I don’t make many financially sound decisions but here’s one you can’t argue with. 9 months ago today I bought a secondhand bicycle to commute to the station on. Previously I was walking there and back which was tedious and dreary and took about 25 minutes each way. Cycling has revolutionised this part of my day, each way is now about 5 minutes. Of course, that isn’t the full story. When I say “walking there and back” what I actually mean is “getting a taxi home 2-3 times a week” which costs a fiver each time.
This fantastic write-up of the nightmare situation a lobster fisherman found himself in has lots of lessons in it. A Spec in the Sea - New York Times [https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/magazine/a-speck-in-the-sea.html?_r=1] I sent it out to my engineering team over the weekend to read and asked them what they thought about it. There are loads of lessons here that apply to working under pressure. The things he did really well were; staying calm, remembering all the traditional advice on what to do, and then not being afraid to ignore some of it.
I lived in the middle of London for five years. Proper middle, Zone1, London Bridge, Borough. No messing. Fuck your Clapham or Brixton and all that. During that time, although my head-office was but ten minutes stroll away I worked daily with my clients at their offices. Over those years that meant three different commutes. A five hour round trip to Surrey on tube/national rail, a three hour on the train to West London and a slightly shorter one, also to West London.
Well, I completed the Marabastard but it wasn’t all plain sailing. It took me 2 hours 34 minutes, which was way over my target and disappointing, but I wasn’t in the best state… I had three days off work immediately prior to race day. Stinking headache, a cough and lots of snot. I was feeling much better by the Saturday night but even on the Sunday morning of the race I was considering just going to watch.
Despite the lack of marabastard updates I have been keeping my hand in to do you all proud I promise. In fact I have recently run a couple of much quicker times after Googling “how to run”. It turns out their is a technique to it which has taken me 32 years to discover, it has taken minutes off each mile and I’m LESS knackered as a result. Even so I still absolutely hate running.
I was looking at airport parking for a holiday I’m off on. Last week it was £60 at the long-stay and £80 for valet parking right up to the terminal. Seemed OK. I look the day before I’m due to fly… It’s now £90 at the long stay and £120 for valet. Patronisingly called “Last minute saver”. There’s no such thing as “last minute”, it’s just called “doing stuff in time”.
Well the first of the bastard marabastard runs have taken place. It was meant to be five miles, according to my virtual trainer Jeff Gaudette on Runkeeper. Five miles for the first run, I mean for fucks sake. Anyway I managed 4.69 miles Jeff so I hope that’s ok. Frankly I could have done a bit more but it would have meant running back past my house again and then returning which I simply could not face.
I am doing a half marathon in aid of Woking hospice. Jesus Christ. Here, straight from justgiving.com/halfmarathonnightmare/ [http://www.justgiving.com/halfmarathonnightmare/] is my reason: Woking Hospice really looked after Rob Kinsey and his family during his illness. Kinsey was a total top-banana and the hospice deserves this incredibly modest donation to keep providing formidable support to people. Please donate generously I absolutely hate running half marathons, I did one in reading 8 years ago and it was horrible.
Drove over the Tamar Bridge today and those sneaky Cornish buggers make you pay for that privilege on the way back (I notice it was bloody free to drive over it on the way into Cornwall a few days before). Obviously because I live like the Queen I don’t carry cash so the £1.50 that they wanted wasn’t forthcoming - I handed the cashier my card and he looked at it like it was the first piece of plastic he’d seen before asking me if I had my chequebook on me.
Here is a picture of me with Paul Daniels and the lovely Debbie McGee that I just uncovered at my parents! I very clearly remember remember this, we were on holiday in Devon and the Paul Daniels Magic Show was being filmed at a pub near to where we were staying, in fact the final trick might even have been broadcast live from there. The pub was called ‘Pack o Cards’ and the final act involved Paul appearing to guess the wrong card at the end of an illusion then saying something like “oh heck, well is it this one?
For the most part these “milestone” birthdays are a lot of utter nonsense, and I’m going to tell you why. Initially the ages that we celebrate have a real cause. The 1st, 13th, 16th, 17th and 18th are all proper milestones because they can be associated with either a particularly impressive feat or some sort of eligibility level. A right being granted to you. At age 1, you’ve just managed to get through the most fragile year of your life, hooray!
I’ve written a poem about BIROS, the little PENNY BASTARDS. I’m fucking sick of finding biros they’re everywhere I look they’re stuck in mugs lost down the couch in every single nook I don’t know where they fucking come from I never write things down and yet when someone phones me up there’s never one around I can’t ever use the hoover without one going up the tube and then I have to dig around
5 - Herring The Herring is utterly abundant, there’s fucking LOADS of it left which is great for the sea because herring are well into plankton and they consume a massive amount of it. It’s also great for us because they’re bloody delicious. Get it down your neck, grill some whole herring and eat it with some spuds and a few veg. TOP TOP TOP. 4 - Kipper Kippers for breakfast, delicious with knob of butter.
To celebrate a year of being in their new house, Paul and Jen had a fancy dress party - the theme of which was “Heroes and Villains”. For a change I had loads of ideas and loads of time to prepare but I still ended up leaving it till the last minute. First off I was supposed to be going as a box of cadburys heroes.. see what I’ve done there?
OH DEAR it’s a sad state of affairs when you can’t even buy two records on a Saturday morning without your credit card melting. Yep it finally decided to stop talking in the Vinyl Exchange forcing me to GASP pay in CASH. Yes real money. In fact it was the last £20 note I had and handing it over left me with just a tenner in the whole world. Of course this was wisely invested later on in the day on a “Six Summer Sausage Selection” and 24 “Bierre D’or” from Tesco.