Another glorious estuary morning, another laboured bicycle ride off to the pool.
I've definitely slowed down of late. This is no bad thing.
I first noticed this yesterday when I failed to keep the front wheel of Anna as we gracefully climbed up Col du Boundary Road.
Blimey - that was bloody hard work.
But then descending the Col this morning and I noticed once again that I was slower.
I'm thinking / hoping that it is just the extremely low PSI that I'm currently riding with on the MTB.
I've had too many puncture woes around these estuary wilds to ride with the full pressure.
But then again it could just be my body ageing.
Post-swim and I had yet another hellish B & Q trip.
Same as it ever was.
It wasn't quite a Black Friday experience, but I just don't get the scramble for Christmas trees before we have even reached December.
My own mission was to hunt down a couple of specific LED bulbs for back in Sunny Stockwell.
When did buying a bloody lightbulb become so complicated?
A spot of gardening around luncheon.
For gardening read: FORKING.
And then a run of afternoon work shifts (pay to play) ahead of recording METROKNOBBERS with Darryl.
We were joined once again by the ever-informative @InsideCroydon.
As soon as the MP for Croydon North / Lambeth South jumped ship to confirm his careerist credentials two years ago, I knew that Croydon was about to be lambethcoop-tised.
I underestimated the extent to which @InsideCroydon was able to report upon.
To complete recent diary entries - DARTS / BOOZE to bring the weekend to a close.
All Saturday mornings should start with cricket. But not necessarily a Bell End.
I awoke slightly too late to catch Bell End in the second ODI. I did very much enjoy eating my porridge whilst watching England mess up yet again over in Sri Lanka.
It set me up for the morning swim. I kept pace with Anna - or did she keep up the pace with me?
We use to swim side by side (ahhh...) every morning. Transpontine comings and goings for us both now means that a His and Hers lane sharing session is a rarity.
We stayed out and about and cycled straight from the pool into Sunny Colch.
It was a GLORIOUS Essex mid-morning.
We had a rough To Do list made up from the night before:
Art gallery shit and
We got a bit bored after the first half dozen or so charity shops. Our only find was a set of small dishes that will double up as cat food feeding fodder.
We bought them from the Cat Rescue shop, natch.
The Art Gallery shit was shit. One was actually rather interesting with some multi-media nonsense actually making sense.
The other was absolutely empty and absolutely shit.
I made the most of the late afternoon long shadows with some hit and miss photography.
It's probably around three years since I last did a Sunny Colch shoot. The town hasn't changed at anywhere near the same pace as back in Brixton.
This is no bad thing.
The BOOZE never happened. We were both pretty knackered from the swim and elected for a cycle back to base to try and wake us up, rather than the inevitable slumber of booze.
I'm not normally a night rider fan. The Essex road were empty though. It was great fun cycling back in the dark with a new set of super strength lights.
As ever, an evening of DARTS / BOOZE / SLUMBER.
I renewed the hosting for the Wivenhoe Forum for another year first thing Friday. Four years and counting. Woh.
It's been touch and go. There's a longform online essay waiting to be written about some of the 'issues' that the forum has experienced. Or even a book in three heavy instalments.
But £40 a year to keep the free platform online, possibly outweighs all of the other shit.
The Beasties were the soundtrack for the early morning swim.
Radical swimming - it's the way to go, Comrades. I splashed around in the Racist Spa and cleared it within seconds.
YOU'VE GOT TO FIGHT...
Swim wise and there was a WEIRD swimming technique from the woman in the lane next to me.
Imagine the action that a young child carries out when they are stuck halfway down a helter skelter. They raise their knees and thrust their arms forward.
Yep. That in the water.
I had an interesting chat about the current state of play with regards the Wivenhoe cycle path as I went to the Co-op. Fifteen minutes later and it all became a little clearer. I only popped in to buy some milk.
Back at base and we had the pleasant company of yet more builder action at the house for the morning. The final piece of household repairs are now complete. I think that it's all holding up...
