Golf Ball Fell Race 2007

It’s not unusual for Fell Races to have odd names… ‘The Trunce’, ‘The Trog’, ‘Old County Tops’, etc. The Golf Ball race is so names because of the strange huge golf ball like communications tower new Loveclough on the northern tip of Rossendale. It has noting to do with golf, but as with most fell races, it takes a bit of balls at times.

The route itself looks uninspiring when you think of the topography round here; it’s not the Lake District of the Peaks, and to be honest, there’s no massive summits, but it’s a classic Pennine short fell race, with 1228 feet of climbing over the 5.5 miles.

This is the third time I’ve run the Golf Ball race; last time was in 2005 when I was 8th. I finished 13th last night, 45 seconds slower in 41:23. Very slightly disappointed but not too much – it’s reminded me that no matter how much I run I need to race more to be good at racing.

Graphical Output from Garmin 305 for the Golf Ball fell race 2007What amazed me though was it’s the first running race I’ve done since I got my new Garmin 305 GPS and Heart Rate Monitor. Just glancing down at my heart rate throughout the race made me ralise how I seem to run bang on the limit all the time. The result is that accelleration, or indeed any kind of pacing strategy is unachievable… I’m literally recovering and just getting by all the way through. (see image left – the Heart Rate is red on the graph – the green is the terrain (Heart rate hardly drops at all whether climb or descent).

The Google Earth KMZ file front he Garmin is here for anyone who wants to look at the course.

Dave and Jane’s house for the weekend

The last time Katie and I woke up in a bed at Dave and Jane Bancroft’s house, it was the morning after the millennium celebrations in the Millennium Dome. This time, when I looked at my watch on Saturday morning, it was 07:07 on 07 07 2007. How flipping wierd’s that ?

We went to stay (long overdue) with our lovely mates on the occasion of the Tour de France visiting London. The spectacle of it all just surpassed any superlatives I can come up with. Immense crowds, an incredibly friendly atmosphere, and brilliant weather.

Blasting through Hyde Park The race itself went so well (we watched the prologue in Hyde Park), and it built to a great crescendo, with two of the British time trial specialists going off towards the end of the three hour event. In the end, it was great to see utter domination from woprld time trial champion Fabian Cancellara. It’s somehow right that a world champion should win the ‘world prologue championships’ (as Chris Boardman used to call the Tour de France prologue).

JaneWe had such a great time at Dave and Jane’s. My recent switch in jobs (to doing web development work at Reverse Delta) could have meant an erosion of my relationship with my Dave becoming my colleague and inevitably my boss, but it’s been a really positive move. Nice wine, lovely food, good weather; good times.

Matthew – a short film

I treated the manic videoing of Phil’s family trip to our house a bit differently this year and have decided to edit it into little chunks of film. Matthew’s a good age now for co-operation when it comes to things like this, and he makes a good subject (and a lovely nephew!). Music is “Aquarius” by Boards of Canada’s timeless album – released ten years ago, “Music Has the Right to Children

A little present to brighten my day

Flower DrawingThe new job has meant that I’ve hardly had a chance to look up from the desk for two weeks. It’s very enjoyable – don’t get me wrong – but there’s plenty of learning to do and things aren’t quite intuitive yet. A warming advantage of working at home, though, is hearing a knock on the office door when a little person comes in from pre-school to bring you something like this, neatly folded up. Thanks Lils. xxx

Vignette: a mini photoshop tutorial

Manchester MuseumI’ve seen quite a few photos on Flickr lately that took my fancy for one reason or another, and one of the things that crops up from time to time is the Vignette that comes with some photos. It reminds me of older times and when I used to do a bit in the dark rooms (of Blackburn College, Sheffield Hallam University and the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal). It’s something that can make a bland low-light photo into something with more focal punch, but without the cheesiness of soft focus.

I should point out that it works effectively on landscape shots too, but you could go overkill, and it tends to have happened (with older cameras and darkrooms) naturally in lower light conditions. Whaddya reckon? (Here’s a link to the Photoshop tutorial I used – it’s very straightforward, but the ‘feather’ setting it refers to will need to be increased for higher resolution original photos)

Left Dave, Right Dave, and the normal twisted Dave

Lily took a photo of me on Sunday and it made me realise how uneven my face is! I made copies of my face in Photoshop – Left, Right, and the original are here….

“Normal” meTwo Left MesTwo Right Mes

Scarily enough (apart from the huge difference between my left side and right side), the ‘normal’ photo’s clearly the ugliest. Before anyone leaves any cheeky comments, have a go at it yourself (or better still, send me a photo and I’ll do the same for you!!)

3D Pavement Drawings

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Amazing perception of depth here on these. Simple ideas in a way but just so well executed.

See the lot by clicking on the Coke bottle

Monochrome photos from the farmyard

I took some photos of the fascinating collection of things on my brother-in-law’s farmyard at the weekend. It’s by no means a ‘prescious’ idyllic farm, but it’s a working place and I love looking at all the bits about in all the nooks and crannies.
Workshop_03 Workshop_02 Workshop_01 Spares Old_Roof_02 Old_Roof_01 Barrel_and_wall