Sunday, 21 December 2014

This Sunday was a little different but one not to missed. the local nativity play held at the International Church of Christ - I have to say that it seems a very busy and importantly happy place to go.  I was so impressed - the kids were amazing and with so little time to prepare -but the singing from children and adults was amazing - chirpy, happy and celebratory.

Of course this was followed by Sunday lunch ....a lovely Sunday...

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Dave Gorman

After a good day at the office - the day was finished off watching Dave Gorman live!

Very funny bloke and good to wind down and make the transition into the xmas season. However can I remember any of the clips? You betcha I can't 😄

Monday, 15 December 2014

cultural day ...

Today was a great day, gym in the morning followed by an afternoon in the Tate followed by great company and production at the National Theatre watching Behind the beautiful forevers by David Hare - great visually stimulating day ....

I do love heading into central London...

Saturday, 6 December 2014

frostbite 35 😄

Today was the day to test the hill legs across the Yorkshire dales ..... at the start of the day I though it was going to be a 30 miler ... but by the end of the day - it became clear that 35 miles was the real distance 😄. This is the second race that the number of miles have increased!! Great to do even if there was a lot of climbing/walking making it slower... although my feet were and are in pieces .... my muscles had a lot more to give .... definitely time to get a made to measure/ perfect fitting trail shoe .... as it was definitely the blisters that held me back on this trot.

Blisters started forming at mile 4 .... probably the earliest that they have ever formed ... but that's ok, 4 less nails to manicure ( I wonder if I will get a discount??😄😄 ) and performing mini blister ops on the feet are now reasonably executed these days 😄😰. The first cut off point was at mile 10 with 3 hours being the cut off time (because of the hills) ... but I was really chuffed that I got in at the 2 hour mark.

The ultra was superbly organised from start to finish, food, arrows ( so even I couldn't get lost), map, a wee tiple at mile 20, ultra friendly marshals who even after a day of standing at the top of the windy hills and moors had an amazing greeting all the way 😄 , soup and cake at the finish ... definitely one to go back again to.

Sadly I didn't take my camera .... so lots of missed opportunities for scenic shots but luckily others took theirs 😄.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Oh dear .... I have just had a week off the trail, diet and gym! Not what I need so close to the 30miler trail next week. Sadly, I guess after a couple of months of hard focus - there had to be a time where life stands in the way. Hey ho, so after a couple of painful 8 mile trots in the very muddy hills over the weekend ..... I am back on it ... Luckily

Friday, 21 November 2014

Double dose needed! started with Peter and the wolf and the snowman followed by The Messiah - all three very different but great in their own right.

I always get so much from taking time out and head to the live concerts/ performances .... feeling the music is great and is always grounding.....

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Sun set to sun rise 😄

 Well this is where it started (and ended) ... Moments before the shout to go ... For some (and especially the organisers) there was a very long night ahead. This race was called sun set to sun rise .... and the aim was to see how many miles you could run, in the dark, on a trail.
All I wanted was to run a marathon, taking that it was only a couple of weeks ago that I ran a half marathon and before that a 10km - anymore miles in one go was unrealistic and quite frankly 26.2 miles was a very daunting thought.

So, in great Ems preparation - I literaly skidded to the start line, had a kit explosion just before the start (much to the amusement of one on-looker) looking for the tunes and hat that had to be shown before starting off. There was one of those 'put the hair band in the mouth and then empty the bag looking for it' moments that I am unlikely to declare and don't let me start on my facial expression when we were casually told that 'of course people who wanted to do the marathon distance would of course have to do 28 miles and not the 26.2miles!!' Ahhh well in for a penny in for a pound and all that .... and quite frankly it would have been great just to do more than the half marathon a couple of weeks ago... especially as I was tuneless .... and I need my tunes at the best of times but more so in the dark with no views for 28miles!

Ok, so doom out the way, the last Ray of light disappearing... I was going to take the 28 miles. The first 13 miles were great and the sub 10 pace was there most definitely.... I was in a good place. Post 15 I was feeling it, blisters were forming and the rucksack rubbing was nicely wearing down the skin on the neck and base of back.

But I got there.....with a huge grin on my face ..... Time 5 hours 39 min.... And I coud have gone on...... Not bad for week 8 of training.
No injury, feeling strong and even without my comfort blanket of tunes (and Vaseline) .... I got to the end.

Next 30miler mountain trail in 2 weeks..... I can't wait!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Back to Brothers boot camp - great to be back and good to see the progress being made between camps.

