Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Joe's birthday treat

I took Joe out for lunch at the Hungry Horse in Northampton

HE: I think I'll have the mixed grill.

ME: You fat fuck.


ME: Would you like a starter?



The Sheffield Half Marathon

For part two of my half marathon hat-trick (justgiving page), I ran the Sheffield half on Sunday morning.

To get myself in the mood, I treated myself to a trip to the London Marathon Expo, despite TfL's insistence on buggering about with the transport system.

Taking a time predictor test at the London Marathon Expo.
It didn't predict anything good.

With the streets of our nation's capital choked with people flocking to see the marathon, it's a good thing I did have something on this weekend, otherwise I would probably have been a bit fed up not to be taking part. I was running a half on my own for the first time. Kate was running the 3km fun run, but I still felt a bit lonely with no one to talk to.

Kate and I, gearing ourselves up

I entertained myself through the early stages by playing pub cricket, although Sheffield's pubs yielded a meagre eight runs for the loss of 15 wickets.

It was hot and hilly and the organisers, with debatable wisdom, saved the energy drink stop for just before the 10-mile mark, which was rather too late.

Amnesty pulls clear of Cancer Research UK.
Take that, Race for Life!

The Female 35+ section yielded the most drama of the day as the leader came into the final straight in the stadium and collapsed flat on her face. While she was wobbling and crawling around, another runner came sailing through to win the category. Medical staff were on hand but weren't allowed to touch her as this would have meant disqualification.

Eventually, she staggered across the line like a crippled beggar and was loaded into an ambulance.

Just over 10 minutes later, I cam wobbling into the stadium myself to finish in a new PB of 1:41:04. Kate told me about the F35 face-planter and also that she'd been talking about me to Radio Sheffield, upon which point the Radio Sheffield lady rocked up to hear some more. Hurray, I'm famous!

Kate, for her part, had completed the fun run, then gone off and bought herself a full English breakfast with MY money. I do tip my hat to her for finding a place that laid on breakfast for £3 though.

The commemorative gong was a nice shade of blue that matches my eyes

The prizes for finishing the fun run look like they
fell out of a third-world christmas stocking


Monday, April 26, 2010


Building bridges

An internal Foreign Office memo about September's papal visit to Britain, born of a Friday afternoon brainstorming session involving a group of junior civil servants, resulted yesterday in the demotion of a young official and a formal government apology to the Vatican.

The memorandum, apparently written by staff planning events for the four-day visit by Pope Benedict XVI, suggested he might like to start a helpline for abused children, sack "dodgy" bishops, open an abortion ward, launch his own brand of condoms, preside at a civil partnership, perform forward rolls with children, apologise for the Spanish armada and sing a song with the Queen.

Pope receives apology from UK Foreign Office for 'condom' memo
The Grauniad, 26th April, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Camp Intrepid, Peak District, April 2010

Prize to anyone who can decipher the dad's riposte.

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No one loves snow like the Elkhound loves snow

More information on the Norwegian Elkhound

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Hardcore weekends for hardcore people, Vol. I

One day, I'm going to suggest something stupid to Edwin and he's going to say "No, Dan - that's just stupid."

It hasn't happened yet. The last stupid thing I suggested to him was entering this year's Loch Ness Marathon. Ten minutes later, we'd both dropped forty notes and had our race numbers. I just can't wait.

This weekend's stupidity wasn't quite on the same scale, but it was still pretty daft: enter two 10k races. This worked out pretty well as the Saturday one was in Nottingham (handy for Ed) and the Sunday was in Coventry (handy for both of us).

Saturday saw us lining up in glorious sunshine in Cotgrave Country Park for the Paws 10k (raising money for mutts). We overheard one veteran of a previous race discussing the hill with a friend. This seemed rather inauspicious; as I remarked to Edwin, definite article prefixes seldom betoken glad tidings: the clap, the taxman, etc.

Off we went, to slowly fry on a series of slopes. Just before 6km, I rounded a hedge to be confronted with the hill, up which runners in front were struggling or, in several cases, walking. I made it over, although the bench at the top did provide me with a nasty moment of temptation.

I finished a minute or two ahead of Ed, who had, to his credit, also conquered the hill at a run and was a little caustic about some of the quitters:

"I came past these two guys who were just walking up it, chatting about all the running they do! One of them was like 'Oh, yes - I did the kilomathon recently,' and I was like 'Well get a fucking move on then!'"

I fell out of bed feeling pretty stiff on Sunday morning to do the same around the leafy lanes of Coventry in the Northbrook 10k - which, I might add, also had a the hill. Both Ed and I were unsurprisingly a little slower round the course this time.

My running complete, I sped on to my next mission: taking the dad camping / hiking in the Peak District. By this stage, I was a little tired.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Giving me a bad name

...although I suspect he may feel that I'm giving him a bad name. Hm.

With thanks to fearless correspondent Russ Greaves for unearthing this little gem on tampabay.com (reprinted from the St Petersburg Times).

Man accused of exposing himself to teens in Weeki Wachee

WEEKI WACHEE — A Homosassa man who authorities say exposed himself to two teenagers in a neighborhood north of Weeki Wachee on Sunday evening has been charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a minor.

Daniel P. McKeown, 25, was standing in the road near the 11000 block of Mirage Avenue when he unzipped his jeans, exposed his genitals to the two teenagers and made the same vulgar comment several times, according to an arrest report from the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. Several adults witnessed McKeown's actions, the report said.

McKeown fled from deputies and ran into a vacant home before he was caught, so he was also charged with trespassing. McKeown told deputies he'd drank five beers and did not remember exposing himself, according to the report.

McKeown, of 4385 S Marcan Trail, remained in the Hernando County Jail on a bond of $15,500.

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Monday, April 05, 2010


My thought for the day

"You can't damage a community as much by bombing it as you can by building a Tesco's."


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