Month: June 2013

Final countdown

The countdown to the Outlaw is all that’s on my mind now. This time next week it’ll all be over but the blubbing like a little girl. Oh dear, oh dear.

The confidence boost of the swim and ride on Monday has evaporated. Now I’m back to wondering if I can do it. Yes, I can. But how bad is it going to be?

Squeaky bum time.

If you want to have a nosey at my progress through the day, the race starts at 0600 and you can track it all day here: I won’t be getting out of the lake until gone 0730 so no updates until then.

I’m number 956. Possibly putting ‘fat geezer at the back’ in the search box would work as well.

They are showing bits of it on the telly at some point, I’ll look out for that. Though saying that, the video of me last time looked like a sad old git wondering what the hell had hit him. Very accurate, actually.


As I had last Monday off to do my training I worked at Iceland yesterday to make up my hours. Some ridiculously tough driving. And as I’m used to triple axle trailers those twin axle ones catch me out every time. They turn in so fast. You set up a perfect line, turn in, glance in your mirror and your back end is heading straight for some railings. Spooks the hell out of you, I can tell you. By the end of the shift I was a nervous wreck, it shatters your confidence when you have no idea what the trailer is going to do. Still, I got through some hideously tight spots unscathed. If I was driving them all the time I wouldn’t even notice.


About the only other thing of note was having finished the utterly brilliant Hannibal on telly I was moved to re-read the books. I got Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs for 1p (£2.80 P&P). I remembered the books as being a bit ‘meh’, but I thought it would fill the time. Wow, I was sat here for an hour today busting for a pee but just had to read the next bit, and the next bit. Excellent. Also it makes you appreciate how faithfully they have kept to the books in the series. Lines of dialogue, situations, characters, all expertly realised.


Anyway, the main reason I’m posting is to keep you abreast of Twitter, I’ve not got much to say this week. So, without further ado;


DMreporter had:

This week’s Daily Mail Cancer List: Mon) The Euro Tue) Salami Wed) Vacuuming Thu) Corduroy Fri) Empathy Sat) Iran Sun) Your own hands

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Fury as bailed out bankers at taxpayer owned RBS feast on dodo steaks and the hearts of virgins at Wimbledon.

PETER HITCHENS: “The Girl Guides pledge to God was our last defence against the rise of a fascistic army of robotic Hitlers.”

CAMERON: “It was a difficult decision; either we cut pensioners bus passes or make Google pay taxes. In the end, we did the right thing.”

OSBORNE: “With today’s cuts we have sent a message to those destabilising Britain with their greed – STOP BEING POOR!”

OSBORNE: “We are all in this together, which is why we rewarded the woman whose face is on the money and not the scroungers who spend it.”

EXPOSED: 98% of Wimbledon revellers hate people on benefits and 24% think disability allowance should be used to subsidise champagne costs.



Politics/ tory scum:

Let me get this straight. If yer white and leave a bomb aboot, it’s a hate crime. If yer no white and leave a bomb aboot it’s terrorism. Hmm

Police are treating explosive near mosque as a hate-crime. To our knowledge, the word #terrorism has not been used. #Walsall

So, withdraw from Afghanistan, sack the soldiers, hand it over to the Taliban. Still it was worth it to get Bin Laden. Who was in Pakistan.

To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a starving person to eat less… Oscar Wilde


And the ever delightful general tweets:

"Well, I for one would like to talk about the elephant in the room." – Jane, to Tarzan.

Retirement is receding faster than I can age. Is there a helpline for people who have been mis-sold National Insurance?


WOMBLE! Oh no. As you were. It was a ball boy. #Wimbledon

(to which I replied:)

@Feexby;s got me thinking about Wombles. How do we know it’s not them spreading bovine TB? #cullthewombles

Think about it; furry, long nose, ubiquitous by their own admission ("common are we") they are just setting the badgers up. #wombleybastards

Living off handouts and sleeping all day, get the wombley bastards sanctioned. And Madame Chole is suspiciously foreign. Do UKIP know?

He said: @ThegoodBuck And how big are they, TGB? Car door sized? Newspaper sized? Park bench sized. It doesn’t add up. Sinister Womble Overlords.

I said: @Feexby You are suggesting that Wombles are shape shifters? Or possibly liquid metal badger Terminators?

@Feexby This would further imply the badgers have risen. Cameron had doomed us all with his cull.


