Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Training Diaries

An occasional scribble!

8th September 2015 - A real Autumn commute - Foggy, damp.. but no wind!
What could have a nice ride spoiled by a slow puncture about 10 miles in, the remaining 7 or so miles a case of ride, stop, pump repeat! Ride home was another story, at +17mph and a sub 58 minute ride.

10th September 2015 - Another Autumnal morning, and a steady ride in, quite earry in places as the sun tried to break the mist with great photo opportunity missed as a flock of geese appeared flying through the half-light. Another quick ride home though and at 56.40, the fastest for some time!

13th September 2015 - St Giles Bike Ride. A steady ride to Whittington, although the day looked to be promising, at 7.45am it was still quite chilly, and coat and leg warmers needed. Signing on done all set for the  9.00 o`clock start. Setting off in waves of 30 or so, I some how missed setting off with Mr. Cox and crew, but soon found a group pedaling at around 17mph, my target speed, so i tucked in, working my way to the front as we wound up to 20mph heading to Barton, a short hill split the group and as others waited up for friends, I found myself trying to catch the next group. And so the morning went on like this, catching a group, then as they stopped or slowed, moving to the next. This was until the final 15 or so miles when i found myself pretty much on my own, unable to hang on to a group and so now struggling to try and duck under 4 hours, as it was 4.00.47 was I guess quite respectable.  The event was well organised and signed all round, with a nice route, and even the challenge of Brocton hill enjoyable in the Autumn sunshine!

15th September 2015 - WET! 

Monday, 13 July 2015

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Please follow the link to my Just Giving page -


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Thank You!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


With a good ten Months to get fit for this (?) I will be looking for some other events along the way to help with the training, find them here -

13th Sept. 2015-St Giles Hospice - Cycle Ride - 63 miles around the South Derbyshire / Staffordshire "B" roads.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Fifty For Fifty

Some "possible" highlights -

"C2C" - the Coast to Coast Cycle - http://www.c2c-guide.co.uk/
"The Wall" - A 69 mile "trail" run -  http://www.thewallrun.com/
"A Marathon" - TBC
10k on Stilts - TBC
Nightrider - http://www.nightrider.org.uk/Night_Rider_London.htm

1/2 Marathons - Birmingham - Done 2.03.44 20th Oct 2013
                       - Stafford
                       - Lichfield

10ks - Shelton Striders - Done       - Tamworth - Done

The list, in April 2013, is still being drawn up, but i will do my best to keep this Blog up-dated with the various "events" as I confirm.

To add a little, I have set up two "Justgiving" pages

Regain -  http://www.justgiving.com/Simon-Miller50450

Alzheimers - http://www.justgiving.com/Simon-Miller50for50

So, should you think what a great idea this is you can sponsor me too!
(all of the funds will go straight to the Charities)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Not So Secret Diary of Simon Miller aged 49 and.........

18th January
Bit of shopping, bit of house work and then to the Cycle Jumble at Martin Heath Hall..... not sure what to expect, but actually a good little event, picking up an old Brooks saddle which I think with a little TLC will be quite good! Home, and then walk into "town" for the Winter Beer Festival...... a nice couple of hours in the Guildhall and plenty of ale to go at! The evening rounded off with a quick one in the Duke of York  

17th January
First Juggling Club meet of the year.... or was it? the hall is double booked with film club and as 12 - 13 of them and 3 of us we decided not to argue the point! so off to the Queens Head!  

16th January
Am sure the neighbors must think I am mad... another evening spent on the drive under spot light working on the MG!

15th January
Work and Bearded Theory stuff....

14th January
.. pretty much repeat of Monday!
Did a little more work on the Bearded Theory "Walkabout" acts, beginning to come together now.
A good garage session and little more MG work.

13th January
A wet Monday in January, dark when you get up... dark when you get home..........

12th January
Up to a "good" frost... Daisy frozen inside and a small drama at the petrol station as the filler cap key broke off! Home for the spare and eventually off to Camper Mart at Telford. It was "OK", more for later models, but a few a tips picked and some nice vans to look at. Home by one and after warming up a walk into town and a pint at the Duke of York.
The evening spent on the settee with Sherlock!

11th January
Saturday, and holiday booking day! The Fjords Cruise with Mum and Aunt Jean, should be fun!
Lunch at the "Olive Tree"... great as ever. Gave Daisy a wash ready for Camper Mart tomorrow, just as it was getting dark and the frost forming!
Tonight was annual visit to Packington and the Bull & Lion, the usual faces and as ever a fun night, just sad that it took what it did to get us to do this.......

10th January
Not a bad day compared to the rest of the week.. or so it looked out of the windows at work!
Quiet evening, with a "wedding" booking for Daisy!

9th January
More rain over night and drive to work was fun with a couple of "large puddles" on route.
Some more MG work as dry, but cold, night.
8th January
Still as wet as ever and more rain on way....... still at least its not snow.
Started "work" today in my "walkabout act" co-coordinator roll for our favorite festival. First e--mails sent and a few responses already

7th January
Well rested and feeling all round much better!
Busy day at work, a new costing programme to "write".... home and an hour on the MG again, hope this going to be worth it!

6th January
Returned from work, promptly vomited, and then slept until 6.00am!

5th January
Woke, feeling a little "fuzzy" but not too bad and after clearing the frost from car headed home.
A busy day, Christmas decorations away, a whole stack of stuff moved to the shed / loft and a trip to the tip as well. An afternoon of working on the MG. The evening spent watching the Hobbit, which I thought was better then the first!

4th January
Up and away for a first bike ride of 2014, a short road ride over to the Chase. A long walk to Lichfield with Sally and then a visit from Sue, Steve and the Boys. A evening spent with the rest of the "Plant" clan at Karen`s, a nice night.

3rd January
Work, calling at Mums at lunch. A wet day with lots of Floods.

2nd January 
That work thing! a steady day though and not too taxing! Home and an hour working on the MG floor. A walk with Sally and Beau.

