Farewell 2016

A good 9 mile run to end the year on.   Windy but mostly dry until the last 1/2 mile home, when the heavens opened.   Showered,  scrubbed and ready to see what 2017 brings but think I might sleep through the bells.   See you next year.

Ps – a friend found this fab video online – awesome filming with playmobil characters – must take a lot of patience to do a shoot like this.

It’s In The Diary!

Although it’s been confirmed for sometime that I’ve been granted unpaid leave so that I can go to America next year – it is now in the actual work diary!   From the the 20th July to the 6th of October 2017 there are lots of sunshine’s (the works symbol indicating holidays) against my name!   Very exciting and a great way to the end the year.


A Rant and Another Favourite Wee Hill

How can someone manage to take a packet of cigarettes to their car,  light one and smoke it while driving but is completely incapable of extinguishing it and disposing of it properly??   Car overtakes me while cycling to work today;  pulls in just in front of me and driver throws still lit cigarette butt out of the window – cigarette comes bouncing towards me,  glowing in the dark – doesn’t come near me and isn’t going to do me any harm but still bloody annoying all the same – I don’t like litter bugs!

Rant over and a wee pic of the Monument at the top of Fyrish Hill (Cnoc Fhaoighris) taken on the 27th – a wee post Christmas walk with my sister Emma,  Matt and Ben.   Great wee hill and views to the Cromarty Firth below.   If you look carefully you can see snow on the higher tops in the background but what the picture doesn’t show is the wind chill factor – we only stopped long enough for a few photos and piece of shortbread before retreating.20161227_124015


Great weekend just past – The annual OMC Christmas get-together in Crianlarich.   Lots of exercise,  banter,  amazing grub and a wee drinkie or 2.

Before heading off to Crianlarich I had Christmas shopping to do and parcels to deliver – all done by bike of course – reckoned I did about 25 miles or a wee bit more.

Relaxed start on Saturday morning,  before myself and Colin E caught the train to Bridge of Orchy and then ran along the West Highland Way back to Crianlarich.   A mix of sunshine and showers but mostly in our favour and we didn’t get too wet.   Nice easy running initially – but oh my word the last,  and hilly,  section was tough – I was blaming my recent cough and cold – but Colin had much more of a cough than me and he still fared much better and had to keep coming back like a sheepdog to round me up and make sure I was ok.   Good run though and back in plenty of time for the Christmas festivities later that evening.

Tear in seam of thermal cycling leggings x exact area that inside of right thigh makes conatact with bike seat x 46 miles of cycling from Crianlarich back home to Stirling on the Sunday = lots of cursing and swearing when I get in the shower and find that I have removed a 2 pence sized area of skin from the inside of my thigh – major ouch moment – apart from that an excellent bike ride home though – now need to do a repair job on my leggings.

No pictures I’m afraid – I was moving too fast??!!

More Exciting, But Bonkers, News!

I’ve got a place in the Maine Marathon – yippee!

I have cycled to a couple of marathons before,  so in theory it is doable!

The first time I cycled a grand total of 10 miles,  before relaxing my legs while I was given a lift the rest of the way to the start of the Strathearn Marathon – a run I would highly recommend – quite roads,  lovely scenery,  friendly marshals and lots of cakes at the finish line – cake is always good.

Flying at the Strathearn Marathon June 2013

The second time was when I cycled from home to Stornoway on Harris to run the Callanish Stones marathon – approximately 250 miles of cycling.   Another great run – as above but instead of cakes I got a whole Stornoway black pudding and lots of other goodies at the finish line and a fantastic ceilidh at night.   This race has only taken place twice and about 5 years apart – hopefully it will run again in another few years time.   ps – the cycling is dam good as well.

So whats a wee 4000-5000 mile bike ride prior to 26.2 run? Only time will tell.

Trumping Nora

Since I last posted Donald Trump has been voted President of the USA!   In what started as a surely he’s just kidding – to a no he is quite serious but hasn’t got to a hope in hell of winning – to OMG he might have a chance here –  and finally,  shite,  he is the next president of the USA!   Do I want to visit a country where the new president is openly sexist,  racist,  verbally abusive,  etc,  etc,  and there is even less hope of changing their gun laws??   Apparently,  according to some,   American politics has to get worse before it can get it better and therefore Trump isn’t such a bad thing – well we have another 4 years before we find out!!   And as to me – in the grand scheme of things – I’m just one wee half Scottish / English cyclist on a wee bike ride and whoever is president probably won’t have a great deal of affect on my trip – unless Trump,  himself,   reads this and bans me from entering the USA!

Anyway hopefully no more politics in my blog and on to some exciting stuff – finally got some route planning done and I have 2 nights of accommodation booked in New York!   I will largely be camping and using hostels and don’t intend booking accommodation much in advance – I don’t want to be tied down too much to dates and times,  etc – so time will tell to see if I’m pedalling like a dervish to make my New York deadline.

So my joining the dots so far are taking me up part of the West Coast of Oregon and then from New York to my end point in Maine – and as my friend pointed out very little in between!   But still plenty of time – I think I’ve said that a few times and now down to 7 months until I go!

Back at home we had a spell of lovely cold and crisp weather – too much of this was spent indoors at work but managed to get 2 good walks up Dumyat.

And on a random note- while checking that I was using the word “dervish” in the right context discovered that it is a Muslim word –

Dervish – noun – “A member of a Muslim (specifically Sufi) religious order who has taken vows of poverty and austerity.   Dervishes first appeared in the 12th century;  they were noted for their wild or ecstatic rituals and were known as dancing,  whirling,  or howling dervishes according to the practice of their order.