Friday, 22 May 2015

Dirty Weekend and Bellatrix Laspeed

A couple of weekends ago Lee, James and I did the Rat Race Dirty Weekend – a 20 mile, 200 obstacle, race.  It was okay.  The river sections were really fun (apart from for James who lost his specs and then got hypothermia, we put it down as a bad day at the office) but some obstacles had a lot of queuing and there were quite a few using alu scaffolding which wasn’t hard, just uncomfortable.  The final big ‘team’ walls were a comical mess of poor technique.   It wasn’t that hard, yet it was also quite draining.  We finished in about six and a half hours, which put us exactly mid-table (across all categories) but we stopped for a pretty long time in the middle.

James’ experience has made me wonder of the worth of such long events – normally I am ‘hardest, longest, toughest’ but running long distance requires a slow pace which seems at odds to the gun-ho obstacles.  So, after I complained about the events safety processes (James really was that cold!) and received a hefty discount, Lee and I have entered the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest in November, which is a measly 10k, but should allow us to blast it (we even paid the £5 extra to start in the first wave).


In other news, Felicity is dead.  Our beloved Fabia vRS has been part exchanged for a smart new car after we decided the broken power steering was too much and too expensive to warrant repairing.  And what a new car it is!  Say hello to Bellatrix Laspeed; an Octavia Estate vRS Blackline Edition.  She is a DSG automatic (flappy paddles!) and I must say, I am an immediate convert.  She is also reasonably rapid.


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Is it possible to be more middle-class?

I sit typing this while working from home on the laptop with the back doors wide open, eating goats cheese on artisan bread while the workmen fix the Smeg dishwasher whilst drinking Nespressos.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Celebrations!


Yes, Moose-fans, the release of Age of Ultron can only mean one thing - Nick and Holly's anniversary!  This year, the big one five.  And still going strong!


Naturally, we went to see it the day before general release, and I can confirm it is most good.  Top three material for sure.  Number one? We'll see, after second and maybe third viewings.


Cocktails followed at an unnecessarily noisy, but nonetheless good bar, and then burgers at Five Guys.


The next day, after ballet, I had the curls lopped off.  What looks like grey, is in fact, merely a trick of the light.


I then built a box, that Willow got in.  It's one of the new planters I am building for my new interest in gardening.  Yes, I know.




Holly got me a bottle of The Dalmore, a very, very fine dram.  I think it is time for one...

Monday, 13 April 2015

Running the Lea

Alert – VDP*

*Very dull post

Yesterday I ran the Lea with Lee and James.  18.5 miles from Limehouse to Broxbourne, and very nice it was too.  Today my legs don’t ache as such, but I do feel a bit battered.

At the end I had a Coke with some perfectly aligned ice (aligned to not cool my drink).

Erm, that’s it really.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Back to Wales

Easter means the first cadet 'summer' mountain trip of the year but you wouldn't have thought that on Friday if you had happened to be on the Nantlle Ridge. Okay, it didn't snow, but it was certainly not pleasant with a baptism of wind and rain for the young'uns. 

Saturday was much nicer with the ming clearing as we neared the summit of Moel Siabod.  At which point one of lads declared his confusion at being in Snowdonia and not seeing any domes. Quizzical looks ensued until we realised he had confused Snowdonia with the Eden Project. As you do.

Before the long drive home we set them off on a wee solo route which gave me and Matt a chance to grab a quick climb.  Even though only VS, Oxine gave me that uneasy feeling that comes from hardly climbing for yonks but it was pleasingly straightforward, if a bit pumpy. Matt did well to second it despite a lot less climbing than even my meagre record. I do enjoy a rock climb when it is gloriously sunny.

So VS cruised with no training, imagine the possibilities with...

In lieu of any Welsh action shots, here is The Moose to wish you a happy Easter.



Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Nick, the council worker

I don’t much care to talk about the day-job here, one never knows who is reading, storing up gossip to shoot me in the foot with later.  But at times, one must make an exception, and rejoicing in my new job is one of those times.

I am now in my third week of working for an unnamed local authority and so far, it is fair to say that the grass is most definitely greener.  Like some kind of iridescent fluro lime compared to the barren wastelands of an abandoned landfill being slowly reclaimed by the desert.  That is not to say I don’t like TfL – in fact, it is a shame I had to leave (no exaggeration) as it is an exciting time there with the massive investment in the Cycle Superhighways and other big schemes being built – but I didn't feel a part of that excitement, adding precisely nothing to the cause.  I think that boredom can be just as stressful as pressure and I was very bored indeed, that, coupled with a feeling that anything I did had no tangible benefit meant I was very keen to take a new job, and after much searching, one surfaced very close to home.

Keeping with my ethic of not ‘talking shop’, I won’t go into a, suffice to sayworkany more detail, save to say that I think I can have an impact here and am enjoying a certain amount of freedom to do things how I think they should be done.  The work / life balance is the real boon though – running a much shorter distance than I cycled, plus flexi-time means I am getting home at about 1645hrs each day – the extra hour and a half with the family are really great.  I keep sitting down, having a cup of tea, giving Willow dinner, having a play and then I look at my watch and realise I wasn’t even home yet at the old job!  I am also working from home one day a week, which is very nice too.

Working here does bring its worries – an ever-shrinking organisation might not yield a lifelong career, and it’s going to be very hard going back to a long commute.  And I am going to need to do something to compensate for the lack of exercise I now get.  Generally though, so far, so great…


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

20 miles on a Sunday

On the back of relatively little training, we had the Thames Riverside 20 on Sunday.  A nice, if out-and-back, route along the south bank of the Thames from Putney Bridge west through the rich and rowing heartlands of Richmond.

James, Lee, Matt and I all took part so it was the full Dirty Weekend team together for the first time - we have two months left before the main event.

The race was paced, with us starting in the 8:30 min per mile group, and although it took me a long while, eventually I pulled ahead of the pacer to beat that target, so I was pretty pleased.  I actually finished with a pace of 8:28 min per mile (I think the pacers must have been a bit slow) and with a time of 2 hours 49 minutes and 26 seconds, making me 127th of 253 runners.

Why, Matthew...
'Worse than the Marathon'