An early roll out for the first time on the new roadie to start the weekend.
I've been stroking the carbon and rubbing my rear wheel for the past couple of weeks in anticipation of this ride.
My late March birthday is traditionally the calendar signifier for the start of my Spring Classic cycling season.
But the dry estuary wilds roads on Saturday had me putting on the lycra and giving the Merida a spin.
I was slightly scared to be honest.
The bike frame measures up perfectly for my requirements. Everything has been fine-tuned to fit my needs.
But it's the tricky things such as cleat adjustments, handlebar responsiveness and a new frame weight that makes the first mile or so slightly nervy.
I didn't fall off. That's a start.
We did get lost leaving Wivenhoe though.
I was soon dancing on the pedals as we climbed Tenpenny Hill. It was round about here that the chain on my old roadie use to slip.
Woh - that felt smooth.
I soon became accustomed to the feel of the new handlebars, and then just sat back and enjoyed the ride.
We passed only one other group of riders. The numbers will start to build up over the coming weeks.
I pushed it slightly for the final run in and beat Anna back to base.
A good ride. I can't wait to get out again now and clock up some serious springtime mileage.
A quick scrub up, and then I caught the first half of the West Ham Vs Palace match. Gotta say that I've got a growing respect for the Holmesdale lot.
And then whisper it: I went to a local Labour party meeting.
I've resolved not to really blog about it; I've resolved not to really get involved. I said as much at the meeting.
But the extreme right Tories around the estuary wilds scare the shit out of me.
I think that the Comrades liked my cravat.
Saturday evening was all about the darts, boxing and cricket.
A day spent Somewhere in SW9.
Never a wasted day.
You can never go wrong with bunsen burners to SEX UP science lessons. It was the same back in the day, and it remains so for 2015.
Count 'em: SEVEN science experiments all performed in a single lesson.
I learnt SEVEN new scientific facts.
I hope that my note taking skills are up to the task.
Elsewhere and I missed some of my favourite characters. Every school has them. If they are not around then their personalities are certainly missed.
After the Style Councillors from the night before, I then found myself attending School Council some 12 hours later.
No dancing (or crying) this time. Useful, all the same.
Come school chucking out time and the shout went out for:
I was very pleased to be asked to road test a new audio tech platform.
I was most impressed.
I'm already thinking about ways in which I can possibly integrate this into my work.
Friday evening was spent catching up and thick custard.
There's talk of the first proper roadie ride of the spring season tomorrow morning.
A mixed day, on many fronts, Somewhere in SE17.
I really miss the social. I'm still operating with a pretty much hit and run attitude. Straight in, grab the content, and then move on.
It's the best way to work. You see so many wonderful things taking place around a school. You need to capture it there and then before it has gone.
But I do miss having the luxury of time to talk to friends there.
So some science with Y6 (got a little lost), a Y5 Diversity assembly (actually rather ACE) and helping (sort of) Y1 set up the Toy Museum.
Sadly I'll miss the grand opening tomorrow as I'm in SW9.
But yeah - I DO miss being full time in SE17.
I walked back home as it was a rare day without the Brompton. Wet weather and my cycling pride don't see eye to eye.
I love that walk through the back streets of Walworth, into Kennington and then back down the Clap'ham Road.
It was still light when I arrived back in Sunny Stockwell.
The front garden was looking delightful. Say what you like about Lidl, but the cheapo bulbs have certainly delivered this spring.
The garden has been transformed from this time last year when I hacked away at over a decade of neglect.
Gotta say that I'm rather proud of it.
Ivy must DIE.
A bit of an online catch up, and then it was:
I'm trying to remember who I last saw down in the dark basement along Oxford Street. I think that it was Diesel Park West around 2010.
Topping the bill tonight was Probably the Best Pop Group in the World.
Yep - the Style Councillors.
Sadly it highly unlikely to ever be the real thing again. But the Councillors are damn close to the band that filled my spring steps with joy some 31 years ago.
I danced, I sung, I cried a little.
Got a Headstart for Happiness now.
Keep the Faith.
Early morning work, no swim.
