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

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Terribly Unpopular

On the bike but tapering, sort of. I take it so gently that pedestrians are overtaking me.

L swims with the aid of a pull buoy, this lessens the pain threshold apparently. As does backstroke but obviously this makes you terribly unpopular if there’s anyone else in your lane.

Then I go dog training but L goes socialising with Daughter, so no pub tonight.

(Tuesday 16th May)

Monday, 15 May 2017

The World On Your Shoulders

While I go for my morning fifty metres, L assists MD in clearing the local area of other dogs, cats, paper boys... anyone and anything basically. It’s tough having the world on your shoulders. Particularly if you’re carrying an injury, as we suspect MD may be. How many times did he miss the bed last night when he tried to jump on to it? Not a good sign. Mind you, he was still in the garden wanting his ball this morning.

It rains all day, so I decide to skip dog training. I don’t want either MD or myself slipping over on the wet grass and aggravating injuries as we both have events coming up. Instead we offer to pick L up from Royal Oak in Ockbrook, where she hasn’t been running but others have... I even have time for a swift one. 

(Monday 15th May)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Out For A Duck

So a whole day in, tapering.

I had toyed with the idea of doing a run as the Bosworth Half Marathon were taking entries on the day but perhaps something shorter than a half marathon might have been better but entries had closed for the Sinfin 10k. The Holymoorside 10k was a bit too far to go and then there was the Wymeswold Waddle. Five miles and a red t-shirt with ducks on it... what’s not to like? Plenty. Even if there is usually a homemade cake stall for the supporters.

Track cycling was my backup plan but it turns out that the track is closed for essential lighting maintenance.

(Sunday 14th May)

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Not On It

Another dog show today and back at Catton again. This time we don’t have the best of starts and he misses his dog walk contact.

His contacts are perfect in our second run but we get a refusal on one jump. Hmmm. Then another refusal on our third course, so one of us is clearly not on it today. He’s probably all Catton-ed out, we both are and its only May.

Finally, we get a clear round on our last run of the day but we are outside the rosettes. Then I pop in to see my parents on the way home. Well the dogs do, I’m just the chauffeur.At least the chauffeur gets a biscuit this time.

Today would have been L's 90th Parkrun but... sadly, instead she’s giving crochet lessons to Daughter. She’ll be back on it soon.

She also been shopping and, apparently, I’ve bought her a dress. I’m good like that, I just hope I have good taste. Not that L will keep it, she’ll bring it home and decide she doesn’t like it...

We spend the evening in the Crafty Crow.

(Saturday 13th May)

Friday, 12 May 2017

Time For Another City Break

I crawl into work, knackered after a hard week's training and late. I took the bus to work but yet again the 7.40 came at 7:35, which I missed, and the 7.50 at 7.55. Which isn’t helpful.

L crawls into work too or says she would have done, if she could have got down that low. Clearly things are not improving that quickly. That’s not good with the Thunder Run only ten weeks away but she could walk the Thunder Run if need be. I think the rest of us in the team would be pleased to get the extra rest time.

Meanwhile the Track Cycling World Cup is returning to Manchester in November, which means it’s time for another city break and a wild weekend in Manchester. Just need to sort a dog sitter. 

(Friday 12th May)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

In Theory

A third day in a row on the bike. So in theory I should be fighting fit and ready to blast out a good time at the Outlaw. In theory.

It’s tennis tonight, that is if I can summon the energy for it. L meanwhile hopes to be following doctor's orders and heading off to lie in the sauna to pretend it’s the Bahamas. Although the sauna might make her book go a bit soggy and I'm not sure they allow wine in there.

Then afterwards its drinks in the Victoria.

L has been listening to ‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman which I have already listened to it but now it is on the list for the Bailey's (Women’s Only) Prize which spiked L’s interest. She appears to like it whereas, although I was intrigued by the concept if it, in the end I ended up loathing the book. So perhaps it's time for a rare book review.

It’s basically a work of speculative fiction where women have evolved genetically and suddenly they have become the more powerful sex. This results in uprisings in parts of the world where women are currently suppressed and other righting of wrongs such as the victims of sex trafficking turning on the traffickers themselves. So far so good.

