Cute butterflies and pollinating insects most welcome : rabbits and deer, remember you are edible!


Green Minds, the therapeutic gardening project, continues to develop slowly but will need to speed up considerably now the growing season has arrived. The rabbit proof fence is almost fully intact and I am hoping other wildlife will not be a problem. I went out in the field with Rupert the dalmatian and surprised two roe deer. Rupert gave chase to one and I saw the deer leap over a 1.3m fence with ease so if they see something really delicious in my little compound it won’t be difficult for them to get in. I’m thinking about venison at the moment.,


Since this pic was taken I’ve acquired several more tables and planted a lot of seeds. I’ve got a lot of digging to do both inside and outside the polytunnel. I’ll also need to install sliding doors at the entrance where you can currently see green netting. We had some very strong gales last week and the net openings could not cope with it.

Wimpole estate parkrun last weekend.Blue skies, sunshine and warm enough for me to wear shorts and long sleeved top. It’s one loop over park land and includes a short, steep hill, a run along the lake side and a route which takes you to the front of the big Hall and down the main drive. Trail shoes needed. I usually walk up the hill, striding as strongly as I can. This time I jogged up which wasn’t any quicker, really, and took me longer to recover at the top. This is followed by a flat 400 metes before a descent to lake level and a view of the folly on the far side. Sometimes you need to run close to large cows with dismayingly sharp curved horns. This requires a degree of bravery. Other runners refer to us as possessing “Wimpole courage” and I accept the compliment. One can gradually acquire this unique form of courage by acclimatising to danger by running past sheep which are also thick on the ground at Wimpole. This stage is known as  Wooly Thinking.

I met an old running club friend whom I hadn’t seen for some time while I waited  for Lorna to come in.  After a fine coffee with running chums, I took myself off to the pre-loved book shop where crazy people actually donate their unwanted books, an oxymoron if ever I heard one. I limited myself to two essential purchases.

Today, I went for a short 2 mile run and tomorrow, if I get back from East Londinium in time, I’ll go road running with the club.


Janathon Day 25 Rupert knows the score


A later run this evening and also a leisurely one since I ran on a fairly full stomach. I travelled to East Londinium and back today and nearly decided to count Rupert the dog’s walk as my Janathon distance. But two miles was manageable even after I had eaten.

I’ve posted this pic before. Rupert does like his football.

Janathon Day 23 Can you take me seriously?


Rupert considers his next move. Actually this pic was taken last year, or even the year before, when it was particularly frosty. He struck a similar pose this morning but there was no frost  and I didn’t think it worthy of a picture. He’s still sulking. I’m thinking of making an appointment with the vet. Is narcissism in a dog treatable?

Cambridge parkrun this morning. Muddy and mild. I’ve done the last four Cambridge parkruns within four seconds of each other and two of them in identical times. I’ve noticed similar patterns before. I don’t look at my watch during the run and always run as fast as I can. Conclusion? Week to week I am very consistent or rather I have periods of consistency. At the present time I am consistently running two minutes slower than in October last year, just before I fell in a half marathon and injured my thigh. Injury is all cleared up and I feel I am flying. Conclusion? The nature of time has changed. It’s obviously speeded up!

Still, I enjoyed the run and had a nice cup of coffee with Eric and Kerry. The women were surprisingly absent so we were able to endlessly discuss football, darts, fast cars, technology and do a bit of online gambling on our smart phones. We also took turns to read off our running stats from Strava, Garmins and Fitbitty things. And then we went to the pub and sank a number of pints. No, I’m making this up. I just had coffee with Eric and Kerry and we chatted about running stuff. An enjoyable morning.


Janathon Day 20 The “Gate Keeper”

IMG_20160119_082057978 Rupert is unimpressed by the scary “shadow man” manifestation which appears fleetingly then disappears. That’s the nature of shadows, man! He is the “Gate Keeper.” If “shadow man” is present, you may pass through the “gate,” to gain entrance to the next field, or rather “field”. If you don’t see him, DO NOT PASS THROUGH THE GATE. Rather worrisome, innit! But not as worrisome as Sarah Palin and Donald Trump on the same platform.

After my 10 mile run yesterday, I felt rather good ie tired but relaxed and appreciative of an evening rest. I felt an impulse to have another long run today and had to resist it. I ran a couple of miles only just before dusk.

Janathon Day 19 Something like winter


Hard frost this morning, around -5C or -6C. Brrrrrrrrrr!



No, this isn’t Siberia or the frozen Alaskan wastes, it’s Worts Meadow in rural Cambridgeshire but there are undeniable similarities. All three locations are pretty chilly and require the correct standard of clothing and protection to survive the hazardous environment. Luckily I made it home unscathed, accompanied by Rupert the dalmatian (he didn’t fare so well. The intense cold caused a couple of his spots to fall off).

I had previously decided not to run with the club tonight (a planned fartlek around Cambridge) and instead do a long run by the river. The temperature was one or two degrees above zero and I wore my heaviest cycling jacket to keep the cold at bay. In the end I ran a bit further than I anticipated and did just over 10 miles. I came across surprising number of runners of all ages( and the obligatory walkers cluttering up the tow path).

Janathon total so far around 69 miles (running).

Janathon Day 17 At least the dog’s warm


We made Rupert cosy last night. Instead of shrugging off the blanket, he fell asleep immediately. He was still asleep in this position when I brought him a nice cup of tea at 7 am this morning. He likes his soft toys as well and often carries them around with him.

