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

Wednesday 30 April 2014

Otherwise Engaged

L has been asked to marshal at the Half Outlaw, how exciting. Perhaps I could help too, that is if I wasn’t already otherwise engaged.

Talking of which, tonight is swimming night and it was hell. Wednesday evenings used to be the premier lane swimming night at John Carroll but now only three lanes are open and lessons take part in the other half.

A lot of people have simply given up going as it’s now so congested but I don't really have much choice. However being too slow for the psychos in lane one and two fast for the chuggers in lane three, I have to go in lane two but unfortunately everyone else has come to the same conclusion.

Half a dozen of us battle for space; there are elbows everywhere as we swim under, over and around each other. Its good competition practice I guess.

Other folk are loitering at the side waiting for a gap to dive into. I'm not giving an inch and keep going. When I do finally stop, my watch says I've done 66 lengths. I wasn't going to go for the 80 lengths until May (e.g. tomorrow) but I might as well now. I grab a pull buoy and launch myself back into the fray to complete the task. 

(Wednesday 30th April)

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Old Boys

More bike problems today. This time an old boy racer on an old racer. One who probably went home to his missus and whinged about the old boy who overtook him. Eventually.

I get a happy birthday email from the Trent Barton bus company, two days late. Which is priceless and so very apt. Still ahead of Son's card though. Hate to think how late the one from Yourbus will be.

Tonight at dog class, MD flies round the course although he does practice knocking the poles down. So it’s not looking too good for the weekend...

(Tuesday 29th April)

Monday 28 April 2014

Glowingly Healthy

A committee meeting tonight and dog training on Tuesday poses some issues, training wise. So I decide to cycle both today and tomorrow, deferring my swim until Wednesday. If we don’t starve by then that is because the weekly shop will also have to defer to then, when I’m next in the car.

The cycling goes well, I don’t feel so injured when I’m sat on my bike. I did have one problem though with a girl racer on an old racer, which looked like an ancient Raleigh. She was a bit too quick for my liking and I had to stalk her for ages before finally managing to overtake her.

L promises herself (and by default me too) a 100%, stricter than strict, glowingly healthy, low alcohol diet from today, for definite. Well at least from Wednesday when I’ve managed to get the shopping in. Personally I think we’re pretty healthy already. I’m certainly glowing this morning, although that could be from the sun over the weekend.

The birthday’s come fast and furious in our house at the moment. Today is MD's sixth. L will be doing him sausages and might even save some for us. Glowingly healthy ones I hope. 

(Monday 28th April)

Sunday 27 April 2014

Not Keeping To The Plan

Today is my birthday and I will spend it a at a dog show... Kindly they’ve given me a late start in all but one class. So I’ll wing that one when I get there after another couple of hours in bed.

When I finally arrive in Lincoln for the dog show, it is with perfect timing, just as they put two courses up for us to walk.

It becomes clear very quickly that MD is not keeping to the birthday plan. The plan being, that as it is my birthday he is going to treat me to a win. Two poles fall in his first run, one pole is his second run. Then just as I thought we were having a bad pole day, he keeps them all up in his next run but messes up the weaves. Then more poles fall down in run four. Doggo goes clear.  

To be fair, MD’s actually not doing too badly. Perhaps he’s trying too hard. Then bizarrely, despite a 2nd clear from Doggo and another blip from MD in his last run, meaning no clears from him, it’s MD who gets a rosette for 15th despite 5 faults.

Back home, L runs and reports feeling a little strange afterwards. She names this strange feeling ‘enthusiasm’. Blimey.

Tonight we take a look at Jamaica Inn on iplayer, which if you read the comments about it is all you can do because the sound is inaudible. I can see what they’re getting at but they’re wrong it isn’t inaudible at all. Still, we’re not terribly enamoured with it. L says it’s predictable. Yes, hopefully the young lass (Jessica Brown Findlay As Mary) goes on the rampage with a large axe and kills all the smugglers before topping herself.

(Sunday 27th April)

Saturday 26 April 2014

At A Canter

I wake up in Bingham, as was intended. Then I head home to L, hoping she’s having as long a lie in as last week.

Derby win their last home match of the season, 4-2 over Watford, at a canter. Bring on the play offs, that’s five straight wins now. Then I get the bus straight back to Nottingham and meet L at Broadway.

