The weather forecast for the beginning of this wasn’t looking too great! Monday; rain , Tuesday; rain! The forecast wasn’t wrong either. Monday I went for a short walk along one of my regular routes, Dymchurch beach! It was raining and was quite dull. Although this wasn’t my most enjoyable walk, due to the weather, I still walked about four miles.
Tuesday morning I was planning on going for a run, but thought if it’s raining I would just go on the treadmill. As soon as I got up, the first thing I did was to look out of the window to check the weather. I could see it was wet, proving it had been raining, but it didn’t appear to be raining now.
I put my trainers on and stepped outside. I was wrong about the weather, it was raining. It was that very fine rain. I stopped and almost went back inside the house to run on the treadmill instead, but I chose to carry on my run outdoors, so off I went!
With the head torch on, the rain looked as though it was coming straight at my face. As I ran through the woods, there was a massive amount of very wet mud. It was difficult to avoid today and there were a number of muddy puddles that I just had to run through, I didn’t have a choice.
I ran along the beach and then back along a few roads. At one point there was a stationary car facing me with it’s headlights on. The drivers door was open. I assumed there was someone sat in it. I got nearer to it and there was no one with it. Not only that but the engine was running. I looked up the driveway that it was parked near to, there was no sign of anyone. This was a little strange. My first thoughts were that the car had been stolen and dumped there. Then, a few houses away up the road a man came walking out from a garden path. He was delivering news papers. He walked to the car and got in it! I was quite surprised that anyone would leave a car unattended with it’s engine running. 1, it’s illegal and 2, it’s asking for trouble. I was close to calling the police as I thought it was stolen.
My walk with the walking group this week was starting from Charing. It was a bit of a mission getting there due to a motorway closure and the build up of traffic due to this closure. I chose to go through the countryside to get there, but still I came across three separate diversions due to roadworks and so I was travelling further and further in the countryside, recognising much of it from walks I have done.
I eventually arrived at Charing and I met up with the group. We started the walk which began with a hill to climb. It wasn’t a massive hill but the views from the top were beautiful even though a little misty.
This walk was a very muddy walk as seemed to be the theme of many other people’s walks at the moment. I don’t remember having so much mud around previous years. There were footpaths covered in wet, muddy puddles that we had to negotiate our way round or even through. A bit of mud isn’t a problem though, it makes it more challenging and is always good fun, although with the slipping and sliding I felt maybe I shouldn’t walk with my hands in my pockets! I could see what would happen… face first into the mud! I didn’t want that to happen however much I don’t mind the mud!
Near to the end of the walk, we walked under a train bridge. The whole of the area under it was a massive mud bath. We all carefully walked to the edge where the mud wasn’t as deep as it was in other places. Everyone got through without any major mud issues!
This was as normal, a great walk, with some nice views and enjoyable company! The weather had been good to us considering it had been raining quite a lot for the previous two days, it was a little cold today but it wasn’t raining anymore!
My second run of the week was much more enjoyable than the first. The weather was much better which is always good when it’s that early in the morning!
I was quite pleased this morning! I didn’t just see one badger but I saw two! The first was in the wooded area, my head torch light was reflecting off some eyes that were watching me from within the trees. As I got closer I could just about make out that it was a badger! The badger turned round and ran to hide. I could hear it rustling it’s way through the vegetation! The second badger was along the main road I run along. I wasn’t expecting to see one here, I never have before. I noticed something running towards me at the side of the road and I just assumed it was a cat. Then I realised it was a badger. This was the perfect opportunity to get a photo of it, but by the time I would have got my phone out and ready to take a picture, the badger would have gone. It came within a couple of metres of me and then turned round and ran into a garden.
Later that morning as I made my way to work, the sun was starting to rise, it was a fantastic sight. I am looking forward to seeing the sunrises in the months to come whilst I am out running! Hopefully it won’t be too long now!
Friday arrived quickly again this week and after work I went for a walk in the local area. It was getting extremely cold, there was snow forecast for the following week and temperatures were due to drop dramatically. Although I was still in my shorts, I was wearing a fleece, a warm jacket, a hat and a pair of gloves so that I would keep warm. I started my walk and soon I warmed up and I didn’t need the gloves, it wasn’t long before I didn’t need the hat either. I actually became so warm, I was regretting wearing a fleece and a warm jacket, but with no bag, I kept them on as I couldn’t be bothered to carry either of them.
This walk ended up being about five miles in length and now that I had done this particular route several times, it wasn’t taking me too long to do.
It was a nice peaceful walk, I didn’t see one single person apart from a farmer on his tractor that passed me at one point. I didn’t even see a fox or a buzzard like I had the previous time I did this walk.
After this walk, I collected Charlie from school and we then went to watch Daniel play football for the school. His team won their game, which made the waiting around in the freezing temperatures a bit more worth it. Charlie was so cold he had his hat, gloves, thick coat, jumper and even a blanket I had in the car on. He then ended up falling asleep watching the game!
