Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Count Down.

Footballer hoverfly

honey bee with full pollen baskets

Meghan & Harry's wedding celebrations :o)

A Sabre Wasp (that's not a sting, it's an ovipositor, for laying eggs)

Fungi 

Red Hawthorn

Mullein Moth Caterpillar working his way through Buddleia leaves

Moth eggs laid on the window

Veronica Tissane White

Burnet Companion moth, a day flyer

Azure Damselfly eclosed from the pond

Sleepy Ted

Crab Spider with prey

Damselfly pair mating

Last Saturday, at parkrun, I was asking friends who was going to watch the royal wedding later that day. All the men said no, without exception, and all the women said yes. If my own household is anything to go by, the chaps would have changed their mind by approximately 11.45 and sat down, glass of bubbly in one hand, unable to resist the plated salmon, cream cheese and cucumber sarnies and the bag of donuts, and watched for the next hour solid.

We thoroughly enjoyed it. Gorgeous weather, beautiful setting, elegant bride and dashing groom, the odd naughty horse careering off towards the crowd and the open-mouthed wonder of the page boy. And wasn't the Bishop marvellous? I loved the barely-disguised grins on William and Camilla's faces and the increasingly frozen ones on Harry and Meghan's as everyone wondered just how long he was going to go on for. Marvellous stuff.

And then on to a busy week: sweet peas, black-eyed susans and honeywort seedlings planted out in pots and beds; a new Scabious bought for the perennial garden; an oak I grew from an acorn four years ago planted at the top of the garden; various creatures stuck in the greenhouse rescued (one of which was the marvellous Sabre wasp in the pic. She isn't dangerous, she doesn't sting, the long thing attached to her is the tube she lays her eggs through. I am puzzled why she's here in our garden, because she's a pine specialist and we don't have pines); Jays and Woodpeckers chased away from nest boxes; a blackbird who'd been hit by a car saved from the road; a phone call to the police after a tree came down in the road last night; all 48 of my couch to 5k group navigated safely through their first set of 3x 5 minutes runs. And then Ted, during a particularly violent game of football with Pop, forgot himself so far as to tear a branch off my buddleia globosa (which I had to look everywhere for and in the end order). M put it in water and two days later I realised there was a mullein caterpillar on it. I've just put him on the other buddleia outside because he's gone through all the leaves on the decapitated branch already. 
And then finally I had to help M do a time session at club on Monday night, recording the names and positions of 43 club members all running round a 5k village lane course in the heat as fast as they could.

With all that going on, I've had very little time to stop and think that I'm running a marathon at the weekend.

Three days before a marathon you're supposed to carbo load, ensuring your muscles and liver are replete with the stores of glycogen needed to power you round 26.2 miles. I would, except I've come down with a stomach bug and food is frankly the last thing I feel like. 

Poppy and I ran this morning, a careful 4.5 miles, and it was pretty horrendous. I ran on an empty stomach, which is fine, I'm used to doing that, but I still felt utterly lacklustre and walked bits of the hills. 

The forecast is for hot weather and thunder storms on Sunday. If I was of a negative cast of mind, I'd say it feels as if things are conspiring against me. Luckily, I'm not that way inclined and these kinds of travails only serve to bring out my Inner Stubborn Git. I've trained over long miles in hot weather so as long as there's some shade that won't be a problem, I'll just run more slowly.

However, I do have to be sensible. While you can run a 5k while under the weather, a marathon in hot temperatures with a stomach bug isn't going to work. So I will have to wait and see. Worse case, I'll find another one to do in a couple of weeks. I've got a list :o). Such is life. I will update you all on Saturday, by which time I hope to be feeling better and able to run the next day. If not, it's just bad timing and a case of onwards and upwards.

Hope you're all well, and GOOD LUCK to B at Coastal Ripples who is running her first competitive 10k on Sunday. I'll be thinking of you, Barbara. Go, Girl! You can do it!

CT :o)


29 comments:

  1. I am keeping my fingers crossed that you make a full recovery by this weekend. x

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    1. Feeling more likely today. Phew! Talk about down to the wire! x

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  2. I do hope you are feeling better soon, a tummy bug is never good. I love your photo's, your posts are always interesting, and again I have learnt some thing new.

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  3. Hopefully you will be fully recovered by Sunday, I’m sending lots of positive vibes your way. Thank you for the mention. Like you I’m hoping it won’t be too hot. Time will tell.
    Lovely photos of all your creatures, especially the moth. We had a beautiful pair of demoiselles dancing over the leat at the water I’ll yesterday. I was totally mesmerised by them. Such a beautiful greeny blue colour.
    I’ll be willing you on on Sunday. B x

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    1. They are gorgeous insects. Cooler here today and this morning's 5 miler went better. Feeling more hopeful! x

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  4. Great post today. Such interesting bugs. Ted is a star sleeping in the shade.
    I know you are working up to the run but all I can think of is the chef/runner who died running his second marathon too soon after the London. Be Well !

    iwinston sends woofs !
    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Not quite sure what to say to that, Parsnip! All will be well x

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  5. Wasn't the wedding wonderful, I loved it. I do hope you feel better for the weekend and send you lots of luck for the marathon. What great photos, I'm so glad you named the veronica, I've been wondering what that variety was called. X

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    1. It's a lovely, delicate plant and a good early flowerer. Thanks for good wishes x

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  6. The damselfly is a male Azure (thin antehumeral stripes, two black stripes on side of thorax and a U shape on the 2nd segment of the abdomen). A male Common Blue would have wide antehumerals, no black stripes on the side of the thorax and a mushroom shape on the 2nd segment of the abdomen. I hope you're feeling better soon and able to prep for the marathon. Best Wishes and Good Luck on the day!

