Archive for December, 2013

Who knew?

It seemed adding long runs was the answer to everything. I did one 22 mile run, rested, ran for a whole hour at race pace. I did another, rested, ran for an hour and a half at race pace!

Incredible!

I was so pleased. My training had gone from 4 miles race pace then stopping for rests to 13 miles non-stop in the space of a week. You’ll note the past tense. I tried for another 22 mile run the day after and my knees and shins were killing me. I gave up and turned around at 4½ miles. It was painful and slow and I was worried that I was going to sustain a serious injury.

I suppose upping my mileage by 40+ miles in a week and smashing my endurance/ speed records was pushing it a bit.

Ho hum.

I’ve rested for 3 days, I’ll try another run tomorrow. I’ll do a faster hour on the tready.  I know I can do a half marathon at marathon pace (smashing 13 minutes off my previous best time!), now I need to get to get faster.  I was planning on *just* upping the miles I can run at race pace until I was at marathon distance but if I have to protect my knees, I’d better do shorter and faster runs for the time being. Make it so race pace is a comfortable plod.

I’m a bit miffed to be honest, it seemed like I was going to be up to full marathon at race pace within a month. Now it looks like my body needs time to adjust to the extra miles. Balls.

Talking of which, I was looking for this month’s Runner’s World today, I came across a magazine called ‘Men’s Running’. Fail immediately. Running is running. With the tagline “For runners with balls.” Epic fail.

Then I started thinking about Chrissie Wellington, the almost unbelievable British woman who won the World Ironman (female) event three times. Each time setting a new World record. Her best Iron distance time is 8 hours, 18 minutes, 13 seconds.

8 hr, 18 min, 13 sec.

8.18:13

To swim 2.4 miles, ride 112 then run a marathon (26.2 miles).

Obviously I’m just a fat old duffer, not a proper triathlete, but my best was 13.32 . I sometimes think about taking swimming lessons, really battering the bike and continuing with my sub 3hr marathon training and if I was really, really good scraping in under 10 hours. Even that isn’t likely.

A woman did it in 8.18:13. Tell her that it’s a male only running magazine.

To be fair there was a ‘Woman’s Running’ magazine. Presumably about the latest in pink running kit, who was dating whom in running circles, and what didn’t make your arse look big in lycra. It’s like that pink email about a women’s triathlon event. They already have them, they are called triathlon events.

 

In other news, work is worryingly slack. I had 3 days last week. I was out on Sunday afternoon, 15 miles into a 22 mile run, when the agency rang me and said I was in work. I pointed out that I wasn’t and that no-one had told me and I was in the middle of a 22 mile run. They asked what time I could be in work, I had to say ‘not tonight’, by the time I’d finished the run I wasn’t fit for shit. I told them I could work Monday or Tuesday, but that I’d have to be told first as I’m not psychic. Nothing was forthcoming. I don’t know whether the agency were trying to blag me into going in or whether work were actually expecting me on Sunday, but I’ve had no work since. I’ve got a shift tomorrow (Sunday) starting 1900 hrs. If they don’t cancel. We’ll have to wait until things settle down after New Year to see what the score is, but so far not too impressed.

Wendy is worrying as she’s not got her appointment to see the consultant yet about the results of her MRI (or was it an MMR?) yet and she’s only on half pay from here on in. If I’m getting full time hours we won’t even notice, but if I’m on one day a week money would soon get tight. Also, this month I’ve got to MOT and tax the car. It’s a shame for Wendy though. She’s been dieting for 6 months and looking forward to an xmas binge, she had one day’s troughing and was up all night throwing up and crying with pain. She’s back on her diet.

I’ve finished all the creamy/ xmassy goodies today. Tomorrow I start my diet. Think how easy the marathon will be if I’m carrying half a sack of spuds less around.

 

But enough waffle, to Twitter!

The DMreporter had:

FORECAST: Christmas Day ‘could be ruined by Labour’s disastrous unchecked immigration policy’ warn meteorologists.

ART: Portrait of Tony Blair unveiled at Royal Portrait Gallery

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WAR: North Korea warns South Korea it will attack without warning.

IAIN DUNCAN SMITH: “Food banks exist because people use them. If people didn’t use them then they wouldn’t exist. It’s simple really.”

SHOPPING: ‘Any customer who tries to buy pork from a Muslim employee WILL be classified as a racist and reported to the EU’ confirm M&S.

WAR ON CHRISTMAS: Fury as shoppers at M&S are issued with a fatwa just for buying a Peppa Pig pullover.

IAN DUNCAN SMITH: “People who use food banks just can’t be bothered to go shopping. Try Ocado – they deliver, it’s really no effort at all.”

DAVID CAMERON: “Merry Christmas to everyone who earns over £40,000 a year!”

POVERTY: Number of children hospitalised with malnutrition doubles in a year. IDS – “it’s a credit to the Tories that the NHS is coping.”

 

 

In politics/ tory scum there was:

This painting of an 18th ct woman totally looks like David Cameron in drag

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MP Nadhim Zahawi who claimed £5822 on expenses to heat his stables says Child Benefit should be limited to 2 children.

EU: Here you go UK, £22m to feed your poor. Tories: Dude, we LIKE making the poor suffer. Go blow it on champagne.

#bbcnews 500.000 people now fully reliant on food banks & Cameron’s priority is tax cuts for millionaires

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While these MPs are debating #FoodBanks it’s worth noting that the taxpayer spent £7M on parliament food & drink in 12/13

It is perverse that so many wealthy MPs, who have subsidised food expenses, voted against feeding people who have nothing. #FoodBankDebate

If you earn £60,000 and have your food subsidised, don’t point at people on min wage and say they’re not budgeting properly. #foodbankdebate

Tories warn Labour that we shouldn’t "politicise" food bank issue. As if people starving in 21st century Britain isn’t a political issue!

#bbcnews Ester Mcvey walked out on the #FoodBankDebate to do paper work to claim her weekly £400

food bill.

