Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Review of 2008

These were the personal goals I set for this year that's almost through now. How did I do, not as well as had planned but with mitigating circumstances I like to think!

Goals for 2008

  • Be a better person. I’m rubbish at being. Need to be better.

>>> Think have made some progress in being a better person, work to be done!

  • Stop drinking full stop or learn how to moderate it which I don’t think I can so am going to stop drinking. Should help with the above.

>>> Achieved - although am capable of going on a bit of a bender I've also been on a hundred day abstinence and another shorter one at the tail end of summer so can turn it on/turn it off when I want. There's going to be another hundred dayer starting in January as part of preps for London Marathon.

  • Run a half marathon – am thinking about the Great North Run which is Sunday October 5th and gives me plenty of time to do proper training. Most of the other Great Runs are 10k which is easily doable for me right now so while I might do one of those instead I think it’d be a copout.

>>> Yes done the distance on half a dozen occasions in 2008, also found a good route that takes in Clough Wood near Darley Dale that was great fun see post here from June

  • Do a sixty plus mile bike ride. Have been asked by one of our neighbours Jenny to do a sponsored bike ride for Charity – am kind of wondering how much ground I could cover in a weekend? Perhaps get on a train to somewhere and cycle back?

>>> After breaking wrist in January (see disaster day post) I could cut myself some slack here but fact is that I ought to have achieved it. I did some 20 to 30-milers but could have done so much more particularly with a bike as good as the Giant FCR1, there's no excuse really.

  • Get weight to under 14 stone.

>>> Spectacular failure here 2009 is going to see a big march back to where weight should be. Am disappointed with myself on this one.

  • Continue not smoking.

>>> Wahey, who'd have thunk it - not a single ciggy since July 2007, still miss em but it's getting less over time. Well Pleased.

  • Learn how to play golf properly instead of putting up with a crap swing and a good short game.

>>> Well, swing is more upright I suppose but results haven't been as good as I'd have hoped. On positive side I came third in a Honda Corporate thing (details here) and more recently my golfing buddy John and myself came second in the Fur and Feather comp at Ashbourne Golf Club winning a Turkey for the Xmas table - which made a bit change from the usual pork pie or packet of shortbread!!!

  • Read more - get at least a book every other month read!

>>> More to be done here, can't remember reading a lot of books this year - I enjoyed Ian Rankin's 'Open Doors' but somehow don't make time for reading which is a shame as I used to always have my head in a book!

So for 2009 there's a ton of work to be done. One things for sure, the major goals for the short terms will be simple and geared around the Marathon in April.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Ding Dong the Rubbish Manager's Gone

Back to work this morning, so went out walking not in the best of spirits (much as I like work). Picked up the newspaper from Jewitt's newsagents this morning and joy of joys Paul Jewell has quit! Bless him, he'd lost the team weeks back so he had to go, nice to see it in print though lifted my mood no end! Now have to consider getting a half season ticket, wahey.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Sunday 28th Dec 08 to Saturday 3rd Jan 09

Saturday 3rd Jan 09
Another four miler this morning, easier than yesterday legs are remembering the drill now. Just ordered some new running shoes for the run-up to the marathon (pardon the pun). Will report on their effectiveness in the near future. Haven't been as pleased with the second pair of Asics shoes so have gone for some Saucony Mens ProGrid Omni 6 shoes which have been knocked down from £80 to £45 so ought to be fairly good. We'll see. The internet radio which is a Freecom something or other won't work over wireless lan which is a pain in the ass. So I've had to move the router again and plug it straight into that. Further problem is that although you can stream Radio Derby via a PC it's not strictly Internet Radio and the Freecom don't pick it up. What a pain.

Friday 2nd Jan 09
Got my running head back - steady four miles this morning. Carrying far too much weight - very poor but least them little legs are moving again! Just heard from me bro who is bringing me new toy over - an internet radio no less which should be good for the missus as our DAB system picks up diddly-squat. Hopefully it'll be the ideal solution!

Well the internet radio doesn't work over wireless but will work if i hook it up directly to the router so that's something I suppose. When I was out running this morning I had radio four on Janette's little Sansdisk Fuse MP3/Radio gadget and was listening to an interview with a foreign fella who was obviously some sort of designer. Strangely (as am not into fashion one bit - jeans and t-shirt bloke am I) I found myself agreeing with this chap quite a bit. Was dead surprised to find it was none other than Karl Lagerfeld. His view on Fur was interesting - which was basically if you're happy with leather shoes what's your problem with fur? He actually said - "In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and even clothes and handbags, the discussion of fur is childish."
Read more here as I say not into fashion one bit but must admit there wasn't much I disagreed with - he didn't sound very german though.

Good news on the biking front. Got the old Incognito out and did six miles on it this afternoon. It won't change into the lower gears unfortunately - I have to kick the rear derailleur on hills so I think I'll have to drop it of at Lumbards Garage up town sometime soon.

Thursday 1st Jan 09
Happy New Year! Blimey where did 2008 go? 3 miles walk again, just looking after them knees. Hit a few golf balls up the golf course.

Wednesday 31st Dec 08
Got older - 41 bloomin years old. Not best pleased!! Did 3 mile walk up town and back for papers. Hit a few golf balls in the afternoon, not much to report.

Tuesday 30th Dec 08
Well didn't get to gym other than to pick my running shoes up which I left there last week. Did a ton of miscellaneous jobs though and contacted my old boss who I worked for getting on twenty years ago through the miracle that is facebook which was good. Have got me running shoes on right now and am off for a three miler at about 6am. Had got up early to set bread off and see South Africa finish off Australia in the test but by the looks of things it must have happened hours ago!!! Good, stuff them aussies! Stevie Gerrard been charged with assault, wonder what that was all about, you'd think with all the cash he earns he'd pay someone to take care of assaulting for him?

Solid run for 3.5 miles no walking but chest was on fire - am sure it gets harder when weather gets colder - will check with my marathon guru Miss Briggs in the design team.

Monday 29th Dec 08
Back at work today and tomorrow then off until next Monday which will do me. Got a bit of pain in the left knee after yesterdays run so am just going to walk up town and back this morning, take it easy. With a bit of luck should get in the gym for an hour but have also got to pick stuff up from Argos for Phil. Bought him a Dell XPS1 PC for Xmas and he now needs a printer, bless him so have spied a Brother multi-function printer that uses four cartridges so should go longer between replacement and the replacement cartridges can be picked up for a fiver a set on Ebay so if my homework's on the money it should be just the ticket!

Sunday 28th Dec 08
Went for a six and a half mile run this morning which was okay. Walked in places but at least am getting back to it! My running shoes I've left in the office which is a bit of a beggar have had to run in some Nike's that I'd normally wear just for the gym. Last couple of days have been walking up golf course with an 8-iron finding balls and hitting the odd shot. Saw Doug playing yesterday I reckon him and the two guys he was playing with were the only ones on the course. Have consumed a simply massive amount of alcohol, absolutely unbelievable amount (well to me in recent times so there's going to be one heck of a weight gain when back to work).

Sun shining on Mayfield but it was bloomin cold let me tell you. (for reference middle of pic is Andressey Island on the map below).