1st January 2014
We have of recent years traveled to Lyme Regis on New Years Day, in fact have taken to going down on New Years Eve, spending New Year in Daisy and then heading to Lyme, not this time. The weather reports were not good and we decided to stay home. To make up we decided to go for a walk on the "Chase" and we got soaked, it throw it down for the whole walk!
So, a quiet afternoon with Tom and Lucy calling for tea.

31st December
I like "free" days... the ones where nothing is planned... As Sally at work today is one. First to take Beau a walk... then a run, I got soaked as no sooner had I started it throw it down. A cycle into Lichfield and a coffee and tea cake at "15". "Crap" tv for 1/2 an hour and then a trip in the MG, top down and hat on.... got some waves and smiles! Upon return spent some time on the floor of the MG, which needs some work before the MOT.
A quiet "New Years" with pizza by Goli... yum yum....

30th December
A sad day... Dexter, one of our cats has not been well and the time had arrived to say goodbye. So a slow trip to the vets. Never nice and Dexter purred to the end.
A wet and windy day again and so the jobs I had planned to do on the MG didn't get done.... although I did manage a few bits on Daisy.

29th December
It's holiday so nice bacon sandwich for breakfast... then when all ready, bikes loaded into Daisy, it was over to Cannock Chase. Although still frosty it wasn't too cold and Henry had a great time on his bike.... while Beau had a muddy walk! Home, baths / wash all round including the bikes. After taking Henry home it was time to hop on the train to Sutton and to meet up with the Team Aura crew for our Christmas meal... a good night while we where entertained by Marc and his magic.... up close, very close his "tricks" where very very good.

28th December
Shopping...... more shopping...... busy day again with Mum. Jean, Henry, Tom, Lucy, Kate and Logan round for tea....... with Henry stopping over. A nice afternoon, and as Henry wanted too see it, a great excuse to watch the Hobbit!

27th December
Early start and a windy drive home, very windy. Then dropped Corsa at garage for service. After that a lazy day of tv, garage messing and more tv..... nice and quiet after the madness of the previous days!

26th December
Decided to stay for Boxing day..... so back to Melbourne for beer and few games of pool.... still as bad as ever at pool! Following some house visits back to Josie and Kevin's where we "opened" Daisy for drinks and I provided some fire fun..... seemed to impress!

25th December
A quiet house.. no kids.... Kate soon home though and a mass of presents! After a little sort and tidy on route in Daisy to Josie and Kevin's for Christmas. A quick drink or two in the Melbourne and then dinner.... a lazy afternoon.. secret Santa.... beer.... cards... beer.... more food.... beer... beer.....

24th December
No work... but busy.... shopping, tidying, and then to collect Mum, and then Lucy, a rather nice Christmas Eve, Mum, Tom, Lucy, Kate and Logan all round. A few presents opened which was nice.

23rd December
Work.. Work... but a quite morning and then the "Christmas" meal at the Swan. Quick drink at Mums before home and a quite night.

22nd December
Early alarm and the return journey, straight through to Brussels this time and a quick two hours. A wander round the city again with a drink in the "Irish bar" and buying some chocolates!

21st December
Tired after yesterday's travelling. A steady walk into Cologne.... a little easier than last night's best efforts at getting lost! Over the railway bridge and a look at "lovers locks", dozens.... hundreds of locks, quite a sight. From here to the Cathedral, an very large building..... in fact tallest in the world until the early 1900's.
It was then time to hit the Christmas markets.....7 off them!   We managed 3 before finding a bar! They were good though and would recommend a trip. After a freshen up it was time to make our way to the gig...... a short taxi ride and we where at the industrial type venue... and after battling for a drink and finding our favoured spot, the Levellers appeared, as ever a great set, I had wondered as they where support if their set would be a short one but no fear. A short break and then New Model Army hit the stage... a good set but I don't think quite as good as last week at Nottingham.... maybe the venue as Rock City takes some beating.

20th December
Up early 3.30am! And on the way before 4.00, the start of a long day. We made good time and at 6.00 were on the tube, ahead of time we found a coffee shop and watched the news  of the Apollo theatre roof collapse. The queue foe Eurostar was massive, one of their busiest days it seems, so we were glad we had made the early start. Before long though we were "flying" along and so stepping out in Brussels. A short, 20 minute walk and we where in the Grand Place, Sally was quite impressed, I have been so many times now...... it just seemed like work! We found a nice restaurant for dinner and then after a stroll around the shops back to catch the next train to Liege, a short stop here, long enough for a drink and then the last leg to Cologne.... two tired travelers in bed by ten!  

19th December
Work and packing for the weekend adventure!

18th December

17th December

16th December

15th December
A bit more Christmas shopping and then called over to Jean`s to drop presents off.

14th December
Off with Tom to see New Model Army at Rock City, as ever a great gig, with a good mix of the old and the new.

13th December 
Friday 13th!

12th December

11th December

10th December

9th December
Monday... oh it feels like one too! ... but a good start to the week as won the works Christmas card Sweep!

8th December
Busy morning, as shed needed re-felting, all good fun, needing to saw down trees, or at least branches to get excess, then working on a roof you know is not that great.. sweating a little!
The afternoon spent Christmas shopping.

7th December
Bit of a lie in, then a walk to Lichfield.

6th December
Juggling Club.

5th December

4th December
Finished work on time and then a little of a rush home and then to pick up Marie, Shane and Ken, as all going to Wolverhampton to see Show of Hands. A usual a good gig, with a slightly different feel due to Steve Knightley suffering with a chest infection.  

3rd December

2nd December

1st December

30th November

29th November

28th November
Happy Thanks Giving! 
MG started like a new car... so maybe it was the battery...... Busy day at work, with a photographer there to take pictures for our new website and then 2014 Budget work......
A steady run and then pack for our weekend away.

27th November
It has been an age since I cycled to work, in fact cycled at all, as forecast for a good day thought i would bite the bullet and get a ride in. To work was fine..... home, I was totally spent! oh dear...... I do need to get back out.......

