A crafty jazz cigarette on the way to the pool for Saturday morning.
Not me, but a Colchester toker who thought that 8am was a suitable time in which to have a crafty drag.
The Saturday swim was so so.
A lane to myself, but a little lacking in energy.
I surveyed the garden back at base.
It is fucked.
I've said the same thing this time of year for the past five years. It will be blooming BRILLIANT by mid-May.
And then it was all about the BOOZE.
I've been doing Dry January by mistake. My 'man illness' over the Christmas and New Year period led to an enforced BOOZE abstinence.
Truth be told and I was probably fine to hit the sauce sometime around mid-January. But I thought that it would be a useful exercise in personal restraint.
Do I feel any better physically for it?
Probably not. But I have managed a lot more writing both in the evenings and early mornings.
An unfortunate co-incidence of an unexpected tax refund and the Colchester CAMRA Winter Ale Festival was always going to lead to trouble.
What a simply wonderful wonderful afternoon.
The entire 15 Queen Street old crowd was there. I think that we are realising that what we once had was incredibly special.
I was even asked to DJ at a future Sunny Colch night out.
This one goes out to all the girls I've loved before, etc.
I limped back to base, sobered up and then DARTS.
A good day.
An early morning cycle through the slush en route to the pool. It was pants.
I cleaned the MTB only yesterday morning. I think that I enjoy the idea of a clean bike more than the actual act of cycling itself.
Nice swim though.
The John Martyn four-fer with @RobertElms was special.
Four deeply personal songs of suffering that speak for most people. I've been living on Solid Air a little myself lately.
Six years ago since the great man left us.
Special, special songs.
"I think that you'd want John Martyn as a friend," as @RobertElms remarked.
It all went slightly BONKERS late afternoon. As we predicted at the start of the week over at Brixton Buzz, Lambeth Council announced future plans for the Minet Library.
Those plans just happen to involve selling off the Minet, AND Waterloo library.
Plus stopping all funding for three other libraries in the borough, to allow residents to take on the management.
It wasn't quite pistols at five paces, but yeah, we nailed the story in record time.
I use to have to work under this sort of time pressure all the time in the ITN newsroom. I kinda miss it, but I wouldn't want to go back to doing this full time.
I'd appreciate that next time Lambeth Council decides to close down two libraries it doesn't decide to announce in during a busy working day.
Horrid, horrid story mind. The Comrades are busy spinning all the positives out of it over on Twitter.
Which all meant that when I looked up from the office shortly after 5pm, it was still light outside.
The snowdrops - plant variety - are blooming in the front garden. The new season starts at The Oval in just over two months time
Plus the discovery of this ACE Ldn map.
I managed to get the mad cat to be not so slightly mad early evening. I admit that I've struggled whilst Anna has been away.
I settled down to watch the one hour Churchill funeral documentary on the iPlayer.
It was a slow starter, but featured some superb social history views of London in 1965. This went on for about fifteen minutes.
I LOVED it, but pondered how they could squeeze the rest of the procession in?
I then realised that I had set up the entire FOUR AND A HALF CHUFFING HOURS of the funeral.
Um, sorry Winnie.
Oh yeah - guess who's gonna SMASH Dry January tomorrow luncheon?
I was blown back UP the hill whilst trying to descend DOWN Boundary Road this morning.
Blimey - that was a blowy one.
A brief swim, a haircut and then something for the weekend.
Suits you, Sir.
A fairly quiet working day lay ahead. It all goes slightly BONKERS from Monday morning...
Cover to Cover with @RobertElms was ACE.
I would say that - it was my choice.
Up for consideration was It's a Thine Line - The Persuaders Vs The Pretenders. The Soul Boy within should be batting for the original every time.
But C'MON - Chrissie Hynde.
The Lady won it, hands down.
I heard from Anna late in the afternoon. She's had a pretty bad snowboarding accident.
I didn't like to tell her that back in the estuary wilds and it has been snowing all afternoon.
I fired up the 2007 old MacBook early evening. Surprisingly it booted in under 30 seconds.
The days of it running as a working Mac mule are long gone. I had to deauthorize my iTunes account off it as I've somehow already got five different devices registered.
Not entirely sure which ones...
Housework chores, BBuzz bedroom blogger action, and then the glamour of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Like I said - Anna is away right now.
I tend to keep rough news lists (ha!) of what I'm working on. I usually keep on top of it all, knowing when content needs to appear.
This has all got a little out of hand of late. I spent a couple of hours very early on Thursday morning putting the blog posts back on track.
A run of work shifts then carried me through until early evening. PMQ's was the luncheon distraction.
Gawd it was bloody awful. We've got 99 days of this garbage still to come, Comrades.
The work stuff is getting a little technical. I'm trying to get my head around some background reading material for a new client.