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Sunday 21st to Saturday 27th Dec

Friday 26th
Well no exercise over the last few days other than raising a glass far too frequently. Hungover to hell and back this morning which is my own stupid fault. Bout time I grew up what! Got the G'N'R' album for Xmas it's stunning, well pleased. Got the missus a Sansdisk Fuze with 8GB of memory for about fifty quid - it's bloomin aweseome, wish I'd had one for mesen now!

Tuesday 23rd
No exercise this morning had to be in office well early for a last minute rehearsal. Final working day before Xmas, playing with the (should be) band at lunch time. Lucky thing is that we've got a semi-pro singer gal helping us out for an Abba tune and it sounds great and will be our redemption at two o'clock this afternoon so it will!

Monday 22nd
Just three miles walking this morning. Knee hurt a bit from yesterday largely due to drumming I'd say (more to follow Xmas Eve). Me and John came second in the fur and feather comp at the golf club resulting in winning a most impressive Turkey which is much better than the pork pie or shotbread that we've won every other year!!! Well chuffed about that.

Sunday 21st
Today's going to be a mixed bag - we find out what we won at the fur and feather comp later today but I've got to go into work for 2pm so can't attend personally. Have been out and done the old six mile round Mappleton run but have had to walk in places - just feel knackered and a bit achy at the moment. It's same every year at Xmas I seem to pick up a cold as soon as the defences are down and time off approaches...

Friday, 19 December 2008

Rockin in the Free World

A strange affair my car stereo is at the minute. Have got G'n'R's new album 'Chinese Democracy' sitting next door to UFOs live class 'Strangers in the Night' sitting next to 'Appetite for Destruction'. And regardless of the naysayers and knockers they're all classic albums. Chinese Democracy has been slagged off left, right and centre but you got to listen to it a few times to get it. If every track was just like 'Better' you'd get it straight away but they're not - it's a wierd album that grows. Okay it took a ridiculous amount of time to produce, okay there's only Axl from original lineup, yes there's a million guitarists on every track and hundreds of layers, overdubs and loops all over it but it's brilliant - it's a modern day masterpiece that deserves more than a cursory listen.

If you want to hear a classic live album; get your lugoles wrapped around 'Strangers in the Night'. Phil Mogg's crew with the classic Schenker lineup were short-lived, underated but absolutely as tight as it gets as live performers. You sense from this album that they were on a mission to prove something over headliners Blue Oyster Cult (who were in the multi-changer until a few weeks ago), slagging the p.a. company and the licensing laws off from track to track. Schenker's guitar work is something else on this album, when he left I don't think UFO were ever the same and I reckon he lost something too. What knocks my socks off about this album is how tight they were - no bum notes, never a beat missed, sharp ending, note-perfect solos the works.

Apparently, Slash the former G'N'R' axe-hero cites 'Strangers' as his favourite live album and the wierd thing is you can spot similarities - G'N'R's 'Rocket queen' shares something with the intro to 'Light's out' which is great.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Week from Sunday 14th Dec to Saturday 20th Dec

Saturday 20th
Just a bit of a walk up town this morning. Then played golf of ultra crapness in constant cruddy rain. We shook hands on the 13th but we weren't really trying, in fairness the guys we played really did play well we lost to pars and birdies all over the place, think we only won the 8th hole all day. Spoke to my mum last night, she's took a sponsorship form with her to her walking club and got me £45 worth of sponsorship so I've gone up to getting on for £250 and it's not even Christmas yet!!

Friday 19th
Same distance as yesterday. Weight up by 2lbs in a week. Not surprised too much bleedin chocolate everywhere. Xmas is a right pain.

Thursday 18th
Four more miles at a steady pace. Into office for 8:30 meeting. Everything ticking over nicely.

Wednesday 17th
Ha ha, up at 4:45am four more excellent quality loaves done. Done a five mile run this morning with pace and everything. The old route round watery lane, up Mayfield road, up the park, along the Clifton road. Marathon fund is upto £180 !! Ha Ha. Just £820 to go!

Tuesday 16th
Went to see Doctor yesterday. He twisted me leg and all sorts - thinks it's ligament damage rather than cartilege which if he's right is the preferable of the two - means that the marathon is still on. Have decided to take it easy on the old knee a bit so am only going to run every other day. Went for a walk for 3.5 miles this morning nice and steady which is okay - it still burns up calories. Did four more loaves last night, still working nicely at the mo. Forgot to post weight loss up last Friday (mind on other things) - back to 15st 4lbs. Still a ton of work to be done before marathon in April.

Monday 15th
Ha ha, running again. 5.35 miles approximately according to bike route toaster. Steady stuff nothing too quck as pavements were mighty frosty again. Am seeing doctor about the knee later so we'll see what he's got to say.

Sunday 14th
No running again - a bit naff but did 18 holes of golf for first time with new clubs which I didn't get on tremendously well with until last few holes. Belted a five iron a good 160 yards into the 17th which was nice but hit a lot of low hooky shots which I think must be down to the off set on em. Anyway from being in a position of two up with two to play we managed to lose the next two holes and only come away with a half. We were playing a 3-handicapper and a 9-handicapper so it wasn't really a bad result all told.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Top Drumming

Saw this cool video on Youtube by a gal called Dale Anne Brendon. Jeez can she play.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Beating the Credit Crunch - Breadmaking Economics - How much does a breadmaker make a loaf for??

Abby at work asked me how much it cost to make bread with my Morphy Richards bread maker? "Well, I think it's about thirty odd pence or so" I replied. Seeing as I wasn't sure I thought I'd better do some research to find out how much it actually costs me to make a loaf. I thought white loaves were a lot less than my 50/50 loaves because of the flour being cheaper but in actual fact there's not much in it really.

A 50:50 wholeameal/white loaf costs me about 43 pence plus power so probably 50p for a large loaf. Note have missed 350ml of tepid water from above recipe but it wouldn't add to cost.

A purely white loaf costs 40p even though the flour's a lot cheaper the dried milk powder ramps it up somewhat. I think I can get dried skimmed milk cheaper than that but am not 100% sure so have used Tesco's price checker. Still, even at 50p you're getting a fresh loaf with no added nonsense that's as tasty as you can get in my opinion.

Got to be cheaper than supermarket bread and it's not that cotton wool rubbish either. A breadmaker can do far more than just make bread though - cake, jam, pizza dough and loads of bits and bobs.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Basic White Loaf on Long Program

Picture below is of my first successful 'long program' loaf with the Morphy Richards. The reason for the lack of success up til now with it has been what my old boss Angus would have called a lack of RTFM. i.e. read the flippin manual. If I had read it properly I would have noticed that there are basically two different types of yeast you tend to use in bread machines - there's traditional dried active yeast and then there's fast acting or rapid dried yeast. In the past I've used rapid dried yeast on the long programs and it would appear it's wholly inappropriate!!

This is the first time I've used Allinson's traditional dried active yeast and it works a bloomin treat - you use more than you do with the quick programs but by my reckoning it costs a little bit less. Tesco's are doing 125g pots for 76p at the moment, which compares well with the rapid stuff which costs 54p for 56g (8 x 7g packets).

