Month: September 2013


That bloody treadmill. It was way down South, cost me £85 just in diesel. All day driving there and back (well, from 0900 to 1730). I specifically ordered a low, short wheel base transit as that was all I would need given the dimensions of the treadmill and the load dimensions of the van. Would it fit in in it’s operating position (ie at it most stable and less likely to break)? Would it buggery! The van was an inch to small. So I had to improvise, adapt and overcome. This meant I had to lay it down, leaving the handles on the floor. So then I had to fashion a strap to hold the handles off the floor so they wouldn’t snap off.

Then I got it home and had to try and manhandle 100kg of unwieldy treadmill off the van on my own. Wendy was trying to help but she is a total feeb.

I’d got it half manoeuvred through the front door when I realised I would tear up the floor before I could get it past the second door. Plan B, partially strip it, whilst wedged in the front door. Eventually we got it into the kitchen and I set about re-assembling it. All in all it must have took an hour and half just to get it into the house.

There is no way it is going to pop in the understairs cupboard. It is ginormous.

Seriously huge.

In it’s discreet, folded up, small mode it looks like the urban pacification robots off Robocop. And it won’t go upstairs so I’ve had to leave it in the kitchen.

Wendy is so less than pleased.

I can’t blame her. It’s just monstrous. Completely incongruous.

I took some snaps, look;

That’s how big it is, head height, wider than I am, and as deep.

Oh dear oh dear. What a farce. A folly.


But it does the full 20kph  (4 minute 50 second /mile) the incline works and what the hell, it’s here now. Also it’s quite noisy when you are charging away at it.

I gave it a few minutes at 6 minute/ mile pace just to try it (and me) out. I was doing alright, I could have done a mile at that pace.  I’ll have to leave it this week as I have the Chester marathon on Sunday, but after that I am going to set a baseline at 6m/m then work up from there. Hopefully but up to marathon distance within 6 months, then, if I’ve not died, start throwing in the 5 m/m’s.

Already got the conversion chart (from it’s measured speed in Kph)


While I was transferring the pictures from my ‘phone I came across these I took on that 50 miler; apparently they flooded a village to make the reservoir we were running around. Due to the low water level you could see bits of remains.

(And it was just plain picturesque. Here’s the hills reflected in the reservoir)

They decided to add a touch of style to the dam walls

Right, off to bed. Had enough of today.

Start my artisty career tomorrow.



Change of plan.

First off, better update you on the Wendy front. She went back to the hospital on Thursday as an outpatient, the whisked her straight in and scanned the crap out of her. They couldn’t find it at first but kept looking until they confirmed it was a shitload of tiny gall stones, about 1mm each. Apparently this is the dangerous time, when they are still small enough to move and crash vital organs. If they are large they can’t go anywhere. If they are large they must have started small? Whatever. The doctor said they were dangerous now, which is what the pain was; small stones moving and blocking the bile ducts. Whatever they are, or do. The point being, they have to remove the gall bladder.

Wendy hates hospitals, but she is really relieved it is something as straight forward and relatively minor as this. Not that the pain is to be dismissed. Believe it or not Wendy is quite a tough little cookie when it comes down to it. I’ve seen her with a broken arm, with metal rods drilled through her bones, dropped on her head, all sorts of really bad, painful things and she’s never made too much of a fuss. She had an attack on holiday and she was actually crying with the pain. That’s pretty damn bad.

By a strange coincidence, our next-door-but-one neighbour had her gall bladder out last week. It’s obviously catching. She reckons they can do keyhole surgery and have you out a few hours later.

Got to say it has been pretty damn impressive from the NHS so far. That 111 line gave good advice and called an ambulance. The paramedics did loads of tests and reassured us it wasn’t a heart attack. The A&E did a battery of tests and ruled out all the fatal stuff then sent an appointment for a scan. The scan doctor found the tiny gall stones and told her there and then, now we are just waiting for the operation.

Probably the finest thing we have to be proud of, our NHS. Damn Cameron for selling it to his rich mates.


I did that 50 mile ‘run’ last week. Oh dear, oh dear. That was all wrong. What I’d read on the internet about Ultra running (any distance over marathon) was that you ran 20 walked 5 minutes. I was doing it run 25 walk 5. No-one in the race was stopping! Also to walk all hills, first lap no-one did that. So my training was to cock. And it said it was a flat race so I did my training (two runs) down by the canal, perfectly flat. It was up and down hills! I did 35 miles in 6.30, had a 15 minute pit stop to eat and drink before the final lap (I saw someone else quitting while I was there) then set off again. It took me 3.20 to do the last 15 miles! 10 hours 6 minutes in total.

