Monday, 31 October 2011

Human Fly

It's got to be the Cramps for Halloween

A weekend at home

We had a great weekend, which started for me with a cheeky afternoon snooze after work on Friday, followed by a run up the Beacon. On Saturday I collected Stef from the airport around lunchtime and in the evening we went to the Swan to try a couple of beers at their beer festival. Yesterday we did a 13mile walk along the Dales Way to Ilkley and back round over Ilkley Moor, Addingham Moorside and Parson's Lane. Last night after calling in the Swan again we made two steak and ale pies, plus an apple pie. Photo above is the view over towards Addingham from White Wells and below are pictures of the trees along the Dales Way and our pies!

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Voices of East Harlem

A chunk of wonderful upbeat soul music for a Friday afternoon courtesy of my friend Martyn from Harrogate

Weekend plans

I'm planning a decent run tonight after work, probably up Beamsley Beacon and over Round Hill. Stef is flying back up from Southampton tomorrow following her appointment with her consultant last night. The consultant said she can now start some gentle running so we'll be going out for a short trot tomorrow too. Bolton Bridge along the river on nice soft grass towards Bolton Abbey sounds a good option. We've not really got anything else planned but we're due a day out bird watching I think

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Bob Dylan

Sports nutrition

Sports nutrition is extremely important for highly trained endurance athletes. Luckily for plodding not far from the back of the pack fellrunners it's less of an issue. The picture above shows the magnificent platter of pork pie and sausage roll served up free of charge by the White Lion after last night's headtorch run

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Low Rider

I drove from home down to Heathrow and back yesterday via the office to pick up my boss and drop him back off on the way back up. We had a pleasant few hours catch up with an Asian friend of ours in a hotel near the airport. Even a refreshing pint of Saltaire Elderflower Blonde in the Swan last night did little to revive me last night and I feel absolutely shattered today

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Withins Skyline

It was a near-perfect morning for fell running up on Penistone Hill, near Haworth today. There was an excellent turn-out for the children's races and we saw the start of the last one just after I registered for our run. I ran quite well and managed to overtake a couple of friends on the run in, but Steve from Skyrac beat me by around two minutes making me the worst fell runner in the village. Well done Steve; I'll be back!

There are lots of great photos here from David Brett, here from Paul from Ilkley Harriers and from Bedlamites film-maker Munny Lee (including the one above) here Provisional results are here 

Friday, 21 October 2011

Like a hurricane

Needless to say I never did get a pink polo shirt. My new project is to track down a really cosy plaid shirt for the winter. Don't hold your breath

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Wednesday headtorcher

It was a wonderful clear if cold night for our headtorcher last night. We were a bit down on numbers but had a great run out (around 5.5miles and maybe 800ft of climb) again from the White Lion.  Stef enjoyed catching up with everyone after we got back and was in good spirits after making the most on the landlord's special offer on Bacardi! There was excellent free post-run food again too; this week being chicken curry and rice. I was pleasantly surprised to run quite well and am now looking forward to David Woodhead's Withins Skyline race on Sunday

Sunday dish

Featured on an excellent Trojan compilation album tribute to the Dread Broadcasting Corporation, the early 80's London pirate radio station. All that talk of rice and peas and red snapper fish is making me hungry!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Clash

I heard Led Zeppelin's D'yer Mak'er on the radio driving to work today and thought about this. Aren't Led Zeppelin the band that covered Rolf Harris' Stairway to Heaven?

Turn, turn, turn

I had to scrape my car windscreen this morning for the first time since last winter. There's a real feel of changing seasons in the air and the nights are drawing in very quickly now. On Sunday afternoon I went for a run and it was getting dark when I got home; much earlier than I expected and on a decent evening. The curlews are back in the fields at Ben Rhydding again and were huddled up very closely yesterday morning when I drove by on the way to work

Last night Stef and I set off to do a bit of bird watching at Cononley Ings but we didn't get very far as the heavens opened as we drove through Silsden. I've run along the river Aire a few times with the club but have never been down there bird watching apart from very briefly last November to see a grey phalarope, which stayed a few days on a tiny pool. Maybe we can go there on Friday, because I finish work earlier and can be home around 4pm