Anyroad up, this is the recipe I used which is more or less along the lines of the Morphy Richards basic recipe in the manual (which I'm paying more attention to as you can tell!!!). Do the ingredients into the pan in that order and then set it off on the basic program.

400ml tepid water (100ml boiling, rest cold)
4tbsp of skimmed milk powder
3 tbsp of castor sugar
2 tsp of salt
4 tbps of sunflower oil
550g of strong white bread flour
3 tsp of Allinson's traditional dried active yeast

Week from Sunday 7th to Saturday 13th December

Saturday 11th December
Bit naffed off. Had three cans of Carling last night, was reasonably merry but hungover as anything this morning, don't know how that works. So was up before 6am. Set off a loaf on timer and it worked, so pleased with that. The amount of yeast in the recipe in the Morphy Richards book was basically wrong is needs a good three of active dried yeast not two. Am going to experiment a bit more until I've got the timer one nailed. The quick bake settings I absolutely rock at.

Chucking it down with rain from the minute I've got up right up to this moment 10:15am so no run done and am helping out at the kids party at work later so am wondering where the exercise is going to fit in exactly today. Going to do loads of pressups this morning. Have been doing a dejunking exercise a bit this morning too in the absence of running.

Friday 10th December
4:45am again - what a great time of day this is - almost like being dead only more hassle. Anyway, another five loaves done and dusted. Which is good. Got out running early doors still only done about 3.5/4miles but I can definitely do more I reckon so am going to give it a proper run out tomorrow morning and see what we can do. Got my big Xmas present last night off of Ebay. A Set of steel shafted Callaway X12 irons.

Thursday 11th December
4:45am this morning but my god, am I organised. In office for 8am. Five loaves done again. Going to update my fund raising figures later but we're getting on for £170 I reckon. Three and a half mile run done which I thought was further but looking at it would appear it isn't

Wednesday 10th December
Up at crack of dawn as usual. Have got my breadmaking mojo back, went to bed with three good uns in the bag and have set two more off at 5am and 5:10am. Morphy Richards have sent me one of the Accents range of Breadmakers which makes lovely loaves like the one below:-

In my view they're not quite as attractive looking as the loaves made by the old faithful but they are quicker by some 20 minutes. This beauty will bang out a loaf in 1hr 38m on the rapid bake setting compared to a smidge under 2hrs for the old one, which is good at it means I can stagger production nicely! It also means I can start upping production (already have really - there should be five loaves done by time I set off for work!). Am just using my standard recipes rather than the ones in the book. I'll have a bit of an experiment at the weekend and then see where we are with the ones in the book. Any, bloomin marvellous of Morphy Richards to help me out this way so look out for a review of their excellent kit in the near future!!

Will be whizzing off for a 3.5 mile run in about three quarters of an hour, just doing some GIS work on the laptop and stuff.

Picture below is of new Breadmaker, not a very good pic but gives you an idea - it's got a cool backlit lcd screen and there's even a light inside so you can have a look what's going on! Not only that but 13 programs including a customisable one which looks a bit on the technical side for me!

Tuesday 9th December
For second day in a row the bread has not risen as well as I'd expect. Don't know what's going on there? Certainly don't think I can charge people for bread that don't look right, might ask for a contribution perhaps. Anyway, lot of effort, no return. Morphy Richards have delivered the goods too, now have two machines, am going to get my head round using it tonight with a bit of luck! Off for a short 3 mile run this morning. Am knackered before I begin if I'm honest but need to get my exercise regime working that's for sure have put on much too much weight and am really hacked at myself for it.

Monday 8th December
Well breadmaking didn't go quite so swimmingly last night. Said the timer one to finish for five o'clock and it's delivered a brick. I've told Julia at work if it's inedible to use it for a paperweight - I've either overdone the salt or killed the yeast but I'm sure you can put yeast in the fridge, maybe I'm wrong. Went up the golf course yesterday afternoon for a bit of a practice. Hit some grand shots so am looking forward to next time I play proper, found a few balls too, which was good.

This morning have done a steady four mile run. After golf my knee seems to be worse so thought I was going to have to walk but thought what the hell let's give it a go and it's worked out alright. Good start to the day.

Sunday 7th December
Friday and Saturday night I thought would be a good opportunity to catch up on disturbed sleep (have been getting up at 3am to load breadmakers and stuff) however, body clock is all buggered up now and am waking at 3am naturally. Ho hum.

Anyway after two hours from 3am to 5am of not being able to get back to sleep I got up and got some work done, yesterday was typing up notes from meetings, this morning writing out a project scope that's about a week late in any case so better get it off in the morning!

Went for another run. Did four miles or so from Clifton to Snelston and back in a big old loop. Talk about cold, there'll be brass monkeys looking for welders everywhere today, I tells ya. Have used to put the map in to work out the distance in the absence of the mighty edge. Think I might have to put one of those Garmin Forerunners or somesuch on my Xmas list.

Rugby was cancelled due to pitch being frozen so missed out on the sunday morning bacon cob. Most disappointed.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Best of Both 50:50 White/Wholemeal Breadmaker Recipe

I've been working on improving the 50:50 recipe, scanning t'interweb I've picked up some top tips over the last few days so been trying out this and that. This is me new, improved 50:50 recipe!

100ml boiling water (new*)
230ml cold water
2.5 tbsp sunflower oil
1tsp salt
3 or 4 tsp sugar
275g strong white bread flour
275g strong wholemeal bread flour
1 and a third tsp fast action yeast

Bang into Breadmaker pan in that order, switch onto quick program and two hours later you get something like the following:-

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Standard Quick White Loaf Recipe

Am starting the week's production run! It's for charity though pop-pickers but I don't like to talk about it (much). This is my standard quick white loaf. I say quick it takes about 2 hours but that's quick in breadmaking land that is.

Yummy white bread, no bother in the Morphy Richard Breadmaking Machine. They rock!

Here's the recipe
350ml water
550g strong white bread flour
2 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 tablespoon dried skimmed milk
3 or four teaspoons sugar
1.5 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon dried fast yeast

Bop em into the breadmaker pan in that order, select the quick option, press start come back in a coupla hours and hey presto, yummy bread. Go easy on it though it's a weight loss nightmare!!!

Week Sunday 30th November to Saturday 6th December

Saturday 6th December
Good news is that have run up town and back this morning. Steady three and a half miles at a moderate sort of a pace - no idea how fast, still haven't found the edge that I lost some weeks back now. Am really getting the hang of the breadmaking though - loaves are looking the absolute business!

Did a steady forty five minutes in the gym yesterday 30 mins of cardio for a good 400 cals and then some weights. Steady, two visits last week, need to get it back to at least every other day and preferably every day.

Friday 5th continued - Quick game of spot the idiot, anyone? Weight's up again - have just noticed something - where there's been gains December and back in August both coincide with periods where haven't been going to group. Well guess, what I'm back next week and week after god knows, what I was thinking. I reckon I think I'm an expert but I obviously ain't.

Friday 5th December
Improved Thursday a little bit by going for a two and a half mile walk last night and did 20 pressups to boot, not much but feels better than nowt. This morning got another four loaves done and did a three and half mile work (jogged last half mile which was good) and still into office for about 8:15 - pleased with that.