Solace in work. Seriously.
Nina Simone. LOVE that lady.
Docs buried away within Google Docs.
Trying to understand ad agency speak.
The Mad Cat not helping much.
Bloody Lambeth Council Cultural Consultation.
But hey - The Style Council LIVE (sorta) tomorrow.
Keep the Faith, Comrades.
A slightly hairy cycle to the pool for Tuesday morning.
Not for me, but for a pesky squirrel.
The little fella darted out in front of me, sped across the road and underneath the body of a moving van, and then back underneath the rear of the moving van missing the rear wheels by tenths of a second.
I was most impressed.
I almost crashed myself just watching it all.
Becoming a big softie is part of growing up. I have noticed that the injustice towards the animal world is something that troubles me of late.
I have become a f-ing hippy.
NEVER trust a hippy.
The Tour de Norfolk scenes of last summer still play upon my mind.
I passed a couple of pheasants that had been hit by traffic. They were neither here nor there, taking in the last gasps of their life in the empty Norfolk lanes.
We'll have a Singing Assembly at school on Friday morning.
Betcha What a Wonderful World is up first.
And so a swim, a haircut and then work shifts.
That was Tuesday.
The haircut was much needed. Something is going wrong with my hair - even more so than usual.
How hard can it be for a No. 2 all over to mess up?
But it has been wonky since the last cut. I'm considering a No. 1 all over.
Either that or a FIG.
Glenn Miller was the surprise company for the work shifts.
Maybe I'm not becoming a hippy.
I put it down to the desk from the Raj / Colchester. It draws a man towards a more laid back pace of life.
It also draws a man towards sloe gin.
I needed the BOOZE to see me through the evening; I needed the BOOZE to see me through the twenty docs that make up the Lambeth Council Cultural Consultation.
It's taken me over a month to plough through them. The bloody consultation will be over soon.
But yep - I finally finished them on Tuesday evening. I've got some half-arsed blog posts in the making.
I celebrated by watching the second half of the Man City Vs Barcelona match.
An empty lane for the morning swim. I made the most of the free space and experimented with my leg kicking.
Usually I swim tri-stlye - all arms and no legs.
But get this: kicking your legs makes you go a little faster.
I did manage to clear the adjacent lane with all of the splashing and general swimming un-etiquette. I'll stick with the torso for tomorrow.
A morning of work shifts followed. The desk from the Raj / Colchester has brought out the jazz snob in me.
The intention was always to discover my inner-jazz roots, work at a desk with a pen and ink, and drink red wine.
But Jase Hates Jazz.
It wasn't that bad. Django Reinhardt was pleasant enough company whilst Gilles Peterson is away. The Lambeth Walk was a lovely surprise.
Early afternoon was spent estuary shower dodging to get an odd spot of gardening ticked off.
I looked for signs of spring down the back passage, so to speak.
The big sticky green thing that we had to HACK down ahead of the roof job shows no sign of new growth.
It was a bit of a beast high summer to be honest. It will be a shame though if it has been killed off because of scaffolding.
RIP big sticky green thing.
A charity door knocker late afternoon didn't call at a very convenient time.
Work woes were being woeful.
He started his lengthy ramble.
"Let me interrupt you there. I DON'T GIVE TO CHARITY."
I didn't understand a word.
And so I made it all up.
A day of catch ups and contemplation.
Plus some planning.
The estuary wilds is an unforgiving landscape. After the GLORIOUS walk out to Brightlingsea in search of BOOZE yesterday, Sunday was no day to be outside.
Anna played golf.
I spent most of the day balls deep in the Lambeth Council Budget for 2015/16.
It wasn't exactly a page turner.
We've got a Brixton Buzz piece appearing tomorrow. I still need to make some headway through that the TWENTY docs that make up the Lambeth Council Cultural Consultation.
I watched Everton Vs L****er by mistake.
It was just on.
It was raining.
I settled down and had half an eye on Anna's Blue Nose boys, and half an eye on further online catch ups.
Early evening and I recorded METROKNOBBERS with @Darryl1974.
A quick turnaround - no planning, little editing and put it out there.
