Tuesday, 16 April 2013


So last Sunday, I completed my first Triathlon. Sprint distance: 30 lengths in the pool, 20K (25 on this occasion) bike ride and 5K run. I did it all. By myself. And let me say here that I'll not see 50 again. Being last out of the pool is quite interesting. Everyone stares at you. Not good if you're not the centre of attention type. The applause though (encouragement tinged with perhaps just a hint of what were you thinking?) is rousing. I got the stylish white cap off my 'ead and made for the transition area. Sheeting rain outside, obviously. I wondered how many people had noticed my bike - a sturdy hybrid thing complete with mudguards and luggage rack - and thought What was she thinking? (Glad I took the picnic basket off). Anyway, I was  up hills and everything, head first into a ferocious wind and going pretty damn well, I thought. Apparently I was out for hours and passed by 179 competitors (of a field of 180 entrants). So, the 5K run was the last bit. I'm more about endurance than speed, to be honest. I did finish the course. No matter that the post-race soup was cold and all the marshalls had gone home. What did I care that the sports centre was deserted and my bike clamped? Yes I was cold, wet, exhausted and alone. I was muddied, hungry and mentally confused. It was a right grand day out.

Thursday, 4 April 2013


Well I've had visitors from South of the Border as we say here in Rural Perthshire. My brother's  chronic flatulence shows no sign of improving. Unfortunate for him and pure disastrous for those of us in the firing line.
Turns out he's also developed intermittent Tourette's since I last saw him. (1963). This has only marginally worsened his behaviour in polite company,  habitually outrageous as it has been since he was six.
I was surprised how easily he accepted the challenge of  'The Authentic Bothy Experience.' With him in the shed for three days equipped with sleeping bag, two candles and a packet of fig rolls, the rest of us were laughing.
My sister-in-law, as ever, was easily pleased. Plates of pie and chips, unlimited red wine and 24-hour retail opportunity kept her in pleasant mood. Useful only because she has a fearsome temper on her if crossed. She'll have a pan of baked beans on your head before you've had the chance to say "Any more sausages?"
My niece, up with them from London, had most of her luggage freighted up. I suggested she may have slightly misjudged her clothing needs for a three day stay, but what do I know. We took a drive out in Rural Perthshire. She was very impressed.
"We call that a field," I said. "And those are sheep." She'll not be back any time soon.
Summing up then, we had a great time together. We're planning another catch-up South of the Border. In 2018.

Monday, 1 April 2013


So what happened to March. In Rural Perthshire, it came in with sub-zero temperatures and left with a baltic blast. I took to drinking a heady mixture of Baileys, Cointreau and Amaretto just to keep the hell warm. It left my head somewhat fuzzy, I have to say, and this does have something to do with the lack of inane comment on this blog.
No loss there then, I hear you say. But, if you have a morsel of compassion, think on this. For six months now, Notes from Rural Perthshire helped to quieten my raging existential anxiety. It had given my life intrinsic meaning. Note the past tense.
March was a wilderness - within and without. I struggled with sobriety and identity. I battled with invisible demons and persistent split ends. I lost what small sense of proportion I had. I was bereft. That's such a good word.
Finally, I knew what I had to do.
Yes folks! I'm back!