Walking and running in Wales. It’s different to Cambridge!

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The Gower coast, South Wales. Lovely four night break. Lots of walking along the coast. Since this is the UK, two and a half days of good weather, one and a half days of poor weather. This combination was more than enough to enjoy ourselves and take part in Swansea parkrun.

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At Rhossili we came across a film shoot for Britannia, to be shown on Sky Atlantic at sometime in the future. It’s always interesting when you can gawp at proceedings as a a member of the public and get a little insight into how films are made and see how labour and equipment intensive they are. Note to self : how hard can film directing be? Order the appropriate book on Amazon (or better still, support a local book shop).

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Here’s the Bank Statement, a Wetherspoon’s pub in Swansea where we had three meals. Good value, wide range of clientele and classic architecture. We like the people and atmosphere. Pretentious, it’s not!

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One thing we did notice. Commemorative benches are common but at some places along the Gower coast there are shoals of them in close proximity. So many, sometimes, that there probably aren’t enough people to sit on them even in fine weather.

Just over 200 people took part in Swansea parkrun. A flat course adjacent to the sea, nicely organised and low key. We had a good run, the rain held off and then we went back to our hotel for breakfast. Thanks Swansea!

 

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Mass protest, a run and a new hero

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No parkrun for us last Saturday. We went down to London and took part in the anti Brexit march from Park Lane to Parliament Square. It’s always impressive when tens of thousands turn out on principle for a cause that doesn’t include hatred or fear of specific groups. British membership of the EUmay be a lost cause but the run up to the referendum revealed many ugly perspectives -xenophobia, bigotry, utter stupidity, credulousness, easy susceptibility to right wing opinion and media, licence to abuse and scapegoat particular groups and hostility to change. I could go on. Consequently, I’m left with an awareness that large sections of the population think and act very differently from me and hold opinions and values diametrically opposed to my own. Oh dear! What can one do? Go for a run, I suppose!

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The view from Westminster bridge, up river, featuring a pile of box buildings and a cylinder like high rise. If you look carefully, you can spot a few trees. Obviously architects won cart loads of awards. The scale of modern design can be very impressive, particularly in a setting on a wide river but its got no soul and no real substance. It is just a jumble of conventional shapes, configued to suggest they occupy a hill and disconnected from its surroundings. What I do enjoy is modern buildings cheek to cheek with old buildings, modern architecture next to little historic alleyways. Like in Blade Runner.

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Me amongst the women. We had just completed a 10k trail run. I’m wearing the tee shirt from the finisher’s goody bag having flung off my canary yellow top. It was warm and sunny and the colour yellow attracted hundreds of little flying pollen beetles to settle on me and fly around my head. I’ve made this mistake before and I’ll probably make it again. I ran to about 90% capacity (my new normal) and felt more comfortable with this level of exertion. A lovely run with some lovely people.

Kenneth Clarke, Conservative “big beast” and my current hero of the day. He was caught on a live Sky microphone making unguarded comments about fellow evil Tories vying for leadership of the party and instant Prime Ministership. He described Gove as “wild” and capable of starting wars with three countries, another contender Andrea Leadsum, who supported Brexit, as a secret remainer and Theresa May, present Home Secretary and favorite to win as “a bloody difficult woman.” Hilarious!