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

Sunday 28 November 2021

Locked Out

We are having a bit of a problem getting in our front door. The keys and probably the lock itself are worn out. I gave L my key because it seemed to work better than hers and then I couldn’t get back in the house with hers after taking the dogs for a walk. I have to intercept her on the way to the pool to get my key back.

Anything I can do Mark Cavendish can do better. This includes falling off in a velodrome. The difference here is that it clearly wasn’t his fault. Somebody else hit him... don’t you hate it when that happens...

On Wednesday I cycle, which went well until I got a puncture coming on to Pride Park. It’s a long time since I’ve had one of those. I walked the last bit, which isn’t easy in my new bike shoes. So now I’ve got a sore knee again. I replace the inner tube over lunch.

L bravely takes MD to the vets for his annual booster. He is a bit of wimp when it comes to the vets.

Thursday is L’s parents’ Diamond Wedding Anniversary which isn’t quite as wild a celebration as it might have been with her Dad now in the care home. It’s still moderately wild though with a meal followed by cake, sherry and wine.

Also on Thursday, at the dog club we have our first in person committee meeting since January 2020.

Then there's the news of the new Covid variant. Hot on the heels of Delta comes Omicron which is currently lurking somewhere in a departure lounge in South Africa waiting to get the next flight over.

Then again, perhaps its not so ‘hot on the heels’ as clearly Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, Nu and Xi must have turned out to be insignificant.

After her morning swim L has a mince pie muffin which clearly tells you that Christmas must be limbering up somewhere. Although, to be pedantic, surely it’s a pie or a muffin? It can’t be both.

The weather isn’t great. It clearly wasn’t cycling weather on Friday and doesn’t appear to be Parkrun weather either on Saturday. Many are cancelled due to wind and snow as we hide under the duvet.

We emerge eventually to head to the care home. L and her Mum visit while I indulge in coffee and a bacon roll at a local café.

The weather is still cold but at least fine for the Derby Half Marathon on Sunday. While I do the half L, Daughter and Daughter’s +1 do the 5 miler. We take advantage of a non-existent £2 parking offer that Chapel Street car park won’t accept and therefore ending up paying a further £3.90. Bargain. Daughter is still awaiting her race number so she has to go to the desk to get that sorted.

The run itself goes surprisingly well as my knee holds out until the nine mile point meaning I only have to hobble less than a third of the distance. My time of 1:57 is my best for a while. Progress at last.

The biggest challenge of the day is reserved for after the race. They have stored everyone’s bags in a tiny baggage tent that is about the size of that used by a family of four to go camping. It takes 25 minutes queuing to get my bag back and therefore to put some warm clothes on, by which time I’m turning a nice shade of blue.

In the evening we head to Stapleford on bus for a few pints in the Horse & Jockey. Despite the Government announcing that compulsory mask wearing on buses is coming back in from Tuesday but there is no sign of many on the bus wanting to be proactive in starting right now.

(Sunday 28th November)

Sunday 21 November 2021

Haphazard Training Regime

I continue my haphazard training regime this week. Cycling on Tuesday and running from work on Wednesday where I manage ten miles which disappointingly isn’t to the centre of Long Eaton which was my target. That was only nine miles so I had to keep going a bit further.

The dogs don’t have any mercy on me as we hobble around our walk the next morning where we meet two dogs we don’t like and two cats as well. There are no cats that we like.

I add to our Commonwealth Games tickets with some for the England v New Zealand netball game.

The car goes in for its MOT on Thursday and just like last year I hear nothing from the garage all day and then they ring me about 4pm with a list that I don’t get time to think about. This actually does them out of money as I just get the bare minimum done.

On Friday we chaperone Daughter (and her car) up to Ashbourne which gives us a brief night out up there. Although to my horror I see that there isn’t a single Good Beer Guide listed pub in Ashbourne. The best they appear to have is a craft beer bar called the House Of Beer that has ten keg lines. Thankfully it turns out to be excellent. 

Not so excellent is the Mango app which locks me out again just as we're trying to get the bus home.

On Saturday we go to Alvaston parkrun for the first time since the initial lockdown and where I know they’ve really missed the Lad.

On Sunday Derby impressively defeat league leaders Bournemouth. 

(Sunday 21st November)

Sunday 14 November 2021

Off The Cuff

My shoulder injury, from my minor tumble on the velodrome, seems to be getting worse and L advises me to google Rotator Cuff injuries. Of course you should never google a medical issue as you’re sure to find you’ve got whatever it is.

Sure enough, a Rotator Cuff injury ticks most of the boxes except for the fact that it hurts the most when I cough or sneeze but I can’t find anywhere that says that’s a symptom. It then goes on to say that it usually needs an injection or surgery. Looks like I might have to call my GP again... 

At work I am chucked out of my own office for someone else’s meeting and I have to hot desk in another office. I should have probably worked from home, it would have been much easier.

In other news Daughter is now qualified to drive a marked or unmarked police car but not under blue lights (yet) and I run eight miles after work before getting the Indigo the rest of the way home.

On Saturday L and Daughter are at Parkrun while the boys and I are at a dog show. I have to say, credit where credit’s due, the Lad did a really good first run. We missed a jump out so still got E’d but everything else was perfect.