It's rough, but that's the way that we like it.
Time to move on and do the next thing.
Which for Sunday evening involved NBA, cricket and pancakes.
Anna and I are still coughing and wheezing btw.
We've made a Night Nurse pact for tonight.
Heavy petting in the pool first thing Saturday.
Get a lane, etc.
You can spot a recently joined couple a mile off when it comes to the swimming touchy feely stuff.
Anna and I both enjoyed a functional swim in separate lanes.
A brief ride back to base, and then we went out in search of Brightlingsea BOOZE.
I knew that an exceptionally high spring tide was expected. The depth of what greeted us down at the Quay was a bit of a WOH moment though.
We couldn't actually pass along one stretch. I needed a pair of fisherman waders.
The Colne Barrier was closed. It excited Anna more than it excited me.
I was too busy doing the usual photo nonsense.
We seemed to attract the attention of a couple of German walkers as we made our way along the estuary and out towards Brightlingsea.
They were over-friendly.
The signal that it was time to back off was when they started to pose by the ever-increasing rising water and removed layers of clothing.
Get a lane, etc.
Destination Brightlingsea was reached.
A brief photo shoot down by the front, and then an aborted attempt to find a chip shop.
And then BOOZE.
The Railway was as lively as ever.
I chuffing LOVE it in there.
We had a pint of Colchester Gold, and then a pint of mild. Plus some pork scratchings for the road.
The bus journey back was spent in the company of @MatthewLinely and @juliaatthehub. We had walked in the exact same footsteps for most of the afternoon.
An early evening surprise was the Death by Chocolate mouse situation.
Anna found a RIGID dead mouse, hanging on for every last breath inside a hidden box of After 8.
We vaguely remember the Mad Cat bringing a mouse in a couple of summers ago that we then couldn't find.
Imagine the sheer JOY for Mr Mouse in finding a draw in which to escape the clutches of the Mad Cat, and then the Brucie bonus of discovering that it had escaped to chocolate wonderland.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE though.
The rest of Saturday evening was spent photo editing and watching some Kate Bush catch up stuff on the iPlayer.
An early morning editorial meeting of the Wivenhoe Forum.
It wasn't planned - I was literally doorstepped as I rolled the bike out en route to the pool.
The best meetings often take place whilst wearing lycra.
I was wearing my winter riding gloves. But it's got to the tipping point where the fingerless ones carry probably get a look in tomorrow.
As for the swim?
I chuffing LOVE splashing about in water. I think that it has something to do with the Pisces within.
Big birthday coming up soon, btw.
Back at base and it was another rare Him 'n' Hers office sharing day with Anna.
We battled over the desk from the Raj / Colchester.
I was pushed aside to the rocking chair.
The slight insurance panic from yesterday was resolved. It turns out that we are covered after all.
Last September was a slightly mad month for us both. The insurance details somehow got lost in the way of scaffolding, new roofs, and the conveyor belt of workmen coming in and out of the flat.
The working day was average.
No shame in that.
@RobertElms was ACE.
A four-fer for Steve Strange and the Blitz Kids. Two Sevens Clash, a set from Arrested Development and Lee Dorsey.
Friday evening was spent watching the cricket 'highlights' (ha, bloody ha,) a bit of blogging catching up and BOOZE.
A slightly lethargic morning of stretching and back aches. Blame the bloody wooden benches of the Colchester Borough Council Pubic Gallery from the night before.
The scent of chlorine in my nostrils however soon banished away the stiffness.
Live to swim, swim to live.
I think that I even let out a mid-swim yelp of "YEAH" as I attempted a tumble turn, such was my enthusiasm for the water this morning.
A rainy estuary wilds afternoon of work shifts and jazz defined the rest of the day.
I've strategically positioned myself in the home library [arf] whilst Anna is away. The desk from the Raj / Colchester is proving to be a fine companion for productivity.
It's altered entirely the way that we use the room.
It's gone from being a time piece dumping ground for Anna's antique family furniture, to becoming a rather pleasant place in which to read documents, tap out thoughts and sip sloe gin.
