Week 8 day 57 – Tuesday 19th May

  • 15 minutes plus 3 minutes cool down level 16 (bike 1)
  • Max heart rate = 164
  • Calories = 201 (total so far 19269)
  • Distance covered = 5.56 miles
  • Flat bench, dead lifts and abs
  • Total distance so far = 721.37

I felt it was time to ring the changes and set myself a new challenge so I’ve switched back to the hill programme and ramped it up to 16. Keeping the rpm above 80rpm made it a tough ride and I only managed 15 minutes plus 3 minutes cooldown and 5.56 miles. However, I now have a new goal and I’m going to try and push the time and distance up a little bit each time I do the programme.

The Black Eyed Peas with Let’s Get It Started and Pump It helped the pedals keep spinning.

Leaving Maisemore, I bypass the beautiful city of Gloucester. With roots stretching back to Roman times and the status of the country’s most inland port, the city has seen unprecedented regeneration in the last decade most vividly at the docks. 

Staying close by the Severn, my journey today takes me to the village of Hardwicke. With its name deriving from the Old English heorde wic, “herd [tending] settlement”, farming is still the major industry of the parish.  It was once renowned for its cider and cheese; this may have led to its survival during the battle for Gloucester in the Civil War – neither side wanted to damage a source of much appreciated sustenance.

The main Gloucester to Bristol road runs through the parish and there are royal connections to one of the listed buildings here – Madam’s End Farm. Apparently, the story goes that King Henry VIII was on one of his processions around the country when he came to Hardwicke late in the afternoon. His then wife, Anne Boleyn, declared that she was too tired that day to face the pomp and ceremony of Henry’s entry into the city of Gloucester and so they ended their journey for the day by imposing themselves on the farmer.

Another listed building is Hardwicke Court which dates back to at least 1188 when there was a manor house here. In 1726, Philip Yorke bought the estate but then in 1740 decided he needed a more elegant house and, like a few other landowners we have met along the way, headed east and went on to build Wimpole Hall. He sold Hardwicke to a Mr Parker but Parker was put off by the dry rot in the 16th century house he had bought and sold it to Thomas Lloyd-Baker and it has been in the Lloyd-Baker family ever since. The house and gardens are occasionally open to the public in the summer. 

And so, we come to the end of our 8th week on this JoGLE challenge and, after taking what seemed like ages to get through Scotland, we have rattled through the English countryside and are now well on our way to the West Country – and no doubt there will be more delights to discover. Not least the famous cream teas!

Holidays have been cancelled, birthday parties and weddings postponed and there have been no picnics in the park or outings to cafes and restaurants. We have all had to learn to find pleasure and diversion in alternative ways – often food related! Today is also Rosalind’s birthday and her little treat came in the guise of a delicious ginger cake baked by David. Such excitement to have the rare treat of cake in the house, that cutting and eating commenced before picture was taken!

This quote from Iris Murdoch reminds me that even the small things can make our days happy.

‘One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats, and if some of these can be inexpensive and quickly procured, so much the better’.

So, expect to share some detailed research from us as we enjoy some small treats on the way.

In the meantime, we are thrilled to report that the sponsorship total now stands at £1426.75 including gift aid.

And finally, another glorious picture from our chestnut tree, where you can now scarcely glimpse the blue sky through the foliage.