Queenstown, New Zealand
20th April 2020

Blog quality continues to decrease as the highlight of my day is often a walk to the supermarket or a run. Please forgive the less interesting content, there's only so much that can happen from inside the walls of the hostel.

I continue to be generally very happy in Queenstown during the lock down, but still there are days when I find it more difficult. The reasons for that do not need to be addressed again. I think we are all struggling a bit during these times.

Many of the good habits and learning opportunities that I picked up at the start of lock down have fizzled out for one reason or another. I am no longer spending 15 minutes each day learning some French. I have not spent any time this week reteaching myself maths I have forgotten since graduating almost two years ago. I am still practicing Sudoku's (although I have sometimes spent days stumped by a particularly tricky puzzle) and I continue to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I have also started reading an interesting medical journal, by Adam Kay, on the side. I have been spending more time socialising, which has been nice. I must be bored when the New Zealand Government's daily 1pm COVID-19 press conference and update is something I look forward to - it's a daily reminder that the situation is improving but still serious.

There is still a large number of people living in the hostel, but slow and surely the number falls. Already on a few occasions I have said goodbye to a new but close friend, something which becomes very common while travelling. I am starting to feel like I know everyone in the hostel quite well, and it's quite uncommon for me to not know someone's name and their story. I am fortunate to be in this position.

After three weeks I am finally feeling good about my running again. My fitness is coming back quickly and I am enjoying getting out in the now chilly and snow-topped-mountain landscape. A lifetime away from the 35 degree Celsius London marathon training back in January in Blenheim. I have also been absolutely thrilled to see more friends running, whether it's a new exercise habit due to lock down or a one off to raise money for the NHS. Stick with it people, it gets easier and more enjoyable the longer you do it!

I have put more thought and time into my Isle of Wight FKT (fastest known time, an unofficial official record) attempt in 2020/21. I may yet attempt to beat the 14 hour 30 minute record I initially set out to challenge, but I also could run an unsupported ultra marathon and be the first to set the record. Either way it's a very exciting project to look forward to.

Snow is now a permanent feature on the Queenstown horizon
Queenstown Hill basket
The Remarkables under a glowing cloud
Sunset colours stunning as always
Now this is a good view!
Guess I'm heading down in the dark...
I think Queenstown Hill beats the Tiki trail
What a special place