I could have walked it faster. I did my knee on a run the week week before in Dartmoor, that was hurting again within 5 miles. By 24 miles I was in such a state I was thinking of walking back to the start line and quitting. It was an achievement to force myself past the start/ finish tent for the last lap. At about 30 miles I got some really painful blisters that were forcing me to limp a bit. I had to try and grit my teeth until they popped. That last lap though… I thought it was never going to end.

That was probably the worst, most painful, event I’ve ever done. I hated it and thought that was it, I could cross ‘Ultra’ off my to-do list and never think of it again.

The next day I could  barely walk.

The day after that I was thinking I could do it in 8½ hours next year.


I had lots of vague plans for next year, the Lands End to John O’Groats ride, possibly the Ladybower 50 miler again, I’m already in the Outlaw again so I was planning on swimming lessons to try and batter it, maybe the Fred Whitton (that epic 112 mile bike ride around the toughest hills/ mountains in the Lake District) and get a fast marathon.

I was talking to my Swedish chum on Twitter (after I’d posted saying I’ve got another race in a fortnight, but luckily it’s only a marathon) she said “You should finish in the top 10 then.”

That thought rattled around my brain for a few days and finally emerged as my new plan; I’m going to win next year’s Chester marathon. 





You heard me.


Win it!


OK, realistically it’s a bit of a tall order. I was down to 7 m/m for 10 miles (if I could keep it up that’s a 4.02 marathon), then my training plan said I had to do 6 m/m and it nearly killed me. I hadn’t quite got to doing 2 whole miles at that pace. If I want to win I’ll have to get down to 5.15 m/m (2.17 marathon)  for the full 26.2 miles.

It’s not going to be easy.

I have a year.

To achieve this (probably impossible) task I decided I needed a treadmill/ running machine. I spent days scouring the internet, reading reviews, comparing prices, warranties, the pros and cons of new versus second hand, then in a moment of blinding stupidity, bid on impulse on one on ebay. I thought it was a high end second hand one, after I’d bid I looked it up and it wasn’t that model, it was the basic mid-range one.


So I’m now the proud owner of a running machine. That will mock me daily about it’s noisy belt and not top-of-the-range motor. And it’s in darkest Darn Sarf, so I’ve had to rent a van to go and pick it up.

Yay! Just got a reply, I’m on for picking it up tomorrow. I’d already paid for the van so I was getting nervous.

Then the real fun begins.

5 m/m. Dear god that’s an ask.

The winning time last year was 2.28, the World Record is 2.03, I’m going to be going for a 2.20 so it not like I’m trying to be the best in the World, top 1 or 2 % max.

This is hilarious. Or it would be if I wasn’t serious about trying, that makes it merely deluded and a bit sad. I may actually die trying. I’m going to start off with a mile or so at 6m/m to see where I’m starting from, then build it up to full distance over 4 or 5 months. Then start putting 5m/m’s in.

Oh lordy. Even on paper that looks bad.

Still, at least I now have something to get my teeth into. Any fool can go long, only a few can go fast. Let’s see what I’m made of.

If I only get best in age group next year I can work harder for the year after. Assuming I don’t keel over and die trying.


Anyway, enough of me cashing in on possible future glory. For now it’s just hassle, then sweat and pain.

Which neatly takes me onto my final thing; I have decided on my new career path: tattoo artist!

Yes, I know I can’t currently draw a bath and yes, I did speculate on this career before, but that was for Wendy, the artist. I’m thinking 2 or 3 years of constant practise and I might be OK. If not, keep practising. I’ve bought a set of tattoo guns off ebay and a bunch of ‘learn yourself to draw for eejits’ books.


That’s enough waffle, it’s Twitter time!


The DMreporter kept us abreast;

SPORT: Sunderland FC sack Paolo Di Canio and thank him for making the training run on time.



While in Politics/ Tory scum we had;

Sometimes think the USSR could have carried on if they’d split into 2 almost identical parties and held elections

Ken Livingstone defines ‘trickle down economics’ as ‘the Tories peeing down on the rest of us

Ed Miliband is definitely doing something right: the Mail is furious.

Observing how Tory and LibDem MPs, Andrew Neil, the Daily Mail etc went to "hysteria battle stations", I’d say EdM just became a contender.

Predictable sabre-rattling from the energy companies. Who would people rather ran the country ? Elected representatives or energy giants ?

Energy companies who don’t think a price cap (at the expense of dividends) is fair or acceptable can always volunteer for nationalisation.