I had a decent catch up with @audioboom to start the working day. There are plans to use the platform across schools. We're exploring the idea of using audioboom as a tool for remote learning.
Rather excited about what might develop.
I then received an unexpected invite for a separate paid blogging role.
A positive reply heading your way over the weekend, Sir
Funky Friday with yer man @RobertElms was my kinda funk. The sun streamed through the estuary office window just as Marvin's Troubled Man vibrated the floorboards.
I felt rather... warm inside.
Plus I don't think that there has even been a greater song intro than Shaft. It builds up for almost three minutes before yer man Isaac takes control. Nice horn stabs as well.
I kept the funk flowing with some Downtown Soulville podcast catch up to see out the Friday afternoon shifts.
And then DARTS / BOOZE
The first decent swim in some time to start the day. A lane to myself, goggles that didn't leak and a power 50 lengths completed before the rain set in for the rest of the morning.
I'll have a bit of that.
It set me up for the rest of the day of... frustrating work shifts.
The tech stuff hasn't settled down; the policy is 'challenging' as well at the moment.
It's got to the stage where I need to record my screen actions, and then share a video with a work colleague on the other side of the world (literally) so that we can try and isolate the issue.
I LOVE the tech involved, but not the effort.
My only other escape for the day was for 15 minutes outside FORKING the garden. It's like a mini-swamp out there.
I've no idea about the science behind all the FORKING (simple drainage?) but it seems to work.
Work overran, and I was late to settle down to watch the lolspurs match.
No laughing matter etc, but I do love a half-decent pitch invasion.
A working day with not a lot to write about apart from a little learning, and a little earning.
Some days are better than others...
We've still got some weird tech fails in a tool that we are pretty reliant upon for one of our clients. I spent most of the day working on this client.
As with any tech issue, isolating the fault is proving tricky.
Internal browsers, external browsers, operating systems, working with my legs crossed / uncrossed - we just can't work out when the fault lies.
I took time out throughout the day to catch up with the cricket. I missed Bell End.
No worries. I'm sure that there will be other opportunities throughout the winter.
I did catch what seemed like a tame PMQs, and then yet another ACE Notes & Queries with @RobertElms.
The question of the Rastafarian West End cyclist was finally solved.
I headed off to CBC Cabinet early evening.
It was the usual guff of a posturing new Tory Leader being bullied by a WEIRD LibLab love in of a Cabinet.
I experimented with @mixlr. I was quite pleased with the results. Streaming was really simple. Archiving back at base was slightly tricky.
I linked the account to The Chronic's @audioboom channel. But this only holds ten minutes, whereas the meeting was just under an hour.
In the end I hard coded the @mixlr mp3 straight to The Chronic's self-hosted WP site.
Job's a good 'un.
The free model offers up an hour of live streaming. That nice @SE1 reckons that he has pushed this over the limit over at Southwark.
I think that the mix of tweets and streaming audio is the way to go for hyperlocal localgov meets.
It would be nice to have some half-decent content to work with...
Worming the mad cat was the first duty for the day. My monthly reminder pinged in my diary, and so I did the dirty deed.
She didn't even flinch.
What was the fuss all about?
This was supposed to be Anna's job. I look after the food, water, piss, shit and sick. Anna does the worming and the vet run.
I seem to have inherited the final two tasks. As well as the almost full time job of cat sitting.
Anna rarely reads these words and so I'm safe in saying that I rewarded the mad cat with some cooked ham.
She chundered it up.
I then had a highly frustrating run of morning work shifts. Various tools weren't working. Tech is like that. It randomly just stops working.
Thankfully the company processes for downtime kicked in, leading to a resolution of sorts.
Crass carried me through the afternoon shifts. A glorious run of the first three albums, all done and dusted in just over an hour.
I felt like a 14 year-old again.
Never a good feeling.
Early evening was spent in the company of @SE1 at Southwark Scrutiny.
