Reunion Ride

One of the dangers of working from home is the risk of never switching off.

The iPhone makes that even more of a challenge. So I treated myself to a hard (for me!) work out.

Liz and I were in the swimming pool in Fort William for 8am. I did my usual 1km swim then, while Liz went to yoga, I had breakfast at my favourite cafe in the High Street.

Then I pulled the road bike out of the car and rode home around the lochs, 50 miles in total, 3hrs 35 minutes.

There was little wind, and as I made my way around Loch Eil, the cloud on Ben Nevis started to lift. It was turning into a really nice day. Cool enough to be refreshing without being too cold to numb to toes and fingers.

The map above shows I made a stop (point 1).

Passing the end of their road, I dropped in for a cup of tea at Watercolour Music's new recording studios, owned by our friends Mary Ann Kennedy and her husband Nick Turner. (this is Mary Ann's latest album).

I hadn't seen the studio since it was a shell - what a superb setting in which to make music.

And who should be there making music (well, producing it) but the excellent Brian McNeill, one of the founder members of the Battlefield Band.

I used to work with Brian's wife and our paths keep crossing. We met in a Northumberland pub (Grey Bull, Wark) ages ago. Then when I filmed Brian for Newsnight I discovered we both had decided to quit our jobs in the same week. And now we're both doing exactly what we want and having more fun than ever before!

Brian wrote one of my favourite, angry Scottish songs, No Gods and Previous Few Heroes. (album). Take a look at the lyrics and you'll see what I mean by 'angry'. The title, incidentally, is taken from Hamish Henderson's Elegies for the Dead in Cyrenaica.

Fortified by surprise reunions and Earl Grey tea, I rode the final 20 miles.

There's a sting in the tail of this route as the elevation profile reveals. A wet sting. Because climbing into Glen Tarbet the rain began. Boy, does it know how to rain here.

100m from home, Liz passed me in the car.

Of course there was lots of work stuff waiting for me. But nothing that couldn't wait. I'll have to treat myself more often...


Chris said...

Ok.....I am jealous

Simon said...

Hi Chris
Just one of those amazing days I guess...

Jim Krawiecki said...

Hi Simon,

As a musician I traveled with Brian McNeil on a St Patricks festival tour in the early 1990s. If you get a chance say hello from me.

Jim Krawiecki

Simon said...

Hi Jim
Will do! You turn up everywhere, don't you?!