Wednesday 27 March 2013

Quote from Soren Kierkegaard

competition-winning photo by Dave Greene
taken in the Brecon Beacons
"Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. If one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right."

I've just read this inspirational and timely quote in Follow The Money by Steve Boggan. I'm in Austin, Texas, on holiday. We're enjoying the beautiful weather - sorry to gloat! - and have been walking at least a couple of hours every day for a fortnight now, both here and last week in New Orleans. Whether around the cities, through the wonderful Parks or out on hiking trails into tamed wilderness, a good walk definitely is the best way to clear niggling thoughts and worries.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Mushroom Soup (recipe)

Mushroom Soup
Quick and easy recipe post here!

I nearly always make 'End-Of-The-Week' soup for Saturday lunch to use up any left over veg in the fridge before we go shopping again on Sundays. These soups are all based around the same method. I have salad lunchboxes for work so there are cherry tomatoes and peppers left and sometimes lentils, but this soup requires the special purchase of a whole tub +Sainsbury's closed cup mushrooms - last of the big spenders! They are usually £1 for a 300g tub but are often reduced when close to the sell-by date. The mushrooms don't need to be in perfect condition or even all of the same type.

Olive oil
1 small onion, fairly finely chopped
300g mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp dried dill
500ml light stock, vegetable or chicken
Salt & pepper
Splash of brandy (optional)

Heat a couple of glugs of olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until softened but not browned. 
Add the mushrooms and the dill and stir to coat everything in the oil.
Add the stock and bring to the boil. When boiling reduce to simmer and cover the pan to prevent too much evaporation. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until mushrooms are well cooked.
Remove from the heat and taste. Season and add a splash of brandy if you've got some / if you want to.

When cooled a little, blend the soup and reheat until almost boiling. Serve with hot buttered toast.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Tonight I ran all the way home

Me after first 5K race
(Apr 11)
and this was by choice, not because I was running away from anything! This is the first time I've managed this since October last year and I'm sitting here now feeling very proud of myself and with a big grin on my face. OK, when I say 'ran' I mean 'jogged', and I did stick to the shortest possible distance which is about 4.5 miles, but I didn't even have to wait to cross a single road AND I made it ALL the way up that nasty hill from the old folks home on the roundabout.

Can I get a Woo Hoo?

Late last year, I was almost ready for the Bexhill Half and feeling pretty good about myself. But having hardly run since getting a miserable cold in the autumn, I have put on a stone and just feel sluggish a lot of the time. My running mojo vanished completely. This is depressing and my depressions lead to cake shops which leads to clothes not fitting which leads to more depression which ... you get the picture.

Me after Brighton 10K
(Nov 11)
My inspiration was marshaling the Eastbourne Half Marathon last weekend. I spent a couple of hours standing in front of traffic on one of the Atlantic Drive road junctions just after mile 8. Several work colleagues were taking part and I also saw a couple of people from Parkrun (must get back there soon). It was bitterly cold but all (except one) of the drivers were patient and lovely and seeing more than 1500 people striving to achieve their own 13.1 miles was magical. Mojo back!

I walked the six miles back to Polegate that afternoon. I ran most of the way home on Monday (damn hill), and today I kept going the whole way! Next week I'm going for the-whole-way-again, possibly followed by the-whole-way-by-the-slightly-longer-route.

Big thanks to all the Half Marathonners! The way I feel right now, next year I'll be joining you!