More like ‘Gateing’*

Got back very late last night due to a total shambles of an airline service – flight got in at midnight instead of 20:50 so neither me nor my lovely taxi driver / wife were too chuffed.

Good news is that it’s MUCH cooler in Sitges at the moment, not great for the holidaymakers perhaps but fab for us dwellers.  No oppressive heat this morning – I went out while Sarah was getting ready for work – and managed to keep up a good pace on a calm but cloudy Paseo.

End of month seven!  Been an interesting one with halfwayday, 1000km passed, lots of chances to run with Sarah and even a cheeky 10k thrown in.  August should be just as interesting so keep watching!

5.08km, 25:02.

*Vuelo (from volar) – I fly, Gateo (from gatear) – I crawl.


Sunning in Randals

Any fly on my bedroom wall this morning would be contacting the Alien Kidnap Helpline on its teeny weeny mobile phone, as I was chuckling to myself as I pulled on my running gear. Mad dream (interrupted by the alarm and so lingering in memory) of doing my run in a fantasy version of Sheffield, through strangers’ houses and gardens (came out of one carrying a drumstick) and up streets covered in mashed-up tomatoes – that was the point when I realised that I’d forgotten to put on my trainers and was running in sandals. OK Mr Freud, make what you will of all that.

The real run was far more mundane but less frantic and not as squishy. Down Westerstraat to the Prinsengracht and allllll the way along to a very picturesque Reguliersgracht, water and bridges combining very prettily in the weak sunshine. Left over to the Keizersgracht and allllll the way back along there, a small shout of encouragement (at least I don’t think it was ridicule) from a couple of builders getting ready to start the day’s heavy lifting. Up Prinsenstraat and home.

5.25km, 26:26.

The mysteries of Spaarndammerbuurt

It must have rained quite a bit more in the night as the corner of Westerstraat and Violettenstraat was completely flooded this morning (hope I’m not breaking some Dutch public nuisance by-law by mentioning an Amsterdam street and the word “flooded” in the same sentence). This morning it was bright, chilly and precipitation-free at six-ish, though as I’m typing this a few hours later it looks like the heavens could open again any minute.

Ran out through the northern Jordaan sidestreets to Driehoekstraat and the top of the Brouwersgracht, out to Haarlemmerplein and along Houtmankade to the edge of the IJ and the docks. Rather than going right towards CS I went left along Tasmanstraat; dramatic cranes and piles of – gravel? coal? stuff that can form piles anyway – standing out against the Simpsons clouds to my right. Carried on to Spaarndammerdijk and eventually left to (Oost)Zaanstraat to complete the loop around Spaarndammerbuurt. Before checking the spelling and seeing that there’s an “r” in there I was thinking that maybe this was an old Spanish (“spaans”) sailor’s neighbourhood but maybe more to do with banking or cheap housing (“spaar” is savings). Finding (or just knowing, and telling me) the proper etymology is left as an exercise.

Rather than ducking right under the train tracks into Westerpark I carried on along Zaanstraat back to Haarlemmerplein and then round to the top of Brouwersgracht, Willemstraat and home.

Along Zaanstraat there’s a series of paving tiles in blue-on-white, though not Delft blue, of various animals (a boar, a deer, a dog, cat, pig etc) at about two-metre intervals that goes on for at least 200m or so and then disappeared round a corner and continued for who-knows-how-long. Meaning of these? Let me know that too please.

5km, 25:59.

Tiswas Rain

If there were to be a day when, for no specific “3 ‘I’s” reason (illness/injury/ice) that I would have said “naah, not today thanks”, today would have been the day.  After another flakey sleep, not at all happy that the alarm should come SO SOON.  Must get working on that time machine.

Pleased that I checked the weather app on my phone and saw the “rain” icon as it was pretty bright and clear when I got up, but put on my more-or-less-showerproof top anyway. Mentioning the weather gods yesterday must have caught their attention and they had a good laugh this morning.

No plans on a route but headed across the ring canals to Herengracht and then left to Brouwersgracht, across the end of the Singel and into Stromarkt, Kattengat and Koggestraat which is a lovely little triangle of old buildings and warehouses – seedy enough in the evening perhaps (it’s a Nieuwezijds extension of the RLD) but very picturesque nonetheless, and I ain’t talkin’ ’bout ladies of the night.  After looping round there I ran up Spuistraat and sensed the ethereal forms of Chris Tarrant, Sally James and John Gorman as the Bucket of Water Song was turned up to 11 and I was thoroughly, utterly soaked.

By the time I got to Spui there was nothing left of me but a sopping rag, and the rain eased from “silly” to “heavy”.  Round the top end of the Singel past Casa di David and left-right-left over the Herengracht and up the Leidsegracht as far as the Prinsengracht.  As the rain eased and finally, with a chuckle, stopped, I rounded the Westerstraat corner and dripped home.

5.1km, 25:37.


I’ve been pretty lucky so far with the weather this year – only been rained/hailed on a couple of times as far as I can remember; the main problem has been the heat in Sitges.

Today the weather gods tried to redress the balance a bit and I was reminded of the adage of the eskimos having a hundred words for snow.  From nothing-but-puddles when I went out the fire up the GPS and stretch my tired tendons, it started to drizzle before the satellites had aligned.  Went down Anjeliersstraat and out to Lijnbaansgracht and right to the Marnixbad.  Over the Nassaukade and left while the heavens opened and I was given a thorough if premature shower.

Out to Leidseplein while it continued to pour and round the hotel to Marnixstraat, back along past the garage, piano shop and the fire station on Rozengracht.  Steadied back to a drizzle as I reached the top of Westerstraat, past the towtruck giving some still-sleeping British tourist a long, tedious and expensive day to come (car with UK plates left parked in the central reservation – market day today!) and had stopped again half way down, only to give me one last drenching as I reached home and it poured again as I got the key in the door.

5km, 25:27.

A marathon not a sprint

Another lovely evening with the Jove de Sitges, this time in Reus. Quite a late night but a long lie in to make up for it.

Sarah came with me this morning even though she did an 8k Dolce run yesterday lunchtime – that’s quite a few times she’s been out in the last couple of weeks and she was feeling the effects of her aches, back to back running days and the build up of accumulated kilometres.

So a gentlish jog along the Paseo to the patos, back past the Jardines del Terramar and along passeig de Vilanova and home. 

5.04km, 29:44.

¡Venga! ¡Va!

Along with the emotional return of the children from summer camp, came the rain.  Not until I was in bed and asleep after a late castellers practice session and an even later supper, but it must have come in style as the air was still cool(ish) this morning, and the sun only peeked out during the run.

The family were all still zonked even at 0930 (unheard of) so I headed out alone in the hope that I’d be back before anyone woke up – almost worked; my boy is sat catching up with the world of electronics that he’s been happily deprived of for the last 10 days.

Down Av Sofia and along to the church, passing Miquel, Charo and Duna on the way there and back, all of us shouting the usual encouragement to the other (translates as “Come on! Go on!”).

I was taking advantage of the coolness to stretch out my legs a bit after a couple of days’ stiffness and kept it up to the sidestreet before the Terramar, Av Navarra and home along the Passeig de Vilanova.

5km, 23:05.