No, I don't see three ships come sailing in. One generally doesn't
in Bushy Park.
What I do see is an awful lot of parkrunners!
Look, here's one of them.
And here are some more.
And now they're proving it by running. Note a small flash of orange
near the centre of the picture. I don't realise it at the time, but
this will later prove to be Merilyn's prodigal son, Liam.
Let's zoom in. There, see? And if you look even more closely, you
can see a kind of multicoloured blob just behind...
Well that's our Christmas Pudding herself :-)
Although it's only a few seconds from the start, Merilyn and Amanda
have already got themselves separated, and I don't see Amanda in the
crowd at this point at all. I take essentially random pictures of
everyone, but even afterwards I can't find her, so most likely she's
found herself behind somebody bigger blocking my view.
So I'll just snap some other interesting characters as the field
thins out towards the end and I can get across to jump back on my
bike and hit the next spot.
More curious folk... Does his wife know he's nicked her Santa
Plenty more doing their bit for the Christmas spirit...
On the subject of Christmas, sorry to those who've heard this
already (perhaps several times!) but I have an important
announcement to make.
Boney M: "Mary's Boy Child". An undeniable Christmas classic (we are
ignoring all the other versions because they're utter crap, but the
principle still applies), but it is seriously theologically
The lyric, "man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day" is
just wrong: It's Easter - let me be clear, *EASTER*,
that is the important event here. Yes, obviously he had to be born
at some point, but it's the <expletive deleted> Resurrection
that has <expletive deleted> theological meaning! EVEN BLOODY
ATHEISTS KNOW THIS!!!
It's still a great Christmas Number 1.
Ah, right, there she is, just!
Ok, at the next corner, I've got things sorted out and can get both
my girls here. So first, Merilyn (FTAOD, even if I had known Liam
before the start, he's over the hills and far away by now!)
In between, it's a man with a reindeer on his head. Of course.
And then Amanda.
Santa and a Santarette. Watch this space...
Ooh, man with a reindeer on his head has overtaken Merilyn. I don't
know whether he's gained speed or she's lost it: we kind of need for
everyone to upload their GPS data to a web page to show the fine
detail of how everyone compares: I don't think your Garmin Connects
or your Stravas or whatever do this kind of side-by-side analysis,
so maybe this is another chance to make my fortune...
It's Christmas: even random non-runners are joining in! Not wholly
convinced by the roast turkey hat as a fashion statement, though.
Remember Santarette from earlier? Clearly demanded Dad stop and zip
her up against the wind and drizzle, so just tough if he had been on
for a PB!
I'm not quite sure how this embodies Christmas in the flesh, but
it's certainly in the spirit!
A for Amanda in the finish funnel!
Ah, Merilyn has been reunited with her son, but he seems to be
trying to conceal his identity!
And then when he accepts that paparazzi fame is unavoidable, Mum
gets all coy instead.
Lordy! If there are N people in a picture, it's a safe bet you need
N million shots to stand a chance of getting one without at
least one person looking pissed off/psychotic/asleep/drunk/possessed
by demons/etc/worse. I know this and still don't take
enough. Bah humbug...
Then let us all rejoice again,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
Then let us all rejoice again,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
Merry Xmas Everybody! (Oops, that's Slade, sorry...)