Thursday 4th December
Knackered. Got up at 3am set breadmaker off, got up at 5am set breadmaker off. Went back to bed for half an hour, got up late at 7am!! bloody hell, what a rush. Got to work a minute or two late for the 8:30 meeting and then had to bomb off to Wigan as soon as it finished. Bloomin nightmare. No exercise done today whatsoever. Knee's playing up a tiny bit which is kind of good as I don't want to go to Doctors with it not hurting.

Wednesday 3rd December
Well, the new breadmaker didn't arrive yesterday so hopefully it'll come today, we'll see. I did another 3.5 miles walking this morning. Ran the last half mile or so. No problem with knee again. Not playing golf this weekend so might do a whopping big run if knee continues in an okay fashion. Did another three charity loaves last night and one for the homestead!

More on the knee - have got an appointment at Doctors' on Monday 15th after finally getting round to making the phone call. Only problem now is that I've got to lose a load of weight in a hurry - he said stay in the 14s and that'll be good I've gone almost half a stone past that now which is rubbish. Could be just the focus I need!

The Doctor's appointment has set me off now! Been to the gym for the first time this week. Did damn near an hour - 11 minutes on exercise bike on setting 6 for a steady 152 cals, then 10 mins on treadmill at 10km/h for a further acceptable 160 cals and finishing off with a creditable 188 cals in fifteen minutes on the rowing machine. 2 x 12 reps each on triceps pushdown, biceps curl, seated mid-row and that other thing you do on that particular machine (lateral something or other). Anyway, was longest I've done in gym for ages and am reet pleased with it.

Tuesday 2nd December
Another 3.5 miles walking this morning. Knee is okay I think but not going to put too much stress on it just yet. Another four loaves done last night - hopefully bread machine number two should arrive today and then production can go into overdrive. Had to take drums into work today as Xmas is coming and we gotta do a turn so we're getting the band together again. Oh no, not again.

Stocked up with flour on way home. Tesco's have Hovis Wholemeal Bread Flour cheaper than their own label stuff? Wonder whose I bought? Shame it's twice the cost of white but there you go. Am experimenting with the breadmaking a little bit tonight as I've only got three orders to fill I can cock one up. What I'm investigating is a claim that more oil equals more volume so have upped it from two tablespoons to three of sunflower oil. We'll see what it is? Was going to go for a walk but it's damn cold out and feel knackered so am going to have a kip on sofa while loaf number two finishes. Derby just knocked Stoke out which is great, well done the mighty Rams.

Monday 1st December
Another four loaves done overnight. Am thinking that this going to be getting expensive if not careful, think I'm going to have to get costs back somewhere. Covered 3.5 miles this mornig. Ran maybe 3/4 mile, knee if sort of stiff rather than painful. Will try and ring docs up later although am thinking of going to sporting injuries place where the police station used to be in Ashbourne.

Sunday 30th November
Blimey damn near in December already, what's happened to the rest of the year?? Been walking again this morning I reckon about five miles done overall. Went up the golf course to look for some spare ammo, not the best time of year for this sort of pursuit but still found three nice titleists and a couple of cheapos so not too bad. Used a company called Photobox to order some photoprints this afternoon and by time I got back it said they'd despatched them - if the quality is any good I'll be well impressed, let me tell you.

Took Lucy up for Rugby practice this morning. I tend to have a bit of a stroll round Ashbourne rec while she's training and you can tell when it's cold cause the half the cars in the car park have got parents in 'em! Jeez, it was damned cold, was glad they finished fifteen minutes early for a change.

Light Granary Loaf

At the weekend I get a bit of time to experiment with the Morphy Richards Breadmaker (my personal favourite) so I thought I'd have a crack at a light granary loaf. I think I can tweak it to make it better but it's come out pretty well first go. Here's the ingredients:

  • 350ml water
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 175g strong granary flour
  • 400g strong white flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (I think three/four would give it a better colour although the crust is crisp enough really)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 crushed vitamin C tablet
  • 1.5 teaspoons fast dried yeast

Put the ingredients into the bread machine in that order, set to quick program and you get a lovely light granary as picture below shows.

Friday, 28 November 2008

New Morphy Richards Breadmaker Coming

Morphy Richards, bless 'em are helping me out with my London Marathon fund raising by lending me an additional BreadMaking Machine. It should be coming on Tuesday which will be great but before it does arrive I think I ought to mention my current Morphy Richards breadmaker.

It's a 48265 and I think it's seven years old - says 1991 in the manual anyway. Being quite an early one it's not got all the programs you see on some of the newer models but it does exactly what it says on the tin and more. It bakes great bread, over and over again. For me it's been doing four loaves a night over the past week and more without a single duff loaf. I'm going to list the recipes that work best for me soon, might even do some of that fancy dancy photography these foodie types do! So if you're in the market for a really good breadmaker in my view you get great value for money with Morphy Richards kit and they keep going a long, long time!

The Specs for the Morphy Richards 48265 are as follows:-

  • Two loaf sizes, 1.5lbs and 2.5lbs
  • Light, medium and dark crust settings
  • Two kneading paddles for more effective kneading
  • Viewing window
  • Programmable timer 60-minute keep warm function
  • Non-stick traditional shaped breadpan
  • Cancel button
  • Cake and jam settings
  • Non-slip feet
  • Removable lid for easy cleaning
  • Two year guarantee
  • H28cm, W41cm, D28cm

Monday, 24 November 2008

Week Sunday 23rd November to Sat 29th November

Saturday 29th Nov
Christmas Fayre at golf today or 'Fur and Feather' as it is known to most golfers. Me and John did okay for a change accumulating 41 points in a 3/4 handicap better ball. We got 38 last year so definitely an improvement. It was also a good score because we played in thick fog and made a lot of pars considering you couldn't tell where to green was let alone the pin on some holes! Quite pleased. Did a 3.5 mile walk this morning as well so even more pleased.

Friday 28th Nov
Did another four loaves over night. Am chuffed to bits with how it's all going fundraising is now at £115 and best of all have had a call from Morphy Richards and they're sending me one to help out with my capcity issues. Too much demand and not enough time to supply but not no more!!

Didn't make gym due to being busy as hell but went for a two mile walk when got home. Knee feeling better and better.

Thursday 27th Nov
No run again this morning, am going to get appointment booked with Doctors this afternoon, get em to have a look at me knee. Going to gym in a minute as I got to get something done, did another four loaves of bread today and the fund-raising is currently standing at a little over £108 quid which is going swimmingly well if I do say so myself! Have added a ticker thing to top of screen cause I think it needs a touch of the Blue Peter's!!

Good session in the gym, 15 minutes and 200cals on the exercise bike followed by 25 mins on the rower, legs were really tired and knee held up pretty well, finished off with some weights and then back to business. Didn't manage to get an appointment with doctors.

Breadmaking working a treat have about 18 loaves to make next week. Have picked a breadmaking tip off the net that is to put butter on the kneading paddle which makes the bread easier to get out which seems to work. Also seems to make the loaf a whole lot browner. Can't think of anything else I've done different so it must be the butter?