The final output is actually fairly simple. It's the process that slightly concerns me...
I celebrated the end of the working day by... settling my bloody tax bill.
I actually got a fairly good deal. I was expecting a slight credit on what I had already paid last year. The 'slight credit' is just about sufficient to buy a new road bike for the spring
And then I buggered off to Sunny Colch for the CBC Cabinet meeting.
It went on longer than I was expecting. It was especially... dry.
I had some fun with The Chronic though and the various online interactions.
I was reminded as to why I can never trust a chuffing Tory.
The slightly longer meeting meant that I missed the first half of the football.
I LOVE watching Young Nigel. I've LOVED watching Young Nigel for almost the best part of 30 years.
Sure, it's all about the heritage of carrying the Clough name.
But WHAT a name
It was lovely to see the Young Man smile when Sheff Utd came back into the game at 2-2. I confess to a slight tear.
But there wasn't to be a happy ending.
The mad cat then demanded some attention. She had plenty of it last night, running across the bed from 2am - 6am.
I bashed out a brief Chronic post to conclude Wednesday.
Another day lost to work.
I actually quite enjoyed it.
We've got a number of new clients coming on board. Not a lot that I can blog about, but it always involves endless background reading and clarification of protocols.
The contemporary urban anarchist within [hellooo!] rather likes conformity.
I dipped in and out of Late Junction and the usual @RobertElms.
Yer man Bob had a bit of a weather theme running throughout the three hours. And bang on cue, right at the end the GLORIOUS synth beats of Long Hot Summer kicked in.
I just knew he would save the best until last.
I'm quite pleased with what we did with the BANNING story. There was far more to it than simply one side.
I wanted to be sympathetic, but equally wanted a quote from the Head of Legal.
Chelsea Vs Liverpool entertained me. But not as much as the mad cat. Oh what fun running upstairs with a ribbon. And then running back downstairs again.
Have Liverpool equalised?
I ended Tuesday by editing and publishing Metroknobbers with @Darryl1974.
An oddity of a Monday. It never really got going; it never really came to a close.
Work interspersed everything.
Live to work, work to live.
I bought a new settee. That was probably the SEXIEST thing that happened today.
Oh - and trying to start the Supergrass revival - a band definitely in need of a reappraisal. Especially the later period.
We had a busy day over on Brixton Buzz. Nothing to do with my scoop though,
The hideous Brixton billboard has now received over 300 objections via the Lambeth planning site. We're still not sure what happened here. It looks like the planning application was very poorly promoted.
The power of a resource like BBuzz / urban75 can be key here.
I spent the evening with one eye on Rochdale Vs Stoke, and one eye publishing the content from SW9 from the back end of last week.
LOVE that school. Seriously love it.
Some 9am work training to start off Sunday morning.
Actually it was rather ACE. Short, concise, and well delivered.
New projects ahoy!
I then had ONE task and ONE task only to complete for Sunday: worm the mad cat.
I failed. Badly.
I tried a couple of times to catch her on the back of the neck. She's got wise to this time of the month and always does a runner.
Conceit was required. Don't tell Anna (she's away anyway) but I bought some ham to try and entice the mad cat into my devious world of worming.
She scoffed the ham and looked so content. I hadn't the heart to worm the poor little thing.
The morning swim was equally unsuccessful. I simply couldn't get going.
I managed 30 lengths, and that was your lot.
The racist spa was re-christened Arthritis Club for the day. I fitted in very well for once, sharing woes of aches and pains.
I then fell asleep in the sauna.
I stopped off at the University during the short ride back to base to watch some American football.
I've no idea what was going on. I did see a touch down (I think?) and a bloody painful injury that required a stretcher.
This just about sums it up.
I'll stick with my swimming.
It's definitely staying lighter later outside. I managed some late afternoon anarchic gardening as the estuary sun was setting.
The bloody raspberries are starting to bud.
And so it begins.
I caught the second half of the Brighton Vs Arsenal match.
And then it was time to record Metroknobbers with Darryl.
We had a good run on the Town Hall Pravda's story, with both Lambeth and Greenwich still both holding out. We were also both in absolute agreement as to how ACE Deserter blog is right now.
Some Late Junction catch ups, and a bit of a biggie for Brixton Buzz tomorrow morning concluded Sunday.
Up early and full of energy.
Never underestimate the healing power of LIDL pasta from the night before.
I put it all too good use as well.
First off for Saturday was the Brockwell Park Run. I arrived in good time, even managing a lovely catch up with @katiekingswell poolside at the lido.
We were both using the lido lockers ahead of the run. I'm not sure which seemed more daunting at 8:45am - the 5km run around the park, or the 4 degrees lido dip that was to follow.
I approached the run as simply an exercise in getting around. My calf muscle is still slightly sore.