Of course we’ve not done so well since. Somehow we managed to avoid queuing for his first run which seemed to make a difference because having to queue for his other runs clearly wound him up and he was hopeless.

He gets a double dose of competing because on Sunday we hold a Members' Fun Day at our training venue. L offers to sit with my Mum while my Dad attends which, of course, gets us all worried when he gets lost but he makes it to us eventually.

It’s all good for the Lad though, who manages to do two runs without getting eliminated. 

(Sunday 14th November)

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Just Wrong

L says she’s not counting (although she does have a spreadsheet) but it’s 2738 days to retirement. I assume that’s to the state date as she’s on about going part time from May this year. That’s just 181 days away.

I see some mince pie flavoured chocolate digestives in Sainsbury’s, which is just wrong.

On Sunday I was on call for some testing one of our customers was doing but they never contacted me, so I assumed it either didn’t happen or it went well. Then on Tuesday when I get in the office it is to find loads of emails from the same people after something went wrong when they started testing it on Monday night. Nothing like thorough planning.

On Tuesday afternoon I have my latest physio which was a bit pointless really. The ‘main’ physio didn’t really know why I’d been referred back to him from ‘movement’ physio and nor did I. He offered to refer me back to again but I declined. I’m beginning to feel as if I’m the ball in a game of ping-pong.

He did offer me a painkilling injection which I also declined, so instead he gave me yet more exercises but mostly variations on the current ones. I’ve just got to keep building up gently, which is code for not running with the Lad. They will keep my case open for six months then it will be closed if I don’t request another appointment.

I’m on the bike on Wednesday which is the same day L’s Dad moves into the care home.

(Wednesday 10th November)

The Hunna

There are two support acts Kelsey Karter with her band and Idolising Nova. Unfortunately Karter is on at 6:45 which isn't conducive to those of us who work. This also enables those that don’t and/or the students to get there first and grab all the best spots. So I am unusually a fair way back for this gig and for once feeling a bit old amongst a very young crowd.

Idolising Nova are Jack Fulton Smith and Kyle O’Sullivan, they hail from Peterborough, have some decent indie tunes and fancy light show. They are pleasant enough but probably aren't what most of us have come here for tonight.


They're certainly not like the Hunna, who open with just front man Ryan Potter and drummer Jack Metcalfe on stage. Potter sits wearing a balaclava in front of a door positioned in the centre of the stage. This is ‘One Hell of a Gory Story’ and that eases us into ‘I Wanna Know’ which is accompanied by copious amounts limb flailing from the crowd. Not with my knees sadly. As I say, feeling a bit old tonight.

The energy of the opening never wanes and neither do Potter’s lungs, which are highly impressive. An honourable mention too to guitarist Dan Dorney who matches Potter bounce for bounce but the whole band are true performers and clearly love being up on stage while Potter is a real old school front man.


This is another of those tours that never was, so it’s the first time this four piece from Watford have had chance to play the songs from the band’s third album ‘I’d Rather Die Than Let You In’ live.

Although, as with many bands during lockdown, they have already moved on and showed off two brand new songs tonight. One of which is their collaboration with Kelsey Karter, who I missed earlier, called ‘I Don’t Like You, Okay’.

There is still plenty from their latest album, although some of which I find a little bit too plodding... by their standards unlike the explosiveness of their earlier stuff. That said two of the best moments tonight are slower (but older) songs - a sublime version of ‘Sycamore Tree’ and the always excellent ‘Piece By Piece’.

Then of course there's ‘Bonfire’, an awesome ‘Babe, Can I Call?’ and a closing 'She's Casual' with the first verse sung exclusively by the crowd. By the end both Potter and Dorney are shirtless to the delight of most of the girls in the crowd, for some reason.

Sunday 7 November 2021

Ignoring Advice

For the second Monday running the morning shower is rather painful due to my freshly acquired injuries from the velodrome.

Then I head off into some awful traffic, the roads were absolutely mad. Half term has ended and I think that anybody who was working from home now seems to have returned to the office.

In the evening L is out at Seven and I pick her up afterwards.

On Tuesday, I manage to cycle despite my bruises. It is cold but sunny. Then go to dog training in the evening.

While L finds out that her latest personal trainer has quit. That’s three of them she’s seen off now. She says that, on the plus side, at least she can stop feeling guilty for not doing his workout. Which is probably why he’s quit because his clients are ignoring his advice.

On Wednesday I go to the gym and do my leg weights workout before heading into Derby later where I undo all the fitness work with several pints and a meal in the Exeter where it’s chips with almost everything.

The penance, of course, is a run after work on Thursday which amounts to 8.5k. After which I’m knackered and the shoulder I fell on is getting considerably worse no better, so I don’t cycle as planned on Friday.

Although I do parkrun on Saturday where we are back at the scene of my other injury at Wollaton. I don’t repeat the feat.

Then L heads off to Quad where she’s going to a Derby Book Festival event to see Wendy Moore. In the evening we’re out in Canning Circus again at the Good Fellow George and The Organ Grinder.

On Sunday after a 6k run with L we attempt to get a Sunday Roast at the Nurseryman, which is always a safe bet, but they let us down and have run out.

(Sunday 7th November)