Wednesday 26th Nov
Didn't actually get to gym yesterday. Was mega busy all day. Didn't get home from work until 7:30 but still managed to do five loaves!! No exercise but fundraising in optimal mode at the moment!!

Tuesday 25th Nov
Am continuing to rest knee from running duties. Am going to do gym at lunchtime and do a solid hour of cardio and weights so will get some exercise. Did 70 odd pressups last night but that's not a whole lot of use really. Bread production is being maintained at 3 loaves a day which with gift aid is raising me 3.84 a day for the marathon fund which is £19.20 a week. I reckon I can squeeze the odd extra loaf here and there which will get the fund up quite nicely! Have got 17 loaves on order for this week which mean five get up at 03:00 to set the breadmaker off, then up at 5:10 to reload etc. Not a problem, am getting used to it!

Monday 24th Nov
Well even if the training has been a little curtailed by the iffy knee the fund-raising is going on great guns. Got up at 3am to set a loaf off and then at 5am to set off another. Got to work and got more orders have 10 orders for the week thus far (current production capacity runs to 3 loaves a day unless can get another bread machine). Training non-existant as nee hurt a wee bit first thing and then have made things worse by forgetting to bring my gym kit with me. Am going to have to either go a ride on bike or out for a run when get home if knee’ll have it.

Sunday 23rd Nov
Did nothing at all, exercise-wise on Sunday. Lucy was playing in the Ashbourne under 9s at the Notss/Leics/Derby qualifier at Derby Rugby club so I was there for 9am and we didn’t get away til about 1:30pm. Ashbourne under-9s absolutely whooped Bakewell and Melbourne so are qualified for the finals at the end of the season which is nice.

Over to me mums to pick Phil up and then home for about 4:30ish. Twisted my knee a little bit during golf on Saturday (we lost again 3 down, shook hands on 17th) so having a rest day.

Monday, 17 November 2008

London Marathon Fundraising - armed and bready

London Marathon Fund Raising - Armed and Bready!
Got the envelope to say am definitely in the Marathon team on Friday together with sponsorship forms and what have you. So the fundraising is now on!

Had a whizzo idea of increasing my London Marathon fund raising potential by baking bread, charging a pound for an 800g loaf with every penny going to the NSPCC. The only problem with this very cunning plan is the first day I've gone and got 11 orders which I can't see me being able to fulfil this week unless I stay up all night as am going to be away on business later in the week. Anyway, as a plan it's working so far (if a little too well)!

Am thinking of contacting the excellent manufacturer of my Breadmaker - Morphy Richards to see if they would consider lending me a Breadmaker for the next three months - will see.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Week of Sun 16th Nov to 22nd Nov

Saturday 22nd Nov
Got back to blighty safely - only a forty minute flight coming back, took longer to drive from East Midlands back to Ashbourne! Got up early again this morning 5:40, loaded up breadmaker watched a bit of telly with Lucy and then ran up town for papers only 3.5 miles but it all counts and keeps me ticking over. Golf later.

Lucy has been selected for the 15 man squad for Ashbourne RUFC under 9s to play in the Notts, Lincs & Derbys (NLD) Derbyshire Qualifiers at Derby tomorrow which is a bit of a long old thing starting at 9am and finishing at 1pm but hey-ho. She's the only gal in the side which is good (there's about half a dozen of them turn up for practice every week but Lucy's a good little tackler, bless her).

Friday 21st Nov
Returning to UK tonight. Thank the lord. Went for a run at 6:30 am this morning, Put the map into Bike Route to see how far it was - 8 miles on a there and back route - bit of boring sort of a route from Malahide to Portmarnock but I got mega lost when trying to make it into a circuit so ended up doing retracing my steps to get back! It's probably a bit longer still as I went all over the place coming back. I know I went past the Portmarnock Sports & Leisure Club which is more or less where the end point is on the map before turning round. Will be happier when back home tonight although it's not been altogether unenjoyable either - got 14 miles of runnning done in last two days so that's got to be good for the training effort.

I liked Ireland but don't like the congestion in Dublin, it's cak.

Thursday 20th Nov
Am out of the UK at the moment but still managed an hour running along the coast this morning. Have no idea just how far as have no edge (where the hell's it gone, the swine). Am going to work it out when get back to Blighty. Surprised by the number of herons about.

Wednesday 19th Nov
Am off on travels for work, not back til Friday. Did a 3.5 mile quick run up town and back this morning - needed more time for packing and sorting out before going. Got three more loaves done last night so have only two more to do to fulfil the deficit then get another batch of orders for next week.

View out my window at the moment.

Tuesday 18th Nov
Late posting but been darned busy. Ran 5 miles this morning, this after getting up at 3am and 5am to set breadmaker off. Beginning to regret that cunning plan, however, it's turning into a better plan. With Giftaid ticked on the sponsor sheets, the £1 a loaf becomes £1.28 a loaf which means £1000 target becomes a damned site easier.

Did gym session again at lunch time, 10 mins on exercise bike set on load setting 6, 25 mins on rower set on 10 and a few reps of weights. Good. Weighed before leaving work as am not going to be in office on Friday - 14st 3.5lbs which I think is half pound less than last official weigh so that'll do.

Ed Byrne - half toff, half pikey - Different Class Tour 2008
Been to see Ed Byrne at Derby Assembly Rooms' Darwin Suite - he was bloomin brilliant much much better than crappy Paddy McGuiness. Really enjoyed it and the kiwi warm up act was really good too. When I work out what he was called I'll update the post.

Ed Byrne - if you get chance, go see, he's great.

Monday 17th Nov
Been going to bed at 9pm or earlier since Friday night and it's working a treat. Got up at 5:30 this morning with no problems at all on the road for ten to six and got the requisite six and half miles completed in good time. Well pleased. Have got to go back up attic tonight as have sorted all the summer stuff out that won't be needed for a good few weeks - cycle shorts, running vests etc.etc.

Sunday 16th Nov
Still not found the bloomin Edge GPS tracker gadget which is an irritant really as I ran a bloomin fast six and a half this morning and it would have been nice to know just how fast - certainly under an hour twas!

Rugby training with Lucy at half ten, bacon cob was grand, had three black coffees in two hours as well which was grand. They were practicing on the top playing field so plenty of walking done too. Been up in the attic and got all the winter gloves, scarves and hats down at last so no more cold hands while out running.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Week Sun 9th - Sat 16th November

Roundup of Week gone by
As Eric Morecambe would say - 'Rubbish'. Didn't run nearly enough. Golf was tat. England lost to the ozzies at Rugby due more to stupid mistakes than poor performance. The Australians were being made out to be one of the great Australian sides but they're nothing special. There's no Campeze in that fifteen and that's for sure. England have got some great talent bubbling in there and give 12 months of Johnson moulding them and they'll stuff the Ozzies. What they can't do next time is give away penalty after kickable penalty, that's unforgiveable at that level.

Anyway, Derby won.

Saturday 15th Nov
Went to bed at 8:30 last night as have been feeling knackered all week. Got up at 5:30 feeling okay, catching up now on work that was missed yesterday due to Children in Need. No Problem. Going to fetch papers on the FCR1 this morning if it's dry or a little bit of a run if it's not.