'Athletes' forever have niggles and little and mind injuries.
This was a HUGE turn out for the weekly race that isn't a race - 300 plus.
It made the first stretch and turn into the Brixton Water Lane corner a little tight.
One lap in and I felt good.
Blimey - a PB could be on here.
I put my foot down for the second lap, but missed out on a new PB by over a minute.
Madam Pace Maker came and joined me as I queued up to clock my time.
She is fresh from a two week running holiday (!) - no surprises that she clocked a time today almost a minute ahead of me.
A few more conversations, and then soon I was in the changing rooms of the lovely lido.
There was talk of ice blades in the water yesterday. I didn't really want to do this.
The South London sun was strong though, covering one side of the pool and allowing the Brockwell blue to shine through.
1 - 2- 3 and I was in.
Nothing to it.
Tens lengths later and I 'fell out' of the pool. My poncey swimming socks were full of ice cold water. I couldn't feel my toes.
A quick shower, and then I was Brixton bound. It was too good Transpontine weather to not indulge in a little photography.
Nothing special - mainly some stock pics for Brixton Buzz.
We seem to be posting up pretty much the same image of Lambeth Town Hall every day. I'm not sure if this is a comment on the limitations of our photo library, or the sheer number of stories coming out of the Town Hall right now.
Brixton wasn't quite... buzzing, but it did feel very special. It was 11am and you could sense that the town was shaping up for the Saturday rush that was to follow.
Sadly not for me.
I was under strict housework orders back in the flat.
The floor men did a bloody good job in tidying up. But I still had to go round and hoover all the edges and window frames etc.
Phew. Rock 'n Roll Saturdays.
The treat for the afternoon was a trip up the Walkie Talkie.
I BLOODY HATE that building.
But I managed to blag one of the first freebie tickets for the Sky Garden viewing gallery at the start of the year.
I had picked the perfect Saturday weather in which to look down on London.
I'm pretty crap at writing about architecture. I'll simply link to m'photoblog instead.
All of these came straight out of the box with no digital jiggery pokery. I simply haven't got the time right now.
I really wanted to hate the whole corporate experience. But is cost me absolutely NOTHING. I was given a stunning free view of my beautiful city. I didn't even buy a coffee.
The staff were charming and very helpful. It's just a pity that it looks a bloody BRUTE from the outside.
Plus South London was left in a haze. I could just about follow the route of South Lambeth Road down from St George's Tower. But no great detail.
I'll be back for a second look sometime soon.
I had some business over in Stratford late in the afternoon. I made the mistake of cycling it along CS2.
I seem to remember saying that I would never cycle this route around five years ago.
An evening of online catch up and school publishing finished me off for Saturday.
No lovely lido for Friday morning. The winter 8am opening time means that I miss morning assembly. Not good.
That's my excuse anyway.
I took a King of Clap'ham Common run instead. My lido logic was kinda vindicated when I saw that the Clap'ham fishing pond had frozen over.
I've got plenty of time for a lovely swim on Saturday.
And then it was SW9 bound, school assembly et al.
The morning was spent with a spot of ICT, PSE and PE.
It was all ACE.
The afternoon was a 'challenge' but brilliant fun.
A touring theatre company was at school to present a drama workshop to the pupils who are off to see Cats in the West End next week.
The phrase 'drama workshop' by definition means interaction. There's no hiding place. You leave your dignity at the door and join in.
To sit on the sidelines would be even less dignified.
I actually loved it.
For an hour or so I was on all fours in the school hall, exploring my feline side.
I knew that the 'O' Level in Drama (Grade B, natch) would come in handy.
Straight outta Cats and into School Council.
Isn't that what George Galloway once did?
School Council in SW9 is much more than simply playing lip service. The pupils have some decent solutions as well.
I cycled up to Streatham late afternoon for an informal meeting with a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.
Not telling, Comrades.
I've got a similar 'date' in two weeks time as well.
Much of the evening was spent rolling around on the freshly sanded and lacquered Sunny Stockwell floor.
I did a fair bit of purring.
The morning commute was livened up with the sight of the Brixton Cycles livery by Borough Market.
Top to toe, red, gold and green LOVELY lycra.
It set me up for a working day down in SE17.
I sat through an AMAZING maths workshop mid-morning.
Confession: I often struggle with Maths Week. What is needed is someone to add some energy and dynamism to what can be a dull subject.
This was delivered on Thursday by Dr Sara, the Magical Maths Magician.
She was absolutely ACE. The pupils and staff both loved her. I actually learnt something.
We had a surprise IT result with the continued efforts to blag free copies of Office365 for all staff.
We were politely asked to use the name servers for the school website and surrender these over to Microsoft.
Balls to that.
My makeshift solution seems to have worked - I bought up a dummy school domain and simply changed the name servers on these.
