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

Sunday 27 August 2023


In the gym on Sunday I snapped my resistance band while doing my crab walks, so I buy some new ones from Argos but they simply aren’t tough enough. I could well end up snapping these as well. I can see I’m going to have to put some research into this.

We are obviously trying to be healthier at the moment. We have both lost a bit of weight and L is targeting a new sexy swimsuit. Our neighbour is unknowingly helping out by giving us a lot of free veg although this mainly seems to be courgettes but they have also recently given us some nice blackberries and tomatoes as well.

Now we are trying to avoid UPFs (Ultra Processed Foods) which apparently means hello to Sourdough bread which isn’t a problem because I like it anyway apart from the price.

Monday is Cycling and the Exeter. Tuesday is the gym and then I’m out with my old school friend and for a change, after about ten years of planning, we meet in Beeston where we go the White Lion, The Star and then eat in the Victoria. He comes over on the train, I’m on the bus.

Wednesday is Physio. Thursday is the gym at lunch and I meet L there after her yoga is cancelled. She doesn’t have much luck with yoga. Then it’s tennis in the evening and afterwards back in the Victoria. Friday is my appointment with the Hygienist.

On Friday evening we got to a BBQ that isn’t a BBQ at my ‘long lost’ cousin’s at West Hallam. My Brother told me it was a BBQ and we nearly brought something to chuck on the barbie. So it was a good job we didn’t.

They cook for us and both three cousins who I haven’t seen since the 1980s, apart from at my Mum’s funeral, are there in an event that seems to be purely for our benefit and my brother’s. L comes even though she isn’t very keen and also isn’t feeling very good.

By Saturday she’s feeling no better but still runs Long Eaton parkrun, alongside me as I make my return. We set off at quite a good pace but ease back to a 34 which is slightly up on L’s run last week and that’s with her being unwell.

It is also my parkrun anniversary as a helpful email from them tells me. My first parkrun was on 22nd August 2015. Since then I’ve done 137 of the buggers.

I go over to my Dad’s in the afternoon and we listen to Derby shock Peterborough by unexpectedly winning 4-2. They can be a decent side sometimes, just far too rarely.

In the evening we go to the Arboretum Outdoor Craft Beer Festival. I had planned this thinking it would be more L’s thing beer wise than a normal beer festival but this was before she took a break from drinking.

The event is a disaster as the beer choice is so poor with the staff openly saying everything good had sold out in the afternoon. The music is ok but the best pint I have is a pint of Tuck in the Borlase afterwards.

On Sunday L is still very unwell and skips her outdoor swim and the gym. So I go to the gym on my own where I try out another set of resistance bands that I have bought online. They are better, well at least they don’t snap or look like they’re going to snap like the Argos ones. 

(Sunday 27th August)

Sunday 20 August 2023

Derny Session

On Monday, once again, L heads into work and then more or less turns around and comes home when her boss announces he’s not coming in. I put the kettle on in readiness. 

This week my cycling session at the velodrome involves a proper petrol powered Derny motorcycle to do Keirins and the like with. The format of these sessions had been getting very repetitive but this does liven things up. Afterwards my Dad and go end up in the Exeter.

Tuesday sees Daughter ride into work on L’s bike and seem to enjoy it.

They are working away at the gym, changing the entry system for when it becomes 24 hours next week. It looks like they are replacing the QR code readers which is good because they are a nightmare at the moment. For the time being you have to enter the gym through a little door to the right of the main doors. Which seems very secret society.

Once inside it was good to be trendy and film myself like all the others do as I send L a picture of me trying to do my Nordics on a machine that isn’t suited for Nordics but is probably the best they have.

Another home match on Tuesday evening and another defeat as Derby lose 2-1 to Oxford. Followed by a very dull pint of Atlantic in the Yard.

On Wednesday L goes out for a morning run and proclaims that she was four minutes quicker that the last time she did that route. Which is excellent but hang on... she always implies that she doesn’t keep a note of her times!

I have my Physio where he’s got me pulling 70kg on sledge. After which I almost nodded off in front of the football as England beat Australia 3-1 in the Women’s World Cup Semi Final. Work had kindly given us the time off to watch it.

In the evening I have another one to one with the Lad at dog training. He has a great time obviously but we don’t really make any progress.

On Thursday I finally have my dentist appointment. Everything is fine and I’ve booked to see the Hygienist at a cost of £60. Ouch. 

Then I’m out for lunch, meeting my ex-colleague at the Brunswick in Derby. I also grab a haircut on the way home. I thought it best to try and look my age.

Tennis, which we had only just restarted, is off due to a Junior Tournament being on which turns out to be fortunate for me as we get an unexpected quiet ‘Friday Night’ in. You have to take your opportunities when you can.

