This weekend, while people were involved some minor mass-participation event in London, I was running in Ashridge. It is a regular route but one I never tire of - no matter how many times I run or cycle the paths. Every time I visit there are subtle changes in light, vegetation and wildlife; and I love seeing the seasonal changes. Sometimes I think there is no finer place to be.
However it is now especially vivid because the bluebells are out and fresh. One part of the route is just a tremendous carpet of violet/blue with a tracery of narrow paths. Wonderful!
There is a downside to running off road - you have to be careful where you put your feet. There are dangers in the tree roots. Last time I ran here I was feeling happy and relaxed, with my mind wandering in a daydreamy fashion when suddenly I found myself flat on the floor. I had caught my foot in a root and fallen forward so suddenly I didn't have time to break my fall. I landed flat on my face - just like that. Luckily I have a squashy nose so there was nothing broken but it did make me think of two clichés afresh:
- Eat dirt - Yes I had taken a full bite of earth
- Fat lip - an entirely accurate description
I also realised that I still have the instincts of a runner because my first action on falling was to push the pause button on my watch.