26th November
Positive thinking and straight to the MG this morning, first turn, started! An evening spent at the Running Club AGM followed by a chip supper!

25th November
Up to work, still quite buzzing after the Stilts last night! Would the MG start... not one bit, so Daisy Camper Van to the rescue again. On returning home, tried the MG, first turn a start! A steady run before tea.
Have started on some Festival Stilt wear for next year, and spent an hour working on these.

24th November
A busy old day, up and to clean out the fish tank........ then some garden tidying, which means a "tip run" and then managed to squeeze in 1/2 an hour on the MG floor pan.
Over to Sawley for a "family" type Sunday lunch before hot footing it back to Lichfield and
become a stilt walking Christmas Elf.......
The Market Sq. was rammed but the crowds parted as a strolled about..... great fun and some happy faces... so I think I went down well!

23rd November
More MG and Camper van work, fitting some new battery cables to the MG.... but now regret not getting the started motor ones!, followed this by just about sorting the "hook up" cable on the "Van". Some shopping and then managed to squeeze in a little run. Joined by Tom and Lucy for tea and TV.

22nd November
What seemed a looooong day at work followed by juggling club. 

21st November
Fitted Elf shoes to the stilts in readiness for Sunday! TV highlight the "small spaces" programme and a few ideas for the camper van.

20th November
MG failed again, so Daisy to the rescue, fed up of jump starting! Couple hours out of work to attend funeral.
Checked the MG`s battery which stated a 3 year guarantee, quick look in the file and have the receipt and its just over two years since i brought, so to Halfords. The helpful staff have to check it with their gadget,
"yes sir, it says new battery, let me check with the manager"
"sorry, we have to do a "warranty" check..... oh that`s saying its ok, that doesnt seem fair"
"No it doesnt"
"I will get the manager"
"he`s just tied up"
"no problems, not in rush"    
"err he`s still busy"
Manager appears....
"sorry, bit tied up, whats the problem?"
"The battery is not holding a charge"
"ok, Give the gentleman a new one"
... now fitted, so lets see!

19th November
MG struggled to start, need to take a deeper look jump leads and Sally`s Corsa to the rescue again. The forecast "bad weather" didnt arrive.

18th November
A Wintry week forecast, today was nice though. Fitted the Elf shoes to the stilts ready for next weekend.

17th November
Not up so early! ... still was still smiling after the previous nights fun...... what poor singers we are!
Did manage to get a little work in on the MG, the passenger side floor pan needs some "TLC" shall we say. Then was over to Mums for dinner....... was going to see New Model Army at Wolves but sleep was required!  

16th November
So, seized handbrake on the camper van to sort.... and some battery maintenance on the MG... plus new bulb to fit on Kate`s Cilo......     that was Saturday morning done! A walk in to Lichfield and then home to ready ourselves for the "beer bus". First up a walk back to Lichfield and a bus to Hednesford to then hop on the "beer bus" to Halesowen. A good night as usual, with several stops and much fun and games.... home a gone 1.30am though......

15th November
Not a great start to the day.... jumped in MG and a none starter again, so to the Camper, which after a little struggle started burst to life........ into gear and stuck, looks like a brake jammed on again! Sometimes, most of the time, owning a 1972 MG and a1974 VW is the best thing... sometimes you just want to throw away the keys! A steady run before sitting down to Children in Need...... think this is getting past its sell by.

14th November
Winter day.... busy at work and then TV evening....... which as was the Small Spaces programme was not too bad!
The Fly 53 "Only stupid b***tards use heroin" T Shirt action started on ebay... rude not to put in a little bid!

13th November
Frosty morning... and the MG decided not to start... so jump leads out! Apart from the "Elf" suit arriving and a short run.... not a lot to report. (Oh the Elf outfit has arrived!)

12th November
Ought to have gone for a run...... but didnt! Looks like it it could be getting a little colder...... Snow?

11th November
Remembrance day and Sally and me took some flowers to her Dad.
I have been "booked" (as "StiltSi") for some Stilt Walking at the Lichfield Christmas Lights switch on..... and thought I ought to get an Christmas themed costume... so an Elf outfit has been ordered from Ebay!

10th November
Allotment.... spent an hour or so clearing and tiding, always nice this time of year, with thoughts turning to what to grow and where to plant next year.

9th November
Bit of a lay in as even though managed to get out last night i did suffer for it. When we did get up first job was to get the new lights on the MG... a job which for a change on a 40 year old car, went smoothly!

8th November
Ill! up in the night with..... well i will spare you the details! By 3ish, wasnt feeling too bad and risked a cuppa... and some toast.... Did manage to get out and see Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies at the Guildhall, a good gig and always good to catch up with Marie, Shane, Ken and Bruce. (the couple of pints soon passed through!)  

7th November
New MG lights have arrived, thanks to Moss Europe, look forward to getting these on!

6th November
Have been looking at some possible party venues... have located a site that would allow us to return to the "mini festival" idea... it`s close to Lichfield, fairly remote.... with a stage on site! .. but as yet despite several attempts we cannot find out who you need to speak to regarding use!

5th November
Bonfire Night! so, a little fire breathing was in order!

4th November
Day three of the Northern adventure sees me heading to Bradford. A relaxing train ride to Leeds and quick change and short ride to Bradford and was soon sat having a cuppa with Joolz before my new tattoo, in the heaven that is Studio Bijoux.

3rd November
Day two of our Northern mini adventure...... another "full english" and then a little wonder around Ripon, all too soon though it was time for the "goodbyes" and to head home....

