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Thursday, 25 December 2014

1412.25 THE CAPTAIN'S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

I started the year pretty much as I end it nursing a cycling injury and hoping to get back to full strength. This time though instead of it being my wrist it's my collarbone that is healing. I hope I can get through the next 12 months (at least) injury free. 

Once again we went without a holiday due to the bite of this government's unfair austerity measures and in particular it's attack on the public sector (for which I am employed). It's been a hard summer watching friends flying off on holiday whilst we can't even manage our week in Wales. 

We did manage to refresh the living room with new flooring and decoration. 

One of the biggest events of the year has to be Morticia's 40th birthday which we celebrated with a party in a private room in our local pub. The event was made more special by the appearance of our eldest daughter whom as many of you know has been living with my parents for the last couple of years. It was to be the start of our reconciliation. 

My bad luck meant a bad year on the whole for my cycling. Thankfully I was in good shape to ride out and watch the second stage of the Tour de France which was visiting Yorkshire for the Grande Depart. The whole build up (I attended a number of special events) was out of this world and the experience will live with me for the rest of my life. 

As I've mentioned before there was no holiday this year (again) but the summer did have a few highlights. This all came to a crashing (literally) halt in September when I hit the tarmac at speed breaking my collarbone. I'm just starting to get over this injury. 

The latter part of the year was about recovery. That has been a challenge which will continue into the new year. 

Of course we must not forget the ones who didn't get to this Christmas. This year we lost my Uncle Mick, in fact it was only last week. It was unexpected. I also mentioned about losing our pet, the hamster "Twinkle" who gave us so much pleasure. 

I'm going to say that this year has been on the whole a good year despite the misfortunes and the austerity. The highlights make it. The cherry on top was when our eldest daughter decided she wanted to move back home a week ago. So now we are a family again and hopefully we can move forward together. 

WISHING ALL MY FAMILY & FRIENDS WHO STOOD BY US THROUGH THE HARD TIMES A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

1412.15 GOODBYE TWINKLE

Yesterday our lovely hamster, "Twinkle" passed away peacefully in his sleep. I know some people might not take the passing of a pet (especially a small pet with such a short LIFESPAN) but I cannot express enough the effect this little rodent has on our family.

He arrived with us at our darkest day (our eldest daughter had left us following a number of years of problems), we had reached the lowest ebb and I was in the middle of a mental breakdown and have few real memories of that particular time. I do remember the day he arrived, I wasn't too keen on him. I didn't want another pet, especially a rodent. Soon things changed. "Twinkle" whom we we told was a girl was discovered to be a boy (it was pretty obvious), was the most gentle, funny and energetic little creature I've ever had the pleasure to know. He shone a light on a dark time in my life and helped lift my mood and spirits. Every time I went into the dining room (in the evening) he was there to greet me. I enjoyed watching him run around the room in his ball (which he loved). He loved to be handled and demanded so regularly.

There is a big hole in our lives now. I'm glad however, that my eldest daughter got to know and love him too. He fell asleep and was laid to rest with a piece of cheese, a grape and a corn stick (some of his favourite treats) under the lavender bush in the garden.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

1411.20 GAGA

Tonight my family, for the first time in a long time, went out together as a unit. Morticia, myself and our girls went to Sheffield (Motorpoint) Arena to see Lady Gaga. I'm not what you would call a Gaga fan (in fact music isn't a big deal in my life) but I managed to get cheap tickets through work. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

I enjoyed the show, we all had fun and it was an enjoyable family night out.






Friday, 31 October 2014

1410.31 THE COMMISSIONER

Today was the election of a new Police & Crime Commissioner following the child grooming scandal and subsequent resignation of Shawn Wright. There has always been an apathy towards the role which is evident in the low turn out. I always vote for every election, I feel it's a duty that everyone should fulfill, and I made no exception here (although I almost missed it). Rotherham is the town I live in (although I still consider myself to be from Sheffield, the city of my birth) and has been damaged greatly by the recent events. The town, in my opinion, was already dying, I hope it will make it through.