I've even finally found a home for the Bose speaker dock that we've not used in years. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers kept me company as the estuary rain pounded the old house.
I then needed some dumbing down to help the mind focus on a particularly perplexing work client.
I revisited the Weller singe, and then put the new Blur track on repeat for half a dozen plays.
That's my usual evaluation period. Play it six times, and if it's still not working then move on.
Both Weller and Blur survived the six plays.
An early evening scare came with the content insurance.
We haven't got any.
This was a genuine oversight. I thought that it was renewed at the same time as the buildings insurance.
Buying a new road bike has at least alerted us to this situation.
Now being addressed.
I had some tricky video editing to finish in the evening.
The SE17 kids played their ukes at the South Bank Centre just before half term. A WHOOPING 2 gig video file landed in Dropbox for me to edit and publish.
I usually work entirely via mobile with iMovie. It is simple, it is intuitive.
The desktop beast however is just so bloody bloated.
I managed to turn the video around, but not after an evening of huffing and puffing.
Nice tunes, though.
And then track cycling / football / DARTS.
A f-up for the early morning swim.
I forgot my trunks.
I opted instead to splash about wearing my cycling shorts.
I think that I just about got away with it. The bike ride back to base made for an interesting spectacle.
A morning and afternoon of work.
I road-tested Anna's new desk from the Raj / Colchester.
I rather liked it.
I'll have that, thank you very much.
And then it was:
It was an EPIC Full Council.
I was wearing my cravat. Anna reckons that I look more like a cowboy than a swaggering Dandy.
There was a definite sense of political mischief in the air ahead of the next round of CBC local elections.
We all know how it's going to end, especially with such mis-guided Leadership from the Opposition.
I was quite pleased with all the hyperlocal nonsense. Plenty of tweets, streaming the audio, and more importantly plenty of interactions with other folk.
And then a blog post to end the day.
My lycra shorts still haven't dried btw.
My RSS feed somehow threw up the new Steve Brookes album very early on Tuesday morning.
It was most pleasant.
There's nothing new in here. But it's certainly 'crafted,' with more than a head nod to the Weller roots.
It sounded just right as the estuary wilds sun started to shine through my freshly cleaned windows.
The swim was rubbish.
I was shunted out of the fast and medium lanes and forced to splash around in the over 65 area.
I might be technically a veteran status, but there's still life in my Billy the Fish body.
I gave up after 20 lengths.
And then straight outta the pool and 20 B & H.
Not me, but a fellow swimmer who lit up after leaving the pool.
What's the point?
@RobertElms gave Wichita Lineman a spin late afternoon. This is nothing unusual.
I was working away downstairs with the estuary wilds golden rays streaming through the back door.
"I need a short vacation. But it don't look like rain."
Nope, it was the first day of spring. It was bloody beautiful.
The speakers on my MacBook were bumped up as the bassline filled the room.
I felt so good I had to make a cup of tea to celebrate.
The 'desk from the Raj / Colchester' was delivered early evening.
The idea was always for it to be Anna's workstation.
I gave it a good clean and took quite a fancy. It's the type of work surface that requires a quill and inkwell.
I positioned it in what we optimistically refer to as the library.
I think I have found a new work home.
Flipper Boy was back at the pool this morning.
I was still groggy on the Night Nurse that I necked late on Sunday evening.
Yer man with the webbed feet kicked me across the lanes to give me something of a wake up call.
Anyone who needs a pair of flippers to swim in a 20m pool has some serious swimming issues.
Back at base and it was another His 'n' Hers working from home day. I don't know how we manage to get through these.
Anna declared ahead of luncheon:
"I might not wash my salad."
Live dangerously girl. Live dangerously.
She then spoilt any pretensions of a life of corporate rebellion by saying to a colleague during a work call:
"OK, let's park this project over here."
The mad cat was a darling all day. Rolling around, hogging the radiators and generally not caring about the pressures of modern living.
No parking the project for her.
I managed to get the windows cleaned in the house during the fading estuary wilds sunlight.
And then it bloody rained.
