In an exploratory mood. Moving to a new town has opened it up as a place I need to get under the skin of. I pore over maps and histories and books. Legends, folk tales, natural histories and biographies of interesting characters occupy my mind. I use the National Library of Scotland map comparison tool to uncover old names for places and look at old features.
And it’s not just trying to get under the skin of the place, but under the ground. There are a number of interesting subterranean features in this town which fascinate me. Natural ones like caves and water courses. Man-made ones like tunnels and air raid shelters. Cable runs, trenches and ducts.
It’s funny that I find underground stuff so fascinating in abstract, sat behind a computer. The idea of being inside confined underground spaces is utterly horrifying to me.
This morning I ran past a drinking fountain housed in a beautiful stone block archway, with the date 1873 carved in it. Yet another spring/issue/fountain. And on a road named after a nearby water course. The place is riddled with them. I want to map them all. I want to drink from them all! It’s so fascinating to me.
My run deliberately took in a section of the half marathon I am running next March, to familiarise myself with an area of town I don’t know very well yet. Hilariously, I checked the route map, but not the direction, and so I ran one particularly hilly section in reverse – this morning running down it. Even more hilariously, one section bears a road sign warning drivers of the 14% incline. That’s a 14% section we’ll be running up shortly after the start of the run! Jeez.
In the evening I visited the local library and stocked up on books on local history.
Later, I spent spells in the back garden bundled up against the cold as the skies were clear and I wanted to see Leonids meteors. I saw a few, but it clouded over towards 1am, and the rest of my sleep was disrupted.