2nd November 
Saturday, and although we had a few beers the previous night, not feeling too bad and after a "full english" at the Okeh Cafe a lot better! The Okeh is a great little place, sixties themed and great food, if you your in Sheffield give it a try! After the breakfast Harry wanted to show us his work. Harry works for UK Bungee and they have zip wire, bungee and other stuff at Magna, a super museum near Meadowhall. Now, as we where offered some discount(!) it was rude not to take up the offer of a go, so I was soon flying down the Zipwire, I do like zipwires, Harry suggested a bungee or powerfan drop....... err, trying to wriggle out of this was hard.... and when Josie decided to have a go on the powerfan, well what else could I do? It was a long climb up.... but great fun! Down from our "high" it was time to hit the road for Ripon and a family get together. The hotel was rather nice, champagne, flowers and chocs. in the large room, not that we would spend much time in it, as now sooner booked in than time to meet in the pub and take in the England rugby game. After more pubs and a nice pizza.... bedtime called and by 12.30am we had retired... what a day!  

1st November
Work, and an early finish to get off to Sheffield. The journey from work didnt go to plan with a pheasant flying into the MG and smashing a headlight...  but this couldnt spoil the start of our long weekend, starting with a visit to Sheffield and a long over due catch up with nephew Harry. A horrible journey, with the A38 blocked forcing a turn around and a cross country diversion, on to the M1 and once again brake lights! This time shorter as it appeared people where slowing to look at "bonfire night" display! A few beers, a great curry and a comfy bed at the Jurys Inn.

31st October
Early to work and Halloween costume on ready to give the staff a welcome! A quick call home and then off to Strafford upon Avon to join the Stratfire Fire Spinners for some Halloween fire fun! A good couple of hours spent playing with fire... a great way to spend Halloween.

30th October
Pumpkin Prep!

29th October
Some garage tidying... yeap still at it!

28th October
Monday morning work style blues!

27th October
Sunday... lazy Sunday

26th October
A busy Saturday, Sally "on call" and a long day ahead at Stafford Hospital, so I had to take Beau to groomers and then popped to Packington to strim graves, and a quick cuppa with Mum and Aunt Jean. Some shopping on the way home and then an hour on the allotment, tidying and harvesting the pumpkins. The evening at the Samhain Fire Festival.      

25th October
Friday, and not too soon this week. Juggling club to start the weekend, some good banter and even some juggling!

24th October
John had burnt the midnight oil and manged to get the first of the pictures across for me, and quite good they were too! cant wait for the "Halloween" ones! A steady 5k run and then a shared bottle of red.

23rd October
Wet start, but the sun came out for the afternoon, which was just as well, as was meeting my old friend John for a "Stilt" photo shoot after work. A short drive to Moira furnace for the shoot, John takes some great photos and is "Home" match day photographer for Burton Albion, but I think a stilt walker had him somewhat stumped, he did get some great shots though. A few passers by looked somewhat bemused, and you can only imagine some of the conversations when they got home!

22nd October
Another (very) wet day, and although Tuesday is my normal cycle to work day..... I took the car!
(The MG had been having issues starting and I had taken the positive lead off and cleaned, no issue today so fingers crossed.)

21st October
... the legs feel fine today.... not sure if that`s good or bad? Management Meeting at Worcester today and a few minutes to compare notes with Ailsa who had also run the Birmingham half... like me disappointed with her time, but had suffered really badly with her feet... ouch! Lots of rain today, but did manage a short jog with Sally. Second pumpkin done!  

20th October
Event 8... Birmingham 1/2..... i was not starting till gone 11 O`clock but was parked up in good time and after a banana and good drink took a stroll up to the start. This was my first "big" running event, it is now the send biggest half marathon after the Great North Run with 20,000 people, I am not sure i enjoyed it that much! My start was in the last "wave" and the first mile was spent zigzagging around other runners....... this was repeated at around mile 6 where I seemed to catch a big group. All that said the support on the route was great. I did begin to fade around 10 miles and the hill at 11 did for me and any chance on Sub 2 hours... finishing in 2.03.44... a long way off what i had wanted...

19th October
A lay in....... wet day so no allotment.... again! We joined Mum at a Church remembrance service, and called at Dads grave on the way back to Mums to find his headstone had been put up, Mum seemed pleased with it and hopefully one less thing to think about for her.

18th October
Work, called at Mums and a take away for tea.......... possibly not the right food with Sunday in mind! While awaiting the take away I did manage a little fire play..... something else I need to practise!

17th October
Always a buzzing after Team Aura, lots of things to practise and improve...... but reality and work got in the way today! Tried to eat healthy with the "1/2" on Sunday.... jaffa cakes are ok aren't they!

16th October
Birmingham bound for Team Aura workshop... or "Stilt Club". A good turnout tonight with approx 20 of us! I took my Halloween outfit to try out.... but had forgotten the walk down Board Street, bad enough normally with stilts etc... but tonight with an 8ft scythe it was a little more of a challenge, I did half expect to be stopped by the boys in blue! Stilts, Fire, Grinding all going on tonight and was as usual a good night.
15th October
Work, Work, Work a damp Tuesday in October and not a lot else to report, oh yeah, Sally got a new job!

14th October
MG due at garage for wheel bearing and CV joint... but would the thing get going! so a jump start in the rain.... great start to the week! The bill was not so bad though. A 8 1/2 mile jog tonight.... I think 5k on Thursday and that's it for this week in readiness for the Birmingham 1/2 coming up on Sunday. Would love to break 1.55, my current "pb" is 1.58.57, and I think its possible........... but as starting in the last "wave" I maybe having to pass a lot of runners...... positive thinking then!  

13th October
Event 7) Tamworth 10k and the rain was still pouring down and the thought of staying in the warm was very tempting! Glad I didnt though as although a wet, and in places slippy course, 51.16 (my watch 51.03) was a good improvement on last weeks "pb". Home and help Sally preparing a Sunday roast for us all, a nice Sunday afternoon with the kids...... and lots of laughs.  

12th October
A lay in! No work this weekend... and the overnight rain was still doing its best to spoil our plans (which had been an allotment session) so it was nice not to need an excuse to stay in bed. Once we did get up a walk into Lichfield and coffee and cake at the Guildhall Christmas craft fair, where one stall was proud to tell that there is only 10 weekends until Christmas. Still raining, so a full on lazy day and out for tea.      

