Archive for January, 2015

Stand down. Panic over.

After them telling me there was no work for me this week, and me therefore being all responsible and frugal and shit so not going to extra Karate classes on my days off, they called me in today, (Thursday) so that’s 2 shifts. They want me to go in tomorrow to do my store training then do a run for them. 3 shifts. Possibly do a shift on Saturday. 4 Shifts.

The trainer guy saw me today and said they usually have a lull of about 3 weeks, then the new season stock starts kicking in and they pick up again.  Also, from tomorrow I’ll be store trained so that adds loads of extra work that I can do. The other driver who started the same time as me, but has somehow managed to get himself signed off as store trained, was on for 6 shifts this week!

The long and short of which being, I can hang in here and wait for a proper job, I don’t have to go back to the thrice damned Hermes. Possibly still make some fairly good money while I’m waiting. 3 shifts a week would be enough to see us comfortably through. And if the lull is as short as the trainer said, I would be willing to take one for the team and put my feet up. I’m a giver.

The downside for this week being that I didn’t go to extra Karate lessons, now I can’t make Friday’s and it’s doubtful I’ll get to Saturday’s. A week’s training wasted.

Still, money is money. I can’t say no. And I’m off Sunday for sure, so I can go to that lesson and pick up my gi, gloves and training mitts. There will be pics. If I can get my girth into a single frame.

So, as you were.


PS, just found out how to nick GIF’s.

This is hilarious.


Another quick update.

Everything was going swimmingly, paying the card off, gone from £5K down to £2K, paid for washer and dryer this month, paid £379 for the car repairs and still paid nearly £600 off it. We were hoping to pay it off by the end of February.

I’ve joined a Karate club, (Still to pay the £60 for Gi, year’s insurance, membership) and ordered some MMA gloves and and pads (£59) plus there’s the £36 per month lessons fee. There was no work on Sunday for the last two weeks, but the first time I got an additional Friday shift to cover it. I only got a four day week last week. No Sunday again this week, I went in and did my Monday shift, at the end of which I asked for my start time for the next day as usual. Nothing for Tuesday. Oh. Or Wednesday. Thursday, Friday or Saturday!


A one day week is no use to me.

The thing is the trunking work is dying off as it’s the slack period and I’ve not been trained for stores yet. It’s just a matter of signing me off on the tail lift operation, (which I’ve been using daily as part of my checks) and showing me how to use the scanner thing for checking out deliveries.

I rang the office a few time on Tuesday, finally getting through. As luck would have it, it was the driver trainer who eventually picked up, I said I’d only got one shift due to not being store trained, so he’s going to show me and sign me off on Friday.

I’m taking this week as a break then, which is to say, training like a bastard on my Karate and the stretching drills of that sadistic little girl from YouTube and getting back to the sax. Screw the neighbours, what have they ever done for me?

I’ll see if I get more work next week with the store training. If not I’ll see if they are going to take me on. If that option fails as well, then I’m getting a new job. Hermes looks to still be recruiting. That would be a last resort, and as I’ve already left them twice they might not have me anyway.

Yeah, I’ve just looked again. There are agency jobs “guaranteeing” a minimum of 4 shifts per week, or 5/6 shifts per fortnight (for Hermes.)

We’ll not starve but I’m hopeful this could still work out. This is a foot in the door to a full time job, there’s not a whole lot of that about in this gig.


Oh, and I’m back on my diet. Which sucks big time.




Quick update

Not an awful lot has happened since last night, but I’m feeling good so I’ll make a note.

First off, my toe. It was throbbing last night, I thought I might have got some crap into it, but it’s been OK today.


As you can see, not pretty but not infected.

I was practising some punches and kicks earlier and found that although I can still kick to the top of my head height to the front, my round kicks and side kicks were poor through lack of flexibility. I went online to see if there were any good stretching drills. Is stumbled across this on youtube

“How to do middle splits in one day!”

Yeah, that was happening. “I did it in one day when I was a six year old girl” You were six, love. And a girl. I’m a fat, stiff, 48 year old bloke.

Anyway, that part aside, it is a real breakthrough in training. I’ve read that Russian gymnasts increase flexibility by tensing against the stretch then relaxing further into it. This technique is precisely that but in a simplified form.

The girl/ young woman teaching it looks like a pleasant enough sort, if severely undernourished (5 stone, piss wet) but it turns out she is actually the spawn of Satan. MY LEGS!

But I must have gained at least three inches on my stretch in one session. Even if I could carry on and stretch down to a full splits in one day I think I’d have to tear something in the process. I can’t see your tendons having an extra foot of ‘give’ in them. It think it will be a steady progression but I can really see it working. If I can loosen my hips up and stretch to full-on side splits my kicks will be awesome!