If unions threatened to push UK into darkness over demands not being met, newspapers would scream ‘ransom’. But fine when energy companies?

Unions mustn’t hold this country to ransom with threats of strikes. They should do it by threatening to leave, like the banks.

Cost of HS2 rail link: £50b. Cost of renationalizing rail network (by not renewing franchises once they expire): £0

Predicted government savings from bedroom tax: £545 million. Cost of giving out married tax allowance: £800 million.

wonder how many married couples are going to thank Cameron, knowing for each of their tiny bungs, some disabled had to move homes?


And favest of all, general;

BOOK FACT: Cheetahs can type faster than any other land animal but, sadly, their works are often poorly plotted and/or emotionally naive.

I tweeted “Apropos to nothing, if you fold the corners of pages over in books or leave them open face down, there is a special place in hell for you.”

Then got trolled by book vandals;

I also write on my books – underlining, notes in margins etc. – for both fiction and non-fiction. Sorry, Everyone.

Still, not as bad as the person I know of who *tears pages out of books* after they finish each page. True story.

Detach and fold a book’s endpapers and you have a convenient bookmark.

simply tear out and burn all the preceding pages you have read

I suppose that saves taking them back to the library


Then I got this:

my dad once caught me bending a book back on its spine. He glared at me and said "I like books more than I like little boys"

never mistreated a book since


(iphone launched with fingerprint unlocking, prompting fears that it would be a database for the NSA. Then some hackers immediately cracked it)

If you have enemies determined enough to make hi-res cast of your fingerprint, you may have bigger problems than phone getting stolen.

I suggested scrotum recognition software. Let them get their hands on that. And it tests the NSA’s commitment.

I’ll bet Satan lists "expert in PowerPoint" on his resume too.

An award winning middle school science project showed, on average 70% of the time ice from fast food restraunts is dirtier than toilet water

I heard the wolf’s at the door, but never the cat.

Video: Hilarious viral voicemail of man who witnesses a driver getting ‘rough justice’ from some old ladies


(You have got to listen to that. It’s the best thing on the internet this week.)

Grateful for many nice reviews of my autobiography. Amused that a few complain it’s all about me. Not sure how I could have avoided that.

1. Go to the vets 2. Tell them your fish is poorly 3. Put a fish finger on the examining table 4. Do a sad face

Relax white people, black people have the "N" word. But we still have words like "Yacht", and sayings like "thanks for the warning officer".

I’m gonna go out on a limb and declare "Drugs" the winner of the war on drugs.

5 people followed me because of over enthusiasm, 9 unfollowed because when measured against the scale of eternity all action is vain.


As you can see, I’ve not been on Twitter much this week.

Right, off I trot. Lots of driving tomorrow. For a change.


Rum do-s.

We’ve had quite the eventful couple of weeks.

Before I start let me say Wendy is OK.

We didn’t know that at the time, though. It must have been Sunday night, I was playing on the internet, Wendy was watching crap on the telly, when she called me. She was suddenly in a world of pain, right in the centre of her chest around the solar plexus (the bit where your ribs meet at the bottom) . She was doubled up with it. She said she couldn’t breathe and if felt like she had a crushing weight on her chest. I thought it was a heart attack. I shit. I gave her some aspirin and looked up the new NHS advice number, then rang that 111 thing. They got talking to her and immediately sent out an ambulance.

The ambulance people said it wasn’t her heart (phew!) but had to take her in anyway. I followed in the car.

They gave her some serious kick-arse pain killers which settled her after a while. Then the doctor came in and prodded her. She was still very tender around the solar plexus. Apparently this is also the site of the the pancreas. Gail, Wendy’s top-nurse sister,  had warned her of that when we were drinking; that pancreatitis –damage from drinking-  was fatal. If you’ve got it you’re a gonner. So we have been lead to believe, might not be true. Anyway, we were again thinking she was on her way out.

They ran a battery of blood tests and it wasn’t her pancreas.

We were quite giddy then. We’d both thought she was going to die.

Gawd bless the NHS! They sent her away but said she’d have to come back as an outpatient for an endoscopy and scan. By coincidence our nextdoor-but-one neighbour asked Wendy what the ambulance was for, and she has been having the same. Agonizing pain starting in the centre of the chest, in the area of the pancreas as we now think of it, then spreading right around to her back. It’s her gall bladder. She was just about to have it removed.

Wendy had another attack four days later, then an even worse one while we were on holiday last week. We rang the doctors the next day to see if they’d got the notification from the hospital and booked and appointment, they said it was unclear who was supposed to be booking the outpatient visits.

