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

Sunday 31 August 2014

Lost In Shipley Park

Today I do the Cycle 4 Life Bike Ride from Nottingham University, this is in aid of Children's Brain Tumour Research. There’s a reasonable entry and we are released in blocks of twenty from 9.30 onwards. The roads are very busy by then, clearly the garden centres are already open and it’s a bit of a trawl before we break out of the city boundaries.

The first excitement arrives when they take us through Shipley Park because either their signage is poor or someone has nicked all the signs. Everyone gets lost and there are huge groups of cyclists riding round in circles looking for the way out of the park.

Eventually we follow a group of people carrying their bikes up a bank and see a bit of yellow sign just visible through some bushes. Sorted.

After the feed station at Belper, where there are some nice snack biscuits, we’re onto quieter country roads and some fairly serious hills.

After missing one right turn and back tracking, the signage really isn’t great, I miss another one after the second feed station at Stanley where they have done us sandwiches for lunch. I’m in Kirk Hallam before I realise I’ve missed it and by now I’m on autopilot, on one of my regular routes home. So I keep going and rejoin the route further down in Wollaton Vale. That hacked about two miles off the route I reckon.

I complete the 50 miles in 3:13. L meets me with the dogs after doing a brick session. We both have a Brakspear beer from the Arts Centre. Nice and local, not.

Back home, Daughter does her bucket challenge having been nominated by L. Daughter as expected nominates me. Good luck with that one. 

(Sunday 31st August)

Saturday 30 August 2014

Is This How Other People Spend Their Weekends?

L skips off out for a 9am class exercise class double header with Daughter. So, abandoned, I get up. Then I type up the Dog Club’s minutes, blitz the bathroom with anti-mould cleaner and take the dogs on the park. Wow. Loads done. Is this how other people spend their weekends? Missed the lie-in though.

When L returns she drops me at my parents for the match, which Derby draw 1-1, then goes to see her own parents. Whilst there her father tips a bucket of water over her head. L has been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge by her sister.

After the match I get bus back over to Nottingham and meet L. We again visit the Nedd Ludd where there’s a nice 5.5% IPA called Navigation Apus, on the trail I assume. We consider staying for food but despite seeing several orders taken we don't see any food arrive, so perhaps not.

Fothergills is next on our list. It’s a new venue to us and it’s quite posh but they do have beer. We have another nice IPA, a 6% one this time from Castle Rock. Again not much food arriving and probably on the pricey side anyway.

We check out the Salutation, as we do once a year or so, but there's nothing of interest there. We do have one at the Hand & Heart, again it’s an IPA on the trail by this time it’s not so good. Then we try the Flacon, which like last week has no Tuck or IPA so we don't stay and go to the Borlase which again comes up trumps with a nice dark ale.

(Saturday 30th August)

Friday 29 August 2014

Not A Dinosaur In Sight

At least it's dry today. This makes the ride into work a lot more pleasant.

Daughter has a job in Manchester. Clearly threatening them with a baseball bat at Toys r Us worked a treat. Perhaps I should explain she had to pick a toy from the store and sell it to the rest of the interview group. Yes, she chose a baseball bat... and you wouldn’t say no to Daughter with a baseball bat. They didn’t even have to ask her what her favourite dinosaur was. I thought that always came up.

Sadly the ride home isn’t as pleasant as the one this morning. Ugh, wet lycra again. I’m just stripping it off when L sends through a warning that they’re bringing a guest back so to not be naked...

But later Daughter is off out to celebrate someone’s birthday, so then we can be as debauched as we like. Yay, that means a takeaway.

(Friday 29th August)

Thursday 28 August 2014

Everything is wet

Everything is wet this morning. The weather continually teased me on the bike. It drizzled, so I put my jacket on. The sun came out, so I took it off. It drizzled, so I put it back on. Then the sun came out again, so... then it threw it down.Great tennis weather.

In the end, it does fine up for tennis. Although we do end up finishing in near darkness. I take the dogs with us to the pub again as L is at Abs Blast and Fight Klub. Yes, she is doing something that’s mis-spelt.

It takes an age to reach the pub, its traffic hell through the tram works and takes half an hour to get to Beeston. We could have walked it faster, had we not trashed each other on the tennis court.

(Thursday 28th August)

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Fast Men And Women

I continue my training by swimming today, then I'll bike Thursday and Friday.

