Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Crocodiles of the World, Unite!   1 comment


I thought the quote was, “Crocodiles of all lands, unite,” but never mind…I appeared to be on the right path.



The afternoon was spectacular and the run no more painful than any of the others the last two weeks of this sciatica flare-up.  A park on the northern outskirts of Carterton (between the Mason’s Arms and the Rose and Crown) seemed sparse save for the oversized horse sculptures.



Shilton, protected by a ford and serviced by a hand pump for water, was peaceful and took my mind off things for a while.  When asked what I run for, today’s jog is illustrative: tourism and therapy.  And, getting out on a lovely day is always a good thing.



Canary Wharf to Lewisham, Final Section of the TfL Run Project   2 comments


I had the day off awaiting a parcel delivery for which I paid a bit extra to have delivered between 9 and 1 (it arrived at 1:45).  Still, the real quarry on this day’s hunt would be across town on the final section of the glorious TfL Run Project and getting a late start, while annoying, could have been worse.  For instance, I could be attempting it whilst recovering from pummeling my right ball for the better part of an hour a few days earlier…oh…erm…HANG ON….



I pulled myself together and headed out, arriving at Canary Wharf at 3 pm and tucking in to the effort straight away.  The stations are closely spaced near this financial district and Heron Quays, South Quay, and Crossharbour fell in about a mile’s worth of jogging.  Mudchute — long one of my favourite station names — turned up only slightly further on.


Canary Wharf DLR

Heron Quays

South Quay




Cutting through Mudchute Park and Milwall Park, the last of the Isle of Dogs stations, Island Gardens, appeared with its unsympathetic architecture:


Island Gardens


This is the third time in as many weeks I’ve covered the span between Island Gardens and Cutty Sark Stations (see Thames Foot Tunnel section of the Westferry to New Cross Run but also represented in the subsequent North Greenwich to Stratford Run).  In fact, several other segments of the DLR could have been ticked off earlier in the project on one of those earlier runs save that they were focused on the Jubilee line which doesn’t overlap (despite the pedestrian pathways to cover those Jubilee segments overlapping the rail pathways of the DLR).

More closely spaced stations followed the Tunnel, with Cutty Sark, Greenwich, and Deptford Bridge next up:


Cutty Sark

Greenwich DLR

Deptford Bridge


Here, I nipped into the Bird’s Nest for a nip and some nostalgia (the place was like every music bar I frequented in the late 70s and early 80s).  Despite my early delays, I suddenly realised that it was a gorgeous day out, about 16°C, and there were about 2 hours to kill before either sunset or my last train home to outrun the wife.  I settled into the final two stations and cast my eye on the lovely neighbourhoods down this way.  Elverson Road Station, the penultimate, followed a stretch of parkland and sits adjacent to some very nice terraces:


Elverson Road

I followed some bike paths and found myself in a dead-end car park surrounded by flats.  Emerging from here, I turned away from Lewisham Station for a final TfL Run Project beer at the Rising Sun (write-up soon), before heading home as the temperature started falling with the setting sun.  There was snow overnight, but this positively Spring-like day was a spectacular finish to this effort.



The completed Docklands Light Rail map is here:




And, here is the final map, 124 days after the “Day Zero” map.  The retrospective post of the project has an animated version, if you are interested.


Posted March 18, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

Tagged with , ,

TfL Run Project Completed — A Look Back   2 comments


With the Canary Wharf to Lewisham Run, yesterday (write-up soon) the TfL Run Project is now complete.

It took 124 days and not the 3 years envisioned (largely due to the decision, two days before the project kicked off, to seek employment somewhere affordable to live and the urgency on finishing the project that decision imposed), but the TfL Run Project is now complete.  I’ve promised not to start a new project until we move, which might be some time.




Posted March 17, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

Tagged with ,

Balls   1 comment


I met Victor in the hallway at work.  He asked, “How are you?” He’s Russian, so as a courtesy I tend to answer with something bleak.
“I hurt my testicles.”
“Oh, I am very sorry.” He sounded delighted. “How, if I may ask?”
“I got old.”

