Friday, 25 December 2015

A Christmas sunrise swim

As reported in The Guardian.  Click on this link and scroll down to the second photo.

Mr & Mrs Rev T enjoy their customary morning swim.  Don't all rush at once to join them tomorrow!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Christmas round up

Your Correspondent continues his part-time working life, spending time to go fellrunning, sailing, and sampling the odd half or two of real ale (of which the most recently discovered venue is The Station House micropub in Durham - highly recommended).  

"So what's new?" he hears readers cry.  Well something is new:  YC got married.  Crumbs! 

YC has moved to Durham and is now living with his wife Emma (aka Mrs OC), a fellow member of Northumberland Fell Runners.  Birtley News did carry a report for those who missed the big event.  More details available on request.

For those who still have the strength to read on after this news, there's also reports of Emma Duff's priesting, another family wedding, and a picture of James and family skiing.

In the meantime, Happy Advent and Happy Christmas when it comes.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given,
And the government shall be upon His shoulder;
And his name shall be called:
Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

St Andrews Day Send Off

Nina is off to St Andrews in the new year for a new job.  So she celebrated the event with an impromptu gathering in Percy Gardens.  As there was oat cakes & salmon, single malt whisky, and Deuchars (hurrah!), YC thought it was politic to attend.  And a very good decision that was too, as the occasion was most convivial.  Nina is pictured below with Mrs OC.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Just Married

Mr & Mrs OC with their friends from NFR.  Wedding cake by Julia.  Photo from Steph. Marriage in St John's Church Durham by Nicky.  Reception at The Garden House.  Saturday 7th November - a great day!  

Friday, 6 November 2015

NFR's finest

BN has been a bit quiet recently.  YC has been "a bit busy".  It's the big day tomorrow!

As Mr & Mrs OC met via Northumberland Fell Runners, here's a few photos of NFR's finest. The ladies (including Mrs OC) were taken at the national fell running relays where NFR ladies were 6th V40 team.  The photo of OC's mountain marathon partner Paul Hainsworth was on the recent OMM in Scotland.  Phil Green is pictured on the Simonside Cairns race.  The runner descending Scafell Pike on the Old County Tops is John Telfer.

Monday, 5 October 2015

A wedding, a haircut, and a fellrace (not on the same day)

Congratulations to Michael & Annemarie Walker who were married at St James' Church, Poole on Saturday 26th September.  It was a beautiful day, and several of the guests warmed up for the event with a dip in the English Channel (it's warmer than the North Sea at Tynemouth).  Photos of the happy couple plus the assembled Duff family are shown below.

In other news, Emma Duff is raising sponsorship by shaving her hair.  Her church youth group thought it was a great idea, Emma wasn't so convinced but is now coming round to it.  There's a photo of Emma below (she is wearing the dog collar).  Emma is raising funds for Macmillan and The Vine Cafe, Howdon (click on the links to sponsor her).

In fellrunning news, YC ran in the Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay at the weekend for NFR.   The weather was fine with high clouds and a good time was had by all.  NFR was never in danger of troubling the leaders, unlike Dark Peak Vets who finished 14th overall and 1st vets team.  Mike Nolan (buddy of Mrs OC) was running for DP Vets.  Here he is finishing leg 1.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Thropton Show and a sofa to relax on

YC ran the Thropton Show on Saturday.   This 6.5 miler heads up and down Simonside and was a counter in the NFR championship races.  It was a warm day under blue skies.  YC hung on to Phil Green's coat-tails on the climb, which was a wise move as Phil knew the way through the trees.  On the return leg, YC managed to pull clear on the steep descent off the crags, and finished in 19th place overall.  Roll on the next leg of the NFR champs - The Tour of Pendle in November.  

Back in Durham, YC's old sofa has made it into the back room courtesy of Tynemouth Handmade Furniture (Chris Smith's business whose van the sofa neatly fitted into).  It's perfect for watching the birdlife on the feeders in the back garden.  Visitors to date include nuthatches, bullfinches, and blue tits.

snazzy pyjamas!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Weasdale Horseshoe

YC ran the Weasdale Horseshoe yesterday.  This 8.5 mile fell race is in the Howgills near Kirkby Stephen.  It's a beautiful grassy route that heads over the tops of Hooksey, Randy Gill Top and Green Bell, and packs in 2,000 ft of climbing.  The forecast rain did not arrive, and conditions were good with just a small amount of cloud on the tops.  YC made it round in 1 hour 14 mins to finish 17th out of 55 runners, and felt strong throughout.  He is clearly improving under the good influence of his new training coach (Mrs OC).
up the hill on the right, down the hill on the left....
a number to please all fans of Stella Genesta

Monday, 10 August 2015

Taxi to Poland, via The Broads!

YC has been sailing with Chris & Toby Smith on the fine craft Stella Genesta.   On a 3 day visit, they sailed around Oulton Broad and had a trip to Burgh St Peter.  Much fun was had by all, with Toby even finding time to fall in from the pontoons in Somerleyton marina once the boat was safely moored.    Here's a picture of Toby at the helm sailing down Oulton Dyke.

