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Halfterm Funtime

After the shenanigans of the last term, this halfterm I had decided that it was to be full up with stuff. And it was. I had homework to complete.

Plenty of parkrunning and long runs, Samaritans, gigs, meals out, reading, allotment action and general merry making was had.

I’m feeling ready for a very important term back at school.


#project365 #7

Day 7 RED January

After not running at all in December (and barely in November) because of the niggle in the calf, this RED January is a godsend. It means I can very slowly increase distance and speed.

So today I was at the gym – 4 miles on the treadmill – slowly increasing the speed of each mile.

I’m hoping that by the end of January I might be somewhere need where I was about 3 months ago so that I can start building up the mileage and getting back to some faster parkruns.

RED January stats:

  • 1 parkrun
  • 1 gym session
  • 2 bike rides
  • 2 runs
  • 1 walk

Here we go again! #juneathon

Monday sees June begin. But more importantly it sees the start of Juneathon – a month of daily exercise.

In the past Juneathon, for me, has always been about running. I've aimed to run every day and rack up a load of miles. But this time I'm approaching it slightly differently – I'm going to mix it up a bit. Mainly because for the last 4 weeks I've been struggling with a bit of an achy calf muscle. So less running this time round and a bit more other stuff. Not sure what, but have plenty of ideas….

  • Some nice gentle jogs – walking/running?
  • Head to the gym a bit more – cross training, rowing and a few weights?
  • 100 press-up challenge?
  • 200 sit-up challenge?
  • Plank challenge?
  • Get out on the bike a bit more?

So not only will the exercise be a bit different – it might mix-up the blog posts a bit as well.


Janathon Project365

I’m in! #janathon

It's that time of year again. The over-indulgence of Christmas is seemingly far behind us, hiding in the cupboard under the stairs, whilst the spectre of the New Year Celebrations are creeping up on us faster than a crowd of chavs heading for the one discounted 40″ TV at Asda on Black Friday.

So what is one to do? Well, signing-up for Janathon is a good way to start. If you have been living in a cupboard for the last few years you may want to head over to the website and have a look. But, in a nutshell:

So there you have it, first plan is to partake in a spot Janathoning. Also, I quite fancy the idea of 2015 being another attempt at project365. I did it in 2011 and it is a great way to track the year: posting a photo every day.







A Blogiversary!

I have been blogging for three years! How do I know? Well the lovely people at WordPress told me…

So I had a look at my first blog post; it's not very exciting:

“These are my attempts to begin AND continue with a blog”

What followed were three years of 'stuff': 2011 was project365; 2012 was a year of monthly projects; and although 2013 has been a bit quieter on the blogging front I've managed to keep it going.

So the past three years in numbers:

  • 668 posts

I've enjoyed blogging over the past few years. I'm still not entirely sure why I blog; I just quite like doing it. I realise I'm not the most amazing of writers, and I know that my posts do not contain super reflective musings that change the way I live, or that my ramblings have any impact on anybody else.

I'm just amazed people have actually taken the time to read and comment on my 'general wonderings' and I'm looking forward to the next three years. Cheers!


Blog Juneathon

Day 13 #juneathon ….but why?

Come September, and the start of the new academic year, our school is changing the structure of the school day. We have new start and finish times, longer lessons and Wednesday afternoon students will be able to choose an 'elective'. As well as a couple of other things I decided to offer a running club.

The students are in the process of choosing 'electives' for next year. Today, one of my Y9s was asking me for details of the running club, I couldn't really help with any details because I don't actually know them myself. But whilst chatting the conversation turned to our experiences of running. This lad is very keen on running and whilst talking, the topic of Juneathon came up. When I explained to him what Juneathon is all about he looked slightly surprised and said, “What? You actually run every day of the month?” I tried to explain to him that I do and he seemed reasonably happy with my answer. However, a bit later in the lesson, the subject had obviously been playing on his mind, he said, “You run every day? Isn't that bad for you? Shouldn't you give your body a chance to recover?” I tried to explain to him that some runs are short, some runs are long, some fast and some slow, and that as long as you listen to your body it should all be ok.

Which brings me to the purpose of tonight's post….why am I actually taking part in Juneathon?

  • Exercise. Seems obvious I know, I do plenty of running without Juneathon, or Janathon for that matter, but I suppose by taking part in these activities it actual forces me to keep exercising throughout the year.
  • Challenge. I like a challenge: 2012 was proof of that, setting myself something different to do every month; before that in 2011 it was project365; even this year I am taking part in '1 second every day'. I like the challenge of completing something, Juneathon is great for that, because when you get 25 days into the month it all starts to become a bit of a struggle.
  • Music. I love listening to all kinds of music. Juneathon gives me the chance to download some tracks onto the phone, get out of the house, and enjoy an hour or so of listening to everything and anything with no distractions.
  • Thinking. It gives you a chance to just think….and I think we all need that.
  • Blogging. I've been blogging since December 2010 – so Juneathon is just an excuse to do more of that.

