GLASGOW 2014: Highs and Lows

Published July 24, 2014 by Tartan Jogger

Did you manage to watch any of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony?

What did you think?

I LOVED it! It was very self-depreciating, tongue in cheek, and just shows that we don’t always take ourselves too seriously :)


I loved the dancing Tunnock’s teacakes! I’d love one that size!


More importantly, I thought the UNICEF appeal was a fantastic idea, I wonder if that will now set a trend?

There seemed to be a lot of debate on Facebook and Twitter: lots of people loved it, others hated it, I thought it was great fun! Except Susan Boyle singing Mull of Kintyre (and unfortunately fogetting the words). I could have done without that!

I also loved Sir Chris Hoy saving the day, by opening up the Queen’s Baton.

And the Scotland team uniform is growing on me. A little. Except the socks. Yuk!

So, for me, the Opening has been a high. Lots of fun.

Now for the low: Mo Farah has pulled out. Boo! :( He hasn’t recovered sufficiently from illness, so I have no doubt he’s done the right thing. I guess it just reminds me that pulling out of a race can be a sign of strength, not weakness. He’s talked before about wanting to add a Commonwealth Gold to his collection, and I’m sure he’ll be disappointed.

Oh, well, I’ll still see Usain Bolt ‘flash’ past! :)


Published July 23, 2014 by Tartan Jogger

Today is the day: after years of preparation, it’s the start of the 20th Commonwealth Games, and they are being held in Glasgow!

Both my mum and my sister are busy, busy, busy volunteering as ‘clydesiders’ and we’re excited about our events.
On Friday, @TheWelshWookie and I are going to a Commonweath Games concert which will be broadcast live on BBC radio 2 & radio 4; on Saturday we have tickets for judo; we’ll be going along to watch the marathon on Sunday, and we’ll still have the athletics to look forward to next Friday: I can’t wait to see both Mo Farah and Usain Bolt!

Last Sunday, we got to see our second baton relay. In 2012, we were privileged to see the Olympic torch relay in Inverness:




As you can see, we made our own Olympic torches!


And we were fortunate to hold the torch itself:



This time around, the Queens Baton Relay was passing through Lochgilphead, so we were able to see it there. It was delayed, so we ended up waiting around two hours to see it :)


Not many people are as lucky as us! Are you planning on watching any of the Games? What are you looking forward to seeing most?

The Vikings Were Here!

Published July 22, 2014 by Tartan Jogger

The week before we went to Tenerife was a very special one in Tarbert.
For months, villagers had been working on building a proper Viking longoat. It was made by hand, using traditional techniques. And, it was ready to celebrate the inaugural Tarbert Viking Festival, and the traditional boat festival.
So, during the week leading up to the festival, the village was overrun with Vikings, who sailed the boat to ‘raid’ local villages. It seemed like lots of fun!


We missed the main event on the Saturday, which was a reenactment of Magnus Barefoot’s historic claiming of Kintyre as part of his kingdom. In 1093, Magnus and his Viking hoard laid claim to all of Scotland’s islands. An island was described as any body of land that his boat could circumnavigate. When he arrived in Tarbert, he and his men carried the longboat from the East Loch to the harbour, thereby circumnavigating Kintyre. Hence, Kintyre is known as the Mainland Island :)
On the Friday, the Vikings made a victorious return to Tarbert from their marauding and we celebrated with a big barbeque, music and a ceilidh.
The weather was great, and it was lovely to see the village busy.



The music was provided by villagers, and was brilliant. There were folk groups:


And choirs:


A barber shop group:


And even this guy did a few songs…… do you recognise him?



We had a famous attendee: Rory McCann, who plays The Hound, Sandor Clegane in Game of Thrones. To be honest, he didn’t seem very pleased to have been spotted. I asked if he’d allow me to have a photo taken with him, and he said ‘no’, and walked off :( Good casting, maybe?
Anyway, we had a lovely evening, and it set us up very well for our holiday!



Have you ever been refused a photo or autograph before?

Monday Motivation

Published July 21, 2014 by Tartan Jogger

Welcome to another week: I hope the sun has been shining brightly on you today.

I’ve had a wonderful weekend: we’ve had visitors and it’s been wonderful spending time with my bestie Pauline, her other better half Gavin, Olivia and Christopher. We took a trip to Portavadie, visited the abandoned village Polphail, and did lots of talking, eating and walking. And a little drinking of vino and champagne, of course! ;)

As always, talk turned to books, and we ended up discussing the books of Jon Ronson: they recommended reading Them and The Psychopath Test. I downloaded both, and read Them last night, finishing it at lunchtime today. I’m now almost half way through The Psychopath Test and I’m really enjoying it too. They’re fascinating!

So, here’s a little something to think about: not so much Monday Motivation, more like a Monday Mental Check, I suppose!



I reckon mine is showing quite clearly….. is yours? :P

My Brother Bungees

Published July 20, 2014 by Tartan Jogger

The day before @TheWelshWookie and I set off to Tenerife, we were in Clydebank for a special event.

