29 July – Running With The Family


Yesterday brought another impromptu aperitivo session in the village bar and reunion of  four families, (all of us friends) with the ex-owner of the bar. It was fun, it was loud, and more to the point it was very friendly. Lots of mini conversations going on, including one about my running. The upshot of that, was at 8.30am this morning, the short, chunky dark haired middle aged runner aka Jancanrun was accompanied by fit, tall, young, blonde Dutch sisters who were really keen to come out with me, let’s call them MCP 1 and 2.

You did read that right, 8.30am – in actual fact, I was up and running at about 8.15am, to get in a warmup before my companions arrived. This is two days on the trot when I’ve been up early, something has got to give…:)

As I was doing my warm up in front of the house, I was passed by Lord Kitchener, who I usually see in Lover’s Lane – I did say Salve, but he seemed a bit distant, but then he was walking to the local cemetery and that may have tempered his good mood somewhat. Next up a pedestrian walks past, somewhat bemused at the sight of JCR seemingly doing a security patrol in front of her house. Then Argo came past with his minder, R – she asked me what was I up to and I explained it was a warm up prior to running friends arriving.

Then the JCR running crew arrived, resplendent in proper leggings, trainers and carrying water. For the first time in my running career a JCR run can be described as being run by a molto chic podista – not me of course but both of my statuesque companions – MCPs 1 and 2, in real life known as J&A.

We set off down Mill Lane and I demonstrated my highly technical tiptoe running technique for going up inclines – I think the quietness of my bodyguards said it all – I for sure am no coaching wunderkid. On we went to Lovers’ Lane and past the barking beagle house. Yes they barked, but no none of us jumped in fright. Next up we overtook two walkers with sticks, as you can tell I always choose easy overtaking victims. There’s no point in making life hard for yourself, after all. A quick loop of Villa Bali’s grounds and back up to take on Royston Vasey Ridgeway, which is quite steep even downhill, and does test your muscular control somewhat. Close to Royston Vasey we passed yet another barking dog house. This particular dog sounds big and nasty, but I think in truth, is just a rather cute golden retriever – nonetheless he kicked up a big fuss at me and my glamorous minders as we went past.

Kim Jong Un has his running elite bodyguards and I had two Catwoman type minders – what was lovely was that I didn’t actually feel pressured to run faster than normal or try and do ‘cool running’. Ordinarily when I have an audience I run way too fast, usually trip over and make myself look a complete and utter fool. Mind you today’s pace was so glacial there was no danger of speed or momentum tripping me up. At Royston Vasey, I parted company with my bodyguards, as they wanted a shorter run than me. At this point I still had about half the run to do. Sunday morning runs tends to be quiet as a lot of folk attend Sunday morning mass. Blissfully the sun wasn’t quite as strong as it has been, although I was putting on weight as I ran, due to the humidity in the air, my hair was acting like a sponge, growing like a fuzzy halo and then it escaped its band. Another failed attempt at being a molto chic podista.

I carried onto  the fish shop village and almost got taken out by a reversing lorry near to the church. I hurried on, wanting to get the run done and entered Bin Lane. No-one there, – fantastic –  I had Bin Lane all to myself so I was able to run where I liked, finding the shady areas to keep me cool. And then, at the final set of bins, I ran past some parked cars and almost got ‘door jacked’ by a little old lady who was exiting the car and flung open her passenger door right into my path. Some nifty footwork and a few choice swear words under my breath and I carried onto to the All Roads Lead To Rome road. It was nice and quiet for a change – spoke too soon JCR as just at that moment of realisation that the road was quiet, then screaming along, came one of the ubiquitous silver Fiat Puntos – its owner had decided runner skittles would be a fun game to play. He came so close it was really quite frightening – I am thinking of investing in Boadicea/Boudicca/(whatever they call her) thrashing blades so if someone tries to take me off the road, then they suffer (as a minimum) severe bodywork damage. This maybe a little over the top in terms of self preservation. But what else can you think of when your bodyguards have run home and left you to fend for yourself, I’m sure Kim Jong Un would do similar. I never thought he and I would have anything in common…


I didn’t listen to most of it as I was being bodyguarded…, but these are the tracks that played once we parted company and I was on my own.

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Oh Woman Oh Man – London Grammar

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Sign Of the Times – Harry Styles

It’s Called A Heart – Depeche Mode

Modern Way – Kaiser Chiefs

Andy, You’re A Star – The Killers


Distance 10.73km

Time 1:15:46

Average Pace 7:03 mins/km

Elevation Gain – 20 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1285.47

Km to do 732.53

28 July – Luna Rossa and Other Colours




Last night’s ‘spettacolo’ came and went, with over 2,000 people attending the Villa Bali special program for the eclipse and red moon. We didn’t go but were told by locals that it would be a ‘casino’ which is a disaster, as there were far too many people and not enough room. And as we were also told, we didn’t need actually to go to Villa Bali for the spectacle as our house is more or less the same height on the hill, and we could actually hear the audio commentary if we wanted. It was suggested that we could open our house to the public and make some money.