11th October
Still cold! Today was mainly about Mark Chadwick playing Derby. I was taking Tom as his Birthday pressie! it worked for me! Great gig, he was on top form and also loads of people to say "hi" to and catch up with, especially the Bearded Theory Crew.

10th October
Cold morning, after the recent nice weather today was a shock to the system with the temperature "cold". Booked the train from Brussels to Cologne and also the hotel, so our European adventure for December is now all sorted. Called at Mums to fit some draft excluder to the garage doors.    

9th October
A quiet Wednesday, Sally to running club and me to make tea!

8th October
.. a last "nice" day to cycle to work of the year? .....there and back where nice rides but it appears the cold is on the way......... Home to find my new streamer had arrived, so an allotment tidy up is on route!   

7th October
Steady day at work and a gentle run........... Monday done.

6th October
Event 6) Shelton Striders 10k, a short drive to Derby for this flat run. This was the last Club Grand Prix event for 2013 and so a large turn out, standing out in our yellow vests. I was told the coarse was flat, and this was true, I tried to stay with the "Sub 50 mins" runners, but faded away at about 7km. My 52.40 was a "pb" though so happy enough. Returning home and time to look at Kate`s car which has been having starting issues. A google search had highlighted a sensor which appears to be a common fault.... sensor found, removed, cleaned and replaced, fingers crossed!
No rest, and too the Allotment for an hour or so!    

5th October
Up at 5.15am and a few hours at work, busy busy. Home and over to Tom and Lucy`s for a cuppa. Home via a trip to B & Q and the Range, Christmas, it seems, is coming! Sorted the last of the rubbish in the garage and returned quite an amount back up into the loft, so now just 10 left boxes to sort through!

4th October
The weekly Friday lunch time visit to mums. A short 5k run and then feet up.

3rd October
Busy day at work, with a meeting in Worcester and then some big orders to organise.

2nd October 
Sally`s home!

1st October
After work, trying to ensure that the house is tidy ready for Sally`s return from her Holiday tomorrow!

30th September
End of month rush at work. Home to some house work and a short run. Both my run and cycle miles / training are down compared to last Month, but with the bathroom replacement and time away with work and helping on "Race the Sun" I guess it was to be expected.

29th September
The Cycle Show, as Sally away I took the chance to spend a few hours strolling the NEC. Some very nice bikes here...... I can dream. I called at Mums for a coffee and a few jobs and then home for a tip run and an hour on the allotment.

28th September
Event 5 - 104km cycle. I didnt feel like it at all..... the previous three days in Brussels catching up, but at 8.15 I was on the bike and heading to Tamworth. The route would see me heading from Lichfield, skirting Tamworth and heading North to Clifton Campville, turning to Lullington, then Rosliston, Barton, touching Uttoxeter, then heading towards Stafford and across "the Chase" back to Lichfield. 4 hours 23 minutes at 15.5mph. After a quick shower it was time to look at the over-heating on the Midget, drained and a new thermostat all seems well, guess time and miles will tell. No rest, off to Ikea for some shelves!    

27th September
Last day in Brussels, but as lunch time flight, no visit to the Expo, so a little site seeing and chocolate buying before the train ride to the airport. More "networking" here before the flight, and home in time to get a couple of hours at work.
The drive home was an issue though, as the Midget kept overheating and it took the best part of two hours!  

26th September
Brussels and Label Expo, a long day in truth, another evening being wine and dined... and back to the Irish Bar for some "networking"! Yesterdays early start is catching up!

25th September
Up at 2.20am! and away to take Sally and Karen to East Midlands Airport ready for their holiday.
Home and try to get some sleep, before the second part of what was to be a long day. Just a couple of hours at work and then off to Birmingham Airport and Brussels. Short flight and then clearing customs and a quick bus ride to Label Expo. I could bore you with the details of Label Expo... but guess best I spare you!
After sitting on a Shuttle bus for some time waiting for it to leave.... we opted for a taxi, which proved fun, but got us to the Ibis in good time for our dinner date.... we were to be wined and dined tonight by one of our suppliers. A nice meal and then we joined most other Brits... at the Irish bar. A few here and then to bed.... if i had skipped the few hours sleep between dropping Sally and going to work I could have claimed the staying up challenge!

24th September
Mostly work and packing for the trip to Brussels with work.

23rd September
Monday morning cycle to work, and a dull and misty one it was. A quickish ride home, just over the hour, and then a final gloss of the bathroom door.
Massive issue though as we couldn`t get Sky to work.......

22nd September
... we brought a karcher window vac yesterday, today was spent cleaning windows! what a great tool! After the windows had been well and truly cleaned we dressed for dinner as Jean and Mum where taking us out for Sunday lunch, very nice it was too.
An evening steady 10k and early to bed.

21st September
Work! but its Saturday! ...... up at 5am and to work for a few hours. Away for a few days next week and wanted to make sure am ahead, also need a few hours "banked" for use in the near future. Home and a quick trip to Tamworth so Sally could get some holiday stuff. It was then a garage sorting afternoon, this pile to the tip, this back in the loft, this, well lets leave this one here for now and come back to it! It was a great day weather wise and did feel as though we should be out enjoying it rather than doing work / "jobs".

20th September
Early to work, few days away next week so trying to get ahead. Home and a quick 5k run, Stowe Pool route, and then a takeaway with Tom & Lucy, a later night than I had wished for as in work at 6.00 tomorrow!

19th September
Quick look out of the window and rain spots, so rather than cycle to work as I had planned, took the car. The rain stopped, and as it turned out, both journeys would have been in the dry..... a day lost in the "bike v car" 50 4 50 challenge!

18th September
Over slept!, turned the alarm off and rolled over ..... 7.00am, up with a "start" and into headless chicken mode! Busy day at work with urgent jobs, visitors and the general fun and games.
Home, to running club and a new 5k route... so at least one "PB" this year! A two lap run where I did manage to hang on to some runners I feel I ought to be on par with...... but lost touch with 1/2 a mile or so to go, I pulled a little back, but shows I need put in some more training effort!  

