Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Running The Cub, RSPB Bird Watch and Free Speech, Anyone?



It's a gloomy day here: wet, misty, dull and murky. I have a cold which has stopped play as far as running goes (for the moment) and as a result I'm feeling a bit grumpy about the enforced inaction. I felt rubbish with it yesterday but it's already lifting a little so I'm not planning on sitting still for much longer.

I can't even if sitting still for lengthy periods were in my nature because I have a new running target in my sights. Every March a race called The Grizzly takes place in Devon. It goes along twenty miles of cliffs, rivers, streams, bogs and beaches around Seaton, Beer and Branscombe. M has done it many times and got his place for this year in the ballot last September. A scaled-down version called The Cub runs alongside The Grizzly, comprising nine miles over the same cliffs and beaches. Places for both are hotly contested and around this time of year a frenzy of swapping tickets goes on, with people who weren't lucky in the ballot desperate for the tickets of those who were, but are now unable to run for whatever reason. You can change your Grizzly ticket for entry to the Cub and that is what my dear husband has done. He'e given me his Grizzly entry so that I can run The Cub. He's planning to take his bike so he can cycle out to strategic places on the course and shout me on (or possibly pick me up and cycle me home if I've collapsed!).

Setting this week aside for getting rid of colds gives me five weeks to train. It will mainly be about getting hill fit as the distance shouldn't be a problem. I ran 12k at the weekend (7.5 miles) with some hills thrown in for good measure and was fine. The Cub will be about 15k and the terrain is tough. I'm under no illusions: I know it will be a challenge and I'm by no means taking getting round in one piece for granted, but as you'll have realised by now I like having a tough goal to work towards so I'm looking forward to the training and to the race.

I did my RSPB garden birdwatch on Monday and had good results. More or less everyone who should have showed up did so I returned entries for Robins, Dunnocks, Blue tits, Great tits, Blackbirds, Nuthatches, Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves, Great Spotted Woodies, Siskin, Starling, Jay, Magpie, Sparrow, Coal Tit and Moorhen.

Last week the dogs and I watched a Barn Owl hunting along the hedges a little before dusk. We were out for an end-of-day walk and he just appeared, floating above the field maple and hazel. It was magical. He was mobbed by two indignant crows who took exception to his presence, and ended up sitting in a tree a few feet away from where we were standing, entranced. I'd forgotten how small they are. They look huge when flying.

I have so far refrained from mentioning the new American President on my blog, but yesterday I was sent a petition from change.org which I want to share with those of you who haven't seen it yet.

On Mr Trump's Inauguration Day, at least six journalists were arrested for covering the protests held in response to his becoming President. The petition states that they were there in a recording capacity only, that they had their ID documents with them stating who they were and that they showed these to the police. They were arrested anyway, and charged with felony rioting, which carries a maximum prison sentence of ten years and a $10,000 fine. Three have since been released but the others haven't. The petition was at 20,000 signatures when I signed it last night: this morning it stands at 74,000.

I haven't signed the petition calling for Mr Trump's state visit to the UK to be cancelled, because I am holding to the hope that we can lead by example and show him how mindful, decent people behave and also because I would like him to have to confront the peaceful demonstrations that will inevitably occur here as a response to his presence in our country, demonstrations he won't be able to dismiss as fake news or an over-exaggeration of the press. But I have signed the petition calling for the release of these journalists. Once you start locking up reporters for covering news in order to control what's reported about you you're on your way to dismantling the fabric of the democracy that got you elected in the first place. For me, this is an outrage and a disgrace.  Heres the link if you want to sign it.

On that happy note, I'll bid you all good day. I'm off to feed my cold some chocolate truffles I made yesterday :o)

CT :o)




31 comments:

  1. What a lovely husband you have, he is so supportive of your running. So kind of him to let you have his race entry. Sorry that you're under the weather, I do hope you're all better soon and back out in those running shoes. Love those photos, such sweet little doggies. When I see pictures like that I wish I had a dog. I am envying you your coal tit and nuthatches, and especially the barn owl, how wonderful. A green woodpecker landed in the garden yesterday, couldn't believe my eyes, it's a first for us. It was rummaging about in the grass and raised beds for quite a while. Gone by the time I had my hands on a camera though! Thanks for the link to the petition. I hadn't heard about any of it. Have signed now though. Disgraceful. CJ xx

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  2. Good luck with your training programme and throwing off your cold. I had 3 colds in November and for the first time in weeks I'm feeling fit again. The only race I have in my diary for 2017 (up to now) is the Wings for Life Charity Run. Last year my highlight was the half-distance version of the Wales Trail Marathon held in Coed-Y-Brenin (Snowdonia). I've always fancied a coastal run and maybe this will be the year. I hope so.

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    1. I enjoyed your post on the night run- it looked and sounded fab. Glad your fitness has returned. Frustrating otherwise. You should enter the Grizzly next year :o)

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    2. I was half-thinking of something similar they have on the Gower AONB near Swansea. It's a lovely area.