The whole ninety minutes of Locke takes places inside his car and Tom Hardy (as Locke) is the only actor you see on screen. The supporting actors and actresses appear only as voices on the other end of his mobile phone. Thankfully on a hands-free kit or else it may have been a bit hard to follow, not to mention dangerous. 

I was a little sceptical about the whole idea and almost skipped this one in protest at such dullness. Good job I didn’t.

Ivan Locke is a construction manager about to oversee a massive foundation laying exercise for a huge new building. On the eve of this he climbs into his car and makes a phone call to tell his boss Gareth (Ben Daniels) that he isn’t going to be there to supervise. That isn’t going to go down well.

Then he phones his wife Katrina (Ruth Wilson) to tell her he isn’t coming home to her tonight and to tell his sons he won’t be there to watch the football with them. Katrina has even put the club shirt on for him and has the sausages under the grill. Then he tells her why, another woman is about to give birth to his child. That's going to go down even less well.

Then he phones Bethan (Olivia Colman). A woman he describes as plain and old with whom he once briefly worked and had a one night stand with, mostly out of sympathy. She is now giving birth to his child with very poor timing.

He has decided to abandon everything to attend the birth even though he barely knows her and certainly doesn’t love her because the child is his responsibility. 

While he makes the drive down the motorway from Birmingham to London, we are party to the calls he makes and receives. All the while his personal and professional life collapses around him.

After confessing his infidelity, his wife bans him from their home. Meanwhile his company bosses in Chicago fire him, yet his sense of duty means he takes every step to ensure the pour of the concrete that will make the foundations will succeed, talking his stand-in Donal (Andrew Scott), a man who likes a drink or two, through what he needs to do.

Locke is a man with an unrelenting belief that he doing the right thing.

I though it was excellent. A refreshingly low budget, captivating voyeur type film and something quite different. Tom Hardy is terrific but he has to be, no one else was going to carry the film if he didn’t. Simply because there is no one else.

After the film we pub crawl Canning Circus. The Borlase, the Falcon and the Organ Grinder.

Friday 25 April 2014

Spreadsheets And Crashing Airplanes

Another good bike, which I thought was going to be in the rain but it held off. Unfortunately the ride home isn’t so precipitation free. So despite a four day week, I’ve achieved my training targets.

L is worrying about her own targets and trying to explain to her sister about spreadsheets and crashing airplanes...

It’s best to keep away from dangerous things like spreadsheets. They contain things like bike rides, runs, swims, gym sessions... you know, targets... Then if you’re L there’s book reading, decorating... Oh dear, more targets.

Then before you know it you get symbolic dreams about crashing airplanes... but everyone should have targets. There are many people who have none and therefore achieve nothing.

My university friends and I achieve our targets in Bingham tonight. Three pubs and five pints.

 (Friday 25th April)

Thursday 24 April 2014

Starting To Feel Injured Again

I bike into work again and leave a bit too much out on the road, judging by my lame performance at squash tonight.

Post squash we end up back at Navigation as L is meeting us there, after her run. The pub singer doesn’t seem quite so loud this week but I still think we’re likely to be elsewhere next week.

The Play Off dates have been confirmed and, assuming Derby finish 3rd, we will have the away leg on the evening of Thursday May 8 and the home leg on Sunday 11th May with a 5.15pm kick off.

This is a relief as I was worried it was going to have to do a very fast triathlon to make a lunchtime start. A 5.15pm kick off gives me a bit more time for me to finish my warm-up event, particularly as it’s in Peterborough, and get back in time for a snooze at the match.

Unfortunately I think I may have pulled something, either on my bike or at squash. Starting to feel injured again...

(Thursday 24th April)

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Starting To Feel Fit Again

I catch one of those rare Citylink bus things today and because there was no traffic due to the prolonged Easter holiday (for some) end up well early for work.

L stop-started-shuffles as she puts it (e.g. runs). I run later and do 14k post work before catching the bus the rest of the way home. The run goes surprisingly well. It’s sort of scary starting to feel fit again; it’s been a long time.

Then its home for ball duty. L says MD will be thrilled that it’s me on duty tonight but not as thrilled as she is that it isn’t her.