The best hyperlocal of the batch has been experimenting of late with @mixlr. As with most things modern interweb: fantastic functionality, crap name.
Streaming audio is nothing new. What has changed however is that the bandwidth has now finally caught up with the concept.
It allows the likes of SE1 to simply press record on the iPhone, and then focus the flow of the localgov meet elsewhere, with the audio streaming and being archived for later.
I have a hyperlocal plan...
Southwark Scrutiny was actually rather interesting with Q's on policing in the Borough. But football got the better of me, and so I settled down for the City Vs Bayern match.
Come bedtime and the mad cat still hadn't noticed that she has been wormed.
HEAVY LEGS for the ride to the pool this morning. The Sunday morning run finally caught up with me.
I didn't stick around long after the swim. I dipped my big toe in the Racist Spa, but the conversation was even more extreme than usual.
This annoys me intensely.
I have confronted the Racist Spa Kippers previously - clearly to no affect.
I pondered asking the gym management if there is a user policy. The social libertarian within advocates freedom of speech, but the Racist Spa is becoming unbearable.
You need to confront racism at every opportunity. I failed badly on Monday morning. It put me in a foul mood for the remainder of the day.
Until yer man @RobertElms played some Jackie Wilson.
Oh, and then some John Martyn.
Take that, Racist Spa Kippers.
Jackie Wilson and John Martyn should be brought back from the dead Jurassic Park DNA style, and then placed permanently to live out their new lives in the Racist Spa.
I'd dip my big toe again.
I spent the morning publishing the content from SW9 last Friday, and then an afternoon of scheduled work shifts.
The Sunny Stockwell TfL consultation dropped around luncheon.
Bugger me - it's bloody brilliant!
I love absolutely EVERYTHING about it. Apart from covering up the mural with trees.
Joining up the Stockwell 'public realm' with the Memorial Gardens is long overdue. On a purely personal level it will mean accessing South Lambeth Road via bicycle hopefully a lot safer.
It would be even better if the Clap'ham Road / South Lambeth Road pedestrian stretch became a shared cycling area...
Football to end the day, and then early to bed.
The To Do list made some significant progress.
I've got the excitement of a fresh WordPress installation to look forward to tomorrow.
A reprieve for Sunday.
The day was written off in my head before it had even started. HEAVY RAIN from dawn to dusk was the prediction. A restless day of catching up on household crap was penciled in.
The estuary rain tailed off just after 9am. I made a move on my running shoes and legged it out of the house.
It was a glorious 14km run. Very light drizzle kept me cool as I ran off on a mystery route around the mean streets of CO7.
I wasn't really sure where I was going, or even now where I had been.
But I arrived back at base just in time for the estuary downpour to resume.
A wash and a brush and then Anna and I headed off towards Sunny Colch. We were booked in for a MEAT meal at the Waiting Room with the Gamekeeper's Daughter.
It was everything that you could want from a MEAT meal on a rather miserable not so Sunny Colch Sunday afternoon.
Bloggage, blah blah blah.
A bit of work back at base, with half an eye on Hull Vs Spurs.
And then a late weekend bottle of red was opened.
We finally caught up with the BBC Kate Bush biog.
Better be sunny tomorrow.
When the complete history of the 21st Century is one day written, my fargo entry for Saturday probably won't feature.
What a frustrating, plodding day.
Much of this was as a result of the weather. I despise being idol, sitting around and not having any purpose.
I also despise heading out when it is pissing it down.
A slight delayed start to the day then waiting for the estuary rain to dry up. If I had kept on just giving it another five minutes, I would have been house bound all day.
I made it to the pool for a mid-morning swim. I had a lane all to myself until Anna decided to gatecrash.
There is never any situation where it is acceptable to play poolside music. Except when that music is Talk Talk. It's My Life had me coming up for air during the key changes.
A few luncheon errands and running around, and then a spot of gardening as the rain momentarily looked the other way.
I say gardening, I mean FORK IT of course.