We were a bit miffed, but what are you going to do? Wendy was going to go to the doctors on Monday and try to get them to sort out an appointment. We were thinking it was going to be weeks of ballache.

We got back off holiday today and the hospital have sent her an appointment for a scan for next Thursday!

Gawd bless the NHS and all who sail on her!

If it it gall stones, which apparently block bile ducts or some other voodoo, they will show up on the scan. It could be as simple as that. Gall stones, chop out gall bladder, bish bash bosh! (I am not a qualified surgeon/ doctor.)

So that was dramatic but in no way fun.


Also we’ve had the aforementioned holiday. Oh dear, oh dear.

It was a lovely, log burning fire, cottage. In the Dartmoor National Park. Dating back to the 15th Century. Alas their internet coverage was from same era. Bugger all. Not even a ‘phone signal. My smartphone was a dumb brick. And the telly coverage broke up on most channels.  And, due to some idiocy on my part, we booked it on a week when I couldn’t even make the most of the hills by training. I did one 2½ hour run and hurt my knee. I didn’t dare go out again as I have that 50 mile run tomorrow.  Boring week in other words.

It was a lovely place, but all wrong. Ho hum, live and learn. How I could have been quite that stupid in the first place is a mystery, mind.

Look at that slab of rock over the fireplace!  Marble stairs, 18” thick walls, I’ve got quite a few pictures of it all but I’ll not bore you with them. Instead I’ll bore you with these:

Varied wildlife;

I did my horse-whisperer thing and had one of the wild ponies/ horses lick my hand. Wendy thought it was going to attack us. She is the horsey person, having taken riding lessons and everything. I just overpowered it with my Jedi mind tricks.

The bloody things were all over the place though. The cows were just stood in the road. I had to weave in between the big ignorant bastards. Those furry cows with the horns could do some serious damage to my poor little Polo.


Look at it;

A desolate hell bereft of even the simplest internet connection. Not a solitary ‘phone mast as far as the eye can see.

And windy!

Hehe. I’ll post that quick before Wendy makes me delete it.

I did a windblown selfie;


Still no ‘phone masts.

Hell. On. Earth.

Btw, the pictures aren’t that great because I forgot my camera, had to take them on my ‘phone.


It shouldn’t really make that much of a difference, but I am so happy to be back in civilisation. Internet, I love you!



It’s hardly worth calling it a roundup of Twitter, what with all my enforced downtime, first with Wendy in A&E, (grrr) then the bloody holiday, but here’s a few bits;


SYRIA: Assad demands proof he was behind chemical attack; USA sends 3 photos from Iraq, 1 photo from Vietnam and Pearl Harbour on DVD.

REVEALED: Parasitic benefit scroungers hold regular ‘laugh at the taxpayer parties’ where they quaff champagne and call YOU a sucker.

POLL: Which celebrity would you bring back from the dead? A) Princess Diana B) Steve Jobs C) Michael Jackson D) Enoch Powell E) Hitler

PHWOAR: Murdered Russian model whose body was found naked in woods had great tits when she was alive (pictures).

FRAUD: Worlds oldest man found living in Ethiopia, raising concerns that UK taxpayers were conned out of charity donations to Live Aid.

BREAKING: Only 94 shopping days until the war on Christmas.



Politics/ tory scum;

#Russia says detects two missile launches in Mediterranean – The Economic Times #Syria

(To which I added:) If this shit ends in WWIII and extinction of Human life on the planet I, for one, will question whether Obama’s peace prize was premature.

Hague: "We won’t talk to Iran because their president is elected. We will only talk to the despotic Gulf monarchies who we sell arms to"

Just a little teensy mini-war, we swear." << Just one more, wafer thin, war sir? Go on sir."

You guys, if only Miliband had stopped Cameron rushing into Syria w/o making PM look foolish, Miliband would be a STRONG leader  (I replied: Really Sunny? It’s the oppositions job to make the PM look less of a twat? Good luck with that.)

If you intend to vote #LibDem again you deserve to lose your job and home, to live in a B&B and depend on foobanks while doing Workfare.

Gove or IDS – which one would you push off a cliff first? Decisions, decisions, eh?

Anti-fascist legend 98-year old Max Levitas out leafleting to stop the EDL marching in Tower Hamlets

I imagine Tony Blair in his back garden, plaintively making the case to Cherie for intervening in their neighhbours’ leylandii dispute.

"What do you want for breakfast Tony?" "Military intervention." "That’s your answer to EVERYTHING."

