Dear Friends, once again I must crave your forgiveness because I am late in my postings. The past weeks have been ones of pleasure, work and some running, which is no excuse but it is a reason.
So, to the running first. A couple of days of blessed rest after the successes of Bramley was extremely welcome (did I mention my 5 minutes 30 seconds personal best? Oh, I already have?). Back into the training on Wednesday and Friday with two easy runs, and then 22 miles on Sunday. All was feeling pretty good, however I did have a sharp pain in my left quad, which was particularly troublesome whilst going downhill. Nevertheless, I completed the run in a very respectable time, and felt in a good place with only 7 Sundays to go now to the London Marathon. Vital stats - 3 runs, 34.31 miles. As you will see next week, that injury came back to bite me again.
During the evenings, the talk was all of preparation - in particular, for the arrival of the 24 Italians from the town of Treviglio, with which Romsey has been endeavouring to twin for a number of years. After a successful exchange back in 2006, the 'colour' of the Treviglio council (il comune) changed, and the new mayor (il sindaco) decided that it would be better to twin with a town in Africa rather than a bourgeois, middle-class English one. Actually I think the real reason is that we do not make tractors, as the town is successfully twinned with one in Germany that does..anyway, thankfully a small group in the town decided to ignore the politicians and go it alone, so now we have the 'Amici di Romsey' visiting in one week's time. We will hopefully turn this into a formal twinning this year, after the council elections in May...
And finally, to the wine of the week, a lovely curiosity. I've plumped for Wither Hills Pinot Gris 2010 (Exclusive to Waitrose £9.49), a New Zealand take on the now ubiquitous North-Eastern Italian grape, so beloved of wine bars up and down the country. What this isn't is your ordinary, thin, acidic and lean white - far from it. This has aromas of lemon, honeysuckle, apricots, utterly beguiling to smell. On the palate, a ripeness, some honeyed tones, real depth of flavour. Truly different, and more in the Alsace style than the Italian. This wine has power (14% alcohol, incredibly, though it carries it very well) and structure, though also subtlety. A great wine from the ever-excellent winemaker Ben Glover, and a superb match for anything flavoursome such as a stir fries, Asian cuisine, or even a smoked fish. Though we had it with Pizza and it was a fairly good match for that as well!