Spring has sprung in my world!

1st May 2013

Squinting in Wales Tim  Si and Buis Edale Church pinnacle Libby and Tim View from Huby cottage Dead tree

Since my last blog many moons ago, life has gone on and various things have occurred:


  • I had my 42nd birthday
  • Shock horror- I’ve become a runner!
  • Still working the 9-5pm
  • Winter has finally passed on
  • I’ve been exploring Almscliffe and more…


As part of my birthday pressie from Tim, we’re heading down to London in a couple of weekends to the V & A, to see the ‘Bowie is’ exhibition - can’t wait! Having been a big fan for years, it will be a day of nostalgia and hopefully discovery and ‘cultchah’!

Since turning 40, I’ve been experiencing what could be described as a mid-life crisis. It’s been a roller coaster ride that isn’t quite over yet (how long are these things meant to last?) but I do feel with the work I’ve been doing to move forward, an end may be in sight, phew!

Aside from mental/emotional changes, there have been physical ones too- yes it’s true, something I never thought would happen to me, I’ve actually got really into running. It’s very odd and I’m not quite sure how or why it happened, as I’ve never liked or been any good at running but I seem to be getting hooked. Tim is still on his fitness mission, so when I suggested going for a run at the beginning of Feb, he took me by surprise and said yes. We started with a Burbage valley circuit and since then have been trying to do a different route every weekend. And as we are staying in a lovely part of Yorkshire during weekdays, I’ve been going on Wednesday evenings too. We started at around 4-5 milers and have upped things to 8-12 milers. The longest one we’ve been on so far was about twelve and a half miles around Edale (see images) and I amazed myself by managing it ok. I’d done a 10 mile run once when I was 11yrs old but since then only cycling. So it was gratifying to see that with a bit of effort, these distances become possible.

Also, the other good thing is that because we started running mid winter, we have experienced all the grim conditions under foot etc and now it’s getting drier and warmer, it’s all feeling a lot more pleasant.

Buis Bear has been coming along too and I’ve devised a bungy lead system around my waist which works well and she’s good at not tripping me up. But her obsession with sheep provides fun and games and at times feels like full on resistance training; as she tries to charge one way and I’m trying to drag her another way. Went on my regular Huby (Yorkshire) run last night and actually felt quite good. I think I’m starting to get fit and can now almost enjoy the run, rather than endure it. In fact, I’m getting fitter than Buis, the last two runs I’ve been on with her she has struggled. I’m not sure if it’s because the heat is increasing or the distances combined with my increased speed are a bit much. I think only shorter or slower runs for her from now on, don’t want to break her!

The job in Headingly is still ongoing. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be working in May but hey, I can’t complain, it’s great getting some cash together and also as I said before, the routine is novel and quite challenging. But it does mean that something has to give, hence the lack of blogs etc. We are now pointing, which is quite satisfying, as you can really see a difference to the church. Lime mortar seems a little temperamental to use though, it’s been a juggling act trying to protect it from the cold (see image of Rob Elliot dressing a finial like a xmas tree), to now protecting it from the sun. I hope by the end of the job (June time), Tim and I will be away on a big trip in our van. Pembroke and euro climbing, here we come!

I am so glad winter has passed, although the mornings are still cold but in the sun it’s lovely. I was actually working in a T-shirt today and couldn’t believe how pasty I looked. I don’t think my body has been exposed to any sun for about a year and half, it shows. Just before the snows went, Tim and headed over to N Wales to try to get a bit of winter action and some product shots for Marmot. We had some pretty challenging winds which didn’t help things but it was lovely to be over there and see Wales looking pretty incredible covered in snow and ice (see images), it was also good to catch up with Libby and her girls.

A snowy scene in Ogwen...

Climbing wise, I am trying to get out a couple of times a week but to be honest sometimes only once is managed. This is quite strange for me, as I am used to climbing 4-5 times a week but as I said something has to give…I think the prolonged winter hasn’t helped my climbing psyche and now the temps are up, I’m starting to feel the climbing mojo come back.



Where we stay in Yorkshire, we are stones throw from the majestic Almscliffe. It’s been great venturing up there of an evening once the clocks went forward (wow! What a difference that made to my feeling of wellbeing) and with the help of the new Yorkshire guide, there are plenty of smaller places to explore too. I love going to new venues, so it’s been great for me to head off with me dog, a pair of shoes and the book and potter about exploring new lumps of rock.

Having now spent four months ‘living’ up in Yorkshire, I’m really growing to love it. There’s a different feel to the Peak, less people that’s for sure. Lots of farms though and I really haven’t enjoyed running through those, especially the pig farms. The way those intelligent animals are kept is scandalous and if people knew the grim details, would they feel quite so happy to chomp down on their bacon sarnies etc…I’m not so sure. Veggie rant over!

Anyway, I am feeling the joys of Spring finally and looking forward to getting to some sea cliffs soon and getting some sun on my quite shockingly white skin- bring it on!!

Almscliffe on a lovely April evening in Yorkshire.