Janathon day two: canal

First off an apology – the link to the google bundle yesterday was the 2012 Janathon list – while there are quite a few repeat offenders on the list, if you signed up with that link, you might be missing out on the full Janathon experience. I’ve amended the link accordingly (thanks to the eagle-eyed Not Much of a Runner for pointing it out).

The advantage of working a late shift is that I had time for another daylight run this morning (I’m being spoilt now). The disadvantage is that I didn’t have time to blog (although I did manage to stick two loads of washing on, hurrah for the Athons…) and had to spend the day repeating the mantra “don’t forget to blog…”.

I had a parcel to collect from the post office, so porridge-filled and lycra-clad I trundled off into town and then drove down to the canal for a damp and drizzly towpath run. I’ve neglected my canal running since the “running the length of the Leeds-Liverpool canal” project ground to a halt last year (I did the better half in 2011, but the other side of the Pennines eludes me) and it’s gone on my stuff to do list for 2013.

This was an uneventful three miler along my home stretch, the drizzle was steady and I thought that the wind was gentle until I turned round and ran into it…

A strangely low water level

A strangely low water level

I saw some cows.

Especially for JogBlog

Especially for JogBlog

I finished the run by splashing fearlessly through the many puddles so that the gathering anglers would see that I was hardcore and not think that this was just on day 2 of a new resolution.

Locks

Locks

Oh, and himself did 16 miles on the bike.

Juneathon 30/30 – The hunt is over

On the final day of Juneathon I decided to do a loop around the campsite without being able to remember how long a loop it was. Turns out that it was shorter than if I’d done the out and back that I first thought of. So I added a bit on and made it 3 miles.

And then I got back to the tent and not only did I discover the meaning of life

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…but there at the side of the tent was the bloody Ark of the Covenant*!

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Which was nice.

*May not be the real actual Ark of the Covenant**

**No Lego mini figures were harmed in the making of this blog

Juneathon 29/30 – feel the fear and do it anyway

I hope you all appreciate the anxieties I’ve been overcoming so that I can find all this treasure. I’ve become fairly shameless at photographing people’s property, things in bins and knickers in hedges. Today however was an entirely different kettle of fish. I know I’m not alone in feeling panicky when it comes to walking or running through farmers’ fields, even when then there’s a footpath – I suspect it’s the knowledge that you’re at risk of annoying a man who is likely to have a shotgun license.

Today was my fault. Kind of. When I saw that trig point had been added to the list, I had to do a bit of research to find out (a) what they are and (b) where I might find one. I learned that they come in different shapes and sizes, they tend to be up hills and it appears that there are people who go round photographing them as a hobby. I quite like that we live in a world with people who do things like that, partly because it makes me feel better about doing all this palaver.

Having identified one not too far away (and convenient for another bit of treasure), I printed off a map, which somehow has survived the journey down and a week in the tent. We navigated our way to a probable field by applying my OS map reading knowledge, skills (and I use the term loosely) that have been untouched since second year geography. Decades have passed since then, so I was quite proud of being able to use landmarks to navigate us to where the thing should be. After quite a lot of tramping, we deduced that we were in the wrong field and should have been in the one next door.

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Unfortunately we couldn’t see a way into the next field, so off we went looking, determined that there had to be a way in. Way in located, we set off round the edge of the field, fighting the temptation to say sod it all the way. Just as we were about to give up, old eagle eyes spotted something on the horizon. There it was in all its concrete glory.

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This does not do any justice to the amount of back and forth toing and froing that was involved in finding the bloody thing. I took Miles with us and all together we clocked up a 3 mile walk. With hindsight, I reckon that around 2 of these were done whilst traipsing fruitlessly through fields…

After all this excitement we went hunting for rhino and were rewarded with a glimpse through the leaves.

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Finally, we took advantage of being up a big hill in order to admire the scenery from a viewpoint overlooking fields and sea.

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And after all that, we just have one more day to go!

Juneathon 28/30 – treasure within treasure

Several people had the same idea of a geocache as a suggestion for my treasure list. I’ve seen lots of people tweeting about looking for them, but was a bit clueless about what it actually involved. Basically, people hide treasure in the form of caches and then other people locate them using GPS and clues (and I suspect a bit of luck), the finder then logs their find in the cache and/or the Geocaching website.

Sometimes the caches contain bits and bobs that the finders leave for other people to take in exchange for something else to be left. We tried to find one right on the doorstep of the campsite, but failed miserably (in part because we had no idea what we were looking for) and so carried on to the next one on our list where we had way more success!

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It’s fair to say that I was stupidly excited to find it.

We turned round and hoofed it back, both of us feeling like we’d started the run from scratch and grateful that we’d run before it became too hot.

At the end of the three miles, we also ticked off a roadside egg stall with a beautiful handwritten sign.

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Juneathon 27/30 – A capital idea

Somehow, yesterday, I twanged my back. I’m not sure if this was because of the air mattress, poor adherence to moving and handling training, or climbing trees when I’m old enough to know better. Whatever the cause, I spent most of the day listing to the right, creaking and swearing under my breath.

In light of this, today’s Juneathon activity turned into ‘lots of walking around London village’ as we headed up to the big smoke on one of those fancy high speed trains, treasure hunting as we went.

From St Pancras the first stop was always going to be I Knit London near Waterloo. It is full of woolly goodness and I left with a bagful of unknitted dreams… By the time I had finished stroking every skein in the shop, it was dinnertime. I considered sacrificing myself for the sake of Juneathon treasure by managing a half eaten Greggs, but luckily someone else had taken the bullet for me.

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This freed me up to have some rather lovely jerk chicken with rice and peas, while Ginge enjoyed a helping of curry goat*…

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From Waterloo, it was back into the tourist fray of Trafalgar Square where I shrieked ‘MONSTER!’ and scampered off to see this fine example of street furniture that looks like a face. There is a nice symmetry to this because he was knitted by the marvellous Deadly Knitshade who suggested this piece of treasure in the first place.

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We also bagged a unicorn

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a chalk drawing on a pavement

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…and a view through an archway while we were there.

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Down at Covent Garden, I considered trying a new look with a bit of glitter

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…but decided to steady myself from these thoughts by looking at cake instead.

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While we were window shopping we also spotted a penny.

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It wouldn’t be a trip to London without venturing down to the Thames and conveniently this also allowed us to tick riverboats off the list.

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So that’s another ten pieces of treasure with just three days of Juneathon to go.

*I would like to point out that I would have much preferred to see my goat in a livelier, more bleatingly animated form, but the little buggers have kept evading me throughout the month.