Today's mileage = 6.29

Total Juneathon mileage = 65.44

Mojo level = very high



An educational trip to Alton Towers…

I can hear the shouts:

“Alton Towers ain't educational!”

“You're having a tin bath!!?”

But yesterday saw around ninety Rutland County College staff and students travel to Alton Towers in Staffordshire for the annual trip. In the past this trip was for Psychology students only, but this year it had been opened up to all college students.

In the preparation for this trip AS Level Psychology students had designed an experiment to test the effects of stress on memory. The idea being that different intensity of rides will have a different effect on participants being able to remember things. We await the results with baited breath.

As for the day as a whole, it went fantastically well with no issues or dramas. Even the responsible adults managed to enjoy themselves…

The park wasn't very busy and queue time was pretty good, the longest wait was about 15min. We managed to get on virtually all the rides we wanted to, even some we didn't.

As is normal for a trip to Alton Towers, there is usually a 'new' ride to go on, and today was no different: Nemesis Sub Terra. After various reviews from students that included 'rubbish', 'really scary' and 'you get squirted with egg', it was decided that four brave souls would risk it. Nemesis Sub Terra is loosely themed on the park's famous Nemesis ride and revolves around the discovery of eggs from this original monster. Anyway, to cut a long story short it means you enter a mock lift to see said egg only for an alarm to sound, people to poke you, shout at you, move you around into mock lift again, chase you down a very dark alley with various scary people/objects inside before exiting into daylight. Dave managed to sum it up in three words: “very unpleasant experience”.

Towards the end of the day we were left with probably the biggest dilemma of the day and one we took an age to decide, do we risk getting wet on the Congo River Rapids….?

After much deliberation it was decided that we would risk it, and despite a surprise squirt attack from the bank by some local yobs, all was well.

Overall, a really good day out, really well organised and impeccable behaviour by all except maybe some inappropriate language on the occasion roller-coaster.



Unencountered – Part 2

May’s Project continues, please feel free to read Part 1 before reading the next extract……

Unencountered – Part 2

I began having these vivid nightmares. Nightmares that seemed so real that I was having trouble telling the difference between the dreamworld and reality. That is when the notes started. I’d wake in the morning and find these strange notes next to my bed. The first one just read:


I didn’t recognise the handwriting. I lived alone, in fact for the past two weeks I had barely been out of the house. That first note really freaked me out. I had seen plenty of horror films and my imagination was running away with me. I couldn’t understand what was happening. Was I writing in my sleep? Was I possessed? But all the time the notes continued appearing:

You did it

It was you

The notes all had the same naive, scrawled script and always accused me of doing something. Then it happened, the moment that would change my life. I woke in the night to find the pen in my hand. I wasn’t just holding it, I was grasping it so tight that as much as I tried to let go, I couldn’t.

I was writing myself notes?

I began refusing sleep. No matter how loud my body was screaming at me, I refused. The sleepless days became waking nightmares. My mind was in turmoil. I didn’t know if it was day or night. And all the time the notes continued to materialise, only they began to take on a more sinister feel:

‘You did it – you killed her – it was you – so much blood

[To be continued]


A-Z of New Music Blog

A-Z of New Music: A Reflection

I’m pleased to say that I can tick off March’s Project as complete! I have managed to listen to 26 ‘new’ bands/artists over the past month, and just as impressively I have managed to blog about them each day. Due, in part, to friends suggesting new indie bands there was definitely an indie feel to the music. Although this did make me question what ‘indie’ actually is? Not mainstream? Independent? Do ‘indie’ bands need a sub-genre? Indie-pop, indie-rock, twee-indie? Even now I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that I’ve had the pleasure, and in some cases, the misfortune, to listen to a variety of music:

Only two bands got a cheer: Allo Darlin’ and Urbantramper. Both great finds, both forced me to buy albums off iTunes, and both on the list of bands to see live.

Ten bands got a thumbs up. Of these bands, Boy Mandeville and Louise and the Pins got the closest to a cheer. I’d definitely like to see Boy Mandeville live at some stage.

Six bands left me undecided. Mainly because they were a bit heavy on the rock or they were a bit the same as everything else around at the moment.

Four bands got a thumbs down for various different reasons: too boring, too much 80s funk, don’t mix jazz and hip-hop or just plain Yuck.

Only Four bands left me with head in hands. Probably due, in part, to the genre, but also the fact I may be getting old.

April’s Project requires me to build a 1:130 model of The Cutty Sark, but it least I will now have some new music to listen to whilst I’m painstakingly glueing!