Boxing Day

IN WHICH WE BID FAREWELL TO THE LAST OF THE SNOW, DO A BIT TO HELP OUT WITH A GREAT CAUSE, AND GET BACK TO SOME SORT OF NORMALITY(ISH)


birdphotobomb
Check out the bird photo-bomb!

So the snow has all but melted. It left us with some happy memories, lots of photos, and in my case, broken gutters. That’s a small price to pay really. Mind you, the mini-avalanche off the back of the roof took out not just gutters but brackets and fascia boards too. Fixed now. It’s a rare thing to get that much snow.

I did manage a few runs in the snow, of course, being half-hardman and half-idiot. One 10k run in particular was fun; wading through drifts several feet thick in trail runners… it felt like a half-marathon by the time I straggled home.

bluetitfluff

bluetit

This little Blue Tit took refuge in one of our bird feeders. Whilst he or she did occasionally peck at the fat balls at its feet, it spent most of the time with its head tucked well into its body. Poor little mite.

garden
Tamsyn donned my fire gear to brave the winter garden and perform a heroic dog rescue… in fairness to Holly, she wasn’t aware she was in need of rescuing, but there was a good chance she could have fallen into the pond. Holly, that is. Not Tamsyn.

We did get a few call-outs because of the weather, needless to say, and some of the lads made into the local papers when they were out shoveling snow.

heroes

And we also got a few mentions in dispatches elsewhere too, it seems!

Last Thursday was the culmination of a lot of weeks hard work and training for two of the lads in the station, Ciaran and Jason, who were taking part in a white collar boxing night to raise money for a great cause; the Gavin Glynn Foundation. They both had great fights, and both won, though that is not the main reason why they risked their charming good looks. Check out the charity and see what I mean.

Running continues, as does the odd swim and gym workout. Mark and I did a nippy 10k in training on Thursday which meant we had little in the legs for the Saturday parkrun, but still had an enjoyable trot around Castletown, despite the weather. I managed a 21:42, which I would have been delighted with not long ago.

insomnia

Our usual post-run prandials where somewhat curtailed by a phone call from my sub-officer to ask me to head over to our neighbouring station, who were temporarily short on crew. Within minutes I found myself, still in my damp running gear with muck up the back of my legs, standing in their kitchen, only to discover I would be there for about 6 hours… oh well; at least there was a telly so I could watch the crucial Ireland v Scotland Six Nations rugby match.

As it turned out, fate intervened once more, and we were turned out for a house fire at half-time, so it wasn’t until the following day that I caught up with the second half (recorded at home for these very eventualities). That is what happens in the brigade. Life goes on, but quite often, albeit temporarily, your own is put on hold.

For the record, Ireland won that game, so we claimed the championship and head to England next week to try and win the Grand Slam (all 5 games).

My winter project this year (and a 50th birthday present to myself) has been to build a guitar from a kit. This one is a copy of a Gibson 335, and the main job here was to attach the neck and do a lot of cosmetic finishing work on the body and neck. I also chose to hand-stain the flamed maple top, which is starting to look rather tasty. Once the multiple coats of Tru Oil finish have been applied, it’s on to the electronics and other hardware. No doubt I will post up a few pics of the finished job.

guitar

And so I realise we are well into March. I have this plan to run the Barrow Way, which is about 120 kilometres. We’ll do it in two days, with S on the bike. We will stop over in Carlow. My main motivation for doing this is to see the whole river’s course (well, the section that is called the Barrow Way, in any case) before it is turned into a ‘Blue Way’. In order to do this, one section of grassy bank will be all but ploughed into the ground to create a wide walking/cycling track of hardcore. Whilst I applaud the creation of the Greenways we have cycled over the last few years (Westport to Achill, and the Waterford Greenway), I genuinely believe river banks and canal towpaths are just too sensitive to be turned into this type of thoroughfare. It destroys the very character of the place you are trying to promote. The other greenways I mentioned were both former railway lines and so were ideal candidates.

Anyway, rant over, for now. All I was saying was, from a training point of view, I need to up my mileage for the next month and half. I seem to think that running three half-marathons a day – then rinse and repeat – should be a handy little run. Not sure where this blasé attitude emanates from. Maybe because it’s not a race, with other competitors?

And what does Holly think of all this?

holly

Who knows what goes inside that little head of hers? I suspect sometimes not a whole lot… 😉

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4 thoughts on “Boxing Day

    1. Well the plan is to set off early on Day 1 and make it from Lowtown in Kildare to somewhere near Carlow town, then stay overnight and set off early again the next day and complete the journey in St. Mullins in Carlow. Roughly-speaking, do about three sessions of 20k and take a break between each. Should have most of the day to do it, so in my mind, it sounds handy enough. Of course, the cumulative effect of all that running will take its toll. Just have to hope there’s enough there to finish the job. In reality, it probably amounts to about 7-8 hours on your feet each day, spread out over as much of the day as you like. So I reckon it’s eminently doable. Fancy it?

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