Monday, 27 August 2012

news of Matthew and Marshall

Matthew has been in Tynemouth for a few days. When he wasn't showing Grandpa how to play crazy golf, he was skimming stones into the sea at The Haven and dining out at Il Forno's (pictured above). The restaurant gave us a customer feedback survey which we duly completed. But it hadn't bargained for the extra questions Matthew slipped in. Mathematical ability of restaurant owner? 4! Loveliness of owner's dog. 5!

Over the bank holiday weekend it's been on the damp side in the north-east. Saturday was a wash-out. But this meant YC didn't see a soul on a training run around the Simonside Hills. Today was also on the soggy side. This didn't bother the birds on the Northumberland Coast. YC saw greenshanks at Hauxley, and a spoonbill and sparrowhawk at Cresswell Pond.

Meanwhile spare a thought for Marshall Crawford. He is convalescing after a spell in hospital. His doctor has ordered him to take it easy and not overdo the excitement. Being the dutiful patient, Marshall is restricting himself to just one view of Birtley News per day. Admirable restraint, and YC wishes him all the best.

Monday, 20 August 2012

a weekend on Zephyr

YC has spent last weekend sailing on Zephyr with Mike Ashton. The British summer finally arrived big time, with the weather being more reminiscent of the tropics than the Norfolk Broads. But a good time was had by all, practicing tidal moorings and slaking the raging maritime thirst (which was considerable in the heat). Haunts visited included the Beauchamp, Rockland St Mary, and Reedham Ferry. YC's "ale of choice" goes to Reedham Gold - a light refreshing beer at 3.6% - perfect for those long hot summer days.

left - Mike helming near Cantley
right - Zephyr at Rockland

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Howtown Fell Race

YC ran the Howtown Fell Race today. This 14 miler is on the fells to the east of Ullswater. It takes in a circuit of Loadpot Hill, High Raise, Place Fell, and Hallin Fell. As it was a new race, the route is not established yet, and runners opted for different route choices at times. The weather was not too hot, with a cooling breeze keeping the temperature bearable. YC finished 16th out of 57 in 2 hours 40 mins. Afterwards Steph Scott (NFR chairlady) suggested a dip in Ullswater which was very refreshing. Compared to the North Sea, Ullswater was positively warm.

This evening YC has been slaking the Raging Fellrunner's Thirst, before cheering on Mo Farah to double Olympic Gold in the 5,000 metres. YC watched the race at home, but that didn't stop him jumping up and down and cheering Mo on. It was a fantastic win.

left - on Wether Hill. Photo from StuStod on the FRA Forum.
right - at the finish with Geoff, Peter & Steph

Monday, 6 August 2012

Alnwick & Avocets with Maria

Maria Kelly (Ruth & Phil's daughter) is visiting the UK from Mexico. Maria is a keen student of Harry Potter, so a trip to Alnwick Castle was just the ticket today. The tour guide helpfully pointed out where the scenes at Hogwarts (broomsticks, whomping willow etc) were all shot. Afterwards there was the chance for a drive down the coast and some birdwatching at Cresswell Pond. Maria's favourite bird was the avocet - the mating pair now have 3 fledglings.

We kept our eyes peeled for grizzly bears and lions - but didn't see any. You need to go to South Africa for the latter. Susan Miller has been taking some more samples for her lion research - check out the picture below. In more international news, Maria's sister Ana Elena has been to New York where she met with her cousin James Rooke (Janet & John Rooke's son).

left - with Maria at Alnwick Castle
right - Maria & Pat by the Coquet with Warkworth Castle in background

left - James & Ana Elena in New York
right - the lion sleeps tonight (allowing Susan to get her sample)