Had a meeting in Swindon (not as dull as it seems, it was an interesting meeting), so took the opportunity to sneak off for a run on the way home. Now my car is feeling her 142,000 miles at the moment, and her thing this week is lights. C3s are sensitive about their lightbulbs and beep if one of them has died, which is a good thing in theory. However occasionally this can get a bit wearing, because she gets in a paddy. I am guessing a bulb has gone somewhere, because often (but not always) when time I brake or indicate, she beeps to tell me (and there is a display for this) that a fog light or a side light is faulty. The south-bound M20 is a particularly upsetting place (for both of us to be honest, I hate the M20) as she tends to warn me assiduously every 10-20 seconds.

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So you can see I was keen to take a break from the drive, and went over to Avebury to run on the Ridgeway. I love the Ridgeway, it ticks all the boxes (chalk hills, beech trees, hawthorn, myths, stone circles, barrows etc) and is easy to find and navigate most of the time because a lot of it is by-way.

aveSo I did this, which was lovely, but very slow because I kept stopping to look at things and smell the hawthorn.

2015-05-20 13.39.06 2015-05-20 13.46.38

This is the entrance to a National Nature Reserve and also a National Cycle Network Route. Welcoming information on the left, less welcoming information on the right. I opted out.

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Groups of beeches normally indicate a barrow around here, and this one was no exception. They are quite amazing places, because they are dark and quiet once you are on the mound.

2015-05-20 14.06.27 Because they are raised up and tree-covered they also tend to be colder and windier than the surrounding ground. Even from a purely physical perspective they give you pause to think.2015-05-20 14.09.51

Of course there are always bits of offerings from pagans and this one was no exception, lace seemed to be the thing this season, tied to tree roots.

2015-05-20 14.30.20Some of the smaller stones and the markers, with the ditch in the foreground.

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And as a bit of a contrast, the harbour at Whitstable today, a quick 8 mile run along the front. One of the things I most love about running is that it is the best way to find out what a place is like, and most importantly, what is round that corner.


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