All this was discussed as we had an impromptu aperitivo in the local village, where, we were delighted to see the bar had its old owner in situ.  The ex-owner ‘C’was there just on a one week ‘bar-sitting duty’ but it was wonderful to see her again.

Our first colour of the evening was Aperol orange, C was wondering where the moon was and if she would be able to see the glow – as she described it ‘I am drunk but only on water’ as she then proceeded to talk about the wonderful yellow moon glow in the piazza, which we sadly had to correct here wasn’t from the famous moon, but rather a hidden street lamp.

Second colour, therefore streetlamp yellow. We enjoyed our spritzes and wended our way home, we could hear the Villa Bali event in full swing and the tiny pic of a red blob, is my proof of the Luna Rossa. Third colour seen. About an hour later the eclipse occurred – no point in taking a pic as the sky was just an all over inky black. The fourth colour done. Now the eclipse started to move away and the whiteish moon re-appeared. Fifth colour done.

So to this morning, the sky a vibrant cerulean blue – sixth colour done and Mr JCR informed me it was molto scorchio and that it would be good idea to get out. As I am none too keen on following Mr JCR’s advice, specifically when it comes to getting up early, I mooched around and faffed for a while, but then made haste and got out. This was before 8am, pretty much a record for me. I was wearing my orange and blue shorts, shocking pink belt and grey trainers. Another four colours logged. Up Mill Lane, nothing to see, all in shade and onto Lovers’ Lane – the scene of last night’s chaotic spettacolo. I saw Lord Kitchener, who was there tidying up as ever, in a navy blue top. And that’s me up to eleven colours. Ahead are two walkers, wearing camouflage colours, a light sand colour – they almost match the hayfields. 12 colours done and dusted. I enter Villa Bali’s grounds and see the cordoned off area for what I assume was the alien space craft landing space, but no sign of scorch marks or anything untoward. Maybe they didn’t fancy visiting with 2,000+ Marchiganian earthlings nearby.

I take the Royson Vasey ridgeway and being earlier than usual, it is eerily quiet. No pedestrians, cyclists, nor Miss Marsupio. I pootle along to the fish shop village and finally see signs of life, which is good because I was beginning to wonder if maybe the Martians had actually turned up and spirited folk away…

I run up Bin Lane, nicely in shade, if a bit smelly, and make my  way to the coffee shop. Aha it’s a riot of colour here, with many folk dropping by for breakfast before going to the beach. Way too many colours to count, but no boring beige at all. My face is a very hot salsa red, and I cool down with a welcome water, coffee and brioche. I’m not sure how that stacks up on running nutrition, but it works for me. I end up running back home along War Of The Worlds lane and saw a topless runner coming towards me. All I shall say is that he was generously proportioned and I don’t really want to describe his body colour! After about 3kms, I was finished and walking in the shade and spotted the snake, recently deceased I reckon, because he didn’t move and that was my final colour  – Slytherin Steel.

A tidy, colour-filled run of just over 10km, finished at just after 9am and the mercury had already risen to 26 degrees.


See You – Depeche Mode

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Be My Number Two – Joe Jackson

Beat Crazy – ditto

Dreaming of Me – Depeche Mode

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Nik Kershaw

Is Vic There – Department S

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

No More I Love Yous – The Lover Speaks

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness and The Revolution

Rio – Duran Duran

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

All Stood Still – Ultravox

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Enola Gay – OMD

Gold  – Spandau Ballet

I Am The Law – Human League


Distance 10.52km

Time 1:22:30

Average Pace 7:50 mins/km

Elevation Gain 75 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1264.22

Kms to Do 753.78







27 July – Luna Rossa


The weather forecast says it is going to be scorchio again and in fact at least 25 degrees at 8am. That means getting up early and we know how good I am at that. In fact it wasn’t too bad, I was out just after 9am and yes it was even more scorchio. Up to Mill Lane, customary vee sign and onto Lovers’ Lane.

Yesterday’s alien invasion preparations are evidently complete, with all the tables and chairs ready and the telescope observatory in waiting. The local Comune have put up ‘no parking’ signs, threatening a tow-away for offenders – I wonder if that applies to spaceships? The preparation are in fact for tonight’s red moon and a ‘spettacolo’ at Villa Bali. Ticketed event only including supper, because no Italian event ever excludes food – that just wouldn’t be right.

