memory has become active again, thinking of the
Eastern Harriers Athletics Club, somewhere off the
The year was 1955.
I was aged 21, fit
enough to jump over the moon, and into
football. I was working at the
construction of the new Western General Hospital
with about 20 other plumbers."
of my mates, Dougie, was a member of the
Harriers. He kept telling me how fit
he was and how he could run me into the
ground. Anyway, I relented agreeing
to join him in a mid-week training run.
On a cold,
misty, winter night,
a pack of us left the hall heading down the back streets, past the
Palace and into the
Queen's Park, then set out clockwise to
run around Arthur's Seat.
By the time we passed
Dunsapie Loch we were
thinning out. I was hanging
on to the tail of the pacesetter, a fine runner.
Finally, we turned the corner east past
Samson's Ribs, there was an eerie silence
- just me and the leader.
The rest were lost in the mist.
for me the word knackered comes to mind,
but credit to the leader he talked me home, telling me to hang on
till we reached the hall."
minutes later the rest staggered in, including
Dougie, who remained very quiet at the
Western General. I'm now having double knee
replacement,. I wonder why!"
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:
January 15, 2012