Sunday, February 28

Surf's Up

So, in fact, Madeleine turned 14 earlier this month. Her birthday present a 7' surf-board, for which she campaigned following a family week spent in Marina Del Mar, Oceanside, California in December where the kid stood up. Pictured.

There is, I am aware, good surfing in England - mainly in Devon and Cornwall (about 5 hours drive from London) - but the water is typically below 60 degrees and requires a 4/3 density suit, booties, gloves and a hoodie to be tolerable. The water coldest in the first quarter but such things no deterrent for our surfer girl, who begs me to take her for a weekend or longer. It will come if only to ensure she uses here present once.

Madeleine via text about something: Thankyoooooooo❤️
Immediate follow up: Emoji unintended

Madeline text: Can you do me a favour? Because I don't know how the printer works can u print off 3 different versions of McBeth witches for me?

I send Madeleine a text photo of Vermeer's 'Girl With A Pearl Ear Ring."
Madeleine text response: That's a cool painting Dad.

Saturday, February 27

English National Cross Country Championships

Eitan and I head north to Leicester for the English x-country nationals, the culmination of the season and a lot of hard work. We enjoy a pleasant enough ride along the M1, stopping for refreshments and to pick up the "Planet Of The Apes" cd which we listen to along the way. We chat about various things and he graciously accepts my views on training, racing etc. though he outgrew my advise some long time ago.

We stay at classy Best Western hotel with, weirdly, a Marco Pierre White restaurant which suggests strongly that the chef's franchise has fallen off the shelf. Anyways, it's Friday night, and the town is dressed up and ready to drink. Tomorrow the hotel hosts a "fancy wedd'n" (our receptionist gushes) "which is Medieval themed".

The boy and I turn out the lights early, then up at 7AM (me) and 9AM (Eitan) then to Donington Park where the 4.5km course is a circle loop around an ancient castle. Of note, there is a serious hill at the 2km mark. Paula Radcliffe has won the race a number of times as has Mo Farah. Good company.

The event is organised like a thumb over a smooth stone.  Eitan's U15s hosts 500+ boys who line up across a combed field. Bang, they're off, narrowing quickly to a single 'shoot', huffing and puffing and sprinting for position. Eitan is in the mix, up front.

Our hero runs a solid race, about 75th at the half and around the same at the end. He is pleased with his performance. We hit McDonald's on the drive home.