"for the happy, the sad, I don't want to be, another page in your diary"

Thursday, 20 July 2017

A Frustrating Dog

It’s a wet day, so I don’t bike and take the car instead. I take the opportunity to go to the local Kennelgate to try to convert the vouchers that the sponsor of our upcoming dog show has given us into dog food. Usually they courier us 24 bags of dog food but this year we just have an envelope full of paper. Saves on costs I suppose, for them at least.

Kennelgate are happy for me to purchase 24 bags of dog food with my 24 vouchers, although each one has to be a separate transaction which takes a while and they also don’t have enough in stock, so I need to come back next week to collect it but at least its all sorted (almost).

Talking of dog food... Our frustrating dog, Doggo, still will not eat on a regular basis. We know that being frustrating is his speciality but he’s starting to fade away. L is doing him chicken and rice tonight, probably curried, probably the same as what we’re having in fact with naan bread.

It’s tennis tonight and, given the weather, it’s probably a good job we’ve already practised in the wet this season. Although, they do say its supposed to be fining up and it will be a nice evening...if you believe that sort of thing.

For once, the forecast is right and we even sit outside The Crown afterwards in the sun. L runs to the pub and beats us there.

(Thursday 20th July)

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A Liberal Use Of Disinfectant

Doggo survives the night without being ill again and even without pacing the floor all night long which means we actually get some sleep. In fact, he seems to sleep like a log himself probably secure in the knowledge that we would rescue him in his hour of need, should it occur. Although perhaps the thought of another trim with the scissors focussed his mind and made him think twice about being a pain.

I’m on bus and feeling a bit unexercised but I have a (not very) wild night out on the beer tonight, so needs must.Meanwhile  I hope L’s evening at home doesn’t involve the liberal use of disinfectant, like so many have recently.

(Wednesday 19th July)

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

With Much Fanfare

It’s time for another longish training run, so I again get the bus into work.

Then after work I do the same 14km run. It’s not really about stretching the distance out at this stage, it's more a case of upping my weekly mileage.

I get home to find that Doggo is still have rear end problems and has repainted the kitchen with his diarrhoea. It's not pleasant and quite a clean up operation.

Then we take the scissors to his matted rear end and surprisingly he lets us. He looks a lot trimmer afterwards.

The Robin Hood Marathon announce this year’s race t-shirt with much fanfare but it looks almost exactly the same as last year’s to me... It’s got a bloomin’ dear on it of course, which perhaps looks a tad more like Rudolph this time around.

(Tuesday 18th July)

Monday, 17 July 2017

Light Manoeuvres

L is still enforcing light manoeuvres on MD. He may have sat looking at her with puppy eyes and his ball at his feet but she says she didn't cave in. Doggo meanwhile is still on hunger strike and refused all attempts at food until she dropped half a softly boiled egg on to it. Then he cleaned his dish out.

This could all be down to his diarrhoea which now seems to come with chunks of blanket in it. Perhaps he's eaten his bedding in the car? I wouldn’t put it past him.

He seems to be totally fine when he does his usual supervising at dog training, which tonight is at Hilton.

(Monday 17th July)

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Under Orders

I head out early, leaving L to a solo lie-in. Today we have another Crufts Team qualifier that is unnecessary for us as we qualified at the last heat. Three of the four team members are here so we can at least have a bit of a practice.

The good news is that after aborting his parkrun yesterday, MD is showing no sign of any injury. So perhaps it was just his age... or perhaps he was cleverly saving himself for today.

We go clear in Jumping which is a good start but then we’re not clear in our two Agility runs. Which doesn’t bode well for the team run as that is Agility too and that is all we have left to do.

The team run is not a spectacular run by any means. Our stand-in team member is eliminated, which doesn’t really matter, while the rest of us amass 15 faults which is actually better than when we qualified but it’s a much easier course today.

I drop in at Aston on way home to see my folks then pick up ice creams on the way home under orders from L.

(Sunday 16th July)

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Back In The Angel

Today we all go to Forest Rec Parkrun including Daughter who brings a guest with her who’s down from Sheffield. He's training for one of the Tough Mudders, I’m not sure he’ll find Forest Rec that tough, it certainly won’t be muddy but he will get a good quality bacon butty.

I record a positively pedestrian 27 minutes mainly because my dog, MD, decides to become a pedestrian half way around. So either he really is struggling with injury or he’s struggling with old age.

Then we're at Broadway for the first time in ages, taking in a film for the first time in ages. Summer is a poor time for films of course...

Sofia Coppola's new film ‘The Beguiled’ is either a second adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s novel or a remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood film of the same name, which ever you prefer.

It’s the late 19th Century in Virginia during the American Civil War. Waiting out the war in their girl’s school are the proprietor of this ‘Seminary for Young Ladies’, one teacher and five students. Everyone else has left.