We had wild plans for a romantic train journey out to, um, Thorpe-Le-Soken and then a stroll out towards the tranquility that is Landmere Quay.
But the rain was the worst: wet rain.
Anna hastily plotted a local walking route. It looked crap with with little imagination. I packed my hip flask and downed a mouthful of whisky before leaving the house.
In the end it was something of a drunken walk.
We got lost.
The rain was relentless, keeping the pace with the swigs from the hip flask to keep me company.
I aborted a botched photo shoot. The skies were dark and the mind was fuzzy.
Somehow we arrived back at base having trampled across foreign fields and caked in countryside shit.
I sobered up watching the Arsenal Vs Man Utd match.
Playing with the mad cat completed the evening.
Not exactly epochal, Comrades.
Friday was all about avoiding lido failure. Time and tide has sadly kept me away from lake Brockwell since mid-October. My dry diving return was scheduled for very early Friday morning.
The temperature at the pool has dropped over recent weeks from a heady 15 degrees to now hovering just above 10. Anything below 10 degrees is the cut off point when the tears start to flow the night before a swim.
Or is that just me?
I admit to suffering a slightly emotional Thursday night.
Would I, or wouldn't I?
To not swim would be a personal failure.
To not sleep wasn't exactly a success either, such was the stress over making a return to Lake Brockwell.
I'm not sure what all the fuss was about. As ever, once you are at the lido then YOU WILL SWIM.
You have already achieved the most difficult task in dragging your hairy arse down there at 7:30am. The rest is a Brockwell breeze.
Definitely a brrrrreeze.
I made the commitment for the rest of the winter months ahead of the dry dive. I renewed a winter season ticket. I'm such a penny pincher that the £95 cost will guarantee that I will now swim all the way through until spring.
The swim itself?
Brisk but brilliant.
The first length was a little hit and miss as the exhilaration led to a few breathing problems.
But then I was coasting, knowing that the pre-swim buzz would carry me through the rest of the working day.
Not that I need that kind of motivation in SW9.
Thank F it's Friday etc - there's a certain weekly charm in having the the end of the working week scheduled as your only day in a certain school.
I like to think that the staff are always Happy Happy Joy Joy, even first thing on a Monday.
My lido slight heart flutter made a brief re-appearance when the school website was pulled up in front of the Year 11's.
Yep. We're still online.
I spent a productive morning in the science lab, making up for my own lack of science knowledge back when I was still wearing the school blazer.
Washing up liquid is an emulsifier.
Well I never.
Food Tech was fun in the afternoon. Year 8 were preparing some spring rolls.
"This is JUST LIKE COME DINE WITH ME!"
...exclaimed Boy Y.
He wasn't wrong, either.
Friday came to a close with Anna and I finally completing the Grade A Hollywood trilogy that shall not be named.
But it was bloody funny settee laughs to wind down a long working week.
My natural in-built reaction whenever I see a fellow bicyclist on a Boris Bike is to get out of the bloody way.
But well-founded, especially so on Thursday morning.
A Boris Bloke tailed me from London Bridge down to the Elephant. Borough High Street is no place to come up with a Plan B. You just have to go with the flow.
Boris Bloke UNDERtook me along Newington Causeway. It's probably my pet hate amongst fellow cyclists.
I decided to let the fella press on ahead in front. There's no way I'm about to navigate the Elephant roundabout with a Boris Bloke trying to UNDERtake me again.
Thankfully he wobbled off to cause destruction out towards the Old Kent Road. I peacefully pedalled my way along the Walworth Road.
It was an average day in SE17 - if there ever is such a thing.
SEN policy updates, Ofsted catch ups (Good is GOOD. Smile...) and then running around in what seemed like a half-empty school.
Three (I think?) class trips were taking place. Past form has taught me that the kids come back just before chucking out time either sky high or out for the count. Not much use when I want to ask them about their big day out.
I really enjoyed the Year 1 rehearsal ahead of a show at the Blue Elephant Theatre next week. The kids have been working with a local composer to write their own musical productions.