17th September
Up and away for a misty cycle to work.... lights, full gloves, long leggings, coat....... Autumn is here!
Still a nice ride, unlike the return home in that horrible wet "fine" rain! An evening painting the other side of the bathroom door... one more coat should do it, and then one box of goodies from the loft sorted.

16th September
Monday morning..... work....... home for a short run and then first coat of gloss on bathroom door, a quiet day.

15th September
"doh" first job drive to Hednesford to collect car....... After taking Beau a quick walk, over to Packington, flowers for Dads grave and then dinners at Mums...nom..nom

14th September
Up for an early(ish) run , 14km home and some "housey" jobs before making our way to Hednesford to join Marie and the birthday Beer Bus. We hadn`t had the pleasure of a Beer bus trip before so didn't know quite what to expect........ Heading down the A5 a serious accident held us up a while, but we soon cleared this and headed towards the Cock. First stop and time for a pint & 1/2, before heading back on the Bus towards Oakengates. A choice of houses here, we managed three of them, The Crown, Fighting Cocks and the Station. The Fighting Cocks was a nice pub, made better by lovely pork pie! Shane managed to round everyone up in time for us to make it to Codsall and another Station! All in all a great night out and hopefully one we can repeat at some stage.

13th September
Friday 13th!! no disasters though! Quiet day at work and then, after a quick cuppa at Aunt Sandra's, off to Juggling Club......... a hour spent on "event" 44) Master the Unicycle..... good job 1 have another 46 weeks!

12th September
Event 3 - Cycle to Work day, a nice morning, bit misty but other wise fine and so off for "event 3" Cycle to Work day... ok I do cycle to work on a regular basis, but as an "official" event thought I would tag it on to the Fifty 4 Fifty! A good ride in, but the ride home was terrible, not managing to get above 14mph average and at 1.11 nearly 20 mins longer than normal..... no reason.... just hope not a sign of illness?

11th September
Quiet, work and then a run, my 7k route, but did managed to take 30 secs. of my "PB".

10th September
Work, management meeting in Worcester. An evening trip to Ikea for some bathroom bits and that was it.

9th September
Work and home to behold our wonderful new bathroom.... now complete! A little run, and then the final few bits from the loft, emptied into a garage now overflowing!

8th September
Early rise again! This time off to entertain the runners and families at the Lichfield Running Clubs Lichfield 10k and Fun Run. The rain held off and it was a nice morning.... sunny even and the Stilts seem to go down well, a review even ...  "and Simon Miller, stilt walker extraordinaire!"

7th September
Event 2 - The Alternative Sheriffs Ride, Lichfield has many traditions as you would imagine, one, the Sheriffs Ride, sees many horses and riders trotting the area in early September. Nice and at nearly 500 years old, not something you would wish to see lost..... however, it does have some issues. Firstly, you need a horse and to be able to ride.... so the plan had been hatched to offer a more all inclusive option..... on bikes. It seems that this is not the first time such has been done, a few rides were undertaken in the 1980`s. Eight of us joined together and rode a City route of nearly 9 miles... with a tea and cake stop... thanks James! Home and some more bathroom "work" before heading to Packington to see how the family had done in the Horticultural show, very well, Mum a "1st" in Crafts, Jean two "2nd" for her Dahlias and Henry a near clean sweep in the Kids!  

6th September
The evening spent on bathroom stuff, painting etc........ apart from that and work not much else.

5th September
Up at 4.00am... second time in 5 days! This time to take Kate and Logan to the airport. Not worth going home and headed straight to work, so a 10 1/2 hour day... still caught up on a few bits!
Home to a nearly finished bathroom!, also delivery of my favorite VW mag, Hayburner and also new rear cycle light....... ready for those dark rides!

4th September
A shower, could not go on any longer, so called at mums for a shower!
The bathroom is coming along nicely, not having one is playing havoc with the training and with the house being a mess, takeaways rule - not good!

3rd September
Not a lot.... no bathroom, so no training, wouldn't want to be all sweaty and dirty and not be able to get clean! Managed a little loft clearing out while we still have a skip to fill.

2nd September
That work thing... feeling tired following the weekend!
Quick review of August, 1 event done, the Staffs Knot 5 Mile, but the 50 Bands and 50 Ales got off to a good start at Shrewsbury Folk Festival!
Training saw 350 miles cycled and 47 run, with more running than cycling events coming up, i think i need to get the trainers on a little more!
Photo a day and this diary are being maintained, but no sponsors yet! 

1st September 
Wide awake at 6.30! managed to get off for another hour and then it was up (a quick shower as i now didnt have such at home!) and the last bit of tidying, goodbyes and the M6 south.
A good run home in 3 1/2 hours a record in Daisy! and after unloading a quick nap. The bathroom, well the hole where bathroom used to be was not what i was expecting.... but it can now only get better. The front garden had an empty skip surrounded by what was our bathroom so an hour spent filling up the skip.  

31st August
4.20am and up .........a cold shower in an effort to wake up! Car park duty first thing and then off to set up for the day at Lake Thirlmere with the "team" Trish, Annie and Larry. It was to be a long day, the first team getting to us at around 11.15, the last gone 5.00! The weather was good to us and barring a few grumpy spectators, the day went rather well, with several teams providing some great entertainment! Last team away and time to strip down and head off the finish, we usually have a couple of "late" teams but today we had four at 15 hours plus.... arriving long after the awards ceremony had finished. All packed away and time to head to Penrith and dinner at Indiagate.... buffet meal and a few beers (and shots) and at 1.30 it was time to call it a night..... although the temptation to carry on was there!  