This election is of course more important for me as the role affects my work. I hope I made the right choice.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

1410.29 THE BIG RETURN

I've been unlucky to say the least the last few years. This has resulted in 3 significant sickness periods from work for me, the first being depression resulting from family issues and the other 2 being cycling related collisions resulting in broken bones and hospitalisation. Today I finally return to work following the 3rd of these occurrences.

I've spoke to my supervisor at work yesterday to sort out the details of my return and was told to "get in when you can". I decided that the best time would be 09:30 - 10:00 as that is when the office would be the quietest.

08:54 - I'm on the bus (cycling not an option yet) heading to Sheffield City Centre, it turned up 15 minutes late but I'm not on a deadline so not too concerned.

09:06 - The transfer to my 2nd bus in the old market area (now abandoned, awaiting demolition) was swift which I was glad about since its not a nice place to be waiting in these days (even in the morning). I'm now hurtling up to where my workplace sits on top of the hill. It's almost like starting a new job, I'm actually feeling quite nervous!

10:01 - I've had my return to work interview and we've drawn up a plan for the next month. Now I have 2 months of emails to go through.

14:01 - My first day is over and I'm on my way home. I'm on a graduated reintroduction and light duties for at least the next month. I'm glad I'm back and am looking forward to restoring this aspect of my life.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

1410.28 DUTY CALLS

It's been 2 months of long and painful recovery.  Finally tomorrow I return to work,  at least in a light form. Today I went to see the consultant at the hospital who cleared me for light duties. I have begun physiotherapy and have been promised a painful journey to recovery (lovely). 

I am a little apprehensive about my return,  I've not kept up to speed with the goings on and only had minimal contact with my colleagues. Whilst convalescing I've not shaved so I'm looking a little like Grizzly Adams (again I'm showing my age). I'm not like a lot of blokes that look rugged with a beard, I tend to look more homeless than manly when I sport anything more than a goatee. 

Question is do I shave before I return or use it as an indicator of my full recovery later along? Morticia hates beards as a rule and complains regularly about my 'grizzly' look.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

1410.26 OUT OF SHAPE

My recuperation has had another side effect on me. One I had to deal with the last time I was injured. Whilst recuperating I've been pretty inactive which has meant that love put on a bit of weight (OK maybe its a lot), I'm not sure how much since we don't own weighing scales, if I did I think I'd be scared to use them. I'm also finding myself making excuses not to get on the bike, it's obvious that there is a psychological element I need to get over.

1410.24 DOOMED

There is rarely a news bulletin on at the moment that doesn't cover the awful events in West Africa and to some extent the rest of the world. I am of course talking about the Ebola crisis. I'm not about to go into depth about the operations of world governments and the rescue efforts of the brave medical professionals who are out there putting their lives on the line.

My wife, Morticia, has been very concerned about the whole thing and has expressed concern that the disease is about to spread throughout the world and we are all doomed. Maybe her concern is warranted, maybe not. I personally don't think that it's going to be as disastrous as we are being lead to believe. The history of the world is rife with mega killing plagues and probably always will be, I remember back in the eighties when AIDS came to light and the doom and gloom that was talked about back then, and there wasn't the added noise of social media to spread the paranoia.

I'm not worried, at least not yet. I'll continue to monitor the stories and if warranted I will panic on a later date.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

1410.04 TEENAGER #2

About 5 years ago I posted a tongue in cheek post on here asking for advice in coping with a teenager as my eldest was about to reach that age. My offspring took grave offence at this and in hindsight there were tell tale signs to the three years that were to come. 

My youngest daughter has now reached that age. This time around is so different, Rags is a mature, caring, bright and considerate young lady and I have a much more positive feeling about her future.

Ever since my eldest's 13th birthday an 8 year old Rags has been planning her celebration. Like her sister she wanted a limo ride followed by a small gathering, everything went off without a hitch and I was pleased that our eldest came along to share her sister's special day. Happy 13th Rags xxx

Sunday, 21 September 2014

1409.21 I'M H-A-P-P-Y

I'm writing this whilst sitting in a chair next to my hospital bed in Kepple Ward of Rotherham General Hospital. I came in yesterday for surgery to fix my shoulder following a cycling accident 2 weeks ago.

The surgery was a doddle, I woke up in recovery with a completely numb arm and shoulder. I thought I'd probably sleep the majority of the rest of the day but surprisingly I felt quite alert. It was a good job I'd downloaded a couple of films onto my Nexus tablet.

