Day 5 – Saturday 28th March

  • 20 minutes plus 5 minutes’ cooldown level 12
  • Flat bench and dead lifts
  • Max heart rate = 151bpm
  • Calories = 206
  • Distance covered = 6.34 miles 
  • Total distance so far = 54.39 miles

In theory this was a normal training day but unfortunately there was nothing ‘normal’ about it as I woke with one of my awful headaches (something I always knew might be an issue).  I made a valiant attempt but didn’t get far – just 6.34 miles despite Best Disco in Town quietly encouraging me to keep going.  Use it up and Wear it Out hit the nail on the head today!

This did get me as far as the delightful town of Helmsdale, another planned settlement town for the evicted Highland farmers. Unfortunately, they didn’t have much choice in the matter as the alternative was to be shipped to the colonies. The aim was to create a community able to live from both fishing and farming, and in particular to take advantage of the herring boom then in full swing.  The harbour with a few fishing boats is still the main focus for the town.

Helmsdale’s history goes back centuries even before the construction of Helmsdale Castle (sadly long gone) in 1488. The castle’s main claim to fame was as the location of the poisoning of the 11th Earl of Sutherland in 1567 by his aunt, Isobel Sinclair, to clear the way for her own son to become Earl.

And, in case you’re wondering, the poisoning didn’t have quite the desired outcome. The son who was intended to benefit from the deed also, apparently accidentally, drank the poison and died – oops! Isobel Sinclair later committed suicide, less from remorse than to avoid the gallows.


Day 6 – Sunday 29th March

I sensibly decided to make this a rest day.  

Mary made a delicious rhubarb and almond cake – rhubarb from the garden and ground almonds traded over the fence with the neighbours (who needed ground coriander for their curry – anything to avoid going shopping!).  

See the full recipe here! Sadly a ‘virtual’ cake was all I could enjoy!