After my initial lukewarm appraisal of this Karate class I am now properly excited (after the second class) and itching for my toe to heal so I can get back to it. This could be good. If I can just stick to it. My perennial problem of fading interest.

And I’ve started meditating. Or tried. You’d think I’d have a head start when it comes to clearing your mind of thoughts, but no, bloody hard work. I’ve ordered a book on it.

And a badge with the Chinese symbols for Serenity. That’s more to do with the film Serenity (and the series Firefly) than the meditation, but what the hey. Couldn’t find one that said “Serenity My Arse”.  Thought of that as martial arts version of the old thug knuckle tattoos: ‘love’ and ‘hate’. Have the Chinese symbols for “Serenity” on one foot, and ‘My Arse’ on the other. Filled with flaws as a plan. Having to take my shoes and socks off to intimidate people, then having to translate, it’s just a nightmare.

Right, off again.

Just setting a date for starting my stretching really. Arbitrarily going to say ‘this time next month, full on splits”. I’m doing sit ups and press ups as soon as I get out of bed each day (adding one per day) and 20 of each before I go to bed, seems I have to try and fit in two meditation session per day, a run whenever possible, and a daily stretching routine. My time is getting filled.



Fighting fit.

I’m back! Back to Karate. Of sorts.

The first lesson I was hugely disappointed. I chose this club because it’s run on 6 nights out of 7, so I can fit it in around my shifts. Originally I was looking for Lau Gar Kung Fu, it’s one of the original Shaolin temple styles of Kung Fu. Massively impractical but *so* cool!

There are no classes in Warrington, nor any in the North West that run often enough for my hit and miss days off. I think Wing Chun Kung Fu is probably the most practical, but that needs constant practice with a skilled partner.

So I went back to Karate. Set drills (kata) proper gym (dojo) discipline, rigid learning routines. Perfect for me as that is how I learn, constant repetition of the same moves and being able to practice them at home.

I went to the first lesson and one of the instructors (sensei) gave me one-on-one instruction for the whole hour, giving me a taste of what’s involved in this school of Karate. First off, it’s not kata based. That is something you learn but only as a sideline. Secondly, they have taken on the modern trend towards Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). There was a section on stand up wrestling, some drills doing kick-boxing’s ‘flying knee’ and some boxing punches! So not impressed. One thing in particular, the knee drills, we were stood inches apart, hand around each other’s head, straining against the other’s grip. This gave you great purchase so you could pull down and knee up that same time. My concern was if you do that the other person is just going to butt you down.

I consoled myself by thinking that it’s the only game in town for me (that fits my shifts at the minute), and by thinking of the adage “There are no bad martial arts, just bad martial artists.” Any black belt martial artist should be able to knock the shit out of a street brawler.

I wasn’t best pleased though.

I went again today and it was ‘all change’.

The club is a family affair. The black belt sons took the first lesson I attended, the 8th Dan black belt dad took today’s. More like it! The lesson was all about putting your hip into different punches, smacking the punch out and instantly returning your hands to nearly touching either side of your head. Then on to kicks to pads and the knee again. This time, in a more natural scenario the drill from yesterday made sense. You are not standing face to face, as you do the move in a proper environment you’re grabbing their head and pulling it down, they have no chance to butt you. That was reassuring, I’ve been put on my arse, fight over, twice by sneaky headbutts, I didn’t want to train in a way that would leave me open to it again. The last time I did Karate I think the sensei had been butted. Every lesson we practised breaking the grip of the headbutt grab, following through with both thumbs to the eyes, using their momentum to plunge your thumbs in. Nasty, but hey, don’t butt people.

Today’s lesson was a hoot. Proper fight training. The trend towards MMA can be seen as natural evolution. Shaolin Kung Fu was brought to Japan and interpreted as Karate, TaeKwonDo is a Korean interpretation of Karate, Wing Chun was created to beat the Shaolin styles. Whatever wins in fights survives.

So, although not my memory or expectation of Karate, it looks to be a practical martial art. One downside of today though, the constant twisting to throw your hip in to every move has torn a big chunk off the underside of my big toe. No running today then. Nor Karate tomorrow as I let it heal.


Still not splashed out on the bike. Observe my iron will.*grumpy face*

But here is our new washing machine:

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And dryer:

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That was the sound of the bottom of the barrel being scraped. My blog has finally reached it’s official nadir.


Work is getting a bit slack. The second week of no Sunday shift.

