Wednesday, 31 July 2013


It was the Montane Lakeland 100 last weekend. Stef and I ran together and managed to do 75 miles before retiring at Mardale Head around 25 hours after starting. There was a heavy thunderstorm as we approached the check-point at Mardale Head and a combination  of us both having bad feet,  paths turning rapidly into streams,  the weather not really clearing properly and the next leg starting with a big climb meant we didn’t feel happy heading out towards Kentmere. The race organisers had laid on a bus for retirees and fairly soon we were back at race HQ in Coniston
Yesterday I received a call from a former work colleague. The call was to confirm what we already suspected: that a mutual friend of ours is in the final days of his life after battling bravely against cancer.  This friend is a much respected person in our industry and will be sorely missed by customers, friends of whom he has a great many and his family
The 100 was my first ever DNF in an organised race and upset me quite badly but yesterday’s news put that into perspective. Stef and I had an amazing day in an area of the country we both love and a good man I’ve known for over thirty years is about to lose his life. Not finishing the race isn’t really that important now

Sheena is a punk rocker

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Monday, 22 July 2013

Jackie Opel

I find some ska music very frantic but this is a beautiful soulful number from Top Deck records star vocalist Jackie Opel. The title reminded me instantly of Milly's dad, who loves Airedale and passed his love of the 'Green Valley' on to his daughter

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Roses and a one hundred mile run

Stef and I bought two wonderful rose bushes from Otley garden centre last weekend. We were supposed to be going to the Lakes to recce the start and finish of the Lakeland 100 but for various reasons decided to relax at home instead. I've never had any interest in gardening but the roses are fantastic things with the most amazing scent; sweet but not overly so, subltle, almost nutty and to me reminiscent of authentic Turkish delight

The 100 starts at tea-time a week tomorrow and is likely to be a real 'suffer-fest' if the recent hot weather contimues! I've sorted out which shoes to wear (a pair of Inov-8 Roclite 315s; nicely worn in but not worn out) but guess the rest of my kit will be decided nearer the time

Prince of peace

Monday, 1 July 2013

Four months

Stef's grandson Alfie is four months old now and we spent Saturday afternoon at Bicton Gardens with him and his parents, Tom and Lacey. We've driven past the gates at Bicton literally dozens of time but we've never visited the grounds together before. There's a lovely cafe with a sun terrace, a small church, a lake with a fountain plus several greenhouses with various exotic plants and the gardens themselves. It was a really lovely way to spend a few hours together

Dobby Dobson

I heard the Gregory Isaacs version of this song at a party in Matlock back in the 90's and fell in love with it in an instant. This rocksteady version by Dobby Dobson, on the Treasure Isle label, is just great too