I foolishly started the day attempting to race Emma Fitness [REAL NAME!] in the fast lane. The elite athlete at least lives up to her naming rights.
She has such a smooth turn around at the end of each length. I was just about closing the gap with my manly pull [yeah, yeah,] but then she was speeding away again come the kicking off time.
My arthritic knee gave me an unwelcome twinge of a reminder towards the end of the 50 lengths that it was time to wring out the trunks.
The showers smelt of piss.
Or perhaps it was just me?
Back at base and the raspberries continue to astonish / fill me with an appetite apathy.
When will the buggers bloody stop growing?
All it takes is a couple of hours in the early morning sun for the green raspberries to ripen. I'm convinced that the Thursday morning harvest will be the last. I said the same thing this time last week.
I had something of a de-cluttering morning. They seem to come around whenever I feel that I’m drowning in options.
I like simplicity.
The pile of unread Private Eyes dating back to over two years ago by the side of the toilet?
The suit jackets with a 44inch chest bought during the days when my diet was a little laissez faire?
A desktop folder full of downloaded movies that I know I will just never get round to watching?
Actually that’s not all true.
I have a de-cluttering hierarchy that reads: keep / sell / give away / bin. The cat wandered into the office at the height of the de-cluttering confusion. My hierarchy of options was suddenly reduced.
The Motown Cover to Cover with @RobertElms helped to recharge the working batteries post the luncheon slump. The Supremes Vs the Northern Soul stomp of Donnie Elbert.
I simply love this song and confess to a bit of office dancing in the afternoon.
Soft Cell would have been in with a shout if I had my way, mind.
In the end It Woz Donny Wot Won It with yer man @RobertElms.
No arguments here.
Work hat back on and most of the day was spent working with Conversations. The switch from Conversocial is more than just a brand thing.
The tool now pulls up… conversations across different platforms, and not just original postings. It’s also a browser memory hog, leading to endless crashing mid-shift.
The Motown music was much needed to ease me through.
I recorded METROKNOBBERS with Darryl later in the day, and then cricket highlights drew the evening to a close.
I'm starting to get VERY excited about the T20 Quarters at The Oval on Saturday.
C'mon the 'rrey!
A rare moment of cycling equilibrium - all of my bicycles are currently fully serviced and fault free.
I’ve actually cut down on the fleet this year, selling three of my vintage Moultons; that leaves four bicycles for varying purposes.
You always seem to find though that there is a minor fault with at least one bicycle at any one time. With the return of the fully serviced MTB last night, all four seem to be running to perfection.
And so I rolled out this morning back on the Trail and back on the MTB. I’d forgotten how slow this route is compared to the ‘long’ way round on the pacey road bike.
I think that I actually prefer the longer trek with the drop down handlebars et al. There is nothing gracious about a TANK of a MTB.
Destination reached and it was only the bloody aqua aerobics in the pool. My timetable reading is poor.
The music blasting out of the poolside speakers was a bloody racket. It was like Ibiza for the Saga generation as the roly poly ladies went through their aqua twaddle to the sound of some cheesy OAP techno.
I hid my head under the water for 50 lengths and managed to block it all out.
The changing room conversation was as silly as ever:
“Does Dudley still come here?”
“Sorry, not sure who you mean.”
“You know, Dudley Moore!”
“Um, no. He’s dead isn't he?”
"Yeah, but the chap who looks like Dudley Moore."
So not Dudley Moore, then.
Back at base I got bored waiting for the beast that is Essex County Council to get its collective arse in gear and publish the results of the Wivenhoe cycle path consultation.
The consultation was carried out towards the end of last year. We have been told that the most costly option received the most support from the public. We haven’t been able to access this data.
The suspicion remains that the high cost option emerged as the favourite, allowing the politicos to wriggle out of the Wivenhoe path on account of the cost.
In Raspberry News: there is no end to the buggers. It will be raspberries for Christmas dinner at this rate.
I had a stretch of work training after luncheon. Always a little intimidating, especially so when it involves screen sharing on the other side of the world. I’m not sure what my colleague thought of some of the non-work screen docs saved to my desktop.
A time trial was called for once again as part of the sandwich filler for the afternoon / evening work shift.
I felt strong rolling out, until halfway round and my gears had a bit of a wobbler. I persisted, but soon the clattering became too much.
The rear wheel locked and I was left stranded by the side of the road, no tool kit, and a work shift due to start in a half an hour.
And then a Good Samaritan lycra lad stopped and gave me assistance. He identified instantly that my cassette nut had become loose. So much so that it was jamming against the hub.
A bit of a bodge job later and I was ready to roll out once again. The time trial was reduced, but I made it back to base just in time for the work clocking on.
Never underestimate the Good Samaritan in a man wearing lycra.
(But what was I saying about bicycling equilibrium?)
I ended the day dead heading in the garden.
Which is pretty much how I feel myself right now.
A glorious estuary golden day.