Some good news for my sister, Lisa. She opened her new cafe on Friday. I reckon she could coin it in there. All the office wallahs have been sending out for sandwiches at dinnertime for forever (they were doing it when I was there which was years and years back) because the cafe was minging. And going for overpriced coffees at the corporate coffee shops. Walking out past the existing cafe to do coffee and butty runs. Our Lisa can make decent food and they have been gifted a £4,500 proper bee’s-knees, dog’s bollocks, coffee machine. I reckon they’ll make a killing on that alone. They were having a guy flying in from Italy to give them barista training on it!

That was on Friday, a freebie day just getting their presence felt. They open for business on Monday. I’ve already mentioned I want a Harley. *dibs*

Got the car back from the garage. £379! Bastard front suspension shot on one side, bit iffy on the other. I reckon it’s the brutal speed bumps around here. At least I’ve got my headlights fixed now so I can drive at night without dazzling everyone.


But what of Twitter?

OK, here it is:


DMreporter had:

PRINCE ANDREW ALLEGATIONS: Revealed – nothing, actually. Nothing at all. Almost as if the Royal Family are protected under secrecy laws.

SPORT: Oldham confirms that they will be playing with a 4-4-2-Rapist formation next season.

PETER HITCHENS: ‘You know who the real victims of the Paris attacks were? Nigel Farage and Princess Diana.’

CAMERON: "In the name of free speech, to preserve free speech… we must constrain free speech."

CAMERON: "I have plans to make all envelopes transparent and all phones fitted with loudspeakers. It’s the only way to ensure free speech."

HEALTH: We get two sentences into an article about mastectomies before we capitalise BOOBS and use the words ‘flaunting’ and ‘assets.’ Win.

BREAKING: Smoke detected in Channel Tunnel. We ask, which terrorist organisation is almost certainly responsible and how long until you die?

STOCK IMAGE: “Just drink this apple juice” they said. “It’ll probably never be seen” they said.

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• 10,000 dead

• Localised ice age hits Wales

• Grit traded on stock exchange

• Another centimetre expected at lunch.




In Politics/Tory Scum we had:

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According to the Telegraph, Labour plans to hit "middle-class workers". They mean people earning over £150,000 a year. The top 1% of earners

When my sis died in a work house from TB in 1926 my family learned that if only the rich can afford health care the poor die miserably #NHS

British rebelliousness

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Statue honouring Margaret Thatcher unveiled in the Falklands

8,000 miles away is prob min safe distance for a Maggie statue.

Ukip councillor fired for allegedly saying she has a ‘problem with negroes’

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Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grudzinski .. wait!, what!??? #ukip

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Every time someone criticises ‘the politics of envy’ remember to switch if round and read as them advocating ‘everyone knowing their place’.

#UKIP election flyer says that benefits claimants should have their cars removed!

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And of course, General:

Big dog:

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Thinking about stat: US prison population up 800% since start of war on drugs. A: doubled every 13 years, B: Clearly winning that war.

I just found out my mum didn’t know how to set the clock on their new microwave. So they stayed up until midnight & then plugged it in

Pinot: [holds up wineglass] Pinot Noir: [holds up wineglass in trenchcoat. It was a rainy night. the kind of night that asks a man who he is

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The Viz:

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Usual post Muslim atrocity tweet; I remember when the IRA were killing us like flies and we sent all the white xtians back to Xtianistan.

So the Americans are up, and explaining that guns would have helped against rocket launchers, which is why they have no mass shootings.

Nice to see the yanks leap on a terrorist attack to "prove" that gun control doesn’t work. Tell it to your monthly high school dead.

Atheism: Nothing to kill for and we’re ok with that.

It’s 10 degrees here in the Bible Belt so I’m walking up to people shouting WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW?

Hey mother in law…. Don’t tell me how to raise my kids. Im still trying to raise yours.

I’m going with 24 hours.

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Devon farmer forced to cull aggressive Nazi-bred cows.

Fucking Nazi cows. I hate Nazi cows. It’s the final solution for you.

Girl (tucking into her veggie option in a cafe in town): These potatoes are amazing. What’s your secret? Cafe owner (proudly): Goose fat.

pizza, that well known instrument of political islam

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(To which I replied)

Heard today one of the terror suspects was a former pizza delivery guy. Coincidence? I think not! #jihadipizza

First they radicalised us with their jihadi pizza and I said nothing because I like pizza…

(guy replied)

I recently ordered a pizza from some non-regulation-skin-tone sorts and it had a mosque in it. people need to wake up


What if god was one of us, just a stranger on the bus, what if god is the bus driver, what if god is chasing you with a bus

If you pet a cat against the grain they will slowly build up enough static to float away. *shadowing eyes with hand* Godspeed Mittens.

Saw a crow struggling north against the wind. It gave up, turned round and rocketed southwards, experiencing some turbulence.