Freebie software all round. And a nice chunky 1TB of cloud storage for me.
I bumped into an ex-pupil late in the day who is helping out in the Nursery. I haven't seen her for almost eight years.
It wasn't as awkward as it could have been. I recognised the face, but of course I forgot the name.
Great to see her back in SE17 though, fully matured and keen to give something back.
The bloody fridge hinge saga continued on the commute back to SW8. Having spent what seemed like the entire second half of 2014 chasing an elusive faulty top fridge hinge for the tenants, the bottom hinge is now bloody buggered.
Or so we were told.
It wasn't as bad as that.
It was slightly weird being back in the old house. I did steal a cheeky minute or so down in the cellar, listening out for the reassuring rumble of the Northern Line down below.
And then back in Sunny Stockwell and it was all about the post-floor renovation tidy up.
Anna and I both knew that we would fall out. We weren't wrong.
Both tired after a day at work, and a whole flat to put back together.
The bloody bed took an age.
The floor looks ACE though.
So that makes it OK.
I received some very good job news, very, very late in the day. Far too late to celebrate.
A stop / start work day once again. It was too bloody cold to actually go out and do something creative during the stop periods.
I REALLY fancied Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise late afternoon.
Not me, for sure.
I wore this record out back in the day. But I didn't have it to hand for the midweek work shift.
No worries - Spotify was my friend.
I seem to be getting a hit and miss rate with the Spotify ads of late. Today was definitely a miss moment.
A bloody awful ad in-between every song.
Sure, the idea of Spotify ads is to force you to upgrade, rather than just buy the bollocks being advertised.
Most were for some dreary sub-lite Coldplay miserablist crap.
Ta, but no thanks.
The Art of Noise meanwhile was just FUN - when I could get the tracks to stream, that is.
I seemed to spend most of the non-working parts of the day chasing and trying to stack up a pretty big story for Brixton Buzz.
It fell through right at the end of the day
It was worth it putting all the legwork in. It would have been so easy just to run with it, and then double check the facts later.
Nice headline, dodgy story.
I'm pleased that caution was used.
I did manage to get a story out of PMQ's for over there.
And then very late in the day, and completely out of the blue, some old pictures of Dorset Road dropped in my inbox.
This kinda justifies what I do - poking my camera around and catching the rapid pace of change in South London, then blogging about it.
The images came via a chap who had found a similar Dorset Road piece on m'blog from almost five years ago.
The modern interweb remains a wonderful tool for connecting communities.
A lane to myself for the morning swim. I celebrated by putting in 50 power lengths. I felt strong until the end.
Slightly wobbly in the shower, mind.
Back at base and it was a working morning mixed with cricket catch ups, anarchic gardening and waiting for Mr Delivery Man to drop off an entire lighting set up for the Sunny Stockwell flat.
I managed to escape for a brief stroll mid-afternoon. Nothing too exciting - picking up Swiss currency for Anna ahead of a snowboarding trip.
It looks like Monopoly money to me.
I had a mixed soundtrack for the working day: Late Junction, Gilles Peterson, Robert Elms with Paul Simenon (ACE), back to Peterson, and then a catch up with Newsnight from Monday.
The General Election predictors and subsequent policies make for grim viewing.
Tuesday evening was spent trying to stack up a few Brixton Buzz stories, chasing quotes and having my head buried deep in Council docs.
I started to give a little thought to my digital death.
I have so many sites, services, content - all statched away with only access via me.
I need to put together an offline document that gives access to these in case of, well, in case of y'know.
This is especially important for my work sites.
But it's a bloody depressing job just thinking about it.
Plus where to start? And how to implement?
Online services are available, but I just don't trust any service up in the cloud with all of this highly sensitive login information.
I think that I'll resort to pen and paper, and the file it away with my will in the bomb box up in the loft.
Straight off the bike, fully clothed and straight into the sauna first thing on Monday morning.
That was a bloody cold bicycle ride.
I had two pairs of gloves on, but still couldn't feel the end of my fingers. Locking up my bicycle was a challenge.
I stood around in the sauna, waiting for the heat to come through.
And then I took off my clothes off and dived into a tepid pool.
Those lido tears ahead of the weekend are already starting to peak a little too soon.
It was a relatively quiet stop / start work day. Much of it was spent making 'plans' for what is to come.
I became slightly restless mid-afternoon. I had a weird NEED to go and kick a football.
I 'retired' (ha!) around 2008 when my knackered knee first appeared. Arthritis has since followed.
Both are manageable with some serious stretching. I really fancied a game of 5-a-side late afternoon though,
Back in the day and Monday nights were all about 5-a-side down at Brixton Rec. I wonder if all the old crowd still have a kick-about?
Next week, maybe...
