Monthly Archives: May 2012

edinburgh marathon

I am 65 years old – an Old Age Pensioner and soon to receive a state pension of £115 a week for ever and don’t have to do anything to get it. Isn’t this wonderful! Like getting pocket money and just not knowing what to do with it.

But I am in Edinburgh for this event and with all family except Nathan. We fly by EasyJet and get priority seating because we are weigh the grandchildren. It all goes smoothly and the 1 hour flight, meet and greet parking, etc actually makes the journey, door to door, shorter than by train.

Our accommodation is a two floor council flat and initially looks grim. But it has all we need ( though not a filter coffee maker) and clearly is aimed at parties of festival goers and stag/hen night frolickers rather than middle class families. What it excels in is location, location, location! We are under the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, in spitting distance of the Scottish parliament and within view of Holyrood Palace. All the the main attractions and Princes Street, the Castle, Grass Market, etc are short walks from where we stay.

flat 13, 1 ViewCraig

this is a grander address

but our block of flats can be seen bottom right…

Details of what we did are in my MacJournal diary; here are the high light and some photos – more are in my Flickr collection.

We did climb Arthur’s Seat and Thom, Tara, and I made it to Salisbury Crag which overhangs our flat.

very steep with some sheer drops to the side

thom and tara at the top

and me! At 65, too!!!

Other things we did…..

spending time in Princes Street gardens, picnicking and lolling

exploring the streets

visiting the Grass Market

looking around the Castle

But, of course, the main reason we were here was not for my birthday, magic as it was, but to support Thom and Louisa on their marathon races. Thom had intended to run the full marathon but his persistent asthma for the last few weeks made him downsize to the half marathon. Hi time was 1 hour and 31 minutes which disappointed him but must surely be a phenomenal time for someone who has just recently gotten into running. Louisa’s tim was 1 hour and 41 minutes which pleased and was a personal best!

Louisa and Thom setting off on their marathon runs

Couldn’t resist buying a kilt; there is now a MacLeaman clan (part of the Wallace collection). And couldn’t resist watching the one o’clock gun being fired!

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cognitive functioning test

As I am within days of reaching official Old Age and becoming a State Pensioner I thought I’d take a cognitive functioning test. Just for fun, of course. But I have been getting lapses of memory and impaired thinking (particularly noticeable when tackling crosswords, which I normally do in my head). I’ve put all this down to the onset of diabetes. But just to double check……

better than the average!

glass and grass

Most of the family managed to get to Kiri-ann’s new house. Thom didn’t but was consoled by going to Wembley to witness West Ham beat Blackpool and so return to the First Division (or the Premier League, as it is now called). Neil and Natalie were also there but Clare and family didn’t make it.

The house is amazing with a glass panel on the top landing and a grass roof over the extension and all carefully designed by Dave and Kiri. Also loved the electrics.

my first ride

A Lostwalk day but no-one is around. Not that I am bothered as I fancy another day to  myself. Especially as I have my new Carrera Banshee to try out. I puzzled and puzzled over the gears and how to change them and whilst there was plenty of stuff on the internet I couldn’t find out the simplest piece of information – i.e. how does one actually operate them?

In the end trial and error and exploration of all the levers on the handlebars eventually proved sufficient.

And then on to High Beach. This was hard work. Cycling on the road and up hills is a damn sight harder than pedalling a bike in front of Desperate Housewives at home. I soon learnt strategies. One of which was get off and push. But it was an exhilarating and enjoyable adventure and I made it to the Kings Head cafe where I had a fizzy water to celebrate.

On the way home I bumped into doctor Sean walking through the forest. I explained that at 65 years of age this was the first time I had ever really, properly been on a bike and I had chosen the forest so that when I made a fool of myself there would be no one to see, and if there was anyone around chances are they wouldn’t know me!

the King’s Head cafe – me and my Carrera

the pond by the King’s Head

……and again!

Paris with the Crockers

A long weekend with the Crockers in the new hub of bohemia  – the canal Valmy area. Full of students and young people, the Shoreditch of Paris, we each are double the age of most of the people around us. Lots of fun, so remember to read my diary and see the photos in my Flickr pages.

our first restaurant

Gay Paree!

edging along the Seine to Notre Dame

place de Vosges in the Marais

west ham 3 cardiff losers

Thom and I sat in row HH, the very top of the West Stand and just under the roof, but it still was a very good, if birds eye view, of West Ham beating Cardiff  3-0 to go ahead, 5 – 0 on aggregate, to play at Wembley for promotion to whatever they now call Division 1.

bubbles at the academy

They’ll probably play Blackpool who Thom and I saw beaten by Torquay there in 1991. Unfortunately the date will be May 19, which coincides with the family get-together with Kiri-ann.

Football, nowadays, is a more sedate and sober entertainment. Gone is the blatant racism, the loud obscenities and the constant noisy chanting, singing and banter. Hand clapping is the way appreciation is shown. Perhaps this is because everyone now has a seat? But what seats! I am 11 and a half stone, 34 inch waisted and a modest 5 foot 9 inches tall and I seem to spill over the sides of my chair. But, of course, I can’t  – as sitting on either side of me are two 15 stone, 42 inch waisted supporters that I don’t want to argue with.