We made a film too.

  • Tuesday, August 20, 2013
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Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again.

 Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar.

 Antonio Machado

Words more beautiful than I can ever write, words that speak about seizing the road and not wasting our chances. Words about creating in the midst of the brevity of life.
I have just returned from a few days away with friends in rural England. Normally I would make sure I go for a long, solitary run but this time I felt that I wanted to take it easy so I ran with my kids.
On the second day we did a muddy 2.4. We leapt cowpats and dodged tractors. It was great.
The next day though I suddenly realised that on this huge property was a long 50 metre corridor featuring some 90 degree bends and a twisty flight of stairs.
I recognised the potential. It was a running opportunity not to miss. An opportunity to carpe viam.
Sometimes the things we need and search for are right with us. They usually don't look how we think they should look or take the form we are used to. However, the vision and the means for genesis are inside us, we just need to see them. Then we need to act on them.
So we ran my kids and I. We ran up and down the corridor and we did it over and over and over. We made a lot of noise and had a great laugh, and those of us who are smaller eventually tired and dropped out of the running but not the togetherness.
It was a wonderful time of bonding and fun and we built a road of memories.
We made a film too.

I didn't mourn when it was finished.

  • Monday, August 12, 2013
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Two pubs linked by the thread of a river, friendship and night running. Jerry and I ran from Shoreham along the River Darent to the village of Farningham. Our destination was the Chequers, a horseshoe shaped, corner pub with a central bar. It featured strange panels showing painted scenes, strange lamp stands, eclectic knicknacks and middle aged men in cargo shorts. These guys were flirting with the foreign sounding bar staff and didn't spare us a glance. I had a half pint of Chinook chosen because it reminded me of large, noisy helicopters. This was further reinforced by the taste and colour, somewhat syrupy, orange and reminiscent of aviation fuel.
I didn't mourn when it was finished. 
Running the six miles to reach the pub was a dream. The pace quick, the air mild and the route one of my favourites. It was truly memorable, we were Perseid's meteor showers, my Vibrams merely kissing the ground along the North Downs. I don't know if it was the avgas, sorry, Chinook or my age or a combination but the return journey under head torch was harder, my legs were wooden and my Five Fingers lead. Some great conversation and a noisy encounter with a large animal, part wolverine/ part dog kept me moving but I was happy to reach The Crown in Shoreham. I love this pub, there is a real warmth there that is evident every time I visit. This time I settled for the tried and trusted, a glass of beautifully chilled San Miguel while Jerry lost me with some very involved physics theory involving (I think) Galileo and circles. It was nod and grunt time for me!

I did throw an apology over my shoulder like a scrap of litter

  • Wednesday, August 07, 2013
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"It's when you don't react you get killed" yelled the lone walker.
I had stealthily run up behind him before he glimpsed me out of the corner of his eye and leapt out of his skin in shock. I'm not sure what provoked the look of cold, white horror on his face but his eyes stood out like dogs balls. It is true that my current incarnation includes being a skinhead and my teeth may have been bared in a snarl.
If they were I'm sure I was trying to smile.
Maybe he is a paranoid woodland weed smoker or horror movie fan. It could have been my Vibrams. Or perhaps the wind changed direction when he was a child fixing his face like that for eternity.
Whatever the reason I didn't like his pointy ears or his pointy teeth so I didn't pause to coax him down from the tree he had leapt up but ran on. I did throw an apology over my shoulder like a scrap of litter before lightfooting my way like an Apache back into the treeline.