Then came the longest night. They turned the lights off about half 10 (22:30) and I finished off my film. It was when I took out my earphones and settled down to sleep the problems started. The guy on the end bed (I'm in the far right corner) kept squealing in pain and the old chap next to me began snoring. I've slept through worse to I settled down best I could. I just began to doze when a nurse came to administer anti-biotic into the port in my left hand. Then at about half past midnight they brought in another patient who they placed diagonally opposite me. Staff were buzzing around him with a light above his bed and noisy diagnostic machines buzzing and beeping. After they left him he began to snore like a warthog.

With the sounds of other patients plus the staff dealing with other patients' needs added to the warm temperature of the ward meant a really poor night's sleep. I awoke at 6am when I believe there was a shift change. I was in a bit of pain and really uncomfortable. At half past a nurse came to check my vitals. I decided I might as well get up so got out of bed and read a magazine. The medication trolley came around and I got 2 caplets, 2 tiny pills and a giant pink one. Since then I've felt loads better. The tea trolley, which is a definite highlight, came half an hour ago and also breakfast shortly after (bran flakes).

I'm looking forward to going home (later today) and sleeping properly. Hopefully I'll be fully fit quickly, I have a bike gathering dust.

Note: The title of this entry may not be understood by younger readers. It refers to the theme song to a sitcom from the 80s set in a hospital.

Friday, 19 September 2014

1409.19 A UNITED KINGDOM

I wake up this morning to discover that Scotland has decided to stay in our union and reject independence. I am glad that they are not breaking away, the loss I believe would have irreparably damaged the north of England by condemning us to potentially many years of Tory rule. I believe that the next stage is to look at the way the entire country is governed. How can the parliament that's so far away in the south-east know what's best for a society in the north? I'm hoping for a certain amount of devolution for the regions of England as enjoyed by Scottish people (which is now due to increase following the referendum) as well as the Welsh. A Yorkshire assembly perhaps? After all the population of Yorkshire is comparable to Scotland (5.3m compared to 5.29, source: Google). 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

1409.06 A PROPER CYCLIST

They say you aren't a proper cyclist until you've broken your collarbone. Well thanks to some knobhead running out in front of me whilst riding home from work on Thursday night I can now say I'm a proper cyclist.

I was last out of the office as usual, it had been an uneventful afters shift and as I was wheeling my bike out of the bike shed I contemplated the route home. Most of the week I've only cycled the minimum (there & back) so I chose my evening alternative route which gives me a couple of extra 'k's with the option of a nice little climb at the end.

The ride starts with a decent towards the city centre, I'd manage to safely get past the deadly tram tracks (a cyclists' nemesis) and was descending at a steady pace when without warning a man walked out into the road, into my path. He turned to look at me, I think at that point he'd not noticed me before. I think I shouted out as I squeezed the brakes and pushed my bodyweight towards the rear but it was all so fast I'm not 100% sure. I felt the impact but at first thought I was going to be OK and push thro him. Then I went down, I just remember rolling on the road and seeing my front wheel flying through the air. I remember seeing that the wheel was bent and my heart sinking that my bike was not getting out of this unscathed.

I don't know exactly how long it took me to pick myself off the road, I became aware of pain in my shoulder. Suddenly there were people around me asking if I was OK. I saw the other guy get up, pick up his baseball cap up off the road and bugger off swiftly. I wasn't in a position to do anything about that.

There was one lady who was very helpful and a bloke who had a van who ran me home with my bike. I lost my water bottle and my glasses (which were thrown from my face) were crushed by a passing taxi.

Once home it became obvious that something wasn't right with my shoulder so Morticia took me over to A & E to get it checked out. I arrived at the hospital about 22:30. I wasn't seen until about 3:30am! It was then I got the bad news about the break. It feels like I've only just gotten over the collision last year and now I'm back to square one.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

1408.19 THAT LONDON

We aren't having a holiday again this year. As a bit of a diversion, and because the opportunity arose we (Morticia & me) decided to have a day in London. As before we made a b-line for Camden Town, an amazing place that I totally get.

