Sunday, 11 April 2010

I shouldn't be here you know...

...I should be about 14.5 miles through the Paris marathon. Ah well.

Instead I'm still in bed in Leeds but on the plus side not only am I having a very rare lie in, I've just had 10 days off work.

Having the time off has thrown everything out of routine, which in many ways is a good thing as I feel quite refreshed, but it has had some negative effects which I'll blog separately, as this is really just an account of the time off, recorded for posterity as it were.

We've got quite a lot done. A real contrast to the week off I had in late October where we didn't go anywhere or do anything and I didn't feel remotely 'recharged'.

The weather has generally been kind, especially the last couple of days so here are our 'adventures':

Good Friday
Forecast was for rain (that didn't materialise much) so after a quick trip to the gym we headed over to Hull to which wasn't quite as grand as I'd expected and was absolutely heaving. An interesting, if pricey, diversion nevertheless.

Easter Saturday
Sue and the kids had booked to see an all male version of Swan Lake in the afternoon (I'd declined the offer), so in the morning I went for a relatively brisk feeling run along the canal followed by an early afternoon trip to the gym. In the early evening we met up at the Aagrah in Shipley for an excellent meal then went home to watch the first episode of the 'new era' of Doctor Who.

Easter Sunday
I think the weather in Leeds was good all day but we headed for Kettlewell in upper Wharfedale where it was a more mixed 'sunshine 'n' showers'. We did a nicely varied walk from Kettlewell over the hill into Littondale and then a looping route back over the top to Kettlewell. The kids loved the tricky bits where we needed to climb up or down sections of cliff, but there were also riverside sections, good views, open moorland and woodland. First thing I'd done a 10k row at the gym.

Easter Monday
Another trip to the gym and then off to to get a new softshell jacket for me and some more camping stuff (a bag for Charlotte, some chairs, couple of pillows etc).

Went to the gym in the morning and then off for a run with Abbey Runners in the evening. A decent 6.7 miles where I was able to push the pace a bit in the latter miles. Enjoyed it.

Earlier in the day Beth went for her first unaccompanied trip into Leeds with a friend, going in on the train and not charging her mobile, but luckilly still being met by her mother for a lift home!

Gym again first thing then we headed off late morning to take the tent to my parents house as our garden whilst being pretty big (long especially) doesn't have a single area of grass quite big enough. It was the first experience of camping for any of us so setting up in a garden also made for a nice easy introduction. Tent was excellent - really bright and spacious and not that difficult to put up - but my word was it cold that night even after a curry at a Nepalese restaurant.

After waking at 5am I went for a 4.5 mile run and then we headed over to Sue's parents as her dad had been taken into hospital. After visiting him and spending some time with her mother we went back to pack up the tent and head home.

We were slow in getting going (the early start the day before was catching us up) but we headed into Wensleydale and did a walk from Middleham in the afternoon. It wasn't a long one and didn't have any significant uphills but everyone enjoyed it. Beth seems to particularly like anything where threes a challenge (in this case some stepping stones across the river Cover and a section where we needed to carefully pick our way along a ledge between hawthorn hedging and a muddy seasonal beck.

For 4pm we headed to as a surprise for the kids. We'd been meaning to go for a year or more. It was really interesting and they loved climbing round the steps and tunnels and being squirted (and sometimes soaked) by the booby trapped 'exhibits'. Money very well spent.

Then as a second surprise treat we stopped off at for a pub tea. Surf 'n' turf for me, cannelloni for Beth, gammon for Sue and chicken nuggets for Charlotte. Really good.

Back to Wensleydale to do a 7 mile walk from West Witton along the Ure then back along the higher slopes. Really warm and sunny and a really pleasant walk: found some fossils along the river bank, Redmire force, Knights Templar chapel, feeding our apples to some friendly horses, and a final detour through a little campsite past a lovely waterfall and down into the village again.

After yesterday's trip to the pub (something we have rarely if ever done since I gave up drinking in 2008) we decided to do it again. This time we went to Excellent again, probably better. Steak casserole for me, lamb shank for Sue, chili for Beth and chicken gujons for Charlotte. Followed by enormous puddings for all of us (yes even clean eating me - more on that later).

We left just after 8pm and whilst its only 45 minutes or so home from there I really struggled to stay awake while driving home!

As for today, when I eventually get up I'll probably go to the gym...

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