You won't find a show about fruit and vampires hitting the West End.
I did some maths work with a charming young chap in Year 2. It was only after we had finished our video session that I was told that he was in the catch up group.
I think that he had just caught up.
It was the first time that I had to use the lights on the Brompton this winter for the short ride back to SW8. I arrived back in Sunny Stockwell to see that Anna has bought up the entire Mulled wine aisle from Lidl.
And then an evening of online catching up and publishing school content.
There's talk of... Brrrrrockwell Lido early tomorrow morning.
I was greeted poolside on Wednesday with some cake.
I think that it was part of some sort of charity thing.
Let them eat cake, etc.
Let them swim.
Chocolate cake and front crawl didn't seem like the best early morning combination and so I gave it a miss.
And that was pretty much a dull Wednesday.
I had a brief trip to B & Q to pick up the sockets and switches for Stockwell.
You try stretching out a diary entry based around DIY.
Then there was a morning, afternoon and evening of work shifts.
I played the complete Ride back catalogue to try and motivate me to fork out for The Roundhouse shows next May.
Glorious albums, even Tarantula.
But I'm always unsure about reunions.
I experimented a little with mixlr later in the evening. @se1 used it to great effect at Southwark Cabinet last night. I have similar plans...
Live streaming of audio - or even video - is not exactly a new idea. But the bandwidth has now caught up with the concept.
mixlr might just have entered the space at the right time.
The quality via my iPhone was professional broadcast standard.
Um, HELLO MUM!
Transpontonia tomorrow, Comrades
I started the working morning listening to the breakfast show on my fave local radio station where I use to work.
The original station has long since been swallowed up by the corporates that now control 'local' radio. The local types have shifted online, and are doing more than a half-decent job.
The same LOVELY fella is still doing the breakfast show, much as he has been doing for the past 35 years or so.
He played Tied to the 90s. Followed by... an in-house ad championing the POWER of radio commercials, sounding not unlike a 1980s commercial.
The modern interweb didn't quite kill the radio star, but I do wonder if all of this is... sustainable.
I do hope so as it put me in a good mood for the rest of the morning.
Most of the work output for the morning was once again spent with school policy documents.
Formatting fiddly files and making Word 97 docs modern interweb friendly. It's a bloody pain, but needs to be done.
I finally got round to editing and publishing METROKNOBBERS that I recorded with @Darryl1974 on Sunday.
No notes, no edits, no bloody chance of soaring up the iTunes chart.
But we're pleased with what we're pushing out there.
There is plenty of crossover in the hyperlocal activities that Darryl and I blog about. We also occasionally have disagreements
The format of a blog is liberating, but sometimes restrictive. What we're trying to do with METROKNOBBERS is open up the 'craft' [HA!] of how we both go about hyperlocal content.
Hit and miss.
Take it or leave it.
The Reggae Tune of the Day with @RobertElms was the Mighty Diamonds.
'cos EVERY day you need at least one burst of reggae.
The speakers were whacked up; work tools were downed. The mad cat went into hiding.
Work shifts / publishing / work shifts / publishing.
What else are you supposed to do when it is pissing it down outside.
I managed to log off halfway through the football, downed tools yet again and downed half a bottle of red.
BALL DEEP in school policies.
Is it even Monday?
Everyday is like Sunday.
I've not experienced one of these stuck inside Sundays for a while. I dithered over a swim / bike ride / run. Ten minutes later and my dithering was proved worthy with the downpour.
It didn't stop all day.
A minor success on the admin front during the morning. I managed to gain £4.50 out of talk talk. I've probably put around a couple of hours into achieving this.
Our modern interweb connection in the flat was supplied by talk talk. We ditched it at the end of the contract and switched to an even cheaper deal with EE.
talk talk then put a block on the switch, leaving us without any connection for a week, and both of us unable to work in Sunny Stockwell.
talk talk admitted the 'error,' and gave us a £4.50 goodwill payment. But we couldn't cash it in as it remains as credit in your account, even though your account is closed.
