Remind me not to take so much time off..... It's amazing how much fitness I have lost in the 4 weeks after the Great Birmingham Run.
So I have been back in training for 3 weeks, so far its been 3 sessions in the gym each week and my 1500 metre swim set once a week. Good news is that the knee/ITB trouble at Birmingham seems to have gone and my shoulder feels like its finally getting back to full strength.
Time to up the training and add in some run and bike work......
All being well we should soon hear whether we have the go ahead for a new museum in Oswestry serving the area surrounding the place. Whilst waiting for the go ahead we have all been busy compiling a time line for the area and what a time line it is. Fantastical and exciting. Battles, wars, destruction, great charismatic leaders, legends, then development of transport links and trade in the industrial era. Today it is such a tranquil and sleepy backwater which looks as if nothing has ever happened but there have been phases in the past when we would have been living in a war zone if we had been around, with all the knife edge stuff about who's side you are on at any given moment, and strange mixed up border loyalties and feuds between feudal marcher lords and Welsh versus English conflicts.
Owain Glydwr was local, his fathers estates were in Glyndyfrydwy and Sycharth near Llansilin, and he married a girl from Hamner. He was a rebel leader in the late 14th and early 15th century, was declared Prince of Wales in 1400, led the Welsh Revolt from 1400-1415, and formed the first Welsh Parliament in Machynlech in 1404. He was born into the Marcher nobility and like all good adventure stories, he was driven into being a rebel by a baddy on the English side setting things up against him and his family so that he could take their land. This guy, called Baron Grey de Rhythin was a mate of Henry IV and sounds like a real moustache twiddling villain. After he was declared Prince of Wales (and he is the last Welsh born Prince of Wales), many men joined Owain's army. Welsh undergraduates left Oxford to join him. Welsh labourers and workers left England and later he had trained soldiers and archers in his army. He became a master of disguise took on the English armies sent in to squash his revolt. In 1402 he captured Baron Grey and held him for a year before Henry IV came up with the ransom to release his friend. Henry IV appointed Henry Percy, otherwise known as Hotspur to sort out the rebels, and he was another swashbuckling hero to add to the mix.
Glyndwr had the English on the run and persuaded the French and Bretons to join him in 1404 and 5, and they raided Devon and the Isle of Wight. But the tide turned, England used economic sanctions and torture to regain control in the Welsh Borders, and pretty soon Owain Glyndwr was reduced to being a guerilla leader of suicide raids against the English, last seen alive in an ambush in Brecon in 1412 . He always retained the Celtic romantic high ground, was never betrayed or captured, and legends grew about him. Like many great heroes no-one knows when he died or where he is buried. Some argue that he went to live with a daughter in Herefordshire, where his further adventures gave rise to the local legends about 'Jack of Kent'. Shakespeare uses him as a character in Henry IV where he is exotic and magical and a bit of a Merlin.
Since the 19th century Owain Glydwr has been used as an icon for Welsh revival and patriotism, and the romance has grown. After the success of Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart there were strong rumours that he was planning to make a film about Owain Glyndwr. There are many obvious similarities between the two archetypal underdog heroes, not least that William Wallace's family had moved north from near Oswestry before he was born!
This is just one of many such legendary people who have strong links to this area. I suppose if you go up onto Selattyn Hill, or the Racecourse and look out, it is the sort of landscape where legends are made. I wonder what legends are growing in the area now.
This is a link to the timeline
(but watch out for pop ups advertising Chinese women on the Dipity site)
So I have done a few triathlons this year, 6 to be precise, I have the carbon fibre bike, the expensive aero wheels and tri clothing, all that's lacking is the talent. So I decided its time to get the serious training in and I decided to write a blog about my journey. So here it is, blog entry one, the beginning.......
Sophie Hughes has been accepted onto the Volunteer Eco Students Abroad program and will be travelling to South Africa in July 2012 to take part in an important sustainable community development project.
I am seeking sponsorship to enable me to participate in the programme and complete essential volunteer work in a KwaZulu-Natal village.
I will work in conjunction with the villagers and the village chief in addressing the major issues faced by the village and the local schools such as a lack of fresh running water, dilapidated schools and generally poor infrastructure.
Your donation will help to facilitate the means for implementing a major community development project, which will encompass construction in addition to educating the community on matters of conservation, sustainability, health, hygiene and English proficiency.
By sponsoring me, you will be directly assisting with the costs involved in participating in the program.
These costs are significant and include hiring local skilled trades people to supervise and assist in the building projects, building materials and donations to local organisations.
Every volunteer will complete a minimum of 40 hours of hands on community based volunteer work.
I would appreciate donations of any amount, which will enable me to participate in this vital community development program.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to make a difference donating my time and energy into volunteering overseas next summer.
If you are able to help through donation or help with fund raising, even in the smallest way it would be greatly appreciated.
Please contact Sophie Hughes directly either on her mobile: 07525457193, telephone: 01691 773817, e-mail: email@example.com or address: 45 Oaklands Road, Chirk Bank, Chirk, Wrexham LL14 5DW UK
For information on the VESA program please visit www.vesabroad.com
Thank you :) X