Gas ‘n’ air

The rain in Catalunya falls mainly on the pinya.  Well that’s how it would’ve turned out last night if the castellers practice hadn’t been moved to the St Joan church in Poble Sec.  A strange experience to be practicing on a hard tiled floor, inside, with no net, and that pervading smell of incense that always takes me back to my childhood and all those wasted hours.

It rained all night as far as I can tell and has been wet all day so far – the weather app didn’t show much chance of it stopping so I chose a moment when it wasn’t actually bucketing down and went out into what Michael Fish would probably call “light rain”.  I needed to go to the cashpoint so ran along to the Oasis and did my business, then to St Francesc and Espalter out to Pl Pou Vedre (Espanya as was) to the Paseo, along as far as Carrer Salvador Casacuberta.  This guy was a catalan businessman from the ’20s who founded the first Spanish company specialising in ladies’ woolies, and I’m not even making this up.

Along to Av Navarra, La Masia and the Passeig de Vilanova and home.

9 months done.  Deep breaths, keep pushing through the pain and any other birth-related gags you can think of!

Talking of pain I realise that I haven’t mentioned the troublesome left knee for a few days.  Thankfully this is due to the fact that it seems to have mended itself (hurrah for the peas) and fallen off my radar.  So, “nowt” after all.

5.03km, 25:52.



As expected, the news yesterday and today is full of the fallout from Sunday’s result and the subsequent ripples and wildly different interpretations.

The only really surprising thing seems to be that Rajoy (the current Spanish PM and leader of the “tory” PP) has been told by Aznar (his predecessor in both roles) that he should accept the fact that the Junts Pel Si + CUP “coalition” won, as they got the most seats and that is what counts; ie that they didn’t reach 50% of the popular vote is irrelevant.  This is the opposite of what any Madrid/PP-sypathetic press is saying.  It doesn’t even seem terrifically likely that the CUP will support JxSi in the end anyway as they don’t like each other’s politicians, but anyway.

Another interesting reading of the results is that although the independistas didn’t reach 50% of the vote with a “Si”, it can’t be deduced that the “No” vote did either, as the “we’re not specifically asking for independence today” part of the spectrum is wildly fragmented and certainly not all holding hands behind a unionist front.

Anyway enough of that.  A bit of an easterly wind is churning up the Med and hitting the (still Spanish) coast this lunchtime so I had a nice hand pushing me along on my left shoulder as I ran along the Paseo towards the patos.  Obviously this turned into a headwind when I turned round so I went into the Vinyet and alongside the Jardines del Terramar, out to Av Navarra to La Masia and home along Passeig de Vilanova.

5.19km, 24:23.

A new dawn?

Well, the independistas, separatists, nationalists – call them what you will – got their majority.  Not Junts Pel Si alone, but with the support of the CUP then they have 72 seats out of 135, four more than the 68 they needed.  They didn’t get a majority in the votes cast however (1.9 out of 4 million cast) so I’m sure that will be cause for some opposition to their plans.  A major shake up nonetheless and a pretty disastrous night for the PP (Spanish ruling party).

Anyway, the sun rose over what may soon be a new nation and I went out before 8, while the family was waking and showering.  A normal Paseo run; the light is really lovely at that time – shining on the paseo in front of me on the way out and glinting on the Med on the way back.  Not hot, not cold – just right.

5.05km, 25:30.

Partly political, party postponed, pouring Paseo

It’s a potentially historic day in Catalunya today.  Regional elections with a difference; the Junts Pel Si coalition, if voted in, intend to start the process to bring about unilateral Catalan independence within 18 months.  It’s a big day.

Yesterday evening was the castellers performance for the end of Santa Tecla.  A great one with lots of very hard work and great results.  Rebecca went up the 5d7 as aixecadora (they needed a couple of attempts at this due to a bit of a wardrobe malfunction on R’s part, but the second one was perfect), and the other castells were all a success.

Today was supposed to be Alexander and his mate Daniel’s joint birthday party, but we awoke to pelting rain and the remains of the night’s thunderstorm.  Postponed to next Sunday and everyone informed, so only a little disappointment to handle this morning, largely abated by a impromptu playdate.

I went for my run in the rain.  It’s forecast to keep raining for most of the day so there wasn’t much point waiting.  A normal Paseo run, with lots of umbrellas about and the only people on the beach were lifeguards and optimistic surfers.  Not too bad as at least it’s not cold.

5km, 23:48.

A decade a daddy

10 years ago today, I certainly didn't run 5km.

10 years ago today, I certainly didn’t run 5km.

Today my not-so-little boy loses his single-figure status and gets to be 10!  I haven’t seen him yet today – the rest of the family are up in Llafranc for a getaway treat with their Gran who’s also coming up for a birthday (on Monday).  They’re back later so cuddles will ensue.

A long castellers practice last night.  My second “go” at being at the bottom of a pilar de 3 (just me, someone on top of me and someone on top of them), and the first time I did it without moving my feet or otherwise screwing it up.  Apart from that little milestone, we had the Xicots de Vilafranca as guests so were sharing the practice area with them; a nice change but it did mean that the session went on until almost midnight.

Up this morning in good time, a few things to organise but was out for my run about 10.  Along the Passeig de Vilanova to Av Navarra, down to the Terramar and along to the absent patos, back along the Paseo (lovely sunny glints flickering in the water) to the Calipolis, up Av Sofia and home.

5.17km, 5:14.


Early lunchtime run today in a Sitges which is just starting to leave summer behind.  Lovely sunshine but there’s a bit of a chill in the breeze and I was pleased to not be wearing just a vest.

An utterly normal run on a quiet Paseo, good to see quite a few people still down on the beach.  Lots of ducks around at la Riera de Ribes (aka “los patos” – just found out its proper name the other day while looking at the Santa Tecla itinerary).

The knee is still giving me jip.  I sat with the peas on it on and off this morning and will do so this afternoon too – see if I can trigger a recovery!

5km, 24:35.

Exiled on Commonside

A decent couple of sleeps; woke up about 0230 and had to rouse myself enough to read Sarah’s Santa Tecla report.  Rebecca was enxaneta on the pilar at the end of the procession at the Baluard – some great pics on Facebook with her “amunt” while the fireworks flew.  Brave girl.

Got back to sleep and had the most bizarre dream about being in the alternative version of some famous domestic drama.  I think it was a kind of prequel to Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca”, only set in Walkley (where else?).

I spent most of the first conscious hour trying to work out if the non-alternative version really was a famous drama or if that part was dream-state too before smelling the coffee and deciding on the latter.

Where was I?  Oh yes, 5k-a-day.  Over to the inside of the Prinsengracht and left over Haarlemmerstraat and Korte Prinsengracht, under the tracks and left over the cycle bridge to Westerdok, across Westerdoksdijk at the lights and right back along behind CS, the inky IJ reflecting North Amsterdam’s lights.  Back under the tracks at the East end of the station, over to the bottom of Damrak to the Singel, back up Brouwersgracht and home, finally fully awake.

Knee still not right.  As I mentioned in the previous posts it doesn’t affect my running but I wish it’d just stop menacing me with its achey niggle.

5.13km, 27:02.