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

Saturday 30 September 2017

Finally In The Bag


Today, ta da, it's finally L’s 100th parkrun. Most likely against doctor’s orders but now it’s finally in the bag. Bravo. Now she can get herself a new T-shirt.

The big event comes at Beeston as Daughter continues her tourism. L runs with her while I run with MD. We’ve only done Beeston once before and now I remember why we haven’t been back. It’s so damn narrow that MD and I get stuck at the back and are unable to overtake. I find it very frustrating but MD likes it when we don’t go too fast.

There are now two coffee shops near the Beeston Parkrun so we try the new one and it’s very pleasant although I think most people stick to the one they know which is good because there’s no queues at ours.

(Saturday 30th September)

Friday 29 September 2017

The Cormoran Strike Limp

L gets carried away at the gym and hobbles home while I get carried away running home from work and... although I don't quite hobble, I do develop a bit of a Cormoran Strike limp. Yes, we've actually been watching some TV. We're always been partial to a bit of Cormoran and Robin.

Thankfully my limp is only minor. It's not calf related and it's purely down to some nicely festering blisters.

L’s always had a bit of a crush on Cormoran Strike and that’s just from the books. Well more precisely the audiobooks, so it’s probably actually the narrator she fancies and has nothing to do with that fact that Cormoran has a limp like mine.

It’s Friday, if someone will help us both upstairs.

(Friday 29th September)

Thursday 28 September 2017

Through The Pain

On the bike today and then in the pub for lunch.

Squash is cancelled as my opponent has hurt his ankle doing a run. He says it started hurting towards the end of his 5k on the treadmill but he ran through the pain and finished it anyway. Then he asks if that sounds familiar. Hmm, maybe. It’s dangerous stuff this running business.

This development sort of stuffs up L’s planned run to meet us at squash but I’m happy to pretend I’ve played anyway and wait in the pub for her. I like to be helpful like that. Sadly, or happily for her injury, she’d already decided not to run and is going to the gym instead. Beers at home then.

(Thursday 28th September)

Wednesday 27 September 2017

The No Rush Hour

I’m back in London today for a meeting, so it’s an early start. I meet my boss at the Holiday Inn on the M1 junction and we head down in his car.

For once it’s a decent trip by road. The meeting has a late start and an early finish, so we miss most of the rush hour(s) traffic. We are back in Derby for 4pm despite stopping for lunch at Ed’s Diner, I’m home early to chuck balls and in plenty of time for tonight’s dog training.

(Wednesday 27th September)

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Less Eventful

On the bus today and thankfully a much less eventful trip into work.

Someone has put their first half marathon t-shirt from 2005 on Facebook and L immediately dismisses him as a lightweight. Hers was the Robin Hood Half in 1998 although I don’t think it was even known as the Robin Hood back then and not that she has a t-shirt for it because they’ve only just started giving them out.

I’m more interested in whether he still wears it. I still wear my first half marathon t-shirt which was from Sleaford in 2010.

Tonight I’m out with my old school friends in Derby, hence the bus. After a few drinks in the Brunswick, we head to steak night at the Babington Arms. Only really because the Brunswick doesn’t do food on a Tuesday.

Back home, I am greeted by the dogs complete with flecks of white paint in Doggo’s case. L must have restarted the decorating project. Then I join her in a couple of whiskies which I assume are for medicinal purposes not that my dentist would approve.

(Tuesday 26th September)

Monday 25 September 2017

Renegade Fruit Juice Habit

This morning I arrive for work at 10am, having left home two hours and twenty minutes earlier.
A car had broken down on the A52 near Derby and traffic had backed up all the way back to Bardill’s roundabout, just outside Nottingham. It had also snarled up the slip roads off the M1 and thereby the M1 itself. Quite an achievement.

It was also unnecessary. It was a tiny car which could have been pushed off the road in seconds but instead a police car had put cones round it and sat behind it with all it’s blue lights on.

L is also heading to Derby today, meeting her folks. Good luck with that one.

Shopping is again without a Nectar card. Just how long does it take to replace one?

Then I’m at the dentist where I get lectured on my general health even though the chap has no idea how my general health is. That isn't after all his job. I even get asked the age old question about how many alcohol units I consume per week and whether I am inside the new guidelines. I refuse to answer his questions and I have no idea what this has to do with my teeth.

