Sunday, 26 July 2015


Since the motor was off the road today we cycled to Threipmuir for a swim. Both of us cycle to work most days but we haven't cycled together for a while. I didn't think it would work as well as it did. After Craiglockhart we got onto the canal and then followed the cycle path up to the Rangers' Station at Harlaw and along to Threipmuir. 

Helen was one of loads of runners we went past.
(Richard and Christina, Jake, Fiona and Michelle.)

Last time I was up this way I totally failed to find this bridge. I had wrongly remembered it to be before the bypass.

being followed by a monkey

monkey down!
There was a bit of loose gravel on the brief downhill just before this corner and I heard a shout and turned round to see Mary on the ground. I thought she had survived unscathed until she stood and I saw her leg. Also she had staved her finger and bruised a hip. I felt so sorry for M who was totally a brave soldier and we were back cycling again in a couple of minutes.


up Kirkbrae

This shot for GH

Finger and leg are given the ok for submersion. Oh that'll be fun pulling on a wetsuit.

So when did Threipmuir become a thing?

People now turn up with sandwiches and children and bikes and dogs and wash their flippin dogs' arses in the same water we have to put our mouths in. I think the fishermen are to blame. They hated the swimmers moving in on their turf, their Sunday hangover and quiet place and now there are wetsuitted health freaks stroking up and down in the way of their fly casting complaining if you hook their swimcaps. So they huffily go elsewhere but not before pulling the plug and half draining the place making it waist deep and now it has a beach of sorts and people can see the swimmers having some kind of perverse fun and they say I think I'll bring the dog along and wash the stink out of his arse, he enjoys a bit of a skitter in the shallows. Just my theory. Anyway I hope they don't turn up in substantial numbers or I'm going to go elsewhere. Its bad enough hopping over the sharp stones on the beach with less than 1metre visibility in the murky water. 

It was so grim when we got there I asked M if she wouldn't be happier cycling home without a swim, given her injuries sustained on the way here. (But really it was because I was dressed in just a t-shirt and gilet and the Baltic wind was discouraging to say the least.) Mary boldly said we were here to swim and I grudgingly got rubbered up. Just getting into a wet suit warms you up and once there it is much warmer with only hands and face being exposed to the mild water. (15') After that first jarful down your spine it's not long till you're swimming up and down without a care. I was trialling a new pair of small swim goggles and happy to report they stayed on, mostly waterproof and I only look a bit like a mildly surprised sex offender. (Raised eyebrows, sunken eyes.) 

Swim caps. Whats with swim caps? They are not cut above your ears so why have them fit only HALFWAY over your ears in a shapeless dome. It would cost no more to have them headshaped and with flaps that come PROPERLY over your ears. Unless some people enjoy the feeling of a cupful of cold water poured into a tilted ear (as you breath)? And would hate to be deprived of that by a well fitted swim cap. Do such things exist or are we just all going to settle for the hemispherical jobs that start below your ears but feel stretched and then ride up to half way up your ears while you swim allowing the water to sloosh into your semicircular canals and stay there for 36hrs going snap, crackle and pop? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? I wear ear plugs and tape them in with sports tape and often a neoprene hood which holds all this in place and keeps about 68~74% of the water out. Today I was trialling speedo ear plugs, which Mike was rating last we spoke. They were ok. I may have to modify and tape. Also all that stuff in my ears makes me a little deaf and I end up standing shouting at Mary about dogs and arses and things in the shallows. I don't think it's going to be my favourite sport, but I have a few plans for it before throwing in the towel.

Being a gentleman I gave M my jacket as she had not brought one and we were both quite chilly. The wind was still doing its worst to vex the lake. M had been really brave about falling off her bike so I cycled home without a jacket in her honour. We both swore to remember fleeces EVERY time we go for a swim from now on, no matter how warm it feels in the flat before we set off.
As I have said before the best part of open water swimming is going home for a big lunch and maybe a snooze. I spent the afternoon catching up with blogging stuff watching the rain rattle down. Each time we go swimming I feel we are one step closer to doing it with some aptitude. Still a few steps to go mind. 