I argued the toss.
The response was to withdraw the goodwill offer.
I argued this as well, and eventually received confirmation of a cheque for £4.50 heading our way in SW8.
That should pay for a new light switch.
I had an afternoon and early evening stretch of work shifts ahead. These were a welcome distraction to the other Rain To Do thing on my hit list: Tax Return.
The mad cat and DARTS kept me company.
The downpour didn't bloody let up.
I'm monitoring various damp patches around the house following the recent building work. The only good thing to come out of such a rain soaked Sunday was that it was a decent road test for the building work.
Work eventually came to a close, and then I recorded a brief METROKNOBBERS with @Darryl1974.
That nice @GreensladeR linked to both Brixton Buzz and Darryl's 853 earlier in the week in a brief blog post about Town Hall Pravdas.
With both Lambeth and Greenwich looking like having a legal showdown with DCLG, we thought that we would have a Council Newspapers METROKNOBBERS catch up.
We finished just in time for the DARTS final.
I went to bed incredibly early with the sounds of the rain still bouncing off the attic roof.
A weekend of swimming and work shifts.
Anna is away, and so I took the opportunity to top up my income.
But first a swim.
Saturday mornings are always ACE is the pool; Saturday mornings are always empty in the pool.
Just one other fella in the lane next to me.
I entered the water with all the grace of of an aquatic avalanche.
I told myself: don't race. DON'T RACE.
I ended up racing.
Two lengths in and I could live with the other fella; four lengths and I had half a fingertip stretch of a lead.
It's the kind of cruel sport that Anna usually plays upon me. She pushes me for twenty lengths or so, without really reaching her peak.
And then goes for the kill.
I just wanted to swim to be honest, but ended up gaining a length on my pool companion.
The rest of the day was set up with stop / start work shifts and a bit of messing around the garden.
It's bloody damp out there and not looking in the best of conditions.
I did my usual 'gardening' thing - picking up leaves, FORKING the lawn and living the Titchmarsh dream.
Work was tricky.
A new client that hasn't quite bedded down yet.
And then DARTS.
An early morning Transpontine soaking. Cycling in the South London rain is no fun.
I think that the new roof just about held up. We thought that we detected a few damp patches the other week. Fingers crossed that this is just the old damp drying out.
It was pretty bad...
And then I was SW9 bound.
There's been a few tweaks here and there to the school structure.
Change is good.
Change is sad - especially when it involves friends.
My spirit was soon lifted with a Singing and Signing assembly. I confess to knowing the signs better than I know the words for most of the songs.
A morning of drama followed.
I knew that my 'O' Level Drama (B, natch) would could in handy some 28 years later.
I spent the afternoon with a spot of Year 11 circuit training, and then back with the Year 8's to watch them prepare a pasta bake.
I now know the culinary meaning of julienne.
I've been loving the Masters this week.
And yep - I did catch the 9-darter.
I took the average age of the early morning swimmers down to 75 this morning.
Yep - the roly poly ladies were doing their aqua aerobics thing. I'll join in one day. Probably in about another 30 years time.
We had a pretty big story over at Brixton Buzz early morning. Lambeth Council is taking legal action against 141 local businesses at a cost of just under £24k.
All praise the power of FoI's.
The rest of the morning was spent on work shifts with the mad cat. The wind rattled around the old house and I pondered putting on the heating.
A pot of steaming hot tea later and the job was a good 'un.
I published the content from SE21 collected earlier in the week.
I then started a bit of housework, and then ended a bit of housework.
DARTS is more important than dusting.
A fig in the pool to start the morning.
What was really surprising was that the fig wearer was actually swimming underwater. I suspect superglue, Sir.
Dubious head ware aside, it was actually an ACE swim.
My goggles did the usual steaming up after ten lengths, but the glorious sun still managed to brighten up the bottom of the pool for me to see.
I started off slowish, and then found my stride and improved for the final 20 lengths.
