Monday, 8 March 2010

Running, sheds and the first seeds of spring.

What a glorious few days we have had, weather-wise. Cold, frosty mornings gave way to blue skies and sunshine. On Saturday the temptation was too great and I went for an eight mile run up into the hills. This takes me through the village, past H and R's school and on, ever upwards to the road which runs along the side of the hills (basically along the bottom of the picture in the page heading). Once I've finished climbing (and I'm very red in the face and extremely hot) the road is undulating, quite straight for miles and the view of south Pembrokeshire stretched out to my right is breathtaking.

When the air is still and clear, as it was on Saturday, I can see across to Tenby and Amroth in the south-east and then over to the chimney stacks of the oil refineries of Milford Haven in the south-west.

Sometimes during a run your body just flicks on its 'running switch'. Eddie Izzard was talking about this during his programme on BBC4 on Thursday night. After a while your body just accepts running as the norm and just does it. I had that on Saturday. After about six miles, rather than feeling tired I felt energised, strong and (unusually for me) fast. I flew along in the sunshine just enjoying every stride. Running isn't always like that, running is hot, hard physical effort. Sometimes it can be like scaling a slippery wall. Most of the time for me it just hurts. But I run for those moments, like Saturday, when running feels as effortless as one of the Preseli's red kites swooping on a thermal. It's the endorphins, of course, and totally addictive, which is why I am sitting typing this in my running gear about to set off into the sunshine again. It helps, of course, to have beautiful scenery to run in and there's something very charming about a road with little ups and downs, some great long downhill stretches (on the way home) and a few right-angled bends to zoom round.

Once the running/flying was over the weekend returned to more pressing matters, the main one being clearing out the shed ready to repair its roof. This led on to clearing out the polytunnel which had become, like the shed, just a dumping ground and somewhere for the rats to hide from the cats.

But we stopped occasionally to go for a walk and pat the ponies, Pippin on the left, Itsy on the right and Bullseye just a dot over on the other side of the field.

Pippin is hairier than I have ever seen her this year. Definitely something to do with the hard winter. In a few weeks time all this will fall out and the birds will pick it up for some very fine lining for their nests.

All the time the police helicopter buzzed overhead. It was hovering over the village for some reason. Brian will find out today, but he probably won't be able to tell me. It's astonishing just how one small helicopter can make so much noise when it is hovering. Last time it did this the police had found a cannabis plantation on a near-by farm. When it left the silence was sudden and wonderful and the birds were singing their hearts out.

Finally we went back into the much tidier polytunnel for a reward - a spot of seed planting. Here we have: sweet peas (Matucana - the strongest fragrance) and sunflowers in root trainers; a tray of mangetout peas for pea shoots (delicious!) and two trays of Marvel of Four Seasons lettuces planted by R and H. Their seed labels are decorated with stars (R) and hearts and guinea pigs (H). They tucked their little seeds up into their little seedbeds, gave them a drink, blew them kisses and told them they loved them. How could seeds not grow after that much loving care?


  1. Well done, Mags. So pleased your running is going well. I've got to start building up again but I wasn't sad to miss Llanelli yesterday as still feeling feeble. It's such a lovely feeling when running goes well.

  2. I dream of that day, when I can run like the breeze, it may never come :) We've had such lovely weather, long may it last.

  3. Oh I loved this post Mags. i could relate to almost all of it, though my running shoes have not had an outing for so very, very long. I still remember that wonderful feeling of flying and know it had much to do with the wonderful creekside scenery and woodland I encountered during the run. You almost make me want to do it again...almost. I am tidying the greenhouse to day with Isabella after lunch when all orders for the day will have gone. I am sooo excited and will also be planting the same sweet peas. Life isn't so bad just now is it? xx

  4. I was back 'home' at the weekend - to a house with no kitchen, bathroom. Jane not pleased!

    But at least the weather was fabulous. I just hope we have some sunshine this summer

  5. We've had some glorious days up here too, cold and sharp and blue.

    Police helicopter?! We get lots of RAF ones, flying low and making the walls vibrate, but at 3.30 the other night/morning, one with a big searchlight, shining in the gardens and fields, very exciting but very unnerving too. And rally cars the same night through the village, like you had recently too. Bizarre.

    I found an old plant label in the shed this week. It said 'letis', crossed out, then 'letus'. Sweet.

  6. It's my intention to come back and answer comments - but I keep forgetting! Please bear with me...

    Chris - If only all runs were as good as that one! I get one of those about once every six months, but it's a lovely feeling.
    Lins - That day will come. It's taken me years to get here.
    Pipany - Life is great - especially when the sun shines. Are you sure you wouldn't like to be out running in it?
    Mark - I hope we get some summer sunshine too. We deserve it.
    Kitty - Letis/letus might be Welsh for lettuce. Very clever!


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