One day while out in the woods, one of the students, comes across Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell) of the Union Army who has been wounded in action. She brings him back with her where they lock him in one of the rooms (for his own safety presumably) while the school’s proprietor Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman) tends to his wounds.


Oddly Miss Martha decides, in the name of Christian charity, that they should let his injuries heal before they hand him over to the opposition. This, obviously, has nothing to do with the fact that Martha, along with the rest of the all female household, have become immediately smitten with by their hunky find.

The room is unlocked and McBurney's presence starts to disrupt the previous calm as they all compete for his attention, giving him presents, cook meals for him and generally dress to impress. 


He repays their affection with affection, although it is mainly focussed on Martha and the school’s only other ‘adult’ teacher Edwina Morrow (Kirsten Dunst). Being younger than Martha, Edwina clearly believes that she is the most appropriate recipient of the Corporal’s attention. Although she doesn’t take into account Alicia (Elle Fanning), the oldest pupil, who is also determined to be in the running. The school quickly descends into a mini civil war of its own.


When he is fit enough to leave, he tries to stay on as their gardener but Martha, evidently sensing she is losing the war, vetoes that idea. So instead he declares undying love for Edwina. That could have worked but didn’t, when she caught him in bed with Alicia. So she pushes him down the stairs, breaking his leg which Martha then swiftly amputates.


He doesn’t take this well, as you would expect, so they again lock him in one of the rooms (for their own safety presumably) but he sweet talks Alicia into letting him out. A seemingly repentant Edwina pursues him to his room where she throws herself at him.


Martha and the others are cleared hacked off at these developments and therefore decide to murder him with poisonous mushrooms.

It all sounds quite exciting on paper but believe me, it wasn’t. It’s such a slow burn, full of  pensive ambiguous scenes, there's absolutely no chance of anything catching fire. It is far too inoffensive for its own good. Airbrushing war and sex out of a film that should seemingly be about war and sex. Not to mention racism. A 19th Century house without coloured staff?

Coppola won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for this. Really?

After the film we visit the Old Angel in Hockley which I haven’t been to for decades and that would probably have been to see a punk band. It’s a lot quieter these days but still sort of radical, just in a different way. Then we move onto spend the rest of the night in the Kean’s Head.

(Saturday 15th July)

Friday, 14 July 2017

Before Sunrise

This morning the alarm goes at 4am, that’s earlier than a dog show, as we head to our second Sunrise City 5.30am 5k run this time in Derby. L runs with one of her friends, while the boys and I watch. She has the chance to complete the set with a run in Leicester if she wants... but that might involve an even earlier start.

I will do my own run later. L questions whether I will talk myself out of it. As if. The run is not negotiable, unless my calves cancel it of course but they haven’t done yet.

I run 14km from work to Sandiacre then get the bus home from there. That is actually the shortest run I can do and still get a regular bus service home, anything less would leave me waiting half an hour or more for a bus and with dodgy calves that wouldn’t be good.

(Friday 14th July)

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Numbers Are Back

After yesterday’s marathon car session, it’s a relief to be back on the bike this morning.

Lunch is spent in the Brunswick and then later it’s tennis where the court numbers are back and the highly confusing court names have now gone. I have no idea what that was all about but I really can’t see why they couldn’t have had both.

The numbers are even now on the nets as well although I think that might be temporary while they have the junior Nationals on.

Afterwards we retire to the Crown where L meets us.

(Thursday 13th July)

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Doing Nothing For Seven And A Half Hours

Today I’m back in London for a meeting and I meet my boss at 7am at Junction 25 of the M1. After slipping out of the house so early and leaving L asleep in bed, I later get reprimanded for neglecting my duties as an alarm clock.

Travelling to and from London is the usual traffic hell. In fact it’s probably worse. It takes us three and half hours to get down there and four hours to get back.

Then there’s the fact that no one from the actual company we’re visiting turns up for their own meeting, preferring to leave their three contractors to it, makes it all a very bizarre day.

When I finally get back home, L is out running around Forest Rec with Daughter doing a parkrun training run. Sounds like there's some serious training going on there.

I decide to skip a third night in a row dog training and go to pick L up instead. I’m actually feeling a bit shattered after all this travel (a.k.a. sitting around doing nothing for seven and a half hours), so I could have done with some sleep tonight but Doggo has other ideas with one of his choking fits.

(Wednesday 12th July)

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Not Chocolate At All

So it’s just like a Monday today with me being in the car and doing the shopping.

MD is restricted to some gentle football in the garden, in case he is actually injured but he seems to have perked up no end. So later I take him dog training again and then afterwards we meet L in the pub for a Dizzy Blonde.

L comes laden with gifts from her grateful parents for her chauffeuring duties. There are two bottles of wine and two boxes of chocolates which are easily divisible. L will have the wine and I’ll get the chocolates.

Only the chocolates don't turn out to be chocolate at all, so L has those as well.

(Tuesday 11th July)