Sunday, 31 July 2011

welcome the child

Oliver Smith was baptised at Holy Saviour's Church today. The baptism took place during the family service at which the music group were making their monthly appearance. Holiday commitments had reduced the music group in number to Chris (Oliver's father) on the flute, Julian on the guitar, and YC on the piano. But the music group still knocked out the numbers with aplomb, including "Welcome the child that comes to be blessed" to the tune of Rock-a-bye baby. YC was honoured to be Oliver's godfather. Reports that YC has already signed up Oliver for life membership of Northumberland Fell Runners and CAMRA are thought to be untrue - but you never know...

left - YC, Oliver, Gillian, Chris
right - sartorial style with college ties to the fore: Rev T (Caius), Chris (Selwyn), and YC (St Peter's)

Monday, 25 July 2011

Holy Island Hobbling

left - Castlehead Rocks
right - beach by Emmanuel Head

Old Cheviot's aged limbs are feeling the strain at the moment. So today he went for a wander around Holy Island. He rose early and was on the island by 8 30, just before the causeway shut. This proved to be a good move - as the island was quiet until the hordes arrived when it re-opened. After a quick visit to the church, he strolled up to Emmanuel Head and on to Snipe Point. Wildlife spotted included goosanders in The Harbour, seals surfacing off the east shore, and numerous gannets off Castlehead Rocks.

Afterwards he discovered a birdwatching hide overlooking Holy Island Sands (accessed from the mainland). If any readers are wondering where all the curlews have gone - OC can reveal that they are resident on HI Sands. The curlews were only outnumbered by the seals which bask on a low-tide sandbank - there were hundreds of them.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Millers in Malawi

YC's cousin Peter Miller and family are in Malawi at the moment. Peter and his wife Alison are doing some voluntary work in the local school and community (including tasks such as looking for missing goats), whilst their children Patrick, Tristan and Natalie have enrolled at the local school for the last few days of term.

You can see some photos and read all about it on their blog here.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

a northern waters cruise

10 days on the fine craft Stella Genesta sailing the northern waters of the Norfolk Broads is a good way to relax. No internet, no phone, no e-mails. Just sailing, crosswords, and beer. Old haunts visited included Horsey Mere, West Somerton, and Hunters Yard (3 times - much to Rev T's delight). Wildlife spotted included grey seals in the sea at Horsey, kingfishers on the Ant, and avocets on Breydon. Beers drunk included Adnams Bitter, Woodeforde's Wherry, and Greene King IPA - strictly for medicinal purposes of course.

left - sailing past Hunsett Mill, River Ant
right - White Moth, wherry

Stella moored at Dilham Staithe

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Chevy Chase 2011

left - all smiles for Louise, Chris, Katherine and Peter
right - with more from Steph, Paul, John and Scott

runners enjoy the sunshine at the finish

YC was back for his annual crack at The Chevy Chase today. This 20 miler is held at Wooler and heads over Cheviot and Hedgehope. Every year he prays for cloud and rain so he can put his local knowledge to good use. And sure enough, every year the sun beats down and it's a glorious day. Some welcome cloud arrived half way through the race, so this stopped matters getting too hot.

YC had a reasonable run. He felt a bit rough between Cheviot and Hedgehope, but staged a recovery later on and felt strong on the run-in. He ran most of the way in the enjoyable company of Dave Wiseman and Mike Telfer (both NFR).

Eryri (Welsh running club - it's the Welsh name for Snowdon) turned up in force this year. They provided the winner in Matt Roberts with several other of their runners close behind. Sarah Lister from Durham Fell Runners was first lady. NFR was there in force - with probably over 30 runners - and were led home by Gary Jones with Charlie Stead and Phil Sanderson not far behind. Claire and her team at Wooler Running Club did an excellent job as always organising the race.

After all that running, YC is off to Norfolk for some training on beer and sailing on the fine craft Stella Genesta. He's just had his tea...