30th August
Earlyish start loading Daisy ready for our trip to the Lakes and Action for Charity`s Race the Sun event, with the teams of four raising funds for Action Medical Research, cycling 50 odd miles, climbing Helvellyn and a short canoe around Lake Thirlmere. After settling in the bathroom fitters, it was off and a steady run up the M6, around 4 1/2 hours, not bad for a Friday! Friday is set up for us and signing on and briefing for the teams, a little stilt walking at the meet and great welcoming the teams and supporters. Three hours was the longest i had done on the stilts for a while and the legs ached a little i have to say! Pizza supper and to bed ready for an early, 4.20am, start!  

29th August
Work and then home to more bathroom work.

28th August
Nice cycle to work, although the time for "long" trousers and lights is here!
Evening spent in the bathroom making ready for the new one being fitted next week.

27th August
Phew, Work, race home and time to look at Kate`s car, the back lights doing their best to be a moving disco!, earths, bulbs, wires... all checked... but to no avail... improved but not solved so its ebay for "new" parts! .... on to clearing the loft, the bathroom is being replaced next week, a month early and so i now have a stack of jobs to do! Loft sorted, and onto tile removal!

26th August
Waking up to the realisation this could be the last Festival wake up of the year........ :( , still as a "Bank Holiday" it meant we could do the take down at a relaxed pace and take in some more music! The day had started with a real Autumnal mist, and the thought of packing wet tents away was not one we wanted, but the sun came out and soon burnt away the mist and dried out the damp tents. We spent a few hours again wandering the site, and at around 3.30, decided it was time to make a move and beat the Bank Holiday traffic.
Shrewsbury is a great festival and we hope to return again.  

25th August
After "owl gate" had been discussed at length! it was time to board the bus again and try a Lloyds Breakie...... aching legs saw us return to the festival on the bus, lazy or what?, and spend some time chilling and wondering around the site. Highlight for us today would be Lucy Ward playing two sets, but apart from this, we spent the day dropping into the various tents and other "venues" taking in the varying amount on offer. The day ended with another set from Doyle and Debbie.

24th August
Waking in a tent, in a field, at a festival... heaven! The nights rain had eased, but was now that Peter Kay "wet rain", still our gazebos kept the worse off us and we were soon assembled and ready to board the "festival bus" into Shrewsbury and to find a breakfast, Weatherspoon style!
A large breakfast downed and we took a steady stroll around the town and found ourselves back at the Three Fishes, just a quick one! Time then to head back towards the festival via the Bird in Hand to watch David Gibb and Elly Lucas, also to say hello to Linda. Linda and myself had cycled the Sinai a few years back as part of the "Big Bike Ride" raising funds to fight heart disease, and as in her home town thought we make time for a quick hello. A festival afternoon, Eddie Reader (x 2), Oysterband and a late night show from Doyle and Debbie.... very funny! All in all a good day. Now, we dont know what it was, but the nights beer fuelled slumber was broken by a blood curdling sound which had the toughest puling their sleeping bags above their heads! We think it was a owl, but it certainly was a talking point the next day!

23rd August
Up and away, dropping Sally at work and then on to meet the "crew" ready for Shrewsbury. A wait at the local services ready for the 10.00 O`clock gates open time, we got it wrong and arrived early and so had to spend sometime in the "holding" area with the dozens of other "naughty" boys and girls!
Still, as next to an empty "campsite 2" we decided to camp here, a good call it turned out.
Tents up, camp set and "beer o`clock". A wander around the (large) site to get our bearings and taste the offerings in the beer tent!
Time to hit the town, well a couple in the Three Fishes and then meet Sally who was catching the train. A great first day a Shrewsbury, ending with music from, Something Nasty in the Woodshed, Steve Knightley and a great set from the Afro Celts, even the rain couldn`t dampen our spirits!

22nd August
Cycle to work, nice ride again, home and packing Daisy ready for Shrewsbury Folk Festival.
Quick trip to shop for "supplies" and feet and beer!
(36 miles cycled)

21st August
Work... quick visit to mums at lunch. Last 5 mile TT at the Lichfield Running Club, nice evening so cycled down. Managed to shave a whole 4 minutes off my previous time, but didnt quite get to 42 mins... will have to wait for next year now!
(5 miles run)

20th August
A "good" ride to work, the longer 25 mile route, well the sun was out! Quickish ride back home and happy to find the shower repaired - thanks Logan. Quiet evening, a glass of red and tv.
(43 miles cycled)

19th August
The sun has made a return, shame were at work! Evening taken up with a Camper Van oil change and minor service as a couple of long weekends coming up. Also a little work on the "winter" bike.... its getting close!   

18th August
Gardening..... Mun and Aunt Jean over a "roast" dinner.
Run and Bed!
(9 miles run)

17th August
Over to Mums to help Jay with a door... a couple of hour job turned into am all day affair!
Home, Harry Potter and few beers after a quick run. (Tickets for Cologne New Model Army / Levellers gig arrived!)
(5 miles run)

16th August
Wet start, so car to work, took the MG for a change. (call out as Kate had had a "crash" finding a ditch in the wet - all ok though after recovery dragged her out!)
Quiet night with a "fish supper".

15th August
Steady cycle to work, windy one home! So week one of Fifty 4 50 done, one challenge complete, and several on going ones, well ongoing! to date no sponsorship - come on - every little helps!
September sees a few more challenges, with October being a "big" month.
(36 miles cycled)

14th August
Work, and then to Cannock Chase for the Staffs Knot 5 mile race, hosted by Stafford Harriers. A good turn out from the running Club meant there was plenty of people to chat to before the start and much cheering as we crossed the finish line. I had hoped for a "sub" 40 min time, but 42.32 was good enough... but shows i need to get some more running miles in!
(5 miles run - 202 out of 344 finishers)

13th August
Work, home and time to cross some jobs off the list...... quite a productive night, but did mean missing Team Aura Workshop, will make an effort to get to the next one.
(No exercise - Staffs Knot tomorrow)

12th August
Steady cycle to work, the Catton park route so witnessed the "morning after" Bloodstock.
Work, and then a horrible ride home with the wind against me all the way, even pedalling down hill!
Spent an hour on the allotment and then joined the nation in meteor spotting.
(36 miles cycled)

11th August
Garden, House "work".... a homely type day.... did manage a run in the evening though.
(15k Run)

10th August
Carsington for a nice walk with Sally, Lyndon, Emma, Stanley, Helen, Tim and joined by Steve, Helen and Isla for a bite to eat. A great day and good to catch up with old friends.
(8 mile walk)

9th August
Work.... but it's Friday so could worse!  Home and a walk with Sally and Beau follows by a short run and then feet up n beer.
(5k Run)

8th August
Its my birthday! Cycle to work, sunny but chilly amazed by number of "Facebook" birthday wishes!
Sub hour cycle home but evening went downhill as alarm call meant back to work, still collected take away on way home washed down with a beer!    
(36 miles cycled)                

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

50 4 Fifty - 50 Gigs and 50 Ales

50 gigs... 50 ales... think these two could be my favourite challenges!