And so I was stuck inside working.
Gotta pay to play, etc,
Cricket commentary kept me company. The mad cat found the micro wind tunnel between the two windows in the loft bedroom. I didn’t see her all day.
Inspired by a Time Out piece, I tired yet again with Television’s Marquee Moon to carry me through the late afternoon shift.
Sorry. I still just don’t get it.
Come the end of the working day and I was too tired to attempt anything other than drink tea and read. That shhh John Major autobiog is almost complete. Still no mention of Edwina, mind.
A recent FoI was promptly responded to.
Far from it, Comrades.
This FoI was filed in relation to a completely different story that I have been been sniffing out over the past few weeks.
I’m satisfied with the FoI response, and probably satisfied that I really shouldn’t take the story any further. I did feel slightly uncomfortable with the details of the alleged incident.
My MTB was returned late evening after an annual service, along with Anna’s hybrid. I’ve not been out on the Trail for a couple of months now, and so look forward to the roll out tomorrow morning.
I bought Lloyd’s Please Look After This Englishman as my latest bedtime reading.
John Major doesn’t suit the bedroom ambience.
A satisfactory but sore early morning swim. My right hand side was still hurting from the bike crash of Saturday morning.
Oh woe is me, etc.
I was soaked during a two minute micro-climate downpour on the ride home.
Silence was the soundtrack for my working day. Sometimes I need complete serenity if I have to focus on something particularly fiddly. The start of the week was a series of fiddly work shifts…
But yeah - the new @Conversocial looks rather ACE.
I turned on, tuned in and dropped out of the work fiddles briefly after luncheon. Yer man @RobertElms had an interview with a chap from the Black Cultural Archives. A superb piece of S Ldn listening.
I can’t wait to visit the BCA for the first time. I’ve decided though to wait a short while until all the hype has died down.
The building does look majestically wonderful in Windrush Square right now.
Some legal household ‘stuff’ made Anna and I chuckle late in the afternoon, aka being a cheeky f-er. Nice try, fella, but not a chuffing chance.
The planned early evening roll out was cancelled. My bike, my lycra, my bones - all were still soaking. I was in no mood to put in some serious miles.
The evening instead was taken up with pasta, cricket and playing with the cat.
A new route for the Wifey Weekend Roll Out. We've made the decision not to roll down Tenpenny Hill again, yet this was still a nervy ride following the fall of yesterday. It wasn't helped by half the roads around the Tendring Peninsula being covered in gravel.
We made it back to base in one piece just ahead of a light rain shower.
The canoes came next.
What a revolutionary little paddle.
It's all about the wheels.
We bought some canoe trolleys three summers ago. They were crap.
Various straps and ties were tried to attach them to the base of the canoes. Ten metre down the road and the canoes simply collapse on top of the trolleys.
Carrying two canoes down to the Quay is no fun.
I decided to give it one final try on Sunday morning. How about we simply balance the trolleys on the base of the canoe with no straps, seesaw style?
We forgot the life jackets in all the excitement.
We were about one hour ahead of high water as we launched. We battled against an incoming tide and somehow made it almost all the way to Brightlingsea.
It was quite magical seeing parts of the coastline that are hidden away from any footpath access.
Time and tide etc, and so we cut short the full Brightlingsea exploration and started to paddle back in.
We were with the water for about ten minutes or so and picked up a tremendous pace.
And then almost instantly, the tide started to turn and we were left battling against the flow once again for the run in.
We managed to catch a magnificent sight of the cormorant, proudly sitting on top of some riverside pole, surveying his estuary scene.
I made my crappy cormorant / korma joke once again.
Anna kept on paddling.
Early Saturday morning and the cry went out of: 'To the Beach!'
It was a smooth ride out towards the coast, only disturbed by a bit of a domestic during the final run in.
It ended with a rider down and plenty of finger pointing.
I still hadn't forgiven Anna for giving me the Race Face as she breezed past me on the climb up towards Tenpenny Hill.
High tide greeted us at Walton, and so did an industrial size cup of tea at our favourite cliffside cafe.
It was lovely.
We played at being King Canute for half an hour or so as the Essex Riviera waters caught up on us.
Sanctuary was eventually found on a golden spot of sand where I settled for the afternoon.
No surprises that I fell asleep.
For FOUR hours.
I awoke with a sore bottom and a cycling shades tan line. I can live with the pro rider tan look, but the sore bottom was a real pain in the arse for the ride home.
Early evening and I nipped something in the bud.
It has grown into a BEAST over recent days. Yer man Titchmarsh tells me that a late summer and an early winter haircut is required.
I couldn’t wait that long.
Job’s a good ‘un.
And then - BOOZE and cricket.
I had a lane to myself for the morning swim. It was ACE.
Swimming is the most selfish of activities. It is just you and the water, submerging into a dreamy spiritual state as you ease yourself into the working day.
I was still hungover of course.
