Review: Injinji Socks

Ah, Easter break last weekend; you enjoyed longer days and longer runs.  And a realisation about socks.  You need some new ones.  You’ve time before May Day weekend though; but there are so many socks … So how about trying Injinji toe socks?  Odd things.  Odd, but comfortable and effective.  Read more…

Recipe: Pan Speziale di Certosino

Pan Speziale di Certosino.  Basically a solid, rich Italian Christmas cake, reputedly originating from the monks of Certosino.  It’s full of delicious stuff and calorie dense with a mix of carbs, fat and protein.  A bonus is it keeps well(allegedly, it’s delicious and moreish) and survives battering in running/climbing/cycling bags.  Read more…

Spring Dreaming

April, the clocks have shifted.  The weather is warming, feeling a little more friendly.  Buds are bursting and the world is greening.  Time to ramp things up, to remember dreams of long laid plans.  Perhaps finesse them, perhaps make some more. Time now for long days over the hills; days Read more…

Fell Hack – Go Whistle

A literal hack this.  Modern plastic whistles are great; light, loud and kind to your lips in cold weather.  They are however, difficult to keep hold of, and have a bizarrely useless clip on the back.  Solution?  Chop the clip off, smooth the burr (a flame helps, plastic is difficult Read more…

Recipe: Oat Pancakes

It’s pancake day, so here goes with some robust & filling oat pancakes, tasty hot or cold. These are orange & ginger, but it’s a basic mix; have a play.  These are very good with warm fruit & yoghurt.   Of course, these can be made as savoury pancakes too. Read more…

REVIEW: Mud Broddler

Not really running kit this, but post-run maintenance kit.  Weekend.  You’ve been out in forest or fell.  Places deep in mud, glorious mud at this time of year. Inevitably, whatever shoes you use, you’re bringing dollops of that mud back home, stuck in the tread.  Which of course needs removing.  Read more…

On Reviewing

Doing reviews? Freebie time for me. Ah, yes, well; no.  For now certainly, no freebies.  Everything I’m currently reviewing here, I’ve bought.  With my own money.  Yes, even that frighteningly expensive vest(that review’s going up later, in spring) and that huge Jean Gaumy book(that review for autumn).  The kit is Read more…

As The Driven Snow… a winter run

“The wood, under a winter storm.  A time when all creatures thought of good sense seek shelter of burrow or nest.  There remains though, dancing through the tempest,  a runner, chill of finger, wet of foot, wide of grin.”

Desk work day done.  Storms are building, both ADHD and weather.

So.  Night run.  Winter night run.

Headtorch, leggings and lifa, hardshell and hat.  Lock my door with glove clumsied fingers, quick step up the ginnel.  Grin growing on my face.  Couple of hundred metres of sleet slick pavement ‘twixt house and wood.  Most times a skippy dog walker dodging warmup, tonight it’s a lone stroll, chilling fingers and feet. 

The wood.  My local patch, a bright place of birch and willow and hawthorn hedge. Not this night though. This night it’s a wildwood waiting. Tonight the gate is a liminal space, a creaking transit from blandly civilised suburbia into an older place.  Into a dark wood galethrashed and sleetlashed.

Step through into the wood anyway.  Go, now. Go run.  

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The Winter, A Walker Passes

It is deep winter night in the northern hemisphere.  The long enduring dark winter night of the year’s true turning.  Neither stars nor moon in the sky, but pale, swirling wind borne clouds and a familiar chill, a bone deep rawness.  Toward England’s seaward edge, a silent village nestles upon one of those peculiar fenland rises.  Atop the rise the old church, with the yet older yew is a darker shadow on the village bounds. None now recall why, on this one night of the year, in this rational age, a candle burns in a tiny east window.  The candle is always lit though, as the sunlight leaves the apse.

The parson, secure in her faith, rests in her armchair.  Parsonage curtains drawn tight, doors locked, hallway lit, dry wood stacked beside the burning hearthlog.  A glass of fine whisky waits close to her hand.  In the edge of the empty churchyard, a prunings’ bonfire.  A gathering of yew and ivy, haw and holly lit at duskfall by the silently praying sexton. The dead branches smoulder still, white ash on red embers.

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