Sunday, July 15, 2007

Jolly Ol' England

I've been in England almost a week now, having left two days after running the half marathon. I've been planning the trip for almost two years and it is great to finally be here, visiting with family I haven't seen in a long time.

My sister, Tracy, who lives near Toronto is also here visiting we are getting the chance to see each other, as well.

I've been out running every day, except for today (Sunday) which is my usual rest day. I usually run every other day, and often on the treadmill. My knees aren't used to pounding on pavement every day, so I've kept the runs short, just to keep my legs loose and to act as somewhat of an antidote to the holiday diet, which has included:
  • pints of ale (Badger's Champion ale, to be exact)
  • pints of shandy
  • beef and ale pie
  • ploughman's lunch (with a hunk of cheese that would normally take me about 2 weeks to eat!)
  • roast lamb dinner with Yorkshire pudding
  • biscuits of various kinds
  • and my new favorite thing in the world - cream tea (scones with clotted cream - OMG!!)
My best running anecdote from England so far is that I don't think there are many people who run where my cousin Adrian lives in Earley, Reading. I noticed that I hadn't seen any runners around his area. As I was out in the residential area where he lives, a bus almost passed me and then came screeching to a halt. The driver thought I was running for the bus!

It took both of us a second to realize what was going on and then we both half chuckled, embarrassed and awkward about the misunderstanding... and on we went on our respective journeys. Then I realized that indeed, that was definitely not a common area for runners at all!

Needless to say that I will resume proper running and working out schedule when I get home, and in the meantime, I plan to continue enjoying the English cuisine (if that isn't too much of an oxymoron!) Besides, the act of breaking bread with my family, exchanging stories and sharing meals is part of the joy of being here.

The other day day ten of us got together at a pub and we got to meet new additions to the family, including spouses and children who've joined the family since the last time we were here.

I arrived last Tuesday and I said to my cousin, Jean, today that I finally feel like I am starting to unwind - for the first time in about two years, actually. I've done nothing but eat, visit, sleep, do a bit of sight seeing, shop and relax. It's been fabulous.

Tomorrow is a girls' shopping day in the town, so best I get to bed so I can be well rested for it. Don't know how much shopping I'll do, as things are hideously expensive here compared with home, but just being out with my sister and cousin in the shops will be fun. And with that, off to bed I go...

PS: Not been visiting blogs much, but I'll try to catch up soon.


Sarah said...

Sounds like you're having a lovely time! I lived in London for a time in the '90's. Your food list brings back some fond memories. And whole families, young and old, out at the pub... Enjoy!

craig said...

Glad you are having such a good time. Don't worry about those of us in blogdom. we'll be here when you get back

Backofpack said...

What a wonderful visit! I'm glad to hear you are relaxing - and as for running, sometimes it's the best way to see an area. The bus story was pretty funny - I wonder what the locals think when they see you running by. Have a great visit, and like Craig said, don't worry about us!

ipodmomma said...

clotted cream... oh my you have me DROOLING!!!

cream tea is just about the best thing in the world!!!

glad you are enjoying yourself so, and especially that you are feeling really relaxed... well done!

have a scone for me... :))))

psbowe said...

so I bet just about everyone that sees you out running shakes their head in disbief. I like the bus story. Enjoy the rest of your trip and the food!

Turtle Guy said...

Cuisine, indeed, but you mean to tell me that with all that ale, you have yet to take in a good ol' fish 'n' chips??