Not a day goes by without something exciting or exceptional happening out here!
Yesterday opened with the ‘doughnut incident’ and closed with the Maramouseathon!
The doughnut while being my most alarming culinary experience for a long time, lead to my consuming a number of delicious bananas to get the taste and the memory of the taste out of my mouth and the bananas provided me with a daylong energy boost. This banana overload combined with a delicious evening meal with the Directors of Assessment and Examinations for the Provincial Department of Education, to discuss the potential of a Centre to Prepare Students for Study in Swansea University, established any energy reserve worthy of powering my evening run along the river bank.
I set off at 21.00, feeling great and ready for a workout, up the busy high street much to the amusement of the local shopkeepers and residents. Negotiating the chaotic traffic to cross the 6 lane main carriageway was a challenge in itself but once, safely, on the riverside pathway I set my pace and settled in to a comfortable(ish) rhythm. After a half kilometre or so I started to notice what looked like a lot of fallen leaves blowing in various directions across the track just ahead of me. This seemed odd as there was little or no breeze, I didn’t think much more about it......until I neared the ‘leafy’ conflagration. They weren’t leaves but a horde of quite large mice, not big enough to be rats, but big enough to be BIG mice, they didn’t seem too concerned about my approach either and there must have been about 50 of the critters, scurrying hither and thither! By the time I reached them, most scuttled off in to the long grass either side of the track, some didn’t and they seemed intent on getting under my feet! This affected my comfortable pace as I had to avoid stamping on them, to a casual observer it would have appeared that I was practicing for a sprint hopscotch competition! I cleared the obstruction and carried on, getting back into my stride easily, the mice seemed to take my persistence as a challenge, because the further I ran away from the centre of town the more appeared, the area was swarming with them. They certainly took my attention away from the task of putting one foot in front of another and by the time I started concentrating again I had covered about 4km, I usually aim to run 5-6km so I was now into unchartered running territory for me as I still had the return journey to attempt. I turned round and headed back continuously having to avoid rodentocide as I went.
In total I covered close to 9Km thanks to my furry little friends, avoided squashing a single one and have been aching like my, long departed, arthritic Granddad all day, not comfortable especially when to get anywhere in the Yandi Institute requires the climbing of numerous, never ending staircases!
This afternoon has been spent presenting to 100 local Secondary and High school English language teachers on the wonders of Swansea University and the unknown (to them) conventions and expectations of UK Higher Educational culture.
Another meeting and dinner with local education directors is on the cards for tonight and definitely no rodent related runs, the way my thighs are feeling I may never run or walk properly again!!