The measure is the timed minute mile at the start .... And I actually got under the 8 min mile (7.55) - so that was good to see. Target is to get 7.40 by December so I need to do a lot more running.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Half marathon with Go Beyond

So good to be back out trotting in the countryside....

Today I was back with Go Beyond and attempting the off road half marathon 12 miles. The elevation was greater today and made it super tough. My time was 2hrs 21 which was shocking but I have to remember that I am only week 5 into the fitness and diet regime which includes all of the different disciplines (strength, endurance, cardio,etc) - slow yes, but providing that I continue it should ensure that I have solid foundations ...   I have to say that I definitely felt the slow rising hills and dips but not as badly as the 10km a couple of weeks ago!!

Oh, and darn it ... Today I saw that I am now in the ' veteran' category! A veteran and elderly primate ....whatever next .... it was only a month ago a garage asked for my ID so I will keep focusing on that for the moment...

So today was a smooth ride .... But no compass was required... Luckily ;o) ... That's next time ;o))

Sunday, 12 October 2014

First run of the season or really for the last two years! Only a 10km ... But 10km of mud and mayhem!

Should be a good warm up of the 10km night run and 10 miler in a couple of weekends ;o)

I have to say, the frame of mind was an interesting experience but I did get to the end!
Pace was 10.10 min mile which considering 3 weeks ago a run of only 1.2miles was 11.50 ... Things are moving in the right direction.. Ish.

Next step 1/2 marathon on the 26th!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Learning to flyyyyyyyy !

Ok, so I am known to happily jump out of the plane but today was a little different... I had to stay in the plane and fly it ?!?

Ok, so in reality it was a case of the instructor saying ' over to you' and 'look no hands... No hands... You're flyin' .... But that was good enough for me ... Especially as I was just too distracted by the views, knobs and dials ( yes, yes, it doesn't take much!)

Again, again!! More ... More!! 

Nonetheless I can officially say that I flew a plane today ..... Blinking fantastic!

Back to the field - choi

Mozart Requiem by Candlelight

Mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Mozart Adagio and Fugue in C minor
Mozart Requiem
English Baroque Choir
Brandenburg Sinfonia
Jeremy Jackman Conductor
The Brandenburg Sinfonia and English Baroque Choir treat us to an evening of marvellous Mozart. Two orchestral favourites in the first half, and the beautiful Requiem after the interval.
Followed by: 

Tallis Spem in alium
CPE Bach Magnificat (excerpts)
This concert lasts approximately one hour without an interval.
Voce Chamber Choir
London Youth Chamber Choir
Suzi Digby OBE Conductor
James Sherlock Organ
Suzi Digby brings the energy and talent of her young choirs, Voce Chamber Choir and the London Youth Chamber Choir, to Tallis’ iconic 40-part motet. This programme also celebrates the 300th anniversary of CPE Bach, with excerpts from his Magnificat.

Friday, 3 October 2014


Mish mash mosh ...... 

Trimmer, brothers, Scotland and back to the brothers.....

Manon ... Tragic 

Back at the gym .... 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

St Pauls ... Forgot how sound pulsates and echoes around the dome....rcm/

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Sir Neville Marriner .... Stunning ... Made it to the wall.
Programme – Sir Neville Marriner: In ConversationMozart - Marriage of Figaro Overture
Mozart - Symphony No.25 in G minor
Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

Monday, 14 April 2014

On top of the world....

 This was the starting point for the day! Far in the depths of the highlands .... I was looking for remote and I don't think that I could have got anything more.... in fact it took me over an hour to find the start/entry point ... re-enacting Mr Bean map reading without a GPS .... ;o))  would sum that up  ... thank goodness for public telephones ;o)))

Sadly 2D photos don't really do the size justice .... eyes on the white in the distance ... the 'tent like' peak... Munro at its finest ;o)

However the views at the top were exhilaratingly stunning ... I felt like I was sitting* on top of the world... it's at moments like this that life is magically put into perspective and any life niggles or problems just melt away - if only everyone could have time out here - the best resolve to any war or argument! Nil winds, hot sun, blue skies and the best view to date..... I feel so lucky to have experienced this lucky!

Window to the world ....

 * yes that's right 'sitting' .... on the tent like peak that was just wide enough to sit on ..... nope, I didn't stand (you must be joking!!) over 3000ft straight down remember!!?!?  ..... ;o)))))))))))))))

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Ben Cruachan ..... ish

Life is decidedly about circles. Today was the day to head up Mr Cruggie .... from the base the day looked good.. the wind was low, cloud high and blue sky was trying to peep through. I was here nearly a year ago.