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Tories not accepting money for food poverty shows you,they want poverty.its not austerity,its demicide.culling of the poor.

Boris Johnson on urban foxes: “They look cuddly, but they’re a dangerous menace.” Such irony.

Michael Gove, the man who had to pay back £7,000 in expenses, says people who use foodbanks are “not best able to manage their finances”.

25,000 British ‘immigrants’ live in #Romania & #Bulgaria – will David Cameron be seeking their repatriation? #EU #freemovement

Food banks give people a helping hand and Tories say the recipients are scroungers, when £750bn was given to bailout the banks not a word.

“Redistributing wealth from top to bottom is called socialism. Redistributing wealth from bottom to top is called austerity.” (Max Keiser)

#IainDuncanSmith is very upset about the ‘Britain Isn’t Eating’ poster, so I wouldn’t dream of posting it:

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2013 and this rotten government in a nutshell:

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So the police are giving #Foodbanks 20,000 from proceeds of crime but IDS still insists there is no problem..

Ah, I’d missed that. Osborne launching legal challenge against EU ruling that bankers can "only" receive bonus of 100% of their salary.

Glad someone is standing up for those poor under-paid souls. Hmmm.

Two thirds of single parents and 1 in 10 of all parents in the UK are missing meals to feed their children. #Britainisnteating

Martin Rowson on a very Tory Christmas – #IDS included – Guardian cartoon

Martin Rowson 24.12.13

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I’m glad David Cameron visited people affected by the storms. Will he now visit a food bank to meet families affected by his policies?

Disabled man, blind commits suicide after starving for weeks when UKGov/DWP/Atos slashed his benefits http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/benefit-cuts-blind-man-committed-2965375 …

 

 

And lovely, lovely ‘General’ was as eclectic as ever;

This damned fog. Two hours after leaving the house, I find myself back outside my front door, naked, covered in snake bites.

Flesh coloured leggings. Yes or no?

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*Facepalm* RT @louisebrealey Ah, this is brilliant. Journalistic gold from The Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn:

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(Wendy’s signed us up to a charity after seeing that. Fair do’s.)

Parisian shop window suggests realistic alternative to liberté, egalité, fraternité

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Opinions are a lot like orgasms mines more important and I don’t care if you have one

Only the married squirrels hurl themselves under your wheels

CONVINCE people you are the Mandela Memorial Interpreter by doing the Birdie Dance.

Miserly billionaire parasite Frau Windsor stressed about people eating her cashews. Try struggling to feed your kids you miserable old shit.

GIVE Christmas puddings a 21st century touch by adding a handful of Bitcoins to the mix

"Milk used to give Poppy tummy aches. Not anymore." Because I told Poppy that milk is the blood of dead unicorns & also that she’s adopted.

#ThingsBetterThanXFactor Putting your underwear on in the morning, but it’s not underwear, it’s nettles. Toothache. A Deep Heat handjob.

#ThingsBetterThanXFactor Your finger going through the loo roll as you wipe. Retching but nothing coming up. Kidney stones. Panic.

#ThingsBetterThanXFactor Pickled onion yoghurt. Piles. Posting a vague Facebook status and nobody asking "u ok hun"? BT’s customer service.

I am playing the #XFactor drinking game. When it comes on I go down the pub.

(Probably ‘shopped but cool picture : )

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There could be a Regional Newspaper looking fo, 1) Journalist ; 2) Type Setter ; 3) Proof Reader

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Fifty Sheds of Grey tweeted: ‘Do it,’ she begged. ‘OK,’ I said, tying her hands and gagging her, ‘But there must be easier ways to avoid putting on weight at Christmas.’

Another shot of Norfolk’s finest, Barn Owl hunting in this evening’s light ! Chuffed :o)

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I don’t particularly like this pub but it’s the only one in range of the baby monitor. #babysitting #bestuncleever

On Average, ovulating women prefer rugged & masculine men. Menstruating women prefer men duct-taped and on fire.

"Share this photo to spread awareness of cancer". Thanks for that. I’d never heard of cancer previously. #FacebookShittery

Loving Virgin America’s last call announcement: "We’d hate to leave without you, but we totally will."

The Daily Mail knows who to blame on the day a predatory paedophile gets his 35 year sentence:

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Disabled restroom you had one job

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These two Facebook statuses made my day

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BUS CRASH IN LARNDAN! Inside, secret to eternal life discovered in Leeds

"Religious wars are basically people killing each other over who has the better imaginary friend" — Napoleon Bonaparte

remember, with the ice storm, don’t be a fool, take the unicycle instead

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Also, one child’s mum brought the staff a present – a watermelon that she had carved. How amazing is this?!

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my boyfriend keeps trying to take cute pictures of me, SO ANNOYING

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I love that lots of people are sharing this around. Maybe you’d like to tweet it too?

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Best #nativity scene ever?

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Map of countries that kill you if you are gay; notice that there are no celebs hashtagging outrage for any of them

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News just said Google have purchased eighth robotics company in six months. #cyberdynesystems #skynet #wereallfucked

@brilliantads had:

Brilliant Google Ad!

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Take your age. Subtract 2. Then add 2. That is your age.

My favourite screen grab ever

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Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. – Ben Franklin

Facebook needs a "Wow that’s the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard, you should be punched in the throat" button.

marking essays about leopards. starting to hate leopards. whats for dinner i hope it’s leopards pie

Is this real? Is Nick Griffin actually this stupid?! Just, wow. #OperationWhiteVote #BNP #NotEvenHidingItAnymore

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(it is real btw, off their website. Just goosestep over there if you don’t believe me.)

It’s Christmas Eve, not Christmas Steve.

