Sunday, 25 December 2016

christmas cheer

Christmas Day 2016.

My first ever entry on this blog was about the joys of December. Since Christmas is often a time for reflection and nostalgia I had a quick search for all my thoughts relating to this special time. Here they are, interspersed with a few photos from a Christmas Eve run down at Gullane and a Christmas Day run at Holyrood Pk.

Great to bump into Jason.

My big task of late has been to try and figure out how to work the Suunto. I know how to start and stop and record my mileage but there is a run on Tuesday which we ran last Feb and were so busy chatting we just left the nav to GN who runs the route regularly. My thoughts at the time were "there are a couple of unintuitive corners here I wouldn't remember if Graham wasn't with us." And he may well not be "here" on Tuesday. Of course I have printed out maps but the Suunto has a feature where you can input a gpx file and then "follow" it on a wee watch map. I thought I better get up to speed so uploaded the Gullane route and then pushed navigate rather than exercise. A little map appears and toggles between the whole route (below) and 200yards scale close up (above). One is represented by a directional pointy triangle and if you leave the route, the triangle leaves the line. I was pleased to get it working and now have belt and braces for Tuesday's 30 miler (all welcome - Peebles to Pentlands). Only one small prob with the Gullane run was I only realised afterwards that you need to push exercise and then navigate in order to record your run. Or was it the other way round? Just as well I got that sorted. 

Just before the beach we saw a couple of deer. Mary used to run on while I would try to get my breathing under control (to reduce camera shake) and take long zoom photos of them. Said she wasn't interested. Since getting a camera with a longer zoom than mine (I was amused to notice) she was several minutes taking photos (much better than mine) of the deer, while I stood around saying hurry up. Changed days!

This from 2013 and my very first ever blog!  
Then there are the streets of dog turds. Round here the locals stop picking up about late November. Presumably a combination of bad weather, hangovers and their mutts eating then re-creating iceland chocolate logs from mid-November. I bought a newer brighter head-torch for runs after 4pm.

Then the bills – January sees my business insurance and income tax owing. As if December hasn't already emptied my account.

And it's dark as the middle ages. Some days the sun just doesn't bother getting out of bed and I feel much the same. Then the crappy weather of drizzle and damp and dark brown skies. Not to mention the office parties and the zombies christmas shopping: armfuls of shit nobody needs. And lying in bed listening to the drunks staggering home, fighting and shouting in the street. A pox on it all.

Design and render Nial Smith, a talented designer and painter.

And all the murdered trees taken indoors for a fortnight then dumped back out in the street like unwanted friends. And the TV. What mental deficient plans the tv schedule? We REALLY DO NOT NEED more “celebrity” chefs instructing us how to put on weight. Have they not looked at the public out there. They do not need more delicious food. If it's one thing they do not need it is encouragement to make and eat more delicious food. This cannot be overstated. Am I the only person that sees all this stuff and finds it intolerable?

When you deviate from the route the little triangle leaves the line.

Aberlady was looking fab as usual;
only 2 others sharing the magnificence and long shadows.

This from a December blog in 2014. 
Then today after a grey start the sun came out on the drive along to Gullane and it turned into the fab day we had been promised. It really lifted my spirits which were a bit subdued after quite a lot of work and not much running and the hellish spiritual squalor of the run up to christmas. Lower case c. It is just a terrible time of the year. In the past I have put this down to my financial inadequacies at this time of the year however that not being the case this time I realise I have a deep set hatred of this epi-centre of materialism and the pretence we are celebrating something other than shopping and cheap sentiment, rich food and hangovers and precious little that will do us good. With a soundtrack of meretricious nursery rhyme earworms as pleasant (though less sophisticated than) the splashes of vomit peppering the streets. It is like the whole world is on stupid pills and if you don't play along and shove tinsel up your ass you are frowned upon.

I really enjoyed the sun coming out down at Gullane. It's like a switch being flipped and suddenly I am feeling a bit more chipper. Mary notices it. She has been force feeding me vitD pills hoping they would take the edge off but I think there is no substitute for sunshine. And even just being outdoors helps. I don't have trouble running at this time of the year (although once it's dark it's not a high priority). It's getting out the flippin door that is the difficult bit.

There were some lovely ambient skies, 
but the camera was struggling to do dark ground and light sky in the same image.

Cheeriness from 2015.I do think brain power slumps at this time of the year. Happily the sparkly lights keep the xmas zombies on Princes St and up the High St. I have not yet been to see that big square block of flashing light shit that Virgin have set out like a giant mouse-brain trap to attract the feeble of thinking. But I saw Jim R's video clip and it was more than enough to persuade me of the fatuous delights. Which is that the money-lenders have built a temple to avarice and there's a choir singing the nativity favourite "Lucky". You know "We're up all night to get some" (thanks Caroline for pointing that out.) Well that's Chrismassy. I think if this is the direction we are going, we should at least re-brand Christmas as it has nothing to do with Jesus. Maybe just call it spendy-fucky-drinkathon.

So Christmas day and we go for an 8 miler round the boundary, the perimeter of Holyrood, and then up to the top. I took very few photos because I left the sd card in the computer from yesterday and it can only record about a dozen snaps onto the internal memory of the camera. It was another decent morning and good to get more rays into the body. I could almost cope with December if it was all like this. Mumbled murrcrismus to anyone trying to force a response, but really just trying to get 8 miles in and get home. Best of all was that 10 mins after getting back the rain was lashing off the windows. Great timing. Best part of the day. 

This is the sort of proof offered on the internet of ghosts or paranormal behaviour.

and the decorations are up
(note Tour of Fife cup)

Anyway nobody likes a moaner, so in the manner of Scrooge and obligatory redemption here is the best Christmassy thing I've seen since the season began in late September. Possibly because you have to listen quite hard to hear the traditional tune. Loving the 2-string instruments. Nearly forgot myself and wished you readers a Merry Christmas and a speedy recovery. And if you want to come along for a 30 miler on Tuesday get in touch. There's at least one pub stop en route. 

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