I am also advised that if I am going to drink fruit juice in the mornings then this should not be done before brushing my teeth but I shouldn’t drink it afterwards either unless it’s through a straw. Life used to be so simple. Apparently it’s all to do with looking after the enamel on my teeth. Although he confirms that the 50 year old enamel on my teeth is fine... despite my current renegade fruit juice habits.

After that I’m relieved to get to dog training.

(Monday 25th September)

Sunday 24 September 2017

The Cheering Gang

Given the fact that Nottingham is overzealous with it’s road closures for the Marathon/Half Marathon and the tram isn’t very convenient for the Embankment, I employ Shank's Pony to get to the start line. In truth, the walk probably served as a pretty good warm up.

The course is more or less the same as last year's with one dead turn thankfully taken out. So just one more to remove please but this is certainly one of the better courses they’ve had.

L and Daughter both support this year and in multiple places but the cheering gang (the dogs) are left at home.

Just ahead of seven miles I get chance for a sweaty snog with one of the crowd, which was L of course but then everyone else backed away in terror when they saw me coming.

I have a good run and finish in 1:44:50 and pass Richard Whitehead en route, in the end beating him by a couple of minutes. 

It's again an excellent event and with a t-shirt for all finishers this year for the first time. It's a cotton one too, which I prefer. I have so many technical ones already.

My only real grip is that Nottingham still persist with the notorious water pouches. Oddly some people do seem to like them but I assume these are the folk who possess the black magic required to get something substantial out of them. Personally I probably consumed only half the amount of water I wanted to and I really don't see how they get these things through their H&S Risk Assessment. I run races up and down the country and have never come across these dreadful things anywhere else.

These are a blot on what is otherwise, fantastic race. Although I still maintain that they should be taking this race into the city centre like the big cites do - Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester etc etc. Which perversely would contain the race more central and therefore probably even reduce the number of road closures.

Then I hobble to the train station from where I get the tram home.

(Sunday 24th September)

Saturday 23 September 2017

A Little Bit Of Jane Austen

This morning MD and I pace Daughter around Forest Rec parkrun in 36 minutes. MD is delighted that I don’t make him do it in 25 while L puts a brave face on being on the sidelines but she will probably head off to drown her sorrows in Waterstone's later.

After breakfast at Homemade, I head off to the match where Derby draw with Birmingham.

In the evening we’re all (L, Daughter and me) at Pride and Prejudice which is being staged at Nottingham Playhouse. Yes, you heard correctly.

There is however a cunning difference here. This version is by comedian Sara Pascoe who is basically having a bit of a laugh with Jane Austen’s esteemed novel and questioning the modern day relevance of it.

This is a play for people like me who think oh no, not another costume drama of (insert populist play here). Ok, so this is a populist play but done with a difference, with satire and it’s not subtle either. For starters the whole thing is set in a giant birdcage.

The story is, mostly, an abridged version of the traditional one e.g. there are still five daughters to be married off and boy are they obsessed with finding a husband. Pascoe however questions this obsession and many other aspects of the story both within the main play and also by frequently switching the action to the present. Where discussions about the play take play in a school, the actors explore their own roles in rehearsals and there are two TV producers editing their own version while having their own very modern relationship, illicitly.

There are also songs from Emmy the Great in which the Bennet sisters plead with us not to judge them. As if.

The whole thing might upset the purists of course, hopefully, but I thought it was very clever, very well done, well acted and above all rather funny.

(Saturday 23rd September)

Friday 22 September 2017

Acceptable After All

It seems that my mid-week run with Daughter was acceptable after all. MD and I have been recruited again, this time to pace her around Saturday’s parkrun at Forest Rec. L has admitted defeat on the injury front and will spectate again, still stranded on 99.

Daughter has however, apparently, offered to help L train for the Derby 10K next year. Once she is fit again of course. What is the world coming to? Strange things are certainly afoot.

It’s a normal Friday night in tonight, that is as in no massages. At least not from the professionals. 

(Friday 22nd September)

Thursday 21 September 2017

This Girl Shouldn’t

L swims this morning but for the first time ever I has to catch the bus there. Which makes me think she should be doing it... However she spins the positives. It's only the walking bit that she couldn't do and she’s even considering making her comeback with a gentle jog at Parkrun on Saturday. Hmmm. Never mind ‘This Girl Can’ we need a campaign called ‘This Girl Shouldn’t’.

