Twilight over the Yarkon river. Taken during tonight’s chilly 5k run.
My Pen Chalet exclusive Typewriter Retro 51s arrived this week, and the mint one is a perfect match to my Hermes Baby (and Hermes 2000) typewriter keys. I’m happy that I splurged on this pen and the copper Typewriter edition. They are both utterly unnecessary pens that make me smile without breaking the bank. I have 11 typewriters, but these are the first typewriter themed Retro51s that I’ve bought. I only slightly regret not getting the red one as well.
It was a virtual convention kind of fortnight, and in both cases the pandemic afforded me the opportunity to go to a convention that I normally wouldn’t have been able to attend. The fun and pretty well run one was the Disney Pin Trading 20th anniversary event. I’m not a huge Disney pin trader by far – I have pins from my Disney races and a few others that caught my eye, because I’m so aware of how easily I got fall down that rabbit hole. But I was curious enough about the behind the scenes of pin creation and well aware that is probably going to be my only chance to attend such an event that I enrolled. It was interesting and fun, and a generally well thought out event that didn’t feel like a “we’re doing the same thing only on zoom” kind of thing. I wish that I could say the same about Kubecon, the second convention that I attended. It’s a poster child of how not to run a virtual convention. Still I managed to learn quite a lot from the hours that I squeezed in, and I plan on catching up on more video sessions next week.
This weekend was stormy, so no long run today. I had about a month of perfect running weather so far, and it looks like I may yet make my 2020 running distance stretch goal of 700km run total this year.
In a fit of anger and frustration I created an “obituary” page for 2020 in my journal, but one that listed the bad moments of the year. It ended up taking four pages, but I managed to find something positive about most of the moments and events of the year, so it cheered me up.
TV (or streaming to be exact) has been one of the high points of the past few weeks. I don’t watch much of it, but “Ted Lasso”, and the new seasons of “The Mandalorian” and “Star Trek Discovery” have been great to watch. Also I’ve been playing “Pandemic Legacy Season Zero” and so far it’s excellent and distinctly different from its predecessors.
I haven’t run in the park for a while, at first because I wanted to distance myself from other runners, later on because it wasn’t allowed, and recently because I wanted to distance myself from other people. But I’ve gained some confidence that things with the Coronavirus have chilled sufficiently for me to indulge in a quick morning run in the least popular place in the park.
I saw a pair of graceful prinias, some of my favourite birds. They’re shy and skittish but you can catch a glimpse of them here:
My favourite moment was catching sight of a flock of sleeping Egyptian geese and their two faithful watch-geese:
It was fun to see some of my old haunts, even if they have changed slightly:
I’m using my pens to cheer me up a little, as we get ready for even more serious movement restrictions, and as the political and economical situation here go haywire. This was written using a Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl with a fine nib and Sailor Peacock ink. The lighting situation at my desk doesn’t do this ink justice – it’s beautiful.
I managed to squeeze in a 4k run this morning. As I avoided people, I couldn’t run further than that, but I’m glad that I did. The weather is perfect for runs right now, and I really miss my running, but today’s run looks to be the last I’ll be able to go on for a while. I usually run along the waterfront, but so does everyone else, so I ran in parallel streets. This is a temporary goodbye to the sea, and I hope that it’s not a long one:
Stay healthy and safe, and look for the little things and little moments to keep you happy.
It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these, mostly because I’ve cut down on the number of photo stops during my long runs. But this morning’s dramatic cloud cover inspired me to take a few photos, and so here we are 🙂
These clouds passed over me as they made their way inland with a strong breeze, and though they look foreboding and there was rain inland, I was lucky and I didn’t get rained on during my run. It was cool to see the sky darken and then brighten back up again when they passed.
This is a Tamarisk of some kind, but I haven’t been able to nail the exact species yet.
Mama Mallard was taking the ducklings out for a stroll, which was nice to see. They kept running circles around her, with the wild energy of youth.
There was a congregation of Black-headed gulls chilling in the water. The tide and wind was pretty strong but they managed to maintain their position, which was impressive.
10K done, in perfect running weather. I don’t get a lot of those, so I try to cherish them when I do.
It’s that boiling hot and extra humid time of year, which means I hit the road at 5:15 today to get my 10k run in. It was dark when I set out, but I was awarded with this sunrise by the time I reached the park:
Is that not worth the early rise?
There was a convention of birds on the boat pier in the river: a pied kingfisher and two Egyptian geese were perched pretty close to each other (the kingfisher is the tiny bird on top of the pole in the centre of the photograph).
Then I saw a man paddling a blue kayak down the river, past a flock of grazing geese, and even though I hadn’t planned on taking another photo stop, I just had to get this shot.
I ran a little over 10k, just before the heat started to set in, and then rewarded myself with two coffees for my pre-dawn effort 🙂
The heat here is getting more intense, which means that I’m moving more of my runs to the mornings, and setting out earlier each time. It was completely dark when I set out on my long run today, and my running app (NRC) clocked my run as a night run. For some reason I found that hilarious.
There are green parakeets all over the park, but they’re usually too flighty for me to photograph them. Today they stayed and played a bit in the trees, so I got get a few blurry shots of their silhouettes. Yay!
My iPhone 8 had a much better camera, but I’m on an iPhone 6s now because my iPhone 8’s modem shorted for no reason and can’t be fixed. So for now, this is the best that I’ve got.
A night heron was also obliging enough to strike a pose on the river bank. I love how elegant they are.
There was a photographer on a nearby bench taking pictures of this fellow, so he must have felt popular today.
Another night heron had an even better perch, on top of the peddle boats pier.
And we end with a photo from the beginning of my run, with the sun rising over the river.
On a midweek run I encountered one of the famous Golden Jackals that live in the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv. As usual, he was more interested in keeping his distance than bothering anyone of the runners on the trail.
The first time I saw a Golden Jackal I was sure that it was someone’s dog let loose. They are the ancestors of many dog breeds, so I guess that’s not surprising.
Yesterday’s run rewarded me with a beautiful sunset over a pretty stormy sea.
Today’s long run started with a sunrise over a calm river, with a night heron…
… and some mallards dozing off on the pier.
Check out those waves! Not the best sea for swimmers.
After a long running hiatus, getting back to form takes time and patience. Your body struggles against you, refusing to accept that you really are regularly running, insisting that this must be a one time thing. Your feet feel heavy and sluggish, and it’s hard to push on, to put one foot in front of another.
Then, a few weeks go by, and your body suddenly decides to give in. It starts cooperating, and that makes all the difference. Today’s 10k marked that point for me. My run was faster, my body felt light and responsive. Things just flowed. It wasn’t the pure flying sensation that you get on a truly great run, but it was a good run nevertheless. I’m happy to be be back.
Set out super early, so the night herons were more out in the open, rather than huddling deep in the reeds on the banks.
Tried to photograph a pied kingfisher, but he saw me and flew off, skimming across the water, so you just get a nice picture of peddle boats.
Second night heron of the run, and one slightly bigger than the previous run. The glare is the reflection of the sunrise over the trees in the park.
A little over 10k on a really nice run. The Egyptian geese say hello. They’re done with baby geese rearing for now, and they seem relieved.