Over in Poland, James & co have been on a river taxi on the Wisla river.  Health and safety hasn't made it over there yet, so the children were let loose behind the wheel.  Here's Matthew charge taking charge.

Monday, 20 July 2015

wedding news

Are readers sitting down?  Because if they haven't heard the news, they had better be.

Your Correspondent is getting married.  He popped the question to Mrs OC (Emma B)  on holiday on the Isle of Man.  He is delighted to report that she said yes.  YC is moving to Durham to live with Emma.   The plan is for a small church wedding in the autumn.  As more than one reader has commented - how life changes in a short space of time.

Here's a photo of Emma on the Isle of Man, plus a photo from Finbarrs restaurant where we went out for a celebratory meal with Emma's son Cameron.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

a priesting and a fellrace (not at the same time)

Congratulations to Emma Duff who was ordained a priest on Sunday at Newcastle Cathedral.  She was supported by folk from her parish of Willington plus family and friends from Holy Saviour's. Afterwards there was a jolly lunch at The Church of The Good Shepherd, Battle Hill.  Emma is pictured below with her parish priest Sue, with a gift of a communion set.  Also shown are some of the supporting cast, including Euan inconspicuously dressed in his diocesan chancellor robes.  Photos courtesy of Mrs OC.

In other news, YC ran the Chevy Chase on Saturday, and was delighted to finish 4th.  Some fitness courtesy of Mrs OC helped, as did many of the competitors getting lost in the mist.  YC had his tea afterwards, followed by a pleasant stroll on the beach with Mrs OC.  And when you've had your tea...

Monday, 29 June 2015

Scott Gibson Bob Graham Round success

Congratulations to Scott Gibson who successfully completed the Bob Graham Round on Saturday in the fantastic time of 19 hours and 25 minutes.  This epic 42 peak challenge starts and finishes at The Moot Hall in Keswick.   In between there is the minor matter of the equivalent of 2.5 marathons with an ascent of Mount Everest thrown in for good measure.    The round has to be completed in less than 24 hours.

Scott was blessed with good weather all day, with only a small amount of clag on leg 4. Your Correspondent, Phil Green & Paul Hainsworth supported Scott on leg 1, with a 4 am departure over Skiddaw, Great Calva and Blencathra.  After that NFR & friends plus Scott's family saw him round the next 4 legs in fine style.  There was no slacking at the end: NFR ladies Steph & Katherine cranked out the 7 minute miles on the road to push him under the 19:30 mark.  It all ended in celebratory style at 2325 in Keswick Market Place.  A grand day all round!

Scott leads the way descending Great Calva
Scott & Sarah at the finish

Monday, 15 June 2015

fellrunning, with a catchy tune to keep you going

YC took advantage of a cool clear day in the Lakes to recce leg 1 of the Bob Graham Round.  This heads over Skiddaw, Great Calva, and Blencathra.   As an added bonus, he climbed Lonscale Fell (see photo below) via the NW ridge, disturbing a peregrine falcon in the process.   Running into Threlkeld at the end, he passed a garage decked out with a model railway.   Check it out below all you model railway enthusiasts.

On Sunday, Mr & Mrs OC attended mass at St Cuthbert's, Durham where they learned a new song - Bring Forth the Kingdom.  Check it out - it's a cracker.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Old County Tops 2015

It's been a while, but Old Cheviot finally felt fit enough to tackle this epic fellrace again.   It's a mere 37 miles, and takes in the high points of the old counties of Westmorland (Helvellyn), Cumberland (Scafell Pike), and Lancashire (Coniston Old Man).  OC ran round with Mrs OC who took all the climbing firmly in her stride, encouraging OC with offers of pints of Sam Smiths OBB.  The encouragement duly worked, and we finished in 9 hours 22 minutes before heading back to The Coplitts Hotel for a couple of pints of the necessary.

Here are some photos taken at the finish in Great Langdale, plus the newly acquired designer T-shirt.

Just a couple of miles to go.  Photo from Kevin Bray

Monday, 11 May 2015

Coz & Kevin's wedding

Congratulations to Coz Cummings and Kevin Mackay who were married on Saturday at Armathwaite Hall (Lake District).  YC knows Coz through running the Coniston 14 years back and then walking in the Lakes since.  The weather perked up allowing the guests to sip champagne in the sunshine, and it was good to catch up with friends (Alex, Helen, Lorna, and Tim).   YC was extremely fortunate to be chauffeur driven to the wedding by Mrs OC.  So he was able to indulge in the odd glass or two of champagne (strictly for quality control purposes, readers must stand).  

The interesting fact for the day was that Coz's mother Brenda witnessed Roger Bannister break the 4 minute mile at Ifley Road, Oxford in 1954. 

surprise guest of the day
Brenda & Bill

Monday, 20 April 2015

name those hills

Sharp-eyed readers will have spotted that BN has a new banner photo.  YC wonders if readers can name the hills in question?

Hint - the photo was taken on the first hill in The Anniversary Waltz fell race.  YC ran this on Saturday in beautiful conditions.  11.5 Lakeland miles sped past in 2 hours 8 mins of glorious fellrunning.

