Well, I went out running this evening for the first time since I took part in a 5 mile ‘Fun Run’ at the beginning of March. I have entered, rather rashly, a 10k run in June and so I thought I had better get my running shoes on and try and build myself up so that I can run more of the 10k than walk. It was a lovely, bright, sunny evening here, so a run along the Grand Union Canal tow path seemed like a good idea. And so it was really, with plenty to see as I went along to keep up my morale. The run started at a bridge with a lock, then on to the second lock with the lock keeper’s cottage which is shaping up to look lovely again this summer. Further along is a bend on which stands an old water mill which has been converted into apartments – there is a glorious weeping willow tree here and some well kept gardens. Next comes a long, straight section which runs alongside a very well kept golf course. The water was as calm as a millpond and the trees and bushes were reflected in it magnificently. Then, to add to the beauty of the moment, a large grey heron appeared in the distance, flying powerfully towards me up the middle of the canal and very close to the water. Now all this sounds idyllic, and it was up to a point… My fitness level was not as high as I had hoped, so I had to do quite a bit of walking, but the main thing that caused me a problem, or things plural I should say, were the flies! Clouds of the blooming things. Small flies, flitting and dancing around in the dappled sunlight, minding their own business I suppose, but with my every gasp for breath I was in danger of getting flies in my mouth. Flapping my hands frantically in front of my face did the trick, but didn’t do much for my aerodynamic forward motion, and took up a lot of energy. I wonder if, next time, I should wear a face mask? I might look stupid, but at least I won’t be coughing and spluttering on a mouthful of flies!