Swim, gym (x2), hard manual labour (plus smoke, pigeons and staying close to home)

After a day of builders and burglar alarm engineers, it was the Swim Doctor session on a cold Monday evening. I’m still looking for (and not finding) the silver bullet of an idea that will transform me into a swimmer.

There were quite a few people at the session so I ended up in a lane with the three fastest swimmers again – where I feel rather out of my depth (figuratively speaking) – but at least that pushed me to clock up over 1km.

I spent a hard hour in the gym on Tuesday as my puny cyclist/runner arms continue to be exposed to exercises designed for the chin-up challenge. Success still looks to be some way off at the moment but that’s OK, if it was easy it wouldn’t be much of a challenge.

With work being done on the house on Wednesday I was in when a knock on the door introduced a couple of chaps doing block paved drive washing. We decided to go with them (it had been quite a task for us to do in the last couple of years) and they did a good job for a very decent price (I rather think they might have underestimated the area involved). Cycle club company’s AGM on Wednesday evening.

The drive cleaning meant that Thursday’s run got postponed in favour of sweeping 175kg of kiln-dried sand into the block paving cracks across a driveway of about 100㎡. That supplied my back, arms and shoulders with a more than rigorous workout so I gave myself an exemption from any more exercise for the day.

The hours of sweeping didn’t exactly make the gym session on Friday any easier, but I got through it – and then the bike shop. In the afternoon I did more driveway sweeping – with much more to come, no doubt, as rain and the movement of cars will get the sand into the cracks more effectively than my broom and I ever could.

Domestic stuff on Saturday, but with push-ups and bicep curls, of course. Originally, I was using dumb-bells with a puny 10kg on each. I have increased that to an unimpressive 12kg on each of them, but that might be too much too soon.

In the late afternoon we drove up to London and took our younger son and his girlfriend out for supper which was great. We stayed at the flat and drove to our older son’s house on Sunday (not even time for a run beforehand) where we met his girlfriend’s parents and had a day of decorating, cleaning, gutter clearing and gardening.

The house is a bit of a project and they have been living in a building site for months, so the aim is that they will return from their 4 month sabbatical to a house that is decorated and immediately liveable. Good progress made – but only the first working day of several that will be needed to get the place straight.

Interesting stuff this week

1. African wise words: It’s better to fall from a tree and break your back than to fall in love and break your heart

2. BBC News website: No smoke without fire

Households in England face fines of up to £300 if they flout new log burner rules as a tightening of emissions regulations has reduced the amount of smoke new stoves can emit. This applies to homes in “smoke control areas” which cover most of England’s towns and cities.

Even in controlled areas there is no ban on barbeques, fire pits or bonfires, as doing so would be “disproportionate”, the government said.

They’re all heart

3. BBC News website: Coo – that’s a mistake

A pigeon-fancying drug dealer who was caught after he shared information about his loft in encrypted messages has been jailed. The 37-year-old was arrested after his pigeon racing references on the encrypted communication service EncroChat led officers to him.

He was said to have included references to his love of pigeon racing in messages and images which allowed officers to identify his pigeon loft and home address.

4. BBC News website: Cross country, not across the world

16 years old athlete Innes FitzGerald has turned down the chance to compete in the World Cross Country Championships.

Her reason is that the contest is in Australia, thousands of miles from her home in Devon. Innes says she cannot justify flying in a climate crisis.

5. BBC News website: Get on your bike (but not in NI in 2023)

All motorcycle road racing, short circuit racing and trials in Northern Ireland have been cancelled for 2023.

The Motorcycle Union of Ireland, the organising club, deemed it impossible to run events because of soaring insurance charges. Quoted costs for public liability insurance for 2023 have tripled, amounting to more than £400,000.




















2 thoughts on “Swim, gym (x2), hard manual labour (plus smoke, pigeons and staying close to home)

    1. The Omil Post author

      Beyond confusing (I have no idea how anyone is supposed to know how much smoke their new log burner is producing – as it must be a mix of the stove and the material being burned?). Presumably barbeques, fire pits and bonfires escape because of duration? All seems a bit half pregnant.



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