I have a list of London pubs that I got from a web article some months ago that I want to visit so part of the trip we decided would take in a few of these.

Camden Eye - This one disappointed (although I'd like to see it at night) and was very pricey)
Brewdog Camden - This bar was a revelation. A totally different drinking experience. We ended up staying here for a while and grabbed a bite to eat. I recently found out there's one of these in Sheffield which I must visit soon.

I love London, the vibe, the Underground, the way it is it's like a different country. I'll be back soon.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

1408.04 BUSY BUSY

I've been working hard over the last few weeks. I'm not good at decorating but I've stepped up to the mark in order to get my youngest daughter's new bedroom finished. We waited 2 years to give up our eldest daughter's bedroom to her sister but it wasn't fair that a larger room wasn't been used.

She's moved in now, it's been changed so it now no longer resembles her sister's room. She is so happy with her new surrounding and now has a room fit for the teenager she is about to become.

Monday, 11 August 2014

1408.11 DARK CLOUDS

I feel it. It's hard to explain. Like dark clouds around my head that grip my brain and squeeze. I'm becoming accustomed to things not going my way and no matter how much effort I put into anything the result is never worth it.

I need a holiday. Haven't had one since 2012 and not able to have one this year either. I have a break coming up but it's not the same. I just want what people seem to have. Friends and colleagues have holidays, have nights out. I know most have double incomes with themselves and partners and I don't have that. I know I shouldn't compare but it's hard when everyone seems to be talking of holidays and great times.

It feels that I'm treading water and I'm getting tired.

SUPPLEMENTAL;

I've delayed posting this as the shocking news of Robin Williams' death broke that day. The news resonated with me at the time even though my situation is nothing like his. I've been to dark places in my life but never faced pure despair. I can only hope that more people will now speak about mental illness and the stigma will not be as great.

RIP ROBIN WILLIAMS

Sunday, 6 July 2014

1407.06 GRAND DEPART


It's been my ambition for many years to go and see the Tour de France. It's therefore amazing that the Tour is coming to see me! It's on my doorstep, literally 1.5 miles from my door. I wanted to see the race out in the country and not in an urban environment, a place where the spectators would really want to be there and not just popping out to nosey at the spectical. Initally I was going to be camping out Langsett way but my friend who was going with me had to pul out due to illness. I came up with a plan to cycle out to the same area and find a good spot.

Off route
I decided an early start would be best, after all I had know idea what to expect out there, a lot of campers were out there and I was determined to get a decent spot to watch. I set off at about 6am and cycled up through High Green where I left the city. I got a little off track the other side of Wortley but I soon found the right road. It was about an hour before I came across other cyclists.

Bank View Cafe
I arrived at Bank View Cafe at around 7:30-8:00 for refreshments. It was there I got talking to cyclists from the Emley White Horse Wheelers. I then had a choice, to ride towards Holme Moss or Midhopestones. Holme Moss promised huge crowds (especially after what I saw at Cote de Buttertubs the day before). Cote de Midhopestones it was, if that wasn't suitable I planned to carry on until I found somewhere.

Cote de Midhopestones
I cycled the catagory 3 climb that was Cote de Midhopestones, At the sumit there were a few people and it loked like a good spot to see the riders coming up the hill. I copped a squat and got comfy, it was going to be a long wait (I had sandwiches).

There were so many other cyclists there the atmospere was awesome, I spoke to so many people. The day passed so quick and as time passed more peple arrived. There was the promoters caravan which was dissapointing but not what I was there for.

The word passed around that the riders were near, then we saw the television helecopters flying towards us. The first group flew up the hill that hours before I was blowing out of my arse while I climbed. I watched the groups pass shouting and waving as they did.




After all the riders, support vehicles and stragglers passed it was time to go. The ride home took me through Bradfield along with hundreds of other cyclists. I wanted to follw the route but the shear volume of people meant it was impossible. The crowds thinned out at Hillsborough and I headed towards the finishing line at the Motorpoint Arena. They were clearing up by the time I got there.


