The story so far

13 Feb


It seems I have taken a bit of time off. Probably recovery from the excitement and commitment of the Marathon.  To be frank I was surprised, firstly that I made it and secondly that I enjoyed it so much.  But as was pointed out to me, I had never missed a training run and had done all that I could in preparation.  I had unfinished business with that race which I finally, erm, finished, and now I’m looking for the next challenge – NYC and an ultra.

But in the meantime, in the summer I hit Croatia.  Perfect weather, delicious food, stunning scenery.  What else can you ask for in a holiday.  I can’t believe it isn’t as well known as Spain or Greece, because it is so much better.  Probably because it was a victim of its own bitter civil war not so long ago and the locals consider it a far too recent tragedy.  That aside, I found a largely untouched and unspoilt but clearly European country with huge ambitions and I’m glad I made it there.


Next stop, Chiltern Firehouse for my birthday.  I was star spotting of course, but there were no stars to spot, luckily for them.  But naturally, the food was what you would expect from one of the best restaurants in London right now.  We had brunch which is not known as the best time to visit a restaurant but who cares, it’s the funnest meal and we had the funnest time.  The waitresses were all gorgeous models deigning to serve the scummy mortals that we felt like.  But the waiters were lovely and friendly. They even took photos of us, like the bunch of tourists that we were, but having had a couple of the lavender gin cocktails who cares?  Everything was amazing.  If I had to imagine my ultimate fantasy restaurant I think Chiltern Firehouse would nail it.  The building itself, the decor, the location, the beautiful people whether staff or clientele within, the food.  Oh dear God, the food.  Gimme more….



But next, it was back to the Olympics.  The Newham 10K to be precise. The last couple of hundred metres was spent running round the iconic track that was gazed upon by billions three years ago. Now here I was sprinting down that famous home straight to the finish line in the footsteps of legends.  That was pretty awesome. In the real sense of the word.


Followed by (literally) a run for the trees in Madagascar.


Then on a warm sunny Friday in September Jane and Jamie got hitched.  Almost all of us from work were there to see our beautiful lady walk down the aisle and then we danced the night away at Buxted Park.   A perfect day for sure.


Next came the highlight of my year – a sub-zero white Christmas.

Work done, the year nearly over, I got on a plane and headed due north, 200 km beyond the Arctic Circle to Kiruna in northern Sweden.  After spending four days hanging out with huskies, reindeer and Swedes in the dark, stark, frozen wilderness we got to sleep in the Ice Hotel at minus 5 while outside was minus 15.  It was an experience and I earned myself a certificate for enduring five hours of uncomfortable and restless sleep, due mostly to being too hot in the survival-grade sleeping bag.  I loved the experience although it wasn’t as cold as it usually gets up there.  What was unexpected was the darkness.  There was no sunlight, just a weird sort of twilight between 10 am to 2 pm and the rest of the time it was pitch black.  My SAD symptoms did manifest themselves after five days of that and so I am convinced I couldn’t make it through a whole winter let alone a lifetime in the far north.

But what took my breath away was the Aurora.  I was unbelievably lucky enough to get to experience this totally natural phenomenon on my last night.  I can only describe it as one of the most magical moments of my life.  I felt humbled, and ecstatic and emotional and everything in between.  I have seen nature show off before, but that night she was insane.


Here’s to the new year and to new adventures…




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