The temperature hovered around 3-4c when I went for an afternoon run. I ran through an adjacent village and picked up the river Cam at a different point. Saw plenty of other runners and some odd people just sauntering (okay, walking). I ran just over eight miles and feel better for doing a longer distance. I could have carried on quite easily but you can’t spend your life running, can you? Can you


Alive and Running February 3 2015

DSC_0432 It snowed yesterday evening, not for very long, but enough to give a covering which lasted until today. These teasels were very happy with their little white hats. They tittered as I passed by with Rupert the dalmatian.

 It was a beautiful, snowy, sunlit morning but as a result of the snow and the continuing low temperatures, the club, which meets at the Cambridge University athletics track, cancelled tonight’s track and road sessions. I haven’t run since the end of Janathon so, as there was no club run, I went for a 2 mile jaunt locally. I’m now ready to return to fitness following my uncool fall in front of the club elite (after I failed to see a curb that no-one had stumbled over for the last two centuries). The big bruise on my bottom is fading and my pride is undergoing active restoration. I’ll get used to my nickname Trippy.

Cambridge half marathon is coming up on March 8th and long runs need to be run soon. I’ll try an hour or 75 minutes tomorrow, some of it along the river Cam, and see how it goes.


 I sauntered into Cambridge city centre on Sunday, primarily to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum and to take some pictures. This dinosaur skeleton sculpture is a recent outside addition to the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences.

DSC_0335 The Fitzwilliam Museum. Only a partial image of a wonderful building. Too much traffic passing. The lower picture looks out from one of the flanking lions at one end of the museum.

DSC_0352 My latest wheeze is to start a photographic blog of Cambridge and its environs. It’s a privilege to walk around old Cambridge and there’s always new aspects to record. An occasional photographic blog will find a home for these images.


Aliveandrunning January 22 2015 Janathon Day 22

WP_20140612_013 The Mathematical Bridge which connects the two parts of Queens College, Cambridge. I’m including this picture because it’s a reminder of summer which I’m looking forward to. I didn’t take out a punt last year but I will this year when the warm weather arrives. It’s great fun even if you can’t steer and even more enjoyable if you can. You steer by learning to drag the pole in the water not by trying to correct direction by lifting the pole out and then pushing off again. When you knock into another punt, it’s surprisingly easy to lose your balance when you’re standing up, particularly if you haven’t braced yourself.

Following falling over 2 days ago, my bruised bum continues to heal slowly and I decided not to try to run today. I did take Rupert the dalmatian for a 2 mile walk so I’m counting that. I’ll try a little trot tomorrow and see how it goes.


Aliveandrunning January 20 2015 Janathon Day 20

WP_20150120_006 A cold morning but not as cold as yesterday when my mouth froze shut. This is the Wise Old Bench of Bourne Wood where I walk Rupert the dalmatian. It’s reputed to infuse wisdom in anyone who sits on it for more than five minutes. Why is no-one sitting on it? Everyone in the village has already sat on it and we all have maximum wisdom (except UKIP sympathisers who are not susceptible to benign influences).

Possibly, I need a top up. Tonight I went running with the club after I failed to negotiate a low curb at the track and fell flat on the floor. I landed on my bum quite hard. It felt a little sore and I judged it fine to carry on. We did a pyramid on a new route around Cambridge roads, alleys and green spaces which was experimental and required bravado because it was very poorly lit. This went well as did the warm down exercises but after a 20 minute car journey my bum felt painful and I walked stiffly. Ms Alive and Running was not pleased with my heroism and said something along the lines of “You can be such a ******* idiot sometimes.” Guilty as charged.

About 5 miles in all. Let’s hope I can run tomorrow.

Aliveandrunning January 10 2015 Janathon Day 10

WP_20150110_001 Cambridge parkrun cancelled! When I ventured outside around 7.30 am I didn’t think it was particularly windy. When I took Rupert the dalmatian for a quick 10 minute walk in the open field, I revised my opinion. It was very windy but strangely mild. Around 8 am a parkrun insider texted that the Rangers at Milton Country Park had deemed the strong winds too hazardous and were closing the park at least until 11.30 am.

At that point a small but perfect drama unfolded. Our running pal Sue had passed through our village on route to another adjacent village taking her daughters to an activity when she saw our fastest running chum Kerry walking his bike on the road. Stopping, it emerged that he had been blown into one of the substantial drainage ditches. A motorist had stopped and pulled him and his bike out. He was shaken up but not obviously hurt and managed to get to our cottage without further incident.

Arch running rivals Mike and Sue ran to a local farm cafe where we all planned to meet up. I decided to run to the farm, a distance of under 2 miles and Ms Alive and Running took Kerry in the car. I battled against a very strong headwind but got to the cafe first. Not opened yet and no-one had arrived so I went for a little jog around the small raised reservoir in the picture. Immediately it started to rain hard and then hail. I was quickly soaked through. Ms Alive and Running dropped Kerry at the cafe and went to collect Mike and Sue who were cowering under branches half a mile away.

After coffee and some eats, I ran back home.The wind I assumed would help me on return had changed direction and I was again battling a fierce head wind. The temperature also dropped so I felt cold as well as damp. Thank you very much Greek weather gods! Anymore malarkey like this and I’ll transfer my allegiance to the Egyptians.