In other whimsy I had a rant about hot air balloonists:

I can’t be the only one who sees a hot air balloon and thinks of trebuchets and Greek fire.

I have this image of smug, self -satisfied, sold-out hippies looking down on us. Laugh this volley of incendiary doom off, twat.

"Oh I’m so at one with nature’s rhythms, floating where the wind takes me." Yeah, well now you’re at one with gravity and sudden death.

I’ve never met a hot air balloonist. #fulldisclosure


I forgot, but I came across this on my travels:

The guy had dropped a skip full of dirt and gravel off his truck. He was so lucky not to kill someone.


I love how people say they’re "expecting" a baby, as though it might be something else, like a penguin.

A study has shown that baby boys who are not hugged are at FOUR times greater risk of developing an interest in test cricket.

So sad when tennis players get injured and have to be shot.

Our trains run like clockwork. That is to say, the technology was obsolete at the turn of the 20th century.

Why men shouldn’t own action figures… #epic

With 240 bedrooms in Buckingham Palace alone, that must take a sizable chunk of #BedroomTax out of the Queen’s benefits,

Dear. Fucking. God.

How do they even plan to get the duck and deer to snog? Were they thinking of the bible thing about the ‘lion lying down with the lamb?’ I’m not sure it was a sexual allegory you prudish, prurient pricks.

You think your mind is open because the walls are made of glass.

What’s your Bond girl name?

Mick Jagger was raised in the wild by pigeons. #fact #glasto

Wait til he does his walk. Then you’ll believe me.

If you use the Bible to justify your opposition to #marriageequality, how do you justify your opposition to helping poor, elderly and sick?


And that’s your lot.

Must do better. Next time I get to blog it had better be of Iron glory. Fingers, toes and bowels crossed.



I forced myself to do my trial run today. I didn’t want to, and because I’ve been putting it off it had grown to epic proportions in my mind. I couldn’t sleep for worrying about it last night. I had about 4 hours. When the alarm went off at 0540 I got back in bed. I was making excuses; too tired, I’ll go later etc. I forced myself back out of bed and (eventually) went for a swim.

Because I’d built it up so much in my mind it wasn’t that bad. I managed to do just over 2 miles in 1 hour 18, but then had to stop as I’d said I’d run Wendy in to work and she didn’t have any bus fare. I make it that would have been 2.4 miles in about 1.34 (feel free to correct me, you know how bad I am at maths. I got the Errol Flynn ‘dashing’ gene, missed out on the maths one.) which is well within the 2 hour cut off.

I came home, ran Wendy to work *cough* dicked about on Twitter for an hour and a half *cough* then dashed straight out.

It was blowing some. Right in my teeth the whole of the outward journey. And I took the scenic (lost) route. I got to Rhyl and did some more being lost. I turned around and set off home with the wind at my back. Glorious. Except I got lost and ran straight into a ‘slow lorries for the next 2 miles’ hill. On knackered legs. Joy. A 2 mile dragging hill climb. And I was still lost so I cut across to a town that was supposed to put me back on the coast road. You guessed it, lost. But then I found it and was going swimmingly until I got to Elsmere Port, or near it, when I couldn’t see a sign I wanted so headed off to Chester. Not right, lost.

So it was a long and gruelling ride of unknown length, but would have been 105 if I’d have got it right, I fear it was a fair bit longer and shitload harder. And half of it against a tough wind.

The good news was; 1, I did it! 2, it was within the 8 hours (and I think I can knock a further hour off for the amount of times I had to stop, activate the GPS, set up maps then navigation, not get a signal, reboot my ‘phone, then get lost again. So real time was about 6 hours 50, which given the wind and hills I’ll take. 3, and by no means least, it was relatively comfortable on my arse/ undercarriage. By the end of the Outlaw I was in screaming pain because I didn’t know padded trousers came in different grades so was wearing something not even fit for riding around the block in. These cost about £70 or so but are *so* worth every penny. The difference is, well, incomparable. One is almost unbearable pain, the other is a slight soreness.

The getting lost constantly on the way back knocked some of the wind out of my sails so I skipped the marathon. Call me Harry Halfajob, but I just couldn’t face it.

Anyway, I’m sat here now, gnat-bitten to buggery (I pulled over for literally 3 minutes down a farm track to take off the ill judged running shorts from beneath my cycling shorts and have a pee and I got eaten alive) and eyes burning. I reckon I can do it now though, so it was worth it. 