Give yourself an idea of UKIP’s views on employment rights by working longer hours for less pay and sacking yourself without notice

Apparently if you get caught shoplifting in @marksandspencer they will now cut your hands off

Daily Mail coverage of Birth of Jesus: ‘Irresponsible Mum gives Birth to Fatherless Child As Bethlehem Swamped with Immigrants’

"The Sun" How Mary got her figure back in just 6 hours. The real Xmas Miracle

Daily Express coverage of #BirthofJesus: ‘Immigrant Births in Bethlehem UP as Extreme Weather Means YOU’RE Paying’

Telegraph: Unmarried Christian couple turned away from b&b

The Guardian coverage of the #birthofJesus: "Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception Hailed As Dawn of New Feminist Wave"

EXPRESS – Shepherds and angels reveal Diana: the TRUTH

Daily Mail: Immigrant Child Given Gold Frankincense and Myrrh for Being Born; Local Children Get Nothing.

Fact: Vegetarians live up to 9 years longer than meat-eaters. 9 horrible, tedious, meaningless, baconless, cheeseburgerless, meatless years.

My favourite thing in the world, the shipping forecast is on @BBCRadio4. If you’re unable to listen, I’ll summarise. DO NOT go on a boat.

The clock ticks. A turkey sits, untouched, surrounded by trimmings. "They forgot again," whispers Dre sadly.

Oh to be 75. Asked Grandad for password which has to be 8 characters for new iPad and he said ‘snow white and the 7 dwarves’ Lovely

My son has just got his degree in English medieval literature. Just have to wait for the job offers to start rolling in now!

Malnutrition cases in English hospitals almost double in five years- http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/malnutrition-cases-in-english-hospitals-almost-double-in-five-years-8945631.html … – People who are so hungry they are hospitalised

Kids today are so coddled- Elf on the Shelf, Toy Story. In my day, if dolls magically came to life, they murdered you and everyone you loved

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As if I didn’t despise the Mail enough

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Pope Francis Excommunicates Priest Who Backed Women’s Ordination and Gays <<Time magazine Person of the year.

This new "in private" browsing mode in Internet Explorer is rubbish. Everyone in the internet cafe can still see me wanking.

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And finally. . . what do you get if you cross a French bulldog with #TheGrinchWhoStoleChristmas?

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And on that festive bombshell,

Toodles.

Buck.

Every inch exists in miles.

I’m getting there, people. My new strategy is showing real results after only 3 runs. It’s hard to get the tready time when I’m working. I did my first attempt at an hour at race pace of 6.45 m/m, managed 3 miles (3 min rest) something like 1 mile, rest, etc up to 6.25 miles in the hour. And that was tough. The next time (on tired legs) I did 2½ miles, rest, 1½ miles (at too fast speed), rest, etc  making 7 and a bit miles.

Today, with legs as fresh as a daisy, I did 4 miles, 3 min rest, 2 miles, 2 min rest, 50 seconds rest a bit over half a mile. Anyway, the point is; I ran 4 miles before my first breather, then 2 miles. In total, a smidge over 8 miles in the hour. That, my friend, is progress.

The best bits were the periods where I was thinking, ‘this ain’t so bad, I can keep this up all day’. Then my breathing got ragged and I was really battling to make an arbitrary point before stopping. This is also good. By saying at 20 minutes ‘keep going fat lad’ and pushing it really hard for the last 4 or 5 minutes just to keep going, I’m strengthening my legs and my willpower.

This month’s Runner’s World caught my eye. I’ve bought the last two issues but each time I do, and take good stuff from it admittedly, I think I’ll probably not bother with the next one. This month’s was a marathon runner’s special. The first article I flicked to in the shop was a guy who’d run a 3.43 and was asking could he go sub 2.50.

Here, take my money.

Damn you, Runner’s World!

He said he was running 8½ to 9 miles in an hour on his speed training day. My third attempt (with breaks so plenty of room for improvement as I condition my body to the pace) was 8 miles. The thing the expert advised was for him to build in more rest time (oh yeah, I’m all over that shit!) and one proper long run a week. Over 2 hours. Not so much about the pace at that distance, just training your body to keep going.

So tomorrow morning I’m donning my running pack and doing a 20 miler. Then, if I’m up to it, speed work with my running club at the night. We’ll see.

……..

Didn’t get around to finishing that post on Monday, it’s now Saturday.

I took their advice and slapped in a (lamentably slow) 22 mile run. It was beastly. I put on my pack with two full water bottles and set off to Frodsham. As I’d done my new PB on the tready the day before my legs were none too cooperative. The first 4 miles I was actually considering sacking it and coming home. Then I thought I’d do it, but was still really pacing myself so I’d have something left for the return run. It wasn’t until I got the psychological boost of the return journey that I started picking up the pace.  100 yards before was slog, as soon as I turned around (with 11 hilly miles still to do) I was fine. All in the head.

Anyway, that knackered me right up. A perfect storm of beastliness. Tired legs, hills, grass and tarmac, being a fat knacker, etc.  I didn’t do the training with my club in the evening.

I didn’t get another run in until I was unexpectedly cancelled from work today. Which is itself troublesome. The coach in Runner’s World who was raving about long runs as part of your marathon training was saying ‘someone who only runs 90 miles a week but does two long runs will be better than someone who runs 120 but only does one long run’.  Errr,…. ‘only’ 90 miles? I’m lucky if I manage 30! OK, that’s going to increase quite a bit with the addition of the long run(s), but still.

Oh, and troublesome that this close to xmas they are cancelling shifts. They should be running flat out now, what is it going to be like afterwards?

Anyway, I did my run. My new warm up is 5 minutes at a slow jog, then 4 minutes at 6m/m. This shows my legs and lungs how cushy they are getting it when I switch to 6.45 m/m pace. Then a few minutes rest, then set off at race pace.

I was going strong. So strong I was checking I was at the right speed. My last run I managed 4 miles (dying after 3 but determined). This time I was still going strong at 4 miles, breathing OK, legs coping. I pushed on.