Mrs OC was also out on the fells, running in the longer Teenager with Altitude race.  She excelled herself - finishing first lady and 18th overall.  Testimony indeed to what a few halves of real ale can do for you.

Here is the full version of the photo.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Katie & Paul's wedding

Congratulations to Katie Walker and Paul Carr who were married on Saturday at The White Church, Lytham St Annes.  Katie is YC's cousin.  Here are a couple of photos of the happy couple plus the assembled family.  The sunshine came out on the day - which was fortunate as it was sleeting on the Sunday.  The wedding was followed by a reception at The Clifton Arms.  YC even had time, whisper it quietly, to slope off for a quick pint at The Taps public house nearby - which rounded off an excellent day.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Cleveland Survival - 26 miles (plus some)

OC and Mrs OC ran this at the weekend.  It's a 26 mile challenge event on the North Yorkshire Moors.  OC confesses to mis-marking a checkpoint resulting in a 2 mile detour early on.  Fortunately Mrs OC was endlessly patient, and simply ran harder, pulling OC round the final few miles.  We finished in 6 hours (including the detour).  A good time was had by all.  A commemorative mug allowed for post-race tea, followed by something rather stronger in The Colpitts pub afterwards.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

what (not) to wear and what to drink

When on a recce of leg 1 of the Bob Graham Round, YC recommends wearing a fetching Chevy Chase buff with matching helly hanson top.  They provide perfect running gear for a jog over the snow-topped summits of Skiddaw and Blencathra.  And, of course, they are the height of fashion.  

For those seeking refreshment, Mrs OC recommends the refreshing waters of the Caldew - perfect for quenching the raging fellrunner's thirst.  Though rumours have it that there are stronger brews available for such a task...

Sunday, 8 March 2015

a tale of 2 fell races

On Saturday - the Flower Scar Fell Race at Todmorden in the Calder Valley.  An English Championship 5 mile race in which Mrs OC was flying the flag for Northumberland Fell Runners.  YC was official supporter, and managed an amble up Flower Scar hill.  Mrs OC ran appreciably harder - finishing 17th overall in the ladies' race and 2nd lady vet.  

On Sunday - the Brough Law fell race.  Another 5 miler in the Ingram Valley in the beautiful Cheviots.  YC and Chris Smith ran this one and endeavoured to follow in Mrs OC's slipstream (more training needed chaps....)  The weather was on the brisk side with a chilly breeze, but a good time was had by all at this early season race.  And now, readers will be relieved to learn, YC has had his tea...
Mrs OC climbing hard on Saturday
the view at Brough Law by Chris Smith

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Tribune Matthew brings you the news

There is a new addition to the Roman Senate.  Step forward: Tribune Matthew.  Here he is pictured in Rome.  On being elected to his post, Tribune Matthew said: "Ave.  Veni vidi, legi BN." which roughly translates as "Hail.  I came, I saw, I read Birtley News."  To which, YC can only add - "audi audi!" [hear hear].

Tribune Matthew also reports on a recent sighting on the North Yorkshire Moors.  Namely an elderly fellrunner known as Old Cheviot, gamely struggling up the fells, feeling every year of his aged bones.  And what's more, OC was doing his best to keep up with the swift lady fellrunner in front - Mrs Old Cheviot no less.    Apparently the two were spotted reccing the route of the 3 Tops fell race, including Roseberry Topping.  

Tribune Matthew noted that the recce was grand way to work up a thirst.  Having had their tea, OC & Mrs OC took in Evensong at Durham Cathedral, before thirsting after righteousness in a nearby licensed premise.  The Colpitts Hotel was the find of the day.  A basic welcoming pub selling Sam Smiths Bitter at only £1.80/pint.  Jubilate!

Tribune Matthew
with Mrs OC (aka Emma) on Roseberry Topping

Sunday, 8 February 2015

all our yesterdays

YC thought readers might like this old photo.  It was supplied by Yvonne Lambert and taken at Berwick Rowing Regatta in 1969.  It features a youthful Mr & Mrs Rev T.  And the young chap in the pram?  It's an even more youthful YC - too young to eat ice creams and even too young for beer!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Winter's here

And it's definitely chilly in Northumberland.  Here's a photo that YC took today on a jog around the hills in the Ingram valley.  But it's colder in Poland.   James & co have been skiing for the day.  Here they are on the slopes.  Can readers spot the similarity between the junior skier at the forefront and the (ever so slightly) older skier at the back?  They could be father and son.

To add to all the excitement, it's Rev T's birthday.  75 years young.  He celebrated with the odd pint (or two) in the Tynemouth Lodge with his brothers and YC.  Photo below.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

more congratulations

This time to Susan Miller and Vince who are to be married in Cape Town in December.  They announced the news to the assembled Miller family on the family get together in Hawaii.  Here's a photo of some of Susan's nephews and nieces enjoying the beach.  A jolly time is clearly being had by all.  YC has it on strong authority that it was just a tad warmer than Tynemouth.

Left - "Auntie Susan urges desperate measures to stop the next generation overtaking her in height."
Susan & Vince