I got home and watched the race on TV, I saw myself as Marcel Kittle passed the summit where I'd spent the day.
My words can't express the excitement, the feeling and the vibe of the of the day. It was a day I will always remember.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

1407.02 TDF PRELUDE

I guess it's kind of expected of me to write about the Tour de France and the Yorkshire Grand Depart. As I write this there is just a few days until the cyclists roll out of Leeds. I am very excited, what I'm not enjoying is the media attention from people who have never really covered cycling, mainly the local TV news and newspapers. Then there's the small backlash from angry motorists who are pissed off that they can't get out in their cars for a day. I've had a few of those arguments over the last seven days.

Over the last couple of days I've been lucky enough to attend 2 free events run by Sheffield Hallam University (a TdF sponsor). On Monday I went along to 'Science of Cycling' at the Crucible Theatre. The event was billed as an interactive celebration of cycling and didn't disappoint. Academics in the field of sports science were joined by Nicole Cooke (arguably the most successful female cyclist of our time) and David Walsh (the journalist who broke the Lance Armstrong doping story). The second was a Q&A panel called 'Cycling Heaven' and was broadcast live on BBC Radio Sheffield. On the panel was Malcolm Elliott (former pro and TdF cyclist), Dean Downing (local pro cyclist), Chris Sidwells (cycling journalist and nephew of the legendary Tom Simpson), Mayur Ranchordas (nutritionist), Dr David James (sports scientist who also chaired the previous event at the Crucible).

My plan for the day (stage 2, York to Sheffield) has been up and down over last few weeks. I was initially going to be camping in a festival environment. Because of a friend's illness the plan was off, then back on and finally off again. I've come up with an alternative which I'm happy with that involves cycling and an early start. So I'm ready for the Grand Depart. I know where I'm watching, when I'm setting off and what I'm taking.

Bring it on...

Sunday, 15 June 2014

1406.15 FATHERS' DAY

My Fathers' Day this year was special. Special because I got to spend it with both my daughters. I am so happy that my eldest came over. We had Sunday lunch together in our local pub then we went over to the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield.

It's been over a month since she came back into our lives, we are treading carefully at the moment and enjoying every day as it comes.

Monday, 9 June 2014

1406.09 BACK ON THE IRON STEED

So the bike is functioning and I've started riding again. Up to now I've done a few decent commutes but nothing extraordinary. My first ride I pushed myself, perhaps a little too hard. I wanted to see what I still had. I did well considering the time I've been off the bike. At the end I felt physically exhausted but mentally I felt like I'd acheived a great deal. It was a hurdle I needed to get over, it would have been all to easy to stop. My wrist ached afterwards but that was to be expected and acording to my consultant nothing to worry about.



Thursday, 22 May 2014

1405.22 ALL ABOUT THE BIKE

My friends have just completed an amazing coast to coast cycle and I'm both proud and jealous of all of them. You see I should have been on that ride. It was to be a major achievement in my life. Unfortunately I was denied due to the accident last year which left me unable to train. My only hope is that a similar opportunity presents itself to me sometime in the future.

After what seems the most frustrating 6 months I am almost in a position to start riding my bike again. I just got it back from having a new brake/shifter fitted, I put on new bar tape and as soon as I put the new tyres on it'll be ready for the roads. The only problem is I can't get the old pedals off (I want to replace them), still that's a minor issue. It's just a shame the weather has turned from bright and sunny to wet and miserable.

Monday, 19 May 2014

1405.19 THE PRODIGAL

With Morticia's 40th birthday now behind us what about that reunion with our eldest daughter?

Well, there's not much to tell except that we are all taking it nice and slow. She's been up to see us a number of times, we've talked and cried as we've begun getting to know her all over again. I don't know what the future holds for us, I'm not operating under any illusions. I'm taking it all at face value and enjoying having a relationship with my first born child.

That is all I can hope for for now.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

1405.10 OH NO FOUR OH!

This week my wife, Morticia, turned 40. It's been a long preparation with loads of wailing and drama. Prior to the 'actual' big day we visited her mother down in St Neots. On the Sunday morning she got to pilot a light aeroplane (one of her biggest ambitions) and in the afternoon we had a little tea party. The bank holiday was my birthday, which we kept low key (I was happy for that).