She’s just trying to sneak number 100 in but then it must be very frustrating being stuck on 99.

It’s the first game of the new squash season tonight and my opponent adjusts better to the change of sport, tennis to squash, than me.

L stays at home, licking her wounds, but I still take the boys so at least she won’t have to chuck balls all night. I’m sure Doggo is desperate to get inside the Dispensary and tonight they both get to go inside for the first time. 

(Thursday 21st September)

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Off The Substitutes' Bench

Today I get a bizarre call from our local Post Office. They have MD’s dog tag but apparently MD isn’t attached to it. I check with L, just in case she’s lost him, but she assures me he was at home when she left for work. I tell them we’ll pick it up next time we’re passing.

After work I run 5k, then get the bus part of the way home, then run another 5k. That, however, is just the first part of tonight’s running schedule.

With L temporarily out of commission I am called off the substitutes' bench and tasked with running with Daughter tonight. She has already apologised, many times, in advance for being slow. While I feel I should be apologising for being fast. She likens me to a race horse, albeit a slightly limping one, and her a Shetland pony.

I am apparently required to chitchat all the way round our 5k, which isn’t really my forte and not something I’m used to. No one speaks to you when you’re on 1:45 pace for a half marathon, no one is capable of speaking to you.

MD joins us and helps ruin our time, which isn’t what she was hoping for. So she might not be asking us again.

(Wednesday 20th September)

Tuesday 19 September 2017

The Usual

It’s a pretty usual day. I’m on the bike as usual and L manages a swim, although she’s probably being generous with the word ‘manage’.

In the evening it’s dog training while L visits her parents as she usually does when I’m at training and as usual we meet up in the Masons. Where we are faced with the usual drab beer range. 

(Tuesday 19th September)

Monday 18 September 2017

Nectar Theft

After doing the shopping at Sainsbury’s this lunch time I find out that my Nectar card has been emptied, someone has stolen all 9200 points I had on there. That’s round about £50.

Checking online I find out that they’ve been spent at Argos. That certainly wasn’t me and unsurprisingly L says it wasn’t her either.

I contact Nectar and rather worryingly they don’t seem at all surprised. They cancel the card, set me up a new account, transfer the points and add another 2000 as a goodwill gesture. I’ve just got to wait for the new card to arrive which will apparently take about two weeks... no rush then.

No dog training tonight as I have a committee meeting, which goes well. There are no fights etc etc.

(Monday 18th September)

Sunday 17 September 2017

A Reluctant Supporter

In the post race euphoria of the Great North Run I entered us both in today’s Mansfield 10k while sat on the platform at Newcastle Railway Station. Unfortunately the euphoria was not shared by L’s back, so now it’s just me.

The third running of the Mansfield 10k turns out to be a decent little event, once we’ve managed to park somewhere as the town has pretty much shut down for the race.

The course is a twisty route with a few includes around the town centre and surrounding streets with the start and finish in the Market Place offering excellent viewing potential for my reluctant supporter.

There’s a 5k as well as a 10k which presents some excellent cheating potential for any dishonest 10k runners. Not me, obviously.

My time is a steady and unspectacular 45:51. Not great but its all about building fitness and remaining uninjured at the moment. It’s four weeks to marathon day.

Afterwards L tries to get a swim but finds out the pool sessions at John Carroll no longer exist. Why am I not surprised.

In the evening we meet Daughter in the Lincolnshire Poacher, briefly, before she heads off for a date with Cormoran Strike. We stay there all night.

(Sunday 17th September)

Saturday 16 September 2017

Watching Our Backs

The boys and I are at a dog show this morning but our schedule gives us no runs first thing so it could have been a leisurely morning. That is if L hadn’t dived out of bed early in order to get over to the Colwick parkrun to support daughter on her Couch To 5k Graduation.

So I assist by dropping L in town and then heading off to the dog show which is near Rugby.

Daughter not only graduates with flying colours but brings her 5k time down in to the 36s. We all need to start watching our backs. L says I wouldn’t believe how jealous she is. Oh I would. 

At the dog show, our first run was really good but we had a pole down. Then on the second run MD missed out a jump, I mis-queued the weaves and then he missed his dog walk contact.Oh dear.