Well, not quite. In Saudi Arabia, where women have been suppressed for the generations, they are suddenly throwing off their robes, rioting in the streets and indulging in casual sex. I think not.

While in the West, a new female religious leader rewrites the bible along with it's associated history and feminises religion. Really? Would anybody be that bothered?

Obviously, the world would change but the subsequent large scale changes are hugely oversimplified. Sadly, there is very little about what effects it would have had in the civilised Western world where equality is closest. That would have been interesting but was presumably too difficult for the author to get their head around.

The book could have explored so many more 'what ifs' but instead ducked most of the big issues and instead had the women mostly going on a power crazed rampage. In today's world, a man (or a woman) would be arrested for the crimes they commit but in the new world of ‘The Power’ no one ever is, not even for murder.

In the end rather than empowering women, the book sells women a bad deal. It suggests that if they did become the more powerful sex, then rather than build a better world, all they would do is demonstrate that they can be far more horrific and brutal than men currently are or possibly ever have been. It's a pretty miserable idea that sets history back thousands of years.

(Thursday 11th May)

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A Full House

On the bike again.

L’s diagnosis is that she has a disc protrusion at L5/S1 pressing on the S1 nerve. Whatever that all means... 

She’s told there’s to be no running and nothing too strenuous in the gym either. It should clear up of its own accord, if she’s sensible with it. Apparently, the best treatment would be a fortnight lying on her back in the sun with a book and several glasses of wine.

It's dog training tonight and then the pub afterwards where the beers are a near identikit dullness of Bass, Pedigree, Speckled Hen and Harvest Pale.

You see Bass is now brewed by Marstons who also make Pedigree, some say in the same vessel... While Old Speckled Hen was Greene King’s attempt to copy Pedigree... Only Harvest Pale is different but still hardly exciting.

I’m not suggesting it but if they’d had Doom Bar or Bombardier instead then they could have won a prize for a full house. 

(Wednesday 10th May)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Deserving A Biscuit

Back on the bike this morning. L reckons I must be so well trained, which makes it sound like I deserve a biscuit or something.

Doggo is hobbling around a bit, looking a bit stiff. Perhaps we overdid the warm up on Sunday. We do keep trying to give him a hand getting in and out of the back of the car but he doesn’t like being helped. This means that sometimes he ends up doing a bit of a face plant when he gets it wrong.

L’s boss has arranging an MRI scan for her and it’s tonight after work. It’s done privately, very quickly and L is soon on her way home with the scan on a CD, saved for posterity.

In the evening, we have our ex-lodger round for tea.

(Tuesday 9th May)

Monday, 8 May 2017

Given Up The Ghost

I head off to Harvey Hadden this morning despite the 50m sessions not being on their App or their website. Do I trust their App? No. Do I trust the Leisure Centre enough to just turn up? Well, I’ll have to. I need to train.

I find the pool open as normal and it wasn’t particularly quiet, so perhaps it’s a good job they don’t advertise it.

It’s L’s birthday today for which she wanted me to buy her an entry for the forthcoming Colwick Park 5k race series but she’s not running at the moment. Instead I buy her a new rucksack as her current one has given up the ghost, probably because of the huge amounts of kit she carries in it. Thing is, now that I’ve replaced it she can go back to carrying huge amounts again which probably isn’t very good for her back.

Apparently, her Google home page is wishing her "Happy Birthday", which is really creepy.

Then it’s dog training in the evening.

(Monday 8th May)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

A Murderous Evening

Today we head over the Lichfield for the Half Marathon. It’s just me running with L and the boys supporting. The race starts at King Edward VI School, which is the same place that we did the 10k from. They recommend you park there and then they will bus you back from the finish which is on grass land near the town centre.

We do things the other way around and park in a car park very close to the finish. Then we walk to the start, where I warm up with both dogs and even do the aerobic warm up with MD.

Conditions are warm but the course is largely flat with a bit of an incline in the last few miles.

