Wednesday, 30 December 2015

before the storm

Tuesday's forecast was sunshine from ten till two. Thoughts turned to longer runs before Frank stormed in with late Christmas presents for a country already up to its oxters in flood alerts. I can only think that Jesus (it's him who organises the weather, right?) was more annoyed about the Virgin street of lights than I at first imagined. Anyway, inappropriately he does appear to be doing some old testament wrath and particularly to the folk of Cumbria and the lake district. (Although a property price freeze is long overdue there.)

I ran up the road to catch the North Berwick train at 10.43. I decided the NB circuit would fit the bill. I wanted to run about 20 miles but if the day stayed fine and I felt strong I might take it up to 30+ miles and knock off January's TB run by running back along the coast and ticking off the wm at Gullane Golf Course which has only featured in Mary's Baby Bronze as far as I can remember. The low sun and the light was marvellous and I slowed on the way to Waverley to take a photo where the road goes under Waterloo Place.

Off the train at 11.17 and up NB Law to kickstart the run. I like the above photo which squeezes the Bass Rock between the two markers on the Law. I don't mind the seasonal wreath as it is at least temporary. The graffiti annoys me though. This is at least the second version of the same motto and it is deeply flawed. I don't think we should "live for the moment". That short term thinking is more than half the problem in the world right now. What happens when we run out of materials to make more of these throw-away items? What happens if I fool around with someone's wife? What happens if I break my neck doing this crazy stunt and who will push my wheelchair for the rest of my miserable life? What happens if I eat junk food and don't exercise? Oh don't worry about that just Live for the Moment. This is exactly why most of the country are fat, have a hangover and STDs (not to mention unwanted pregnancies) are rampant.

And there is the execution of the lettering. Granted it is slightly better than the last effort which was poorly spaced between stencilled words - too much living for the moment and not enough skill and forward planning employed. But the last effort was not painted out and so the ghost of it can still be seen spoiling the newer version. Another triumph of living for the moment. And the spray paint is too heavily applied and looks clumsy and oafish. So in summary: it's not a big deal but if you are going to vandalise a public monument could you please choose a better motto and carry it out in a slightly more competent manner. (If I remember next time I visit I may well take some white paint and live for the moment plan for the long term.)

The small pond in the field (above) reflecting the sunlight looked like this up close...

Now THAT is how to do paintwork.
Check out the colour of the front door. Totally fab and that's from 200 yards.
(Don't know who did it but it gets my vote.)

Ahead of the storm the wind was getting up.
3 crows get aerodynamic and zip across the gusty sky.

No planes landing today.

...and this is where we keep the polo ponies

Trying to get a decent photo of all the water in this field I stepped round the corner and noticed this angle to catch a photo of the Newbyth Mansion House

Through Newbyth woods and across the road into Binning Woods. Initially I followed the usual paths I take through there but then went off piste in search of different views.

Found myself at the cemetery, hello Ali B, and enjoyed the shadows of the trees there.

fab light

There has been quite a bit of felling going on.

Running down Limetrees Walk I stopped at this notorious gate. 

20 miles into a previous long run I saw it and moved across the road to have a closer look stepping half off the edge of the tarmac and going over on my ankle really badly. Had to sit for 10 mins while rubbing it before limping the last 10+ miles of the day. All that seemed a long way off today as the light made the gate look very photogenic. It still brings back painful memories though.

I had a good line between Limetrees Walk and the coast going through the trees. Last couple of times there and I've failed to find it. Taking a slightly different line again and being prepared to get lost in the woods I managed to come out past Baldred's Cradle just at the start of the beach. Almost disappointing as I really like the trail from B's C as the beach is slowly revealed.

I realised I should have got there earlier as the sun was so low it left the beach in shadow. It was also quite busy which for me isn't an improvement.

The last of the blue sky was in this direction. There was an ugly bank of dull cloud spreading from the West over the whole sky. This pretty much was the determining factor on whether I should continue beyond North Berwick or just catch the train home. It was heading towards 3pm and would be around 20miles at the station. There had been quite a lot of muddy ground and puddle-hopping and I was quite tired. The heavy cloud was the nail in the coffin. If it had been a beautiful sunset I could have forced another 10 miles beyond NB to clock up January's TB (the first TB was on July 28th 2014, and so the month starts and ends then.) Which would have been a good defense against bad weather on the 4th when the 2 Richards have an outing planned.

As the beach gets rocky from Peffer Burn I prefer to go upstream and cross the burn on the first bridge which leads to this concrete road. You can see it has been laid in 20 yard stretches that would have been poured into forms or shuttering. There is a scattering of small stones in the mix that have helped the concrete wear well. In fact apart from an occasional crack near a corner it is in remarkably good nick. My drifting mind was paying more attention than usual to this, which was interesting given a conversation I was about to have in 20 minutes. It is always a chore to come off the beach and lose the visual distractions, replaced with an up hill slog (on concrete) to the Seacliff exit onto the main road with about 6 tough road miles to the station. (There must be an off road alternative.)

At Seacliff I noticed this handsome big truck and wondered if the Tam in question mentioned on the front of the cab was related to the Tam who "bides here" further along at the row of cottages. I slowed at Tam's cottage to take a photo and the door opened. I hadn't met Tam before and imagined him as younger than the 81 year old who was on his way out. We spoke for 5 minutes during which I tried to find out if he and the other Tam were the same. No they weren't. Other Tam and his son (yet another Tam!) were the owners of the big house and estate. However Tam (bides here) has worked since leaving school at 14, for the family and they gave him his bides here cottage in return for that. (Ploughing 11 miles a day behind a horse!) The SS10 was the (reg, I think of the) first rig the farm ran. AND Tam (Bides Here) laid the concrete road I had just run up (I know, I should have asked when it was laid) and fortified it with stones from Scoughall beach. Tam is looking great for his 81 years and stands straight backed, suggesting a life of hard work keeps you healthy.

As I ran on I was pretty sure I was not keen for another 10 beyond the station. It was getting dark and cold and no more decent photos would be presenting themselves. I noticed it was 3pm and the train was at 3.26. I had over 3 miles to cover so picked up the pace doing the last 2 miles in 7.04 and 6.55. I caught the train with a couple of minutes to spare grateful for the imperative that made me sprint the last bit. I dried off on the journey home and jogged down Leith Walk feeling I'd had a great day out.

1 comment:

  1. Some info for your negative points of the NB Trig Point Peter, to what is infact a motto originaly painted on NB Laws Trigpoint by the late son of the Senior Countryside Ranger Bobby Anderson who passed away with cancer, and his memory lives on by his friends who repaint the Trig point yearly, along with others they visit...
    Good to see Tam still on his feet! :)