We both calm down a touch and get a clear round on run three but only just, so we’re outside the rosettes, before rounding things off with five faults in our last run.

Back home later, we stay in. I have another run tomorrow.

(Saturday 16th September)

Friday 15 September 2017

Up On The Table

I bike for a third day in a row which was hard work but somehow I managed it.

So it’s probably a good job that when I’ve pedalled back home after work I have my masseur waiting for me. Unfortunately he’s not going to go easy on me and, despite Doggo’s half hearted efforts to stop him, he inflicts plenty of pain on me.

Tonight it’s not just me he gets his hands on, L’s up on the table as well. So it’s certainly not our typical Friday night.

(Friday 15th September)

Thursday 14 September 2017

Doubling Up

I’m on the bike again today, doubling up on my Cycle to Work Day miles because they've extended the event for those who bottled out due to Storm Aileen yesterday.

It’s a good job I’m on the bike because it’s traffic Armageddon outside our own front door with Wollaton Road shut due to an earlier accident. Everyone diverted along Harrow Road, which was like a car park and the kids were all stood at the bus stop panicking about getting to school... err, you could walk.

Tonight we again play tennis in the dome as a sort of grand finale to the season. While we play, L tries to grab a nice relaxing sauna but finds it taken over by what appears to be a taxi drivers' convention.

We had tried to get one of the main indoor courts for tonight but they were all booked. They are actually the same price as the dome courts but they probably come with lights that work, one corner of our court was dark where one of the floodlights had packed up.

Drinks afterwards in the Crown.

(Thursday 14th September)

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Come On Aileen

The overnight gales from Storm Aileen have eased somewhat but have not yet totally dissipated, so it’s somewhat blustery for the annual Cycle to Work Day. So the ride in is somewhat lively but still excellent, even if I do have to reassemble myself on arrival.

Yesterday L managed to make it to the pool but could only manage backstroke. Today she doesn’t do the gym, pool or anything. Not good.

A not quite so windy ride home is followed by dog training.

(Wednesday 13th September)

Tuesday 12 September 2017

The Wino’s Shelf

After a day off, today effectively becomes Monday e.g. I’m in the car and doing the shopping.

L sends me for some cheap plonk to put in the cake she’s baking for me. No expense spared for our own Bake Off. I have a long look on the wino’s shelf at Sainsburys but in the end come back with a bottle of Old Tom, which she suggested just so that she can lick the spoon.

I had been expecting to be going to the football tonight but I found out only a few days ago that apparently we now have an away cup game at Barnsley instead of a home league game. Nice of them to tell me.

As expected our illustrious manager decides to field the reserves while Barnsley take it seriously, hence we lose. With none of the first team involved it makes you wonder why they cancelled the league game, they could have played both simultaneously.

With nothing happening in the league and unlikely to do so, I can lose interest again now until the FA Cup starts, when we will probably play a weakened team again...

(Tuesday 12th September)

Sunday 10 September 2017

Great North Run

On Saturday L and I head up to Newcastle, via a parkrun in Sheffield, as you do. Daughter joins us and the two them, not me, run the Sheffield Castle parkrun. I’m saving my calves for tomorrow.

We arrive by train and then get the Sheffield tram. It all goes very well at what is a small, friendly, parkrun where they let us make our own coffee and serve Jaffa Cakes.

Then Daughter head back home to earn her trainers (e.g. to dog sit) while we hop on a train to Newcastle. First class obviously.

That also goes well and we arrive too early for the hotel, called the Rooms Inn, and have to loiter at the coffee shop in the nearby Discovery Museum until they’ll let us check in. Even then they’re not ready, claiming to have been let down by their laundry people.

Once checked in, we head to find the pasta party, which is no longer held at the finish line where we expected it to be, where it was fifteen years ago, but apparently it hasn’t been there for years. Who knew? That will teach us to read the race information.

While we are in the wrong place, South Shields, we eat at a decent pub called the Marine. The food is good and the beer decent too. Yes I have a couple of pints. Good hydration is important obviously.

The next day we are near enough to walk to the start which saves a lot of hassle with the Metro etc, which I’m sure will be busy. Then amazingly we bump into some people we know and the Elite women’s coach almost bumps into us.

Then we part to go to our respective start points. The race starts at 10:40am and I get to cross the start line at 10:45am, L who is further back doesn’t get to start until 11:10am. By which point Mo Farah is long gone. In fact before I am even half way around they are announcing that he has won, smart a***.

