Monday, 31 October 2011

Minutes to Movember

I have just had a shave.
I wouldn't normally share such intimate personal details. It's not that kind of blog.
But reaching midnight on Halloween with one's face clean-shaven is one of the rules of Movember.
For the next month I shall be joining many thousands of other chaps up and down the country growing a moustache.
The idea is to raise awareness and, if possible, a little cash in the name of men's health. We are becoming more aware of men's cancers in particular.
Hence I shall be attempting to grow a recognisable moustache for the next 30 days.
It is all TE's fault. TE did it last year while he was working in Korea, and this year has challenged me to join him.
I have picked up the gauntlet, and I think about half a dozen people from the office are going to join it too. The running club has yet to respond to my email, but I hope some of my fellow athletes(!) will join in.
I have posters and stickers and a brown wristband proclaiming my involvement.
There is no backing out now, and I have just removed the week's growth which, I thought, made me appear bohemian and interesting.
Who knows what the next 30 days will bring...?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


I ache tonight.
My old bones and joints are feeling the strain.
Alan's choice tonight was the hill between Roundham Head and Cliff Road.
It's only 168 metres long. We know this because Alan measured it.
It isn't even that steep, but by the time you are seven climbs into your set of ten, it feels like Kilimanjaro.
The idea was that the three quarters of a mile to the location would be the warm-up, then we would sprint up the hill 10 times, jogging back down to recover.
Then, Alan being Alan, we would do it 10 times more.
Thanks to Flyin' Ryan, who swore we had done 10 when I am sure we had only done nine of the second set, I think we got off the 20th sprint.
All the usual suspects were there, but there wasn't much time to chat.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

House guests

OUR house is normally home to two people, plus Reg, the Jack Russell.
This weekend Reg has had nine people for company, and it has been wonderful.
We have been joined by, in approximate order of height, TE, DW, KW, Younger Daughter, Older Daughter, EW and IW.
All of those with initials ending in W are members of the same family from Chard in Somerset. DW is married to KW, who is TE's sister. TE is Older Daughter's significant other.
EW is the two-year-old daughter of DW and KW, niece of TE. IW is EW's practically brand-new sister, and also a niece of TE.
It's complicated when you only know people by their initials.
A little more detail. TE is a Spurs supporter, DW is a paramedic, KW doesn't do public toilets, EW eats crackers and loves Reg, and IW makes peculiar smells and smiles a lot.
She is only a couple of months old, so that's socially acceptable. When I do it, it isn't. This isn't fair.

It being DW's birthday, we celebrated with a ride on the steam railway down to Kingswear. DW likes railways.
Then we took a ferry over to Dartmouth for a stroll in the sunshine and a pint.
After the train ride back, we wallowed in the joys of seaside Paignton, strolling Torbay Road and the pier. EW ate ice cream and went on the trampolines. IW made peculiar smells and smiled. The other Ws took the chips proferred for tasting by the nice chap outside Scoffs.
Back at ours, they ate Mrs H's wholesome homity pie and pasta, then as suddenly as they had arrived, they were all gone again.
They all but left the door swinging on its hinges and a few displaced leaves of paper fluttering gently to the floor.
For two days the house has been full of noise and shoes and people, damp towels and still-warm cups, a toy tiger upside-down on top of a radiator, bubbles still settling in the empty bath.
And it hasn't half been fun.