A walk in the park…

Lovely morning today (Tuesday) walking and talking in one of my favourite places, Bradgate Park, in Leicestershire…

Okay, so it was an early start (up at 6:00am to start walking at 8:30am), but it was definitely worth it. It was so nice to be in the park nice and early, feeling like we had the place to ourselves. I think there was about 30 of us, and we set off in pairs, primary school style, talking about our businesses and life in general. Every five minutes, one of the organisers blew a whistle, and we moved up to the next person. Great fun, and a wonderful way to network and get to know people.

We also had one of the park wardens with us who stopped occasionally and pointed out interesting parts of the park, telling us about how Bradgate Park has become self-sustaining. There was a big ‘ahh’ moment when we saw the new herd of deer, including very little ones. The deer have the run of the park, and it’s a beautiful sight seeing large groups of deer moving around, feeding, grooming, just being deer.

It was a little squishy underfoot, given the time of year, but you were busy chatting and taking in the atmosphere that you didn’t really notice. After walking for an hour, we all headed to the cafe for coffee, tea and bacon butties! (Or croissants and jam, if bacon isn’t your thing…) There was the opportunity to network further during breakfast. I met some lovely people from all kinds of businesses, and hope to be working with them in the future! I’ll definitely be walking and talking there again.

From an exercise point of view, it was great, as the pace was good for my knees, and the softer ground meant lower impact too. I’ve been doing yoga too for the last week, as that is also really good for my body, battered as it is. It’s helping my balance and flexibility, which will pay off big time when I ride Flatland BMX this weekend, weather permitting. Low impact exercise is paying off mentally and physically, and making me really happy, and more importantly, fitter and healthier.

It's been raining...
It’s been raining…
Deer
There are lots of deer in the park, honest!

Time to think…

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a good New Year and didn’t over indulge… I spent mine with my grandson, who just about managed to stay up past midnight (he’s 10…), and had a lovely evening. We watched funny stuff that he chose on YouTube, and classic anime, also on YouTube, that I chose. Oh the irony, seeing as this site is about having fun offline! We did also have fun making comics, playing games, eating sweets and dancing! I love spending time with my grandson. He’s funny, smart, energetic, loving, crazy, creative, and a ton more besides…

The following morning, New Year’s Day, we did a double whammy at our local park. We took Fizz, our German Shepherd for a long walk and plenty of chasing after her ball, then went back to play football. Well, for my grandson to ‘coach’ me in football. He got hooked on football (soccer to those outside the UK) last summer at school, as they have weekly games in PE, and he really enjoys it. He’s also really good too. So, we used the basketball area to practice shooting and goalkeeping, then the main pitch for ball control and getting used to controlling power and saving goals in a full size goal. After an hour and the threat of rain, we went home for hot chocolate and lunch.

We relaxed for the rest of the day, watched some lectures about robotics, drew more comics and laughed a lot, then I took him home. The next morning, my right knee was really hurting. I thought I’d rested it properly after my running injury, but apparently, injured knees and moderate football practice don’t mix. To cap it off, my back has been really painful this weekend. I’m a little concerned…

I’d already decided to focus my exercise regime around cycling, as it’s easier on my joints, and will allow me to build my strength and stamina up again, and get properly fit. Riding differing disciplines (BMX, Road, MTB) enables me to exercise different parts of my body in different ways. It’s also great mental exercise too… I can really zone out and focus on nothing but riding.

BUT. I had to cut a family get together short today as my knee and back were really painful and wouldn’t let me settle or properly interact with my grandchildren… Back to the GP in the morning. Fingers crossed.

Muddy bangers

Nice weekend with a change of scenery… Down in Hampshire with very old, dear friends and their lovely kids.  There’s been plenty of activity, even some running!

I have an annual pilgrimage down to Hampshire for the Unlimited National Banger UK Open at Ringwood, which for the uninitiated, means taking beaten up old wrecks of cars around an oval circuit as fast as possible and crashing into the other cars on purpose. We’ve been going since 2001… It’s a grand tradition, and I love spending the weekend with some of favourite people on the planet.

Friday afternoon saw me and my mate Rolf out at the lakes, trying to catch Carp and stay warm!  Sadly, the carp weren’t in the mood for biting, but we could definitely see they were out there. It’s always good to spend time with Rolf, as he’s one of my oldest friends and a lovely bloke.  Even with it peeing down at one point, it was a nice afternoon, just being out by the water, chatting and watching the wildlife. Next time carp, we’ll get you…

Saturday was Bangers, apart from the fact that Georgie (Rolf’s wife) broke a tooth the previous evening, and had to go to the emergency dentist before joining us at the track… she was only six hours late in arriving at the track!  Still, we had a great day, even with two poorly four year olds, spending the afternoon checking out the cars, drinking coffee and pigging out on greasy burgers and cakes… I have run them off, honest!  This year’s meet was more racing than banging, even the Demolition Derby, where you’re supposed to annihilate the others was, shall we say, lacking in contact…  But it’s always a great day, complete mayhem, bad food, smoke, crashes and mud.

I got a really good run in this morning in Farnborough park (which was full of dogs!), which given the lack of laps on Friday, was much needed.  There is a good mix of mud, roots, leaves and fallen branches, making longer circuits great fun. Considering I hadn’t run since Wednesday (laps), I made good time of two circuits around the park.  It’s a nice mix, as it runs uphill into light woodland, then back down through leaves and bushes.  Very glad to have got my longer run in after a fun weekend with good friends.  Now, where’s my roast dinner…

farnborough trees

yorkshire