Monday, 21 November 2011

Evening Star

Evening Star was the name of my brothers favourite Hornby train when we were kids.   It's amazing (to me) what I end up thinking about when I'm out running but that was one of many topics covered yesterday and I decided to dedicate this post to that little train.  Apparently you can still buy them, that, to quote a mate of mine 'so uncool it's cool'.

Yesterday was one of those days where I could have easily sat around all day being  lazy.  Grey, cold and fog isn't normally a weather combination that inspires me rush out the door.  Especially when a nice brisket of beef is slowly cooking in the oven.  Very late on in the afternoon the sun did eventually break through and grey, cold and foggy became, cold, bright and almost crisp.  I had planned a 7-8 miler as a 'short' long run.  Given that it was so late in the day I decided to run down to the river, along the sea wall and steer clear of the main road into the village.  That route and the desire to avoid the main road makes an out and back route the only easy option, so thats what I did.  As I left home I could see the sun going down and it was a really deep red.  Some of the route I'd planned was due west but by the time I would have got to that section the sun would have dipped down below the horizon.  So I decided to run out across the fields and meander down to the water and enjoy the sun.  As I ran along the mist rolled gently across the fields and into the distance. I got to a section of reclaimed salt marsh and as the mist rolled across it gently it looked like those abandoned and untouched First World War trenches you sometimes see in northern France.  After a mile or so I reached the sea wall and headed off towards Marconi Sailing Club.
The east coast at this time of year is full of wading birds which I assume are off somewhere warmer for the winter.  There were hundreds of them zipping about in the mud pecking away purposefully refuelling.
The route to Marconi is handy as the end of the sea wall is almost exactly two miles from my door.  I dropped down into the sailing club dinghy park and headed up Stansgate Road.  In my first year of running I used to call it F-ing Stansgate as it always seemed to go on for miles and miles.  I thought the light was fading fast but as I came out into one of the less enclosed sections I was hit with one of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen in years. The sky was still deep red and with the mist drifting across the fields was reflected a sea of pinks and reds.  I tried to take a photo on my phone but just came up with another reason to get a newer one!
I ran on for another mile or so before turning back. I don't really enjoy out and back routes but they are quite useful at times and I'm really glad thats what I did last night. The changes in light and mood were spectacular. As I reached the sailing club and water again I decided it was time to bring out the head torch again.  The river was mirror flat and apart from the noise of a little motor boat and the birds it was completely silent.  Reaching the edge of the village exactly 7 mins 19 seconds later (I love my garmin) I was distracted by the wash of the motor boat crashing onto the beach.  Somewhat strangely I felt the sudden urge to stop and as I turned back to the footpath I realised I was about to collide with the barrier that stops people riding along the sea wall.  Perhaps I need to pay a bit more attention in the dark. With only a mile left I looked up to see a really bright star over to the South East. At first I thought it was a plane, or perhaps a planet before concluding that it was an evening star. And that's why I ended up thinking about my brothers train set.        

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