She’s at pump. I keep my phone with me in case I need to do a rescue mission to remove the dumbbells off her if she collapses in a heap. Secretly we both know she’ll be brilliant really.

(Wednesday 23rd April)

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Email Porn

I keep getting spammed on email by a new company called the Discipline Of Three. This sort of email porn seems to being sent to triathletes, so how they’ve got my name I’ve no idea. Nice cover photo though.

L sends me a different sort of email entitled 'Bed', it is not what I'd hoped for. She wants a new one and is blaming her current sore back on the current one. It has nothing to do with the dog she has to arch her body unnaturally around each night. I’m game for a new bed though.

My post work swim runs to 72 lengths, although I'm sure it was more. This new watch of mine seems a bit inaccurate. Luckily I’m pretty sure it’s undercounting not overcounting.

(Tuesday 22nd April)

Monday 21 April 2014

Another To Add To The Collection

This morning I am running in the Wollaton Park 10k. I have done this several times before but not for a year or two and I don’t really like running around my local park much but this is a valuable training opportunity.

The race seems to get more popular each year and has pulled quite a crowd. The course is two laps of a 5k route which is mainly off road. Conditions are quite firm but still I wear trail shoes, my own this time not L’s.

As I recall this race has always been rather annoyingly marked in miles and not kilometres but this year they don’t even bother with that and only put out the ‘one mile’ marker. Still I have a reasonable run albeit in a really average time. Three years ago I was four minutes quicker...

I am handed my mug at the finish line to add to our collection at home. Oh for them to spend the extra 20p and slip a creme egg in to it. They don’t but L does. Bless her. The dogs and L have done another excellent supporting job.

Then I rush off to the match, where Derby play Barnsley. There’s not much to play for, Derby are confirmed in the play offs but second place is a distant dream that will only become a reality if Burnley don’t win any of their last three games. They win today, so well done to them on a well deserved promotion. Derby win too, although a 2-1 win reflects the fact that they played on cruise control but nearly crashed and burned when they should have coasted home.

My folks follow me home and come to ours for tea. L has cooked a meal and her famous Bakewell Pudding for dessert. Yum.

(Monday 21st April)

Sunday 20 April 2014

Three In Three

Doggo’s legs survive a second park session in two days and we survive a third meal in three days.

L’s sister is in the area and she arranges a family gathering at the King’s Highway in Derby. The place is better than expected, does a decent carvery and serves Hobgoblin. So a decent night then.

(Sunday 20th April)

Saturday 19 April 2014

Second Celebration In Two Days

I reintroduce the dogs to the park which they seem to have remembered. They haven’t been on for a few weeks as I’ve tried to save Doggo’s legs so that we didn’t have to carry him into kennels.

Later we get the 5:45 train up to Sheffield where we head for a boozy night out and to see Daughter. We meet her in the Devonshire Cat, one of my favourites, where they have a Porter and a Stout to alternate between.

They initially thwart our request for food by announcing that they have stopped serving due to excessive demand. This has the effect of losing them about half their customers, at which point they start serving food again. This seems an odd way to run a business.

After eating we move on to another of my favourites, the Sheffield Tap. It’ll be a shame when Daughter leaves Sheffield, not that that’ll stop us visiting.

We depart on the 10.30 train and Daughter departs to the library to do some work. I’ll add she hasn’t been joining us on the alcohol. First she gives me a huge box of chocies for my birthday, which is still over a week away, despite the second celebration in two days. I test them on the train home. 

(Saturday 19th April)

Friday 18 April 2014

The Wrong Shoes

It’s the first outdoor dog show of our season and we arrive at Catton Hall with the wrong trail shoes, I have L’s.

Doggo’s Veterans run is up first where I make my second and third mistakes of the day. I select the ‘small’ jumps for Doggo when I perhaps should have downgraded him to the even smaller ‘micro’ jumps this year now he’s nearly 13, then I rush him and he misses a jump out. Then mistake number one (lack of trail shoes) comes back to haunt me and I fall over trying to correct him.

After that I slacken the laces off on L’s trail shoes and cram them on. Then I head to the start line with MD, who quivers as he waits, just like he did at the kennels last Friday. Again whether this is in terror or excitement I’m not sure. I don’t fall over but we get two eliminations anyway. So not a terribly good start to the season. We now have about a four hour gap until our next run, such is the scheduling at dog shows.

