thinking it’s probably not worth it and I don’t think the Fish Killer of Hackney is really going to make front page news and so I carry on and I go over the bridge and a cyclist dismounts and I think bloody hell, a cyclist doing what they’re supposed to? Blimey. And it’s an old man on an orange and silver Brompton and I’ve been seeing so many Bromptons every day that yesterday I decided to start counting them but I only saw four on the way to work and two on the way back, which is nowhere near the dozen or so I saw on the way home on Thursday and then I get back to the stables and I need to do another mile and a half and I’m not a mile and a half from home so I decide to go back out the marshes the way I came in and I see two girls in pink running gear walking really slowly and I wonder if they’re training for a Race for Life and I look at my Garmin and I’m on 6.66 miles and then I wonder if Gary’s going to wear an Iron Maiden t-shirt tonight and then I think of course he is, I’ve never seen him wear anything else in the 15 years that I’ve known him and I wonder if Shaun’s going to wear his Slayer t-shirt like he said he was going to and I’ll have to be seen out in public with two heavy metal t-shirt wearing men, eek.

Distance: 7.9 miles
Time: 1:37:33
Pace: 12:21
Calories: 729
Ladybirds with orange spots: 1
Recycling bins pretending to be cows: 2
Cows not pretending to be recycling bins: 5
Men with six water bottles: 1
Signs with the correct spelling of the word “practising”: 0
Fish killers: 1
Bromptons: 1
Franz Ferdinand
The Editors
Siouxsie & The Banshees
Black Kids
Modest Mouse
Plain White Ts
Fort Minor
The Shins
Killing Joke
Jeff Buckley
The Seahorses
The Charlatans
Ben Folds Five

Slow six

Somehow I manage to let myself be talked into sitting in a car for 7 hours, a moving car at that, forgetting how I’m scared of cars/roads/traffic/everything and we go down to Cornwall to visit Emily and Michael and we stay in a B&B owned by the weirdest couple ever

and we spend the evening in the pub and get up the next day and it’s raining like you’ve never seen rain before and we go round Emily’s and she says they’ve been trying to think of stuff to do while it’s raining and I say we can go and see the donkeys and Emily says you want to see the donkeys in the rain? and I say yes, we are hardcore, we can cope with a bit of rain and Emily being the hostess with mostess indulges me and says in that case we’re going to see the donkeys but I must warn you they’re not always there and I say they will be there today, they must be and so we go out in the horizontal rain and wind and I’m trying to think up a new word for torrential but fail miserably and after a couple of miles we see the donkeys.  Hurrah.

And then Emily says do you want to see the sea and I say yes and she says it’s in the opposite direction and I’m thinking that I’m already wringing wet and trying to forget that Shaun was right when he said it wasn’t worth me straightening my hair before coming out and that it’d only get wet and I say yes, let’s see the sea and so we go and see the sea

and there’s a big rock thing

and some smaller rock things that we have to climb over

and I’m glad I’ve got my new walking up mountain boots on and on the way back we see some cows

and they’re weird cows who stare at you like they’ve never seen people before and we get back soaking wet and go back to our hotel to dry out and then go to the pub with the cute cat that was sleeping on the table until we turned up

and then the next day we have to go home but before we go we go and take a look at Land’s End

which is a really tacky place although there is a handy sign to tell you to beware of cliffs

in case you were too stupid to notice them

and we leave Land’s End after about ten minutes, not sure if we got our £3 parking fee’s worth but we have a long drive ahead of us which is made marginally better by the field full of invisible monkeys and today I’ve got the day off and I decide that I really really need to start training for the half in October and I go out to attempt a six miler and woo hoo, I manage to do it without stopping, hurrah.

Cornwall walk route

Distance: 6.38 miles
Time: 1:09:27
Pace: 10:53
Calories: 631
Donkeys: 2
Cows: loads
Weird B&B owners: 2
Fields full of invisible monkeys: 1

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