But for this evening it was watching the big boys on TV.
We settled down to watch Anna's Blue Nose boys against West Brom.
I can do that.
Talk Talk and day-glow trunks defined the Sunday morning swim.
It's My Life was weirdly playing out of the poolside speakers. Mr Butterfly Man was splashing about in a pair of shreddies that needed UV protected goggles to blank out the brightness.
Forty lengths done, time for some steam.
"Business is booming"
...said the local undertaker.
Cheers for that, fella.
It's My Life, etc.
But it's got to be better than the racist spa.
The remainder of daylight was spent in the garden. It was time for the bi-annual trimming of the wisteria.
Titchmarsh tells me that mid-Jan is the ideal moment in which to lob off all the strays from the past summer.
I always fret that I've taken it to extremes. Each May however and the wisteria looks blooming lovely.
It's quite a sad sight in the garden right now. There is little sign of life, and the lawn is a bloody mess.
Titchmarsh also tells me that this is an exciting time as you can visualise what it may all look like in six months time.
In six months time I plan to be permanently rooted in the hammock, knocking back the cheapo lager and listening to the cricket commentary.
I had a few work tasks to complete early evening. I've been putting them off for the past couple of days. They would have been more painful first thing on Monday morning.
And then CLASH EVENING Part III followed.
Bit of a weird one.
A restless mad cat got us up far too early for Saturday morning.
Um, cheers, dear.
Mr Postman broke the concentration with the delivery of an ACE pair of retro cycling tights.
I've already got a couple of pairs, but they have both seen better days. I got lucky on eBay this week with a packaged pair that hadn't been opened since they were first manufactured a couple of decades ago.
I needed them as well for the short ride to the pool. It was bloody freezing. My fingertips never really recovered.
A brief sauna session, and then we were back at base for the Brian Clough derby.
I didn't have high hopes to be honest. Come half-time and these were well-founded.
But then somehow Forest finally started to play for the manager. It only took 20 or so games to get there.
The post-luncheon period was spent singing anti D****y songs that were thought long lost to folk history.
Robert Maxwell, Arthur Cox, the Sheep-dip - all were resurrected from my mental tricky tree scrapbook.
And then we went to Colchester as the come down.
Lights were on the shopping list. Having splashed out for some lights back in Sunny Stockwell for the flat, we've now found that they are not bright enough.
The solution is yet more lights.
Buying lightbulbs is now bloody tricky. Long gone are the days of the 49p screw bulbs.
Our trek across town involved taking in the two light shops that seem to stretch from one side of the town to the other.
Light Shop A had the bulbs, but not the lamps; light Shop B did the business.
In-between was a little more rock 'n' roll.
Or even Mod.
I braved the Mod Shop. I was wearing my cravat, crombie and cherry reds. I think that I just about got away with it.
There was some decent gear in there. I came out with a beret - which is not quite as eyebrow raising at it may sound.
I made the most of the Sunny Colch weather, doing the photo thing and looking for long shadows around the town.
I was slightly caught in my shadow if I'm being honest.
We bumped into @jdoyleoriginal outside the Mod Shop. It was a decent photographic conversation. He's probably my favourite photographer right now.
A brief pit / stop toilet stop @firstsite, and then we wandered down East Hill.
I've got my eye on a lovely Chesterfield settee at the ACE East Hill antiques shop. The price is incredibly reasonable - £200. We'd have to pay transport costs for Sunny Stockwell, plus I'm not entirely sure that it will actually fit up the stairs in the flat.
And then finally Light Shop B where we bought a floor light for the flat.
We hitched a ride on the train at Hythe station.
The Newcastle Vs Southampton match kept me company during another set of photo editing.
CLASH EVENING Part II followed.
We watched the New Year's Day doc once again.
Cricket breakfasts - the BEST.
Especially so when I awoke on Friday morning to also hear that Surrey have finally signed the deal to bring Kumar Sangakkara to The Oval for this summer.
Two months and counting...
No such wait for the England ODI team Down Under.
The England innings was almost over by the time it took me to eat my Bran Flakes.
Ta for coming, etc.
I don't think that this was the outcome that he wanted.
I managed to get the new Garmin configured and set up for hopefully a spring and summer of estuary wilds cycling.
It's a bloody fiddly process installing the talkytoaster freebie open source maps. But it's got to better than forking out for a high end Garmin and the official maps.
And then there was time for a quick swim, and then settling down for a morning and afternoon of stop / start work shifts.
I got kicked hard in the ribs whilst swimming.
No physical pain from the working day, only all in the mind.
Booker T turned up with @RobertElms late in the afternoon. He sounded as COOL as you would expect.
Elms fells to pieces, clearly in awe of the great man.