I set a new PB at 30 minutes, then 40! By this time it was starting to come apart. I was suffering, and I kept losing my breathing. I determined to make it to 45 minutes. It was bad but no worse. I went for 50 minutes. A song came on that was just the right tempo so I put it on repeat, gritted my teeth and ran the full hour!

So chuffed!

The long run is now a welcome training aid. Before I was chipping away at my goal, now I am all over it’s arse! For the first half hour I thought I might be able to just keep on going at that pace. 13 miles, maybe even the full marathon. Obviously I couldn’t, but even when it got tough I managed 20 minutes more. That’s after one long run.  Bring it on!

Bugger. After all that enthusing I suddenly crashed. No energy left.

I’ll do another post with just of Twitter.

Sorry for luring you in under false pretences.

Later,

Buck.

Cancel last.

You might not have been able to see those link/ adverts, I can’t see them now. Turns out is was malware on my computer, not on the blog itself. Apparently the free version of Avira antivirus doesn’t protect against malware. It does a sterling, and I repeat, free job on viruses, as the name suggests, but you either have to pay for the pro or get other malware protection.

Anyway, all sorted now. I think. You can stand down from blog defcon one.

Cheers,

Buck.

Blog alert!

Just noticed three different words have become links on my last blog. Not sure if I can undo this, but either way, I did not post them as links and unless I actually state that I have in future, please do not click on them.

Ta,

Buck.

Glory days.

I was listening to a classic rock radio station the other day, they were playing Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days (I’m assuming that’s the title) and it set me to musing.

The premise of the song is he meets some high school chums, one of whom was an ace school sportsman, the other was a high school hottie who’s grown older and had kids etc. Both of them just keep banging on about their glory days.

It struck me that that’s bollocks.

Here am I, just approaching my prime *coughs* and racing towards 50 (OK, I’m 47, but I’m already rounding up, mentally) and I am still striving to achieve my next goal. I’ve done more I can be proud of in my 40’s than ever. I’ve been of the beer, fags and such for 6 years, got my head around straightness and reinvented myself and my goals.

My first goal was to be able to run 1½ miles for the TA thing, so I ran 1.9 miles (by accident) first attempt. Then I thought a half marathon would be a monster achievement, did that 6 months later. Then Iron distance triathlon 9 months later, with a marathon along the way for training.

After doing that twice I thought I’d try Ultra running, I did two long runs then ‘ran’ a 50 mile race.

Now I’m going for a sub 3 hour marathon, the benchmark for marathon runners, then pushing on to win a marathon (admittedly that’s pretty damn unlikely).

Also in my 40’s I passed my car test then decided to get a job (out of manual graft) as a lorry driver. That was an ordeal but I did it and have just landed the job I’ve been after for a while.

In short, shove it up your arse, Mr Springsteen, you ain’t the boss o’ me!

I flatter myself that I did some monumentally reckless, stupid and ill-informed stuff in the past, all of which has it’s own merit, but I’m damned if I’m going to stop just because I’m old enough to know better.

And as for the assumption that a woman’s only worth is in being young and pretty..

Bah. I’m not even going to joke about that.

Again it sounds like I’m blowing my own trumpet, but it’s kind of hard to point out the achievements of which you are proud without mentioning the achievements.  One of my Twitter chums changed her handle to include her Doctorate. @DrLangtry_Girl.  In her bio she put “Yeah I levelled up. If you don’t like it get a PhD.” Or words to that effect. She said it better, obviously.

That’s my thinking. I’ve done some things I consider achievements, but so could anyone else. Anyway, it’s like Virgil said “here we make a virtue of necessity”. I’ve done these things because I’m straight and you have to do *something* to fill the joyless infinity of hours before the grave.

 

Not that I have that many free hours to fill at the moment. Work is most time-consuming. I like the long runs better, mind. It’s simple. Pick up your unit, find your trailer, drive to the place (had a nice one next to Taunton, Somerset, the other day) swop your trailer, (or whatever) drive back, job’s a good ‘un.

The local runs are more of a pain in the arse. In and out of the yard, never knowing how long you are going to work or how many runs you are going to do. Still, it pays well, even after tax and N.I. I’m on a lot more than I was. Happy days. We’ll see how it works in January, but the signs are that they’ll still need drivers.

I hope so, as this is Wendy’s last month of full sick pay, from January she’s on half pay. Still massively generous compared to any place I’ve ever worked. I think the Royal Mail gave you 4 weeks a year, nowhere else has given any. Just SSP.

I’m off tomorrow (as today) so I’ll be running Wendy into the hospital to have her MRI scan. If there are no blockages they can then decide to go ahead with surgery. It’s going to be some time in the New Year though, it seems. Ha! Wendy thought an endoscopy was the surgery, showed her the picture of an endoscope, so less than thrilled. I thought she knew.

 

Btw, on the subject of running, I was at my club last week. I have been twice before and went out with the middle speed group for training. The fastest of them was as fast as me, most of the time, but on the hill runs I ended up lapping some backmarkers. This is not what I need to push myself. I was a bit scared of going for the fast group as I thought they’d make mince meat of me. Anyway they were one group leader down for the middle group, so they had too many people, they asked if anyone would like to train with the fast group instead. I took it as my cue and went for it. I was in the top 4 of that group. I ‘won’ one of the 1 minute sprints (2 minute recovery jog, and repeat).

Then on the jog back to the gym from which we started I was talking about wanting to build speed for a marathon. Some other chap butted in, asked me about my times and target, then said I should aim for a 3.15 marathon, then try faster later. Obviously I immediately vowed to redouble my efforts and get a sub 3. 

