Project365 #40

Today was one of those days when I legged it out of work pretty quickly – busy evening. However, I did find myself at home on my own, so took the opportunity to play a bit of vinyl good and loud.

Tonight's musical treat was the tremendous Bear's Den. Check out their new video…


Janathon Project365

Today I learnt that it’s all ’bout that bass… #janathon

Janathon Day 14

I had taken my kit to school today with the idea I’d be able to do a few miles around the school field at the end of the day. Today went something like this: a morning of teaching; exploration of ‘body image’ in tutor; GCSE booster workshop; followed by a run. Running around the field is probably not the best option on a day like today. It was cold. It was really windy. Hence I struggled. But again, there is something really good about getting run done nice and early. It leaves the evening to relax – except for the pile of Y11 work that needs marking, and the full day of lessons that need planning.

Today, thanks to a discussion in the staff room, I have discovered the wonderful, joyous and moving music of Meghan Trainor*. Also, the perfect way into a discussion about body image. I didn’t realise how deep and meaningful her lyrics are**. The tune declares ‘skinny’ as over-rated and celebrates men and women of all shapes and sizes. Apparently, it’s all ’bout that bass!

Today’s mileage = 3.28

Total Janathon mileage = 60.91

* This is a lie, not a little white lie, but a massive lie. A lie that is as big as a huge thing.

** Sarcasm in action.

Project365 #15

I like reading teenage fiction. Recently I read ‘The Maze Runner’ – fab book. So I’ve got the next couple to read….

Wicked is good.




The day has finally arrived….

…..England's first game of the 2014 World Cup. I'm ready….

Ridiculous flags on car? Check. Already fraying quite a bit.

Wall Chart? Check. 'Temporarily' hung in front room – will probably stay there till Christmas.

England flag flying? Check. The flagpole also doubles up as the washing line pole. Classy.

England inflatable hand? Check. Every house needs an England inflatable hand…..

Time for an England song…..

As for Juneathon….

Managed to fit today's run in between shopping and football. 5 miles around town.

Day 14 mileage = 5.04

Total Juneathon mileage = 61.84



#juneathon day 9

Nineth day in a row and all is going good. With club training tomorrow I'd decided that tonight was going to be a lovely slow run round the woods with the dog – that is exactly what it was. It was a warm evening; would loved to have followed the dog into the pond.

In other news, the nice people at Smugglers Records sent me this….

So have a look at this, you decide….

Day 9 mileage = 3.70

Total Juneathon mileage = 42.69



#janathon day 23

No run today. Just a plank.

2 min 15 secs. A whole 5 secs longer than last time.

In other news, Will Varley is on tour soon, well worth a visit….



Slightly Strange….

This morning was one of those mornings, you know the ones? The ones that seem slightly strange, the ones that seem to be full of too many coincidences.

The morning began in the usual 'holiday' way. I woke up, lay listening to the rain hitting the window for a bit, put the iPod on shuffle and began contemplating when to get today's Janathon run done. First track that came on was a Frank Hamilton track, featuring Mark Grist, called 'Animal Farm'. This is not particularly strange, I like Frank Hamilton and have quite a few of his tunes amongst the 1000s that are on the iPod.

The 'holiday' morning continued, I went downstairs, made a cuppa, grabbed the iPad and carried both upstairs with the intention of catching up on some Janathon blogs. As I jumped back in bed the iPod was playing the Pet Shop Boys. The iPod has gotten into the habit of picking the Pet Shop Boys when on shuffle, I don't understand why, but I've sort of got used to it by now, it still creeps me out a bit, but I've learned to cope. Next track up 'Animal Farm' by Frank Hamilton and featuring Mark Grist. What? The exact same track that was on earlier! Cue an investigation. Why had it picked the same track twice? Is the track on the device more than once? No. Does shuffle even repeat tracks, I thought once it had played a track that was it. I didn't dwell on this too much, it was really no big deal!

Next, did a bit of blog reading before heading off to Twitter to see what is going on in the world. After refreshing Twitter feed, I was quite surprised to see the latest Tweet was from Mark Grist, yes, the same Mark Grist that featured on 'Animal Farm'. Strange? Well, maybe a bit of a coincidence. The Tweet was referring to the fact that a YouTube video of his, 'Girls Who Read', was approaching 3 million views. Now I like Mark Grist and know of this particular poem, it's very good. I've seen him a couple of times, on his own and also as part of Dead Poets. In fact, it would be great if we got him into school to deliver some poetry workshops – must mention it to HoD. So I thought I'd click on the YouTube link and have another look at the video. Here it is….

After reading various Janathon blogs I felt enthused. I looked out the window, it was raining, but not amazingly heavy. I decided to go for it. I got changed, grabbed the dog, jumped in the car and headed for the woods. I sat in the car for a bit, the enthusiasm I had felt earlier was rapidly disappearing. After having an intense conversation with myself I was ready to go for it. The plan was: two laps of the small circuit, at a brisk pace. Recently I have been using RunKeeper whilst running. This enables me to track mileage for Janathon and also plays music via the app. You've probably guessed what is coming next. The music was on shuffle and what track should appear first? I think you guessed correctly: 'Animal Farm' by Frank Hamilton featuring Mark Grist. Now that is definitely slightly strange. I wonder what the rest of the day will bring?