Golf - we got thrashed today - shook hands on the 14th - but in fairness both John and meself struggled today and the pair we played Ray and Stuart both hit it a long, long way off 15 and 18 handicaps and it nailed it down with rain. Awful golf but England vs Australia on the rugby which should be juicy.

Friday 14th Nov
Friday was Children in Need fund raising at SW so was drafted in to be a slave for a couple of hours. Meant missing group which this week is not a bad thing cause am sure to have put on although alcohol consumption for last week was near as damnit non-existant. Ended up cleaning I think 11 or so cars for the web team and then working for the Field Admin team in the afternoon making drinks and doing some programming work (can't beat a blast from the past, what!) for them. Good stuff - think we raised getting on for a grand overall at Head Office, although I may well be wrong - update on monday with added accuracy I should think.

Bit better this morning got out of bed for 5:40 and got out the house for 6:05, did five miles up Ashbourne and back. Very slow, am absolutely knackered at the moment it has to be said.

Thursday 13th Nov - Evening
Did a solid session in the Gym at lunchtim. James was hogging the rower so did 12 minutes on exercise bike for some 130kcals. Then loads of weights. Which made up for not doing a full run in the morning I like to think.

Boat Multiplier
I got a dirty big multiplier off Ebay for £12. Loaded up with 60lb line, it's a monster ! It's a Shakespeare Sigma something or other. Problem was it would only wind a couple of foot in and then jammed. Opened it up and there's a spring caught in the gears - not good. So pulled out the spring and it's fully functional again - good. Have a thought to use it off the rocks close in at Church Bay next year. With 60lb line on it snags should be much less of an issue.

Thursday 13th Nov
Same again, couldn't get out of bed. Gone six before I was up. Still went for a bit of a run though. Did three and a half again which is better than nowt. Did a solid session in Gym yesterday to make up and intend to do the same again today.

Wednesday 12th Nov
Couldn't get out of bed again. Just gone six before I got downstairs. Anyway got dressed for running double quick as I thought could get the five miler in. Didn't count on absolute crap weather so went back in and did a bit of programming. Weather had improved a wee bit by 6:30 so ran up town fetched papers and then back home. On the clock in Jewitt's papershop it looked like it said 6:40 which seems insane - a mile and a half in ten minutes so I reckon their clock is wrong, any way certainly did three and a half miles in just over thirty minutes so it's the old thing of if running late you run quicker!! Lateness that's the future.

Tuesday 11th Nov
Blimey, don't go to Basingstoke it's bloomin miles away and it rains a lot. . got back gone 8 o'clock last night so not a lot of time to do owt when got home. Anyway, it's a new day. Did the 6.5 mile Okeover, Mappleton, Ashbourne, Clifton run - the new usual run. Pace was okay I think, must admit I'm not missing the edge as much as I thought I would and in some ways it makes the runs less pressure in that I'm not looking down and thinking "gotta go quicker, it's slower than 10 minute miles". Sod that, distance is king now and getting me little legs used to the miles is the main thing. 18 miles on the clock in three days, things are good.

Monday 10th Nov
Couldn't get out of bed early enough. Am off down to Basingstoke this morning so felt like I hadn't as much time so have only done 5 miles this morning. No idea of pace but felt a bit on the slow side. Not to worry. Have had naff-all beer over the weekend which is good but been experimenting with the bread-maker which is less good. Will see what the effect of all that is at weighin but will try and bump up the exercise levels a bit this week to offset the bread!

Sunday 9th Nov
Weekends? Relaxing? You're having a laugh . Got back from Slimming World's Awards last night at 12am, up early doors, running - 6 miler, no edge, round Mappleton, over to Darley pick up Lucy, over to Bakewell, Rugby practice and on and on it goes. There's no rest for the wicked.

The do last night was something else and just goes to show what Slimming World is all about, The Man of the Year winner had lost 25stones for heaven's sake! Two of the Woman of the Year finalists had lost in excess of 10 stones - double figure weight losses and I'm mucking about maintaining most weeks? Fool of a Took, I am.

Hey ho.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Week - Sunday 1st Nov to Saturday 8th Nov 08

Saturday 8th Nov
Yesterday was a damned nightmare. Stress city start to finish but it's done now. Saturday is a new day. Big Company do down in Birmingham later, got another 6.5miler done this morning. No idea of time after losing the edge earlier in the week but in a way that matters not a jot. I've got to run 26 miles and 385 yards next April so the speed is no longer the issue any more, staying power and endurance is wat I've got to start working towards. Kathryn my marathon guru is going to give me a training plan soon. If she don't soon I'll be getting one from t'internet!

Friday 7th The Weight Stays the Same
Had a weigh-in at Nics lil group on Wednesday weight and weight was down at 15st 2.5lbs which I was surprised and pleased about. Today it's 15st 4lbs which is same as last week and a bit rubbish. However, I drank a fair bit last weekend so a maintain isn't the end of the world at this stage. Now the goal is to keep away from anything like beer! Work has been mega hectic this week and have not made the gym all week but am going to make an effort to get there today

Friday 7th November - British Steel
Not showing any British Steel today! 5:30 til now (6:05) it's been chucking it down with rain. Took some stuff to me car just in case it's only messing about rain but it's not, so at the moment running is off. In summer I could run in the light rain no problem but winter rain is just not worth it and I've not had a rest day for ages so will give the joints a break.

Have got some big, big news that involves London and April but am not sure I'm allowed to mention it yet, so forget you've even read London and April on a blog that mentions running a lot, okay?

If it's all done by 6:25 I can run up town and back to go get papers but otherwise it looks like I'm definitely going to be in the gym later today to get some cardio done. Thus far today it's just press-ups and what have you at home.

Thursday 6th November - Disaster Strikes!
Have lost my edge quite literally. Can't find the Garmin Edge GPS computer that has been tracking my runs/cycle rides for the past 14 months this morning. Still, did the 6.5 miles round Mappleton and back through Ashbourne - same route at Monday, set off at 5:53 got back a fraction after 7:00 so about normal pace.

Wednesday 5th November
Absolute rubbish run today. Edge played up for a start so it looks like I didn't start running until over a mile from home and then texted son at 6:30 to tell him to do something (which he didn't, the little toad) and forgot to restart the Edge so lost a load of distance there as well. Edge says run was rubbish pace wise and I'd have to agree am slower at minute cause me legs are knackered but not that damn slow! Anyway, day can only get better (please).

Tuesday 4th November
Did a five mile run this morning but the Edge played up again a bit so it looks like 4 and a half miles. Didn't get up til 5:50 so running too late for the six miler.

Monday 2nd November
Well, while watching the Derby v Forest Game yesterday, I partook of a beer or two which was bloomin silly, but hey-ho that's what I did. That's it for alcohol now uptil Xmas. Hopefully the weight will start dropping again here on in. Did six and a half miles this morning which is the regime now.

Sunday 1st November
Started off with an okay sort of a six mile run. Cold and drizzly which is what I'm blaming for my much reduced pace! Then went off to Chellaston with Lucy to play Melbourne Juniors at rugby. Damned cold again but Lucy got stuck in and had a good game so was nice to see.