The route, of course, goes from Newcastle to South Shields via the Tyne Bridge. The on course support is, as expected, amazing but (whisper it quietly) I was a bit disappointed with the route, it’s just not that scenic... the bridge is good but isn’t it tiny! I was surprised. Blink and you’ve missed it but you can’t missed the Red Arrows who flew across overhead as we crossed.  

There was a very welcome beer stop at 10 miles provided by Newcastle Hash House Harriers but, again, blink and you’ll miss it. Which I did, so naturally I turned around and went back.  They had beers from several local micro breweries so it was almost a mini beer festival. Perhaps I should have stayed for a couple but I just grabbed a taster from Tyne Bank Brewery and went on my way.

The best bit of the course is probably the end and that's not just because it’s the end. After an uphill section around mile 11 there then comes an evil downhill slope (for those of us with dodgy calves) at 12 miles but having weathered than the final mile long stretch along the sea front is great.

Having looked after my calves all the way around, I start to push it now and they twang at me in protest but they can pack up now if they want. I can crawl from here.

So I finish in one piece and a little while later so too does L. By now I’ve managed to grab a massage and have headed back up the course to cheer L in, who texts me from the finish. So I’ve missed her. We arrange to meet in the beer tent which is filled with tempting real ales. It was fairly quiet when I finished but it’s heaving now, so we shelve that idea and head back to the Marine where we were last night.

The queues for the Metro are huge even after we’ve killed time in the Marine so we head to get the Tyne Ferry instead which will enable us to pick up the Metro on the other side of the river. The queues are probably just as long but at least we are serenaded by a band in the queue.   

We spend the evening out in Newcastle. First a few beers at the Bodega, then we get a Sunday lunch and more beers in the Pleased To Meet You. All in all a good day and a good night.

We head back home the next day. I am keen to get back for dog training but it’s cancelled as no one else can make it. L is keen to get back to her running club where Daughter is doing her first full 5K non-stop. L runs too, which I didn’t think was a good idea... not that I’m saying she’s overdoing it or anything. 

(Sunday 10th September)

Friday 8 September 2017


There’s a match tonight, so Friday evening is moved to Friday morning. You can’t beat a bit of flexibility.

Sky have done the dirty on the fixtures again but for probably the time ever it’s worked in my favour as had they played Saturday I would have had to have missed it due to us heading up to Newcastle for the Great North Run.

Oddly it seems to work in Derby’s favour too and they trash Hull 5-0. Probably just a one off...

Afterwards my Dad and I have a swift pint in Navigation, my Mum having decided to skip the game.

(Friday 8th September)

Thursday 7 September 2017

Whatever Next

Derby Arena email me to say that

“summer is almost over which means a lifestyle de-clutter and change of routine, especially the fitness transition from getting in shape for the beach to keeping fit for hibernation season”.

I have no idea what they're on about.

I bike to work and then it’s tennis or it’s supposed to be tennis but it starts raining just as I’m leaving work. So I go back up into my office, put the computer back on and change the booking from an outdoor court to the indoor dome. It’s got to worth an extra £11 to not have to play in the rain again.

L is stunned.  

"Oooh posh. First class rail, then the dome, whatever next." 

Whatever next indeed.

Next is actually a pint in the Crown and a chance for a drunken tactics talk with L ahead of Sunday’s GNR.

(Thursday 7th September)

Wednesday 6 September 2017

All The Better For It

Back on the bike and I’m running so late, so it was a bit fast but all the better for it.

Lunch time bring a pub lunch in the Brunswick and then it’s dog training again later.

Back to (dog) school in September for a new term always bring a few new recruits and I head along to initiate a few more.

L heads over to Daughter’s for tea and for a run. Sounds like she’s ready as she’ll ever be for the Great North Run.

(Wednesday 6th September)

Tuesday 5 September 2017

The New Monday

So with the car fixed, Tuesday becomes the new Monday and I do the shopping at lunchtime.

Dog training and L is in Mickleover. Post-training we try to meet in the Nags Head but they have Bingo was on, so we end up back in the Masons as usual. They have reverted back to their duller than dull selection of beers. Pedigree again then.