I am able to run around Villa Bali’s grounds, although I do have to do some nifty footwork around some police incident type duct tape. On my way down to the bendy, scary road, it’s all quiet, except for the thundering of large tractors, combine harvesters and similar. I enter Royston Vasey and see that tonight’s red moon event has given the local market stalls an obvious merchandising opportunity, with a pinafore stall taking pride of place in the piazza. Martians in pinafores anyone?

Out of Royston Vasey and coming towards me is a smiling (as ever) Miss Marsupio, this time we are on the same side of the road and she says to me ‘ Brava eh’ – pretty much a well done, I say thanks and return the compliment, as generally we are the only two pedestrians on that road – it’s mainly cyclists. Geed up by the contact, I make my way to the fish shop village and it’s hotter there, loads of buildings reflect the heat and the shade is hard to find. I pootle on and realise I am pleasantly cool (well cooler than normal) – that’s because my water bottle has been leaking, so my back is soaked and I’m half a bottle down for drinking.

I trot up to Bin Lane and get some overtaking in, that’s a little old lady pulling her shopping trolley – you’re hardly Lewis Hamilton JCR. Next in my sights, old guy walking his bike up the hill – similar really – does an overtake count when the overtakee had no idea they were being targeted? Out onto the all roads lead to Rome road and cripes the lorries are equally as big and scary as the agricultural machinery I managed to avoid earlier. At this stage I’m quite pleased, although this was not one of my fastest runs, I’ve managed to avoid too many drink/rest stops – possibly because of the leaking water bottle. The 10km prompt comes up and just as I’m about to press the stop button a cyclist passes me and shouts ‘brava per correre’ – well done for running.

What a nice way to end my run.


Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

Stand and Deliver – Adam And The Ants

I’m Free – The Soup Dragons

Take It To The Limit – The Eagles

All Together Now – The Farm

Money – The Flying Lizards

Dirty Harry – Gorillaz

Caravan Of Love – The Housemartins

Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime – The Korgis

Dancing On The Ceiling – Lionel Ritchie

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Crying In The Chapel – Sonny Til and The Orioles

What Have I Done To Deserve This – Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield

Black Betty – Ram Jam

Crazy – Seal

Can You Dig It – The Mock Turtles

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

Crazy Horses – The Osmonds

Union Of The Snake – Duran Duran

Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Tight Fit

Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor

S-S-S Single Bed – Fox


Distance 10.26km

Time 1:15:53

Average Pace 7:23 mins/km

Elevation Gain 41 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1264.22

Kms To Do 753.78









26 July – Mad Cows and an Englishwoman


Yesterday was supposed to be a run day, but we were up and out early to go to AVIS -not the car hire folk, but the Italian Blood Donation Organisation. We’d asked our friends if we could donate blood, not actually being Italian residents and they said they’d ask the President of AViS locally and see what he said. So we found ourselves in Fano hospital yesterday morning and we were shown a form that needed completing with just one question pertinent to the UK. Have you lived for more than 6 months in the UK during the period 1980something and 1995. Of course we answered yes and that was enough to stop any thoughts of blood donation.

Apparently no EU countries will accept UK blood due to mad cow disease,  and in Italy there is a 40 year post mad cow/CJD ‘quarantine’ period, at which time they’ll happily accept our blood. I have a feeling that by that age we’ll be needing our blood more than Italy will. Back home we trotted and with temperatures already 28 degrees at 10am, all thoughts of running were put firmly back in the drawer marked do not open.

To this morning, Mr JCR was up early and suggested I should do the same to take advantage of cooler temperatures, of course I fell back asleep and woke just before 9am. Hardly an early start… I made my way to Mill Lane and up to Lovers’ Lane and was going to complete my mini loop of Villa Bali’s grounds, but I couldn’t because garden furniture was being arranged for an event. Now Lovers’ Lane has recently been the site of various alien direction signs, and Villa Bali does have both a telescope and planetarium. The clues are mounting – clearly there’s going to be some astro-physical event happening soon. I think we better be somewhere else just in case the close encounters get too close.

I switched back and took the Royston Vasey ridgeway towards War Of The Worlds lane, a gruppetto of junior cyclists passed me,  one seemingly supporting another and he  groaned ‘porca miseria’ as I went past. Given this means ‘misery you bitch’ in the literal translation, I was hoping he wasn’t aiming it at me, and more at  the incline which needed ascending. Up to WOTW lane and a fellow runner passed in the opposite direction, he waved in acknowledgment and I continued on.

WOTW lane is in the midst of harvesting and as I made my way to the coffee stop, I passed one ploughed field and then in the field next door was an old guy, scything grass. He waved and shouted something which I thought was ‘Omertà’ which is the Mafia silence code – that didn’t seem quite applicable, unless of course he is a rural hit man, taking victims out by scything them to death and burying them in the field. But he looked quite benign, although maybe that is how he sucks you in.