(Day after. Tuesday)

I’ve changed my strategy, yet again. If I can maintain a 6.45 m/m pace for the full 26.2 miles, that’s 3 hours. I’m not doing their plan. I’ve set myself an hour’s run on the tready at marathon pace. After 3 miles my breathing goes to tits and I have to stop, but I’ve sussed out that if I take a few minutes breather I can carry on for at least another mile. Breather, mile.This is training my body to be tired but continue. Yesterday I started out on the new plan. I ran 3 miles, then had to take 3 minutes, ran again. I ended up doing 6½ miles (after warm up) in an hour. Today I ran 2½ miles on tired legs then had to pause. I rested my hand on the control panel and cocked the machine up. Even though I turned it off and on again it insisted on raising itself to full elevation then lowering itself fully before it would let me restart. I lost 4 minutes pissing about with that. I set back to it with a vengeance. I thought I’d best do 10.05 minutes (a mile and a half) to round it up to a mile again. After running for 4 minutes and thinking it was too easy I looked at my chart (6 m/m = 16.1 kph, the tready shows it in kph, I work in m/m) and thought I’d set it too slow. I upped the pace and battered it for another 8 minutes even though it nearly killed me, to make up for the 4 slow minutes. Then I realised I was right the first time, I’d upped it to halfway between 6 and 6½ m/m, not 6½ and 7. Balls. So I’d just run a mile and a quarter on knackered legs, second attempt, at 6.15 m/m pace. Ace.

Anyway, pause/run, I managed 7¼ miles. That was with losing a few minutes to the tready and cocking my pacing up.  My plan is to go as long as I can in the first run, take a break then run again. Quickly adjust to the pace and breathing, take shorter breaks and longer sessions until I’m good for a solid hour. When I can do an hour I can extend it. By then my legs and breathing should have adjusted. I’ve got the stamina for going long, I just need the speed.

Wendy went for her MRI today. No dramas. The receptionist said they’d send the results off to the consultant, but being so close to the hols, it would probably be new year before Wendy hears anything. Then it will be just another appointment with the consultant. If the MRI was clear, then he can arrange a date for surgery. If not it’s an endoscopy and showing things down to clear the obstructions first. Possibly another wait for a confirmation MRI, another appointment, then surgery. It’s bloody long winded. Poor sausage.

 

Work have just texted me, I’m back in tomorrow at 1300. This means a good lie-in (had to be up early to go to the hospital today) and chance for another hour on the tready before work. It’s too damned noisy to use except in the middle of the day. If I could do an hour a day though I reckon I’d soon batter this challenge. My mistake before, I now think, was trying to do 3 mad fast miles, not achieving it, then stopping. And just doing long, moderate runs. Fast enough, and keep going after each stop. That should turn defeat into progress.

Hopefully, after the xmas rush, I’ll be able to set my start time at work. If I can do an early start then I should be able to do an hour a day, most days.

I am going to crack 3 hours in April if it kills me.

 

Anyway, enough of my waffling, let’s see what delights the Twittersphere has to offer:

 

The DMreporter had:

NIGEL FARAGE: “Rest in peace Nelson Mandela – political prisoner, freedom fighter, president of Bongo Bongo Land.”

CAMERON: “Maggie didn’t mean ‘terrorist’ like that. She meant it in a ‘revolutionary hero, inspiration to us all’ kind of way.”

ED BALLS: “Nelson Mandela.”

NICK CLEGG: “…and I’m here too.”

FINANANCE: 2nd Computer glitch sees Natwest and RBS empty customers bank accounts again. A spokesman said “don’t fuck with us, bitches.”

CELEBRITY: “I am Cliff Richard’s secret son” says man. Who wants to be the first to tell him?

 

In politics/ tory scum we had:

Osborne confirms 2018 target for complete removal of empathy for poor and disabled #autumnstatement

There’s something gruesomely fascinating about watching a millionaire with his hand in the till tell everyone else to be poorer. #AS2013

"I’ve noticed that you might live a little longer. I’ve decided to celebrate this fact by making you work for that extra bit of time."

IFS questions Labour’s claim on working people being £1,600 worse off under Cameron. Concludes it is "not misleading" http://www.ifs.org.uk/budgets/as2013/as2013_david.pdf …

"I’ve never voted Tory before but…

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I’m sad to say that at my NHS practice if we have a patient who has unexplained symptoms, we have started asking if they can afford to eat

BBC News – Most people classed as being in poverty ‘have job’ http://bbc.in/18LOyjq

The MPS pay rise of £7,600 is more than double what we give an unemployed adult to live on for a year

MPs pay rise 11% http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25287108 … after they backed a welfare benefit rise of 1% http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21136520 …

Say what you like about Michael Gove. I’ll start: he’s a twat.

Weekly income after tax: MP: £1015 FT firefighter: £367 FT living wage: £259 FT min wage: £227 Income support: £71 All in it together…?

In 1977 MPs earnings were nearly £3000 more than nurses. Today MPs earnings are £45,000 more than nurses.

MPs wages should be paid pegged at a ratio of the minimum wage – that way any MP pay rise would also be linked to any min wage rise.

Our MPs need an 11% pay rise to stop them committing expenses fraud Apparently. Whilst unemployed risk jail and lose their homes. #newsnight

Parliament has the power to freeze the pay of the whole public sector including teachers, soldiers and the whole NHS but not MPs. Funny that

in the austerity years after WWII, the welfare state was created, new homes were built, NHS started. Tories against it then and now

Perhaps we could try making our politicians as inspiring and selfless as Nelson Mandela by imprisoning them for 27 years.

£40m written off in computing costs for implementing UK welfare scheme Universal Credit – @DWPgovuk‘s IDS confirms http://bbc.in/J7tnN9

£40 million! Written off! AND THEY CUT BENEFITS scum of the earth

George Osborne’s claim that households are better off is ‘inconceivable’, says independent financial watchdog http://fw.to/ebWhkpW

THE REAL REASON FOR AUSTERITY. The corrupt thinking behind the Cameron Governments austerity policies.

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IDS ignores only 0.7% of DWP budget defrauded(errors 1.3%) because doesn’t fit nasty agenda. HMRC would kill for those stats

 

And favest of faves, General:

A bit of a Nigella theme still:

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"I did not have a drug problem," she told the court. "I had a life problem." SAY NO TO LIFE KIDS

‘Kin ‘ell. She’s changed her tune an’t she

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(To which someone wittily replied: “Fake!”)

