Sunday, 22 April 2012

St George's Day

Monday 23 April is St George's Day.  YC got into the mood with an evensong for St George at St Augustin's church today.  In the words of Rev T: "very little is known about St George".  What is known is that he was a Roman soldier who was martyred for his faith in the third century in modern day Palestine.  The other stuff - that he killed a dragon to defend a town and a fair maiden - came along later when he was adopted by the crusaders and then England as a patron saint.  He was firmly embedded in the nation's sympathies in Elizabethan times - "Cry God for Harry, England, and St George" said Henry V (according to Shakespeare) at the battle of Agincourt.

St George was martyred - but do readers actually know what this means?  YC assumed it meant someone who was killed for their faith.  But he learned tonight that martyr comes from the Greek word martus meaning "witness".  So St George can be an example to us all as a witness to his Christian faith.  Crumbs.  It's time to start singing along to your favourite school hymn (click here):

When a knight won his spurs in the stories of old,
He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold.
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand,
For God and for valour he rode through the land.

Monday, 16 April 2012

sailing and fellracing

YC has just returned from an enjoyable week sailing on the fine craft Mimosa on the Broads. The weather varied from bracing (frost on the decks overnight), wet (Easter Monday had Norfolk's monthly rain in one day), to sunny (hurrah). Haunts visited included Geldeston, Thorpe, and Oooolton. Bird seen included numerous marsh harriers, avocets, and kingfishers. Beers drunk were Adnams, Greene King IPA, and Ferryman Bitter (to name but a few). After a week of training on beer, YC ran the Gisborough Moors race. This 12 miler takes in Captain Cook's Monument and Roseberry Topping. The unsettled weather continued - warm sunshine followed by a snow shower to end the race.

left - Mimosa at Geldeston Locks
right - moored at Brundall Church Fen

left - Lois & Andy enjoying some rare sunshine on the Waveney
right - Puck in the background near Haddiscoe

running off the beer at Gisborough Moors
photo courtesy of Dave Aspin
more sailing photos here

lion darting adventure

For those looking to inject a little more dar(t)ing excitement into their lives, YC recommends a spot of lion darting in Tembe, South Africa. His cousin Susan Miller has been doing just this. You can read some edited highlights here.

left - the intended targets inspecting the dart
right - the darts that provide biopsies for the lion research that Susan is doing

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Allendale Challenge, pintails and a crane

YC was back for another crack at the Allendale Challenge yesterday. It's a 25 mile event around the moors of Allendale. After the recent dry spell, the Pennine bogs were a shadow of their usual selves and the running was fast. At least it should have been, but YC did not feel on "top form" and gradually wilted as the race went on. He finished in just over 4 hours (equalling last year's time) but ruing what "might have been". Still readers will be relieved to hear that he managed to slake the raging fellrunner's thirst with a half of Cold Fell IPA from Brampton Brewery in the Golden Lion afterwards, followed by a couple of Deuchars when he was back in Tynemouth - so he musn't grumble.

Today YC relaxed with some birdwatching on the Northumberland coast. He added a couple of ticks to his bird list - a pair of pintail ducks were at Druridge ponds, whilst a common crane was in the fields amongst some whooper swans at Warkworth Lane near Cresswell pond. And now the RBWT needs slaking...