Nearly forgot…..Janathon….

Total Janathon mileage after Day 4 = 15.23

Why not join in with 'Mark Grist Day'….click here to listen to 'Animal Farm', pop over to his website or do a search on YouTube.



Braved the storm….

The onset of the biggest storm in the history of the world was not going to stop us making the trip to Leicester. I had taken all precautions. The car was loaded: chainsaw, mop and bucket, various changes of clothes and first aid kit. I had heeded the advice from the media: I would indeed be driving at an appropriate speed with the expectation that around every bend I would find a fallen tree blocking the road.

Suffice to say, we made it one piece. Mainly due to the fact that there wasn't a storm. Shock horror.

Q: Why risk life and limb?

A: The fantastic Beans on Toast playing at the equally fantastic Cookie Jar.

'Beans' was on top form, as usual. What you get when you attend a Beans on Toast gig is entertainment. Whether it be the tunes, the storytelling, the banter, or the fact that you never quite know what you are going to get. It never fails to entertain. Tonight 'Beans' was sandwiched between the fabulous Will Varley (well worth googling) and the rather loud Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun.

In other Beans on Toast news…..

  • He'll be supporting Frank Turner on the up and coming UK tour.
  • New album 'Giving Everything' out on 1st December.


Blog Great Eastern Run

Running and stuff….

Just an 8-miler this morning, according to my training plan it should have been 13! Doh!

Although I ran 13 miles last Sunday and 12 miles a couple of weeks before so I thought with just two weeks until the Peterborough Half I'd take it easy a bit. It was a lovely morning and didn't really want to spoil it by going hell for leather* chasing a particular pace. I'm confident of completing the race, just need to decide whether or not I'm going to try to beat my PB. I'm going to crack on with the training schedule, throw in a couple of fast 6-milers and see where we're at.

This morning's run did throw up some interesting observations:

  • The amazingly fast walking man – he was walking his dog and going at such a pace I had trouble overtaking him.
  • I nearly killed off an elderly couple – it would seem that didn't hear me approaching and my cheery 'morning' nearly brought on a heart attack.
  • Caused a bit of commotion at the ponds – some fishermen didn't appreciate the dog jumping in the pond and scaring off the fish.

In other news…..

Currently reading 'The Cry' by Helen Fitzgerald, great book about a baby that goes missing in Australia. A dark psychological thriller with a gripping moral dilemma at its heart. Well worth a read!

And finally….

Off to see the fantastic Frank Hamilton in Cambridge tonight….lovely jubbly….

* This is not a phrase I use very often and just wanted to point out that I do actually run in running shoes not some great pair of leather clad boots.


Great Eastern Run

Running, indulging the doolally and univocalism….

This morning my 'lovely' half-marathon training plan exclaimed that I should do a long 'steady' run of 12 miles, yes you read that right, 12 miles! Not quite sure why it wants me to run so far considering I still have five weeks until race day. But not wanting to upset the fecking thing, that is exactly what I did.

12.65 miles in a time of 1:38.38. Average pace 7.48 per mile.

Still slightly slower than target pace (although I had to go through various gates, cross roads and climb hills), but it felt good!

I had planned a slightly different route that enabled me to pop into a shop and get a drink at about halfway so that I didn't have to bother carrying a bottle throughout. Also, I had even created a new playlist to accompany me on the run. Get me!

Yesterday included a trip to Peterborough for a bit of a wander about. Once there we stumbled upon The Peterborough Arts Fest – a celebration of Peterborough and its people. With the rather catchy tagline of 'Indulge the Doolally'. According to the programme, we were promised, “jaw dropping spectaculars”, “internationally acclaimed acts” and an “extraordinary finale”. What we actually experienced was an event that nobody seemed to know about, there were very few people about, and actually very few acts performing. So, as you can imagine, we didn't hang around for the “extraordinary finale”. Although I did manage a picture sitting on a massive deckchair (small things and all that)…..

But also, more excitingly, performing in the Talkative Tent (sponsored by John Clare Cottage) were Dead Poets….

Dead Poets are made up of Mark Grist, him of poetry slam fame….

….and DJ Mixy, the pair formed the collaboration to challenge the preconceptions of poetry and hip-hop. If you get a chance to seem them you should, it's a very entertaining performance. Today was no different, Mark performed a piece of univocal poetry entitled 'The Fens' which was very clever. Univocalism is a poem that uses only one vowel, here is a rather poor attempt….

Jog to Morton

Born to jog,

Sort of hobby,

Good to go.

North from town,

Off to woods,

Lots to look.

Dogs too jolly,

Poop on boot,

Not good look.

Cows in fog,

Not to worry,

Jog on strong.

Boozy horror show,

Bosoms and knobs,

Long story.

Grotty old dog,

Soggy from ponds,

Looks odd.

Horror show,

Jog too slow,

School tomorrow.

In other news, Frank Hamilton has released his first, what he calls, 'serious' video….