Back-to-back weekends in the bag - is it really only February?
Well done to the guys from Waitrose for persevering through arctic conditions on Kinder Scout in February. It's not often you see Nordic skiers in The Peak, and after an hour in white-out traversing Brown Knoll, huskies and sled weren't too far-fetched. Low cloud unfortunately limited the views, but the wind-sculpted gritstones of The Woolpacks look their best when the sky's forbidding.
The following weekend brought better weather, a trip to Avebury (and a sprained ankle, more on that later) and the Adventure Cafe Century Bike Challenge from Oxford. Now, I always swore I'd never become a MAMIL (Middle-Aged Man in Lycra), but the urge to get stuck in trumps my sartorial alarm bells every time. So in padded lycra and silly (albeit necessary) helmet I heroically took one for the team by giving up my bike after 45km to endure the discomfort of the support vehicle to Banbury. Hats off to all who took part, the rain seemed to keep finding an extra gear. Regardless, cycling is the best way to enjoy the Cotswolds and I can think of no better way to take in the site of the opening battle of the civil war and the birth places of such luminaries as William Shakespeare, Plastikman and, er, Gary Glitter.
The legacy of these events has been a hamstring strain and the aforementioned sprained ankle. Rest is paramount to any fitness regime, but I've always struggled to do nothing. A day without taking some form of exercise is anathema to me and always leaves me restless and tetchy. Why? IT JUST DOES, OK!! So, with one leg extended and the other on ice, I commend to you a new book by Ian Vince called The Lie of The Land, a brilliantly readable 'under the field' guide to the geology of Britain. We may not have the highest peaks, the longest rivers or the most boring salt flats, but if you want to see rocks from virtually every period in Earth's history in one place, then Britain's that place.
I may have made a screeching, Nick Clegg-esque U-turn on lycra, but I swear:
I'll never buy a caravan.
Shoot me if I do.