Alternatively, he might have said ‘ha merita’ which means ‘you deserve’, but I’ve no idea what exactly I might deserve. Or finally, if he just said ‘Merita’ according to the Urban Dictionary that means I’ve got big boobs…  If he was speaking in dialect, then I stand no chance of getting the meaning as dialects vary tremendously throughout Italy, for example ‘they eat’ is spoken as ‘man jan oh’ – but in one of our local dialects it is ‘man yan yan’. I am of the opinion he was being complimentary – even if it was aimed at my boobs!

On I continued, had my coffee and brioche and returned back to the sultry heat of WOTW lane and my run. Truthfully I do have mad cow disease, as the temperature is scalding, now the shade has all but disappeared and I’m out in the mid-day sun. I can’t maintain much momentum, my pace drops to a pathetic 8 minutes + for a kilometre and I give it up after another 2.6km.

Memo to self, when suffering from mad cow disease, do not make it worse by running at midday. Truthfully that makes me a stupid cow, deserving of big boobs and or death by scythe…


Alison – Elvis Costello

Barbara Ann – Beach Boys

Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson

Eloise – The Damned

Francine – ZZ Top

Helena – My Chemical Romance

Poison Ivy – The Lambrettas

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Kayleigh – Marillion

Layla – Derek and the Dominoes

Maggie May – Rod Stewart

Darling Nikki – Prince

Ophelia – The Band

Dear Prudence – Siouxsie and The Banshees

Roxanne – The Police

Sherry – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Teresa – Eddie Cochran

Single Ladies – Beyoncé

Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy

Valerie – Amy Winehouse

Wendy – The Beach Boys

St Xenia – Katina

Oh Yoko!- John Lennon

Zoe Jane – Staind


Distance 9.05km

Time 1:10:55

Average Pace 7:50 mins/km

Elevation Gain 22 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1253.95

Kms to Run 764.05


24 July – Closer Encounters

An unplanned day of rest yesterday – thunderstorms and general life stuff slightly got in the way. This meant today had to be a longish run, so I decided upon the usual 10km route from home (ish) to my coffee stop.

It was warm but windy when I left and I was to take my usual route via Mill Lane. Just on exiting Mill Lane, I noticed another alien direction sign, wow this is so close to home, they could be getting nearer – this is somewhat worrying. Oh and to add insult to injury, there’s another sign (on a tree) in yellow informing the aliens that Lovers’ Lane is in a bad way…

Donna Summer started her orgasmic sensation Love to Love You Baby, an apt tune for this venue. Last night’s love detritus being collected by the local piadineria man, cleaning up for his lunchtime trade today, no doubt. I did my usual mini-loop around Villa Bali and on my way I thought I saw Albino and Anouska, except oddly enough Albino had the walking stick. Ah no, I got that wrong, it’s a couple with Nordic walking poles. I overtook them briskly, thinking that the aliens might pick on the slightly slower folk. I ran towards the hill that kills, all was quiet and nice and shady.

Down towards the bendy, scary road and I saw a sinister looking cyclist in the distance. A young guy, he was wearing skin tight cycling kit in black and orange with alien style wraparound sunglasses. The portents are adding up, I better get a move on and up my pace to avoid capture. Except that kind of pace increase was harder to achieve as it’s quite warm today.  I pootled through Royston Vasey and decided I didn’t need a water top up – fewer stops equals fewer to chances to be abducted. At the 6km mark I swapped roadsides, balancing the need for shade with likelihood of being run over as I’m running in the same direction as the traffic. I got overtaken by 5 or 6 vehicles in quick succession, all of which were a bit too close for comfort; I swap back to the sunny side of the road again, as it’s way too scary to run with my back to the traffic.

I aim for the fish shop, and this puddle of a sweaty runner enters to make my order. I am standing amongst, if not exactly smartly dressed then, non-sweating and looking cool folk. I pay, make my excuses, and hurry out to avoid the embarrassment of leaving a sweaty puddle behind me.

I make my way to Bin Lane where a nonno and his grandchildren are doing the recycling run. His grandson is wearing a face mask and big rubber gloves – a slightly alien look for a little boy. As ever, there’s a swarm of flies near the bins – and to be honest it’s a toss-up whether it’s the bin or me that they like most. I gather my own mini fly cloud, just like Pig-Pen in the Snoopy cartoons and continue towards the cafe.

Me and my fly buddies continue onto the All Roads Lead To Rome road, and my pace such as it was, tempers a little, not least because there are two humungous lorry tractor things coming towards me. I take sanctuary in someone’s driveway and slow down even more. In the distance I can see Mr JCR. Job done – just over 10km,  I’d avoided alien encounters, tractor encounters and I managed not to swallow any flies, despite having my very own personal convoy.