 

 

How’s this for a response to a complaint? Bravo:

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When someone demands "Do you love this country?" the accurate answer is almost always "I love the parts you’re trying to destroy"

Hate being on this motorway. Really windy and rainy. Stressing me out telling my chap how to drive

Mrs worried I’m going to die, as a lorry diver already has today. Told her it’s rare, once in a lifetime in fact.

There are two types of person in the world: people who love Sepp Blatter and people who aren’t Sepp Blatter.

Nelson Mandella was the obvious other theme for the week;

In 1986 during Apartheid, the city of Glasgow invented trolling by renaming the street in front of the SA Consultate "Nelson Mandela Place."

Me: It’s very sad, Nelson Mandela is dead. Charlotte (age 6): Was he a very *good* footballer?

From the archives: A group of UK Mandela supporters discuss approaches to combating apartheid.

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Miliband reminds MPs Mandela went to Labour(not Con or Lib Dem) conference. Called himself unemployed pensioner with criminal record!

 

Just made myself giggle by whispering "don’t cross the streams!" as I squirted bleach into the sink. I’m so alone

Pulling an industrial carpet cleaner through Wandsworth, like a shoot for a really low-budget remake of No Country For Old Men.

This is still my new favourite cat photo

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Watching Graham Norton & not expecting to see Cliff Richard. I feel violated

Christmas: Where western Christians celebrate a Jewish dudes birthday under a Pagan tree by receiving gifts from a fat German trespasser

Guardian saying post Mandella Right whitewashing historical support of racial segregation. #DontMentionIsrael

Netanyahu says going to Mandela memorial too expensive

I’ve become momentarily interested in the positioning of eggs in supermarkets and convenience stores. There are no rules for this.

I frequently find myself wandering around thinking “where are the fucking eggs?”

Obama caught in a big lie:

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Obama disagrees w/Pope on birth control. GOP: "WAR ON RELIGION!" Obama agrees w/Pope on income inequality. GOP: "THEY’RE SOCIALISTS!"

Not only did Obama shake Castro’s hand, lip readers confirmed that he whispered: "our socialist takeover of the US is complete *evil laugh*"

Iggy Pop’s full name is Iguana Popadopoulos.

You’ve got to love Yorkshire…..

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Edward Snowden voted Guardian person of the year 2013

1: Connect sewing machine to polygraph test 2: Lie repeatedly 3: Describe new jumper as a fabric of lies 4: Laugh forever

Four stars. ‘MURDOCH IS EVIL’ message appears in kids puzzle page of @RupertMurdoch‘s Sunday Telegraph

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Charlize is sitting beside Bono. Her face says it all.

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Well, I got the lights put up.

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Saw this image of London as it would have looked if the Thames barrier wasn’t in place for last week’s floods;

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I suggested we scrap the barrier and leave London to ‘managed decline’. Oh sorry, that only works for Northern towns.

And with that shock revelation,

toodles,

Buck.

New beginning.

I’ve finally taken the plunge. I don’t know if you remember I was looking at driving for Hermes 2 years ago. I went for the interview but was too nervous on the assessment. At the time I really wanted the job; straight trunking, no messing with the load, there and back, job’s a good ‘un. It was £9.75 ish then time and a third after 8 hours. Supposed to be the easiest driving job going.

Anyway, after the last time Ceva got rid of me (a few weeks ago) I kept my eyes open for Hermes jobs. A different agency to mine advertised the job so I applied. Ceva found me a different job and I’ve been doing 4 days a week doing crappy local deliveries of unstable loads of newspapers and magazines. Typically the new agency announced that Hermes were having an induction on one of my working days.

I was considering blagging the agency, so I could check out Hermes but then I realised I’d have to use my digicard in any driving assessment so Ceva would know what I’d been doing. Bugger.

Called the agency and told them I wouldn’t be available. You’ll recall I am a ‘self-employed sub-contractor’ when it suits, ie, I am my own boss in theory, so it’s up to me when I want to work.

Ha!

Got loads of attitude. First off “Why can’t you work tomorrow?” (None of your damn business, see ‘self-employed’ dickhead!) Quick backtrack when I said I was trying for another job.

Then he rang his boss, who called me.

“I thought you were happy at Ceva? They’ve tried really hard to find you work, etc” The job needed doing, I was just someone they could trust to do it. I’ve been there nearly two years and I’m still a de facto agency worker, I’ve been binned three or four times. The deal is solely in their favour.

“Who are you working for? Is it through another agency? They are just taking you on for xmas, you’ll be binned in new year. How long is the induction? Why are you not getting paid for it?”

I said that I did that 8+ hours induction at Iceland on the understanding I would get paid for it, not got a penny. *bluster, bluster* “Yes you did, errr, I’ll check it out and get back to you tomorrow.” I didn’t. He hasn’t.

 

So that was all fun and games before I’d even been to the induction. I turned up at 11.30 as per agency instructions, sat around for a bit, then the HR woman (Paula) showed up. I said I was early. She agreed. “The induction’s not until 14.30. Come back later. Btw, can you drive tonight?” Errrr, ok.

Back home, try again later.

Second time I went and did the induction. They’ve changed the criteria and the process. It used to be ‘driving license, some experience’ and a driving assessment.  Now it’s two years driving experience and being buddied up for a day with an existing driver. They show you the ropes and presumably give a quiet word on whether you’re up to scratch.

I was OK on the induction, I got home,  and Paula rang me, “You’ve driven before, right? Good, can you start tomorrow?”

No buddy, here’s the keys, get on with it. Suits me.

I rang my old agency after the induction, btw, to tell them the score. I asked if they wanted me to finish the week at Ceva. “No. They don’t want you back.”  *sigh* Divas.