Now I can rest for two weeks and batter it on the big day.

Some hard today though.



Corner turned. Possibly.

Epic news sports fans; I think I may have sussed the issues with my legs! Huzzah!

I read up on the running and triathlon sites about tight/ painful calves, expecting to see dire warnings about the tendon shrinking tendencies of cycling. Not a word. There was a lot of talk of doing too much too soon, of being too old, not stretching and bad running form. I, of course, dismissed them all. Ha! I said. Then I read some more, from professional coaches and physio’s. They said the same. Well, OK, maybe I’ve been cycling and not doing regular running, just expecting to do 20 miles from cold. And possibly I’m knocking on a bit. But I stretch like a bitch every time. Then I read about ‘proper’ stretching and tried it. Oh my word! I’ve been doing it wrong since forever. One in particular, where you put one foot behind you then sort of drop down, keeping the shin on the front leg vertical. I put the back foot at far back as possible, the toes turned to the side and really drop into it. It pulls your groin to buggery. Totally wrong, it’s supposed to be pulling your calf. Back foot facing forward, heel remains on the floor, then try to get low. I can barely drop a couple of inches into that. Oops. All that remained on the list was warm up and running form. Last time I did this I laid myself up for months, that was through forced chi running (landing on the balls of your feet, not heel striking) this time I think I triggered it walking in my cycling shoes for miles. Today I looked up some ‘dynamic stretching exercises’ (where you stretch as you move, as opposed to static where you stretch and hold, bad on cold muscles.)

I did the set before I went for a run. I buggered my calf before I’d even done the warm up set. One was a sort of bounding thing where you land on the balls of your feet and bounce up again, trying to minimise contact. As soon as I started that exercise my calf buggered up.

This got me thinking on the last part of the advice I’d read; running form. If I could resist my natural form of forefoot striking perhaps I could manage the run after all. I went out (after doing some calf specific stretches) and focused on heel striking and managed the whole 14½ miles without pain! For about 2 miles I was actually loving it, really buzzing off how comfortable (relative term) it was. I got back, stretched, (properly) had a shower, and my legs actually feel better now than when I got out of bed this morning.

This, I have to say, was whilst test driving my new running bag/ water carrier.

It is beyond awesome. I bought a cheap (saying that, I think it was still £20) generic one a year or so ago. I did a few runs in it, but it bounced causing bruising, and chafed (the dreaded army ‘webbing burn’). Also you had to run funny to try to get your elbows around the sides of the bloody thing. As I say, a few runs was all I could bear.

This is a revelation. I take back all I said about the French and their crazy arse design skills.

You can see the two water bottles held in pouches on the shoulder straps of the bag. Note the clever bitey mouthpieces on the straws. Also the way the chest strap goes on the outside of the bottles to stop them from bouncing. And the mesh pouches for your gels/ fags, whatever.  Note also the insulated tube over my shoulder that connects to the 2½ litre water bladder in the bag. Excuse the state of me, that was after the run, I was a bit sweaty and dishevelled. Also that blubber popping out is because the pack has to be tight to stop movement. And I’m a bloater.

High strap at top of stomach just to secure bag, fastens on the side so not in your way.

Observe the elastics over the bag, cinching the bladder inside into place. Also note how narrow the bag is on my back, complete freedom of arm swing.

It is a genius design. I had a few stops on the first quarter of the run when I had to stop and figure out how to set it up properly, but after that I just kept on going. I wasn’t even that much slower.

The straws I thought would be a pain in the arse, sticking in my face as I ran, but oddly they don’t. They encourage good posture as they only time they get you is if you let your head fall forward.

I did the final test after the run, I had a shower. When you’ve got webbing burns this is when you find out. As does everyone else due to the volume of your scream. Not. A. Sausage. Total win.

Sorry, this is probably mind numbingly boring, but I am buzzing.  Great kit and a possible work-around for my legs. I’m back in the game! Last time this happened I was out for months! Yays! And my first test of the bag was a 14½ mile run, carrying best part of a gallon of water, and bag and I were both fine.


OK, I’ll shut up about that now.


