A slow start to the week after being busier than usual recently. I don’t feel much less able to do stuff as I age but I do seem to recover slower. A day of mowing, after two weeks of grass-neglect.
On Tuesday morning I got a call to see if I could cover for a volunteer who wasn’t able to take up his slot on the week’s cycle training course which has a dozen children on it. I could, so I had a couple of unexpected hours doing that and then off to the pool in the evening. I was lucky that I had a lane to myself and I swam further than usual, clocking up 1500 metres fairly comfortably.
There are two main things telling me that I’m not a swimmer. One is a general lack of ability and the other is the reaction of my sinuses – I sneezed for an hour after getting out the pool and started sneezing again at 4am, with a simultaneously blocked and running nose, for 2 hours.
On Wednesday I did the morning cycle training session I had originally signed up for, followed by the delight of an afternoon bonfire getting rid of garden stuff and the wallpaper we had scraped off our son’s walls.
More mowing on Thursday with bonfire tending and gardening. The bonfire site has had a few good blazes recently but that means the build-up of a central pile of soil, stone and ash which will not help future fires burn with a good hot core. If you are looking for a really good exercise for your own core, I recommend digging out and sieving a bonfire heap to separate the good compost material from the rubbish.
I felt that the mowing, digging and sieving excused me from major exercise later in the day so it was just a hot 30 minutes on the turbo at a (for me) quick 31.5kph (19.6mph).
Friday was much as usual – gym (which was tough after a gap of a three weeks) followed by a session at the cycle shop, which continues to go very well. After more work in the garden I drove to London so I could make an easier and earlier start to our older son’s place in Kingston-upon-Thames on Saturday morning. On the agenda this time were the rerouting of a section of guttering and removal of a water butt and some work on the fence to the front garden.
The jobs seemed to go well – but the guttering is untested – and then I drove back to Oxfordshire with our son and his girlfriend late Saturday, for a family gathering and BBQ on Sunday.
With just two weeks to go, my triathlon buddy and I have booked a swim in that Scary Open Water on Thursday. At the moment, my plan is to go for the full triathlon 750m, non stop and without the lovely pool ends that come every 25m at the leisure centre.
An email from the organisers this week struck a note of terror into my heart – they confirmed that they will be testing the water temperature to see if wetsuits are allowed. I really need that extra buoyancy – the SOW will become even scarier without one.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: The laughter of a child lights up the house
… but electricity is more reliable
2. BBC News website: Pontoon aims to stop Wally the walrus sinking more boats
Since being spotted in Ireland, the 800kg (125st) walrus has travelled 4,000km (2,485 miles) and been seen in France, Spain and the UK where he is said to be sinking one or two boats in every harbour he enters (by tipping them over as he gets aboard or gets off them). The idea is for him to have his own pontoon.
I doubt that we really know that his name is Wally. It’s a bit like the ‘joke’ “What’s your dog’s name?” “I don’t know but we call him Rover.”
3. BBC News website: Tanzania’s President criticised for footballer comments
The President said that while female footballers were making the East African country proud by winning trophies, some did not stand a chance of getting married because of the way they looked, adding “If we bring them here and line them up, for those with flat chests, you might think they are men – not women”.
The President added that while some sportswomen were married, most of them were not, “and for the way they are, a life of marriage… is a just a dream”.
Possibly the most shocking thing here is that Tanzania’s President is a woman
4. BBC News website: McDonald’s runs out of milkshakes
McDonald’s has run out of milkshakes and some bottled drinks at restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales. The fast-food chain said it was facing supply chain issues affecting the availability of shakes and bottled drinks at its 1,250 outlets.
The end of civilisation as we know it