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All I hear is our elites crying about difficult economic times & how the people must tighten their belts.

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Trying to beat the philosophy out of this philosophy student. "But why?", he screams. This only makes me punch him harder.

A light-hearted moment from a children’s bible there

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terrorism has no religion

(I commented)

And atheism has no terrorism.

Charlier than thou

"O, for a Muse of Fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention." Henry V Prologue. #ShakespeareSunday

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I love how the word ‘kitchen’ looks like an actual kitchen. If you squint. And maybe take a small amount of lsd.

Fox news had a “terrorism expert” on who declared that Birmingham (UK) was a Muslim city that non-Muslims dare not enter. Twitter went into meltdown.

Residents of Stratford-upon-Avon are forced to speak in iambic pentameter. Those who fail to do so are fed to angry swans #foxnewsfacts

Milton Keynes was John Maynard Keynes’s younger brother. #FoxNewsFacts

There’s a type of yoghurt in Birmingham called Mullah Light. #FoxNewsFacts

The original name of the show was MiddleEastEnders. The BBC dropped the "Middle" to conceal its creeping sharia agenda. #foxnewsfacts

The Black Country was painted by locals following the new law made by The Rolling Stones when they came into power. #foxnewsfacts

Mecca Bingo doesn’t even try to hide where its profits are sent. #foxnewsfacts

The most accurate, direct translation of the true path to God in the Quran is ‘Down the Aston Expressway, chick, orright?’ #FoxNewsFacts

Cats are legal currency in Wales #FoxNewsFacts

the red panda in Birmingham’s celebrated Nature Centre is in fact a normal panda drenched in the blood of the infidel. #FoxNewsFacts

#foxnewsfacts Richard the third was buried under a car park as punishment for not correctly displaying a ticket.

If you are a non-muslim and would like to visit Birmingham #illridewithyou #FoxNewsFacts

Images of Christians entering Birmingham have emerged #foxnewsfacts

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Later tonight, we’ll be reporting on the start of Birmingham Fashion Week. #FoxNewsFacts

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Fox News confirm ‘Boots On The Ground’ in Birmingham. #foxnewsfacts

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In Manchester, a single guinea pig is worshipped as the sun god Ra. I don’t make the rules, k? #FoxNewsFacts

Andy Murray converted to Islam moments after winning Wimbledon in the Summer of 2013. #creepingsharia #FoxNewsFacts

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"Unlike the Middle East, they drive their camels on the left side of the road in Birmingham" #FoxNewsFacts

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Je suis Birmingham

You should have stuck to your biscuits, you’re good at that. You’re shite at news, Fox.

Birmingham – where even cars are forced to wear the burka. #FoxNewsFact

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The Downton Abbey dog called "Isis" was part of a sleeper cell according to security service sources #foxnewsfacts

#foxnewsfacts The Nazis were socialists ISIS is Islamic Rupert Murdoch is a lovely boss & in no way reminds us of an evil tortoise

Making it embarrassing to be American going to work tomorrow in Birmingham #foxnewsfacts

Convert to Islam, Bruce Forsyth, summoned to Birmingham Palace where Queen beheads him under Sharia Law #FoxNewsFacts

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Just how dangerous is this slide?

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American Cardinal says women are to blame when Catholic priests rape children:

[At interview] -On your cv you’ve put, "man of mystery" -Yes -Would you like to elaborate? –No

‘American Sniper’ is a big hit for Americans who fantasize about shooting Arabs but are afraid to go where Arabs shoot back.

Why did I leave my last job? *flashback to me running over a chicken with a lawnmower* Politics.

Our boss just banned overly specific nicknames and the whole office is staring at Rat Snitch Brian The Good Time Ruiner.

Resistance is futile.

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You can tell it’s the weekend in America when, instead of school shootings, there’s a mall shooting.

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Bit nippy in Scotland

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Gravity set too high >

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Eight mosques raised over £38,000 in just 6 weeks so Royal Preston Hospital can buy new lfe saving equipment …

‘Prince’ Andrew hires a top lawyer to fight child abuse claims. Put another way. You are all paying for a top lawyer to cover up his crimes

Ever seen a person being judged harder than I am being judged by this dog?????

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It’s not a selfie stick. It’s a narcissistick.

Last bit of this foreign language phrasebook app gets dark and it gets dark FAST.

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How to sneak chocolate into an American cinema

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Pro smoking (tobacco industry stooge) saying plain packaging doesn’t affect kids. Errrr…

That’s cold.

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Excellent work MI5 RIP #LeonBrittan

Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan has died aged 75 after a long battle with cancer… allegedly …

Leon Brittan =Dead tory scum. More please.

