Monday, 7 May 2012

Memory jogging...

Insomnia has its plus points! I rarely sleep beyond 5.30 or 6am. I don't always get up that early but at the weekends I do quite like to get out early and just walk and it is the best time of the day - when the streets are quiet and the birds are not drowned out by the sound of cars.

I've been thinking about starting running again for a while - in part, inspired by various people in blogland who have mentioned the benefits. I used to run 3 or 4 times a week with a neighbour - our usual route was a 3 1/2 mile round trip and about 5 years ago, I think I was the fittest I have ever been and able to do that rout without too much difficulty.

Of late, I've been very conscious that whilst I am pretty active, and not trying to lose weight (I have lost a LOT of weight in the last few months!) - I am conscious that thinner does not = fitter! I know I need to do something about my cardiovascular fitness and the budget will not stretch to anything that involves a fee at the moment! So....

Yesterday morning, no rain! Grey, cold, but not actually raining so, before I lost my resolve, I set off for a walk/run...

I've got to confess more walk than run really - 1 minute running, 1 minute walking for about 20 minutes then I just walked a scenic route back - about an hour and a half out altogether. Slightly depressed about just how breathless I was after such short spells of running but I'm sure it will improve! And now I've written it here, I might feel more inclined to stick to it. We'll see...

Didn't take any photos to begin with - nothing caught my eye and I couldn't cope with stopping when I was trying to time the running! Once I was walking I came across this colourful row of houses on a street nearby - seem slightly out of place in the rows of Victorian terraces but I guess these were a bit grander than your average city terrace.

I used to live in this house...

I expect it was a lovely large family house originally but about 30 years ago, it was one of the off site residences for student nurses. I lived here for a year (my room was on the ground floor, bottom right where you can just see the white lintel) with about a dozen other girls and we had a ball here. The rooms were pretty grim, cold, damp and I think the maintenance left a bit to be desired (think it was condemned eventually as unsuitable accommodation - no fire escapes for one thing...) but it felt much more like independent living than the large impersonal nurses home blocks on the hospital site and we had some great parties here!! The turret rooms were particularly envied I seem to remember. I believe it has since been turned into flats - I'd love to have a look inside, probably wouldn't recognise it.

This was a walk of memories. This little church is tucked away in the more upmarket end of the city and is where a friend of mine got married. I think she was the first of my school friends to marry and their wedding was a couple of months before ours - seems a lifetime ago now, we were all just kids.

This morning I looked out of the window to this...!

Proper Blue Sky!!!

So, out I go at 7 am determined to soak up a bit of brightness. It was really cold, so I was still wrapped up head to foot but I made myself do the walk/run routine then just kept walking out to my favourite route around the university broad. So lovely to be out early and appreciate the beauty of the green spaces on my city home 'doorstep'...

As a child I was convinced these were called 'popular' trees! And why not?!!!

My route takes me alongside the river. I just don't get fed up with this...

There were bright buttercups along the river banks...

Unfortunately, my camera will just insist on auto focusing on the bits I don't mean it to focus on (grr!) but you get the gist of the zingy bright yellow. As kids we used to hold these under each others chins to 'see who loved butter'! I can't really remember why it was such a big deal to be a butter lover! Other than, I suppose, that most people didn't eat butter routinely. We did in our house actually ( at the time, I thought it was my parents attempt to be a bit posher than we were - maybe they just knew it tasted better!) but I can remember wishing we had 'margarine' like everyone else, so that your sandwiches weren't a shredded mess from trying to spread too cold butter on soft 'plastic' bread. The 'marg' then was pretty vile I expect - no olive or sunflower, just margarine of some indeterminate vegetable oil origin, doubtless full of hydrogenated fats too! My nannie was a complete convert - she used to call it 'spread' and there was an art, in her eyes, in getting the thinnest smear evenly across a piece of bread, right to the crusts (it was not ok, as far as she was concerned, to have a gap between the spread and the crust of the slice!). Did anyone else play the buttercup game?

On round to the broad, lovely and peaceful as ever at this time in the morning...

I was out for just short of two hours by which time the clouds were returning...

And by the time I turned into my road, there was just the odd patch of blue...

"Enough to patch a sailor's trousers" was my Mum's expression! Lots of memories triggered from this weeks walks! 

I've spent much of the rest of the day sat listening to the radio and knitting and, having just got up to make a drink, realise running two consecutive days after several years gap might have been pushing my luck a bit! Seem to have stiffened up a bit! Off to tackle the stairs and head to bed, hope I'm not too achy in the morning!

Til next time then, and thanks for all your comments on my last post - lots of no-reply bloggers so can't respond individually to all.



  1. Gorgeous pictures, and I really enjoyed the stories that went along with them!!
    I have recently started running again as well, I used to run lots, but have done nothing for about the last 6 years, I am totally empathising with you about the breathlessness and the ratio of walk to run!!!
    Good luck sticking with it!!

  2. Kudos to you for starting to run. I find there are some days when I would rather do almost anything other than run, but once I get out there, my head clears, and I never regret pushing myself out the door. This house is gorgeous! It looks like a castle, and I would love to see what's inside.

    I hope you've had a good start to your week Sandra!

  3. You have me smiling about the butter memories - trying to spread butter on bread & getting chunks ! Yes we put buttercups under our chins and we blew dandelion " clocks " too. Happy days.
    I keep making excuses for not getting back to exercise class but must ! Your run / walk route is beautiful.

    I wake at three am & get back to groggy sleep around five. I never feel like getting up at three though !

  4. I'm very impressed with your new regime! A few years back I used to take our dog out every morning at 6 am. Although I would groan about getting out there, I really did enjoy it. I liked having the best part of the new day before everyone else had breathed the air!!!


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