How not to run a half marathon

Daughter Ellie’s London Marathon training is on target: just as well, because the race is now only just over a month away.

She thought a useful test would be to run the Wilmslow Half Marathon along in the next county.  Malcolm and I were pressed into service as childminders (for ‘childminders’, read ‘providers of lifts’) and dog walkers.

The Pennines near Skipton.

As we drove over the Pennines to Bolton, the temperature dropped to -2.5 degrees, the windchill factor took it well below that, and the wind swirled something of a blizzard round the car.

A drive in the snow.

The race was still on though.  Once we’d arrived in Bolton, we sat around the kitchen table carb-loading (otherwise known as eating cake) and planning strategy. We had a quiet evening, packing Ellie off to bed at 9 o’clock for her before-6.00 a.m.-start.

But in the middle of the night, when Ellie checked on-line, the inevitable had happened.  For safety reasons, the run had been cancelled.

Brian takes Ellie for a walk.

So no race, no excitement, no challenge.  Ellie and I took Brian-the-dalmation for a long walk in the snow.  And that, dear reader, was that.

More Pennines near Skipton.

Very special and heartfelt thanks to those of you who have sponsored Ellie for running the London Marathon.  Because of people like you, she has raised nearly 150% of her target.  All the money raised will go towards research into osophageal cancer, a disease that is still little understood compared with better-resourced breast cancer. Thank you.  Thank you.

Even more Pennines near Skipton.

A broken resolution

I only made one New Year’s Resolution this year, which is one more than I usually make.  This year, I would not buy any more second-hand books from charity shops – my main sources for all kinds of serendipitous purchases – till I’ve read almost every unread book on our own shelves.

Well, that worked.   It’s January 13th and I’ve just spend £3.75 on this little lot, culled from the charity shops of Ramsbottom, just up the road from where Ellie lives.

books

Ramsbotton is a post-industrial once-upon-a-mill town, a nice little market town with a whiff of artsiness about it. It has a cute little heritage railway: you can catch an East Lancashire steam train on high days and holidays.  There are lots of independent shops, great coffee shops and restaurants. As a side-line, it does a fine line in charity shops with book departments that are a cut above the average, and I spent a happy hour or two browsing this afternoon before the boys came home from school.

Ramsbottom seen from snowy fields.

I’m in Bolton this week because on Monday Ellie had her second operation, her mastectomy.  It went well, thanks, and she’s recovering at home.  Her dad and I  took turns to manage-a-patient and manage-a-dog and manage-the-twins .  The worst job is definitely getting the boys up in the morning.  They’re just like their mum used to be when she was 11.