Fair point, not proven, if strongly suspected that Leon was a paedo, self confessed Tory. #diescumdie

First law of the internet: innocent until proven dead

Sad to hear about the timely death of Leon Brittan.

#LeonBrittan‘s funeral’s going to be a bit crowded, what with all the mourners, and the reporters, and the elephant in the room.

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The awful irony of this headline…

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I enjoyed Wolf Hall and haven’t yet spotted who’s the werewolf. No spoilers, but my guess is Cardinal Wolsey.

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Floggings, beheadings in public, no free speech or women’s rights. Let’s all pay our condolences to the Saudi Royal Family.

#Saudi: women receive 90 lashes for being raped. In the UK, flags were at half mast for #KingAbdullah.

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Who the f@ck thinks Abdullah was a "benevolent dictator."?

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Astonishing photo showing a man feeding a polar bear and his cubs with milk, Russia, late 1970s.

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And that’s me finally caught up!

Enough and more than.




I’ve just managed to drag myself away from a German website devoted to cafe racer-ing W650’s. Now that tax discs are no longer being issued you can buy vintage ones for decoration if you want. I’ve bought a May ‘66 one, registered in Hinckley (home of Triumph Bonneville, hehehehe), which got me thinking. You can buy very cheap (£12) custom pre 1973 black and silver number plates. Not road legal, of course. Just for *cough* ‘show’. *cough*

I’ve bought one!

When I replace the seat there will only be the tank badges (which apparently will pull off) left conspicuously saying Kawasaki. I’m going to run it like a 650 Bonneville cafe racer. I don’t care that it’s not, you have to trade authenticity for reliability. It’s going to be very hard to tell it apart from the real thing, so hopefully the coppers will let the ‘plate slide. Should I forget and ride it with old style ‘plate on. M’lud.

So after buying the plate and the tax disc I wanted to ditch the long mudguard and replace the seat. With a tail tidy I could transform it in one hit. It just means instead of the seat and back end looking like this:


they look like this:

tail tidy

The shape and the general tidiness, not necessarily the colour or that exact seat. In fact, that seems to be a BMW engine (curse you, Google images!), so not like that at all. But that’s what a tail tidy and cafe racer seat (with a black and silver number plate by coincidence) can look like.

Anyway, I was looking. And window shopping. And tracking down different styles. I found that German site again (all my saved links were lost when I had to reinstall Windows form scratch). It’s all to fit the W650 on that site, so no fannying around trying to make it fit.

Short mudguard €130

Seat €290

Nice new (louder) exhaust system €469

Progressive fork springs and oil (which is next on my list even thought it won’t alter the look. It will sharpen up the handling so no bouncing around on rough corners, less chance of crashing.)  € 150

Stiffer rear shocks € 240

Plus postage and package from Germany..

There’s £976 before P&P.


I want it all, and I want it now!

In the end I closed the site down and set to blogging instead.

We’ve just bought a washing machine, tumble dryer and soundbar for the telly, we still have £2.5K outstanding on the card, the car is having work done for the MOT, and we are fast approaching February, when work is supposed to drop off.

So I resisted. Reluctantly and begrudgingly. I hate being a grown up. *sigh*


Work has had an event, as well. The procedure when coupling up to a trailer, by the book, is to reverse to just before the trailer, stop, get out, check the trailer brake is on (it always is) check the unit is level with the trailer so the pin on the trailer will slot into the fifth wheel on the unit, get back in and reverse.

In practice, if you are in a rush, you can reverse under the trailer a bit, hit the ‘up’ button on your unit’s suspension, it lifts the trailer, you can’t miss the pin, reverse.

Until you get a unit with temperamental suspension. I hit ‘up’, reversed, it didn’t raise, I went straight under the pin and the lip on the trailer hit the back of the unit. It just scratched the paint on the frame that hold the air and electrical lines (Suzies) and trapped and partially severed one of the electrical Suzies. Super.

So I had to report it. A second accident in the few months I’ve been there.

The agency rang me to tell me the company have a three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy, I can continue to work for the agency but not for the company if I have another bump.


I was hoping for a proper job out of this, now it’s all in the air again.

They still had me back in and doing overtime on a sixth shift, so they didn’t take it to heart, but it can’t have done my prospects any favours. The worst thing is, it was a tiny bump and a stupid, preventable one. That’s why the drills are in place. 99.9% of the time they are unnecessary, but they catch that 0.1% of incidents. Which means I don’t have a leg to stand on and no-one to blame but myself.