Online catching up and the Man U Vs Preston match saw off Monday.
No Night Nurse.
Back in the pool on Sunday morning for the first time since the lovely lido delivered the second bout of Man Flu for 2015.
The plan was to gently stretch back into the routine.
Presented with a lane to myself and a body stuffed full of pasta, I confess to getting slightly carried away.
Forty power lengths, and then a personal time trial on the bike back to base.
Mid-morning and it was GORGEOUS out in the estuary wilds. Most of the daffs have now delivered. The snowdrops and other unnamed fauna are sprouting up on the lawn.
I did a bit of DIGGING, and then got scrubbed up.
A working trip into town was in the diary.
I have very kindly been asked to professionally blog [ha!] the Warm and Toasty Clubs at Colchester Arts Centre.
Johnno is such a lovely man that it is impossible to say no.
Anna tagged along as the tech back up.
She carried my BIG TECH BAG.
We both had an ACE afternoon, as did the rest of the Arts Centre crowd.
Wivenhoe was represented rather well.
I confess to not feeling at all emotional, but having a slight, slight smile when Johnno sang This is Essex, and this is home...
An awful lot has changed over the past two years.
But at least I can listen to this song now and think, yeah, if it works for you.
I had some more work to finish early evening ahead of Monday morning. Once again it was writing ahem some copy for a couple of high profile sports folk.
No names, blah blah blah.
The character profiles make the 'work' element a lot more fun.
I finished off the weekend by bashing out the bloggage for Warm and Toasty.
A productive day.
A good day.
The cricket breakfast wasn't the best start to the weekend.
It was best viewed whilst still slightly drugged up from the Night Nurse that I necked ten hours earlier.
I somehow managed to shake off the DRUGGY lethargy and make it to the pool.
Good news: there is now FREE WiFi at the poolside.
Nope. Me neither.
I didn't do much aquatic action to be honest. Man flu has left me f-ed.
Plenty of steam, the sauna and then the spa.
I winced when I saw a Gym Bunny attempt to dive into the 'deep end' of the 1.5m pool.
And then it was To Colchester! With Anna!
Usually I am the one with the See It, But It mentality. But Anna went off on one today.
Woh. Did she go off on one...
We stopped off for a passing look at the architectural salvage yard. The idea was for door KNOBS for the Stockwell flat.
Five minutes later and she had spunked out the hard cash for an office desk.
It is rather lovely. The sales pitch was that it was shipped in from the Raj during the days of the Empire.
I reckon it was Made in Essex.
The antique theme continued.
Next stop was East Hill. The damage wasn't so bad this time. A grubby fiver for an old tea chest with S Ldn printed on the side.
I've no idea what use it will be, apart from filling up a corner of the flat.
I was tempted by a beautiful blue and white striped shirt. It was rich in quality but not so in price.
There was something familiar about the design.
Mr East Hill Antique said:
"QUALITY those old prison shirts."
I loved the style and cut of the thread. I don't think that I could pull off the chain gang look though.
We walked further into town and looked at some bicycles. I'm just about there for a new road bike upgrade.
Colchester Cycles had a bloody good offer on a part carbon, part aluminium Merida. The groupset was a dream.
£400 was knocked off the asking price ahead of the new season.
Why am I even trying to justify this in a crap hit and miss blog post?
We walked away and went to the charity shop next door. I came out £15 lighter, but weighed down with a sharp winter coat - 100% wool, M & S, natch.
And then we went and bought the bloody bike.
It was going to come, sooner or later. I'm not convinced about the white frame (and white tape) but as a machine it is GORGEOUS.
The only issue now was how to transport the two mountain bikes that we rode in on, the new roadie and the tea chest back to base.
We just about managed it on the train.
In all the excitement Anna lost her key for her MTB lock. I found it on the seat, the exact same place where she had left it four hours earlier.
Saturday evening was spent cooking and lusting over carbon.
Most of the day was spent working on the 'exciting new project.'
It actually was rather exciting.
The brief involves [disclaimer, disclaimer, redacted details etc] to write copy for a couple of famous sports people.