Swim to win.
And then the working day started...
I've got an internal online work filing system that requires either a compromise or a cull. I favour the latter.
Layers of layers of data, all cross-referencing various policy changes and possible nuclear scenarios.
It was also a busy old morning at Brixton Buzz. We're finding the stories. We're getting them out there. We are being sustainable.
I hit the buffers slightly early evening with various domestic admin woes. Utilities, mobile providers and booking up train tickets between now and next Christmas.
It's a full time job in itself.
And then DARTS.
I listened to Late Junction not once, but twice for the early morning shifts.
It's part of the gradual easing into the day to catch up with Late Junction from the night before. It's always been morning music for me, never late night listening.
It was only whilst I was two thirds through last Thursday's catch up when I realised that I have been here before.
Always the same, always different etc.
That nice @GreensladeR at The Graun picked up on our Brixton Buzz story about Lambeth Talk and local Pravdas. It was something of a DOUBLE LINKAGE WHAMMY with yer man Roy also kindly linking back to @Darryl1974's 853 blog post.
Never underestimate the social currency of linkage, Comrades.
Work shifts ate into most of the morning. I did manage to escape for a lazy luncheon swim. I cut through the water with all the physical grace of a bin liner containing cow shit.
Essex County Council kindly delivered the response to my request for an Internal Review following the bodged Wivenhoe Cycle Path FoI.
It's got a lengthy back story.
There's a blog post for that.
Basically an officer made reference to a report in an internal email. My request to see this report has been met with the response that the report doesn't actually exist.
But ECC has very kindly suggested that all future public consultations will have the outcomes published.
Y'know. To the public.
An afternoon and evening of work shifts followed - all carried out with a Great Big Smile, thanks to the Great Big Kiss podcast.
Keep the Faith, Comrades.
And then DARTS and some Brixton Buzz catch ups and planning.
A ridiculously early Transpontine start, and then it was a day of new school timetables over in SE21.
Change is always good - even in a school where you are working with some very special pupils. That nice Mr Ofsted seems to agree
As ever, the day became lost in a run-around schedule from Reception through to Year 11. I have never experienced this level of variety in any other job. I absolutely love it.
Highlights included Christmas concert rehearsals, fruit salad making and then learning about the inter-relationships and connections between Medieval monks, knights and peasants.
Not even a Herne Hill downpour later in the school day could put a damper on things.
I deliberately delayed my SE21 exit to try and let the roads dry out.
Yep - I really am that poncey about getting my Brompton wet.
I stopped off along Brixton Road to pick up some much needed supplies of Transpontine Di Lieto olive bread. Mr D had already sold out. I bought a couple of lovely bloomers instead.
And then back to base, a bit of publishing and DARTS.
An early morning of tech bodging with bloody DNS servers. It would have to be weekend out of hours tech support when I needed a little online love.
Slightly easier was wiping the iPad for the Mother in Law.
That's not a dodgy joke, btw.
I've kinda outgrown the iPad. It's a 2o10 iPad 1 original. It still works a dream doing what it was designed to do, but what it was designed to do 'aint for me no more.
The Mother in Law has so far resisted the modern interweb. I'm not sure if handing down an outdated iPad is the best introduction for her.
Browsing, email and the iPlayer. I think she'll be fine.
I then had a botched Sunday morning trip to B & Q. It was bloody depressing in there.
The shopping list was a complete set of sockets and switches for the Stockwell flat. I had very precise instructions as to what was needed.
B & Q couldn't comply.
I washed away my B & Q woes with a so so swim. The body was a aching, but I still managed the planned 50 lengths.
I picked up some work shifts late in the day.
New client ahoy!
Um, which usually means that I get incredibly nervous and rather confused for the first couple of hours thinking what the chuff am I supposed to do?
The training on Friday thankfully had everything covered. It was a bit of back to basics by working from the front end of the client's site, rather than a third party tool.
Sunday came to a close with me publishing the content from my SE17 day last Thursday.