The big day wasn't much to speak of, gifts were given and cards were opened. Morticia went out for lunch with a friend. I had planned to treat Morticia to a meal from her favourite restaurant (a takeaway since it was a school night). I hadn't realised that the restaurant's opening hours have changed and it no longer opens on a Tuesday. Disappointment didn't cover it but she was ok about it and suggested an alternative. We drank champagne whilst we ate our KFC.

The biggest event of the day was a text message from our eldest daughter. For those in the know, we haven't had contact with our eldest for almost 2 years so this was a big deal. It was the best present Morticia could have received.

The party, which was held at a local pub (in a private room) was an absolute success. It was well attended by family and friends, Morticia looked fabulous and to top everything our eldest daughter came. It was a sweet reunion, the first time in years the 4 of us have been together. 

And of course a party isn't a party unless I get out my legendary air guitar... 

Friday, 11 April 2014

1404.11 GOODBYE ADRIAN MOLE MY FRIEND

I was sad to learn of the passing of author Sue Townsend last night. The character she created in Adrian Mole, a working class anti-hero who's life never quite lived up to his expectations resonated with me. The character was a little bit older than me (4 years) but as a teenager I wholly related with the angst and the pains. He was also a child of the times speaking about the Thatcher years. The books dip in and out of his fictional life and I feel I have grown up with this character. The last book in the series, 'The Prostate Years' dealt with a man in his forties who hasn't achieved what he set out to do (that is something I can relate to) and looks at him dealing with serious illness (thankfully something I've not had to deal with yet). 

Sue Townsend's diary style of writing is the reason why I started blogging. There are books of diaries I kept which are long lost, it is something I've done most of my life. 

Thank you Sue, rest in peace... 

... Goodbye Adrian my old friend. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

1404.10 GETTING BACK ON

This has been an important day for me. Perhaps the most important in a long while.

For the first time in 148 days I got my leg over... 

...over the saddle of a bicycle. For the first time since the accident that saw my wrist broken in 4 places, surgery with 2 plates and 6 screws added, I have gotten back on a bike and rode.

Initially I was nervous, after all being hit by a car is quite a stressful occurrence. I took it quite steady but still I managed a 12K ride. The ride wasn't fast or anything to shout about since I was riding my work bike (that's the bike I ride at work, not what I ride to work).

I hope to ride again in the morning, I have a lot of fitness to recoup.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

1403.04 FLOORED 2 GO

We are currently looking at redecorating our living room. The biggest job is to replace our ageing carpet with a laminate floor, something Morticia has been asking for since before the last carpet. We shopped around and found the perfect deal at the local 'Floors 2 Go' store. The staff were helpful and we paid for our new floor. We were told that the damp proofing membrane and edging strips would need to be ordered. That's when the issues began. All is explained in the email I sent to them... 

On 27th January I visited one of your stores in Rotherham and was pleased by the selection and the deal offered by sales staff. I purchased laminate flooring plus underlay and was told that a damp proofing membrane edging strips would be ordered and could be collected soon after. I paid for all the items. We were told that someone would telephone us when the items came into store.
After not hearing anything for 2 weeks I chased up my order. I was told it had yet to be delivered and someone would get back to me to let me know when i could expect delivery. No one called.
I tried to call back a number of times the following weekend where no one answered the phone.
I chased again a week later and was told the same and that I would be advised when it came into store. 
I left it for a couple of weeks and chased again. I was told that the damp proofing membrane was a rare item and not often available. I was asked why I specifically ordered this set up as there was a combined underlay and damp proofing available. I said that I was not offered this nor was I told that the separate membrane was difficult to source. I was offered a swap for the underlay I had for the combined underlay. I agreed and was told that the new underlay would be available by the end of the week and I would be phoned. 
Once again I received no phone call and it was left to me to chase. Yesterday I phoned and was told my items were available for collection. I went today to pick up the outstanding goods and was presented with the originally ordered damp proofing membrane (and the edging strips). I questioned this and why the membrane took so long to come. I was told that this item was like "rocking horse shit". I asked why I wasn't offered the other combined underlay to which I was told that it was much more expensive and that the system sometimes shows it in stock when it isn't. 
All in all its taken 6 weeks to fulfil my order. In that time I've been fobbed off, misinformed, never had my calls returned and been given in my opinion a very poor level of customer service. I had a friend lined up to help me fit the floor but now I have to wait for them to become available again. This episode has been a nightmare and what I thought was a good deal has turned out to be such a poor effort on your part. 

