The hunting season opened officially on 1st September, but on that day it was rainy and misty, so I guess the hunters stayed at home. This morning, wet and very windy and a volley of shots confirmed my date with Mr Smooth, I put my head out of the window, gosh it was cold. It was at this point the faff-mouse appeared, Faffolino as she is known, is very sleepy most of the time but when she wakes up, she creates havoc. So after having put out all my clothes for the run, the vest top and shorts had to go back in the drawer.
Get the step ladder out to climb to the top of the wardrobe, to pull out the Autumn/Winter gear. More faffing ensues, which clothes to wear? Okay longer running capris, but which rain jacket, the pink polythene bag version or the orange and purple tasteful jacket, with bright yellow netted lining. Mr JCR who had decided rather wisely that he was not cycling this morning, made a helpful suggestion. Try walking around the house in both jackets and decide then.
Okay so that’s more faffing to do… Dismount stepladder, get dressed, take stepladder, put it in the ‘universal crap’ cupboard. Unlock doors, try on one jacket, walk around the house like a fluoro security guard. Okay decision – pink polythene bag version. Eventually, out the door, to the gates. Drat, Faffolino has struck again, it’s so windy that the automatic gates keep closing. I play chicken with the gates a couple of times and then get out. First run part up the Hill That Kills. Aha, I see a lady in her pyjamas, rather sassy ones with sun, moons and planets on them oh and gum boots and a parka. This is strange, the mums in pyjamas concept isn’t really seen here.
It seems Mrs Pigiama mamma and Mr P-M, have a problem. About 15 minutes earlier one of their trees lost a significant branch to the wind – about 25cm in diameter and about 4 metres long, it is blocking the road. They are in the road, sawing it into smaller pieces so they can shift it out the way. I wish them ‘Buon Lavoro’ and carry on, looking towards all the trees, wondering if any more are about to fall down.
Head into Lovers’ Lane, get overtaken by a car which makes me jump. Faffolino tells me she hasn’t done yet – so I have to stop to remove a stone from my shoe. Back up Lover’s Lane and up to the Hill That Kills again, Mrs Pigiama mamma is inside, Mr P-M is left fixing his netting fence, and a much smaller branch is neatly at the side of the road. Down to the bottom and back up again, for my last loop into Lovers’ Lane, it’s got a bit warmer and the rain has stopped, so I am sweating like the proverbial pig in my pink polythene jacket. Faffolino has hit me again, so I hop around taking off the pink, revealing my bright yellow top.
I decided to do another change of route and headed towards Cavendish Hill, I call it this because it has been a famous Giro D’Italia stage and also a stage for other Italian races. Mark Cavendish the Isle of Man cyclist has won here and been immortalised in paint on the road. The hill is very steep and years ago the local council decided to commemorate all the previous winners, starting with the earliest years at the bottom of the hill and as you rise, the list is more recent. I set off in September 2017 (no paint here as the stage hasn’t been here for a few years) and decided I would run down the hill to Mark’s name and back up. Great plan JCR, except the paint has faded so much you can no longer see his name, so having run from 2017 down to 1979 and still not found him, I decided to ‘run’ back up.
Progress slightly hindered, by stopping at the faded paintwork every few metres, this is a bitch of a hill. And as you can see from the pics, I never did find him. So Mr Cavendish, if you want to remain immortalised in this corner of Italy, perhaps you could contact the Comune of Saltara and arrange for some new paint? I don’t know if Faffolino had decided to put the idea of Cavendish Hill in my running mind, but yes I was faffing because of taking photos.
I finish at 5.6km of proper running, but Cavendish Hill is a toughy…, and my final paces resembled Mrs Overall of Acorn Antiques, not I think the optimal running style I should be aiming for.
Late Postscript, Mr JCR has informed me that Mr Cavendish actually won a time trial here in the 2008/09 timescale, so I ran all the way down to 1979 and it was actually 29 years further up the hill. AAARRGGHHH. That’s 29 years of unnecessary running!
Sign Your Name – Terence Trent D’Arby
It’s Called A Heart – Depeche Mode
When Doves Cry – Prince And The Revolution
Is Vic There? – Department S
F..k You – Cee Lo Green
Modern Love – David Bowie
Alison – Elvis Costello
Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
Beat It (twice in succession) – Michael Jackson
Warwick Avenue – Duffy
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
Distance 5.61km (purely running)
Average Pace 7.55 min/km
Elevation Gain 90 metres – yes 90 – look at the Cavendish Hill!