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12 Runs of Christmas

Sometimes once is not enough...

White Star Running, flushed with the success of the Trick-Or-Treatathon, and no doubt eager for another performance by The Voyeuristic Intentions, have launched another virtual run/walk/treasure hunt/music festival. What can we do but embrace the new challenge: 12 Runs of Christmas.

The treasure hunt is obviously for the Christmas gifts in the song, and the song is, well obviously, the song. What could be simpler!

Now if you were paying attention to the previous tale, you may recall that we found a complete set of gifts (amongst other things) attached to the railings around Pewley Hill Reservoir. Just so we've got them in the bag, here's a quick collage:

Ok, it's not quite cheating, but it's maybe a bit too easy.

So, we have a plan: we're bound to find some lords and ladies at Hampton Court Palace, and there are swans and geese in the river, and, well, a bit of dressing up and improvising should see us through.

Here we are, then, and it's a nice sunny day. Forecast for later isn't so good, but we'll take what we can get.

Unfortunately, between fertilising the egg of our plan and hatching it, we've gone into Tier 3 restrictions, so although the Palace courtyards and gardens are open, none of the usual kings and queens, lords and ladies are to be found.

Well, we've got one drummer drumming and two pipers piping I guess...

If you use your imagination, you can perhaps interpret the seated woman as a milkmaid with a milk jug. The other chap isn't a goose, but he's a-laying...

Yeah, scraping the barrel a bit; I can't really deny it.

Amanda puts on the rest of her lady dancing gear.

Look, a Christmas tree. That proves it's Christmas.

A minute or so after this, one of the Palace staff asks (politely) what we're up to. Once we make it clear that we are not involved in any commercial photography or filming, and we're just some crazy people, she's most amused, and tells us that if anyone else queries us, to tell them that Joanna said we're ok. Judging by her talk of wanting to go surfing in Cornwall in midwinter, we suspect she may be a crazy person too! I'll post a link to this blog on the Hampton Court Facebook page, so if you're reading this, Hi Joanna!

We will pretend to be lords and ladies in our carriage.

If only a gardener gardening was in the song.

Ok, enough posing, time for a bit of running. They're both also doing a couple of Phoenix Vultras: Thames Path for Amanda and Advent for Merilyn, and this is the Thames Path for real. Obviously, where they are really is nowhere near where they are virtually, but at some point Amanda will be virtually here, although she probably won't be really here. Is that clear?


If you know the area, you'll know we've pretty much reached the end of this section of towpath at Kingston, so we'll now loop round into Home Park and head for the bottom of the Long Water. There we plan to stage our glorious performance.

This is how keen some of our fans are to see us!


Hmm... you see that it's getting a bit overcast now...?

That's how much water the deer shake off from the downpour that follows shortly after. I'm not sure about Merilyn, but Amanda and I definitely get even wetter than we did for the Time Warp.

The things we do for fun in the age of Covid, eh?

Love to all,


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