I’m so used to going out exploring and looking for dramatic locations to spend our weekends that it’s easy to overlook what’s on our doorstep. On Sunday morning I did my irregular run from home to Malpas and back. It’s irregular because I don’t really enjoy running that much and really have to catch sight of the beer belly in the mirror to kick start me out of the house and on a get fit quick mission. They say that serious runners should vary their route to keep it interesting. Well, I’m not serious and most would argue, not really a runner. When I do go, I always run the same route. I think this is partly because I know how long it takes and partly because I can do it without needing medical attention! I like the fact that the first five minutes are down hill and then most of the rest of the run is on the level. From my house in Truro, I run down the hill to the river. I follow the river to Boscawen Park and then on to Malpas. At Malpas I stop and admire the view while trying to catch my breath. When eventually I’m ready, I retrace my steps which all goes well until I meet the hill at the end. I convince myself that by running up the hill at the end, I will burn extra calories and it will all be worth it. It would be worth it if only I went three times a week. Unfortunately three times in a month or less has become the norm.
This Sunday, the weather was typically British-summer-esque. Along the course of my run, the temperature varied massively from quite chilly at home to blazing sun in Malpas itself with people out sunbathing at 10am making the place look positively continental. Along the way, I have an excuse to stop a few times to take pictures for the blog. The flowers in the park are stunning at the moment, worth a quick detour.
Beyond the park at Truro Cricket Club the quintessential summer scene unfolds with the first ball of the day. Again, I take a breather to watch the opening batsman face a serious and efficient looking bowler who paces out a very long run-up before turning and sprinting in to release a quick and dangerous ball. Knock! …and the left handed batsmen effortlessly taps the ball away for four runs. I’m tempted to stay for the rest of the day and watch the game unfold, particularly as I see a chap emerge from the bar carrying an ice cold pint of lager. I have to go, I’m on a mission to fight the belly.
It’s at this point that I really need to move the in-ear music up a gear. I scroll through my phone to find my running playlist which, as all running playlists do, starts with Don’t Stop Me Now and just like that I’m a rocket man on my way to Mars (slowly), via Sunny Corner (which is a corner and is sunny). It’s a charming bend in the river with a quay where people moor their boats on outhaul lines for the summer months. Some of the boats along the river never move and there are plenty that are falling into disrepair. While it’s sad to see, they are picturesque and I start thinking of painting them. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve passed particular boats along the river and meant to come back and paint them. I can however count the number of times I’ve been down here to paint! I have a couple of paintings that prove it.
I scroll through my phone to find my running playlist which, as all running playlists do, starts with Don’t Stop Me Now and just like that I’m a rocket man on my way to Mars (slowly), via Sunny Corner (which is a corner and is sunny).
My favourite boat looks like it has an amazing story to tell. My imagination is away now wondering how she got here and where she’s from. I wonder how old she is and where she was made. I’m sorry to see such a beautifully built boat looking less than ship shape but I have to move on, I’m spending too much time photographing and not enough time running.
Eventually I reach the little village of Malpas. It is a village but no longer has a post office or shop. There’s a church and church hall and The Heron Inn pub with houses, boats and woodland. That’s it really and the whole place is geared around the access to the river and the closest deep water yacht moorings to Truro. The village has a Southerly aspect and being set down in the valley can be very sheltered which often as on Sunday gives it a microclimate that’s quite different from Truro itself.
The rest at Malpas is always lovely and I always use the time to have a really good look at the houses down there as well as the river while I catch my breath. There is an interesting transition taking place in the village as one by one people upgrade the homes that line the hillside. Soon it’s time to crank up the iPod again and head for home, exhausted but feeling positive and proud to have fitted in some exercise while enjoying the beauty of The Truro River. I really hate running but I truly love this run!