Some rules
Ales - Bottled or served in Pub (Beer Tent) (Canned do not count!)

Bands - Needs to be a "full" set, so if "support" or Festival Set, need to see the whole performance. (ie i cant just wonder round a Festival site seeing one or two songs!)  

50 - Something Nasty in the Woodshed 
 - 23rd August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
49 - Steve Knightly       
23rd August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
48 - Afro Celt Sound System      
23rd August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
47 - David Gibb and Elly Lucas
24th August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
46 - Eddie Reader (x 2 Two Sets)
24th August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
45 - Martyn Joesph
24th August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
44 - The Oysterband 
24th August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
43 - Doyle and Debbie (Should i count these?)  (x 2 Two Sets)
24th August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
42 - Lucy Ward (x 2 Two Sets)
25th August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
41 - Jez Lowe
- 24th August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
- 8th November 2013 - Lichfield Guildhall
40 - Sam Carter
24th August 2013 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
39 - Mark Chadwick
- 11th October - The Vic Derby
38 - Show of Hands
- 4th December - Wulfren Hall Wolves  
37 - New Model Army 
- 14th December - Rock City - Nottingham
- 21st December - Cologne - Germany
36 - Levellers
- 21st December - Cologne - Germany
35 - Green Fortune
- 1st February 2014 - Hairy Dog Derby
34 - X Ray Eyes
- 1st February 2014 - Hairy Dog Derby
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50 - Salopian Gold 3.8% "nice"                                             Salopian Brewery
49 - Salopian Golden Thread 5% "very nice"                         Salopian Brewery
48 - Stonehouse Station 3.9% "ok"                                       Stonehouse Brewery
47 - Moonshine 4.3%  "enjoyable"                                           Abbey Dale Brewery
46 - Joules Pale Ale                                                                 Joules Brewery
45 - Joules blonde                                                                   Joules Brewery
44 - Glaslyn 4.2% Very nice.. you could taste Snowdon!         Purple Moose Brewery
43 - Loblolly Bay  4.2% "ok"                                                   Woodstreet Brewery
42 - Hobsons Best Bitter 4.2% "nice"                                      Hobsons Brewery
41 - Double Hop 3.6% ..well its Joules its bond to be good!       Joules Brewery
40 - Jorvick Blonde 4.6% Enjoyed at the One Eyed Rat Rippon  Rudgate
39 -  Devonshire Cat Bitter 3.9% Very Nice Pint                         Devonshire Cat
38 - Stairway to Heaven 5.0% Nice, but is a Burton Bridge ale!       Burton Bridge Brewery
37 - Roar! 4.6% a nice beer at the Wagon & Horses Halesowen   XT Brewing - Animal
36 - Twitchwll 3.8% "a golden fruity bitter with a floral aroma"           Buntingford Brewery
35 - Alchemist 4.9% on the dark side but a nice pint                          Olde Swan Brewery
34 - HPA 4.0% Enjoyed this one! (Somers WMC)                            Wye Valley Brewery
33 - Island Hopping 3.9%  Another nice one!
American Citra and NZ Nelson Sauvin dominate this incredibly drinkable hoppy pale beer.
32 - Pitman Pale 4.5% Fresh, fruity hops, nice                                Burton Bridge Brewery
Endeavour & Progress hops, enjoyed at our favorite, the "Duke" 
31 - Slumbering Monk                                                                   Joules Brewery
30 - 28 at Lichfield Winter Beer Festival
- 30 Odins Horn 4.1% Nice golden ale.            
- 29 Orange Blossom Special Ale 4.4%
 -29a Hop Angeles 4.8%
- 28 Ruck & Roll 4.0%
- 28a Nettlethrasher 4.4%
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Martyn Joseph
MMartyn Josephartyn Joseph

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

April that was............

So April been and nearly gone, but what about the showers?, were off to a festival in two weeks so no doubt they will appear then! Training going ok, need to get some big miles in for the Dragon Ride, but am now also thinking of the Snowdon Challange so have been doing more walking and have added some extra running too.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Snowdon Update

So, with approx seven weeks to go until the REGAIN Snowdon Challenge, we have sight of the "Beast" that will be Steve`s wheechair - dont forget to visit http://www.justgiving.com/susanmckeagafc
where you can sponsor us!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Snowdon Challenge

Off again...... but this time a little closer to home, Snowdon, "Eryri" to the locals.

Its a multi discipline event, covering around 40 miles on the bike, with a stop to climb Snowdon via the Rhyd Ddu path and a second for a little paddle around Llyn Gwynant. The event on 12th June, is based in Llanberis and having helped on the event in the past, is one I know a little about ............ and I still said "yes".

The event is raising funds for REGAIN, a Charity supporting Tetraplegics, mainly those injured in sporting accidents. Our team will be headed by Steve Osbourne himself a Tetraplegic, and whilst Steve can spur us around the cycle and canoe leg, we will need his grit to help him to get up, and down, Snowdon, pushing & pulling Steve and his wheelchair!

More event details -http://www.actionforcharity.co.uk/eventdetailsnew.asp/urlsearch/Snowdonia-Charity-Challenge

To sponsor us -

More REGAIN information -