Completely out of the blue, the legwork that I have been putting in all week for my biggie story finally paid off - confirmation that a second case of electoral fraud is now being investigated in Lambeth.
I couldn’t publish the full story, but it was good to get confirmation after all the work I’ve put into this.
And then right at the end of the day this particular strand of the story came to a close with the Met contacting me to say that no charges will be brought.
The general theme of the story has got a hell of a lot more legs left in it. I keep on digging and finding something that makes you go GOSH.
Back in the Badlands and the by-election that never was seems to be back on again. Except it won't be.
The Town Clerk contacted me demanding that I remove a post on the Wivenhoe Forum stating that the vacancy will be co-opted, rather than elected.
I simply posted up the response, rather than allow a civic administrator to try and micro-manage what appears on the forum.
An afternoon of emails followed...
I went out on a bit of white boy Funky Friday thing to get me through the workshift. It started with @RobertElms and the Tony Blackburn love in. This led to some some proper white boy soul from TSC and The Cost of Loving album. Which led to Working Week and then Blue Rondo A La Turk.
I changed from lycra and put on the white jeans and loafers for the full effect.
And then it was back to the lycra as Anna and I prepared for an early evening roll out. We were just about to get on the bikes when the estuary skies started to bruise.
We made the strategic decisions to stay indoors and get sloshed watching the cricket instead.
The weather stayed dry, even if we didn't.
There's talk of an early morning ride out for breakfast on the beach tomorrow.
I messed around with Storify for the first time in ages early morning. Boy, it’s fiddly - but equally effective if you have the patience.
Not surprisingly my punt of a story from yesterday didn’t stack up. And neither did a second.
There is some definite truth in what I’m digging around with, but the technicalities are a little confusing. Hint: it involves border party co-operation, Comrades
Play it with a straight bat, etc.
Mr Fine Wine kept me company for most of the morning. I experimented with the relationship between music and productivity.
LateJunction is usually a lovely way to ease into the working day. But sometimes you just need a WOHHHHH!!
Downtown Soulville provided that at 8am this morning.
A morning of Brixton Buzz activity followed. GOLDEN DAYS OF THE S LDN BLOGOSPHERE, Comrades.
Never underestimate the benefits of a hyperlocal team.
I time trialled on the short, technical course (ha!) on the way to the pool for a lunchtime swim. It felt good and I smashed a few PBs on the empty road run in.
I decided there and then that I would become a pro bike rider. I reached that glorious cycling moment when you realise that you have run out of gears. Your body is powering along to perfection. This doesn’t happen very often for me.
The weird underwater butterfly backstroking man was putting the lengths in once again. Basically he swims a butterfly. But on his back. And underwater as well.
Fine effort, fella.
I plodded along and ticked off the required 40 lengths before time trialling back again. I was wetter when I reached home than what I was whilst underwater.
All of this heat in the office soon became a Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown afternoon. Sunshine and dub are the perfect bedfellows.
The afternoon provided some hyperlcoal entertainment around the work shifts.
‘Blog like there’s no one reading,’ as @lloyddavis might say…
It was the hyperlocal election that never was. A Town Cllr resigned. A Borough Cllr posted up an internal email on the Wivenhoe Forum. It expressed the view of the Town Council.
That view may or may not have been intended for the Little People to read.
The Town Council expressed the view that although democratically it is obliged to hold a by-election, it would rather ‘co-opt’ - choose a pal rather than elect.
And then the digital dinosaurs of the Town Council finally got its collective arse in gear and posted on its own b0rked website that a vacancy exists for co-option.
No mention of a democratic election.
I totally get the need to save £2k, the cost of staging a by-election. The Comrades back in Lambeth are also learning that by-elections can be a costly business.
But ffs - just get your online message clarified before allowing random pieces of information to leak out.
The modern interweb will catch up on you.
The evening was spent with @surreycricket away at The ‘Sex. As ever, Lords looked absolutely LOVELY.
It remains my lifelong ambition to retire and buy a flat at St John’s Wood.
Would never watch The ‘Sex mind. Only the ‘rrey twice a year.
BATTING DAY, most definitely Comrades.
The legs felt like lead right from the first length this morning. I blame all that leg kicking from yesterday. A straight in, straight out type of swim. I could smell the stench of chlorine on my skin as I sweated away on the bike ride back to base.
In Wisteria News: Weird. It's starting to flower for the second time this summer. Mid-May is the normal time frame. I'm not complaining - a beautiful canopy of purple blossom, and a swarm of bees to add extra life.
The silly cat has been playing a little too close with the bees. We all know who is going to win that one.
Meanwhile the tomatoes have delivered their first harvest of the summer. It's got to be better than bloody raspberries (still growing by the day).
Mid-morning and The Postman Delivers: My new Brompton bag.
I’m already commuting with the front bag for the Brompton, but I have to take so much bloody stuff when I do a school hit and run visit.