My brother Joe was doing a bungee jump!

He’d been given the experience from Stacey, his wife, and Ryan, his son, as a Father’s Day gift :) I’m not quite sure what that means…… insurance money, anyone? ;)

The date was auspicious: exactly six months from Joe and Stacey’s Wedding.

So, on a lovely, sunny day we headed to the Titan Crane with Simon and Matthew, Leigh-Anne, Kieran, Aidan and Nathan, and my dad to witness this event – and to check he actually did it!

The Titan Crane was built in 1907, at John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank. It was the largest cantilever crane ever built, and was essential for building many of the world’s most famous ships including the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mary, the QE2 and the Royal Yacht Britannia.

You can read more about it here: it’s now a brilliant tourist attraction, with a lovely cafe at the bottom of it.

Earlier this week, one of the Queen’s Baton Relay participants abseiled down The Titan with the Commonwealth Games Torch. It made for some great photos.

At 164 feet, this is the highest permanent bungee structure in the UK. As it’s from the crane, the jump is over the water which used to be the shipbuilding dock. While we waited, Joe was taken through the safety briefing, and soon headed to the crane with another five intrepid jumpers.

We watched as two jumpers went. then it was Joe’s turn. He had no hesitation. He ran and launched himself off the top! The bungee is secured around the waist, to allow the jumpers to have a running start, which was so much better than shuffling to the edge with and ankle tie.





Stacey could barely watch; but the rest of us loved it! Then, we headed to a local restaurant, also called the Titan for some late lunch, and a celebratory beer. I think Joe earned it!

Have you ever bungeed?

Decision Made

Published July 17, 2014 by Tartan Jogger

Hello, everyone, this week has just flown by! And I haven’t even filled you in on the Viking Festival, my brother’s bungee jump, Tenerife or the Queens Baton Relay yet: I’m gonna be one busy blogger ;)

Well, as my post title says, I’ve made a decision. A tough decision. And after wrestling with it for a while, I’m now at peace with it.

I’m pulling out of the Loch Ness Marathon.

No sad face: it’s the right decision – for now.

When I signed up in January, I underestimated the work that would go into organising my wedding and honeymoon. And we’ve been away a lot which has not helped my training schedule. I’ve also had other stuff going on that has demanded my time and attention. And I’ve had a bit of an ankle issue that’s been niggling. Finally, I have lots of weekends away planned over the next few weeks, so fitting in long runs will be well nigh impossible.

There’s always next year :D

It now means that I can relax a little more, and enjoy my next couple of weekends celebrating at various Commonwealth Games events.

Hopefully we can go along and support the runners instead.

So, bring on the Perth Kilt Run, the TT10K, the Great North Run and the Great Scottish Run next!

Have you had to pull out of a race before? How did you feel about it?

GB Relay 2014 News

Published July 15, 2014 by Tartan Jogger

Tonight, I had a different post planned, but it has been usurped by some GB Relay news.

For those who don’t know, @TheWelshWookie and I recently took part in a world record attempt for the longest running relay. It ran continuously, 24 hours a day, throughout June and early July. You can read my race report here. We really enjoyed it!

Unfortunately, the news isn’t good. I found out tonight that at some point, the baton was on the ground. The rules were clear about it not touching the ground. :(

I don’t know when it touched down, whether it was before or after our stage, but I know it wasn’t us. I also don’t know if it was placed on the ground deliberately or by accident, or if it was dropped.

But, these things happen. It just means that we’ll be there for the 2015 relay, and we’ll look on this year as a dress rehearsal :)


Always look on the bright side, eh? ;)

Monday Motivation

Published July 14, 2014 by Tartan Jogger

Why, hello there, stranger!

Did you miss me?

I know that I had said I’d do a couple of posts while I was in Tenerife, but it didn’t happen. I didn’t have much access to WiFi, and I used up my phone data quite quickly! Ooops! ;)

And, on top of that, my web domain expired while I was away – I had completely forgotten about it! Ooops again! :o

So, I’m very sorry for the accidental blogging break. But, I’m back, and I’m really looking forward to catching up on your blogs over the next couple of weeks, and seeing what I have missed.

Here’s a little something that sums up the past couple of weeks for me:


So, what big news have I missed?


Published June 27, 2014 by Tartan Jogger

Sorry, I felt the need to shout that out!

This evening, @thewelshwookie and I are going to enjoy some music in the village, as its the Viking Festival this weekend. It’s also the traditional boat festival, and for those coming along, it will be a great weekend.

We’ll miss the rest of the weekend fun in Tarbert as tomorrow we’re off to see my brother Joe bungee off the Titan crane! Eek!


And then, on Sunday, we’re off to our other favourite place on the planet, Tenerife.

Can’t wait to see this beautiful island again!







I’ll be posting from time to time over the next couple of weeks, when WiFi and time allows.
Do you have any plans for the next fortnight?

Darlin' Rae

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