I’m So Excited – The Pointer Sisters

Hot Stuff, and Love To Love You Baby – Donna Summer

Ain’t Nobody – Rufus and Chaka Khan

Young Hearts Run Free – Candi Staton

Jump – The Pointer Sisters

He’s The Greatest Dancer – Sister Sledge

Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston

What’s Love Got To Do With It – Tina Turner

Forget Me Nots – Patrice Rushen

Ring My Bell – Anita Ward

I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan and Lew Hahn

Knock On Wood – Amii Stewart

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Let’s Hear It For The Boy – Deniece Williams

Automatic – The Pointer Sisters

Car Wash – Rose Royce

Street Life  – Randy Crawford

Lady Marmalade – Patti LaBelle

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

Respect – Aretha


Distance 10.38km

Time 1:11:10

Average Pace 6:51 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 43 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1244.91

Kms To Do 773.09





22 Jul – Legs Eleven



After yesterday’s double running, I thought it would be good to try and do a similar 15km today if I could. Two small issuettes getting in the way:-

  1. The vintage cycle race/family day is on the route I used yesterday, so maybe a bit hectic
  2. I don’t appear to have got up early enough and it’s warm

Okay that’s the excuses out of the way, now I have to get out of the door. When I leave the house it’s not quite as hot as I imagined and there’s a little cloud cover;  I decide to change routes and not plan on achieving a specific distance, just seeing where my little legs carry me.

First off, down to Argo’s loop, no sign of Argo and his owners’ house is all shut up, maybe they are having a lie-in on Sunday. I trot past the beagle kennels and cause a commotion, next past the contadino’s house, where they have three horrid snappy dogs that lie in wait to frighten you. They scamper up a corrugated iron enclosure, which is just about high enough to keep them in. I love dogs, but really dislike these. I make my way to Laundry Lane , which has plenty of tree cover and find to my astonishment, that I am doing a sub 6 minute kilometre. Now it is downhill somewhat, but with the high temperatures here in summer,  6 minutes a km is a pace not seen by me since Spring in London. That is a nice spur to keep me going and I pootle on down the winding switchbacks, and come across some sunflower fields. The first field I see is all sad and droopy, the sunflowers’ petals have fallen and the stalks are rotting, in advance of harvest. But only 2 minutes further on I find another field still in full bloom, altogether a much cheerier sight. At this stage I am about 4km in, but I think the picture stop messed up the GPS as Map My Run decided I hadn’t moved an inch, despite me continuing to run. It seemed to catch up a little while later, although exactly how accurate it was, who can say?

It’s very sleepy and snoozy, not much traffic about, I hadn’t seen any cyclists – although they may all have been at the vintage bike event, and I made my way to the usual cafe stop. There Gio, had my water, cappuccino and brioche all ready to go. A quick pitstop and I was off again. This time taking the War Of The World’s lane back towards home. The reality of living 4km up a hill, means that any run I do, I tend to end up a long way from home and have to scale the hill again, which as the day gets hotter is no mean feat. Generally I counter this by taking a gentler, longer route home, running whilst I can and then doing the final 3-5 kms by walking.

WOTW lane to my home is about 7/8km as the crow flies, but I’d need to cadge a lift from a flying crow as the gradients are horrid, so the gentler route is closer to 9/10km. Today, I wasn’t sure I was up for a 10km run home, but I took my time on WOTW, which was nicely covered by cloud. I overtook two pole walkers, who in fairness, looked at least 20 years older than me, so I’m not sure it was a great achievement. And then I met two women collecting botanical samples. It looked more professional than random plant cuttings, as one had a scalpel type blade, and the other had labelled plastic bags. Or as they were close to yesterday’s alien abduction plants, maybe there is something more sinister going on?

I trotted on and just as I was leaving WOTW lane, I saw Arturo and his owner Hairy Biker Man walking towards me. Arturo came up to me – I said buongiorno and petted him for a bit. HBM told me Arturo is 3 years old and needs lots of walking, but his other dog is 15 years old and needs his rest. He wished me a good run and continued on his way. At this stage the GPS stopped again, and I’d been running for what I knew was at least 0 .5 of a km and according to Map My Run I hadn’t moved an inch. Curses. I stopped the clock and created a new run. I knew the distance from yesterday’s run to the hill in Royston Vasey and was able to calculate exactly how much Map My Run had missed off this time. All in all, my legs did eleven+ kms – not quite up to my early aspirations of 15km, but every little helps to getting the targets done.

Next time I see Hairy Biker Man, who unsurprisingly didn’t speak Italian with a Geordie accent, I should find out the name of Arturo’s companion.

