Friday, June 26, 2009

The next big one

I'm training again, clocking up about 27 miles a week. I had a difficult time after the Paris marathon with a lack of motivation to run and energy levels flagging. I've recovered fairly well now, though my performance is not quite what it was like three or four months ago.

The reason for the continued training is straight forward: I have another big goal. The next big thing is this:

It's a 25 mile route around my old favourite mountain in Aomori, Japan. The mountain's name is Iwaki san. It will most likely be the hardest slog of my lifetime since there is elevation to deal with, and to top it off I'll be running in 30 odd celsius and full humidity.

I went out and bought myself some good sports sunscreen yesterday though, so I should have plenty of protection. And I haven't yet worked out an exact date for the run, but it'll most likely be around my birthday - 3rd Aug - a few days after we arrive in Aomori.

I have a couple of mountains to do while I'm there as well. Shortly after arriving in Tokyo I'll be heading out to Kanagawa where I will make an attempt at 丹沢山 or Tanzawa san. It'll be a long old day, getting up for the train early in the morning. But it should feel a lot like the good old days when I used to climb mountains all the time. Then, shortly before heading up to Aomori I will climb つくば山 in Ibaraki prefecture, just north of Tokyo. Thus ticking another two peaks off my 百名山 challenge.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Garden shots


The toms are growing in numbers and I'm starting to lick my lips every time I walk in the greenhouse. That pesky mole better keep his wits at a safe distance because I won't tolerate any more attacks. If he such as lays one small digging claw on their roots I shall have no option than to resort to firm measures. Mole, if you're reading this, you've been warned!!


The broccoli's gonna be ready for munchin' in just another two weeks time!!


The first garlic of the year


Someone's breath is going to go downhill this summer after all these onions and garlic have been harvested. Better block-purchase some polos.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New camera and new fruit

We've had a spring clean in the Winn household this week. Out with the old and in with the new: laptop, camera, strawberries, tomatoes, raspberries, broccoli and one wild mushroom.

The evidence is clear:

This literally popped up overnight. It wasn't there yesterday, but stands at 6-7" this evening. Don't know what it is, and there's no way I'd eat it lest it send me crazy.

Only about a week to go until the first strawberries come into readiness. They need all the protection they can get when they're as bright red and juicy looking as they are now. The birds can spot them among the greenery now.

The Christmas tree mum gave me last year is looking good. It's growing in a peculiar way and looks really really frizzy.

I've already had a few raspberries. There's nothing like a bowl of raspberries with plain yogurt and honey. Something to look forward to. Not enough there yet to take home though.

All the hard work is evidently beginning to pay off on the brassica bed. There's sign of life on the broccoli plants and all the sprouts are looking sweet. The cabbages are starting to rose up and the chard is great. We had it with our pasta this evening.

The tomato plants smell good and they're going to be ready soon enough. I like them when they're just beginning to take shape.

This little monkey eats her fair share of the goods. She had just finished her evening shift and was in a playful mood.