Monday evening I made a run from our house out across the fields and up to the top of Leckhampton Hill. It's a rewarding and familiar route andthat I hadn't done for quite a while. My challenge is to get up to the top in half an hour, spend a bit of time at the trig point admiring the expansive views and then loop back round and be back at the house within the hour. I was about four minutes behind at the top but made it back just five seconds shy of the target.
On Friday, after being cracked back into shape by Cheltenham's Oliver Twist osteopath, I met up with Mike at his new house beneath Cleeve Hill for an 8pm start. We did a good loop, runing up through the fields from his house and up to the trig, then over the top and down to postlip hall before picking up the Cleevewold route for a while and then up some recently made steep paths. We crossed the back of the common and picked up the gallops before coming back down through the woods.
Sunday. Fathers' Day. The 6.30am start was a real effort of will. We ran the Cotswold Way north from Winchcombe along to Stanton. It had rained the night before and the land was damply warming up to create sticky air. Cow parsley and elderflowers sometimes lined the way, tipped at odd angles like wobbling spinning plates on sticks. They filled the air with the heavy scent of honey. Atop the escarpment we came across a newly planted broad avenue of limes within metal tree guards - a recreation of an old vista from Stanway House off in the distance.
In the afternoon we headed over to Farringdon for a barbeque at Professor Tony's house. The garden was filled with PhD students and heavyweight professionals from the world of autism, all thoroughly nice. Ben and Sam toddled around and kept me busy whilst Rach did some catching up. The nosh was great, and when not stopping the boys from falling down steps/wandering out into the road, I managed to fall into conversation with a psychologist and we banged on happily about climbing until it was time to go.
Got a fine mug from the boys today...