In other, navel-gazing, news, I may have finally sussed a solution to my perennial problem of guilt and angst. I’ve tried all sorts, when I drank I used to self harm, did nothing. I’ve forgotten most of my life, not helped. I’ve tried to accept as I can’t forgive, not happening.

Then, in flash of insight, it struck me as revelation that these memories and associated reactions have no external reality. They are not a thing. To engage with them, even in fighting them, is to validate them.

I can beat the system with serenity.  This is doubtless an ancient truth, your man the Buddha was all over it, but to me it was a personal revelation.

I’m going to look into meditation. It’s so simple it’s laughable, just be serene and don’t react. My brain will form new pathways instead of running down the same routes and being reinforced every time, the bad shit will wither and die.

I may be the new Buddha. I’ve got the figure if not the wisdom.

(I know, the fat, Laughing Buddha isn’t The Buddha. Yet.)

In associated news, I’m looking into a martial art. Again. Wendy is suffering concussion from facepalm. How many Gi’s? (fighting suits) Another joining fee? Etc. Anyway, may have found a karate organisation that has clubs running on most nights which is what I need for my stupid shifts. If they will let me join and attend different clubs in the the organisation on different nights I could make it work.


Running was going swimmingly. Two surprisingly fast and easy 20 mile runs at the weekends. I’ve not been getting chance to run in the week though, so it was bound to falter. I tried for a long run today but it all went tits up. I was going to run out 13 miles that way you *have* to run back 13. My bloody Garmin GPS watch froze before I was 5 miles out. I only know the mile markers for 5 miles on that course, and the 6 on the other. And it was BITTER! I thought it was cold last week but the wind cut clean through me today. Even running with my waterproof (windproof) jacket on I was still freezing. I did 14 miles on the first course but as I passed our house to start the second, 12 mile course, my will broke and I stopped.  Bah.


I’ll do a Twitter update tomorrow. Best go and see Wendy before she forgets what I look like. (Fat, if you were wondering. The diet didn’t take.)

One topical tweet though, from the 15th, from VeryBritishProblems, a to-do list:

Today’s plans:

1, Tell people to “listen to that wind.”

2, Visit gym for the last time in 2015

3, Put juicer on ebay

4, Biscuits.





Well, what fun.

I’ve been having tech issues of my own devising.

I read a post by Anonymous (the loosely affiliated hacker collective) on how to set up an encrypted, hidden partition in your computer and use an external Operating System (OS) boot on a USB. In other words, if you start the computer normally it will go to Windows as usual. If you plug the USB in you can start it in the sneaky encrypted bit. And unlike,say, a clever password, if you destroy the USB no amount of torture could make the encrypted part work.

It’s totally pointless for me, really. I’ve got bugger all in which the security gestapo of the NSA or UK equivalent would be interested, it was just a token gesture to Stick It To The Man.

So, the scene is set. Me (muppet) read an article by Anonymous (clever buggers) which was a step by step guide for beginners and eejits, decided to be down with the cool kids and set it up. Can you see where this is going yet?

I was halfway through the install, I’d formatted and encrypted the 500 GB of memory, it took 16 hours just to wipe it all (I don’t know, something about being able to infer stuff off the overwritten memory otherwise) then I realised the guide was saying there were 2 options. Install most of the OS on the PC and just the boot on the USB, or put everything on the the USB. The latter being the easy option. I’d been setting it up in the former mode. Balls. I decided to cut my losses, pull the USB, restart the PC and wipe the USB and start again. Now can you see where this is going?

I pulled the USB out, restarted the computer, black screen.

Errrr, what?

Turns out I’d somehow destroyed the Windows boot and possibly OS, but hadn’t completed the OS or boot on the USB. Nothing. Nada. Not an electronic sausage.

In the end I had to reinstall Windows from the ground up. I reloaded the recovery discs you get with the PC but couldn’t connect to the internet as the disc didn’t include the drivers. These seem to be the software programmes that make the hardware work. Anyway, whatever they actually are I couldn’t connect to the internet without them.

The wifi and such was still working so I tried to download the drivers on my ‘phone and transfer them across. Not knowing which drivers I needed that proved impossible. I wanted to let the PC find it’s own and update (their is a free download called Driver Booster 2 that will scan an auto update all your drivers) but no internet, ‘cos no drivers, no drivers ‘cos no internet.

I finally worked out that I could use a wifi dongle to connect to the internet to get the PC to do it’s thing. I put it to Luke and he suggested tethering my ‘phone and using that as a dongle. Genius. An hour or two later and I was back to square one, a blank slate PC. Then I had to download and install 156 Microsoft updates. Then I realised I’d lost everything. My settings, my bookmarks, my music, and worst of all, my pictures. Including all my sporting ones and our wedding photo’s. Oops.