L sleeps into midday by which time it seems a shame her getting up, as we’ll be home soon. Our afternoon goes better. First because the ground has now dried out and I can wear my own shoes again. Then I get a clear round out of the little sod. Just. We argue over the tunnel, I have to illegally nudge him round a jump with my knee and our dog walk contact is got with just one claw I think. It’s good enough for 9th, so at least we come home with something.

Then two poles down in our last run, although it wasn’t a bad run to be fair.

L cuts the grass and says I can reward her with a glass of wine later. I was about to offer her a bottle.

We’re out tonight celebrating my birthday over a week early... and why not. After a few pints in the refurbished (again) Sir John Borlase Warren, we head to Iberico Tapas where we have a really excellent meal, that bottle (of red) with sherry/beer to wash it down and a wobble home.

(Friday 18th April)

Thursday 17 April 2014

Pub Singer

Another bike to work, so I may be crawling at squash tonight but my legs actually feel alright. I feel done in but in a fitter than normal sort of way.

We attempt the pub at lunchtime but the Brunswick’s kitchen is shut for a refurb. Any old excuse to deny us food. The Waterfall, sadly, has no Abbot only the dreaded Doom Bar.

Then in the pub after squash, where they have excellent beer, we end up sitting outside in the cold avoiding their pub singer. We may have to try elsewhere. 

(Thursday 17th April)

Wednesday 16 April 2014

At The End Of The Long Dark Tunnel

One of only two days at work this week and hopefully both on the bike. It goes well and feel almost fit. Perhaps the weekend of cross training (e.g. skiing) has done me good.

So I try and ruin this glow of fitness by going for a lunch time run and that wasn’t too bad either. 26:27 for 5.60km. Perhaps there is light at the end of this long dark tunnel after all.

L is not quite so upbeat but still manages gym and pump. 

(Wednesday 16th April)

Tuesday 15 April 2014

An Early Morning Swim

I have the day off today, so that I can pick the dogs up from kennels and then spend the day with them. L is at work and suggests I join her for an early morning swim. Nearly a week after she suggested this I still haven’t managed to find an excuse not to, so at 8am I am in John Carroll pool doing my 70 lengths. I’m not the only one either, it’s really busy. I do wish they’d stop trying to get everyone to exercise.

After I’ve finish my swim I get collared by one of the staff, L’s ‘personal trainer’ and I think he’s adopted me too. He introduces me to the ‘power plate’ in the gym, which is good for the muscles, I think. He certainly thinks so and he’s taking quite a bit interest in my Half Ironman training. It took me at least half an hour to give him the slip, L had long since sneaked out the back way.

He also has big expectations of me in my event and is coming to support. I think he expects me to come out of the swim about 10 minutes down (knowing the swim is my worst discipline) and then to overhaul the leaders on the bike leg before sprinting to victory on the run. I feel I will have ruined his Sunday morning if I don’t win.

L says she expects me to win too. No pressure then.

I collect the dogs, who seem pleased to see me. MD goes into every room looking for L before going outside to check if his ball is still there. Doggo mopes a little, for effect mainly, and then joins him.

I spend the day kicking/throwing balls before escaping to Derby where I have arranged a night out with a friend, having forgotten I’m not at work. 

(Tuesday 15th April)

Monday 14 April 2014

A Long Weekend On The Piste

We arrived back in UK late tonight after our long weekend in France. We got three days skiing including all day today and even money back on the ski pass due to some of the slopes being closed. We blew that money in the hotel restaurant, several times over, where the food was excellent.

The skiing was good but better earlier in the morning before the snow went too soft, when an afternoon sat in the sun with a beer in the hand became the best option.

Most of the skiing across the Grand Massif area was around Flaine, a not very attractive apartment block resort but one with sufficient altitude to maintain good snow cover even though it is now mid April. We stayed nearby in the prettier resort of Les Carroz which had no snow on its own lower slopes but was a brief gondola ride from where the snow was.

It’s been a period of no specific triathlon training but I think it must have done the legs good and the arm muscles are in decent shape too. Some of the more gentle slopes became unskiable once the snow went soft without a damn good amount of poleing. 

(Monday 14th April)