Oh and a big shout of thanks to my running mates on C25K Health Unlocked for their messages of support.


To Cat – another rather random affair, that makes no sense whatsoever….based on famous names…

Michael Caine – Madness

There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis – Kirsty MacColl

Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

The Prince – Madness

John Wayne Is Big Leggy – Haysi Fantayzee

Geronimo – Sheppard

Grace Kelly – Mika

Joan of Arc – OMD

Just Like Jesse James – Cher

Free Nelson Mandela – Soweto Singers

Rasputin – Boney M

Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz

Bruce Lee – Robbie Williams

Sherlock Holmes – Sparks

Real Slim Shady – Eminem

Dance Like Mick Jagger – Se7en Sense

Andy Warhol – David Bowie

Black Man Ray – China Crisis

Roll Over Beethoven – ELO

Barbie Girl – Aqua

Walks Like Rihanna – The Wanted


Distance 11.32km

Time 1:14:41

Average Pace 6:35 Mins/km – that’s good!

Elevation Gain 113 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1234.60

Kms to Run 783.40









21 July – Loving The Aliens


Yes, you’re right, this does appear to be my second post for the 21st July. That was because after having done the 10km this morning, I realised I was ‘behind’ on being ahead.

Having had three unscheduled days off running, I’d lost 23kms of progress, and that is hard to make up. After my usual coffee stop, where Valentina rescued me with a cappuccino, water and pastry, I decided I’d try and do another 5km run, just to reduce the 3 day deficit. With my friend A’s warning about being sensible and not overdoing the training, ringing in my ears, I thought I’d give the run a go, and if I couldn’t do it and was too tired, then I’d just walk the scenic route home.

So it was I found myself on War Of the Worlds lane,  it seemed to me the best route home, because it’s a bit up and down, but not horrendous and very quiet. Psyching myself up for the first incline, I saw a topless runner ahead of me. Now that is worth following to ogle the bod, not in a stalkerish manner I must explain, just purely to see who he is and where he is going.

My pace was somewhat slower than his and he kept disappearing out of view. I didn’t really have enough puff left to put on a sprint, so I had to be satisfied with occasional glimpses, once I’d rounded the same corners as he had. Now we were on the straight, there’s nowhere for him to hide, except he evidently has a bit more in his motor than me and he disappears out of view once more. A kink in the road? Or has he become an alien abduction victim? As I’ve written before, he is in the perfect place for a Martian pick-up. I round the kink, and can’t see hide nor hair of him. Strange, it’s fairly flat around here – maybe a call of nature?  I plod on, with my topless runner motivation gone and get sidetracked by the appearance of the bizarre plant pictured.

In all the best sci-fi movies, there’s usually a trace element left by the aliens, to give those in the know, the opportunity to identify that something extra-terrestrial has occurred. Is it therefore a coincidence that a topless runner has disappeared and these weird plants are now nearby? Yes, it is a coincidence, because he’s turned up a junction and sprinting in the distance…, no chance of me flogging this story to Spielberg then.

Now that I have no-one to follow, my pace drops a little and at the 3km stage, I do wonder whether I can be bothered to continue, but then I spot the yellow arrows on the road. Clearly the aliens are around and in need of directions. I decide to follow some of them and see where they take me. In fact they take me to the end of War Of The Worlds lane and the arrows are for a vintage cycle race, in which riders dress in old fashioned gear and ride old fashioned bikes through the countryside.

I turn up towards Royston Vasey and men are unloading crates of water for the upcoming race, – one of the unloaders saw my face and asked whether I needed fresh water – I thanked him and showed him my half-full water bottle and continued on. Now I was getting tired and glanced at Map My Run, I was just short of 5km and as that is my minimum distance to be considered for the Alzheimer’s Challenge, I gave myself a mental shove and continued on until I hit 5.15km.

Brilliant, I made it through alien abduction territory, and caught up a little on my deficit. A good morning’s work.


Young, Gifted and Black – Bob & Marcia

Night Boat To Cairo,  One Step Beyond- Madness

Too Much Too Young,  – The Specials

Selector, On My Radio,  – The Selector

Can’t Get Used To Losing You – The Beat

Lip Up Fatty, – Bad Manners

Our Lips Are Sealed – Fun Boy Three

Liquidator – Harry J Allstars

Police On My Back – Eddy Grant and The Equals

Monkey Man – Toots and The Maytals

Rudy Got Married – Laurel Aitken

The Tide Is High – Blondie

Return of Django – The Upsetters

Rudy, A Message To You – Dandy Livingstone

King Of Kings – Jimmy Cliff

Red Red Wine – Tony Tribe

Start – The Jam

Uptown Top Ranking – Althea and Donna

Monkey Man – Amy Winehouse


Distance 5.15km

Time 41:28

Average Pace 8:02 Mins/km

Elevation Gain 106 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1223.28

Kms to Run 794.72





21 July – Three Dots and a Dash


On the left we have the international Morse Code on the right, one runner’s thigh. This morning started bright and early after the sound of pitter patter on the roof told us it was raining. Well it told MR JCR it was raining, at which point he scrambled out to the back garden to rescue our outdoor cushions from getting soaked. Somewhat slower in reaction times, I followed suit. Hence I was awake before the witching hour on a Saturday. Amazing, its something that’s hardly ever known to me; having drunk a restorative mug of tea (and a blissful three days of rest with no running), I thought I should aim for a longer run if the temperature was kind.