(Tuesday 5th September)

Monday 4 September 2017

As Simple As That

It’s a rare Monday on the bike as obviously I still have no car and at the moment I’m not sure how I’m going to get it sorted.

Then, surprisingly, someone who said they’d ring me back actually does. The friend of a friend of a friend from Saturday calls. So I shoot off early from work to meet him at home, pedalling as furiously as I can, thankfully it was just a 10k yesterday. At least I’ve got a good workout out of it.

He’s a nice retired old fella who diagnoses a deceased battery. As simple as that! He then gives me a lift to get another one. Having pre-warned the local motorist spares centre that we are on our way, they stay open until we arrive.

We get another battery and suddenly everything is good to go. Having already made my apologies to dog training, I take the opportunity to go visit my Mum, whose birthday I missed on Saturday. 

(Monday 4th September)

Sunday 3 September 2017

Minimal Damage

We are still without a car, so we forced to use public transport to get over to Leicester for the newest of Asda Foundation / Jane Tomlinson Run For All events. They call it the ‘first’ Leicester 10k but there are multiple 10ks in Leicester and always have been, this is just the latest.

Many race plans in the past have been scuppered by the lack of public transport options so I am pleasantly surprised\shocked to find that there are actually trains to Leicester before 9am on a Sunday and that the Nottingham tram starts at 6am on a Sunday. Wow.

So in the end it proves relatively easy to get to Abbey Park for the event.

The route of the 10k sounds nice. It takes us across the Grand Union Canal, into the city centre, past the Richard III visitor centre, past the cathedral, then twice over the River Soar before ending with a final lap of the park. I didn’t really notice much of that...

My only aim is to not get re-injured, so it’s a case of stick at a steady pace all the way round and a laborious time of 48:36 shows that it’s job well done. There’s even a post race massage to check out the damage, which I’m told is negligible. The masseur concurs that I’m good to go and compliments Thursday’s treatment.

L runs it too and seems equally ecstatic afterwards to have survived it.

Then it’s back to Nottingham where we are met by Daughter whom we have agreed to get properly shod, as in some proper trainers. Now she has become a (whisper it very very quietly) runner, she is suffering a bit with shin splints and sore knees. She gets a gait analysis at Up & Running and I leave with a very much lighter bank balance. Lets call it a payment for next weekend’s dog sitting.

Then we spend the evening hitting the recovery drinks in the Crafty Crow.

(Sunday 3rd September)

Saturday 2 September 2017

British Triathlon Mixed Relay Cup

While L and Daughter parkrun, I am stuck at home calling out the recovery people to the car who we now get through our packaged current account with the Nationwide. This meant we have dumped the RAC who have rescued us many times in the past. To their credit, they have kept us on for just £5 a year but that doesn’t include Homestart.

Our new service is supposed to be provided by Britannia but its not them that come out, it’s Burrows Recovery. The chap is clearly irked at having to work on a Saturday and quickly says he knows what the problem is but he can't fix it. However h says he knows a man who can... and gives me a mate’s phone number. Sounds a bit dodgy to me, passing on trade like that.

When I finally get hold of this mate, he says he can’t fix it either but he knows a man who can... this is getting a bit like Chinese Whispers.

This chap says that, yes, he can probably fix it and how does Monday sound. Mondays sounds like two days away to me, so I ring round loads of other people but I don’t get a better offer.

So we have no transport for this afternoon’s British Triathlon Mixed Relay Cup on the Victoria Embankment, so we walk there instead which takes about an hour.

This is a new, inaugural, event because the Mixed Relay is due to be introduced to the Olympics for Tokyo 2020. There are seventeen teams of four taking part, each comprising two men and two women. Thirteen of these were British based teams centred around their training bases e.g. Leeds, Loughborough, Bath, London, Cardiff, Stirling etc. These included a who’s who of British Triathlon, at least of all those who weren’t injury, but also enabled the Australian Aaron Royle to compete for Leeds where he trains. This also means Nottingham’s own Sophie Coldwell was running for Loughborough not Nottingham.

Jonny Brownlee was the biggest name due to be there but he was a late withdrawal. He had a bit of a sniffle apparently, the lightweight.

We had grandstand seats which were very good for transition and the bike leg but not so good for the swim or the run, probably the best bits especially the jumping in the Trent at the start of each leg. 