On Friday I take my Dad for a follow up appointment for his knee where they offer him physio. Just like me. Then as it’s Friday, it’s Gym Night.

On Saturday L parkruns at Alvaston then I take her and her Mum to visit her Dad in the Care Home. While they are there the Lad and I go for coffee and a bacon sandwich at the Alphabet café in Mickleover which is very nice. It looks like a really small café but it’s like a Tardis once you’re inside.

In the afternoon Derby win a match, 1-0 over the mighty Fleetwood.

We’re at Broadway for the third week in a row in the evening even though there isn’t much on as two of the screens are still showing Barbie and Oppenheimer.

We watch Serpico, a classic 1973 crime drama by Sidney Lumet and starring a very young Al Pacino as Frank Serpico. It is about Serpico's fight against the corruption within the New York City Police Department during his eleven years of service and his work as a whistleblower that eventually led to an investigation. It's probably the first time we're been to Broadway to see something so old that wasn't something festive e.g. 'It's A Wonderful Life' and it's an excellent choice.


Discussing the film in Brew Dog later, L who is doing an unconvincing job of enjoying her AF beer has her arm twisted into a half of the rather nice Rum and Raisin. Well, I though it was rather nice.

Sunday is the Women’s World Cup Final where England sadly lose to Spain. As I am watching the match, L goes to Colwick for her swim on her own. The Lad doesn’t get his walk but he seems happy watching the football. We’re at the gym later.

(Sunday 20th August)

Sunday 13 August 2023

Money Spinner

L thought I'd given up this blog. My only reader had stopped reading because the website had stopped emailing it out to her but neither she nor the website had told me this. So I’ve been talking to myself for some time. Although I suppose the website may have sent me an email about it but clearly I hadn’t read it.

They have changed the system a bit and I can no longer just add email addresses without the person’s permission. I now have to get the website to send out an email and then folk have to use it to sign up which L now does. So my only reader is now back on board. She says she has some catching up to do and doesn’t think she’s read one this year. Now I best write some more.

My morning walks with the Lad are very quiet at the moment with the schools being off and I can hobble a bit better than I used to.

This week’s cycling is without my Dad this week who is on a jolly in Chester with my brother, so no pub afterwards either.

On Tuesday Derby go out of the League Cup to Blackpool after another woeful defensive performance.

Wednesday sees L doing PWFH (Pretend Work From Home) after her boss doesn’t turn up again. So I have a work colleague and someone stealing my grapes.

Then I have my physio (now masquerading as a PT) where he asks me about my diet, weight and protein intake. We have started calorie and protein counting at home as we both work on our fitness levels. I recorded all my calories for a week and found that most days I was well inside my limit was but exceeded them on a couple of days a week. Protein was a different story.

He says my protein intake should be around 170g per day. Seriously? I was only doing about 90g a day when I was doing triathlons. Of course I wasn’t old then. Being old makes a different apparently. L’s been told she needs around 145g.

He says I could put a protein shake in my beer which may actually go quite well with a stout but not so much with Pale Ale although I guess that just makes it a Hazy IPA. 

In the evening I get to do my one to one agility session with the Lad that got cancelled last week. We are on a summer break but I have hired one of the outdoor rings to see if he’s any calmer when it’s just him and me. He’s isn’t. L swims with Daughter.

On Thursday, I go to the gym and sort of fall into an extra physio season because another Physio\PT caught me when I fell off my bench doing my Bulgarians. He works at Legends gym on Bobbers Mill and was a bit hardcore. I was counting his tattoos as he was talking to me.

He showed me how to keep my balance doing Bulgarians, lunges and bar squats. So got an extra session for free. I was going to ask about my Nordics but thought I might be pushing my luck.

Maybe he’s trying to poach me. They clearly all think I’m so injured I’m a right money spinner.

Then I play tennis for the first time in a year. The game was hardly going to be a classic with both of us having several body parts hanging off and so it proves. I win three games which is quite an achievement on one leg.

Fridays is now a tricky balancing act. Do I take up the offer to fill my boots early morning or wait for a possible but not certain Friday Night if the Lodger is out. Not being much of a gambling man I take the more than decent offer that is on the table.

L and I again run together at lunch time, doing 3.8k at the same pace as last week but a km further. So rather than a Friday night, what is it? Gym night of course.

On Saturday, L does Clifton Parkrun and then I head over to cut my Dad’s grass despite the on-off rain. While taking a break from the grass cutting my Dad offers me a Curly Wurly as he has

bought the world’s supply and other assorted chocolate bars because they were going cheap. This is what happens when I let him do his own shopping.