Thankfully when Luke did out wedding photography he made us a physical photo album as well as a prezzie, otherwise I would be blogging this from the shed.

Then my ‘phone suddenly started turning itself off. This is very not good as I use it as an alarm clock, amongst other things. I was out when it did it again. I googled possible problems/ solutions, and came back with a factory reset. Put everything back to brand new settings, as in.

Without thinking it through I gave it a go. It seems to have worked but it’s wiped all my music, pictures, etc off the ‘phone.  D’oh!


In none techie bollock-dropping news; I’ve had two weeks of no runs. Instead I’ve been porking out on cream, cakes and biscuits. As ya do over xmas.

We were doing stuff on New Year’s day, but on the 2nd I went out for my first run in, seemingly, ages. I set off and was surprised to be doing about 8 minute miles. I just did an 8 mile run but averaged at 8.02 m/m. Which by my current standard is pretty damn OK. The day after, yesterday, I only did 6 miles in anticipation of a big run today. But I averaged at 7.50 m/m. Curiouser and curiouser. Second day, tired legs, after a ‘fast’ run, it should have been slower, not faster. Odd. I put it down to the fact I’d been doing pack runs previously, those two were without.

Today, after 2 fast runs, I went out to try a 20 mile pack run. And I just trotted the miles out. I did a 12 mile lap and was planning on doing an 8 mile one (4 out, 4 back.) Up until 3½ miles into the second lap I felt so great I was going to add another mile to the ‘out’ to put it up to 22 miles. Then it hit me hard, so I just did the 20. But I was banging the miles out without a thought up until then.

I got back and checked my times, I was 2 minutes faster than my last 20 mile, and that was without a pack. I was 12 minutes faster than my 20 miles pack time!

I don’t know what’s going on. In theory, after a lay-off and pig-out I should be loads slower. And it should have been hard and miserable. It was a bit miserable in one respect. It was 1 C maximum temperature today, the paths were still frozen and slippy, and my run took me an hour or so into darkness, where it was considerably colder. I did it in shorts, a compression (sleeveless) vest and a short sleeve top. My arms are still tingling.

It was bracing.

Oh, also I get a ball of wind sometimes. I don’t know if it’s the actual running or the slurping of drinks with energy powder in them on the go, but it knocks me sick. The post run nausea today was fair epic. But as for the run itself, most of it was effortless.


Work has been constant, but worryingly this is the first week where I’m only on for 4 days.

Luckily I have had some good wages as this week the washer gave out. It’s been leaving the washing wetter and wetter so we had to blast it on the radiators to dry it before it went smelly. Then it did a wash that actually came out smelly. I’ve ordered us a new washer and a separate tumble drier. Go us! Welcome to the 1970’s!  Also, something of an impulse purchase, bought a sound bar (external speakers for the telly). It seems that flat screen tellies, due to their slimline nature, have no room for decent speakers. We’ve been making do, as I thought it’s a lot of money and how much difference can it actually make? Shitloads, as it turns out.  I saw two sound bars in Sainsbury’s both with £30 stickers on them. One 10 watts output, the other 80 watts. No brainer. Then I realised the 10 watt was half price at £30, the other one was £30 off, still £69. Wendy never has the telly off so I splashed the extra for a decent one. Bit suspicious of the £30 off, they never are the supposed price, but then I went in to Asda and they have the same one for £99! So, bit of a win there.

That’s it for splashing the cash though, painful MOT for the car this month. And we have the rest of the card to clear, and I’m not sure how much work I’m going to get, it being January and all.


The bike is still lovely. That icy spell was a bit of a challenge though. Lost the back end once which got my attention.


Enough of my drivel, what of Twitter? Glad you asked.

The DMreporter had:

CHRISTMAS: Nigel Farage blames lack of snow on "increased number of immigrants exhaling warm air and changing Britain’s climate."

YOUR COMMENTS: Women ‘get pregnant at Christmas because they forget to take the pill…’

DAVID CAMERON: "Happy new year to some of you."

SHOCKING: Fury over EU diktat which makes being white and English a hate crime.



In Politics/ Tory Scum we had:

Is the Ukip candidate who claimed a gay donkey tried to rape his horse the one kicked out for saying crazy stuff, or is that another one…

Gay donkey raping horse. Oh, UKIP you are Freud’s dream ticket.

Ukip’s John Rees-Evans has hit back after being ridiculed for claiming a gay donkey tried to rape his horse. "neigh means neigh", he said.

Baltimore FOX News Affiliate Caught Faking "Kill a Cop" Protest Chant. … via @gawker

1) The flag is back to front 2) You’ve blocked your own windows 3) Father Christmas is Greek

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Former MP Julia Goldsworthy: "For first time in generations, Lib Dems will be campaigning on our record in government." Good luck with that.