Work is the same. I’ve booked Monday off to do a complete trial run of the Outlaw. Then the second Sunday it’s the race. *gulp*

I started on my curry diet again. Whilst I was resting. I’ve lost a few pounds, but probably put them back on again today. I literally run scared of the energy crash, so always have too many calories.


Why don’t you STFU and get on to Twitter?

You’re a harsh crowd, but OK.


DMreporter had;

KARDASHIAN BABY NAME SHORTLIST: • Kay • Kim • Kanye • Kate • Kamilla • Kordelia • Kacophonic • Koko • Klue Kivy Karter • Money

KARDASHIAN BABY NAMES SHORTLIST – READERS SUGGESTIONS: • Kevin • Kunt • ‘kinmoney • Kash • KashKow • Kretin • Kremmin • Klamydia

CAMERON: “I will not rest until Google ban child porn.” GOOGLE: “You *really* don’t understand what we do, do you?” CAMERON: “No.”

SCANDAL: Wife of teacher who ran to France with schoolgirl, 15, breaks down over media intrusion (pictures, lovely pictures).

MELANIE PHILLIPS: “We should invade Iran, kill their leaders and convert them to Judaism. You’re fools! All of you fools! Mwahahaha…”

Leave it, Mel. We’ve all had a drink. I’ll call you a taxi. #bbcqt

FEMININISM: “I tried to set up a university feminist club until the reactions of my male peers taught me the error of my ways.”


The usual scattergun genius of random tweets:


Trooping of the colour involved artillery so I chipped in: "Artillery is the God of war."Joseph Stalin, "God fights on the side with the best artillery." Napoleon . "Boom, boom, boom." Baldric

Since Newtown, there have been 14 mass shootings, or as the NRA calls them, sales opportunities.

The Telegraph reported the Nigella assault as: "the television chef appears to have become embroiled in a violent dispute with the wealthy art dealer." To which someone added: It’s just like that time I became embroiled in a violent theft with a mugger.

eBay rules: don’t trust any listing that contains the word ‘funny’ near the word ‘t-shirt’.

Diamonds Are Unethical #GuardianBond

Moonraker: Transforming Your Natural Satellite Into A Zen Retreat #GuardianBond

In the wake of a Brit wining some golf thing @Betfairpoker published a handy flowchart:

Are YOU Justin Rose?


Monday face:

The brilliant @VeryBritishProblems had: Receiving an email ending in "regards" and wondering what you’ve done to cause so much anger

First they came for the metadata, and I said nothing, because I didn’t feel like Googling metadata.

@PlioceneBloke had: Forage small brown wood fruit taste exact of small nut. Realise small nut. Embarrass.

BREAKING: HIstoric U.S./Taliban peace talks break down as one of U.S. deputation greets other side with "Hey Mr Taliban, tally me banana."

I think they missed the word ‘disease’ out of fortijuce ‘tropical’ flavour

I remember getting the ‘sex talk’ from my mum. No one came out of that particular premium rate call very well.

The G8 Syria talks, in full… Obama: You should do what we want you to do, even though you’ve explicitly said you won’t do it. Putin: Nyet.

I love the way people say there’s one law for the rich and one for the poor. Hahaha. You think there’s a law for the rich?

Just to clarify, I’d never visit a Newport hooker. I’m a man of principles! One of which is not to court a lady with fewer teeth than limbs.

We need #Feminism because society teaches women how to AVOID rape, rather than teaching men about their responsibilities in ending it.

Osborne at Mansion House – talking to a room full of bankers – refers to "you the taxpayer". Clearly he doesn’t know his audience.

Possibly the best door sign ever?:

Just realised that tomorrow is the longest day of the year. After that it’s just the slow trudge to winter and imminent death. #lesigh

The Queen looks a bit "MY PRECIOUSSSS!" on the front of the Daily Mail today:

As is traditional on the solstice, the trams have formed themselves into a henge. Monumental disruption to services.

So many kids these days are addicted to brackets. I blame the parentheses.

#qotd "they chickened out because Dignitas was horrible. They thought it’d be nice, like Soylent Green, where you can choose your own music"

The next person I see outdoors in a onesie is going to get punched. #brokenbritain

BREAKING: U.S. Seemingly Unaware of Irony in Accusing Edward Snowden of Spying

Appear more sophisticated in front of your date by ordering your kebab medium rare.

Stephen King nails the Twilight vs. Harry Potter debate in just two sentences


And on that bombshell,