Just before Christmas my Gran celebrated her 91st Birthday, it's been a tough year for her and it was fantastic to be heading down to Christmas for a lunch with her. Christmas is always mixed for me. I really feel the gaps at the table. Christmas was always a time when Mum, Dad and I had a few days together and lots of strong memories eminate from those times. It makes for a bit of a relective time.
I hadn't really expected to drop into a real memory lane run, but early on the Sunday morning I headed out for a run. Within a few hundred metres my head started drifting off through memories a couple of decades old. Nearly running over an Adder on my push bike, playing GT with a friends uncle in there, Tony whats-his-name who stole my Granddad's favourite hammer from my Dad's house, the route to my Mum's cremation, the venue for various wakes, my old squash club, the drive that had the steel boat being built, cycling with Dad on his brothers Claud Butler bike (and him falling off), Dad's red and black MG Metro Turbo, PYO strawberries with Mum. Not even close to half the thoughts; friends, families and solo missions add so many thoughts. Maybe everyone has these thoughts? I guess the visual prompts I've moved away from minimise my day to day recall but also bring things back in to clear focus when I'm there. I'd suggest to anyone that never letting these memories fade is something to aim for.
If Christmas sucks for anyone who has gaps at the table; time does help with the immediate pain, but the gap is just that, a gap. I like to celebrate, and for me that means remembering.
Mum, Dad, Doug, Dofey, Cyril, Matt, Pete – Never forgotten.
Anyway, this map has so many memories for me, I really want to just put it out there.
So from there, onto lunch. Being an only child, my cousins are really important to me. Matt was back from San Diego so it was a rare chance at my Gran's lunch to get the three Grandson's together with 6 great Grandchildren along with my Aunt and Uncle. All in all, a great chance to get all 15 of us round a table for a couple of hours. Really great fun, though photographing reluctant littles was hard. A poor effort on the photograph.
Christmas is, and I always want to be a great time for my girls, apart from a little illness from Katie. Good food, some proper relaxation time. My presents- running shorts and whisky. Got to wonder what that says about me. Really looking forward to some Peated Penderyn. Feel like I need to put in a big run first. Due to Christmas presents and bugs it wasn't possible to convince anyone to join me on a Boxing Day walk. So Casey (our Collie) and I had a nice walk through the moors above Llanfachreth. Large herds of deer were around on the flanks of Rhobell Fawr, a couple of impressive stags looking very majestic. Just beautiful.
The forecast is looking unkind for some comfortable long runs/cycles in the next little while. Looks good for boating though.
I thought Ciara's Christmas cracker present, a charades dice, summed up the festive season for me pretty well.
Merry Christmas all!
Well, I thought I was back on track. But another twisted ankle on an icy early morning run put me back on the bike.
Just to do something different, I decided to go and do the classic loop of Snowdon. It was recommended to me more than a year ago, and I really wanted to ride in better conditions.
I parked near Beddgelert and wished I’d arrived half an hour later. It was pretty overcast and the sun was struggling to show it’s light. That and a really heavy rain shower didn’t help. A nice flat, spin into Beddgelert put a bit of heat in the legs before a gentle climb up towards Cwellyn. This passed and Rhyd Ddu and Waun fawr zipped by. The clouds were more broken out on the North side of Snowdon so the glasses went on, and the jacket unzipped a bit. Then the climb up to Pen y Pass. Definitely felt the lactic building towards the top of the climb. Over the pass and then the roller coasted back down to the van. The descent was quick, but really slippy so I didn’t commit to much. I’d like to go back when I could trust the tyres. Back through Nany Gwynant and back to the van. I’d targeted 1:45, but had to settle with 2 minutes over. I’ll call todays ride a sighting lap!
Looking forward to getting my running legs back under me. Too many road miles makes me run like a duck!