After a social and food-filled Sunday, we had little enthusiasm for exercise on Monday but my wife and I got out for a short run – down a drying Puddleduck Lane – 5.5km (3.4 miles) at 6.33 min/km.
We also managed the first croquet of 2021, on the best day of the year so far – strange, Bank Holidays are usually cold and wet.
One reason for getting out on Monday was that Tuesday was the day for the interment of my father’s ashes – just the 17 months after his death. That meant a drive north to meet up with my sister, brother-in-law and their daughters, it was just a close family affair at the crematorium where my mother’s ashes are buried.
The funeral service was a very good celebration of his life but the interment of the ashes felt like little more than a footnote to it all. At the same time, it was good to see family and to see my parents ‘reunited’ – they were married for nearly 64 years. A good day, but about 6 hours of driving.
Gym on Wednesday for an hour and then some time up at the Cycle Park where publicity activities were taking place about the club winning the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2021. We got a good deal of coverage by local press and radio and TV cameras were up there filming for the evening news, so we needed to ensure a decent turn-out in club shirts.
Back to the pool in the evening where I decided to follow the advice of the open water instructor and make the ‘already hard’ into ‘even harder’.
For me, the three big extra challenges presented by open water swimming are temperature, navigation and, especially, the absence of pool ends to cling onto and gasp for breath. The instructor’s advice was to swim in a ‘U’ just before reaching the end of the pool so there is no gliding into the end, no holding on and no push off from the end.
I found the ‘U turn’ pretty impossible in a fairly narrow lane so I ended up stopping and treading water while I turned and then starting from stationary, with no push off. It does indeed make pool swimming much harder (as if it wasn’t hard enough already). I managed the new approach for only 10 lengths but I guess that was even harder than swimming a straight 250m, because of the stopping and starting. In total, 1km.
On Thursday morning I was in charge of a session of cycle training giving road safety experience to children who are more confident at riding. We went for a ride of about 10km round the town and through the Town Centre, reporting back with a full complement of (quite tired) children but no falls or injuries.
I managed to squeeze in a short run with my wife on Friday morning (5.5km – 3.4 miles) before the usual session manning the charity bike shop.
Saturday was pleasantly warm – my first run in lycra shorts and a short sleeved running shirt for at least 8 months. One of our usual runs for 7km (4.3 miles). Croquet in the afternoon and evening
Sunday was cooler but in the morning I got out and ran further than I have run since hurting my knee. It was a very enjoyable (but hard and hot) 17km (10.6 miles). The first time beyond 10km since hurting my knee – hardly ultra marathon training distances but I’m still playing it safe. A cycle club social gathering
Sunday was cooler but in the morning I got out and ran further than I have run since hurting my knee. It was a very enjoyable (but hard and hot) 17km (10.6 miles). The first time beyond 10km since hurting my knee – hardly ultra marathon training distances but I’m still playing it safe. A cycle club social gathering to look forward to in the afternoon to finish a pretty good – but hard – week.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: The young bird does not crow until it hears the old ones
2. BBC News website: Claimant awarded £2,000 damages – and ordered to pay £500,000 interim costs
The claimant sought £3.7m in damages. The defendant had made two good offers to settle the claim (both way in excess of the £2000 ultimately awarded) but both were declined. That put the claimant at risk of having to pay costs from the date of the offer if he failed to beat it in court.
However, the court heard that the defendant had received a ‘completely factually inaccurate’ answer to a request for information and that the claim from this point on was advanced through a ‘plainly untruthful case’ on a major point in the litigation. That opened the claimant up to the award of full costs against him.
I wonder if the claimant can spell ‘pyrrhic victory’
3. BBC News website: Tanzanian MPs demand apology for ‘tight’ trousers incident
Female MPs in Tanzania have called for an apology to an MP who was ordered to leave parliament because of her trousers.
A male MP said the way some women dressed invited ridicule to parliament. “Mr Speaker, an example there is my sister seated on my right with a yellow shirt. Look at the trousers she has worn, Mr Speaker!” Hussein Amar said in parliament on Tuesday.
Mr Amar did not elaborate on what he found wrong with Ms Sichwale’s outfit, but quoted the parliamentary rules which allow women to wear trousers but stipulate that clothes should not be tight-fitting.
4. BBC News website: Chilean own goal over drone spying fear
Chile and Argentina have a fierce football rivalry and when Chile’s national team saw a drone hovering above a training session, it suspected its rival of spying ahead of their World Cup qualifier.
The team sent up its own drone which swiftly brought down the “spy-cam” but rather than being a devious Argentine device, the drone turned out to be from a Chilean energy company.
5. BBC News website: Magawa the hero rat retires from job detecting landmines
In a five-year career, the rodent sniffed out 71 landmines and dozens more unexploded items in Cambodia.
While he is far larger than many other rat species, he is still small and light enough that he does not trigger mines if he walks over them. The rats are trained to detect a chemical compound within the explosives, meaning they ignore scrap metal and can search for mines more quickly. Once they find an explosive, they scratch the top to alert their human co-workers.
Co-workers hadn’t really come into the dictionary before I retired. Rarely do I fail to read it at first glance as cow orkers