Archive for the ‘Andover’ Tag
Last month here,
A few interesting runs this month including one in London to see where Joe Meek murdered his landlady and committed suicide (and produced some of the most sublime pop music of the 60’s). There was also a celebratory run in Andover after the cancer all-clear and a literary run in Stroud, Painswick and Slad to explore the setting for Cider With Rosie.
The Cider With Rosie run included one of the funniest lines that I have forgotten to include in the original post and so include it here. I was dashing in the rain down a steep hill from Painswick toward Slad and there was an old, stooped dude working his way up the hill using a walking stick. A Land Rover pulled up beside him and the driver waved him in as I approached but the door was locked. She tried to unlock it as he pulled on the latch and I came to a sliding halt with no room to pass. They did this a couple of more times and it made me smile when he just yelled at her, “thank you, anyway.” “Tough luck,” I commented and he looked up and said, “bitches be trippin'” then moved on his way. It is hard to run while laughing that hard.
Then, the annual Holiday Running Streak began and I have been hard at it the last 10 days (with 33 ahead of me). Good treks on this one included the Trowbridge to Westbury pub dash and the Bristol and Bath Rail Trail run. The monthly statistical breakdown is as follows:
November total: 171.1 miles
Average run (μ) was 6.84 miles with std dev (σ) of 3.28.
Runs more than μ+2σ (ie, 13.4 miles): 14.3 miles on 22 Nov and 15.4 miles on the 28th.
Year to date: 2242.7 miles so 2500 is still a possibility despite the slack performances in January, September, October, and the first part of November.
Old Town Still Life at the Co-Op
The Globe was friendly enough, but I should have stuck with the lager…the Doom Bar tasted a bit ‘sweet’ like something other than Doom Bar had been in the lines (another ale? cleaning solvents?). Not bad enough to send it back, mind, but not right.
Watched a few horse races on telly whilst deciding I didn’t have enough time to catch another pub before the bus home even though it was a short gallop to the station. At 8 miles in two runs on the day, I decided to let the beer races be a draw (the earlier one winning by a furlong, while this one should be shot and sent to the dog food cannery) instead of going for Best-Two-Out-Of-Three.
I had three miles scheduled for the day’s run and had done them on the way to the hospital for a final cancer check-up (after a few years of surgeries and intermittent — but harsh — chemical treatments). Good news sent a desire to do more running to my legs and with the day free I headed to Andover for no better reason than it is easy to get to by bus and I haven’t worn trenches into the running paths there…yet.
Time was still kind of tight after stopping for a pint at the Town Mills, so the run was kept a bit short and I grabbed a delicious piece of cod in Camara’s just as he was closing for the day (he had to turn the fryer back on to cook it but did so without complaint and even upgraded the order a bit).
Directly across from the chip shop just above the pedestrianized shopping street there is an old archway — 865 years old, in fact — which leads into a nice patch of grass next to the parish church. The sign reads, “Original Norman arch c1150 AD forming west doorway to old parish church. Removed some 250 ft south to its present site in 1845.”
(Note: this post is a continuation of the 2014 Chippy Challenge, with all related entries linked to this map)
With the afternoon free after a cancer-treatment follow-up (all clear, at present), I caught the first bus away from the hospital with plans to go for a run wherever it took me. As it took me to Ludgershall and there was a bus to Andover right behind my bus, I opted for that additional one to find some virgin trail. But, first I had a bit of celebrating to do and I popped into the nearest pub to the bus station: the Town Mills.
It looked big and foodie from without but after retrieving a Corvus Stout from the bar I followed the Bob Marley music upstairs to find it is something of a party house with a circle of couches under the heavy timber beams. Like a lot of old pubs, the layout is in snugs but in this case they are each as big as whole saloon bars instead of dinky/intimate rooms.
I watched some lads on a lunch break shoot pool then spotted a horde of ducks in the mill-race that runs under the building. I see this a lot around the canals: ducks on what is essentially the watery treadmill…getting into beach body shape, I reckon.
Leaving the town centre of Andover, I paused under a tree to get my bearings and scanning the surroundings spotted the open door of what I thought was Bar 34 but the sign in fact merely reads ‘The Bar’ although the place IS known as The Bar 34. This place, whatever you want to call it, was brilliant! Two spartan rooms and a bar…you really don’t need anything else.
The landlady was having coffee with a couple and discussing a move to Spain in great detail (solicitors, taxes, etc). “And, all the cars have air conditioning. It’s so hot, we tend to reach in and start the motor then wait a few minutes for the air con to catch up.” I asked how hot and the wife said in a voice that was meant to impart wonder at the furnace like temperatures they endure, “27-30 degrees.” Celcius…so topping out at 86°F. When I stopped laughing I shook my head and said, “brits abroad.”
This must have played well as the landlady gave me helpful directions to Weyhill a few minutes later, guiding me through a couple of tricky intersections.
My 16 mile shuffle from Burbage had stretched to 18.1 miles by the time I found my way to the John Russell Fox in Andover. Surprisingly enough, I was only then starting to get the tell-tale cramping from carb depletion that this stop was intended to alleviate.
The pub is a Wetherspoon’s, this time in the refurbished Andover Advertiser building and named for the original publisher. They are in the midst of their cider fest, so I opted for a medium dry perry once my turn finally came up at the bar.
The bartender was busy when I arrived, though, so it took awhile to get served by her. There was only one fella ahead of me but she was engaged in a lively conversation with some skinny piece of violent white trash who had been barred from the house recently and, at the end of a few minutes escalation, was barred for another month. Andover, 10:30 in the morning…I like this town.
I figured that, running, I could make it to the bus stop (7 miles away) in an hour as long as I neither got injured or lost (or lost again, I should add, as I would be short-cutting through the MOD’s Salisbury Plain training area near Tidworth). As I passed the Chestnut Tree, a time check showed that I had an hour and twenty minutes. It would be rude not to stop for a quick pint.
Another large estate pub like the Lunar Hare, I couldn’t really put a date on it but suspect it is 1950’s stock. Part of the Greene King Meet and Eat stable meant I was able to get an inexpensive but quite nice IPA and, early in the afternoon, not much of a crowd to deal with. I watched a bit of the European Games from Baku with the bartender who neither noticed nor cared that I was drenched head-to-toe with sweat from the first 11 miles of the day. This was nearly as refreshing as the beer, which I savoured for 25 minutes just to make the run back interesting.