After a considerable mount of faffing I finally left the house at 7.45am. Congratulating myself on a job well done, I then got bitten by a mosquito – three times on the right leg. Now the sun is up and they are supposed to be nocturnal, what is going on? Continuing on to Mill Lane, I managed to scratch my thigh, I don’t know how that happened –  already my right leg is sporting three mozzie dots and one scratched dash – Morse Code for ‘V’ which considering I flick a vee sign at the water pumping station every time I pass, seems appropriate.

I pootle along to Lovers’ Lane, where Lord Kitchener is clearing up after Friday night’s Pink Floyd tribute concert. He is too busy to notice me and so not a word is said. I aim for the hill that kills, and delight in the glorious shade – and thank heavens the mozzies appear to have gone. It’s early, everywhere is sleepy and I take the bendy, scary road and suprisingly don’t see a pedestrian, cyclist or even a car until I reach Royston Vasey. And there she is Miss Marsupio, smiling as ever and listening to her music. Our standard greeting is a nod or a smile, however today we exchanged Ciaos, I don’t know exactly where she walks but I reckon it is more or less a 10km loop.

By now I realise that Map My Run Mechanical Voice Lady has gone awol again, and sure enough I check my phone and yes I have taken 28 minutes to run 1.1km. Then to my great surprise I manage the next km in just 2 seconds. At this point, I decide to run a specific route, so I can record the kilometres accurately. Ho hum, these technological glitches are most peculiar.

I enter the fish shop village and they are either clearing up or setting up for some event as there are a vast number of hay bales in the village square; there aren’t any visible signs/notices – maybe it’s country dancing or similar. I continue onto Bin Lane,  and I am shadowed by a car, pretty much all the way up  – which is just over a km long. Now there is a universal truism amongst runners that if you have an audience you can’t stop running, no matter how much you may want to. Whilst I desperately wanted to stop to have a drink, I didn’t want the embarrassment of stopping and the car’s occupants, thinking I wasn’t a real runner. So up Bin Lane I schlepped, with my own personal race car behind. Thank heavens it came to a stop before I hit the ‘all roads lead to Rome’ road.

On my final approach to the cafe, I overtook a fellow runner, she was wearing a very fetching natty pink combo, my face was redder than hers, she had the swooshy ponytail, caramel coloured skin, not a sweat droplet in sight, and I felt somewhat deflated. It would be nice just the once, to look like a swooshy ponytail runner, rather than the tomato on legs I actually am. Maybe another day?

Dot dash dot, dot dot dash, dash dot,    dash dot dot, dash dash dash, dash dot, dot.

Oh and a huge thank you to friends K&C who have sponsored me for my challenge, when the flesh and motivation is weak, these gestures help a lot. Thanks so much!


Night Boat To Cairo, House of Fun, One Step Beyond- Madness

Ghost Town, Gangsters, Too Much Too Young,  – The Specials

Selector, On My Radio, Too Much Pressure, – The Selector

007 Shanty Town, Israelites, – Desmond Dekker

Mirror In the Bathroom – The Beat

The Can Can – Bad Manners

One Step Beyond, Al Capone – Prince Buster

Our Lips Are Sealed- Fun Boy Three

Carry Go Bring Come – Justin Hinds and The Dominoes

54-56 Was My Number – Toots and The Maytals

Skinhead Moonstomp – Symarip

Return of Django – The Upsetters

Rudy, A Message To You – Dandy Livingstone

Red Red Wine – Tony Tribe

Start – The Jam

Uptown Top Ranking – Althea and Donna

Train To Skaville – The Ethiopians


Distance 10.39km

Time 1:15:00

Average Pace 7:13

Elevation Gain 118 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1218.13

Kms To Do 799.87 (yes, now into the 700s)

17 July – Upsetting Arthur

OMG I have to get back up that hill....
OMG I have to run back up that hill

Last night we had a thunderstorm, which thankfully reduced the temperature somewhat. Second reason for thanks was that we avoided the hailstones, which were palm sized (hand not tree) and damaged cars in one of the local towns. Shattered windscreens and dented bodywork pictures were a big feature of today’s news.

