Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Looking ahead

Jon S. at the 3-Peaks: Ingleborough, Pen-Y-Ghent and Whernside

Yes, it's that time of year again. The thaw has set in and there's energy in the air. You can feel it, or at least I can. It's palpable. Suddenly there's sunlight about the place. There's a new freshness abroad. Why, some people are even smiling.
And so, it's time to renew and replenish. Away with the aches and pains of old age. Out with the running shoes! Show me a mountain. I want to run up it. But not yet.

It's a case of slow and steady at first. A routine must be got into. The body must become accustomed to the new regime. In a few weeks, with 5 kgs less to carry about, this Bard will be flying. It's been a long time, a long winter. But the running season is definitely on the horizon. This cheers me immensely.

Mountains, lakes and riverside paths are still covered with snow. In another month or two the paths and trails will be free. I look at my prizes; running trophies for sexagenarians! Yes, once again, I'll be ready. The call of the trails is irresistible. I can hardly wait.
The FRA Calendar 2010 features mountain and hill races in GB; everything from the Chelmorton Chase (Derbyshire) to the Cader Idris Mountain Race (Wales) and much more, in fact 500 races in all. We don't know how lucky we are! I hope to be over for one or two during the year, if I can escape from the Alps.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


The colour of the earth hereabouts is brown. It had no choice in the matter. In other places the earth is yellow, red, white, black, blue, grey, orange; and hundreds of other shades of these and many other colours; often depending on the light and other factors. Of course, we are all differently coloured too.
I mention this because a poll is taking place today to decide if a holding station for refugees should be built. The local populous at the proposed site is expected vote massively (85%)* against the scheme, despite a plea from the local priest to 'help our brother in his hour of need'. But then, if a man's skin is a different colour to mine is he my brother? Yes, local politics has its colour too.


choose your colour if you can,
take the colour they give you,
be yourself and be all colours
be no colours
just be


*final result: 89.8% voted against the plan.
On the night of this Volksabstimmung a bus carrying Kosovo-Albanians returning to their new homeland in Germany crashed in Austria with tragic consequences. Early reports are of 6 dead and 35 injured. The Austrian media often speaks of asylum seakers being untergetaucht or disappeared below the radar and therefore living in a shady world of criminals and drug dealers. In reality, these untergetaucht people make their way to Germany where they figure they'll get a better deal. For Austria it's a convenient and inexpensive way of dealing with a perceived problem. Auslander angst or fear of foreigners is a major political and moral issue in this Alpine republic. The bus accident is Sod's Law.