A very busy week with a lot on at work and things arranged in the evenings, which meant that training was limited this week. I haven't been out walking at all, but did manage to get out for a quick run mid-week.
We had an unwanted visitor in our garage this week. My daughter Hannah had been tidying her bedroom a few months ago and had moved an old toy box into the garage. Kyley had been in the garage to get some wood for the fire and noticed that the toy box lid was slightly ajar. She opened it and noticed that a couple of the cuddly toys had been shredded and it was immediately evident we had acquired a rodent friend! I was quickly dispatched to investigate further and after putting on some gloves I started to sift through the toy box to see if I could 'save' any of the toys. Kyley specifically asked me to make sure I retrieve one of Hannah's favourite toys, a dog pillow, so she could wash it and hopefully it would be good as new.
I found the cuddly dog, picked it up and noticed tearing on the side of it and some of the stuffing had been pulled out. I proceeded slowly and noticed there was a 'bulge' in the toy. You can imagine the response when I realised it was a dead R.A.T.! One toy I did manage to salvage was an old doll that was given to Hannah by my Nana. Unfortunately, Hannah didn't like the doll very much, as she said it gave her 'the creeps'. Being the understanding parents, I thought it would be funny to leave the doll at the top of the stairs, so it would greet Hannah as she went off to bed, and Kyley filmed her reaction. I would post the link, but Hannah would probably kill me.
On Wednesday afternoon I had spent the afternoon at the hospital with Hannah, who was there for an operation on her big toes, which was making it impossible to do her Pointe work for ballet. She opted for the local anesthetic, instead of the general and was very brave.
I work for Royal London 360 and Friday was my work Christmas do at Mount Murray. It was a really good night and a celebration of the excellent year the company has had, especially considering what has been happening in economies around the world and financial markets. There was a band playing called 'The Waltons' who were very good and played a range of music, so seemed to go down well. When the party came to the official end at 1am, I resisted the temptation to join some of my colleagues in the hotel's residents' bar and decided that going home was a good idea.
Yesterday morning there wasn't the usual Saturday 8am walk, so I had a lie in. Instead I had arranged to meet Dave Mackey, Vinny Lynch and Jock Waddington at Ballanette for a run around the course for Boxing Day's SCS Relay event. Dave and Vinny are more experienced cross-country runners than Jock and I, as whilst they turned up in trail/fell running footwear we were innocently sporting our normal trainers. It wasn't long before Jock and I were sliding around on the downhill sections trying to keep up with the other two, whilst trying to avoid injuring ourselves.
The idea of the run was to do a recce prior to the event and Dave was our 'guide' having run the course before. We spent the first half hour jumping over walls and running into dead-ends, with Dave shouting "it's definitely this way" and "I'm sure I remember this part of the course from last year". We eventually picked up the route near to where it follows the edge of the coast, prior to a long, steep uphill section! If I had known beforehand that I would have to run up it twice I would definitely have had second thoughts about taking part!
It was a good way to brush away the cobwebs after the previous night's indulgence, but the worst part was getting battered by the hailstones, as we ran across the exposed Lonan headland. Don't want to sound like a wimp, but getting constantly pelted in the face wasn't pleasant, so hope the weather is better on the day. It looks a good course and I'm actually quite looking forward it now. However, first thing I did when I got home was to get on the Internet and order some suitable trainers for the event. Just have to hope they arrive okay before Xmas and I get an opportunity to at least wear them a couple of times before Boxing Day.
Had a football match in the Veterans League this afternoon for Colby, against Ramsey Youth Centre at the Bowl on the new astroturf pitch. I've played on it a couple of times before and it doesn't 'play' like a typical astroturf pitch i.e. fast and a lot of bounce., but once you've got used to it, it is a good surface to play on and you can wear normal boots with studs. From a 'quality of football' perspective we had our best match of the season - we were solid at the back, passed the ball round well and rarely lost possession. However, we just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net and gave away an easy goal to lose 1 nil. Very frustrating, but will give us a bit of confidence going into our next two matches against Peel and probably the strongest side in the League, St Marys.
Hope to get a couple of decent training sessions in this week and over the next couple of weeks I will start blogging about how I became interested in the Parish Walk and my history in the event.