Daughter is in Manchester again, this time going direct. While L is in Leamington visiting son. Kate Bush meanwhile goes nowhere, embarking on her first concert tour since 1979 playing 22 dates without leaving the confines of the Hammersmith Apollo. Somebody needs to show that girl a map. At least she p****d a lot of people off with the setlist.

I pick L up at Derby station and we head to John Carroll together, her for a class, me to mix it up with the fast men and women in lane one. If they make me swim this fast in the Half Ironman, I’ll either win it or have a heart attack.

(Wednesday 27th August)

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Otherwise Known As

Today I take the car to my parents’ house, leave it there and then run the 8km into work from there. Then I’ll do the same again in reverse at 5pm. It goes ok but it was very slow. 5:30 per km. Which I will put down to the early morning blues, otherwise known as a slight hangover.

L takes hers for a swim but craves a greasy spoon breakfast. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Daughter meanwhile is engaging in some trans-county travelling as she criss-crosses the country to avoid paying pre-9am train fares from Nottingham on her way to a job interview in Manchester. She buses to Derby, walks from bus to train station, trains to Sheffield then changes at Sheffield for Manchester. She does her interview and then is set to do the whole thing again in reverse; only they let her get a direct train back to Nottingham.

My run back is quicker, at my acceptable half marathon pace of 5:00 per km.

Tonight, Derby get through to the 3rd Round of the league cup, a late goal defeating Charlton.

(Tuesday 26th August)

Monday 25 August 2014

A Voyage Of Discovery

After a morning session on the park with the boys, L and I embark on a voyage of discovery. Barrow upon Soar by bus and train. Amazingly there is both on a bank holiday and we can even get back at the ridiculous hour of 9:45pm.

The occasion is my friend’s 50th birthday and it’s a Hawaii Five-0 night in her honour. A very good night it is too. More worryingly there are going to be more of these Five-0 nights in the coming few years. One of which will belong to me. 

(Monday 25th August)

Sunday 24 August 2014

Plot Lost

So, my little pocket rocket is in the Jumping Cup Final for the second year running. He won his heat way back in December, which is ages ago and we seem to have lost the plot somewhat since then. Last year he came 6th, this year... I hate to think. He has developed a serious hatred of tunnels of late.

He has four warm up events first. Run one - first tunnel fine, second tunnel refused. This is followed by a terrible second run where he refused almost everything, so we’re not speaking. Come to think of it, ignoring him is about the only tactic I haven’t tried. It might just work.

It didn’t.

We reach the final not warmed up at all and without a clear round but there were definitely more good bits than bad bits in his last two runs. However we have still refused a tunnel in every course today. The last of those runs had four tunnels in it, FFS, but we did get three of them. So perhaps that’s progress. Just the final to do now.

There are two tunnels in it...

First one... fine.

Second one... Oh FFS, but at least we entertained the crowd.

(Sunday 24th August)

Saturday 23 August 2014

You Don’t Win Anything With Kids

My optician has been taken over by one of those national brands and I’ve been putting off going as I know it’ll be a long long job. 

It is a very long long job. They took ninety minutes to tell me everything is exactly the same as last time and I’ve still got to go back because they’ve given me some trial contact lenses. Different ones in each eye which is very weird. I can’t help but think this is cost cutting. I mean if you like the left shoe in a shoe shop, you wouldn’t buy the pair without trying the right one on as well would you.

Derby’s ‘indifferent’ start to the season actually saw them win two games, draw one and lose none of their first three games without conceding a goal but they did lose their fourth game 3-2 at Charlton. They bounce back into form today with an impressive 5-1 win against a seemingly relegation bound (already) Fulham side. Their side is almost all young lads and you don’t win anything with kids, so they say.

Afterwards I meet L in Nottingham. We try the food at Peacock, which is fine but the Old Peculiar tastes off. So we head to the Nedd Ludd, which is a ‘craft’ ale bar. E.g. overpriced keg beers that are generally served too cold, too gassy and make you wonder how good it would have been had it been served on a hand pump.

However, it’s a decent pub that does have a few hand pumps and we get a nice IPA as part of the minimum strength 5.5% IPA trail. A commendable idea this from Nottingham Camra but I’m not sure how they got it past the alcohol police.

Then we head to the Falcon which for the first time ever has no Tuck and no IPA for the trail either. We end up at Borlase which has a well decent Porter from Raw. So good we stay for another one, which isn’t going to do me any good tomorrow. Good job it's not me jumping the hurdles.

(Saturday 23rd August)