My first day was just doing local runs from Appleton Warrington to the new base (that is not quite operational yet) at Burtonwood Warrington. This is something else in this job’s favour. They are moving into the new base in March. It’s across the motorway from Ikea/ other side of the slip from the services. Which is to say, just under 2½ miles from our house! Epic win!

My second day was a run to Crewe and back, then Sheffield and back. Easy life.

Sunday they wanted me in at 1630. Bah. Not keen but I want to keep my head above the parapet so when the January lull starts I am at the top of the list. They assure me that there is no lull in their operation and they can keep me in work, but it does no harm.  I got in and they gave me the paperwork.

Maidstone.

In Kent. 

The far side of London.

234 miles.

In a truck that does 54 mph.

When you’ve only got 4½ hours driving time by law.

OK, no pressure.

You have a spare hour by law, but after 4½ hours you have to take a 45 minute break. They wanted me there by 2200. I got my truck, found my trailer and set off by 1710. The M6 was slow for the first 4 or 5 junctions, but I thought I might just scrape in. Then some Southern crashy bastards closed the M1. Ace. It took me nearly an hour to do 2 miles. Then I had to take my break. I didn’t get in to Maidstone until 2355. Then I had to take another 45 minutes break to clear the clock for a desperate race back. I started off at 0105 on Sunday night/ Monday morning (no traffic at all) went through the Dartford toll and the M6 toll to keep it as quick as possible and made it back in 4 hours 26.

Bloody hell, I hope I don’t get that run too often. I was talking to another driver before I left the yard, he said he’d done it twice and both times had run out of hours and had needed rescuing.

All in all it meant I got to bed at 0815 on Monday, then I woke up 4½ hours later feeling like death. I spent the rest of the day doing a thousand yard stare and waiting for bedtime. That was my day off. Today I’m off again and can actually enjoy it.

The other thing with this job, I’m back on PAYE! Holiday pay, no need for an accountant, paying my taxes like a good Socialist.

I was talking to a driver at the induction, he has his own truck, he was saying as self-employed I should pay £80 and turn myself into a limited company, that way the first £34K is tax deductible, or something. The Ltd Co (BucktheTruck Ltd)  makes the money, then pays me, the director, a wage that is a tax break, after paying me, the shareholder, a tax deductible dividend. Not sure how it works, but it seems that taxes are optional for even the poorer tory bastard.

This leaves me with the moral quandary: do I want more money or to pay tax? Obviously no-one wants to pay tax, but as a good Socialist I have to recognise that that there are shitloads of people who are worse off than me who need the state’s safety net, and someone has to pay for it. Look at Wendy’s ongoing drain on the NHS coffers. She’s a productive and worthy contributor to the state and society in her work, but we would be totally screwed if we had to pay for her MRI and surgery. You could cite the American system of private health insurance, but apparently they won’t insure people with pre-existing medical conditions. 

In other words, do I do what’s right or what’s profitable?

For now at least I’m happy to do what’s right, but the temptation is there.

 

I joined that running club, btw. I thought I’d already mentioned that. I’ll have to have a look to see if a blog entry has got saved to drafts instead of published.

Anyway, assuming it got lost, running club.

I finally got to go 3 weeks ago. (I’m sure I’ve blogged since then, where is it?)

They had us doing silly warm up exercises, skipping and such, I felt my tendon tightening straight away, the one that buggered up when I tried to swap to those natural running trainers. Worrying. Then we were doing sprint intervals. I put myself in the middle ability group. I don’t think they are going to stretch me, tbh.

The first week I wasn’t sure, the second week we were doing hill sprints. I ended up lapping some of the back markers, then leading the field. This is not what I want, I want to be struggling to match my betters. Again, it’s about pushing the envelope of what’s comfortable.  A point of note, I’ve done a 50 mile race and limped away without injury. I did the first night with my running club and got ‘runner’s knee’. Which is a pain in the side of the knee, usually caused by over-training, over-pronation and/ or hill work. Typical.

Also (again), I’ve found myself sounding like a bragger. I just assumed in a running club everyone would be full-on runners. Some guys were talking about a hilly 10k run, so I asked if they’d done the Bolton Hill Marathon. Frosty “no”.

It seems the level seems to be about half marathon from the few race t-shirts. I honestly didn’t think a marathon was a big deal, it’s just running. That is what you expect people at run clubs to do. It’s kind of their raison d’etre.

I always think that if  I can do it, any able bodied person can. I am constantly surprised that people haven’t done so, better. I’m just a fat old duffer who has a bit of grit.

Partly that’s because of Twitter. There you get to meet people who are fanatics and who would shame me at any race. I no longer think the achievement is in completing any given distance, it’s the getting a good time that is impressive. I can see, thinking about it, how that would piss someone off if they were killing themselves trying to complete a 10k.

However, my glorious plans are shattering like china before the onslaught of the bull of reality. I’ve still not managed the 3 miles at 6 m/m. And my training is getting more infrequent with this new gig. It might be partly the stress of the transition, and the getting up at 0455, but I’ve had nothing in me at night.

Just got a text, back in work tomorrow, 1200. Not ideal, but at least I won’t be knackered.

Had a quick break and tried to do a fast 3 miles. Well, fast for me, to equal my PB time for the distance, 6.15 m/m. I managed 7.44 minutes then cracked like an egg. Shockingly bad. I think it must be down to mental toughness. My pulse was 163, my legs were OK, my breathing was ragged and I was dying from the heat in the house, but I think physically I could have carried on. It’s just down to me listening to the voice that is screaming “STOP, FFS!” I have to ignore it and man up.

Whilst in the shower I’ve formulated a new plan. I’m going to set it at 6.30 and do a minimum of 5 miles, more if possible. Then keep upping the distance. If I can run 10 miles at 6.30, surely I can do 3 at 6.00. Also, this is the one thing that is holding up my training plan, getting the 3 miles at 6 m/m. If I can run a consistent marathon at 6.30 that would be 2.50:18, which would be better than awesome.