I was getting slightly concerned that the weight of the MacBook, iPad, SLR, video camera, egg sarnies etc was doing some wobbly things to my front wheel spokes.
I’ve balanced the weight out now with a rear wheel bag.
Cycle touring ahoy!
It was a steaming hot day in which to be trapped inside the office. I'm reliant upon using my iMac for work stuff. We use an encrypted security system for various projects that my 2007 (!) MacBook just won't support. The days of garden freelancing have long gone.
Later in the day I did a lot of legwork on a story which I don’t think will actually stack up. Others around me are a more optimistic.
Only six more weeks until the start of the new term. I'm genuinely missing the place already.
Tomorrow is all about The 'Sex.
LOVE a Ldn t20 derby.
C'mon the 'rrey!
My fellow swimmer for the morning was a rather rotund lady who was wobbling more than she was swimming.
She underwent a remarkable swimming routine, which basically consisted of standing in the shallow end and doing a Harlem Shake for fifteen minutes, before heading off for a cold shower.
I tried to keep my underwater goggle gaze on the water stretch ahead of me.
My own swimming technique is undergoing a little bit of experimentation itself. Today I used my feet for the first time ever.
I powered through the final 20 lengths, and then felt all the stronger for the short climbs on the ride back to base.
I then went back to bed.
The boastfulness of an apolitical Council Officer was quite astounding.
These images that came to me via SE17 raised a smile shortly before luncheon.
Work and play then punctuated the day.
I was yelling at youtube (‘Creator Studio’ crap) for the former, and then having flickr frustration for the latter.
I have to live with the youtube ever changing tools as part of the work deal; flickr however has finally cracked me. I've lost patience completely in a platform that has been wobbling for the best part of five years now.
As for an alternative? All of my online images are stored there and I am reluctant to migrate elsewhere. I've got back ups of back ups of back ups of course. But I (did) like the ease of a cloud storage solution.
But it's well and truly b0rked.
I eased my frustration by watching the Essex slappers get knocked around the park by a lively Hampshire side.
A day of editing awaits come the morning.
A working morning with @surreycricket. Sad to see that the Skipper has gone. If I were a betting man then I'd wager that the England Captain will be joining him by tomorrow morning...
Most of Monday morning was spent sorting out some online photo licences. I pretty much have a share and share alike ethos for most of my online content.
Images however are different, especially so when it is an organisation that has a budget to buy in content.
As ever, you Pay the Writer / Snapper.
Work shifts took me through until early evening. It was a rarity of a working day where Anna, me and the mad cat were all 'working' together from home.
I thought that I had won the home office argument until the mad cat took up occupation.
We launched the Wivenhoe Forum 2.1 later in the evening.
It's been a huge drain on my time, but even more so on yer man @pmmikes. He has been an absolute star over recent weeks in putting back together all the coding crap that I have managed to cock up.
It's still not perfect - is code ever perfect? We're in for a rough ride but were left with no alternative. Support for 2.0 is being phased out. Adapt or fall down the back of the modern interweb settee.
I actually love what we've done with the design, mainly built around Bootstrap. It scales far better than the old theme, and also allows images to display with greater clarity.
If I thought that the build was the hard part, then I am under no illusions that convincing the online community to accept the changes will be an easy ride.
I actually miss the design of the old forum already, but it had served its purpose.
Forward ever, backwards never Comrades.
I published the Country Show pics over at Brixton Buzz, and then we headed out for an early morning ride. After the craziness of the past couple of days the idea was to keep it calm with a leisurely roll out.
Cycling fantasies got the better of me. In an ironic gesture of Le Tour inspired cycling silliness, I zipped down my Brixton Cycles top so that I was riding bare chested.
It was meant as an act of extrovertness for the eyes of Anna only. I picked the one Sunday where every lane in Essex seemed to be swarming with cyclists.
I was cleated in and couldn't get my fingers and thumbs to fasten up the zip as we kept on moving. I looked like an absolute knobber.
We both managed to find our cycling legs for the second leg of the circuit. Anna commented that I had good balance from behind. She asked if I did ballet as a young boy.
I was about to make some wounded male pride comment, and then realised that I did figure skating instead.
We stopped off for a swim en route back to base to get cleaned up. Functional, rather than fun.
Luncheon was spent in the garden. The growth has been pretty spectacular whilst I have been away for the past week. The tomatoes have ripened and apples are starting to appear over the garden fence.
The raspberries are still going strong.
Much of the afternoon was spent indoors head scratching over code.
I recorded #METROKOBBERS with Darryl later in the evening. I haven't had time to edit and publish it yet but it sounded half decent during the recording. By-elections, Job Centres and the Golden Days of the S Ldn Blogosphere all feature.
I'll try and post it up tomorrow.
Another 5am start on Saturday morning - a combination of the South London storms and the anticipation of the Lambeth Country Show.
Actually I tell a lie.
There was a light drizzle when I awoke, but I was absolutely creaming it over the Country Show BONKERS-ness that was to come.