The brief also gives an insight into the personalities for a couple of famous sports people.
One is thoughtful; the other apparently not so.
As for me?
I can bash out twitter copy until the bandwidth is exhausted; Facebook leaves me in something of a fix. Instagram is just URGH.
Um, Job's a good 'un...
Friday night was spent watching a ROCK 'N' ROLL planning video.
I necked some Night Nurse before bedtime.
See you on the other side, Comrades.
Another early morning start of clearing the writing decks.
Having a second bout of Man Flu for the year has also helped.
Bye bye morning swim, hello keyboard bashing.
I really can't write anything of any coherence after midday.
Some might say even before midday.
Which kinda makes the day job a little tricky.
A decade ago and I would think nothing of staying up until 3am reading and writing.
I'm lucky if my eyes are still open at 10pm these days to be honest.
A run of work shifts, and then a late luncheon brought Cover to Cover with @RobertElms.
Up for consideration was Back to my Roots - Lamont Dozier Vs Richie Havens.
Wot No Odyssey?
Mr Dozier was deemed the winner.
I had just enough light left in the day to escape for a short burst of anarchic gardening.
The first daff has actually bloomed whilst I've been away in South London. Not much, but it's a start.
Early evening and a very nice man drove all the way from the Kent coast to collect my road bike.
He also paid me rather handsomely for it
I've been riding the roadie for a decade now. I didn't buy it to become semi-serious racing bike. But somehow it just fell into this category.
I'm now ready for an upgrade.
I smell carbon.
No idea what I'm after though.
And then DARTS to end the day.
An early start spent publishing various school bits and bobs.
I live in fear of announcing a new vacancy at School X, that is in fact at School Y, only to find that School Z clocks my mistake and said thanks but no thanks.
That's why I don't touch school content late in the evening.
I had it all finished ahead of some 10am work training elsewhere.
I can't really write much about it, but it's an 'exciting new project' that really is... an exciting new project.
It marks a change in the way that I've worked before. It's bloody confusing, but thankfully there a 10TB Google drive (sorta) stuffed full of documentation.
Luncheon was taken with PMQs.
It was pathetic.
The new Weller single caught my attention mid-afternoon. It was sufficient for two plays, and then, Mmmm...
I love it that yer man won't stand still. I just wish that he had stopped moving sometime around 1986 though.
The mad cat was a bloody pain all day.
An absolute darling etc, but no concept of having to sit in front of a screen and earn money, rather than roll around and play all day.
I do struggle when I'm on my own to be honest.
Plus finally managing to publish METROKNOBBERS with @Darryl1974 from Sunday.
And then the second half of the Chelsea Vs Everton game.
A surprise cycle into SE17 this morning.
Truth be told and I was killing time.
But time never stands still in SE17.
Tuesday was all about Settee Delivery Day in Sunny Stockwell. Plus some stop / start work shifts after luncheon.
And so three hours to kill ahead of the midday slot for Mr Settee.
I put it to good use at school.
The plan was simply to update the School Cllr snaps.
This somehow stretched to school uniform pics, the posting up of some job ads and then recording Year 5 with their music improvisation.
As ever, job's a good 'un.
I was back in SW8 just in time for the settee.
Except we asked for legs and not castors.
The rest of the afternoon was spent on the stop / start work shifts, and publishing content from SE21 that was sourced yesterday.
It felt weird working back in the flat. I think that I last did this sometime around 2005. I was surprised how quiet South Lambeth Road actually is during the daytime.
And then early evening and it was time to head back over there.
Monday morning lido blues.
The alarm went at 6am, I limped out of bed and thought BUGGER IT.
Actually a heavy cold. The last time I persisted with winter swimming whilst nursing a cold led to something a little more worrying in the male department.
It was all such a shame seeing as though I had to cycle past the lovely lido en route to SE21 around 8:30.
I waved a ceremonial HELLOOOOO to the Icicles.
The rest of the school day was a blur.
Fourteen classes to get through, all ticked off.
Too many highlights. I did enjoy belting out some Oliver! in music, and then straight into the Food Tech space to bake some pizza.