I bashed out the listings for the Wivenhoe Forum just before we settled down for CLASH EVENING. I'm crap at keeping diary dates fresh. I breathe a sigh of relief each month whenever the task is complete.
Oh yeah: CLASH EVENING.
I speed read the Johnny Green book over the brief festive break. Time to catch up with Clash on screen stuff.
Anna pleads ignorance. I thought it worthy of a Friday night brief overview.
We watched Westway to the World, and then sung along to the Julian Temple New Year's Day screening once again.
If you're in the Crown tonight, have a drink on me, etc Comrades.
A whirlwind of a whirlpool swim for Thursday.
The aquatic roly poly ladies were circling the deep end like slightly overweight sharks. The water shifted me off course as I tried to put in the lengths.
I gave up after a poor 30.
Not much else happening to be honest.
Cover to Cover with @RobertElms provided a welcome distraction.
Up for consideration was Heroes and Villains, the Beach Boys Vs Gerriant Watkins.
I'm pleased to report that rock 'n' roll won the day over overblown, over-produced West Coast surf crap.
I kept the theme going with some JD McPherson, then Kitty, Daisy and Lewis to see out the working day.
Anna returned from Transpontonia later in the evening, branding all sorts of South London gifts.
Well, a new Garmin, anyway.
I plotted a course in the device heading all the way back to Sunny Stockwell.
The evening was spent falling our with FileZilla.
There. I've said it.
I was going to tweet this, but thought better of it.
I ended up working around the cpanel of The Chronic to upload some content. Not ideal, but the medium really isn't the message here.
Or maybe it is?
But yeah - experimenting with Listicles...
A swim, a heads down working day and some then blogging bollocks later in the evening.
Ta for coming Wednesday, etc.
The swim was almost as uneventful as the working day. The blogging bollocks was also a bit routine to be honest.
The highlight of the day had to be winning an eBay auction for a brand new pair of retro cycling tights.
Way to go, Wednesday.
I paid £1.04 for some classic Italian rainbow ribbed black beauties. I've long since worn the arse out of my existing pair.
I did own a blue pair, but I donated them to the Transpontine wardrobe of Wolfgang Moneypenny some five summers ago.
Even South London revolutionaries need a retro lycra look, Comrades.
I tried to watch the Ipswich Vs Southampton game in the evening. It was as uneventful as the swimming and working day.
I resorted to publishing the SE21 content from Monday instead.
Bit of a blowy one out there right now. Hoping that my Roof Man from over the summer months won't let us down tonight...
A particularly fine West Ham Wanker conversation in the swimming pool changing rooms early on Tuesday morning. I haven't the heart to tell the old boy that I'm not an 'appy 'ammer.
The swim was smooth. I seem to be more or less back where I was before the man flu set in.
I put my new found strength to use with a spot of flash, anarchic gardening before the work shifts kicked in.
The daffs have shot up 3-4 inches since I've been away in S Ldn.
We had some good news on the Garmin front mid-morning: we've got a new Garmin.
Well, like for like it seems.
The old Garmin gave up the ghost when Anna and I were cycling Gawd knows where out in deepest estuary territory.
I still suspect that it was sabotage to try and keep me embedded in darkest Essex.
I played around with some coding for a possible future blogging project later in the evening. I've got it all to work. Just need to find a use now.
The rest of the evening was spent prepping on poolside action for tomorrow morning. I watched the 'appy 'ammers against Anna's blue nose boys.
I fell asleep.
Sadly no time for the lovely lido to start the week. A friendly give and take battle with the Floor Man the night before meant that I had to be in the flat to greet him.
9:30am was the original offering. I knocked him down to 8:30am, mindful of a school assembly in SE21 half an hour later.
Oh what high japes then to find Mr Floor Man at the flat at 7:45am whilst I was fresh out of the shower.
Talk about HARD WOOD floors boards, etc.
And so no lido, but I did get to ride the No.3 bus from Brixton Road to halfway up towards Crystal Palace.
Pity those poor buggers waiting to enter Brixton tube.
Have those bloody escalators ever been fully functional? I remember similar scenes back in the summer of 1995.
I made it to SE21 just in time for the assembly.
Girl Y ran up to me and declared:
"I'VE GOT YOUR TWITTER!"
Never the twain, etc.
A busy old day then followed, trying to run around as many classes as possible. Adding to the workload was the addition of a delightful new Reception class, all starting at the school for the first time.
Sports Club at lunchtime was rather cool.
Curling in a Lambeth school?
I absolutely LOVE that school. I tend to say this about all three schools to be honest.
I just about got to the working point where I wanted to be come chucking out time at 3:30.
I then had to make my way somewhere to where I probably didn't want to be, given the choice.
Escape from Transpontonia, etc.
The first test for the new aquatic socks at the lovely lido early on Sunday morning.
They were absolutely ACE.
