The Five parkruns of Christmas

Christmas 2018

For runners slightly obsessed with collecting parkrun milestone t-shirts, the parkruns of Christmas must seem like an extra Christmas present. There’s no other time of year when you can squeeze in a cheeky midweek parkrun or even two in one day and those extra runs certainly help rack up the numbers.

Continue reading The Five parkruns of Christmas

Mist and other ephemeral things

2 November 2017

For my first walk of November I had the most glorious autumn morning. When I left Home the sky was blue and the sun was trying hard to burn off the morning mist as I crossed the railway bridge. On such a lovely day it was impossible not to walk along with a huge grin on my face, even if it did make me look like a loon. The plan was to walk into town to have a look at a new sculpture I’d heard about.  Continue reading Mist and other ephemeral things

The five parkruns of Christmas, almost

December 2016

The Christmas period seemed to be one long whirl of parkruns, one after the other. The first was on Christmas Eve. England felt incredibly warm after Iceland, even though everyone else was shivering and complaining about the cold. It seemed odd to be getting up at the crack of dawn and actually seeing pink skies instead of darkness too.  Continue reading The five parkruns of Christmas, almost

A new ship in town and a birthday party

8 November 2016

With our Icelandic adventure imminent, It occurred to me I should probably be thinking about getting some Christmas presents this week. Frankly, I’m a little bah humbug about the whole Christmas thing. When the boys were little it was fun but, these days, it all seems too much like an excuse to spend money on things people probably don’t even want and eat too much. To my mind we should all buy one Christmas present for ourselves and leave it at that. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t agree with me though so this morning was mostly about buying presents.  Continue reading A new ship in town and a birthday party

Another day, another race, the Akamas Multiterrain Half Marathon

26 November 2016

Today we had an even earlier start. A coach picked us up from the hotel at 7:45, still struggling to digest our hasty breakfast. Sue seemed none the worse for her tumble yesterday and was as chirpy and giggly as ever. We were headed for the mountains again, this time for the Akamas Multiterrain Half Marathon. The journey was long but the views from the coach window kept boredom at bay. White painted cuboid houses with terracotta tiled roofs and shady balconies gave way to craggy rock formations dotted with stunted trees, contorted and bowed down by the weight of the relentlessly beating sun. Every inch of flat space was covered with bananas, pomegranates, oranges, cabbages or fruit bushes in rows. What I wouldn’t have given to walk the interesting looking trails we passed. Continue reading Another day, another race, the Akamas Multiterrain Half Marathon

A little Boxing Day walk – first published 26 December 2013


Boxing day 2013, the sun was out, Commando was out on a run, it seemed like a good time to go for a little walk. Apart from anything it might walk off some of the Christmas food I ate before it had a chance to settle on my hips. At first I thought about trying out a new route but the river was calling and my feet were listening even if my head said try something new. Continue reading A little Boxing Day walk – first published 26 December 2013

less of the bah humbug and more of the German market – first published 19 November 2013


Mid November 2016 and my time at Silver Helm was fast drawing to a close. They were turbulent times and the strain was having an unfortunate effect on my memory and my sleep. Nights were filled with bad dreams and days with forgetting or losing things. Then there was Mr Haughty, my successor in the frozen north coming to pick my brains and steal all my knowledge, not to mention the spectre of Christmas looming. It felt as if all the festive furore began earlier every year and I was feeling very bah humbug about it all. Continue reading less of the bah humbug and more of the German market – first published 19 November 2013

Memories of the early 1960’s – Christmas

Percolator 2.4 (2.4) Grind: Extra Fine (Tiny Circles & Effect: Auto Adjust), Brew: Ishihara (No Pic & Full Blended Circles), Serve: Stirred (Spectrum Tone & Smooth Texture)

For a child Christmas is a magical time filled with tinkling sleigh bells, elves and anticipation. One of my most vivid Christmas memories is being allowed to help decorate the huge pine tree that had mysteriously appeared in the front room. Normally our time was spent in the back room where large French Windows looked out into the garden and the front room was kept for best, the door firmly closed. Continue reading Memories of the early 1960’s – Christmas

Ho, Ho, Ho


25 December 2015

Our Christmas Day began with a Park Run, at least Commando’s did. Originally I’d planned to get up early with him and go along but, in the end, I chickened out and stayed in bed. There was a great deal of work to be done in the kitchen after all. He came back wearing his Santa hat, just in time for breakfast. He was freezing cold and I was glad I hadn’t gone although I’d have liked some photos of all the runners in Santa hats. In the end I had to settle for one runner in a Santa hat.  Continue reading Ho, Ho, Ho

Santa in Southampton


15 December 2015

Commando always takes a couple of weeks off over the Christmas period so today Christmas Shopping was top of our list of things to do. This, of course, meant a trip into town and a chance to see the Christmas lights. Weather wise it probably wasn’t the best day for it. It had been raining on and off all day but it’s been raining on and off every day lately. Half way through the afternoon probably wasn’t the best time to go either, but Commando wanted to see Santa flying through the air on his sleigh and that doesn’t happen until five o’clock, at least not in Southampton. Continue reading Santa in Southampton