Amazed at the Derby v Forest game on Sky. What was the ref on? High octane stuff and nice to see Lee Camp doing well. Why ever we let him go I don't know? Anyroad spilt milk and all that.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Week - Sunday 26th Oct - Saturday 1st Nov

Round up
Ran just under 40 miles this week which is okay. Put a pound on in weight again - since April I've put on about a pound a month, this is less okay. Golf was very hit and miss, didn't strike the ball well at all put putted rather nicely and kept us ticking over in the Autumn Texas Scramber, we came in at something like 59.7 in then end which wasn't bad in the conditions - windy and cold. Winter league has started, me and John should be playing in it, but missing next week due to a company do.

Saturday 1st Nov
First of November but about warmest day of week so far even if there is a bit of a frost. Been out and run up to town to get papers, three miles or so on a bit of a hangover from killing too much beer last night. Golf later.

Friday 31st Oct
Now have a re-kindled interest in Sea Angling I've been following with interest the use of kayaks for sea fishing kind of like a low-cost diy in-shore boat fishing thang. Not massively expensive but here's the benefits - it's exercise, it's fishing, it shouldn't be too expensive. Am following a blog from a guy in Hampshire called and getting seriously tempted!! Have contacted local canoe club in Matlock to see when their next 'have-a-go' day is.

Running this week
Proud of meself for sticking with it this week - run damn near 36 miles according to Training Center software (it should be more as the GPS don't track through the tunnel at Ashbourne) but a shorter five miler tomorrow should make for a forty mile total which is probably as much as I've ever done in a week and shows the resilience building into my knee again which has shown no signs of pain this week. Good. Current mood: pleased.

Did six and half miles or so (remember the Edge's tunnel vision) this morning, ever so slow but not bothered because once again the weather was so cold. The new twist this morning was that not onlt was it frosty but from Mayfield until I turned back towards Ashbourne at Mappleton I was running into a bloomin freezin wind - you're not supposed to get frost and wind together are you? What's going on in the met office???

It's Janet's group later today. Am not really bothered what the weigh in says. I'm back on mission now so regardless of what today is there will be changes by Christmas that I can guarantee.

Thursday 30th Oct
Didn't get back from the office until gone ten last night so wasn't really up for running this morning. But that's no reason not to! So did a humble five miler this morning was okay and in office in plenty of time for 8:30 meeting. Did 25 mins of rower and some weights as well yesterday after me gym assessment - was okay nowt special - think the additional running is sapping me a bit - which has to be a good thing!

Wednesday 29th October - Reality Check
Been whinging on a lot that weight increase was due to increase in muscle - it's not. Been to gym for a re-assessment today and had a body composition test done. Lean weight is up very slightly from 75.3kg in June to 75.5kg today, but the real damage to the weight management is an increase in fat from 19.3kg to 22.3kg. Time to start food optimising again properly before it turns into a train wreck!

Wednesday 29th Oct
Did a 7 miler this morning. The computer say 6.86 cause it switched itself off shortly after I set off but from the point I noticed it was off to finishing was damn near 7 miles anyway (and ran through the Tunnel from the cycle hire centre so there's another third of a mile missing ther).. Slower pace, was dead cold but not unhappy all things considered - I think 10 minute miles would still you get a marathon done in under 5 hours so that'd be okay.

Tuesday 28th Oct

Kept on the chosen path - 6.5 miles this morning, pace not bad at 9:17/mile and bear in mind it was darned cold again. Cocked it up a bit eating wise as had a cinnamon twirl danish before I went out running but the missus' fault as she got them reduced at Sainsbobs last night and it'd have gone off if I'd not ate it, possibly.

Monday 27th Oct
Started as I meant to go on but weather got in the way. Got up at 5:30, ready to run at 5:45 stepped out and it was absolutely hammering down with rain. So waited and waited and got set off about 6:05 got just shy of six miles run at a not bad pace so not unhappy with it all. Had to keep stopping to change radio and stuff while out and was a bit miffed when some whipper-snapper over took me about half a mile from home. Bet he'd only just set out while I was five and a half miles in. Me Xmas present arrived as I was setting off to work so am going to be aying a look at that when I get home.

Gym for forty minutes at lunchtime. 25 mins on rower and the usual battery of weights. Okay stuff, bed early then out on road in morning. Some weight on again I reckon, a legacy of the cracking 10 cans of fosters for £4.99 at Somerfield.

Sunday 26th October.

I do like Sundays, started off with a big breakfast which was maybe a bit wrong but it's Sunday what the heck says I. Then did the new six mile daily run as recommended by Kathryn the marathon gal. Looks like 5miles on motionbased but that's because the Edge wasn't working until almost on Mayfield Road so it's not got the best part of a mile on it. Anyway, it was a good start to the day I felt.

Next up on a Sunday morning is Rugby practice for Lucy which involves me sitting on a camping chair with a big cup of black coffee, radio in the tabholes for an hour or two and when the weather's like it was it's a pleasure to be there. Lucy set up a lovely try and ran around for a good hour so it was good for Lu too.

Merry Christmas Mr Siddall
Now, am back into Sea fishing I've treated myself to a multiplier, it's an Okuma Magnetix LS-30 reel that's similiar to the ABU 7000 series sort of thing line wise. Lord knows how well it will work but I've always fancied one. £37 on Ebay it was. Not quite the one in the picture below as the one I have got has level wind but it should be the very thing for off the rocks loaded up with 25lb line.

Yesterday's golf - Lordy were we rubbish, it was an Autumn Greensome where you both drive off, pick the best one then play alternate shots in. Yesterday I was having difficulty hitting a cows ass with a shovel it was that bad. On the tenth I hit so far left it was lucky not to end up on the road into the club, when I checked the driver I'd been lucky to hit it at all the ball mark was so close to the heel! Rubbish, texas scramble next week so will have to improve, couldn't get a lot worse!!!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Week Sunday 19th - Saturday 25th Oct

Saturday 25th Oct
Saturday starts well. Been testing the knee out a bit more now - just short of eight slow miles this morning, bit slow but Jeez Louise, it was freezing cold. Glad I mowed the lawns yesterday seems like perfect time for the last cut. Golf at 12:20 and tomorrow I'll tell you about the Christmas present I've got mesen, no Giant superbike this year far more frugal but hopefully just as useful next year.

Yesterday was a good day! Name the Journey track that comes from?

Anyway, took Phil to Ripley Army Surplus store and we bought a foldy down spade that will be grand for bait digging next year I hope and also means I'll never have to buy a bucket and spade again. Possibly.

Then we pounded over to Lidl because me mum wanted a heater thing so we got that, also got five 1.5KG bags of bread flour for £2.40 which I thought was a good deal (same as Tesco price-wise but it might be different quality of flour - we'll see).

Then went to Curry's, regular readers may know that my lad, Phil managed to knacker the 32" Sharp LCD TV we had so have been visiting Currys Electricals to sort the replacement out and thus far have been biding my time waiting for the right deal. Well yesterday we came back with a 40" Sony which cost about £80 less than the 32" Sharp we had a couple of years ago and is full High Definition and a damn side bigger, more stylish too so well please. The odd thing is that the 46" version of this TV, the KDL46V4000 is £1,199.00 - how does that work - you can have two 40" TVs or one 46" TV - which would you go for??

