Monday 29 November 2021

Snowy morning

Yesterday we went to see Tina and Matt in Derbyshire for lunch, and before we started on the roast, we were really surprised to see a few snowflakes falling. By the time we got to the apple strudel and custard there were giant flakes falling and the ground was white over.

We cut our visit a bit short, and it was a difficult drive home. Last night I went to bed hoping that the snow was still hanging around this morning.

Yes, I was in luck, although I think that the fish probably weren't so keen on being iced in. 

We wanted to make the most of it, so set off on a long walk, and I stopped to take a photo of our street.

The Millennium Pond at Langford was looking lovely.....

.... and as soon as they saw us a flock of ducks started running towards us across the ice. 

I felt very guilty that we had nothing to give them, but fortunately a lady turned up with a bag full of goodies and they all turned back and headed towards her.

It was still freezing when we got home, but within an hour the sun was starting to melt the snow and by lunchtime most of it had gone. 

Saturday 27 November 2021

Victoria Dock parkrun

After a very later night I woke up at 7.40am and whispered to Darren, 'do you still want to go'. Half hoping for a 'no', he said that he would still quite like to, so after a couple of minutes hesitation, I got up and put the kettle on.

By quarter past eight we were on our way to Southwark underground station, we caught the train for about five stops, then I tried to navigate the final walk on my phone. After a false start due to coming out of the wrong tube station exit we were back on track and then at Victoria Docks.

Amazingly when we got there a couple of ladies were getting undressed down to bathing costumes, and later we saw them swimming in the water.

They aren't in the water in this picture, but what a crazy place for a swim.

Just around the corner was the start of the parkrun, and we had to run two laps along the left hand side of the photo.

It was a very cold and windy day, and not a huge turnout, but Darren was 32nd and I was 59th.

Finally we just had to reverse the journey, get some breakfast, then the train back to Bicester, walk home from the station and then put our feet up. 

Ps, nice run with great views of the docks, the cable car and the Millennium Dome. 

Build It awards 2021

Such an exciting night last night. The Graven Hill development company entered our house into the Build It magazine awards for 2021. A couple of months ago they sent round their photographer to get some good shots and filled in the application form for us.

A few weeks ago we found out that we had been shortlisted, and that the winners would be announced at an Oscar style event in the Bankside Hilton in London!

Graven Hill had a table for ten that was paid for by the architects who design the groundworks for the development.

Everyone on our table was lovely and was there to cheer us on, as well as Dave, another resident entered into a different category to us.

All of the drinks were paid for and lots to go round, and the dinner was great too.

Half of the awards were announced before the dinner, but we were on afterwards. The room had definitely got more rowdy by the time our Best Brick House category was announced....... 

....... Drum roll...... And we won๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿฅ‚

We went up to collect our prize, and to have many photographs taken by the official photographer that I am guessing will appear in the Build It magazine's next issue. 

Back home now and we are not cool enough to put our trophy in the downstairs toilet which is I think what a lot of Oscar winners do, and it already has pride of place on the bookshelf in our living room. 

The magazine have issued a full list of the winners on line, and it's not that I am not pleased for them too, but here is our photo. 

Prepare yourselves as I might go on about this for quite a while. 

Monday 22 November 2021

Mike's ten year run streak

What is a run streak you may well be asking. Opinions regarding distance may vary, but in our friend Mike's opinion, it is to go out for a run every single day and cover a minimum of five kilometres each day. In fact he has done much more than that and has averaged ten miles per day for the last 3,650 days!!

He is second from the left wearing a tutu, and lots of his runs were in fancy dress.

Our morning started with a quick trip to Cleethorpes sea front to see the sunrise over the dunes.

Then a McBreakfast followed by a quick drive inland to Caister to meet up with Mike and his gang. He is a great inspiration to many runners and Caister Running Club were out in force, along with various visiting friends.

At exactly ten am we all set off to run 10 kilometres around Caistor, and we followed the route of the Caistor Sting in the Tail run that we did in 2018.

Fortunately for us it wasn't a race this time, as there was some seriously good runners in the group. We all jogged cheerfully around chatting and stopping occasionally to make sure that everyone stayed together.

Mike and a few of the others had spent the weekend running a marathon on both days at a local event called the Maravan where competitors ran laps of an out of season caravan site in Cleethorpes. No, we did not enter that even though we happened to be very close by. 

Sunday 21 November 2021

East coast beaches

A long drive today and a trip down memory lane. Along with most of the families in Nottingham, my family went to the Lincolnshire coast every summer for our annual holiday.

Our first stop today was Skegness, and we passed the famous dancing fisherman signpost on the way in. The weather was certainly bracing and the pier was a lot shorter than I remembered.

Lucky that we wrapped up warmly.

The town was quite lively, the lights from the amusement arcades were twinkling, and the clock tower was looking good.

We then went further up the coast to what used to be the centre of our universe - Sutton on Sea.

It had not changed much at all, and the paddling pool seemed to be exactly the same.

The beach was very different because there are huge banks of sand right up the top of the sea wall.  I thought that it was really beautiful, and even better than it was in the 1960's. 

We then walked along the seafront to the magnificent Breakwater Bungalows. Every year we had a fantastic holiday staying in them and they are still there, and exactly the same. They are all privately owned now and it looks as if they are lived in all year round.

Unfortunately, they don't photograph well, but I don't think that is important as it's the memories that matter.

Mablethorpe is just along the coast and we used to walk there for fish and chips. The sun had gone in by the time we reached it, and it did look a bit disappointing, and I couldn't find anything to photograph.

Our final destination was Cleethorpes which is new to me, and we are staying overnight in a nice Premier Inn.

Sunday 7 November 2021

Family visit and fireworks

Back from our holiday and back to normality. We made a flying visit to Bicester Village and it is looking really lovely. Santa's sleigh and reindeers have arrived and they are just standing around waiting for their boss.

My sister brought my mum and dad to see our house and we went for a little walk round the estate. My mum very loyally said that our house was the best! Combined age of the people in this photo is 294, soon to be 295 unfortunately. 

Finally, last night we went to the Bicester Round Table fireworks display. It was a mild, dry night and I think that the whole of Bicester had the same idea as it was absolutely packed.

There was a bit of drama early on as the bonfire was quite close to a large tree and sparks were flying right through it. It didn't catch fire, but I am sure that it will be looking very singed and sorry for itself this morning.

Excellent fireworks that were vaguely set to music, and it was great that a big group of girls just behind us sang along very loudly to all of the songs.