We’re at Broadway again in the evening to see Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Which is a biopic of J Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. It's a bit unwieldy and long but time and the action actually zip by. It's certainly several ratchets up the seriousness scale from last week's Barbie. Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) is a man captivated by the science of what he is exploring in the Manhattan Project but realises too late the limitless capacity for destruction of what he is working on and then cannot back pedal. Unfortunately the film doesn't have a linear timeline which always confuses me and it probably takes me a full half an hour to get orientated as it mixes up his life, his loves, his studies, his work and the court scenes from the 1954 security hearing that was his fall from grace. It is though an excellent watch and film of the year so far, not that I've seen many!

We again hold the post-film debate in Brew Dog where L has 3 Punk AFs and can’t be tempted with anything more interesting.

On Sunday we go for a long walk with the Lad at Bestwood Park followed by a gym session and a short 2K run.

(Sunday 13th August)

Sunday 6 August 2023


L’s Mondays now seem to be go into work, find out her boss isn’t coming in and head home again.

At cycling my Dad announces that he wants to have a go on a treadmill. He watches me at cycling and sits outside the gym there and can see people walking on the treadmill. He reckons he could just slip inside and have a go. Hmmm.

It seems that his car claim isn’t actually all over and they’ve sent him a big form to fill in as the other party is disputing who was to blame. This is just two insurance companies arguing about who’s paying. My Dad might as well say it was his fault all they can do is put his premium up for the car he doesn’t have any more.

We are both so fit. On Tuesday we both hit the gym twice. L has her PT in the morning and I do a lunch time session then we do a joint workout in the evening doing L’s upper body routines. I had booked one of the outdoor rings at dog training for me to have a little one to one with the Lad but it is cancelled due to the wet weather and moved to next week.

On Wednesday my physio introduces me to Nordics. The most evil exercise ever invented.

On Thursday I manage to score an appointment at our dentists. I have kept looking at their website since they told me they don’t have enough staff to see me despite the fact I’ve been going there for 25 years and I noticed that they are now listing a new dentist, so I rang them and they gave me an appointment. Apparently they would have rang me eventually as they were working through the alphabet but then the new person might have left before they got to me.

L’s Mum is back at A&E where they tell her she needs a new hip. Then her GP tells her she doesn’t need one. All very straightforward then.

On Friday I ask L if she will chaperone me running around a small loop of the park and physically retrain me from running off ahead. She agrees and we do a 2.4K loop. She still complains I was too fast for her. It was not too bad after a painful start for my knees.

Then it’s a proper Friday night, so a chance to burn off all that excess testosterone acquired in the gym, although a slightly different one without a beer and also without the take away curry both of which have now been canned.

Saturday is Alvaston Parkrun in the wet. Buoyed up by Friday’s run I was tempted to run it myself but not in the wet. L does a great run and gets back in the 33s. Her PT is clearly starting to pay off and\or it was our excellent warm up run on Friday. Which she complained was too fast but was actually only 36 minute parkrun pace. So it clear who was actually holding who back.

On Saturday the new football season starts and Derby lose 2-1 at home to Wigan by putting in an awful defensive performance.

In the evening we go to see one of the big films of the summer the rather overhyped ‘Barbie’. It’s an interesting concept, but hardly a new one, to have a sort of parallel universe called Barbie Land where the consciousnesses of the dolls reside.

Barbie Land is the height of female empowerment where the Barbies have all the meaningful roles as stated on their boxes and then there are the Kens, and one Allan (Michael Cera), who have no role in anything.

One Barbie (Margot Robbie) heads to the real world to get her feet fixed with one of the Kens (Ryan Gosling) in tow. The real world turns out to be one where men rule the world and women are largely seen as the accessories. Although I would like to think we’ve now come a fair way from that in most places.


Ken rushes back to Barbie Land to impose male supremacy on the other Barbies while our Barbie is told by a group of teenage girls what an outdated concept the Barbie doll is.

After a lively satirical start the film loses its way in the middle, seemingly no longer sure of the points it was trying to make but it does provide some decent fodder for thoughtful conversations afterwards.

Which take place in Brew Dog, although this is basically just more canned beer yet served by the keg it’s very convenient for the cinema and they serve a low alcohol version of their Punk IPA which suits the abstaining L.

We’re at Colwick on Sunday for L’s swim and our walk. Although the Lad and I largely end up watching the Runthrough event on the Racecourse while feeling very jealous of those running in it. Afterwards, as part of our health kick, we skip the bacon and egg rolls and have coffee at the Kiosk instead followed by something more healthy to eat back at home.

We do a part joint gym session later after which I do another short 2k run. 

(Sunday 6th August)