I had a stop / start bike ride to the lido. I hit a genuine thunder storm along Stockwell Road and took cover underneath a Porto cafe canopy.
I wasn't alone. I made friends with Ricky, a lively young chap who looked like he was still probably partying from the night before.
I made my excuses and carried on cycling in the rain.
The lido was actually closed. Any hint of lightning and it's EVERYBODY OUT!
With half an hour to spare ahead of the re-opening, I was treated to an 8:30am walk around Brockwell Park as the finishing touches were being put to the Country Show.
It was a genuinely calm and laid back atmosphere. It is this Transpontine spirit that somehow manages to carry through all the way until the end that make the Country Show so special.
I headed back to the lido and put the lengths in. Twenty was the target and twenty were ticked off.
It wasn't a great swim. The water is still incredibly cloudy. I couldn't see more than a metre ahead of me. What has become of the beautiful Brockwell blue where you can see one end of the pool to the other?
I caught up with @mutley69, just as yer man was finishing off with some not so dry diving. We talked about the rivers of urine situation in the gents. I didn't like to make the connection between this and the lack of clarity in the water.
BoysKeepSwimming is an ACE lido hashtag btw.
Back to base, and then back out to Brockwell again.
Saturday was all about the Country Show of course.
I'll blog in greater detail over there when time permits. The summary though is: ACE.
The Delegators were a particular highlight on the second stage. This might have had something to do with the Chucklehead.
I snapped away for Brixton Buzz. I met some lovely, lovely local people who were only too keen to pose for a photograph.
I finished off my Brockwell day in the same way in which I started; some lido double dipping didn't have any improvement on the quality of the water.
It was still LOVELY of course.
A day of publishing, both work and play, awaits tomorrow.
It's been a beautiful day. I can't wait for tomorrow to come, Comrades.
I can't wait for the Lambeth Country Show...
But first of all, what about the 5am rain on Friday morning?
New roof (finally), new SPLITTER SPLATTER as the South London downpour awoke me at a rather early hour.
At least I was awoken by the noise, and not the drip drops on to the duvet as was the case pre-new roof.
No worries. Early bird and all that bollocks.
I worked through until 6:30am editing some photos from SE17 the day before: School play, Sports Day, Leaver's Assembly - they're all there.
I'm not claiming that they are artistic masterpieces in capturing the aesthetics of the egg and spoon race. But they do document the school moment there and then.
I've become incredibly well organised of late in archiving and tagging all of my online images. The eggs and spoon of 2014 may mean little now; it will be SE17 GOLD DUST in a decades time.
The early hour meant that I got to squeeze a few extra lovely lido lengths in for the first dip of the day.
Lake Brockwell was busy by 7:30am. The water was incredibly clear compared to 12 hours earlier. The magical Lido Fairy had clearly been around with a brush of blue water paint.
@katiekingswell did the usual powering past me. She swims with such a gracious style which is a joy to watch when submerged.
@oneeyegrey looked content doing his doggy paddle thing with the shades on.
I left Lake Brockwell with the joyous sound of Lido Peter serenading all in the showers with some operatic piece.
Somewhere in SW9 was next up on the agenda.
shhh - favourite school.
I'm absolutely loving it at Lansdowne this year. I can't quite explain specifically what it is that has made it such a joy to work there. The outstanding staff certainly help, as do the very special pupils.
It's certainly not the building, although the random corridors do add a certain charm.
It was another Phew Wot a Scorcher, but I somehow kept my cool.
Maths was a particular highlight. I'm no number cruncher, but I do enjoy immensely working with the pupils on a one-on-one basis and helping to solve a sum.
I think that it's the quantitative approach to my usual qualitative analysis that is the appeal. You are either right or wrong. I quite like that.
Boy Y quote of the day:
"We did some stuff about charities. I like the dog place."
He meant Battersea Dogs Home of course.
Late afternoon and I cycled the short journey over to Windrush Square. I wanted to capture what is left of the Urban Art street art.
It looked stunning.
It's such a shame that it can't find a permanent home in Windrush Square. It all just seems to fit in with the environment, adding a much needed backdrop to what should be the centre of Brixton.
And then it was Brockwell bound once again for some double dipping.
I topped up my morning 20 lengths with another 10. My Boy Y maths work from earlier in the day tells me that this is 30 in total.
The water was 'creamy' yet again.
Best not to dwell upon this.
A lone swimmer was attempting the butterfly on the busiest day of the lido year.
My goggles pinged and snapped in the run in for my final length. Time to get out, time to head over to SE17.
The occasion was the annual SE17 school BBQ. Badlands responsibilities have meant that I have missed this for the past four summers.
It felt good to be back.
I rarely get the chance to have proper conversations with many of the staff, such is the hit and run nature of my usual work.
It was very rewarding to sit down, and generally catch up with some very old friends.
Plus never underestimate the healing power of South London Lover's Rock to set the right tone for a Transpontine BBQ.
