|England from the air|
|Passing over Pembrokeshire|
|Baltimore Castle, Cork|
|Drumbeg stone circle, Ireland|
|Western Cork, the view from our b&b|
|New Forest Sky at dusk|
|The Vyne, roof top repairs|
Last week we popped over to Cork for a few days with all the children in tow. It's a quick hop in a plane from Southampton. We went boating, wild swimming, visited ancient stone circles and M and I did the local Parkrun (M won it!) which was great fun (and very hilly). We also went to Baltimore, which the children were fascinated by, having only heard of the US version.
Baltimore castle has been renovated and the info boards told some chilling tales of the village's past. Notably the time a few hundred years ago when a Dutch sea captain sailed in to the harbour in the early hours with his band of Algerian pirates and ripped 130 of the villagers from their beds, taking them to Africa to sell as slaves. None ever returned. Babies and children were taken from their mothers and wives separated from their husbands. It was so awful I had to stop reading about it.
On a more positive note, we caught up with lots of M's Irish cousins, always a complete pleasure as they never stop laughing and you can't just drop in for a cup of tea without staying for hours. We ate delicious sea food and drank copious quantities of Murphys which always tastes better in Ireland. F decided he wanted to buy a bottle of whiskey to take home, despite having tried it in the pub the night before and not liking it very much so his dad had to finish it. Luckily our b&b was a short roll back down the hill. L managed to set off the security alert at the airport and had to have the buzzing thing swept all over him several times before receiving the all clear (his favourite bit of the trip, he later told me) and J managed not to fall out of the boat and into the sea while mackerel fishing, which is a first for her.
When we returned to England we were straight back into running-related goings-on. We had a picnic in the New Forest after marshalling our local Club RR10 race. Everyone brought food and beer and blankets and it was very jolly, and a welcome respite after cheering on several hundred club runners through 4 miles of forest tracks in the warmth of early evening.
M and I went over to the Vyne, a National Trust Tudor property near Basingstoke which is currently undergoing a £5.1 million roof restoration. They have cleverly incorporated the work into the visitor experience and it was fascinating. All the old Tudor roof tiles are coming off, the roof is being mended, archeologists are working on various aspects of recording building technique and materials, and the whole lot is then being replaced. I was enthralled. It's really worth a visit if you're nearby.
M has a race tomorrow but I am currently off games as my knee is still playing up. However, the excellent Physio Steve assures me all will be fine for the next HM which is coming up in a couple of weeks. I am blaming the fast downhill running at the RR10 I didn't enjoy last Wednesday. If I needed further proof that slower longer distances is my thing that was it. I have buttock exercises to do which make M fall about laughing but are aimed at strengthening the connection between glutes and brain so they do more work than the hams, and a couple of sessions of acupuncture and ultrasound, as well as thumb-of-death in the patella tendon, so something to look forward to. All very interesting and quite amusing at the same time :o)
Finally, a VERY BIG WELL DONE to B over at Coastal Ripples who this morning ran her first ever Parkrun over in Jersey and ABSOLUTELY BLASTED IT!!!!!!! She deserves a huge round of applause. I am very proud of her :o)
Hope you're all well?