Cheers, um, Anna.
I confess that I have been previously wearing what I now understand were probably verruca socks.
The new 2mm of protection kept the tepid 7 degrees water temperature of the beautiful Brockwell Blue away from my toes.
My bollocks still ended up battered and bruised.
I recall that my final thought before going to bed the night before was: PACK YOUR TRUNKS. I planned on a Sunday morning spa session. Wearing your wetsuit or birthday suit is not advisable.
Back to base it was then.
I simply couldn't get warm once again in Sunny Stockwell. We are currently radiator-less, midway through what seems like a never-ending flat renovation.
I attempted some press ups, some double arm dips - even some bedroom dancing.
I still couldn't get warm.
It was actually slightly warmer outside. I spent the rest of the morning doing some Sunny Stockwell gardening.
The South Lambeth Road lavender garden appears to have survived the winter - presuming the winter is pretty much over, that is.
All sorts of weird green shit is starting to shoot up. Anna had a field day, so to speak, back when it was GARDEN PLANT WEEK at Lidl.
Domestic chores done, I then took a wander down Brixton Road with my camera. It was perfect photography weather.
I've walked up and down Stockwell Road with the F717 endless times. I never run out of subject matter in which to shoot at.
But I needed a break, and so Brixton Road it was.
Waiting for me at the other end was Brixton Topcats playing at home to the Rec.
The Rec reception area is also undergoing a renovation right now. This appears to take place in five year cycles.
The basketball was brilliant. It was a close game with the Topcats making home court advantage count, winning 87-80 against Worcester Wolves II come the final buzzer.
I wandered into Banardo's during the short walk back to Sunny Stockwell. It's usually a little drab in there. I came away though with a so so green woollen tie for £2.99. It looks better than it sounds.
And then it was time for METROKNOBBERS with Darryl.
We covered Streatham transport, the Dangleway, party funding, Southern trains and Co-operative Parks.
Sunday came to close by shifting what is left of the furniture in the flat out towards the kitchen and the bathroom, ahead of a week of intensive floor treatment starting tomorrow.
That was a day.
I completed my first Brockwell Park Run of 2015. It was also my first run since the unfortunate medical ailment that I have been suffering from over the past three weeks.
Some bits of personal blogging are strictly out of bounds...
The run went well. It was never going to be a @bwparkrun PB, but I was pleased with the the final time of just over 24 minutes - 1 minutes and 15 secs off a PB.
My right calf had a slight twinge at the steep climb up Brockwell BMX Hill. I resorted to running on my heels, rather than the balls of my feet to get me round.
There was then a tight turn around and a bit of a bodge job in trying to get encased in black rubber back at the lido.
The water was absolutely LOVELY.
The temperature had somehow risen from 6.7 degrees on Friday, to 8.1 today.
To be honest, 15 feels like 10; 10 feels 5 and anything below is when you have to start to seriously worry.
I managed another eight lengths for today. The clock was counting down on other Transpontine commitments.
The air temperature outside the pool was warmer compared to being submerged in Brockwell blue. I did make a mental note of weirdly thinking that the pain that I enjoy the most is the coldness on your face as the water tries to tease you out of the pool.
A quick costume change back at base, and then I made the short walk down South Lambeth Road towards Vauxhall.
Bruncheon arrangements had been made with Red Maz of Bal'ham.
Both of us are SO OVER Brixton Vill-aaage. The ACE Tea House Theatre has become our Saturday morning bruncheon destination of choice.
We were joined later by Anna from Essex.
And cheers for the purchase of the aquatic boots as well.
Morning turned towards afternoon as we set out on a North Bank walk.
It's been five years or so since I last properly explored this side of the river on foot. Little has changed for life on the other side. It remains the best vantage point though for observing all of the Transpontine changes
A particularly low tide allowed us the opportunity for a bit of mudlarking on the banks of the Old Father.
Red Maz and Anna found endless clay pipes, bones and pottery. I was more concerned with doing the photography thing.
We found some chalk stones and immediately put these to good use. Red Maz left a cryptic sign on the river wall. I drew a MASSIVE spunking cock.
We continued our wanders, and then dissected in great detail the UGLINESS of the Walkie Talkie.
Anna is foolishly a fan. She was out-voted and shouted down by Red Maz and I.
It is a bloody brute. I have blagged tickets for the roof garden in a couple of weeks though.
And then we found ourselves back over in Transpontonia, back at Bankside and just in time for the tickets that we had bought for The Knight of the Burning Pestle at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse Mini-Me Globe.
I first saw this production back in February of last year. It's a rarity for me to see any Globe production more than once. High praise indeed for the Burning Pestle during the rep run.
I packed Anna back off to Essex at Ldn Bridge (or did she pack me off to Sunny Stockwell?)