It's been a beautiful day.
Bring on the Country Show
I do enjoy the serenity of early morning golf.
...which is not something that I ever expected to start off a blog post with.
Perhaps I should clarify: I do enjoy the annual serenity of Nicky Campbell calling the first tee shot of The Open each year, just after 6am.
I made sure that I was awake for this magical moment this morning. There's something about the foolishness of twatting a golf ball at such an early hour. Plus also the grand sense of occasion.
Today also saw the start of the Lord's Test, another moment in which I adore each summer.
I'm starting to sound like something of an Establishment figure now.
And so golf balls bollocked, team news checked ahead of the Test and it was off to SE17 for the final time this term.
Best make it count.
Phew Wot a Scorcher etc.
That didn't stop one of the busiest days that I have seen in over a decade of working in SE17.
We had the dress rehearsal for the Year 6 play, KS1 Sports Day, and then the tears of the Year 6 Leaver's Assembly just before chucking out time.
I also managed to cut together a shhh very secret video for a member of staff who is doing something very special over the summer.
This is my third Leaver's Assembly this month. They don't get any easier. I have blogged before about how the occasion is all the more sad in that you just know that you won't see the lovely, lovely kids together ever again.
I have so many memories working within SE17. You often tend to forget some of the stories, and then all it takes is a small spark and the thoughts come straight back to you.
It's an incredibly mature bunch of Leaver's for this year. As one young man stood up to receive his speech of recognition, I was reminded of a Nursery story when I first met him some eight summers ago.
I was supervising Nursery dinners. My one and only task was to make sure that the young fella ate something. ANYTHING.
He was such a withdrawn, unresponsive Nursery child. Yet here he was this afternoon, up in front of all his peers and being eulogised as one of the most confident and articulate members of the year group.
FANTASTIC teaching environment.
I washed away the tears with a double dip of a swim down at the lovely Lido.
It was rammed.
My now traditional salad days conversation catch up with @oneeyegrey took place as the Transpontine sun was starting to radiate down on the Dulwich Yummy Mummy area.
Don't ask what me and Mr One Eye were doing there.
I stopped off on the way back to Sunny Stockwell for a Lambeth Council consultation for the new Town Hall campus held at the Karibu Centre.
This was peak rush hour. One other resident was in there whilst I was being consulted.
Double dipping hopefully again tomorrow, with a day spent in an SW9 school as the sandwich filler.
Overdosing on pasta the night before led to a double dose of early morning swimming power.
I was cooking, Comrades.
But not for long.
That's the problem with this pasta fixation. It gives you the immediate power for a short burst, but then you are left feeling lethargic.
Nice to have a lane to myself, mind.
Back at base and I was experimenting with my audio for the day.
I’ve somehow slipped out of the #LateJunction habit of late. It’s an addiction that I plan to take hold of once again.
I spent the morning shift catching up with Mara Carlyle from last week. It really is the perfect mid-morning work music. Demanding enough to help focus your mind, yet not SHOUTY SHOUTY so that you can’t concentrate on productivity.
In The Postman Delivers News: The postman delivers a new Garmin holder.
I think I've finally managed to fix the problem of the Garmin mount that doesn’t mount. I’ve written off four cheap and nasty mounts mid-ride.
I've upgraded to a bit of Germanic engineering quality. Just need to road test it now.
Some more fixing took place with the good man @pmmikes. I think that we’ve found a solution for some coding woes that have been bugging us both for a number of weeks now.
A few email exchanges and it seems that there is also still some life left in the twitching corpse of an old hyperlocal project. I hope so.
I have learnt that to sustain (ha, bloody ha) a project of this undertaking then you need a team.
This is what is making Brixton Buzz so strong right now. We all have some individual specialism to contribute; collectively this makes for a pretty powerful hyperlocal resource.
I truly hope that there is the appetite to sustain this way of working out towards the Badlands.
I’m in, btw.
Speaking of which…
I finally managed to catch up later in the day with the first recording from Forward the Hamlet, a new Dulwich Hamlet podcast.
It’s absolutely ACE.
Coming from the same stable as @SLHC, it captures perfectly what is happening down at the Dulwich right now.
More importantly is a perfect piece of South London DIY punk ethos. No one else is going to produce a podcast about Dulwich. You just get on with it and do it yourself.
This is an attitude that flows throughout the S Ldn blogosphere (geddin) - @SLHC, Brixton Buzz, the mighty Urban 75 and of course Comrade Wolfie.
We’ll look back in years to come as this being something of a Golden Age for S Ldn online activity. Somehow it is all just about coming together in a wonderful Transpontine anarchic manner.
Betcha the bubble bursts soon.
Forward ever backwards never, Comrades.
Works shifts plodded along throughout the day, and then I managed to squeeze in a time trial ahead of the cricket in the evening.
Not quite a PB, but I could feel the blood pumping through my arms during the run in. Slightly unnerving.
