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A stolen hour

The tide goes so far out in Southend-on-Sea that it is a rare day that you can walk along the water’s edge. Even more unlikely is the sound of the surf slapping onto the sand, like you really were on a bona fide beach, not merely the estuarine edgelands of the Old Man River Thames.

Today there were both those things; the double whammy transported me.

A Gnome’s Home

Elodie was giving him a retouch in the caravan.

I think she was singing Steve Winwood’s ‘Back in the high life again’ at this point.

Rudi’s Spiritual Home

And mine too, perhaps.

On this occasion the naughty Shetland pony Pooh had broken through onto the wrong side of the electric fence so he was unable to join us in the caravan for a cup of tea which is something he’s rather keen on trying to do.

I am not keen on the narrow-eyed look he’s giving us but we all agree you can’t beat a bit of beige and fawn with plenty of formica.


Not ten grand (I wish). I am talking about 6.25 miles. I tackled the distance for the first time in over a year yesterday. Quietly, on my own, without a timing device tied to my shoelace. I was making a comeback you see and I didn’t want any hoo-haa. Let’s just say I’ll come on for the run. The achievement was that the distance was covered in a fashion, without walking.

If I pull out sound tomorrow, I’ll be in business for an official timed run next weekend in London, but at this point I’ll just be grateful when my joints stop aching. Running on tarmac is not my favourite thing.

The benefit of running along the sea-front is that I know my distances and there is plenty to distract a beetroot-faced plodalong like me. Normally I have the dog, but he is turning into a stop-starting device off-lead and on the lead he and I just look like an odd couple.

A much better matched pair are these superheroes who I passed on my sprint finish to the parking meter so I could check my time.

After all, The Only Way is Essex.