Much love for the NBA ball game later in the evening.
Ridiculously early return to Transpontonia tomorrow.
A You’ve Been Framed start to Saturday.
We took ten pictures down to the friendly local framer chap. We’ve been storing them up ahead of the (almost) completion of the Sunny Stockwell flat.
Forget new roofs, floors, windows etc - the highlight has to be the hanging of the pictures.
We went in with a rough figure for what we thought that the final quote might be. What’s £50 between friends?
Anna and I then went our separate ways en route to the pool. I was more of a roadie (on the MTB…) whilst Anna opted for the Trail.
The mucky pup.
I’m starting to realise the main difference between roadies and MTB’s.
Roadie riding is all about having high tyre pressure and riding uphill; MTB’s are the exact opposite.
My tyre pressure on the MTB is hovering around 30 PSI. Puncture free so far for the season.
We met at the other end of the route, and were greeted by an incredibly warm pool. 28 degrees is no lovely lido
A quick dash back to base, and then we were off on the Breezy Brightlingsea BOOZE Walk.
Blimey - that was a chilly one.
We were running a tight ship with the bruising skies catching up on us. It didn’t help that I had a half hour camera conversation with a fellow snapper out towards the estuary wilds.
And then we hit the BOOZE in Brightlingsea.
The Railway remains my fave non-London boozer. There was some sort of CAMRA coach trip taking place. It was a right piss up.
We caught the bus back with some local nutter of a lady eating an ice lolly on the back seat.
Saturday came to a close with us watching the second of the Hollywood A film trilogy that has sucked us in.
Cheap laughs, cheap night in.
An unexpected morning away from Transpontonia stuck elbow deep in Essex admin.
It also became a bit of a blogging morning. Over a quarter of a million to demolish an empty changing room, and then… NOTHING.
The morning slipped into luncheon, the admin slowly slipped off the To Do list and then yer man @RobertElms played Time After Time.
Haven’t heard that in over a decade. It seemed to radiate an autumnal warm glow.
The mad cat fell off the warm (ish) BT Box where she was sleeping in all the Cyndi Lauper excitement.
The rest of Friday was lost in a blur of bicycling, swimming and having a haircut.
Something for the weekend, Sir?
I had a run of early evening work training shifts. Three different corners of the globe, three time zones, one project.
Chuffing LOVE the modern interweb.
Anna and I watched a Hollywood A film later in the evening. Not gonna name it, but yeah - Friday night fun.
A crisp crossing of the Old Father on what felt like the first proper winter morning.
I kept the pace with a track stand kid on his fixie from London Bridge all the way down The Elephant. I was looking far more majestic on the Brompton.
It was also my first morning wearing the new winter coat. I looked the absolute bollocks, silk paisley lining and velvet collar. I felt like Wolfgang Moneypenny as I circled the great Transpontine roundabout of SE1.
The working day was good, in every respect.
The night before had delivered an Ofsted 'good' in SE21; this was repeated some 12 hours later over in SE17.
I managed to exit the school gates on chucking out time. I had an appointment with my handyman of SW8 and the ongoing fridge hinge situation.
After almost a couple of months of sleepless nights trying to find the chuffing correct fridge hinge for the tenants, I think that we've finally cracked it.
My SW8 handyman hung it, we both took a step back and then buggered off before it had the chance to fall off again.
Back in Sunny Stockwell and I had a colour clash with Anna. Nothing to do with my paisley silk lining, but the domestic waiting to happen that is choosing a suitable colour scheme for the flat.
Anna has been undercoating in SW8 for the past couple of days. Various test pots have been painted.
And whaddya know - some 15 years since we did our first flat paint job, we've kinda settled on the exact same colour scheme of bright orange and green.
Trust us - it's a grower.
An unexpected Transpontine departure had me heading back to Liverpool Street later in the day.
Apologies lovely lido friends. Looks like I'm stuck in the steamy indoor Essex pool for the next few days.