You want more?
Oh, go on then.
The Teaching Twins had me confused. VERY confused.
Over two years of working with them, and today was only the first time that I clicked.
VERY, VERY funny though.
The short cycle back past Brockwell Park, through Brixton and on to Sunny Stockwell was GLORIOUS.
It was still light at 5pm and Stockwell Skatepark was rammed.
Most of the evening was lost in publishing school content.
I found time for another annoying phone call with first utility. This happens every month when I receive my bill. The sooner I ditch, the better.
My road bike went for a BONKERS price on eBay.
But yeah. Cheers, fella.
I found Far East and Far Out for the first time in almost 30 years.
WORD PERFECT, every song.
A restless night of lido woe.
Why does it have to be this way?
It doesn't. I can quit now and put the lengths in at Brixton Rec.
But where's the challenge in that?
So yeah - tossing and turning, and waking up literally in a cold sweat in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Oh the irony of a cold water swimmer, etc.
But I WILL SWIMM at the lovely lido today, chuffing three degrees or not.
And I did.
I didn't really enjoy it to be honest. Six lengths was all that I could manage.
The water of Lake Brockwell managed to penetrate through my two swimming caps. My head was fucked.
What a fuck.
As ever, I emerged from the beautiful Brockwell blue feeling absolutely ALIVE.
This is what it means to live in South London.
And then I could arse about and laugh at everyone else taking part in the ACE Brockwell Lido Winter Gala.
I spent most of the morning poolside, snapping away at the many races.
It got off to a good start when an old fella from Tooting did a length of Lake Brockwell with a Dalek balanced on his head.
The rest of the morning was part chaotic, part slick.
I was impressed with the speed in which the organisers managed to turn around every race. Waiting around for your roll call in bloody freezing conditions is no fun.
Team Tooting predictably won. I had a lovely catch up with @cabbiescapital. Top man.
And then with the South London sun calling, I couldn't resist a Brixton photoshoot. Low shadows, blue skies - the set up was perfect.
I had nowhere in particular to snap. We're still trying to add as many stock pics as possible to Brixton Buzz.
I wandered around Pope's Road, up Brixton Hill and then back down the other side.
This was where we first lived in London twenty years ago. I've always had a fondness for Brixton Hill.
I ended up back at the Rec, and ready for some basketball.
The Topcats trailed against Ipswich in the first, stretched ahead in the second and third quarters, and then let it slip again in the fourth.
A spot of gardening back in Sunny Stockwell, and then a window clean as the South London sun started to set.
METROKNOBBERS with @Darryl1974 was next up early evening. We're getting increasingly random with our approach and preparation.
We did bugger all ahead of this recording.
It worked rather well.
And then yet more school work to finish off Sunday.
Lovely lido tomorrow morning
A morning spent editing fiddly school pdf's whilst Mr Shutter Man drilled away at my windows. This wasn't the best cure for the hangover.
But hey - job done, on both fronts.
The shutters look prettier than the pdf's.
I cycled off to Brixton just after luncheon. I had a date with the dapper Brixton Market man.
He wasn't aware of this, but my wallet was.
I have long since admired his impressive schmutter from afar. I'm still after a three piece whistle, preferably in tweed.
Yeah. I know.
It wasn't to be on Saturday morning. I did come away with another silk cravat and a wool tie.
Suits you, etc.
By this time I still couldn't shake off the bloody hangover.
The lido had closed for the day and so To Brixton Rec! ...came the chant.
Ahh - the Rec. My spiritual home of swimming.
The pool was actually empty just after luncheon. 30 lengths was the target. I hit 40 and felt incredibly happy.
And then it was over to SE22 to meet up with the rest of the Swaggering Dandies.
Not the best of home games.
My Transpontine calendar has been out of sync with the Hamlet home matches this season. The few times that I have been able to attend have ended in disaster for the Dulwich.
Losing 3-0 at home to the Canvey slags wasn't part of the script.
Still - LOVELY company.
Saturday evening was spent still trying to shake off the cloudy head from the night before, a bit of Brixton Buzz catching up and publishing some school content.