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  3. Good luck with all that running! It sounds pretty tough! The bird watching sounds much more my thing ;-) Feel better.

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    1. Thank you! I popped over to visit you but couldn't leave a comment for some reason :o)

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  4. What a brilliant variety of birds in your garden. I'm so envious. Have a feeling we might see more here but they try to avoid my feline friends. No pressure then on your next challenge. 15k rough terrain, gulp! I'm sure you will do it and I hope your husband buys you a delicious dinner after , for your efforts. Hope the chocolate helps your cold. I would go and curl up with those dogs of yours, they're definitely in the right place. Don't worry about DT, he will be impeached soon , I have it on good authority 😈 .B xx

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    1. The hills will be the killers :o). I'm determined to get round even if I have to crawl! It'll be interesting to see what happens with DT. Impeachment has to be a definite possibility it he continues in the same vein x

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  5. Hey CT,
    The man is an arsehole.
    Your run sounds great. Still pounding the lanes here. My latest favourite run is the 'Trevalgon' run. I drop Olly off to school, run up the Stennack, along the back road towards Rosewall Hill, hang a right along a narrow lane past a small cluster of houses back on myself until I get back to the main road and downhill all the way home! The uphill climb from school to Rosewall, is pretty tough, but it's good for stamina and mental fitness I think. For me anyway. It's just over 5 and a half miles, which is plenty enough!
    Leanne xx

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    1. I loved your reply it made me smile. Brief and to the point :o)
      Your run sounds lovely. 5.5 miles is a great distance, I find it's a better work out for me than 3 which isn't quite enough these days. XX

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  6. what a lovely thing of your hubby to do....it sounds a corker, but i've every faith you're up to the challenge. :)

    that's a lovely assortment of feathery people...not surprising, seeing as how you've everything laid on for your guests. ;)

    hadn't heard about the journalists. it just gets more and more grim....will add my name, thanks for the heads-up. xoxo

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    1. I'm not sure why the media isn't reporting on their arrest? There's been nothing on the news here and you'd think that more than anything would get air time. XX

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  7. You have a good selection of birdlife - very similar to ours here - we see a barn owl regularly and often little owls in the day time. Wren hunt along the bottom of our hedge, but I have never seen one on the table.
    Luckily we do have a group of long tailed tits who call daily for the meal worms.

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    1. I miss Little Owls, used to have them in our stable yard. Did you know they are mate faithful and grieve if one partner dies?

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  8. I hope the running goes well! The truffles will definitely help with the cold and anything else going on!

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    1. Truffles, a cure for everything and anything :o) x

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  9. Ted and Poppy on cushions by the fire - so adorable. The Cub sounds like a challenge but a good one; I'm sure you'll do it. Quite envious of your barn owl as I haven't seen one for years. As for DT, ugh. I also haven't signed the petition to cancel the state visit for the same reasons as you - I want to march and protest so he can see with his very own eyes what we think of him and his policies. I had no idea about the journalists. For goodness sake... I'm off to sign. Sam x

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    1. I'm not sure why there's been no reporting of it. Hardly anyone seems to have heard. Petition over 100,000 signatures now. x

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  10. Great selection of birds, hope the training and running is going well. It's our first full year with a log fire.. old man not to keen to lie in front in case it makes a noise !
    Amanda xx

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  11. Let's hope the weather is kind for your Cub run, it sounds quite a challenge but what a great place to do it. Excellent birdwatch results, glad they weren't all hiding round the corner till you finished counting. x

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    1. It can be horrendous in mid March. We've had rain, snow, sleet, hail and then bright sunshine on it before. Have to go prepared for all eventualities :o) x

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  12. Poppy and Ted look so sweet flat out by the fire - a bit like children when they are fast asleep. The Cub run sounds amazing, I can feel how excited you are about it. I had no idea about the journalists and will sign the petition too. I saw my wren, thrushes, blue tits, robins, sparrows, blackbirds and wood pigeons for my count and a pair of frogs are mating in the pond!

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    1. We've only had one frog in our pond to my knowledge. I wish for more :o) Thanks re the run, it will be a belter I'm sure x

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  13. What a wonderful selection of birds you have.
    Plus what wonderful little sleepy gud dugs you have sleeping in front of the fire.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. It's their customary position from about 5pm! x

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  14. You've got to love those doggy bookends! What a lovely husband you have giving you his ticket; I'm sure that you'll do brilliantly. I sympathize about the cold. I was virus free for 1 day before E gave me another one! It went straight to my chest and I've spent most of this week sofa bound. I'm worried that I'll be back to square one with the running when I finally shake it off :( Perhaps I should try your chocolate truffle cure?! xx

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    1. It was very kind of him. I feel a bit guilty because he loves running the Grizzly! Hopefully next year we'll both get entries. Poor you about the bugs, what rotten luck. But don't worry about losing fitness- I had three weeks off running in Nov and picked up very quickly once I got back into it. It took maybe a week to be back up to speed. You won't undo all the good you did at the end of last year. I am dying to hear that you've done a Parkrun! I know you'll do brilliantly. xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x