It's our mid-week club run tonight and I think it might be time a dig out the lycra. Running in shorts is great but I might have to get out my 3/4s or even full length tights if it's cold. Light gloves will be needed soon too. Brrrrrrrrrrr!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Stone Roses

Are the Stone Roses about to reform?! According to the NME they are

Monday, 17 October 2011

This is the day

I heard a new version of this song by the Manic Street Preachers on the radio this morning. I'm not really a fan of the Manics' yawpy guitar rock music and their reading of this Matt Johnson classic didn't do much to change my mind

Wycoller Country Park

We went over to Wycoller Country Park on Saturday morning. I go there usually for the start of the Bronte Way race so it was nice to potter about looking at the ruins of the old hall and the bridges over the beck, have a walk up the valley on the Bronte way and call for tea and cake in the cafe

Friday, 14 October 2011

Back together again

Roberta Flack and the late great Donny Hathaway

Weekend plans

Stef and I will be in Yorkshire again this weekend. Tomorrow night we're bivvying 'up the dale' with Brocky but apart from that we don't have a lot planned really. Stef isn't back running yet after her operation, but can easily manage a 5 or 6 mile hilly walk, so we might do one on Sunday. It's the FRA Relays up in Kettlewell tomorrow (some light-hearted analysis here from the lovely Daleside of Wharfedale Harriers), but I'm not running, which although a bit disappointing because it's local, isn't a surprise. Some bird watching will no doubt be on the agenda, be it a walk along the river close to home this evening, or something slightly further afield over the weekend

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Milton Wright

Mud, gossip, chips and beer

Mud, gossip, chips and beer are the essential ingredients of a Keighley and Craven mid-week headtorch run and all four were in place last night. We were out for around an hour and quarter and by the end of the run I was pretty wet through and my legs were filthy (I'd worn shorts). However, I was well up to speed with all the local fell running gossip thanks to Emily and Brett and ready for a pint of Landlord and some rather tasty veg curry and chips in the White Lion. I think this is either the fourth or perhaps fifth winter we have been out running in the dark off-road with headtorchs and long may it continue!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

What next?

I've had a lot of running friends and club-mates asking me what I have planned next now the Bob Graham adventure is complete. To be honest the answer is not a lot! I wondered about entering the Lakeland 100 but the thought of another winter and spring training hard for what would be a big target event isn't that attractive. I get the impression the 100 is a whole load more runnable than the BG and on valley tracks and paths rather than traversing ridges and peaks, which might not be my thing. I love running over mountains, not necessarily around them

What I am planning and looking forward to is helping Becca and Martyn with their recceing and attempts next year, and also getting involved with our club's attempts at the Billy Bland Challenge probably in June. There have preliminary discussions regarding having men's and women's teams, so there will be plenty of recceing to help with. The other thing I need to do is get my BG club certificate framed asap!!


For Ian from Ramsbottom. Good to see you last night!

Monday, 10 October 2011


It's a foul horrible grey day in the West Riding today. Perfect for a bit of classic bossa nova!

BG club dinner weekend

Our weekend went largely as planned. We had a night out in a pub on the outskirts of Preston on Friday evening and Saturday morning was spent on the Fylde, bird watching. We saw our first pink-footed geese and whooper swans of the 'winter' plus nine species of wader including a pair of really smart spotted redshank and three or four snipe at Conder. After bird watching it was time to head up to Shap for the dinner (via Tebay services for coffee and cake!)

The dinner made for a long evening because we were down in the bar at 6.15pm and didn't get to bed until very nearly 3.00am. The traditional roast beef dinner was great and Stevie Brock and I got our certificates, in my case presented by the late Fred Rogerson's daughters. It was fantastic to catch up with loads of friends from the fell running community plus meet up with some new friends from various corners of the web. Oh, and the Guinness flowed nicely

Yesterday it was a late breakfast, a steady drive home through the rain and an afternoon spent snoozing on the settee. I managed to run two laps of the village last night (four and a bit miles) on the road and was surprised pleasantly that I didn't feel too bad

Sunday, 9 October 2011


More to follow but above is a photograph of me and Stef at the Bob Graham club reunion dinner last night with my certificate. I'm number 1633 on the list!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Big Star

