* apologies to Keats
So most Monday mornings at work, at some point someone or other will ask “What did you do at the weekend ?” and I will then frantically try to 1. remember what I did do at the weekend & 2. try to embellish my two days of domestic bliss to make them sound vaguely interesting.
Truth is when you have a full-time job and one that involves a degree of business travel, spending it at home doing regular homey stuff is often the most enjoyable weekend to have.
But this past weekend has been a fun-filled couple of days – packing in a smorsgasbord of culture, sporting endeavour and catching up with old friends.
Saturday morning was hockey free as it is half term, so my run could return to its usual 8.30 time slot, catching up with Alison and Linda . The Dell where I do most of my running is a woodland path and is beautifully autumnal if a bit muddy. Weather seems to be of the sunshine and shower variety with an emphasis on the shower bit – so is soft underfoot, but when the sun comes out after the rain it is magical ,and fresh earthy smells surround you.
With no hockey game to watch, I had an extra hour or so to dwell over weekend papers – a proper treat – before heading into Edinburgh to meet an old school friend. Arriving in town early I had an hour to spare so I thought I would drop in on the Van Gogh to Kandinsky exhibition at the National Gallery ( having signed up as a friend earlier in the summer, to get free entry to paid exhibitions I had typically left it until the penultimate day before visiting ).
The exhibition was busy , and so not as enjoyable as it might have been but with a theme of landscape and symbolism seemed appropriate after my woodland run.
Then swiftly off to Centotre for a cup of tea and a whizz down memory lane, shared news of our children & swapping photos , before too soon we both had to say cheerio.
It is always lovely to see friends from a while back and just be able to pick up where you left off.
My younger daughter was having some of her girlfriends over to our house to watch X Factor – so it seemed a good reason to be somewhere else. I had heard some good reviews of the film Untouchable – so N and I decided to go to the Filmhouse and I was really glad we did. In describing the film it does not sound like a fun night out – as the ( true) story is one of the relationship between a severely disabled man and his personal carer, and added to that is in French with subtitles.
But we both agreed that far from being in any way down heartening it was a wonderful film: funny, uplifting and joyful. Certainly to be recommended, as are the nachos at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse which we had to round off an enjoyable evening out.
Although heading home around the time most clubbers are just starting on their ‘pre drinks’ it was nice to be out on a Saturday night.
Today I was going cycling – for the first time in a long time. I had planned to run as usual before, but slightly nervous of my untested cycling legs I decided to give it a miss.
Before I discovered running – I was quite a keen cyclist , albeit of the tra la la variety. By tra la la I mean I was, and still am a leisure cyclist. When cycling I am not going to travel very fast and I certainly don’t cycle with my head crouched low, preferring instead to be sat upright and watch the world go by, and at a speed conducive to good conversation.
I am a cautious cyclist and have a fear of travelling downhill ( I am working on it 🙂 ) Living in Scotland hills are inevitable as is a variety of weather conditions , but fortunately my residual Calvinist approach to enjoyment means I quite like braving the elements and pushing my self slowly up a Scottish incline. It makes the cake and hot bath afterwards all the more satisfying.
Today I was joining a group of regular cyclists, including my good friends Helen and Arthur, who many years ago got me back into cycling and who over the years I have gone on many a cycling adventure with.
Our route was a circular one starting and ending in East Linton with North Berwick the turning point. The weather forecast was OK, but skies did not follow the script, and from the start we were cycling in rain. Rain and hills, kind of sums up Scottish cycling – but it was not constant rain, just a collection of showers.
Not that it really matters as there is no hiding place on a bike when it rains, so soon we were all pretty wet . Luckily the rain eased off as we neared Tyningham and the scone stop. Stopping at the Coffee shop there, we all had tea and scones – and excellent scones they were too. Certainly worth a visit.
Poor weather meant that there were few photo opportunities, but I enjoyed my day back in the saddle, and was pleased to see my running legs could adapt to cycling 18 miles.
I am however sitting on a cushion as I write this.