Spring arrived suddenly and in full force this weekend, as if someone upstairs had finally got fed up with being cold or wet and turned the thermostat up. Bravo!
Yesterday I got outside and mowed the grass, cut the grass on the green and generally sorted out some stuff in the garden, which meant that this morning I could relax and enjoy the view.
By late morning I had sipped my way through three quadspressos whilst sitting on the deck in the warm Spring sunshine and had finished the first three chapters of Running Free by Richard Askwith. I had found his previous books (Feet in the Clouds and Lost Village) particularly thought provoking and have to say that I’m already completely hooked on this one!
Inspired the the warmth and the day and of the writing, I decided I needed to run outside… but where? Of all the options, one instantly stood out and it involved dropping in on my parents.
When I was growing up, there was a big field between the end of our road and the school that I went to. I can remember a few occasions when I ran across the field and they all involve getting my bare legs ‘burned’ by the tall cereal crop… serves me right!
Over the last few years the field has been turned into a quasi public space and I really enjoyed running across it to get to the path that runs down the ridge towards the sea.
Having spent the winter months running inside, the simple views were particularly amazing and I soon found myself passing Rottingdean windmill.
Down on the Undercliff walk there were throngs of people, all looking happy and slightly dazed by the sudden transition out of Winter and there were even a few people sitting on the beach. I ran along as far as Ovingdean, jogged up the 60 or so stairs and took the road back inland.
At Ovingdean church I paused to pay my respects to a very dear friend who is perpetually stuck at 44 years old, whilst the rest of us have to cope with the effects of increasing age. Not a bad place to see out eternity, though my sense is that, for all its faults, life is way more interesting!
I had been tiring as I ran towards the church, but the few minutes it took me to wash the dust off his gravestone gave me renewed energy and I ran easily up the steep road back to the ridge path.
The route back from there was a real breeze and I was soon back at the stile at the top of the grassy field looking back the way I had come.
Excluding my pause, six miles took me 1.10, giving an average just over 5 mph… nothing compared to my pace on the machine, but then the views and the fresh air are a great trade-off.
I’m sure that we’re due a little more bad weather before the good weather settles in, but at least my depleted reserves of sunshine, sea views and fresh air have been topped up in the meantime!