So after coming home and setting up the telly which is reet good, went to play some golf. It was a grand afternoon and I thought after a couple of holes I ought to mow the lawn a last time, so did five holes whizzed back home and mowed all the lawns. Well pleased.

Answer to the lyric question, by the way, was "Just the Same Way", from either Evolution or Infinity albums Gregg Rolie sang it so it's about the time Perry joined and just before Rolie left!

Friday 24th Oct
I know I'm getting ahead of myself but am off Friday so not attending Janet's group at work tomorrow so am taking last night's weight for the weekly record. A maintain is okay given the fact that am not sticking to the plan by any means. Am going to get myself sorted out soon honest!!

Went to Dentist this afternoon for a checkup, scale and polish which all went well. Both the dentist and later, the hygenist said 'you've not put the weight back on' so they obviously don't see the 10/12lbs up that I am from my lowest - so I can't be all that out of shape. Next time I go to Dentist will have done a marathon. That's something to think about!

Thursday 23rd Oct

Couldn't get up this morning and consequently didn't get on the road until 6:22 resulting in a much reduced mileage (should have been 3.5miles but didn't get the Edge going until got to top of the Hill). Went to Nic's group last night and had a maintain so still at 15st 3lbs which I was actually chuffed with considering how much I drank last weekend. Need to get doing it again properly though as less weight would make the running easier and I got a marathon to do still!

Wednesday 22nd Oct
Another day, another steady sort of five miles. Very cold so pace might be expected to be down but I reckon I can tweak it a bit and push the pace up. From next week I'm going to be doing six milers as recomended by my marathon trainer Kathryn so will need to start getting up a bit earlier!

Tuesday 21st Oct
Ran much faster today sub-9 minute miles so well pleased with the start so far. Best run for ages - think partly because I was late setting off and partly because I could!
Did another good gym session - am making that habit - 25 mins on rower for 5,600m! and a ton of weights. All good.

Monday 20th Oct
Started okay with a five mile run up Ashbourne and back picking up newspapers on the way. Pace sub 10 mins seems to be as good as I'm going to get at the minute. No problems though considering how much beer I had over weekend!

Did Gym at lunchtime 25 mins on rower for 5,300 metres and a solid weights session while waiting for the rowing machine to become available - we only got once concept2 rower which can be a problem on occasion.

Sunday 19th Oct
Afternoon - thought had better to do a bike ride or something so cycled over to Darley Dale, a bit over 17 miles. What was cool about this ride was that I went straight up Buxton Hill for the first time. Normally I skirt round it going a bit further but making it less of a steep hill climb, doing the Buxton Hill is serious stuff for me but got there. Thank the lord it was downhill for a good while after, I was aircooled going toward Fenny Bentley I can assure you!

Been over at Cromford Meadows this morning with Lucy. She was playing with Ashbourne u10s against Matlock at Rugby. Brought back some memories for sure, we used to have games at Cromford Meadows. Every week we'd get on a bus from Ernest Bailey's (later to become Highfields) and down to Cromford for rugby, cricket and once in a while athletics. Marvellous. Had a look in the clubhouse - pics of Old Bailean's sides featuring folks I used to go to school and muck about with - Gaz Siddall on a few pics and his brother Rob.

Rang me bro about future camping possibilities in sunny Anglesey. Went to Aldi last week and got this enormous airbed for a total comfort solution at just thirty quid. See pic below - it's got a built-in AC pump but will also take a normal camping type pump solution. Also got a load of lures from a pound shop in Derby for a few quid so am all setup next time we go.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Week Sunday 11th to Saturday 18th Oct

Saturday 18th - Keeping Busy
First thing, did a 7 miler on the FCR1 this morning to fetch newspapers, averaged 15.2 which was ok, very cold, must remember gloves next time. Sorted a load of clothes out, put summer stuff away, going up in attic later to get some winter hats and scarves down. What a horrible time of year eh!

Been and done recycling run - plastic bottles, cans, newspaper, old clothes - you can take most anything these days. Done hoovering, busier I am the less time I have to go near biscuit barrels etc. etc. Golf at 12:20, fish and chips tea. You gotta love Saturdays.

Golf - steady stuff, did 41 for front nine and a 43 for back nine. Putted well, chipped ok, a shank on first and a silly drive on fifteenth resulted in a solitary double-bogey in an okay sort of a round.

Friday 17th Oct
Got up late again (05:50), however, determined to get self sorted out so forced mesen to run five miles which was ok - pace was 9:40 per mile or 6.2mph which was not too bad. My legs feel tired all the time which I'm taking as a sign the the body is using fat reserves rather than me being far less fitter than I was at the start of the year.

Lost a pound and a half at the group that I count as being the 'real' published group. Was 15st 4.5 last week and this week it's 15st 3lb which is still terrible considering where I was but considering the volume of lager I had last week I should be looking at it as a minor triumph! Going to be better this weekend and get it closer to 15st 1.5lbs next week and then into the 14s the following week. It's well doable if I just keep myself in order.

Thursday 16th Oct
Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. Couldn't get out of bed, didn't get on road til twenty five past six, only a poxy three miles at 9:59 again (sure sign am getting old). Reet Grumpy. No gym yesterday, mega busy still but am definitely going today, think I'm making subconscious excuses not to do gym which is stupid as I quite like it when I get there. Current mood: grumpy but positivish.
Got into gym did 25 mins on rower and a load of weights and some ab crunches too which I need to add to my routine.

Wednesday 15th Oct
A steadier five miler this morning. Pace of 9:59 right on the wire but a run's a run and at least didn't feel sick on this one. No gym today as mega busy.

Weigh in at Nic's group, half a pound off at nics, stick with it and that should be a pound come Janet's group on Friday.

Tuesday 14th Oct
Did a five mile run this morning, pace not too shabby at 9:31 but felt sick as a dog after four and a half miles, don't know why. Didn't sleep particularly well after some problems at work yesterday so maybe that had something to do with it. Good news is that the knee now feels A1 and wasn't protecting it at all during this mornings run and it felt a better run for it.

Gym wasn't as good as usual - did some running on the treadmill and a load of weights but couldn't get on the rower due to someone else hogging it. N'er mind.

Monday 13th Oct
Did a slow nine miles on the FCR1 this morning, pitch black and pace right down as you might expect. 5 minute miles is v slow but you gotta be able to spot those potholes and what have. Weekend alcohol intake has been very poor, am going to have an alcohol free weekend this weekend coming 18th/19th and see how we go the following weekend.

Did 6,500m on the rower in 30 mins and some weights in gym. Quate pleased witht that.

Had a good food optimising sort of a day too (which I can't say same for weekend). Consultant Janet has been giving me some grief to get my head together so that will probably help!

Did fifteen or so miles yersterday on the FCR1 was going to run but thought it was too nice for running - according to the Edge average speed was 15.4mph which was nice. Some daft old bint stepped out in front of me at Rowsley which added to the excitement somewhat and gave the brakes a good testing.

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