8 years after my first attempt in Dublin and my third attempt after London in 2008, I achieved my personal goal of a sub 4 hr marathon, wiping almost 20 mins off my previous PB. The conditions in Berlin yesterday were perfect, confirmed by the new world record of 2:03.23 achieved by Wilson Kipsang of Kenya.
I raised £1000 for the mental health charity Mind and in addition it was done true “Forrest Gump” style! (The haircut is booked for Wed and the general consensus seems to be that the beard also needs to go!)
Not sure if it was the “brutal” training programme, the fresh air we been having living out of a campervan, or the chicken satay the night before, (whilst not threatening any record setting times), its great to have broken my own personal physical and mental barrier. – Impossible is nothing!
Nilay made a wish while turning the seamless golden ring attached to the famous fountain in Nuremberg.
Nilay: What’s the difference between winging it and legging it?
Papa: legging it is running and winging it is…
Milan & Nilay
After catching up with many family members and friends in the weekend, we also tried to spend time with family and see some of our local friends during the remaining days we had in my home town. The boys spent the mornings with their “Oma”, accompanying her on walks with the dogs, baking and playing games. In the afternoons they met with Elena and Leonardo whenever possible.
On Wednesday we met up with my very special friend Carmen and two of her children and had a really lovely picnic on the Schönberg, a hill south of Freiburg. The boys were flying their kite, while we enjoyed the warm afternoon sunshine, the view of the Vosges Mountains in France in the distance, coffee from a thermos and the delicious famous Freiburg cheese cake.
Carmen pointed out that when the Vosges Mountains are clearly visible in the distance, this means that the weather will change. I had doubts, but she was right, as in the night the weather changed and it began to rain.
Yesterday we decided to bake an apple crumble for desert after lunch. When we walked the dogs this morning we picked a few hazel nuts, and when we baked the crumble we peeled them, roasted them, and then put them in the crumble. We also made vanilla custard to eat with it. For lunch we had veggie burgers and lamb, and the crumble was delicious. We ate with Leonardo, Viktor, and Elena.
It was a great day!
Yesterday was a facinating mix of walking learning the history of our family and simply just playing around.
The day started by our cousins Peer and Jonas, our aunt Vanessa and her husband Phillip coming and me and Nilay played with our cousins for a while. After a great lunch of Pizza we sadly had to say goodbye to them because they had to go back home to Cologne as they’d only come for the weekend. Not long after did we leave to pick up Dagmar, a friend of mamas, from Denzlingen, a nearby town, train station and drive on to Walkirch , another town nearby, to do a walk called the Baumkronen Weg, an uphill walk leading to treetop rope course which only me, Nilay and Papa actually did.( Mama was actually to scared :p ). After long hard thought Papa and Dagmar decided to go down a slide about 150 to 200m long and very steep in which you go so fast you need to where a bag so your trousers don’t burn! Once we got back to where the cars were parked, we decided, as we were not to far away, to go to the place where mama had lived till she was 3 (a place called Dettenbach). The house was quite small, next to a farm which had a small pond (in which mama fell into when she’d lived there :p ) and a larger one next to it. Finally we headed back to Oma’s house via Denzlingen train station where we dropped Dagmar off. Back at home me and Oma finally finished off a Sudoku puzzle shortly before I went to bed.
After arriving in my home village of Windenreute on Friday evening and enjoying a lovely dinner prepared by my Mum and the luxury of sleeping in real beds with the boys in their own separate room, Saturday was all about catching up with the extended family.
My brother Krischan joined us for lunch with his two children Mia and Jakob, and my sister Vanessa and Philipp and their two children Peer and Jonas had also arrived from Cologne.
In the afternoon a group of us travelled to Basel to celebrate my cousin Adrian and his wife Corinne’s wedding. While Jayesh had volunteered to look after the kids and make sure they are entertained, fed, and put to bed in Windenreute, Rainer, Vanessa, Phillip and I had a really lovely evening in Basel with Adrian and Corinne and my aunts and uncles and cousins. The wedding at the “Kuppel” in Basel was fantastically well organised and it was clear that Adrian and Corinne and their parents had spent a lot of time planning every little detail of this wonderful evening.
I would have loved to stay and dance the night away, but as we had a pretty long journey back to Windenreute, we had to say our good-byes much too soon.
Camping is the condition in which the human considers his own state of neglect as relaxation!
(Written on the side of a campervan)
After having to go back to the campsite due to forgetting the bike and then ignoring the sat nav, map book and road signs, firstly going in the wrong direction because it “felt right”, we still couldn’t resist a last dip in the Mediterranean before heading north for Germany to be in time for Maria’s cousin, Adrian’s wedding on Sat.
The late start on Thursday, meant that over a period of 24 hours we drove through Spain, France, Switzerland, and Germany. Wanting to take the “scenic route” allowed us to go from the beaches, through vineyards, to the lakes, over the Alps, and arriving in the Black Forest on Friday evening.
The most exciting event of the trip for the Boys however, was probably the decision to go “freestyle” so we could get as far as we could, ending up in a service stop on the A7 just outside of Valence for the night. Given we could still use the “services” of the services, we were hardly in total isolation, but still proved the self sufficiency of the van with the added bonus of fresh croissants at first light!
Today we went into Mataro, a nearby town and had a look in the market and bought some fruit and veg. After that we went a bit further into town and we saw a pet shop which had lots of budgies in it 🙂 , we really wanted to get one, but sadly we couldn’t 😦 , because I think I once heard that budgies get carsick! 😀 .
It was a hot day so we drove to the beach, went for a quick swim and then had lunch, enjoying the great views from the campervan. We ended up spending most of the afternoon swimming & lying in the sun knowing that it’s probably the last time we’ll see a beach for a while. After, we got back in the van, did a bit of shopping, then drove back to the campsite & had satay chicken for dinner.