Having enjoyed a week of recovery from the sleeping sickness (many thanks for all your kind wishes) I returned to running on Saturday. I thought I might be a bit stiff or slow but after a few miles warm up enjoyed a flat out gallop along the beach at Aberlady. The weather was pretty good for a summer that has not impressed very much although there are usually a couple of decent hours, even on the rainy days.

My recovery was a breeze compared to the Berlingo. I think vehicles age in dog years. Ours has just passed it's mot for another year. It had a hip replacement (steering bearing) on one side a while back, and while that cleared up the worst of the aircraft noise at motorway speeds and we could again speak without shouting, it was a fair guess that the other hip would need doing soon as well, so while it was having it's mot (brake hoses replaced) we got the second side done. And cruised down to Gullane in near silence. Maybe we can plan trips further afield?

you can see why they call them damselflies

I spent a long time trying to get a decent shot of these 2, having a great deal of trouble trying to see the results on a screen made invisible by the sun. (Not that I'm complaining!) All but a couple of shots out of focus.

Then onto the beach where the tide was well out. 
We had had coffee from Falko's and there was quite a bit of shouting and singing.

Making the most of the chimneys before they come down in Sept.

Mary did a much better job of taking the photo at the right moment than I did for her.

whole place to ourselves

One of these wee blue jobs that doesn't hold still for a second and tends to close it's wings while ground bound. Selfish.

Jason had mentioned the East Fortune airshow was today but apart from a couple of unmissable things there was more to see where we were. Happily the Red Arrows approached from offshore while I was trying to apprehend a Fritillary and I looked up to the superb spectacle of them heading inland with smoke on.  

This was the Fritillary in question. Now I hope everyone recalls the identifying 3rd spot in, which makes this a....? Yeah me neither. Also I took a couple of shots next to one another (similar to how a 3d camera works) and had the idea if I flipped between one and the next it would give a kind of 3d feel. And yes there are 2 of them here on a hot date. Which is the reason they weren't able to escape my attentions quite as rapidly as normal.

Some twigs and grass, with those aeroplanes in the background, out of focus.

The route plan for today was a longer run. Starting from Gullane we did the usual route through the golf course to Aberlady, across the bridge to the beach then along the coast to Yellow Craigs, then back on the road, making for 14miles or so. I spent most of the time chasing butterflies then doing intervals to catch Mary who was pressing on. It felt great for about 10 miles but legs and feet were a bit trashed with all the rock hopping and uneven terrain. Mary was feeling similar and wondered whether she required new shoes. I think it was just the rough ground. Great training for half marathons. We picked it up for the last few flat miles and tend to do the last mile from where the trail leads out to the road from Archerfields, at 10k or half marathon pace, whatever is left in the tank. We had a breather directly before and I thought I was pooped, but surprised how much I was able to lift the pace for the last mile plus. 

 small tortoiseshell
Another daft name. (Neither small nor particularly like the shell of a tortoise.) I did wonder whether it was actually small tortoise's hell. Big thanks to this one getting so engrossed in a thistle it didn't notice me standing nearby squinting into the screen.

nearly definitely a six spot Burnet

I think this would make a nice jigsaw. 
Someone was asking recently about images for jigsaws, or was that a dream?

more from the airshow
Thought this might be a Tupolev or something soviet until I found the list from East Fortune and saw it was a Lockheed P3C surveillance aircraft from the Norwegian Airforce.

Mary struggling to race down Gullane High St.

Great run on a day considerably nicer than the forecast promised. We had parked near the public toilets and saw this incident below. It turned out someone had locked their dog in their car. The second key had been eaten by same dog a while back so they got the recovery dude to break into the car via the front windscreen and recover the dog. When we arrived he was struggling to retrieve the flagging dog. Which survived fine. Less so the BMW windscreen. We thought little of it and headed home. Just about Longniddry the brakes failed. Luckily there was nobody directly ahead and the van coasted onto the roundabout a bit. We drove past the roundabout then parked just yards after the station car park. 

Mary called the recovery firm she has insurance with and 2 hrs later the recovery dude (yes, same one) came and put the Berlingo onto the flatbed and drove us home. An inauspicious finale to the day. It will be going back to the mechanic on Monday morning to be fixed.