Weekend plans

Stef and I will be heading over to Lancashire tonight and staying over there with bird watching planned tomorrow possibly on the Fylde peninsular or maybe Leighton Moss where the red deer rut will be in full swing now. Tomorrow night it's the Bob Graham club dinner at Shap Wells where I will get my certificate along with around another 180 other new members (the dinner is every two years and was last held in 2009). There'll be loads of folk we know at the dinner including many we haven't seen for a good while, so I'm looking forward to it greatly. Sunday is likely to be a recovery day, possibly with some more bird watching on the way home

Velvet Underground

Great live version of one of my very fave Velvets songs

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Wednesday night on the Beacon

I'd arranged to meet Rich Gilbert last night at the White Lion for a run out with our club but Rich was late getting over from Leeds so we had a run up the Beacon with headtorchs instead. The weather was a bit blustery on top but not cold. My third run in four days (!) and it was great to have a catch-up with Rich afterwards over hot bowls of Stef's best 'Lentil Slurry' and warm crusty bread

Johnny Osbourne

This was included on the excellent Studio One Selector CD given away by Mojo magazine a few years ago

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Isaac Hayes

John Cooper Clarke

We were over in Ilkley last night to see John Cooper Clarke. Luckily, after picking up the tickets from the King's Hall there was time to nip into Bar T'at for a cheeky bottle of Chimay Blue, which made for a good start to the evening

I've seen JCC several times in the past but probably not for ten years. He never looks any different although last night I noticed he'd dropped his trade-mark winkle-pickers for a pair of comfy Converse (well he is 62 now!). The Blonde on Blonde era Dylan coiffure was still perfectly in place mind, along with polka-dot pocket handkerchief

John's act has developed now into more of a stand-up comedy routine rather than simply poetry reading but he was on great form, scatalogically riffing on topics as diverse as existentialism and Posh and Becks. My favourite poem was Bongo's Trousers although he did the old classic Beasley Street as part of his encore. There was a great audience and the only sad thing was he wasn't on stage for much longer

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Shangri La's

Back in training!

I went for a run up the Beacon last night and then for a 5mile headtorch walk in the Strid Woods with Stef. My friend Steve from Skyrac has been posting some good sessions on the FRA forum's Today's Training thread and I'm worried I might soon be back in the familiar position of worst fell runner in the village! 

The run up the Beacon went well and I was up and down in 53minutes. I'm not expecting a late call-up for the 2012 Olympics or even a run out with Keighley and Craven's fifth team at the upcoming FRA Relays at Kettlewell, but at least I've got off my backside and got moving again after my post-Bob Graham lull 

Monday, 3 October 2011

Ulrich Schnauss

From the excellent A Strangely Isolated Place album. I bought a copy on a whim from a record shop in Derby (Reveal?), and it was a good buy

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The weekend

We didn't get to the coast but have had a good relaxing weekend pottering around at or near home. Yesterday we nipped into Ilkley for an hour or so's shopping and went up onto Addingham Moorside for a walk in the evening. Today we went to Buffers at Storiths for breakfast before going over to Hellifield Flash for a bit of bird watching. There were no waders around other than lapwing but we saw pochard, tufted duck, widgeon, teal, mallard and shoveller along with good numbers of pied wagtail. I'm not long home now from 6 x 150feet hill-reps on the Beacon in the rain. I felt better than expected and maybe the work I did in gym while away in Asia was more beneficial than I thought

Pretty in Pink

Saturday, 1 October 2011

What a feeling

Stef's gone to bed but I'm up listening to classic reggae tunes on YouTube; mostly Gregory Isaacs

Today's Hero - Tommy Johnson

Derby are playing Leicester City this afternoon. I cried like a baby when TJ scored for the Rams when we played and subsequently lost to Brian Little's horribly-efficient City team in the play-off final at Wembley in 1994. At one time I said if I ever had a son I was going to name him Thomas Marston after my favourite footballer and my favourite beer (this might explain why I've never had children). Tom, it's a big day: do your stuff lad!

Edit: 4-0 to Leicester. Tom you were always hit and miss