Two very good jog-runs and three technical problems

Mon 6 – Sun 12 May 2019

A good week particularly because of 2 very good jog-runs. But also a week with 3 technical hitches which is amusing because I am a tech enthusiast – it annoys us all sometimes:

  1. Problems with my headphones due to pocket crap getting into the plug-in point. Took the advice of the repair guy at Victoria station and went for bluetooth ones. Tried to buy a pair in Argos, the lovely lady had them in her hand but couldn’t sell them to me because her computer wouldn’t allow it! 🙁 Row with Argos online who were absolutely useless. Purchased pair on Amazon and got them the next day. 🙂
  2. Upgraded my website to WordPress 5.2 on Saturday. This only runs on minimum PHP of 5.6. I went through the online guidance and thought I had updated so my server was on PHP 5.6 but then the site stopped working because it said I was only on PHP 5.4. A call to the USA-based hosting service got things sorted and I know for the future what needs to be done. Although the call probably cost me about £30. 🙁
  3. Sunday and I dropped my phone on the tiled bathroom floor. Didn’t crack the front but the case was all smashed. 🙁 So had to buy a case to protect and hold the phone together; basically I gave it a new exo-skeleton. £15 and a phone in a case with a cover that now looks like one that old people have.

Books and Reading

Two books completed last week.

‘Ghost Story’ by Peter Straub

I have been reading this book on my kindle for several weeks now. Dipping into it every so often particularly when I am travelling. The fact I did not feel a need to race through it suggests how I feel about it. TBH I found it a bit of a slog. Indeed, it is actually supposed to be a horror classic and the novel that launched the career of Peter Straub.

salem's lot

It is long and convoluted with several stories happening. I actually found it very similar to Salem’s Lot: evil taking over a whole town, the outsider who saves the situation helped by a young local, die-hard local sceptics. I really cannot see it as a classic and am certainly not drawn to read any of his other books. Indeed, I think there are many better horror novels.

‘Strange Tide’ by Christopher Fowler

My regular blog readers will know that Christopher Fowler is one of my favourite contemporary writers. And every so often I go back to the next instalment in the adventures of detectives Bryant and May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit. This is a good book as ever though I really read them because of the characters I have come to know and love. The senior detectives waning love affair with London as it is demolished and replaced by glass blocks no-one lives in echoes my own thoughts.

Health and Efficiency

Health and efficiency magazine cover

Jog-runs

Two jog-runs fitted in last week before my holiday in Sitges starting on Wednesday. I might do some jogging there but that it my normal holiday intention and it rarely comes to much.

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First of the jog-runs was on Tues morning. Up early (5.30am) for a warm-up coffee then out. For no particular reason I can work out, it was a cracking run. I clocked a time of 1 hour, 2 mins and 44 seconds. Not my best ever but an improvement of over 3 mins from the previous outing. Some great one kilometre times, all under 7 mins. I felt good the rest of the day – a real buzz from a good result.

Then on Sunday it was back out for the next of the jog-runs. A little lay-in as it is generally quieter on the streets at weekend and my warm-up coffee shop did not open until 7am. Another good one: 1 hour, 3 mins and 10 seconds. Probably would have been better if I hadn’t got stuck behind a group of foreign students towards the end. 🙁 All kilometre stretches under 7 mins again. Though I am realising my bogey one is the penultimate between 8 and 9 km. I’m worn out and can’t get the speed up until the final stretch.

Weight

Still heading in the right direction. Perhaps slowing down after a couple of blow-out days but down to 13 stone 12 and a quarter pound on Sunday. Not sure I can expect to lose much on holiday with the nice food and alcohol. Staying the same would make me happy. 🙂 Details on all jog-runs and weight can be found here.

Gym

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Two nice gym sessions last week: Wed and Sat mornings. I love getting back to the gym and doing roughly one hour sessions focusing on the body parts I want to work on that day. I really get off on leaving the gym with my body feeling like it has been worked, stretched and pushed. The new jacuzzi / spa pool helps. 🙂

Massage and pilates

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No yoga last week, my teacher has gone on an unexpected holiday. That’s cool, we are catching up when I return from Sitges and it freed up Tues morning for one of my jog-runs. 🙂 A refreshing massage with my mate learning this skill on Wed afternoon after my gym session.

And on Thursday morning I did another Basic Reformer pilates session. Bloody hard work but an excellent teacher and made me aware of body parts / gym exercises I need to focus on. Ideally I want all my different exercise routines to connect and lead me to losing weight plus having a more attractive body.

Personal Development

Some progress on languages and coding. Former helped by my new bluetooth headphones – I use the Drops app as I walk around to boost my Spanish vocab. Could be more being done by me – there always could be. Kept on top of emails but nothing really exciting happening around creating or experiencing art. 🙁

Place in the Sun

Lisbon, Portugal

Strange, you might think, to put this under Personal Development. But I have always had the ambition to live abroad either more or full-time. The thing that really stops me and Dave doing it is simply that we both have elderly parents to look after. Perhaps after they have gone if we are not too old and decrepit…

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We both love the programmes about people who have done this. Though my big question is always why people go straight off to buy somewhere to live. Unless you are 100% sure, rent somewhere first to see if you like the reality rather than just trying to live the dream. I think it’s the British obsession nurtured by Thatcher selling off the council houses that anything less than house ownership equals failure.

smiling baby boomers

Free tickets to the Place in the Sun exhibition at Olympia on Friday. The average age was about 60 and it was a bit of a gammon fest. Lots of wealthy retirees looking to create a bit of Britain in the sun – I suspect many actually voted Brexit. 🙁 In one session on living in Spain people were asked to signify if they were learning Spanish – only a tiny spattering of hands. 🙁

The exhibition was mainly estate agents and they in any country are pretty much a muchness. We avoided signing anything! Best thing were the seminars on living abroad. All the key stuff you need to know like residency, taxes, employment, and healthcare. The latter is key to me and the general message was no problem so long as you have no long-term major health problems… That’s me fucked then, perhaps I am trapped in Blighty forever. 🙁

Friends

Daisy

Thurs night it was a meeting with my old mate David – affectionately known as Daisy. 🙂 He looked well though the place we had planned to eat at was fully booked. So we went to another restaurant in Chiswick. A very pleasant meal discussing what we are both up to. His main thing is ancestor research in the archives and online.

St Peter’s Church May Fair

Me and Dave went here on Sat after I had finished at the gym. I put it under ‘Friends’ because I thought our mates Patrick and Stephen (‘the boys’ as David calls them) might be there but unfortunately no show. 🙁 Dave assures me they are OK. The Fair itself was great and I ended up buying books, clothes, knickknacks, and a load of Babylon 5 DVD box sets; hopefully I will get time to watch them before I die.

The Week Ahead

  • Main thing next week is me and Dave off to Sitges. I love this Spanish gay centre, Dave not so much. A cheap but decent hotel I’ve stayed at before and hopefully lots of playa (beach), drinks, and people watching.
  • Must try and get some personal development stuff done on holiday. Could practice my Spanish though most people’s first tongue in Sitges is Catalan.
  • Should get in 2 gym sessions before we go and a massage on Mon afternoon.
  • My main reading book is the gift from my wonderful work colleagues for my sabbatical – ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’ by Marlon James. It is good but hard work and intense. Fantasy crossed with African mythology. I read and enjoyed his award-winning novel ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’.

And Finally…

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