Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: gallery (page 2 of 6)

The Gallery – Drink

Cup of tea in the garden



My neighbours now officially think I’m odd, within the space of a few hours they saw me cycling around my garden like some sort of big kid and then taking lots of photos of a half drunk cup of tea. I have no doubt they are looking up the phone number for the local psychiatric hospital as we speak.

It probably didn’t help that my explanation for cycling around the garden was that I was testing my new bike and more importantly shoes for a race where I’m doing 105 miles of running, cycling and kayaking in one day. The look on their face said “ooookkkk, what sort of weirdo does that sort of thing”. That would be me then.

Crazy? Most probably.

But practise was needed, this is the first time I’ve owned a road bike and the sure to make you look like an idiot clipless pedals that come with them. I managed to go around the garden without falling over but we shall see what happens when I really do need to stop suddenly. Of course this is thirsty work and with the glorious weather of the weekend a tasty cup of lady grey hit the spot perfectly.

Now where did I put my extra padded lycra shorts?

I’m linking this post up to the Gallery over on Tara’s blog, you can find all the other entries by clicking here.

The Gallery – together

One of the main motivations for moving house was so that we could spend more time together as a family. My daily commute went from 1 hour each way on country roads to a 7 minute drive down the road. It was tough moving away from both our friends and Matilda’s but the promise of being able to have breakfast together every morning and time to play together every evening was too much to resist.

Now almost exactly a month later, now we’ve lived this new life of no commuting it’s better than we ever imagined. No more do IĀ disappearĀ out of the door while it’s still dark often without seeing the children. No more do I get home just as the babies are coming out of the bath. No more do I feel knackered every evening from driving for 2 hours a day and dealing with the morons on the road.

Instead I laugh and chat with my babies at breakfast while the lady of the manor has a shower in peace. We spot the squirrels and birds in the garden. We share a plate of toast covered in butter and marmite. We roll around the lounge with Bracken. We do puzzles and read books. Matilda steals my phone to look at photos and videos of herself.

It’s simple things. Simple but important. Things that childhoods are made of and just the beginning of many great memories that we will create in this house together.

But after all that fun and running around is done, there is nothing better than snuggling up and watching an episode of Postman Pat before bath time.

Watching Postman Pat before bed

I’m linking this post up with the Gallery where this weeks theme is Together. You can find the rest of the entries by clicking here.

The Gallery – walks

When I saw the prompt that Tara had picked this week for the gallery I just had to join in. Like her and her family we love getting out for walks at the weekend no matter what the weather. As she mentions having a dog is a great motivator for keeping active as you really do have to get out every day. It may not always look inviting out there but it’s rare to regret the decision once you are out.

Most of my walks with Bracken at the moment are actually runs as we head out every morning and do a few miles on the ridgeway near our house. A beautiful part of the country and I love the fact that I’m the only person crazy enough to be up there at 6am. I can stand on top of the hill, the highest point for miles and take in the stunning scenery all at peace before the rat race begins.

However at weekends we try to get out as a family and with Matilda now walking we like to give her at least a little bit of time to toddle along rather than being in her rucksack. It definitely slows the pace down but is fascinating watching her explore and take in the world, spotting things that you’d never see.

So I’ve picked 2 photos this week that I think perfectly capture these 2 very different walks.

Bracken on Barbury castle 13Mar13

Matilda splashing

The Gallery – bond

This is my entry for this weeks gallery, you can view the rest of the entries here.

Matilda is at the age now when she is starting to make real bonds with her friends, she recognises when we walk past their houses and says ‘knock, knock’ to get us to go and say hello. One her best friends is a little girl from our NCT group who is just a week younger than her. The two of them truly are thick as thieves and whenever together run around screaching and shouting at each other. They also go to the same childminder so one day a week the poor woman has both of them for a whole day, no wonder she looks knackered when I go and collect Matilda!

I’m writing all this in the knowledge that in a month or so we will be moving and they will see less of each other. We’ll only be 40 minutes away but it does mean a reduction in the time they spend together. Knowing this breaks my heart a little, that we’re responsible for her potentially losing her best friend. Of course she’ll make new ones but these first friendships could be the start of something that lasts a lifetime.

For now though we will just make the most of the times they can see each other and watch as they have fun (N.B the matching suits was completely unintentional, we both independently found a bargain at Muddy Puddles!)

Matilda walking at park

The gallery – Adventure

I’m linking this post up with this weeks Gallery, you can see all the other entries by clicking here.

Part of the reason I am so addicted to running is the adventure, be that investigating a new city or getting out in the middle of the countryside. I love that feeling of exploring, of each new step being a step into the unknown. You see and experience so much more when you’re on your own two feet rather than in a car.

With each new challenge or adventure the hunger just grows rather than being satisfied, always looking for the next race to tick off, the next crazy adventure to attempt. The bucket list continues to grow, there are simply too many races out there that I want to do. Races in the mountains, long races, multi day races, multi sport races, races abroad, marathons, ultra marathons the list goes on.

Cannot wait.

For now though, I will have to make do with some mini adventures in the snow during my lunch breaks.

Swindon trail in the snow

The Gallery – books

Matilda is definitely a book worm and I think spends more time reading books than playing with toys, however as ever with this generation it was only a matter of time before she started using modern technology to read. Taken on our holiday to France a few weeks ago and a rare moment of calm in an otherwise crazy and fun week.

This is my post for this weeks gallery, do have a look at the other entries here.

The Gallery – Fitness

Anyone that follows me on twitter will know how much of a running addict I am and how generally I am out most mornings at 6am running with the hound. The first step out of a cosy warm bed is tough, more so when it’s dark and cold, but with every step you take away from the house you become more relaxed and excited to be out in the silent town or city.

That hour before the place really wakes up is just great, I love hearing just the sound of my feet hitting the ground and my panting for breath. I very rarely run with any music preferring to drink in the environment instead and just have some thinking time. If you are ever training for a long race I can thoroughly recommend imagining what you would spend a lottery win on, it can keep you busy for ages and the run flies past!

I do of course always have my trusty training partner with me, who ever so easily trots past me when I think I’m running at a decent pace and never seems to tire. He is a handsome chap though so I don’t mind too much.

But running for me is not just about keeping fit it’s the enjoyment of being outside and seeing things you just don’t notice from a car. That’s why if you look at my Instagram feed many of the photos are from runs, trying to capture those moments where the morning light is just perfect. Below are a few of my favourite shots from the past few months, all taken with a couple of miles of home.

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