This was mostly true. It happened the day before, running. My right thigh kept banging into my nutsack for 6 miles. I’m going to have to invest in underwear with better elastic before my balls reach my knees (at their current rate of descent, that will be mid-summer).

So, yeah, I’ve gotten old without maturing: the NHS webpage screencapped, above, made me giggle.

Posted March 15, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Made Me Laugh, Running

Tagged with , , ,

North Greenwich to Stratford, Jubilee (finished) and DLR, TfL Run Project   2 comments


Sunday morning found me clearing up some of the last remaining segments of the TfL Run Project starting with the lone bit of the Jubilee Line I was meant to finish LAST weekend.  After that, the run continued along the DLR to Stratford.  Here are some pictures and a sketchy description of the effort.


Today’s segments


At North Greenwich Station, a notice board for the C2C fest (which celebrates the insipid pop music that people have started labeling “Country” because the songs are occasionally sung by people with Southern accents and the lyrics sometimes contain references to dogs, momma, and/or trucks) was dense with text and bereft of information.  Vapid and smug, it is an apt metaphor for that branch of the music industry as well as for the blog you now read (which is written by someone afflicted with a Southern accent and will occasionally write about cats, the hopes that his parents are burning in a Hell that he doesn’t believe exists, and public transportation).


North Greenwich


It is a long slog to the Thames Foot Tunnel, but early morning affords a chance to admire the Cutty Sark before tourists (other tourists, that is) start milling around reading shit on their phones.



The news crawler adjacent to Canary Wharf Station is a personal favourite feature of this bleak part of town:


Canary Wharf


And, now the Jubilee Line has fallen.



From there, the Docklands Light Rail received attention.  I could have run toward Lewisham but wanted to save it for an afternoon jog; so, my next target was West India Quay Station:




West India Quay


Like the area around Cutty Sark, this bit is usually crawling — inexplicably — with tourists and further polluted with bankers and other suits.  You might otherwise forget that the quays constitute a working port, as well.



There was a scary, temporary stairs and foot bridge made of scaffolding yielding access to Poplar Station.  I probably lost five minutes carefully traversing this rickety structure and almost forgot to shoot the photo once I reached the far side.




Richard Green, “Shipowner and Philanthropist,” sits with his dog in front of the recently refurbished Poplar Public Baths.  The link says that the dog is missing an ear because a boy climbing on the statue got stuck and the ear needed to be cut away to free him.  This is hard to understand: there is only one of this statue and, from casual observation, this neighbourhood is infested with children.  Why not leave him there for the gulls and other carrion eaters … and as a cautionary example to the others?



All Saints is yet another blight on the blighted landscape:


All Saints


These pop up around here all too frequently.  The stairwell is not attached to any structure nearby:



A workmanlike section followed with Langdon Park, Devons Road, Bow Church, and the wonderfully named Pudding Mill Lane stations ticked off the list:


Langdon Park

Devons Road

Bow Church

Pudding Mill Lane


Despite footpath closures, I found my way to the Goldengrove (write-up soon) and the diversion delayed my arrival there until just past 9 (so the bar was open).  I then doubled back down to Stratford Station completing this trip with a stop at a hotdog stand for The Daily Sandwich (yes, that is still on): fried egg, two rashers of bacon, a Cumberland sausage, fried onions, and chilli sauce.





The system map is down to about 4 miles worth of trail:


Posted March 12, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

Tagged with , , ,

Westferry to New Cross, DLR and Jubilee, TfL Run Project   2 comments


The only TfL run of the week, last week, was Sunday morning’s failed attempt to finish the Jubilee Line after finishing a pesky section of the DLR.




I took the Tube to Bank then switched to the Docklands Light Rail. A lot of runners (with their numbered bibs) were riding the Central Line in both directions and also changed at Bank but I was happy to see they were heading elsewhere. I saw even more of them on the opposite platforms up to Westferry Station where I alighted to start my own run.  Along the way, there seemed to be even more of them out warming up and swarming into Poplar Station.





