Harlow parkrun

During September I was mainly visiting Panshanger parkrun due to various factors (Dad being away so not visiting Jersey Farm, not having the car so needing to go to one I can get to on foot), but I also fancied a bit of tourism. I know I won’t be getting to my Cowell (100 different events) this year, but I am inching closer.

I was looking on the 5K app (now that the tourist tool seems to be gone) and noticed Harlow parkrun (not to be confused with Harrow parkrun). It isn’t new, but for some reason I had not scrolled in that direction before. It was around a 25 min drive so one weekend in September I headed off on a solo tourist trip.

It was very easy to find following the course page directions. The car park was right by the start- the car park is in a dip and the park is sort of around and above it, so I headed up and out (with the exit on my right) and saw the parkrun sign straight away. I was there fairly early so did a short warm up run but as it’s quite twisty I ended up going back on myself a bit.

The course sounded a little confusing, but it is basically two non identical laps, with the second lap being slightly shorter (and avoiding “the hill” of the golf course section (which isn’t in their winter course- a course that seemingly the regulars prefer). There was an out and back lollipop section too, but really just think of it as two laps. It was well signed and with lots of marshals.

It was a really good day weather wise- the beginning of autumn, so I took it fairly steadily and stopped for photos as I ran around. I can’t believe that I’d not been there before, as I think it’s been going on for a similar amount of time to Panshanger. Of course being able to run to a local one is fab, but this was a short drive.

So, my 88th venue visited. Slowly getting closer to the big 100 venues!


Taylor Hawkins Tribute concert and the London Podcast festival

Earlier in the year we had tickets for The Foo Fighters, but when Taylor Hawkins sadly died, the concerts of course were cancelled. Later on they organised a tribute concert so we got tickets for that.

I didn’t know what to expect, having never been to anything like that before, but it was amazing. It started at 4:30pm, and unlike normal gigs with warm up acts, it kicked off with Dave Grohl coming onto the stage and introducing the first act, Liam Gallagher singing along to the rest of the Foo Fighters playing. The full set list is on the NME website if you are interested, with Paul McCartney, Gaz Coombes from Supergrass, The Pretenders, Dave Grohl’s daughter singing and Taylor Hawkin’s son drumming, most of Queen, and then finishing with Foo Fighters. It was so constant, with maybe 5 minutes between before the next act came on. They showed some videos of people sending messages of love too (Elton John etc), and at times it was very emotional, but also a great celebration of his life.

It was a wonderful tribute to his life.

After that it was back to work properly, so we ordered some of the gorgeous buns from Random Buns of Kindness as a first week back treat.

The second week in September we had a slightly different visit to London- this time for the London Podcast festival. We had tickets for Adam Buxton at Kings Place (which is a wonderful venue and right by Kings Cross so very convenient for us to travel in)- after we had booked tickets we found out that the guest was none other than his school mate Louis Theroux! How exciting!

Morning run skies, vegan buns and the podcast festival

I am not sure when it will be released, but it was really funny and interesting- he is always worth a listen.

Do you like live podcasts or live music? 

Stevenage 10K 2022

My Dad was quite keen to run another 10K race, as he had not run one since before lockdown. I looked around for a local race and found the Stevenage 10k, one neither of us had done before. It was on a weekend that we could both manage, so I signed us up as his birthday present.

It was a low key club run event- turn up in the morning and pick up your number, parking right by the race start, a little cake stand and coffee van in the field and free kids races too. Perfect. My mum came along too- they picked me up and then we headed up there.

Before and after, and my vegan cupcake!

Dad said to me that he had three aims- to finish, to run the whole way and to finish in under an hour. In the end we managed the first 2, but came in just over the hour (1 hour and 46 seconds). I was keeping an eye on my watch and we stopped for the water station half way around. There was a fairly long hill that neither of us was expecting, (from mile 4 to mile 5, so a mile of uphill) and I know our pace slowed there. But really we enjoyed running the whole thing together. Mum was there at the finish, we picked up our free cake (they had a selection of vegan cakes and bless my mum, she had gone to ask the person at the stand what the vegan options were for me while we were running) and headed home where we had tea and chatted together for ages. It was such a nice morning. Those local races are my favourite, and to be able to run with my dad is just so special.

What type of races do you like? Does anyone in your family run with you?

DLP August 2022

It’s always sad leaving Florida, but what helped this year was knowing we would soon be back in the Disney magic, with a Bank Holiday trip to DLP.

We got the Eurostar over (my fave way to travel), and stayed in a hotel in the Val D’Europe area (either one stop on the train or around 20 min walk from Disney).

The 30th anniversary celebrations were still going strong, although as it was warm they were only doing the extended parade (with a big dance section in front of the castle) in the morning, with the other parades just being the traditional ones that keep moving. They have the catchiest tunes there!

It was also the end of Princess Week so we got to see some additional princess parades. When we had been before the Marvel Campus had not opened, so it was good to wander around there and see the superheroes on the roof, sample the new ride and food in the new restaurants.

As it was warm and open for long hours we headed in early each day and then went back to the hotel for a rest in the afternoon before going back for the evening. This worked well and meant we managed all the rides that we wanted to visit, plus we got to see the parades a few times, plus of course the awesome drone show before the fireworks.

Parade finale, 30th celebration vegan panini, vegan stand in the studios and my winning score on the spiderman ride!

The food trucks were still in the studios too, so I was spoilt for choice with food options which is something I never thought I would say about France!

Dole whip, vegan chocolate cake, mocktail in our hotel and the 30th Starbucks mug

Of course we had plenty of Dole Whips (it was very warm in August), and had to have the vegan chocolate cake one day. Starbucks had the 30th mug in (it had been out of stock on our previous visits) so I was pleased to take one home as I do like those mugs- they are such a good size (huge) and stand up in the dishwasher well.

I was a little apprehensive about how I’d cope with the long days, as after avoiding covid for however long, I finally succumbed to it in the holidays and had it the week before we went to DLP (thankfully I tested negative really quickly)- it took a while to get my energy levels back after spending a few days totally in bed. I had packed my running kit, as I thought it was better to have it and not need it than wish I’d packed it, but as we ended up going in fairly early each day I took the kit home unworn.

The new Marvel campus is quite fun- there were random things happening like spiderman fighting on the roof of one of the buildings. One ride is a re-jig of the rock and rollercoaster (not something I would go on), but the other ride was really good fun- a bit like the Toy Story Mania in Florida-it had motion sensors so you had to wave your arms around and shoot the spider-bots. We finally found out that my arachnophobia is good for something as I got a much higher score than anyone else in the carriage!

Next up- spooky season!