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The last night of the fair… (15/05/2023)

I imagine my route as two snakes intertwining, hesitant to cross over unless they have to. I came across a proverb today (from the Don’s insta): ‘Ne’er cast a clout till May is out’. Turns out a clout, in this sense, is not something to do with power or influence, but a piece of clothing. Well, the proverb still rings true – there was a strange, damp coldness in the air today, a mixture between refreshment and discomfort. I’m not sure about you, but these evenings seem to unlock something in me – the roads and parks emptying, the sun at that low angle which occasionally peers beyond the horizon, flooding everything in a golden light unlike any other time of day, revealing colours mostly hidden in the undergrowth. As one fair closes, screams still fresh in the air, another’s being set up. An evening to chase your crush around on the dodgems, and wheel yourself up and towards the moon. Safe to say I spent most of the run with a massive smile on my face.

To the sea and back (17/04/2023)

Smell of salt sea air, an open horizon – the first one in a long time. Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vex’d and tir’d, Feast them upon the wideness of the sea! (yes, Keats, I agree). Right and up the hill, freshly cut grass and throb of the ride on lawn mower. So many birds! Down onto the furtive walkway, stench of wild garlic, tracing the river back to the AirBnB. Spot one of 6 TIMES – Gormley’s statues, my cast-iron companion following me upstream, keeping an eye on the water level as it slips past his feet.

Rain was general all over the city (13/04/2023)

Horse chestnuts are really putting on a show for us at the moment. Hornbeams shedding their catkins and bursting out into leaf too. Stopped a fox dead in its tracks on the street. Spied a blue tit from the inside of my window before I left.

This has to be the best route ever (03/04/2023)

It’s the little moments that matter most – a long awaited golden hour run with your best friend, or just going out for a solo one to see the sun set and stop every half mile or so to get another picture of a blossom-filled road or a backlit tree… deep green budding into view, embers of orange on the horizon, blue sky turning turning slowly to purple night.

Forests of Azure (27/03/2023)

Out – out an hour late to catch the fading sun. New sounds traded for headphones left at home: the rhythmic swish, swish, swish of arms against my waterproof jacket; the constant breeze circling round uncovered ears. I scare a pheasant (not intentionally!) – a female, and its shrieks echo round the lower part of the woods. I wonder if I’ve scared off everyone else, and have the forest to myself. Pause before two great Beech trees, two of my favourites. Read old lovers’ names whittled into their bark – stories of escape, so real, so passionate! slowly being lost to time. I can’t resist propping my phone up beside some fallen branches and photographing myself next to a pollarded giant. Up, over the hill, under the sizzle and crackle of pylons, Venus shining electric beneath the moon. Today, it’s unseasonably cold, and there’s a damp scent in the air – so clear and fresh in its memories. I extend the route – you know the feeling – when you know can just keep going, with legs, lungs and mind in perfect cohesion. Town lights a while away, tonight’s stars just waiting to emerge.