Right, can’t wait to get stuck into that. I have my running club tonight, so it will have to wait, but that doesn’t seem as downright impossible as the 3x 6 m/m is proving. I did the beastly training run off the schedule, 10 minutes warm up, 3 minutes rest, (1 mile sprint, 3 min rest) x 4 , 10 minute warm down. I thought it was going to be hellish. How wrong I was. Hell is where you go for your holidays after that.

I managed some reasonable times though, about 6.18 –6.28. I thought my watch automatically paused when you did, turns out that’s an opt-in feature. So my figures were taken from the graph it provides online, hence a bit rough. It was taking the 3 minutes rests into my m/m times. One thing that made me laugh, heart rate peaked at 189 bpm, or 102% of max. No lack of effort, but a serious maths fail.

 

Yes, that’s the way forward. I can manage 6.30 m/m, build up the distance at that pace, try and slot in what training I can from the plan around it. And aim for a 20+ mile run each weekend.

Watch this space for boring details.

 

Wendy is in for her MRI next Tuesday. So it’s going to be the New Year before she gets her guts chopped out. Assuming they get their shit together and decide to operate.

 

Right, enough waffle, time to rob everyone else’s wit to liven my blog, hello Twitter.

 

As ever we start with the DMreporter:

RELIGION: ‘The Church could be extinct within a generation’ warns ex-Archbishop ‘now that Google have banned all our popular search terms…’

HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY: Suspect in slavery case has leftwing history, thus proving everything we’ve ever suspected about the socialist threat.

PRESS: Daily Mail Australia to launch in 2014. Expect extensive coverage on the plight of the bullied British ex-pat by racist natives.

BREAKING Sectarianism & Homophobia immediately cease in Glasgow as city unites against Westboro Baptist Church.

 

Then (boo hiss) it’s politics/ Tory scum:

The PM will host a "hunger summit" at 10 Downing Street, with African leaders, While 500,000 people are being fed by the Red Cross in the UK

If we needed a Thatcher museum the private sector would have provided one

Maggie Thatcher’s £12m mansion was registered in a tax haven to avoid inheritance tax – God she loved this country.

£1 a week off my energy bill and on my tax bill. Haven’t been so excited about a new govt policy since the cones hotline

 

And finally, everyone’s favourite, General:

So it’s International Men’s Day, eh? HOW COME THERE’S NO INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY?? #misandry #confused

Men’s Day, so I’m off to be manly. Mainly checking my privilege and being condescending to the little ladies. (That means to talk down to.)

due to its popularity International Men’s Day has been extended indefinitely and will be renamed "human history"

The Sun admits ‘600,000 benefit tourists’ story was ‘not accurate’ & ‘has no evidence’, prints correction (on p.2)

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James Arthur isn’t homophobic, it was just part of rap dissing. Does he use racism when dissing? No. That would be racist.

No, no, no the position is all wrong. Seats too high!  <<No helmet. Yoof of today.

 

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Undeniably accurate

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We’ve hired Craig David to do some interviews for us. He met this girl on Monday. She’s filed an official complaint today.

This could be my favourite lecture slide ever. If male avatars were designed like the worst female examples

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Arnold Schwarzenegger taking ballet lessons, c. 1977

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Facebook eejits.

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I’m still rubbish at Venn diagrams. I really don’t get them. :/

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#VIRGO: People should know how you feel. And considering that actions speak louder than words, KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL!

Top tip for newspaper hacks, save money on expensive ink by replacing "killer snowrmageddon death freeze" with "winter". You’re welcome.

Look, my problem with the rich, is they cluster in little communities, won’t integrate & expect us to adapt to their customs.

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“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room"

Asked on live malaysian TV what I thought about terrorism. Told them at length. Later realised they’d asked me about tourism.

In loud German bar, German asks "Do you like the Fuhrer?" I did finger mustache and salute, "The Fuhrer?" "THE CURE." (Band) *dies*

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Ladies, beware of carrying your beige coloured neck pillow in an unflattering manner

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I’d suggest that a good time for Scottish people to decide how the Union is working for them is while they’re freezing to death this winter

Unfortunate typo of the day..

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Relationship status… Hugging the radiator

Eye 1354, heading for shops and subscribers now

if my dad was Nigel Lawson and I was married to Charles Saatchi, I’d eat ketamine for breakfast

My cat is sad because he is thinking about the tough, weatherbeaten lives of 19th Century Scottish fishermen.

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Energy companies see profits rise by 75% in a year. Increasing profits by pushing more and more people into poverty.

Gunners were the first professional arm of the British Army. This was no place for gentlemen amateurs.

A stunningly honest piece from an ex-friend of Ian Watkins. Remember these things apply to all sex offenders

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/shookdown/2013/11/_this_is_ian_watkins.php

Jesus. Woman on radio 2, one of the victims of the Catholic church. Slave labour, they sold her baby for US adoption… #fuckinghell

I guess my least favorite author is probably Hitler

The thing they don’t mention about GTA is you don’t HAVE to murder prostitutes (or postmen, cows etc.) You can also do yoga/buy shoes.

remember when ethnic cleansing was bad mt @RaniaKhalek Israeli govt to evict 60,000+Arab citizens to make room for Jewish only neighborhoods

This man..

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RECREATE the excitement of a Grand Prix by painting a wall, watching it dry, then handing Sebastian Vettel some champagne.

I am told that death is the new forty.

Girl: Babe come see me I miss you

Me: Can’t someone broke my bike

Girl: I’m horny

Me:

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Dear Santa Yeah I’ve been naughty this year and it was worth it you fat, judgemental bastard

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5yo: Dad, I really really love the Smiths.

Me*wells up*: really?

5yo: ..

Me ..

5yo: ..

Me: you’re talking about the Smurfs, aren’t you.

 

Tom Daley has a boyfriend

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Avoid the horror of your children’s bedtime, by simply using a condom 6 years before it’s time for them to go to sleep.

And with that, toodles.

Buck.