Marathon day – first published 18 September 2014

Marathon day had arrived. After a very early and, for Commando, carb laden, breakfast and a little rest in our room we set off for the marathon start line outside the Köln Messe/Deutz station. The sun was still coming up and the deserted park was misty as we walked through. Commando was pleased at the chill in the air but slightly nervous about the day ahead. Would he struggle to understand announcements in an unfamiliar language? What would the course be like? Would there be hills? Continue reading Marathon day – first published 18 September 2014

Cologne Cathedral, 4711 and berliners – first published 17 September 2014

In September 2014 Marathon day minus one was mostly about sight seeing and relaxing. After all we were still slightly tired and jaded from a day of travel. We set off after a hearty breakfast of granola with lots of seeds nuts and cranberries. As ever, Commando ate far more than I but then he was carb loading. The last thing I need to do is load up on carbs. There was no real plan although Commando wanted to check out the finish line as he’d read it had been erected by the Cathedral the night before. For me it was more about a trip down memory lane. Continue reading Cologne Cathedral, 4711 and berliners – first published 17 September 2014

In search of chocolate milk and Kölsch – first published 16 September 2014

We’d made it to Cologne for the September 2014 marathon. We’d collected the race pack and, after a bit of chilling in our hotel, Commando went out for his last training run. This would take about half an hour and, while he was out, I decided to do a bit of exploring on my own. This was part reconnaissance and part mission to find somewhere that sold chocolate milk for his post marathon recovery drink. Surely somewhere in Cologne had to sell chocolate milk? Continue reading In search of chocolate milk and Kölsch – first published 16 September 2014

Goodbye England, willkommen in Köln – first published 16 September 2014

In September 2014 we were off to Cologne. Commando was going to run the Cologne Marathon and I was looking forward to exploring a city I hadn’t seen for thirty years or more. The sun was coming up as we boarded the plane, orange skies competing to outdo the orange Easyjet plane. Thankfully it was only an hour flight so it seemed as if we’d hardly taken off before we were landing.  Continue reading Goodbye England, willkommen in Köln – first published 16 September 2014

Vintage cars, fire alarms and streets of gold – first published 13 September 2014

In mid September 2014 we were due to fly to Cologne. Commando was running   another marathon and I was looking forward to exploring a city I hadn’t visited since I was twenty. With just a week to go I hadn’t even begun to pack and time was running out.  In an epic piece of bad planning, our trip came after a shorter weekend than normal because of a change to my shift. Of course this meant a rather fraught but interesting week.  Continue reading Vintage cars, fire alarms and streets of gold – first published 13 September 2014

Imagine me an inspiration – first published 9 September 2014

Early in 2014 I got an email from a journalist. It came out of the blue and was a bit of a surprise if I’m honest. She wanted to write an article about me for Good Housekeeping Magazine. At first there was an element of suspicion, after all there are so many scams going on in the world today, but I Googled her and she really was a journalist so I emailed her back. Continue reading Imagine me an inspiration – first published 9 September 2014

woods, cutways and footpaths – first published 7 September 2014

Because of a shift swap the first weekend in September 2014 was shorter than normal. Not only that but it was the last weekend before the Cologne Marathon. All in all not the best of combinations time wise. With all this in mind I decided on a shorter walk than normal and, having perused my satellite maps, I thought I’d found somewhere local to explore that might be interesting. Continue reading woods, cutways and footpaths – first published 7 September 2014

A small disaster on the Common and some graffiti – first published 5 September 2014

In early September 2014 I’d revisited my past and had a pleasant walk through the parks. Now I was on my way to the Common. As I was passing the old Mad House building a van passed me with its stereo blaring. I often wonder about the hearing of people who play their music so loudly in their vehicles but this time they were playing one of my favourite songs, Kevin Lyttle’s Turn Me On. This was one of those tunes we’d put on the CD player when the marketing team were in the penthouse at Dream Factory. Sometimes we’d even get up and dance around a bit. Hearing this reminded me I had my iPod in my pocket. Once upon a time I almost always had my iPod on when I was walking but lately I’ve hardly used it. I got it out, found the song and set it to shuffle. Continue reading A small disaster on the Common and some graffiti – first published 5 September 2014

Happiness is a walk in the park – first published 5 September 2014

The best cure for melancholy is a walk in the parks so, in September 2014, I left behind all the might have beens and crossed the road to the enchanted park. If there’s one thing guaranteed to cheer me up this is it. They were mowing the grass and clearing up the debris when I got there. A man was whizzing around on a big mower and there were piles of fallen petals and leaves on tarpaulins spread out on either side of the path. Continue reading Happiness is a walk in the park – first published 5 September 2014

What is, what was and what might have been – first published 5 September 2014

It didn’t look like the best of walking days when I set out on 5 September 2014 but beggars can’t be choosers. The chill in the air and the grey sky made me wrap up in my padded jacket again and, at one point, I was even thinking of taking a hat and gloves. Of course, by the time I got to the top of the Little Hill I was feeling quite hot. This may have had something to do with a neighbour shouting down from the scaffolding outside his house, “you should be running not walking,” as I passed by.
“You’ve got me mixed up with my husband,” I laughed, “I never run.”
Even so I really marched it out up the steep hill and reached the top, breathless, hot and bothered. Continue reading What is, what was and what might have been – first published 5 September 2014