Plus contemplating the unease of the lido for Sunday.
I am running out of reasonable excuses. The pool temperature looks like dipping below 3 degrees for tomorrow morning.
A bitterly cold King of Clap'ham Common run to start off Friday. I felt strong first thing. No aches or pains after the Insanity workout on Thursday afternoon.
I plodded down South Lambeth Road, reached Stockwell tube and then pondered: Ouch. This hurts.
43 minutes later and I was back in Sunny Stockwell, with Clap'ham Common conquered.
I've been conquering it for the best part of two decades, yet never truly surrendering to the beauty.
A school day in SW9 lay ahead.
It was Wear Red for School Day, in support of a heart foundation charity.
I kinda messed up. My only hint of red clothing wasn't visible.
Friday afternoon was spent making cupcakes with Year 9, in-between hit and run errands taking PE photos. I hadn't the heart to tell the lovely Year 9's that they were baking the foot soldiers of gentrification.
I headed off to Pop / Grow Brixton late in the afternoon.
I was called in by the Pop team for an informal catch up after we have taken an interest in the changing project at Brixton Buzz.
I was made to feel most welcome and got a better insight into the project.
There's still a bloody HUGE story to be told here. Just not sure what is the best way of telling it...
An unexpected visit from Wifey to Sunny Stockwell came early evening. It's rare to see Anna and I together in SW8.
Bloody Essex cat.
And then late evening I headed out towards Brixton again for NOT How Does It Feel with @Darryl1974.
This was our monthly night out together back in the day. With the Canterbury not looking like lasting until the summer, I fear that those foot soldiers of gentrification have bloody won.
ACE night out though.
Dancing, booze, conversation.
A working day spent Somewhere in SE17.
It was ACE.
That's probably all I need to write.
Lovely kids, lovely staff, general inspiring stuff.
Same as it ever was, Comrades. Now ELEVEN years and counting.
Some of the Y6 students weren't even born when I first started working in SE17.
I had a moment with an old friend out in the Nursery later in the day. The original wall is still standing, a reminder of what has taken place on the land over the decades.
I'm no great believer in psychogeographic twaddle, but the memories are there in this land and on that wall.
Well, for me anyway.
All happy ones, more or less.
I finished the working day with some Insanity.
Nothing to do with crappy You Don't have to be Mad to Work Here signs (ha, bloody ha) but a full on physical work out.
Well I never.
The younger members of staff have been grunting and groaning a lot of late in the school studio after closing time.
The Insanity DVD is the current craze.
I can do that, I thought.
It wasn't that bad. I was giving away 20 years or so on the Bright Young Things. I kept the pace and even started to enjoy the session.
I got to wear my Forest top at school - always a bonus.
Back at base and I felt pretty similar to how I use to feel back in the day after Joel's circuit training at Brixton Rec.
A long hot soak soon fixed me.
A routine day that is probably best served by a blank blog post.
But I'm being selfish in that I personally like having an online day-to-day archive of what I have achieved.
Or rather haven't achieved.
Work commitments meant that I had to pass up the chance to write a BIGGIE of a BBuzz story.
I say BIGGIE - it more or less bloody blew the site over.
It's not all about the traffic, but the eviction of the local traders along Brixton Station Road and Atlantic Road has been incredibly popular.
Mike did a fantastic job, as ever. C4 News and the Standard picked up on the story. The former linked out, the latter never does.
The story itself is significant. This is perhaps one of the last few stretches of old Brixton that is hanging on against the gentrifiers. To lose these local traders would pretty signal the END OF story for Brixton and the fun that we've had over the past couple of decades.
But yeah - I had bloody work commitments.
And so did Anna.
Another day of her recovering from her snowboarding accident, another day of the His 'n' Hers team both sharing the sustainable work hub that we call home.
I retired to the office to try and avoid her 'forthright management style' when on the phone to colleagues that report to her.
Admin dominated Wednesday evening. Financial crap, endless tech back ups and then some planning for a project at Colchester Arts Centre that I'm involved in next weekend.
Escape to Transpontonia for a week tomorrow morning