The evening was spent trying to stack up a lively Brixton Buzz story.
Think we've finally nailed it.
That was a day.
I made it to the lovely lido for the early morning swim.
Farewell personal failures, hello freezing bollocks.
The immense sense of achievement and inner GRIN all day was worth being confronted with the icy waters of Lake Brockwell.
Actually it wasn't that bad.
A water temperature of 6.7 degrees is not as harsh as it sounds.
I had protection from my fancy new aquatic gloves for the first time. They leak water through the wristbands, leading to a sensation of swimming with a couple of large water balloons once you reach the end of your first length.
The plan was for ten lengths; I had to opt out after eight. Time and tide was counting down and I had to be at a school assembly in SW9 for 9am.
The 'inconvenience' of the wetside changing rooms undergoing renovation yet again was tolerated.
The gym bunnies next door get a far better deal anyway with private showers and paid for shampoo.
I didn't have time to arse around in the spa with the rest of the Icicles. Hopefully the weekend will allow a little more pampering time.
And then it was the short ride back through Brixton and on towards the ever smiling Somewhere in SW9.
Except the atmosphere was slightly reduced. A terrible, terrible personal situation took place for a member of the school community over the break. The staff and pupils all appear to be coming to terms with this remarkably well.
We had few tech woes with the school set up. iPads are being rolled out at great speed. Yet still some old clunky laptops are needed for some tasks such as printing.
It's a bloody pain spending half the lesson waiting for a museum piece to actually fire up.
There was no such waiting game to play for Year 11 PE. I was introduced to the delights of tchoukball. I think that I got a little too competitive and started to fantasise that I was once again King of the Korfball Court.
Dream on, Jase. Dream on.
The working day finished with Camera Club.
We helped the lovely Year 8 students to explore the school iPads, and to look for interesting subject matter around the school.
No shortage of photo shoot locations.
This somehow turned into a portrait session.
Boy Y convinced me that I was perfect photographic material.
The end result was disappointing for me.
"In my mind I have a full head of hair," I explained.
"Yeah, but not on top," added Boy Y.
Oh - and getting a little tearful about the lovely lido tomorrow morning.
And so it continues.
A funny old Thursday for some not very ha bloody ha reasons.
A bit of a... weird one today.
It began with top hats on the platform of Colchester North Station and ended with trepidation as the pre-lido nerves started to surface ahead of Friday morning.
I WILL SWIM tomorrow.
Said it now.
I gave up any hope of cycling around town to start the day. Cycling in the DIRTY London rain is no fun.
Instead I rode the Route of Kings on the top deck of the GLORIOUS No 35 bus. Front seat as well.
It was a day of planning, a day of capturing and a day of... oh, in SE17.
We're having a right old faff in trying to roll out Office365 across the new suite of laptops for the teaching staff.
Microsoft has come a long way since the ancient days of activation codes.
With everything now cloud based, the buggers want to piggy back the school DNS name servers for authentication of an educational establishment.
Balls to that.
I 'aint changing the DNS name servers for no one. We have a secure, reliable and fully functional host.
If it 'aint broke.
I think that we've found a solution in registering and setting up a dummy domain. Time will tell (about sometime overnight) when the bloody propagation kicks in.
The capturing part of school content was as ACE as ever.
Estimation in the Nursery, ideal jobs in Reception, moonscapes in Y1, drama in Y2, cave paintings in Y3, Roman numerals in Y4, Elgin Marbles in Y5 and a Westminster trip for Y6.
Just need to try and publish it all at some stage...
The oh bit was... oh.
I stopped off at Trinity Hospice along the Walworth Road on the walk back to SW8. Yer man @oneeyegrey continues to praise the tailoring within.
And rightly so.
I was after yet more cravats. I almost came out with a three-piece whistle.
Back at the flat and it was time to empty EVERYTHING.
The floor folk are starting next week. This means getting rid of all the old furniture that we no longer need.
Which is more or less the entire contents of the flat.
Freecycle has been bloody brilliant at this.
The radiators went early evening. I'm not entirely sure if they are simply scrap metal value or some ponced up architectural salvage twaddle.
Bit late now.
I whizzed around Lidl, caught up with some online bollocks over there, and then fell out once again with first utility, possibly the worst supplier I have had to deal with.
Shivers already ahead of the lovely lido tomorrow morning.
I WILL swim.
Another uneventful working day.
It was livened up slightly with the arrival of the cravat. A beautiful burgundy paisley pattern. I plan to puff my chest out like a poncing peacock over the coming days.
Music: Culture's Two Sevens Clash, Junior Marvin and Dub Clash.
There's a definite theme going along there.
Plus some repeated plays of Stone Foundation. LOVE the Dexy's head nod.
Escape to Transpontonia tomorrow Comrades