Now, I’m not what you might call a fitness freak. Every time I pass the gym on Upperton Rd and look at the row of people all cycling towards me without getting anywhere, I feel like laughing. Joggers are more liberally-sprinkled on our pavements than lamp-posts, but I think jogging is a form of torture and marathons an extreme form. On the news, both national and local, there are daily reports of outlandish feats of endurance raising money for this or that; but I don’t begin to comprehend why anyone would want to put themselves through something like a triathlon. My leisure time is taken up with reading, watching TV, drinking beer with buddies and listening to music. And when I go on holiday I enjoy a gentle walk; a stroll along the beach, a little light climbing perhaps, a bit of a swim. Nothing too demanding. Yet the last two church holidays I’ve been on have involved rather over-enthusiastic types who think nothing of shooting up a steep mountain the moment they’ve pitched their tent. Such as this one:
which I declined to ascend at that point as I’d spent all night in a freezing tent and had to get up twice to pee.
The beach holiday, years ago, was much nicer. Still on the first morning I wanted nothing more than to laze in the sun and hope my children didn’t drown themselves. But it became clear that a group of these said hardy individuals were planning to latch themselves onto a rope for the purposes of pulling a bus along the promenade! Why they would wish to do such a thing when they could be soaking up the sun, was a mystery to me, and when they had all charged up the shingle yelling ‘huzzah!’ I expressed my view to someone sitting near me. ‘They’re bonkers, aren’t they?’ I said. ‘Why don’t they just sit and enjoy the sun?’
She gave me a look, part-sorrow and part-anger. Turned out she was just putting her trainers on so she, too could dash up the shingle and go pull a bus!! I ask you!
But recently all this determined non-climbing and non-bus-pulling has started to catch up with me. Living where we now do, I need to cycle a fair bit to get around; and so I’m having to supplement my usual diet of fairly gentle yoga and sporadic walking with some good hard chugging up slopes and down again. I’m getting better at it; and the other night when it was cold and wet I actually broke into a spontaneous jog! Whatever next?
Better save me a bus, I guess…
Spring! workshop tomorrow, folks at the Embrace Arts centre. Our workshop starts at 12 so see you there!
Well, and where was I last weekend? I hear you cry. Well, I don’t – but you know what I mean. It went like this: we gathered together from the four corners of the downstairs cupboard a tent which seemed to be missing half its poles. We then borrowed another tent, intrepidly we packed Bernard and Linda’s car with our stuff and set off up the M1 to a campsite near Ashbourne – in Dovedale to be precise. Improbably we arrived in bright sunshine and unwrapped a tent which appeared worryingly small as well as disturbingly single-layered. After that we settled down to drink wine with our fellow-campers.
Alas! the night did not go well at all; our bed developed a slow puncture and rain set in together with a gusty wind which caused the tent to shower me with spray at irregular intervals. I tried pretending I was on a sailing boat for a while, but you can only keep that up for so long, and at seven we gave up the unequal struggle and went over to Jane’s truly stupendous tent-plus-awning-plus gazebo to make tea.
After breakfast Richard arrived with a map, and we all trooped off towards Dovedale. The rain stopped, and it was a stunning walk – although some people were rather too enthusiastic about shinning up peaks for my liking and, though I hadn’t realised it, my blood sugar was dropping. I’d packed for a shortish ramble but it turned into a long-ish route-march, and by mid-afternoon one foot would no longer plant itself in front of another and I all-but collapsed. mark had to go haring off to find Richard who, bless his damp socks, went to fetch his car and gave us a lift back to base.
I felt quite subdued through that evening’s barbeque and we had a rather drastically early night after being shown round an Airdome trailer which some lucky people were camping in:
I was very envious as it was beautiful inside and so dry!
I slept better thanks to the loan of some air-beds, but when we woke to driving rain and freezing wind I had but one thought, which was to get out of there and come home ASAP. Fortunately Bernard and Linda’s thoughts tended the same way so by midday we were home and my feet, along with the rest of me, were soaking in a nice hot bath.
So that was last weekend in the Peak district. Good in parts…
that it’s raining. We planned to go walking in Derbyshire (according to Jane Austen, the most beautiful county in England, and I think she’s right) – so of course it’s bucketing it down. We are dropping kids off in Derby to socialise with their new friend Kelsey (I always think of Kelsey Grammer – what sort of name is that anyway?) and see HPHBP again. We are now activating plan B, which is to drive up the A6 and come across towns such as Cromford, Matlock, Matlock Bath etc. and stop in one of them.
A lot of industrial history in Derbyshire.
Anyway, my walking boots are up at the chalet. Whenever I want something, it will be “up at the chalet”.
Have a good one. Enjoy the rain.