Take me away to….

…..Stornoway (sings). Well actually, dinnae take me There, but at least take me to the Outer Hebrides, where I am currently in the process of purchasing a croft and de-crofted house on the adjoining Isle of Harris.

Ach mun, I could probably have an effing huge pair of Rant-Pants flying right now as I grumble on about the slower-than-evolution process which this whole crofting commission business represents. But I won’t Go There (yet). I am still refreshing the damn decision pages every Friday in the hope that the place at Quidinish will magically appear on either the croft register or the assignation approvals list. Come on mojo! Work already! If only there was someone I could bribe, but Inverness ain’t Malaysia, lah!

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In the meantime I am doing Stuff which will aid in my transition to island life. Not really useful stuff like organising furniture or a local bank or owt, nuh, I have of course joined the local running fraternity. Because that is a number one priority for any runner! In 2016 I say goodbye to my old club The Cosmic Hill-bashers and continue my Scottish Hill-runners (SHR) and Scottish Athletics memberships (SAL), under a new guise.

Despite being warned by some of my other club running buddies that Stornoway Running & Athetic Club a.k.a. SRAC were “The Dark Side”, I had no qualms in paying my fees and ordering up my club kit & training gear (below), some of which is a ‘little bit thpeshial’ with those shorter-than-a-strippers short tartan shorts (Thankfully Not for Girls). I like running in red and my previous go-to running gear includes the Fetch Everyone forum vest and my 2011 red Saucony Heb 3 tee-shirt. I think you always run faster in red 😉 And the couple of SRACers I’ve met previously have all been lovely, despite most of them not actually being Islanders. But I’ll not hold that against them (says the Highlander!) I firmly believe it’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at. Unless you’re in the @rse end of under-developed South East Asia and then it’s most definitely where you’re from 😉

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What else have I been doing? Oh planning long mad routes across the islands, twenty to forty miles worth which I imagine will take me half a day with the Go-Pro chest-strapped and the invariable headwind which follows you everywhere. I am itching to get on some of those hills and my very first mission – should I get an audience with anyone who will listen for five minutes – is to get some more off-road, hill, ultra and just non-road events onto the calendar. I’ve already got a sound South Harris route and idea for a Target Zero event. Watch this space and in six months, see if I’ve even got the croft assigned to me, let alone done any race inventing.

Oh and I might have bought a really ancient Defender 90 for cruising about on the fundulations of the Golden Road in the Harris Bays area. Well, I *did* want to improve my car maintenance skills and these old Landys are notorious for breaking down. Just as well I’m capable of running the eight miles to the nearest island garage.

  •  Featured Image is courtesy of the SRAC website, totally in the public domain. Other images are my own

 

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