Swimming, cycling, cricket, Transpontonia and cash.
Not a bad day, Comrades.
A clinical swim - straight in, straight out, no arseing about. Forty lengths was the target and forty lengths were ticked off with no fuss.
The work sandwich filler was a 33km roll out early evening.
It was a ride against the clock with work commitments calling, and also a fading estuary sun rapidly catching up on me.
I was surprised as to how quickly the scenery is starting to change almost by the day. This was my first Badlands bike ride of the week. I almost didn't recognise some of the rural scenes, such is the pace of change from Mother Nature.
A big squirty farm thing soaked me mid-ride as the nozzle went a little northwards of the field.
I was riding in total mind and body unity up until this point. The spurt unsettled my focus. I had to pull over pronto for a bit of a spurt in a field myself.
Tomorrow is all about Surrey Cricket.
C'mon the 'rrey!
Ahh - the setting up of the Lambeth Country Show: a sure sign that the Transpontine summer is here to wake us up from any lethargy that may be happening elsewhere.
I cycled through Brockwell Park en route to SE21. The Monday morning ahead of any Lambeth Show weekender has always been a calendar highlight for me.
It lets you know that you have survived another year, and can now be rewarded come the end of the week with the best in absolutely EVERYTHING that South London has to offer.
I'm not going to sleep between now and Saturday morning.
But you need to pay to play though.
Or is the other way round?
Monday was another day of playing and GRINNING with the lovely, lovely kids of SE21. Everyone is d-mob happy with the summer holidays now within sight.
I found myself playing with musical tubes, learning about Van Gogh and then entering a theoretical debate about the legalisation of soft drugs.
The decision to double dip at the lido just came naturally. How can you leave such a happy, happy work environment, and then not continue the smiles down the road in the waters of Lake Brockwell?
I put in a piffy ten lengths. The body wasn't really up for it and I got confused with the rotation direction for the lane that I was wading around in.
Apologies, Madam for the kick in the ribs.
I returned to the Lambeth Country Show theme later in the evening when @oneeyegrey rolled up at the lido sporting a South London moon tan that puts mine to shame.
I'm really enjoying these poolside catch ups - a salad day conversation for both of us.
Yer man remarked how the Country Show has gone from being the highlight in the Brixton calendar from back in the day, to becoming the high point of the South London summer sometime around the turn of the Century.
We've now reached the tipping point where the BONKERS-ness of the Chucklehead misbehaviour at Brockwell Park is now part of the London social season. Even chuffing Time Out has it listed as the number one highlight in the city this summer.
See you in the Chucklehead queue, Comrades.
As expected, the estuary weather put an end to any hopes of watching the Essex slappers down at Castle Park. If Saturday was a BATTING DAY, then Sunday was most certainly one for practising your golf swing out on the boundary.
No bicycle ride and no swim either. I simply refuse to take any of my bikes out in the rain.
And so a run it was instead.
The legs felt incredibly heavy right from the off. I was half expecting my hamstring to go again, but somehow the elastic band didn't ping.
The time was half-decent, and so was the timing. The torrential started as soon as I took the running shoes off.
This more or less dictated the rest of the day.
Housework Vs audio editing?
Audio editing won, if there ever is such a thing.
I've managed to clear the firstsite backlog. I'm approaching audio increasingly in the same way that I approach online images - perfectionism.
Ha, bloody ha etc.
What use to take one hour to top and tail and iron out the kinks in any audio now takes half a day. I think that it's worth the time investment though.
The downside is that the financial investment remains the same...
Football finished off the day.
I use to mourn the passing of any World Cup. I loved the Quarters and Semis, but have pretty much had my fill by now.
A cricket intensive month follows, and then we're back down at the Dulwich.
PROPER football, Comrades.
And not just for Jimbo, either.
Make hay, etc, make haste. An early morning roll out with @pmmikes and yer man certainly meant business. I was almost dropped just before the first hill leading out of the Badlands.
The roads were damp and Mike was keen to crack on. I hesitated on a number of corners. I found it hard to live with his pace.
The definite drop didn't happen until well into the homestretch. I was actually lost.
The 26.5kmh average on a 45km roll out was rather disappointing. Note Mike's 27.3kmh.
Nice pretty patterns though.
I stopped off for a swim on the way back to base. I made the mistake of stretching out my muscles first in the spa.
You should never linger too long in all the post-swim pampering activities. Plus you should never carry out all the post-swim pampering activities pre-swim.
I really didn't want to put the lengths in, but knew that otherwise I'd still be sat in the spa pruning my skin away.
Twenty lengths in and I was cruising. I almost longed for @pmmikes to join me in the fast lane.
I pottered around the garden over luncheon. The weekly clean up of all the garden crap is now taking twice the time from what it took at the start of spring.
Roll on the barren winter months.
I had some work over @firstsite in the afternoon.
It was all lively and rather good fun, but as ever, I do struggle with modern art.