I understand the hills too well. Today I only went 820m due to needle ice rain that pierces through trousers, lifting winds that are not good for ridge walking and ice water underfoot that wasn't going to be warmed by the feet this time.  Indicators that warn not to go forth, no matter how much I enjoy, understand and love the views from the top; What I know is that there has to be a half way meeting point from the mountains weather that opens the pathway to the top. I also know the importance of listening to this unspoken communication.

I returned to base with the hope that tomorrow will be different (it wasn't - it just got worse!!)

Ben C saddle ....

Back to Glencoe mountains tomorrow ;o)
Bonfire heat

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Glencoe ;o))

Today (090414) was ground hog day - the expected trot around the Glencoe hills were hampered by the low cloud!  Nae matter  - eyes to the ground and being 'at one' with the Glens, burns and water was good enough. At times like this, there is no point heading to the top as the rewarding view is not there.... without the view - there is no need, well as far as I am concerned.  

Ahhh but 10/04/14 was a different matter ... eyes to the sky (3575ft) and snow line ... of course at the start of the tramp:  grunge and thigh level burn crossing was needed (sets the feet up very nicely)! Its been raining quite a bit here ... and the force of the burn reflected it .... after several attempts to cross, I was lucky to find a 'crossing' that was shallow enough to keep the water off the rucksac.

it looks so small in 2D... ;o(.
Add caption

View from the near top ....  muscles by this stage were wobbling a bit ... didn't really help the final drag to the top!! Sadly the 2D pan photo doesn't quite do the justice of the drop to the left ... it looks almost flat!!!! not!   (but guess who  has found the pan button on the phone!!! ;o))))


Ok, so this was the last photo taken  before the top.... note the snow (that has a lot of water running underneath it!!).  There are drops either side ranging from ultra steep to mega stupid steep. The drop on the right side of this picture is sheer face and if I rolled to the left ... lets just say that it just wouldn't be good at all. Just after this point I realised that my fear of heights (not helped by thoughts of avalanches etc) was not over. Darn it!! But there was also a wee bit of 'I have blinkin stomped over 1000ft to get here ... etc etc etc etc.....' .... . so what did I do?   I crawled, yes crawled ... feet, knees, elbows and hands (pain!) the last 100000000000ft (ok so it felt like 100000000000000 ft but you can see the distance!) ... THE longest crawl I have done ..... and did you know knees can still wobble when crawling!!?!? they can ...
I am sure that you will be delighted to know that I did have the presence of mind to 'get' that this was ultra stupid ... but sadly at the same time so did the giggles .... thoughts of local press being 'baffled by a new mountain creature still not yet identified except for 'interesting' prints left behind!....  I nearly giggled myself off the mountain at one stage!! ... nonetheless if you think that I was going to swing my rucksack off and look for my camera?!?! .....(that would have meant that I would have had to sit up and I needed every knee, foot, elbow and hand on the ground!!!) Just in case I need anymore excuses or justification for my actions -  it was hailing and blowing a gale too!! Joy!

Always a rainbow or two in Scotland ..... MWOM :o)

Great couple of days!!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Back in the driving seat...

A day at Brands Hatch .... Re-living the good old days of rally driving ;o)) So much fun ... just wanted lots more time behind the wheel. Instructor was great fun, although he did ask at one stage if I normally drove an automatic...perhaps it was something to do with the fact that I kept on stalling the car each time I had to pullover and stop!! .. Mad... Simply mad... Especially on the last spin of the day :o))

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Bach, Handel and Vivaldi with a stunning 'flight' by Candlelight has made it to the wall. One of the best performances I have attended. Trafalgar Sinfonia only heard because of a series of comedy of errors ;o)) wonderful, uplifting ... A flight in the field has left me speechless. Wow!
;o)))) move over spectacular Yuka Wang .... Well ok, after I have moved on from chopsticks ... ;o)) humph... Patience is always the issue after inspiration and decision  ;o))) tonight I decided its time to return to the piano .. 1,2,3...1,2,3 .... ;o)

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Step aside Jiro Ono!

Probably the best Sushi in the world ... just don't look too closely ;o) So I can now make sushish, I just now need to learn how to make sushi rice - which is probably the hardest part of the process and probably where it will all go wrong!

 Tick - first bucket list done  -next drift racing next month ;o)) back in the driving seat again - can't wait.