George Osborne wants to cut UK Spending to 1930s levels. I wonder what advice this lady (1935) would give to him?

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every 28 hours a black man is shot by police stop saying race isn’t an issue when they’re 21 times more likely to be shot than a white man

Fired 76 rounds. killed 12, wounded 58. armed with 3 weapons. apprehended ALIVE. #CrimingWhileWhite #AntonioMartin

In other news, white guy with two weapons shoots into Philly bar, is disarmed by police and arrested

Woman shoots up neighborhood, aims at police, but still alive thanks to the ultimate body armor– white skin: …

Two cops, wearing bodycams, shoot a guy. Chief refuses to release video on ‘privacy’ grounds. What is he hiding?


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The Times named Nigel Farage ‘Man of the Year’, which amused and enraged in equal measure.

Nigel Farage wins a MOBO for ‘best international female vocalist’

Julian Clarey tweeted: Apparently @thetimes are naming me as Heterosexual of the Year. Bold.


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Think on that. An Ebola outbreak in the UK if Tories get in. Nurse: Guts liquefying, shitting blood? sorry, you’re maxxed out on credit card

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#RoadToRuin Iain Duncan Smith 2 accelerate benefit reforms 2 stop Lab reversing them <<The Tory>>Nasty>> Nazi Party




And everyone’s favouritest, General:

Looking for a festive scented bog spray. "Essence of gin and despair." The very thing.

Very cool. A competition for atheists to rewrite the Ten Commandments has produced this list

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Bin night a day early and not a single item in the bin. Bittersweet.

A circus in Italy has been closed after trying to pass off two dogs as pandas

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And now I want a pandadog

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Photographer Peter Thorpe transforms his dog, into something festive every Xmas…

Heading into The Hobbit 3: This Time It’s Interminable #goblinbollocks

The only US religious group of which a majority do not consider torture justified is the "no religion" group.

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(And we atheists are the ones “without a moral compass”! As the man said, Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it good people would do good things and bad people would do evil. For good people to do evil it takes religion.)

Drink vodka and watching #Sharknado. Christmas can only go downhill from here

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Snowfall in the UK and snowfall in Canada…

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Ceremony marking end of military operations in Afghanistan held in secret due to possible attack by Taliban. Mission accomplished then.

Real Daily Mail had this headline:

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The 25 Worst (Best) Spelling Mistakes on Twitter …

Just noticed my new trews have "straight, fit" on them. Bit impertinent, but thanks.

Who to believe about Ebola, experts or callers to @bbc5live ?

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This is how big a grizzly bears paw is – by the way, the bear is sedated and about to be tagged. I’m in absolute awe!

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Pregnancy announcement of the year

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1955 Lincoln Futura Concept. Later served as an inspiration for the Batmobile.

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Middle class & rich folk are utterly obssessed wi the idea of human beings doing nothing ie what YOU do is nothing What they do is something

OH SHIT! R2D2 has gone over to the Dark Side!!

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Another juggler gives up on his dreams

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Bit unfair of people to slag James Corden off for his OBE. The man has done this country a wonderful service. He’s just moved to America.

This is the best headline you’ll read today

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This is the proudest dog I’ve ever seen

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WWF: Before it’s too late..

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A few hours into 2015, my son is learning how to speak like a dolphin. So far so good.

The feeling at the start of a new year: hope. Plus the fear of the unknown. The feeling at the end: the fear of the known. Minus hope.


"World War I killed twice as many cows as it did humans." This caused the formation of a secret, vengeful, cow underground.

1 Order Starbucks coffee 2 Give your name as Spartacus 3 When your name is called, shout "I’m Spartacus" 4 Watch something brilliant happen

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Atheists left reeling after freak accident means Bono may never play guitar again

My cat is sad because our celebrity-obsessed culture has spawned a young generation drowning in its own vanity.

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Is this 2015 or 1915? Royal Family granted new right of secrecy … #princeandrew

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TheTweetsOfGod put

I planted all the evidence for evolution once it became clear it did not serve the best interest of My reputation to take credit for you.

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Eyes wide in horror, I enter the Italian capital for the fifth time that day. "All roads lead to Rome!" I sob. I’ll never escape this city.

Putin signs decree that allows foreign citizens to serve in the Russian army as contractors (A Russian Foreign Legion. I would have *so* joined up if they’d offered that when I was younger.)

A real book from 1971 featuring a dystopian plot where women have TAKEN OVER

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Awesome Selfie Of Man With Lion In Africa

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And with that I’ll say