Actually a shattered head and dented bodywork sums me up too, at present. I left the house a little later than usual but the weather was kind, and GPRS still playing up. Map My Run Mechanical Voice Lady wasn’t speaking to me either and when she did she was talking nonsense again.

So a quick dash up Mill Lane, flick the vee sign, and run down Lovers’ Lane – no-one there today, so a lonely dash back  to the Hill That Kills. Again, surprisingly quiet – I saw a cyclist who was so skinny, I swear he looked like a white toothpick on a bike. The bike looked fatter than he did. He was followed by the non-fit cyclist – he of the transparent shorts – again wearing black shorts today.

Maybe his wife/husband/partner/mum/dad/friend has told him the translucent shorts aren’t a good look. Through Royston Vasey – no need for a water stop today, and on my way to War Of The Worlds Lane. I passed an oncoming very fit looking walker and he nodded to me. So far so quiet.

Next up the final stretch and I saw Hairy Biker Man with Arturo his bigger dog. As I ran past he held on tight to Arturo’s collar because he said Arturo likes chasing after runners. As I don’t like being chased by dogs/anything else I was glad he held onto him. But poor old Arturo looked very cheesed off – his dog walking escapades now ruined by a puffing, panting lady runner. I think to give him a break I should take a different route next time out, which is a bit of a shame as I like War Of The Worlds Lane even with the risk of alien abduction.

I am sorry Arthur for ruining your day. I’ll be somewhere else next time I promise.


House of Fun – Madness

Baggy Trousers – ditto

One Step Beyond – ditto

Ghost Town – The Specials

Too Much Too Young – ditto

Rat Race – ditto

Selector  – The Selector

Back To Black – ditto

Mirror In the Bathroom  – The Beat

Cant Get Used To Losing You – ditto

Lip Up Fatty, – Bad Manners

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

Our Lips Are Sealed  – Fun Boy Three

Police On My Back – Eddy Grant and The Equals

Carry Go Bring Come – Justin Hinds and The Dominoes

54-56 Was My Number – Toots and The Maytals

Monkey Man – ditto

Rudy, A Message To You – Dandy Livingstone

My Boy Lollipop – Millie Small

King Of Kings – Jimmy Cliff

Tom Hark – The Piranhas

Let’s Do Rock Steady – The Bodysnatchers

Free Nelson Mandela – The Starlite Singers

Start – The Jam

Monkey Man – Amy Winehouse


Distance 9.67km

Time 1:04:36

Average Pace 6:40 (lower temperatures make a heck of a difference)

Elevation Gain 89 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1207.74 (beat the 1200 marker)

Kms to do 810.26




16 July – Ska and Two Tone Playlist


In an attempt to change the feeling of my playlists, a lot of which are very New Romantic and 80’s oriented, I pleaded for some help on the C25K Forum to create a new playlist for running. We now have a (long overdue) Ska & TwoTone list on Spotify. I’ve tested it on a 4km walk and it’s a nice rhythm, so hopefully will spur me on beyond the 1200km mark.

The Playlist can be found under Retro Runners on Spotify,


Young, Gifted and Black – Bob & Marcia

Night Boat To Cairo, House of Fun, Baggy Trousers, One Step Beyond- Madness

Ghost Town, Gangsters, Too Much Too Young, Rat Race, – The Specials

Selector, On My Radio, Too Much Pressure, Back To Black, – The Selector

It Mek, 007 Shanty Town, Israelites, – Desmond Dekker

Mirror In the Bathroom, Cant Get Used To Losing You, Hands Off She’s Mine, – The Beat

Walking In The Sunshine, Lip Up Fatty, – Bad Manners

One Step Beyond, Al Capone -Prince Buster

Our Lips Are Sealed, The More I See, – Fun Boy Three

Liquidator – Harry J Allstars

Guns of Navarone – The Skatalites

Police On My Back – Eddy Grant and The Equals

Carry Go Bring Come – Justin Hinds and The Dominoes

54-56 Was My Number, Monkey Man – Toots and The Maytals

Skinhead Moonstomp – Symarip

Housewive’s Choice – Derrick and Patsy

Rudy Got Married – Laurel Aitken

The Tide Is High – Blondie

Return of Django – The Upsetters

Rudy, A Message To You – Dandy Livingstone

My Boy Lollipop – Millie Small

King Of Kings – Jimmy Cliff

Red Red Wine – Tony Tribe

Tom Hark – The Piranhas

Let’s Do Rock Steady – The Bodysnatchers

Free Nelson Mandela – The Starlite Singers

Going Underground, Start – The Jam

Uptown Top Ranking – Althea and Donna

Monkey Man – Amy Winehouse

Train To Skaville – The Ethiopians