Showing posts from October, 2009

Extreme Sushi

At a tad under 3000 ft, Aran Fawddwy is the highest British mountain south of Snowdon, but it’s relatively unknown because of its isolation. It’s also, from my point of view anyway, a bit of a pig! The walk begins and ends in the valley of Cwm Cywarch so there’s no leg-up; you have to gain every inch of that height through your own efforts.

The first stretch is a scramble over rock and streams.

You look back and reap the first rewards of your hard work,

but it’s only a brief respite before slogging on through very wet and boggy ground. There’s another scramble and then, some two and half hours after you’ve started, you reach the summit – and it’s shrouded in cloud.

Find some shelter and reward yourself with sushi and a Mars bar.
You descend out of the cloud base which is just as well as there’s a narrow ridge to cross with dramatic drops either side. As the clouds drift the sights take your breath away and make you feel utterly alive.

Food for Thought

The main news this week is that Tom and I went out for a meal. Ooh, big wow! Well, it is extraordinary because we so rarely eat out, (a) because we’ve shaken every piggy bank in the house to within an inch of its life (b) why would I want to eat something that has fallen off the Brake Brothers’ lorry and into a microwave – and pay for the privilege? (c) Tom is a really stonking cook so anything else seems a bit pants in comparison (consequently, I haven’t cooked for about a million years. Hurray!).

Anyway, Mrs & Mrs Next-Door have been telling us for ages that we really should try Cnapan (that’s the name of the restaurant, by the way, not some weird thing we do to pass the time in west Wales) and before we could fret about the cost, they booked a table. ‘It’s like your favourite granny’s country house,’ says Mr Next-Door. (Actually, I only had one granny who lived in a council house and wasn’t too keen on me. I suppose you can be a bit selective when you’ve got loads of grand…

Cardiff Half Marathon 2009

The beginning... 8811 of us started the race so it took several minutes to cross the line after the gun went off. We've barely begun here, but it gives you an idea of how packed the field is. I didn't expect to spot Tom in the crowd and I was so pleased when I did.

Along the way I almost fell, got caught in the unwelcome crossfire when a runner gobbed in the wrong direction (ewwwwww!) and had a terrible episode of Jelly Legs at about mile 9 when they just wouldn't do what my brain was telling them... but I got there. Anyway, here is Mrs Clumpy-Clumpison crossing the finishing line looking ridiculously pleased with herself just after the blurred bit (no, it wasn't because I was speeding so fast).

And the final result? A chip time of 2:10:53, some seven minutes faster than last year's time. 70th in my class. (No, you cheeky thing, there were more than 70 in my class, 138 of us in the high numbers managed to stagger round the course). Next stop? Llanelli 7 March 20…


You know when highly-trained athletes get struck down with a virus just before a big event and you think, ‘Oh, really?’ (Well, you don’t because you’re nice, obviously, but I can be a bit mean), well, it serves me right because I am currently struggling with the lurgy. My head aches, my throat is sore, and I’m snorting ‘First Defence’ and popping paracetamol in a desperate effort to ward off whatever I’m cooking so it doesn’t overwhelm me before Sunday. Sheesh! Wouldn’t it be frustrating if after running all those berludy miles through wind (mainly the weather, that is), rain and JRT attacks, I wasn’t fit to take part in the race?

Autumn Review PS
Since I’m feeling pretty damn sorry for myself at the moment this will be a short post, but, I do have a couple of post scripts to last week.

PS 1.
Back by popular request, well, Little Brown Dog and Calicokate actually, here is the transcript of my Ode to a Llama, first shown here.

Ode to a Llama
O lovely llama grazing on my land,
the s…

Autumn Review

Sheesh! There is nothing like announcing in the national press that you intend to complete the first draft of your current novel by the middle of October to guarantee coming a cropper. Ok, so the plans were scuppered by the arrival of the Big Project and whilst I’m still staying in touch with ‘Make, Do and Mend’, I’ve got to admit that its future is a bit dependent on whether the Big Project gets a thumbs up or a thumbs down (nooooo!). Following the completion of the BP, I’ve also taken some time out to catch up with family, which is no bad thing, and on Saturday A363 Advanced Creative Writing, my next OU course, officially begins. A215 was great for encouraging me to send more work out and try different genres (still flushed with success here after my runner-up place in the ‘Ode to a Llama’ competition - eat your heart out, Ted Hughes. And I even got ‘banana’ in, as a rhyme) so I’m looking forwards to seeing what A363 brings.

Various Plots Available
Oh great! The berludy f…