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    1. Fab! Thank you for that, hadn't realised we had them in the garden (my damselfly ID is limited, as you can tell!). Feeling better today so finger's crossed for the run :o)

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  7. Fascinating insects. Nature's patterns are supreme. You've captured them brilliantly. The footballer is my favourite!

    Good luck and if things don't click then as we both know there's always another race.

    Not too many years ago I was invited to meet a bunch of top Kenyans in a pre-race vip lounge one time. The favourite pulled out after 10 km. He won his next race though!

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    1. I've learnt a lot over the last year about when to run and when not to which I think is standing me in good stead now. I shall be sensible, although am feeling better today so I am hopeful for the weekend. Thanks for the good luck :o)

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  8. I wish that I'd thought of making posh sarnies for the Royal Wedding - they might have lured R in from the garden. As it was, Hamish and I watched it on our own. We liked Bishop Curry too! Hope you're feeling better for the marathon. xx

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    1. M was adamant he wouldn't watch it, but the way to a man's heart and all....Although I think Hamish is excellent company and would happily have watched the wedding with him myself :o). Thanks for the marathon wishes xx

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  9. So sorry you're not well, what rotten timing. Bishop Curry was fantastic wasn't he. Oops Ted, damaging the buddleia globosa, I remember how you had to hunt for one. Our buddleia leaves are absolutely shredded each year, now I know what is doing it. Sadly our neighbour has just ripped it out though. He does not like anything green in his garden. Gravel, plastic sheeting, concrete and orange fence panels only. Sigh. Your wedding feast looks excellent. I was happy for it to be just me and the littlest boy for most of it here, but now I'm thinking I should have done fancy sandwiches. I do hope you're all better very soon. Fingers crossed, and I'm sending you good energy. CJ xx

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    1. Feeling better today and a better run this morning too, so am more hopeful now.

      Yes, Very Naughty Ted :o( He's a complete hooligan when it comes to football, as unlikely as it sounds he rips the garden to pieces when he can't find the ball!

      Sigh indeed about your neighbour. xx

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  10. Glad you watched the wedding and laughed! What a show! I have to say I found the content of the preacher’s words to be wonderful but in true American style he just didn’t know when to shut up! Cringing at that point! Zara Tindall’s face was priceless and so was Elton John’s! As for Harry... I think even his cheeky side was thinking.... Jesus Christ did we really invite him to speak! 😂
    But for the rest just marvellous and such a beautiful bride!
    My votes go to Doria for her poise and dignity and to Charles for being such a gentleman ❤️🇬🇧🥂

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    1. Definitely hats off to Doria and I loved Charles stepping in to help. A fab morning's tele :o). Hope you're all well? xx

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  11. Hopefully you are feeling better now, but at least you have another option if you don't make it this weekend for whatever reason.
    All your nature is just fantastic to see.

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    1. Feeling better, so more hopeful... :o)

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  12. I watched it in the evening with a glass or two of English sparkling wine from the local vineyard. It was a beautiful day and a lovely wedding, especially the gospel choir, the cellist and the love sermon. Beautiful garden photos. I was digging the vegetable garden yesterday - previously a chicken run - and watching the buzzards mew overhead and the bluetits and robins going back and forth feeding their young. I am missing my pond but I see damselflies most days as we are not far from the river and the old bird bath I bought at the weekend is already in use. Hope you are as fit as a fiddle for the weekend, but don’t run if you’re not.

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    1. It does sound like your new home is the right place for you to be, all that wonderful wildlife. Feeling a bit better today and still two whole days in hand, fingers crossed.

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  13. Beautiful photos as ever CT. You have totally opened my eyes to the small things in nature. Thank you so much.

    I am so sorry to read about your tummy though. Not what you need right now :-( Still plenty of time to get a bit more good food into you before the race so I have everything crossed for you xxx

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    1. Feeling a bit better and had a better run this morning so more hopeful. Talk about last minute though! xx

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  14. Hey CT,
    I'm sure that you are feeling much better as I write this. So I'm wishing you all the love and luck for your marathon this weekend. Absolutely loved the wasp picture. We have had lots of flutters in the garden this week, especially orange tips. Olly helped me skim the pond this evening, and we caught three fat newts. Oh and a baby seagull hatched on the roof too. We've named him Colin. Still no crab spider though.....
    Leanne xx

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    1. I love the sound of Colin! Great about the newts too and the flutters. We’ve got three crab spiders now. I have ear-marked one for Olly to adopt xx

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  15. I wonder WHY moths lay eggs on windows, or walls. Then I wonder helplessly what I could do for the emerging caterpillars??

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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