Sunday, 19 May 2013

Public Hanging and other Charitable Deeds 19/05/13

Tired legs and tired in general. Nothing like standing around in fresh air and rain (yesterday) to wear you out. Our first business today was to go along to the public hanging at South Queensferry where Mary's sister Karen (Big Red) was being lowered off the rail bridge (Big Red).

We arrived to find a substantial parked queue of cars all the way up the hill out of SQ. Surely this couldn't be for Karen's abseil? Unfortunately it was. Which proves there is an appetite for public hangings. After wandering around and seeing all there was to see from either side of the goings on, we located Karen and pals who were raising money for Chest Heart and Stroke.

The whole thing was running like a smoothly oiled machine, with folk being suited and booted in the Hawes Inn then walked up 10minutes to the bridge and along the walkway below to the point where they lowered themselves to the beach. A steady stream of gloves, helmets and harnesses were moving round this circuit with hundreds of drops raising £130,000 for the charity. When I say drops I mean abseils – there seemed to be quite a successful crew of safety people ensuring no objects (including volunteers) were falling from the bridge on to the spectators.

Due to yesterday's exertions and the less than photogenic weather we got pretty restless in no time at all, and after Karen was safely on the ground again we headed off to Cramond for a run. We parked next to the Cramond Inn and witnessed the Kiltwalk setting off. Or possibly the Wee Walk section of the Kiltwalk. Man alive is this weekend charidee epicentre of the year? You couldn't go anywhere in Edinburgh without having to give a tenner to a worthy cause. I think the Kiltwalk is like a Moonwalk but with more gravity. And men in skirts. Happily it was all away up Cramond Glebe Rd and we were going up the Almond. The river was swollen and syrupy brown with all the fallen rain. The smell of the wild garlic was outstanding or was I just a bit hungry?

Mary had agreed to 2.5 miles out and the same back and not a penny more. We were both weary from yesterday so I didn't complain too much about such a short run. The garlic, the birds, the flowers and stuff were a pretty distraction and it was all over a little too soon. Over the Cramond Brig and into the Dalmeny grounds then up a road we don't normally go. 

A couple of spring lambs (number 23 and number 23) were exploring the boundaries of their world. Mary discovered the double whammy road (it climbs it descends it climbs again) where she will be leading training sessions at a later and unspecified date. She refused to go just around the corner to see the steam coming off the field. 

The air was still and suddenly really quiet (apart from the invisible jets overhead taking off from the airport.) I think it was just the distance from traffic and noisy children, but all you could hear was the birds. It put us both in a really good mood where previously I for one was a bit tired and cranky. We enjoyed the way back to the car – ducklings on the Almond, garlic on the riverbank. And we found an overgrown brick bomb-shelter which we dared each other to go in. It was utterly pitch black inside and there was every chance it housed a large beast with furry paws and claws.

On the way home we parked in Tescos and Mary popped in for soup for lunch. Listening to gentle music I nodded off as the trudging Kiltwalkers plodded along the cyclepath next door.  

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