Marathon Month

Barrie running the Coventry Half Marathon - arms raised aloft.

There’s something wrong. My knee is painful and I can hardly walk, never mind run. It’s August and so far this year I had completed 2 half marathons, no end of shorter runs and contributed about 8 miles to the Chase the Sun coast to coast relay to raise funds for Restore. I went on holiday and ran the Pembrokeshire cliff tops with Matthew and less than a week later, out of the blue I’m brought to a grinding halt. I was booked in for the York 10k in August and the Langdale Half Marathon in October. Would I recover in time? Not a hope of completing the York 10k but October seemed a long way off.

Physiotherapists concluded that the pain was caused by a cartilage issue and I started a sequence of rest, ice, exercises, X-rays, until slowly the pain subsided enough to cycle and then jog. But not in time for the half marathon in the Lakes. I’m still in recovery and advised not to book the Coventry half marathon scheduled for spring next year. So until then I’ll slowly increase my distance and pace in anticipation of a full recovery. 

I did have a fear that the physio would give me a stern talking to about doing too much at my age, and that I should just take things easy from now on. But on the contrary, they are all keen to get me back to fitness and fully engaged in running. I’m up for that. 

Tenby and Coniston

A view of the beach and cliffs in Tenby, Pembrokeshire

We joined Matthew’s family and his in-laws, John and Eileen, for a week in Pembrokeshire near Tenby in July. It was great holiday. Beaches, islands, cliffs, good food and a lot of time given to Anna who was a delight all through the holiday. 

It’s at least 35 years since we last visited this part of Wales. There were no schedules, few deadlines, no hassle, we just relaxed and enjoyed each others company.

People walking near Coniston
Walk to Tarn Hows

Later in the year we spent a long weekend in Coniston in the Lakes in the cottage we’d booked for the Langdale Half Marathon. While injury prevented me from participating, we watched as Mark and younger members of his family toiled around the course through the Langdale hills. We also enjoyed a walk from Coniston to Tarn Hows – it was one of the first times I realised my knee pain was subsiding. 

Office Clearout – a project

Image of CDs in a rack
Hundreds of CDs given away

This has been the year that digistories was finally closed. The office that we shared at the top of the house is no longer needed, so we have embarked on a plan to turn the room, quite a large one, into another guest room. We both had/have years of ‘stuff’ to clear out. The dilemmas are frequent. What do we do with this? Keep, sell, donate, dump? Hundreds of CDs went to Oxfam after scanning them all to ensure an equivalent existed in Apple Music. A few were kept alongside even fewer vinyl LPs for nostalgic reasons.  Slowly the room is being cleared but it’s more complicated and taking longer than we would like. Eventually we will create a new office/study in a smaller room on the first floor. It’s a ‘project’.

Street Parties

Street Party with fire bin
Autumn Claremont Terrace Street Party 

Several new families have moved into the street and the usual new cohort of students arrived in September, so there were again plenty of people who we could introduce to their neighbours in the street.

We held two street parties this year, Summer and Autumn. People rally round to erect the two gazebos, bring out their garden tables and chairs, provide food and engage the children in fun and games. They’re hard work but great fun and add considerably to the  social fabric of the area.

In addition we teach students to put their rubbish bags out on the right day (work ongoing into the new year), what to put into their recycling boxes (usually either nothing or everything in sight) and what not to put into their recycling boxes. (Also ongoing into the new year)

There is an increased interest in the street about recycling, composting and environmental friendliness in these days of climate crisis. One relatively new family are collecting Terracycle packaging to take it to a collection point in the city. They also have a composter which anyone is invited to use, which prompted us to start composting waste food (which isn’t collected for recycling in York). We have a pair of Bokashi Composter Bins. If you want to know how it works look it up


Dave and Rosemary Playle
Dave and Rosemary Playle

It’s another couple of years before we celebrate our next significant wedding anniversary, but we were invited to the celebrations of two other couples this year. First it was Dave and Rosemary Playle; celebrating 60 years of marriage. We gathered with their family and friends in a golf clubhouse Ashton under Lyne. We met up with people we hadn’t seen for many years. Dave was the pastor who married us in 1971. He had been Barrie’s pastor in Yorkshire and then Joan’s in Brownhills. One surprise of the party was meeting their son, Andrew and his wife, Teresa, only to find they had recently moved into the next street to ours. The year Joan and I first met was the year Andrew was born, 50 years ago. This highlights that in 2019 we marked 50 years since we first met, followed shortly afterwards by man’s first steps on the moon.

Colin and Rhona Stanbury cutting their 40th anniversary cake
Colin and Rhona Stanbury cut their anniversary cake

In October we were in another golf clubhouse near Pocklington in East Yorkshire to celebrate with Colin and Rhona Stanbury. It was 40 years since we witnessed their wedding in Harrogate. So again we met up with their children and mutual friends and caught up with stories from the times we were together all those years ago and the things that had shaped their lives since. 

We frequently get together with Colin and Rhona along with Richard and Jenny Dean for a day out and a meal – resurrecting the friendship we shared during our days leading Harrogate Christian Fellowship in the 70s and 80s.