If Only Heathcliff Were a Runner

by Carilyn on September 17, 2014

We’re getting ready to head to London for a couple of weeks – and I couldn’t be more excited, and more depressed. Excited because Grant’s excited. Depressed because Grant’s excited.

Sigh. Motherhood. The only profession where you get fired if you do your job right.

Anyway, to keep myself from weeping openly the entire time we are over there (because Grant seems to hate that), I’ve been busy planning my agenda. I say MY agenda because our family has figured out we travel best when we each have a few things we like to do (running, eating, running, eating) that no one else in the family seems to want to do. Can you imagine? So, rather than drag unwilling participants on my running/food stalking adventures, I plan my own and do them while the “men” are sleeping or visiting some boring historical sight that involves an elderly tour guide with an umbrella and a headset that I feel an undeniable urge to throw a guidebook at after about an hour. Trust me, we all win.

On my agenda for this trip, I want to run along as much of the Thames as possible, cross as many of the famous bridges as is allowed, drink High Tea while faking a posh British accent (you know how good I am at that, right?), and take some cooking classes. The running goals seem very doable, but the High Tea and the cooking classes are requiring a little more planning. Turns out that there are a lot of “Tourist” High Tea joints, and that is NOT what I’m after. My relatives didn’t escape┬áleave England on the Mayflower a long time ago just so that their descendants would be forced to suffer through fake High Tea. No siree. I want watercress sandwiches, scones and puddings named after boggy marshes all served to me by someone named Nigel. It’s my birthright. And I’ve been really working on my accent.

The cooking classes have also turned out to be difficult to schedule, not because they are hard to find, but rather because there are a million of them! Cooking classes in London are everywhere, all the time! Including a plethora of French baking classes. Who knew? Which begs the question: if cooking classes are so prevalent, why is England known as the country with the worst food on the planet? I shall investigate and get back to you, dear readers. I know you are as curious about this as I. The amount of sleep I have lost pondering this question…

Finally, I’m hoping that as a family we will get to spend some time out in the bucolic English countryside. I envision running down country lanes, surrounded on both sides by meadows and men who look like Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy, followed by a lovely lunch in a quaint little pub that serves shepherd’s pie and a “pint” (I’d actually prefer a nice glass of Chardonnay, but I’m trying to keep this reverie authentic). We will stay in a lovely bed and breakfast that looks like the cottage Kate Winslett lived in in “The Holiday” and find out that the annual Highland Ultra is scheduled for the next morning. Ahhhh…a woman can dream, can’t she?

Anyway, I will try to keep you posted from across the pond, but I can’t promise much more than posts about running and food – pretty much the story of my whole life, huh? But I hope to send you so much more. After all, I have to keep busy lest I cry my way through the UK and end up leasing a flat next door to Grant’s dorm. And I’m sure he’d love that.


Kirstin C September 17, 2014 at 11:58 am

This London thing sounds fantastic. Being such a doting mother you will just have to visit many times! How can you beat proper high tea and English countryside runs?
I am fascinated about the cooking classes conundrum. Please email me directly the moment you find out!
Instead of a pint, how about a shandy?
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Kim September 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

I love the fact that even on vacation y’all don’t feel like you have to spend every second together. I’m a slug on vacation (well, I get in my workout first thing every day) – I like to spend pretty much all day every day on the beach. If there isn’t a beach then I’m usually not too interested in the destination!!!
Have a great time -hope you find a cooking class – maybe one that you make your own authentic high tea!!!
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Char September 17, 2014 at 6:51 pm

It all sounds like the perfect holiday to me. What’s up with those men in your life? Who wouldn’t want to run the length of the Thames for a proper English high tea and then out through the countryside to eat a pork pie followed by spotted dick? I’d also try to get to Cornwall just because one of my friends is from there and Doc Martin is filmed there and it always looks so beautiful. I’m sure they’d make amazing fish and chips – perfect after-run re-fuelling (except if you’re a nutritionist and know just how bad all that fried food really is).
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