I took Monday very easily with more cleaning and some time spent sorting out the bike ridden by the son of some neighbours – luckily, that meant missing the swim doctor session.
One of our sons came home on Tuesday and the other (newly back from his sabbatical travels) on Wednesday – that was lovely but, coupled with a bit of an injury for my wife, not a help with the exercise. We took a walk up to the old hill fort to enjoy the last of the bluebells. On the way I checked the village defibrillator which seemed to be very happy.
I acquired a stone chip on the car windscreen on the way to the picking up our son from the station on Wednesday so Thursday morning was taken up getting that fixed. Later we went for a great walk across the fields to Coleshill and back – 10km (6.2 miles).
On the way past the defibrillator I checked it again for some reason – I don’t know if I hadn’t done a good job the day before or if it had just become unhappy but it was flashing red, not green. I couldn’t find an operating manual online so put out a SOS to the others who have volunteered to help look after it – but then remembered an email from 6 months ago talking about a periodic battery check process.
With a certain amount of alarm ringing and authoritative directions from the machine, to my relief, I managed the reset. There was a workman in the village hall where the defibrillator is located – rather disappointingly he declined to be the subject of a real-life test. Younger son back to London later and older son’s girlfriend replaced him in the evening.
An hour in the gym on Friday morning followed by the usual bike shop stint, happily renovating a donated Trek mountain bike and a donated single speed folder.
Another great walk on Saturday with older son and his girlfriend – another loop via Coleshill and taking in Strattenborough Castle, for 12.5km (7.8 miles). I’ve only lived here 31 years but never knew it existed even though it’s less than 4 miles away. Mind you, it’s a castle in name only as it’s really a house with a ‘folly’ castle facade, built in 1792 … charmingly weird.
Today (Sunday) is the White Horse Challenge sportive – only the second time I’ve not taken part in a dozen years or so. This year our younger son had a place in the London marathon (also today) so we thought we’d be supporting him – but he has had to postpone his place to next year. It’s a day to be spent watching the marathon on TV – and remembering how great the experience was running it in 1998 and 1999 (and Rotterdam in 2019).
Best of luck to everyone taking part.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: Every kind of love is love, but self-love is supreme among them
2. BBC News website: How to make ultra marathons easier – go by car
A Scottish ultra marathon runner has been disqualified from a race for doing some of the course by car.
She said she had become lost around the half-way mark when her leg began to feel sore and she started to limp. She saw a friend and accepted a lift in his car for about 2.5 miles to the next checkpoint to tell marshals she was pulling out of the race. They said she would hate herself if she stopped so she agreed to carry on in a non-competitive way.
When she crossed the finish line she was given a medal and a third place wooden trophy and posed for pictures. She said: “I made a massive error accepting the trophy and should have handed it back …. and not had pictures done but I was feeling unwell and spaced out and not thinking clearly.”
3. BBC News website: … and take your alligator with you …
An 8-foot alligator named ‘Big Mack’ has been removed from the basement of a Philadelphia house where it had been living for over a decade. After the couple had separated the woman wanted him out of there.
I’m not surprised that she wanted it out – I’m more surprised that anyone would want it there in the first place. I’m not exactly an alligator expert – but that seems so cruel to the alligator
4. BBC News website: Simple mistakes should never prove so costly
In just a few days, in the USA, an 18-year-old cheerleader was shot and seriously injured after she mistakenly tried to enter the wrong vehicle in a parking lot near Austin, Texas.
In New York state, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was shot and killed on Saturday after a friend drove their car down the wrong driveway.
In Missouri, a 16-year-old was shot in the head and arm when he rang the doorbell at the wrong address.
Police in North Carolina are now searching for a man accused of shooting, and seriously injuring, a 6-year-old girl and her father after their basketball rolled into the suspect’s yard. Two others were shot and injured.
5. BBC News website: More AI issues
The editor of a German magazine that published an artificial intelligence-generated ‘interview’ with Michael Schumacher has been sacked.
Schumacher, a seven-time world champion, suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in December 2013 and has not been seen in public since. Die Aktuelle ran a front cover with a headline of “Michael Schumacher, the first interview” but the article was produced using an AI programme which artificially generated Schumacher ‘quotes’ about his health and family.
Just because it can produce this sort of stuff doesn’t mean it should
6. BBC News website: Best cleaning company name?
A firm in Brighton is called ‘Spruce Springclean’.