Sunday, October 23, 2005

Progress report

Bowled over am I at the concern of the blogging community. Thanks indeed for the kind wishes expressed by one and all. Unfortunately, I didn't read the advice until TOO LATE, so this morning, at 8.30, I left with my heartless husband (more about him to follow), and our wonderful friend and neighbour, Mr Holland, to take to the moor, donned in a Helly Hansen, Off-road running shoes, attractive runner's shorts and my trusty minimal bounce bra, with two pieces of kitchen roll tucked in (for nose blowing, not breast enhancement - where else to keep?) and having consumed the obligatory ibuprofen (my only addiction - and I can't say I am proud of it).

Here is a summary of our endeavours:
1. Ran along a flatish riverbank in the Teign Valley for three miles (from Clifford Bridge to Fingle Bridge - tis quaint down ere) a bit of mud and undulation, but no real problems.
2. Ascended to Castle Drogo using the Hunter's path. This was hell.
3. Ran along a ridge for about two miles.
4. Descended back to the River Teign.
5. Crossed the River Teign
6. Ran back along the river in an undulating manner for about two miles to Fingle Bridge
7. Did not cross bridge and return to car. Instead ascended Maximum heart rate hill for about a mile. If the first hill was hell, this was double hell-hill with bells on.
8. Ran back down to the river on a tiny muddy wet track.
9. Ascended back up to the ridge again on a flint embedded path.
10. Descended very steeply until most of toe nails had fallen off and femurs were embedded in patellas.
11. Ran (limped) the final flat mile back to the car - about ten miles in all - and the course of the famous Castle Drogo race that I am going to do in a couple of weeks time.

Anyway, back to Martin my heartless husband. He is quite mean to me, and prides himself on being better than me at everything related to physical exercise except perhaps rollerskating. He is particularly proud of his skiing technique, and yesterday nearly died laughing when I suggested that I might be getting as good as him on the slopes (which of course is rubbish - but worth the pot shot for the response alone).

So today, when we went running, I decided to name him Hare - as in the Tortoise and the Hare, me being the trusty steadfast tortoise, who in the end would triumph over cocky and arrogant speedier creature.

This tickled me as we were running, particularly as I recalled Hartley Hare - the unpleasant Pipkins character from the 70s:

Hartley managed to incorporate into his personality the worst human frailties which all of us possess in varying degrees, which meant that viewers could easily identify with him. He had to be the centre of attention, and if he wasn't, he would not be beyond creating some diversion to swing the attention back to him. He also cheated and sulked when found out. Often he would not be the least bit interested in some object until someone else wanted it. Then he would go to enormous and devious lengths to get it for himself. Yet at the same time there was always something charmingly naive and open about him. He would be genuinely horrified if it was pointed out to him that his actions had been selfish and hurt someone else. He would even go out of his way to make it up to them. He was also extremely highly strung so that even the simplest decision or action would become a dramatic highlight!

ANYWAY towards the end of the final hideous hill, I noticed that my super-fit and stylish husband was slowing down somewhat, so in true tortoise style, I decided to steal the fabulous moment. Drawing on all my reserves, I charged up the hill past him and Mr Holland, tootling a triumphant tootle on an imaginary trumpet. This must have been quite an amazing spectacle for the elderly gentleman with his dogs, who were sitting quietly observing the wildlife and scenery in a contemplative, Sunday morning kind-of-way.

After my husband had apologised to the slightly startled old chap, he threw me the most heartless insult of all and it went something along the following lines: "I might be a heartless hare, but you will never be a taut arse".
I think he had really excelled himself with this, so forgave him instantly, and we went home and I made a lovely cake.

Now, I have earache.


Blogger Kate said...

HA HA this is a MARVELLOUS story as I too have a heartless husband called Martin who thinks he is fit (he isn't)
Actually I have a tendency to be showy offy about fitness and I think that the Tortoise and Hare story always puts me in the Hare role.
What kind of cake was it?

1:00 PM  
Blogger Mary Plain said...

good to see the blogs getting back to cake. Have been on a detox diet for 6 days- one day to go- so am dreaming of cake now..

8:19 PM  
Blogger Simply Clare said...

I lost my comment!
The cake was Nigella's lemon syrup loaf cake. would you like the recipe?

8:40 AM  
Blogger Mary Plain said...

yes please! I can dream of making it one day when I am a really thin bear.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Joolz said...

Oh what a marvellous pair you are .. you and heartless husband.
Madness shared is a good thing in a marriage.
We all want the lemon cakey recipe pleeeeese.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Simply Clare said...

Hold on..... Cake's coming!!

10:37 AM  

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