Friday, 28 February 2014

1402.28 SECOND HOME

Once again I find myself at my mother-in-law's in St Neots visiting and generally relaxing. We been coming down here for many years now and as such feel I know the town quite well. I've ascended the church tower, visited the fetes and markets and had a few in a number of the local pubs.

The only thing I've never done here is cycle. Cycling here is strange. Because it is so flat there are old ladies, vicars and tubby blokes out on bikes. So different from what I'm used too, don't think I've ever seen anyone wearing lycra here and there are few, if any proper road bikes.

We rarely do much when we're here. We usually visit town, Morticia is quite well known here (she visits more than me and she has brightly coloured hair). Today was slightly different, we visited a local chilli farm ( www.edibleornamentals.co.uk) which had a lovely cafe. It was empty today but I bet it gets busy in the summer, in fact I bet it would be a great cycling stop off.

I have to rely on my tablet computer heavily for entertainment since the choice of TV by our hosts can be not to my taste all the time (thank god for Netflix).

I usually enjoy my time here (apart from the fact that our hosts are smokers), it's a nice community for a bunch of southerners.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

1402.26 THE TARTAN BREAKUP?

The news is awash with the forthcoming referendum in Scotland. Watching the politicians from both sides is like watching a relationship break up on Facebook (we've all seen them). It's embarrassing and quite frankly a little worrying.

I'm not Scottish and don't have any connections with Scotland aside from a short holiday about 20 years ago when Morticia and I drove up to Inverness to look for the Loch Ness monster (we were unsuccessful but had a great break). I do know some Scottish people who are a little peeved that they can't vote since they don't live there anymore. I think they're annoyed because if it's a 'yes' they instantly become 'Scottish' and thereby become foreigners. Maybe since Scotland won't immediately be an EU country they might get deported! 

Monday, 24 February 2014

1402.05 MEXICAN ARM WRESTLE

It's been 103 days since my accident and since I last rode a bike.

For the past 6 weeks or so I've been having regular physio sessions at Rotherham General Hospital. Last week I was told my strength had come a long way (not up to previous levels though) and my movement had 'plateaued' and as such there was little more she could do for me. At that point she discharged me.

So that is it?

Tomorrow I'll be attending the Fracture clinic where I expect the consultant to discharge me. So now I'm on my own, I don't have full movement, I have a loss of feeling in my fingers and a numb spot around my scar. I guess I have to learn to live with it.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

1402.04 OFFICE CAT

Since my return to work a month ago I've been confined to the office whilst my wrist gets stronger. I have to say that the office isn't my ideal environment and I can't wait to get back outdoors. I'm hoping I'll get the green light to be out after next week.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

1401.29 MOBILE WEBSITE

My website has been around for many years and for the last few years I've toyed with having a mobile version. Everyone seems to have one and even my blog has a special mobile view when accessed via a phone (thanks to Blogger). I'm no web designer, just a tinkerer and have always thought it would be a difficult task for my skill level so I never pursued it.

Today I had a nasty session at the physio which left me feeling sick and in a bit of pain. I ended up booking the rest of the day off work. After a couple of painkillers and a little nap I found myself doing a bit of work on my laptop (proper working from home work). After that I found myself playing with a free service that mobilised your website. To detect a mobile device I had to add some HTML code into my website to redirect to their service. This got me thinking that there must be a bit of code that I could use to redirect to my own creation. I quickly found it and knocked together a simple version of my home page.

I uploaded to my server and after a little tweeking it works. On a phone now (not a tablet)if you go to www.kirt.me.uk you are redirected to a simplified version of my home page. I'll keep working on it but I'm enjoying getting back into my web presence.


Sunday, 19 January 2014

1401.19 CHRISTMAS ALES

I had a variety of ales over the festive period. I love the variety of beers that are available these days, all have their own specific charms. I think my overall favourite out of the selection I tasted this year has to be Shephard Neame's 'Christmas Ale', a strong dark and flavourful brew. A special mention has to go to 'Old Speckled Hen' which I had a keg of, it was great to have beer on tap (£13 for a 5 litre keg from Tesco).