Archive for June 20th, 2009|Daily archive page

Abbey Gardens Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

In 000, 13, Abbey Gardens, Chile, Santiago, turtles on June 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Seven Miles in 1hour 2 mins and 43 seconds.
30 miles this week , 95 miles this month , 771 miles this year and 13,053 miles in a lifetime.

When I look at the distance I have run in a lifetime 13,000 miles doesn’t seem an awful lot. After all 13,000 miles is the distance covered by leatherback turtles in one migration non stop.

I haven’t always recorded my running in a diary so this figure won’t be exactly accurate but is fairly close for the mileage that I have recorded.

If I was running from Bury St Edmunds where could I get to if I ran in a straight line? It is about 1/20 of the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Well I could have run through the whole of Western Europe , Asia , Australia and on to New Zealand. My 13,000 miles would place me somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean but with another 4,000 miles to go before I hit Santiago in Chile.

Of course rather than really being in the South Pacific I ran today in the Abbey Gardens Bury St Edmunds.The history of this site dates back to the 7th century when King Sigebert , the first Christian king of East Angles who established a small religious community here.

It is said that King Edmund who refused to rennounce his christain faith and was slain by the danish vikings is buried here in the 9th century.

King Cnut established a benedictine community here in the 11th century . With the dissolution of the monasteries in England the Abbey Gardens was neglected for 300 years until the Marquis of Bristol arranged for a botanical garden display. Over 2,000 garden plants were available to view and subscibers financed the maintenance and upkeep to this private victorian gardening gallery throughout most of the 19th century.

Even at the end of the 19th century ‘riff raff’ were not welcome as visitors could only enter at the cost of 1 shilling for an adult or 6d for a child. According to Mitchell (British Historical Statistics) the average agricultural wage in 1900 was around 14 shillings a week and a weeks dole money was 6d .

Rushbrooke Elderflower Champagne goes with a bang!

In Elderflower Champagne, Hugh Fernley Whittingstall on June 20, 2009 at 7:27 am

Look back over previous entries on Running in Suffolk and you will see that we recently made Elderflower Champagne following a Hugh Fernley Whittingstall recipe from the tv series River Cottage.

I had read that Elderflower Champagne tends to be quite explosive and that many a bottle can explode. With this in mind we moved our dozen bottles into the garage just in case.

Having never tried it before it was with some trepidation that the time came to open the bottles. We used the swing stopper type bottles which you can buy in bulk from a number of suppliers on the internet.

We took the bottles into the garden to open just in case which was wise as these open with the force of extreme champagne. You could take bottles of this into war as a weapon the force is considerable. Our first attempt came as a shock and most of the drink went over everyone in sight and just a little bit of foam was left in the bottle.

Practice has led us to an elderflower champagne opening technique of needing more than two hands. When the swing stopper is opened you need to push down hard and allow a minute for the pressure to be released very slowly.

By this method as long as you have the glasses ready with ice you are ensured a lovely summery flowery drink. The verdict is yes, when can we make some more. I believe there is only a low level of alcohol in this drink but many who have tried have said it was strong.

I would say it is fairly sweet rather than a dry champagne.

Total cost approx £3 for a dozen bottles. The main cost of our Rushbrooke Elderflower Champagne was the sugar and lemons.