.@tonyblairoffice Nobody gives a tuppenny fuck what you think about anything these days, you murderous has-been shitheel. Shut your piehole.

Cameron. Next time Putin talks about small islands not making a difference in the world, just say this: "Tracy Island". That’ll shut him up.

Bob Crow: Energy prices have gone up by over 20% but if we ask for wages increase by the same amount, unions called greedy #TUC13

I knew a girl called Zeinab whose leg was blown off by one of Blair’s bombs, but it wasn’t a chemical weapon so that’s nice.

‘Intervention’ is when an addict is confronted by friends and family and hustled into rehab. The word you’re groping for is ‘War’.

Jobseekers Could Lose Benefits for Refusal to Take Part in Clinical Trials

Fuck sake! Tory Britain. "You there, Johnny foodbank, either let our rich chums experiment on you or die. No pressure "

Justine Greening thinks privatisation means "we can all own" #RoyalMail. a) We already do; b) We don’t "all" have £750 to buy in.

So the Government has nationalised Royal Mail’s debt and are now privatising the profit. It makes no sense.

Gove has gone too far this time. Too far.



And lovely, lovely general;

Email of the day: "Hey, my wife downloaded your book from [piracy site] and the file was p%rn instead! Can you fix that?"

A new (to me) account showing great ads had these:

Creative Game of Thrones ad in the New York Times

BMW : A Mercedes Can Also Bring Driving Pleasure


This is why we need feminism;

Woman swims 110 miles from Cuba to America without shark cage. Some people slag her off because she had shark spotters with her, prompting this rather nice observation;

"Oh, she had people making sure she didn’t die when she swam from Cuba to America? Pfft. I could totally do that."

HMRC will never send you a tax bill by email, especially if you are Vodafone.

Just got asked for a donation by the Greens, but I’m a bit short after paying to have some of the trees blocking my harbour view poisoned.

"Papa, who is Richard Dawkins?" Ryan asks me. "He’s an actor and celebrity fisherman," I say, accidentally confusing him with Robson Green.

Thinking of taking legal action against Red Bull. It promised to give me wings but all it’s done so far is give me tachycardia

I announced:

Ordering Andrew Marr’s seminal work "Learn yourself yoof talk, innit." (Oxford University Press.) *So* going to be hip to the groove.

My chum replied:


(Which I thought was hilarious.)

The squirrels are quiet today. Too quiet.

Quietly pleased that I managed to find ‘Michael MacIntyre’ by googling "floppy haired middle class comedian’. Questionable use of ‘comedian’

@Queen_UK had: Someone get one a gin and tonic with ice and lime. With no tonic. Or ice. Or lime. #onitlikeabonnet

If I ever open a restaurant, I’m thinking of using fresh, high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients.

DC forbids Batwoman’s gay marriage, creative team leaves [Updated!] …

Canadian church pro gay message. Go the Canadians!


Just back from Antiques Roadshow. It was fantastic. I’ve seen so many people’s hopes & dreams crushed.

It pleases me the Mazda Bongo (campervan) without the pop-up roof is known to fans as a ‘Bongolow’.

(OK, it’s computer wizardry, but I think that works really well.)

The people who come up with advertising slogans just aren’t trying any more

The iPhone 5S has a fingerprint sensor. Remember that if the NSA demands it, Apple will turn over your fingerprint

I suggested:

Scrotum recognition software. Let’s test the NSA’s commitment.

"@ExtraFT: I’m pro-choice because it’s my womb, my body and my life. @Abortion_Rights" << I’m pro ‘cos it’s her womb, her body and her life.

NURSERY school teachers. Get rid of any unpopular male employees by simply crumbling Viagra into their morning cup of tea.

I noted:

No sign of Mrs dying. BTW, anyone know the returns policy on Thai brides. Asking for a friend.


First decree as World Emperor: any car driver on Mway doing less than 60 to be humanely beaten to death with rolled up copy of highway code.

Second World Emperor decree: any rock singer not from US who sings in an American accent to be beaten to death with House boxset.


Just seen a badger lolloping across the road. Ha! You missed one, Cameron, you twat.


Rain, heather, cows, rocks, horses, sheep and rain. Should’ve stayed home, showered and got a Polish mixed grill. With a side order of rocks


Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, give a man a lightsaber, people will fish for him.

I think I may have also located the best reversible hoodie ever.

Chewbacca hoodie! How awesome is that?

And on that note,



PS, I notice Luke has updated my blog site so now you can subscribe and get an email whenever I post some ranty old bollocks. And you can follow me on Twitter.


Oh. Fair comment.

Nice updates though, Luke. Cheers.