Sunday, 19 November 2017

More low light, shadows and colour.

Peter was off to do his 40 miler this morning. (I've just got a text. He says he was 11th overall and 1st old bloke.) There was going to be sun, but only in the morning, so I thought I'd stay in town. The traffic was getting silly yesterday, heading onto the bypass and then on the turn off for Kinnaird Park. I guess the Christmas Shopping thing has started. 

The lovely low sun was coming through the windows and hitting our race tat, (you know, plastic cups and what-not). The blobs of light on the wall are considerably more tasteful than the things they are reflected from.

Eventually I got out the house and headed for the Water of Leith. I had an ambitious plan with built-in flexibility. I was thinking I could go up the Water of Leith and then hook onto the 7 hills route and go up Corstorphine Hill. If I was feeling super-duper at this point I could have gone down the other side and through Barnton, down to Cramond and then back that way. I think that would have been about 15-17 miles.


The section of the Water of Leith that goes past Murrayfield is open again. It's the first time I've been up that way. It was nice not to have to cut through back streets. There are still at least a couple of blocked sections though; at the Dean Village and then again on the stretch past the skate park. 

Corstorphine Hill was looking as pretty as last time we were up. I was reassessing my ambitions at this point. I was kind of thirsty but couldn't be bothered with going to shops and all that. I thought I could cut back down past Ravelston Dykes and go home that way.


So in the end it was a 12 mile run, which was good enough. No pictures after the Dean Village and it wasn't nearly as good once I was back in amongst the Gluhwein swigging populace clogging up the streets.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Low winter sun, eating scones, drinking coffee and biting wind.

It was all about the low winter light today - well that and the new shoes - and trying not to overdo it before Peter's ultra tomorrow - it was about that too. I guess it was about a few things.

First off it was about getting out the house. Not an easy thing. It looked bright out there, but it was cold. I work a long, long day on a Friday and I'm fuzzy on a Saturday morning. It doesn't help that we've been binge watching Hannibal on Netflix. It has descended from being kind of interesting to utter horse-shit. But we've invested so much time. I heard a good phrase yesterday, it's the sunk-cost trap. We can never get the time back we've spent watching that series so we soldier on...

There's only one to go. Hannibal Lecter the psychopath and his counter-part Will Graham with his 'empathy disorder' are spending a lot of time in darkened rooms staring into each other's eyes. It's got a kind of homoerotic vibe. All the women in it are idiots. Sadly that seems to be a bit of a theme on the telly. But there's just one to go and once it's over we'll have to figure out what to watch next. Mindhunter was great. Then we watched 'Travelers' which became unwatchable. We watched one episode of 'My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' out of desperation, and to be fair it had some admirable quirks. But neither of us can do musicals. Just too clunky. Anyway, I digress.

We dillied and dallied this morning and then when we finally got down to the car, Peter realised he'd forgotten his Suunto and had to run back to get it - which actually worked out just great as I had a new pair of Hokas on order and they arrived. He slung them in the back of the car so I could try them out today. Sadly I'd already picked out my outfit, so I may have clashed a bit. The colour of my shoes is not-so-subtle, but what they have going for them is they are Clifton 3s which are the best shoes I've had in ages, and perhaps because of their full-on colouring, I managed to get them off t'internet for £70. Bargain.

We're adjusting slowly to the loss of Falkos. What we have found out is this;
1. The Village Coffee house coffee is really good but their scones are expensive. 
2. The Gannet's Deli does better scones and they're less expensive but their coffee isn't as good and they aren't open on a Sunday. 

It being Saturday we sent Peter to the Gannet's Deli for coffee and scones. Odd use of the word 'we'. Do you think I could get him to go to both the Gannet's Deli and the Village Coffee House?

"What's wrong with your legs?" I hear you ask. The thing is, I have to sit in the driver's seat and look out the window.

This is what I saw......amazing cloud formations. And the crows were playing about. It was peaceful. And I had to put on my new lemon shoes.

  And then we were off. The light was amazing but the wind was cutting and I could hardly bear to stop. When we got down to the beach, a glance in the wrong direction meant an eye full of sand. It just wasn't lingering weather.

Alien messages.

The cold wind and the bright sun were very uplifting though and we had to rein it in. Makes no sense for Peter to do a big run before running 40 in the Tweed whatever Ultra tomorrow, but being kind of excited about it he was tempted. Classic schoolboy error. I could have done more too but called it. I can do more tomorrow. But it probably won't be so nice.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

4 days in November.

I've got all these photos stacking up but haven't been in the mood to say anything about them, so it's going to be an omnibus edition I'm afraid.

Last Thursday I was walking home from Shandwick Place just as the sun was setting and the light was really lovely. I happened to have my camera with me so I took some photos, but, disappointingly, they just didn't capture the magic. So I turned to the magic of Photoshop to ramp them up a bit. I don't think ramp up is quite the phrase actually. Anyway, whatever. Photoshop filter world has an addictive quality and it's hard to enjoy an ordinary good image once you've been in there blowing your mind with crazy colour and mind-blowing effects.

You see, you start with a little distortion as a kind of gateway drug and before you know it....

This kind of thing is happening. I think this is what zombies see when they're chasing you, isn't it?


Then on Saturday morning Peter was away to combine Matt Jones's birthday run with doing a Tynecastle Bronze. It was a lovely morning and I thought I'd go an off-roady run in the park.

This reminds me of this...

I know. I couldn't help it. I spent ages trying to get a decent shot of the crows who were dancing about on the thermals and clearly having a great time, but I just couldn't get them in shot. And the one or two I did get were raggedy and in the distance. So out comes photoshop.

 On Sunday I fancied going for a longer kind of run round the coast. Peter was happy to do whatever distance at my pace, having run 32 the day before. He was a bit hungover from running and drinking rum, which led to him making speeches. He was giving me a blow by blow account of the day before in minute detail, which I kind of resent as I'm having my reality in the present and don't want it filled with things that happened somewhere else yesterday. I protested in this manner; "You're going to tell me all about this now and then you're going to write it in your blog and then you're going to moan at me if I don't read your blog." He was full of a big coffee, and quite unrepentant, and said "Well there's an oral tradition and then there's a written tradition." And then he ran off, which he can always do in an argument. In our next lives he's going to be my pet mouse and I will hold him by the tail when I want to tell him something.

But anyway, it was breezy and the light was very good and it would have been hard to stay in argumentative mode for any length of time. We ran 11 miles round the coast and were blown to bits but quite happy after.


So yesterday was my birthday and we just went for a tottie wee run. Nothing of note. It was a really grey day yesterday and I could feel the winter blues creeping on. Staying in the house too long isn't good. I hate dark grey winter days and I hate being cold.

Today the sun was supposed to be shining all morning, so at about 9.30am I dug PB out of bed and told him my plan. 4 hills of Edinburgh with a visit to the Botanics at the end. According to the weather it should still have been sunny by the time we finished.

The sun went away pretty much right away though. I'm glad we didn't know in advance. It was good to get out the house, and the run went well.

When we got to the Botanics we had an over-priced pot of tea and some cake which, judging by its dry texture, wasn't on its first day on display. It's such a shame the cafe is such a rip-off as the Botanics are other-wise fantastic. 2 bits of cake, a pot of tea for two and a 500ml bottle of water cost £12.30.
When we came out the cafe it was really overcast and cold and neither of us could stand to hang around, so we headed home - about another couple of miles.

Mr Heron doesn't like the winter and the cold either.