My thoughts during most of the working afternoon were with the Comrades down at the Dulwich. Never before have I been so excited about a pre-season.
I confess to checking the #dhfc hashtag in-between all the art activity. Plus don't forget that Dulwich Hamlet and the ComFast Chapter is actually a bona fide art project, dahhhling.
A brief HELLOOO! with yer man @LeePugh10, and then I pondered over a pristine Mini Moulton that was for sale at the auction house down East Hill.
It looked LOVELY.
I offloaded three Moultons over the spring months as I don't actually ride them. I carried on pedaling and put any further Moulton ownership dreams behind me.
Early evening and it was hammock time. I wasn't expecting such brilliant late sunshine late in the day.
Michelle Shocked was on the playlist. I fell asleep three songs into Short, Sharp, Shocked. I made up for the mistake by then listening to the Texas Campfire Tapes in its entirety, something I haven't done in over a decade.
The bruising skies suggest that Sunday will be a bowling day. There's talk of watching the Essex slappers in the first day of the Championship match at Castle Park.
Can't quite see it happening.
One of those days where work drowns out all that is left in the waking hours.
Live to work, or work to live?
The raspberries continue to provide / repulse.
The Postman Delivers: Le Tour poster Part II.
Bell End came far too early. The weekend hadn't even started.
Off out on an early morning roll out with @pmmikes tomorrow morning. There's a 40 year age gap between us. Or something.
My leisure, his pleasure.
New client nerves. It's never easy starting work on a new client and Thursday morning was no different. I feel this way every time any new work comes along. Gotta be better than complacency I guess.
I managed to escape for a luncheon swim. This was WEIRD.
I shared a lane with a man who had the most remarkable crawl technique. His back was arched in the style of Wembley Stadium. On the pull he placed his arms at 90 degrees tucked underneath his arching belly. His legs splashed around randomly.
Somehow he managed to swim.
And I thought that my swimming style was a little strange.
Every ten lengths or so he was completely overcome with muscular pain. He had to stop in the shallow end just to stretch it out.
I plodded along and tried to compose a mental shopping list for the journey home.
The swim was just what I needed ahead of the afternoon shift. Never underestimate the ability of a little splash about to calm down the working nerves. A milky cup of tea certainly helped as well.
Late in the day and the BBC weather forecast was fucked yet again. I was ready for a 40km roll out. The rain suggested otherwise. It was hardly the Paris-Roubaix pave from Le Tour some 24 hours earlier. But I 'aint getting my road bike wet for nobody.
Le Tour and Test catching up concluded the day. Plus a re-discovery of the absolutely ACE Big Sound Authority.
Blimey. Where the chuffers did that one come from? I'm downloading the one and only album as I type.
Ah goody - it's finished. I'm done here.
Have a soulful sleep, Comrades.
Keep the Faith.
A rest day away from the pool and the pedals. The body was bloody aching first thing this morning.
All work and no play, etc.
Which isn’t too far from the truth right now.
The morning was spent coding, whilst the afternoon was taken up with work shifts.
I just about managed to build / bodge what I wanted to, only to find that there wasn't really a need for it.
Cricket and the cat was my only company for all of this.
I now find that I instinctively choose the ACE @surreycricket commentary over TMS, whenever the two clash.
I was rewarded with a fine away win for the 'rrey late in the date.
My decision was vindicated when I watched the Trent Bridge highlights on C5 in the evening.
Choose cricket. Choose Surrey.
C'mon the 'rrey!
I awoke slightly stiff (ho, hum) after Le Tour cycling yesterday. A gentle swim was needed.
I shared a lane with a 'mature' lady and her swimming companion. The only problem was that her swimming companion was in a lane on the opposite side of the pool. They had vital news to exchange, such as what being defrosted for dinner later in the evening.
What is this? A chuffing social club?
I pressed on and put the lengths in. The tightness in the thighs from Le Tour roll out soon disappeared. I shared my mundane observations on male body recovery with the mature lady and her swimming companion.
Back at base and Mike kindly published my Brockwell Walled Garden images over at Brixton Buzz. I quite like the way that the unintentional lens flare matches the BBuzz branding (steady.)
Mid-morning gardening was scheduled ahead of an afternoon and early evening work shift. I pulled, swept and put away - anything but planting.
Yer man Robert Elms was of course ever present for all of this. Another ACE show yet again today, with the theme of minority sports in London.
Ice hockey, basketball, track cycling - MY London sports all appear to be minority sports.
I managed a brief time trial of a ride come the end of the working day. The roads were empty after 8pm, and so were my legs.
There was a complete stillness in the air, but I couldn't quite get enough power to rise above the magical 30kmh.
I misjudged slightly the remaining daylight, although luckily had some lights on my road bike.
The midsummer scenery is changing. The fields are full of bales of hay; the scorched leaves by the roadside tell a story of what is to come.
I could tell a story or two to the mature lady and her swimming companion tomorrow morning.