My race goes pretty well and I was on for a pretty good time until we reached what is known as Fine Lane Level Crossing. Apparently in the entire seven year history of the race, a train has never gone over this railway crossing during the race but it does today. Apparently a farmer’s fence not far from Lichfield got damaged and several cows wondered on to the main line, causing subsequent trains to be diverted on to this line.

I am held up for six minutes which turns my potential finishing time of around 1:42 into 1:48:41. There was one solitary marshal at the crossing attempting to take everyone’s numbers who got held up but there were far too many runners to take note of and I’ve no idea how they’d work out how long everyone was held up anyway. Many people claim they didn’t even see a marshal to give their number to.

Later, when the results go up, I see that my time hasn’t been adjusted but there isn’t really much point making an issue of it, they will really have no idea how long people were detained and everyone will have self-timed anyway. L says she would have loved a six-minute rest break mid-race.

Today it’s the last rites of the football season, thankfully for Derby it’s now finally all over.

In the evening, we go to Broadway for some food, a couple of pints of Supreme and Lady MacBeth, which is our second sex film of the week.

‘Lady Macbeth’ is an adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s 1865 novel which was itself inspired by Shakespeare’s own Macbeth. It has also been adapted by Shostakovich in 1934 as an opera and by Andrzej Wajda in 1962 as a film. However, nobody has before moved the setting from a bleak Russian landscape to an equally bleak one in the North East of England.

Katherine (Florence Pugh) has been sold by her father as part of a package deal with some land to wealthy mine owner Boris (Christopher Fairbank), who marries her off to his middle-aged son Alexander (Paul Hilton). 

It is an arranged marriage that goes awry right from the off. Alexander, who seems less than enamoured with Katherine, totally fails to understand the concept of the wedding night, preferring to tell his new bride to strip and face the wall while he jerks off rather than consummate the marriage in the traditional way.

It is clear that Boris is in charge and he insists that Katherine is an obedient wife who will remain indoors at all times and isn’t allowed to lift a finger around the house as this is purely the job of the servants. So, she becomes bored very quickly and feels very much a prisoner in the secluded manor house.

When both Boris and Alexander are called away on business, Katherine sets about drinking the wine cellar dry but also takes the opportunity to get out more. At which point she stumbles across the stable hands stringing up the maid (Naomi Ackie) naked in the barn. Despite this, Katherine seems quite taken with one particular stable hand called Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis) who appears to be the instigator the maid’s assault.

Clearly expecting this to have serious consequences for him, I guess he figures he might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb, so later he forces himself into Katherine’s bedroom and then onto her. She resists his advances for all of thirty seconds before submitting enthusiastically and suddenly the marital bed is finally seeing some action but, oh dear, suggesting that women like to be overpowered by forceful men isn’t very PC.

So now Katherine has something to be less gloomy about, not only is she Lady of the Manor by default while her menfolk are away she has sex on tap as well. Until Boris returns.

Not willing to give up her newfound status, a murderous dodgy batch of mushrooms does for Boris but then Alexander returns. He says he knows all about her whoring ways and Katherine doesn’t deny it. In fact, she wheels out Sebastian to give her husband a demonstration first hand. After which things don't end well for Alexander either.

Peace at last or perhaps not. Out of the blue a woman appears with a child she claims is Alexander's, so he did know what to do after all. Oddly Katherine lets them both move in but soon gets fed up of her new lodgers and, if the film wasn't already un-PC enough, she suffocates the child to death.

So, this is no when Katherine met Sebastian romance, and by now he’s starting to realise it and tries to come clean but Katherine will have none of that.

It’s a fascinating film which causes you to rapidly shift allegiances. At first, it's impossible not to sympathize with Katherine, saddled in a life with two horrible older men. Until it becomes clear that Katherine is just as heartless once she gains a position of power, to the extent that she betrays the very servants she once had sympathy for.

Excellent stuff and Florence Pugh makes a magnificent psychopath.
Afterwards we walk up to Daughter’s local, The Doctors Orders and meet her there. We have a couple more drinks before getting a bus back into town and then another one home. 

(Sunday 7th May)