The race itself consists of each team member completing a 300m swim, a 7.5km bike up and down the Embankment and a 1.5km run over Trent Bridge and the Wilford Suspension bridge before tagging the next team member who lobbed themselves in the Trent to repeat the process. Four times.

We also had a good view of the big screen which would have been useful if it had been used to show more of the race and used less as prop to get the crowd dancing.

Anyhow Leeds won, Loughborough came second and Canada, one of the four international teams, third. 

It all went down very well with spectators lining the route and it showed off Nottingham very well on TV.
It will back next year but part of a UK City series, so it might not attract so many big names.

Earlier in the day there was a mini Triathlon for the mere mortals, sadly they swam in Portland pool rather than the Trent but I can fully understood why they did that!

Afterwards L talks me into crafty drink at Dispensary and then we get the bus back from town.

(Saturday 2nd September)

Friday 1 September 2017

Old Punks Never Die

On the bike again and now everything aches, thankfully the calf no more than anything else, but I’m not as badly off as L.

Her boss advises her to sit back and do nothing all weekend, although she’s has just had a fortnight of doing practically nothing. It seems that going back to work that was her downfall.

Of course she kicks off her ‘do nothing’ weekend by mowing the lawn. That’s not exactly doing nothing but it desperately needed doing. MD could barely find his ball.

After which I hope she doesn’t collapse on me, as we’re at a gig tonight and one that L talked me into.

They say that old punks never die and as if to prove that statement we are at Rock City tonight to welcome back the Skids, the latest of that generation to reform. They have dabbled with minor reformation in the past but this time it’s for real, with a full UK tour to celebrate their 40th anniversary and there’s even a new album ‘Burning Cities’ in the offing.

Also still around, and from the same era, are support act Angelic Upstarts. We only catch the end of their set, so it would be unfair to comment on them really, only to say that they went down very well with the crowd.

Of course there is one old punk who sadly disproves that statement. Obviously Stuart Adamson can’t be here but original members Richard Jobson and William Simpson are, along with drummer Mike Baillie who joined the band a few albums in.

As the band opening with ‘Animation’ one thing was absolutely clear, that Jobson had certainly not lost the desire to not only throw himself into every song but around the stage too.

The question was could he last the distance. As he windmilled his way through ‘Of One Skin’ and ‘Melancholy Soldiers’ it was clear that he was certainly going to give it a damn good go.

Thereby followed an all-inclusive run through of the band’s singles and better known album tracks, with the likes of ‘Working For The Yankee Dollar’ and ‘The Saints Are Coming’ going down particularly well.

Stepping into Adamson’s very large shoes tonight was, rather appropriately, his former Big Country band mate Bruce Watson. As Jobson paid tribute to Adamson prior to ‘Scared to Dance’, Rock City erupted in a huge round of applause in his memory.

Watson had brought with him his son, Jamie, to play rhythm guitar and also to become target of a mid-set sing along of ‘Ed Sheeran is a wanker’, as he does bear a passing resemblance.

Back to the music and there was little you could think of that the band didn’t play, from d├ębut single ‘Charles’ through to the epic ‘The Olympian’ with Jobson still going strong. I was sort of worried he would collapse and I think he was too, admitting he was knackered and not quite his old younger self any more. Then he was off into motion again with another one legged scissor kick, only occasionally grabbing a sneaky rest as he delivered one of his engaging but often unfathomable anecdotes about the band.

The finale was stunning. The excellent ‘A Woman In Winter’ lead into ‘Circus Games’, then ‘Masquerade’ before they finished with ‘Into the Valley’.

They return quickly to play ‘Charade’ and then the song that Jobson threatened not to play if anyone badgered him for it. Namely ‘TV Stars’, the original flipside to ‘Into The Valley’, revamped slightly with Boris Johnson and Theresa May included in the lyrics but still (obviously) with it’s singalong ‘Albert Tatlock’ chorus.

They return for a second time and reprise 'Of One Skin' claiming they’ve run out of material. It’s perhaps slightly odd that they refrain from previewing anything from their new album but I suppose tonight is really all about the last 40 years.

Now I am no hard core Skids fan but tonight was pretty special. Welcome back to the best (and only) punk band from Scotland, so says Jobson’s mother anyway.

Afterwards L talks me into crafty drink at Blue Monkey, she really is a bad influence. It’s a good call as they have Chocolate Gorilla on. 

(Friday 1st September)