As noted, they were going the other way; but, it soon became obvious I was tracking the course of whatever race they had signed up for.




These stations have hidden signage, but I found the Blackwall Station  marker in the photo later on.





After the snow and bitter cold, this was a beautiful morning for a run. I just wanted to stay ahead of the pack.




I never found a sign for East India Station, instead confirming its identity by crossroads on the map (a sort of cartographic dental record).



East India


I’m always flabbergasted by the stories of Victoria Cross (and, in the States, Medal of Honor) awardees.  Lance Corporal Charles Graham Robertson VC MM story is worth a quick read, either at the more detailed link or on this memorial at the station.




I planned to follow Bow Creek to the right of the big bend, seen here at low tide. There was construction hoarding blocking the way and I had to double back and follow around to the left, instead.




This detour brought me to the bridge to nowhere.




Canning Town Station splits inside to DLR and Underground bits, but from outside it registers the end of my DLR journey for the day as I left on the long stretch to North Greenwich station.



Canning Town




Many sights along the way … like an old hospital’s remaining façade (thematic accompaniment to the earlier bridge?)




The Thames Foot Tunnel is the way off the Isle of Dogs:



North side

In side

South side


The Greenwich Meridian as I crossed into the Eastern Hemisphere:




Yet more signs of the run appeared … shit. Finally, I asked a volunteer who identified it as “The Big Half.”



Even at high tide this pier seems too high:




North Greenwich Station — with the Millennium Dome adjacent — finally appeared. I retraced my steps, sort of, back into Greenwich, proper.



North Greenwich


As I mentioned earlier, my intent was to finish the Jubilee Line today but Sir Mo and my shitty internal compass were having none of it. I struggled to find my way through the barricades separating civilians from racers and, in addition, I struggled to find the Gate Clock pub (write-up soon) where I hoped to take a brief break before doing the last 2 miles or so to Canary Wharf.



Instead, I convinced myself to go in precisely the wrong direction. I should have realised I was delving deeper into the South when I was menaced by this marionette with a knife in one hand and a petrol bomb in the other. This was probably the worst Cirque de Soleil character yet:



The system map is down to one or, more likely, two runs to completion:


Clapham High Street to New Cross, Overground Completed, TfL Run Project   2 comments


I’ve complained about the cold frequently this year but we are now a few days into and the chill is brutal. But, Sunday was sunny and I had a thing to do in Brixton and — scheduling with my trading partner being what it is — I only got an early afternoon start to the only TfL run this weekend.




I timed my travel to Clapham North (and, therefore, Clapham High Street) to allow a ten minute run and cider purchase at our usual de facto market. Unfortunately, the Byzantine trading rules we each brought to the endeavour found us changing venue a bit south. Hey ho!


Clapham High Street


A bit of socialising after business had to be cut short and I moved on with a further stop at the Fox on the Hill (write-up soon) and some grand site seeing with this lovely Art Deco brickwork on a nearby housing estate.



I thought this wall was part of a tattoo parlour but it appears to just be for its own sake.



Eventually, Denmark Hill passed.


Denmark Hill


A statue of Catherine Booth adorns the front of the Salvation Army arsenal:



Always looking for metaphor and synchronicity, shortly after the Sallie Army sighting there were these sculptures of a wolf stalking a ram. Read it however you want (there’s an easy gentrification connection here, too).




Peckham Rye, one of my favourite stations since it reminds me so much of Kraainnest in De Bijlmer, required a bit of walking to navigate the crowded pavements.  After that, it was smooth running well past Queen’s Road Peckham.


Peckham Rye

Queen’s Road Peckham


The Asylum Tavern (write-up soon), a pub buried in a park-like street at the edge of the council estates, was a treasure on the way to Surrey Quays and, finally, New Cross.


Surrey Quays

New Cross


That, then, is the last of the Overground.



There remains an exceptionally long run to complete the system (and probably two runs at my current level of fitness and motivation). Here’s this last bits:



And, the system map:


Posted February 27, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

Tagged with , ,