Over the weekend the weather was getting colder and colder. It was mainly the wind chill that was making it feel so cold, it was bitter. The weather forecast was that, here in Kent we would be getting snow from Monday night. It certainly felt like it was on it’s way!
I went for an evening run this weekend, doing about 10 miles, a bit less than what I have recently been doing. The previous night I had noticed an amazing big and very red sunset. I was hoping I would see it again this evening.
I reached the beach and the tide was on it’s way in. The wind was strong, blowing sand into my face. I was trying to take some photos whilst stopping the sand from going into my eyes.
After taking a few photos, I ran along the beach heading towards Dungeness. The wind was against me which was making my run quite a slow one to start with.
I had not long started running along the beach when a dog came running up to me. I could tell it was friendly but I have heard stories of dogs biting people or attacking other dogs. The owner hadn’t initially noticed and luckily for me, this dog was friendly. When the owner did notice, she apologised. I gave a little wave to acknowledge the apology and I carried on.
Further along the beach, the sand turns to pebbles, making it even more difficult to run. Normally, if the tide was out, I would run on the wet sandy part, but I couldn’t do that today. Today was going to be quite a slow run or even maybe more walking involved than normal with the wind and pebbles.
I noticed a high number of birds sitting on the beach. They obviously noticed me coming and they all flew away. I tried to run, what I had hoped would be far enough away from them so as to not scare them, but still they flew away.
A little further still, I saw what I think was some kind of wooden log that had been washed up on the beach, attached to it was some sea creatures in shells, I’m not sure what kind of sea creature they were though. I’m not very good with identifying sea creatures or birds it would seem either!
I made it to Dungeness before the sun set. I was hoping that I would be able to get some good photos of the sun, but it was going down behind the power station, so not the best of photos.
I did however get a couple of photos, not quite what I was hoping for, but they will do. What I was really hoping for was to get the sun setting behind one of the lighthouses, but this wasn’t to be!
I then turned round and began running back. Today I was running back along the road that runs parallel with the beach I had just run along. Not my normal route but with it now getting dark and it being so cold, I thought this would be the best option.
Before I had left for my run, I had had a large glass of water, thinking that this was a good idea to keep me hydrated whilst out running. This was a bit of a mistake though, it seemed. Probably not helped by the cold, I was now in need of a toilet. I hadn’t noticed any in Dungeness, but knew there were some in Greatstone, if I made it that far.
Needing the toilet also added to slowing me down. I was getting more and more in need of a toilet. Then as I reached Lydd-on-sea, in the distance I could see a building that looked like it could be a toilet. Eventually when I reached it, it was indeed a toilet. “Great” I thought. I went over and pushed the door, but it didn’t open, it was locked, I couldn’t believe it. If this one was locked, I’d imagine the one in Greatstone would be too. I carried on running. With the current wind, it probably wasn’t a good idea to not use an actual toilet! 😆
I arrived at the wooded area, I didn’t have my head torch with me, so had to go through the woods in the dark. I couldn’t run it as I am sure I would have tripped or run into a tree or worse still fallen into a muddy, smelly dike!
As I left the wooded area, I saw some kind of animal that had appeared to be eating something, it saw me and ran off. I think it was a fox, but couldn’t see it clearly enough to say for sure due to the darkness!
I arrived home just in time for a really nice, home made lasagne my wife had made… yum yum!
On Sunday, the weather was still freezing! We went to a local children’s farm which has lots of animals to look at and some nice little walks. Charlie also enjoyed the various play areas, especially one we called wobbly wood! There was a course that goes through a woodland with balancing beams, swing ropes and lots of other things. Charlie was having a great time, unlike another child that was there.
This other child must have been about two or three, he got to the monkey bars and wanted some help from his mum. She refused and basically told him, he either needed to get down or do it himself. He then got to another obstacle where he wanted his mum’s hand so that he could help him step across. Again, she refused to help him, telling him he had to do it himself. Charlie was behind him waiting his turn, I was with him. We waited and waited while this child kicked off because all he wanted was his mum’s hand to assist him. Eventually, I said to Charlie, “right come on, let’s go round them, I’m getting bored now”. I think the mum heard this as she took her son off. I thought she was going to help him now, but she didn’t. She put him back on it and continued to insist he did it himself without her assistance! I know we all bring up our children our own way, but all this lad wanted was to hold her hand on one bit to help him balance.
Once we had completed the obstacle course (after helping Charlie when he needed it), we followed a little walking route through some woods and by a lake. It was a lovely little walk.
After following the walking route we visited some of the animals and birds, one of my favourites being an Owl called Rolo. Who I managed to get what I thought was quite a good picture of.
Adding the 2.5 miles of walking at the farm, my total miles for the year so far now stands at 372!