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

The land of the midday moon

20 December 2016

Iceland, the most sparsely populated country in Europe, is often dubbed the land of the midnight sun because, during the summer, the sun barely sets. In winter of course, it’s a different story. Sunlight is a rare and fleeting thing. Even after a slightly disconcerting shower in sulphurous water, a leisurely breakfast and a great deal of Google Map exploring, it was still as dark as midnight when we left the hotel just after eleven this morning and the moon was the brightest thing in the sky. Continue reading The land of the midday moon

Castle hunting in Manchester


9 April 2016

Despite my misgivings about flying on small planes it wasn’t too bad once we were in the air. In fact we had seats right next to the engine nascelle on the port side of the plane so Commando was able to admire his handwork throughout the flight. Thankfully the little door that opens to let the landing gear out, also built by Commando, did open and we landead safely. By the time we’d walked to the train station, caught a train and got to our hotel it was late afternoon. A bit of unpacking, some freshening up and a refamiliaristional walk around Deansgate was about as much as we had time for before we had to find somewhere to eat. At least it wasn’t raining and Commando’s ankle was feeling pretty good. It looked as if the marathon might be on after all, even if a PB was a bit of a stretch. Continue reading Castle hunting in Manchester

A very chilly start


18 October 2015

The hotel restaurant had barely opened when we went down for breakfast but, with the marathon starting at eight forty five, far earlier than most, we had to eat early. The only other diners were also runners. Back in the hotel room Commando put on his shorts and Itchen Spitfires running shirt and checked his bum bag one last time. Outside the window a row of blue and yellow portaloos had appeared overnight and I could see the start line a little way up University Avenue. We stood in front of the window, using the view as a backdrop for a pre race photo of each of us and then tried to watch some TV to take our minds off the day ahead. Most of it was about the Blue Jays second loss in the series. I hoped this wasn’t an omen for the race. Continue reading A very chilly start