Up early to see Anna off to Sunny Stockwell, and then to publish some school content that has been hanging over from last week.
I find them funny. No one else will.
It was a bit of a windy one riding off to the pool.
I came to a natural halt cycling DOWN Boundary Road.
The wind was so intense that I belted out some Elvis Costello at full voice as I tried to get moving once again.
No one around me heard a word.
The swim was crap.
Work back at base was functional.
I settled down early evening for the Three Days of Da Panne.
God bless British Eurosport 2.
The Spring Classics are simply ACE. My fave cycling time of the year.
The mad cat was wormed as she ate her evening meal.
Harsh, but it had to be done.
I had a bit more school work, a bit more BBuzz action later in the evening with half an eye on the England match.
I recognised three of the England players.
Wot No Harry Hodge?
Another week, another delivery from Mr Framer for the Sunny Stockwell flat.
I LOVE what my man has done with The Oval poster. This was precisely what I had in mind when I lifted it from the Long Room toilets, slightly tired and emotional some eight months ago.
The North / South divide map has worked out OK as well.
The idea is that it highlights the green sports in London.
I can actually see my house
And then a swim.
It was more a case of stretching out the 9 miles that were still stuck in the legs after the Transpontine Trek on Sunday.
I had a 'date' [ha!] with a local political insider mid-morning.
We covered the agreed subject matter, and so, so much more.
Well I never.
Luncheon involved the homemade goat's cheese.
It tasted like shit.
The afternoon and evening was a mix of work shifts and publishing school content from both SE17 and SW9.
Dr Robert played out live with @RobertElms.
Always loved the man and his music.
STILL digging his scene.
The good Dr had a fine line:
"I only joined Red Wedge because I thought it was about haircuts."
I think we've all been there, Comrade.
In Cat Worming News: I failed yet again.
"Get that damned little swine out of here. It's trying to get itself in with you"
Monday evening was spent catching up with the spring Classics: Gent-Wevelgem, and um, The Battle for No 10.
The return of the Transpontine Trek to start off Sunday morning.
I always call it my South London half marathon.
But sadly it's not - 9 miles, although it feels like 13.
It's a wonderful route that takes in the leafier suburbs of Clap'ham, the beauty of Brockwell Park, and then back towards Brixton.
The lap around Larkhall Park in Sunny Stockwell towards the close is almost a lap of honour.
I use to consider once around Larkhall an achievement.
Sunday morning was characterised by a burst of rain around Brixton, a friendly chase side by side with a Stockwell street drinker, and the sighting of the wonderful Clap'ham Tranny.
He / She was wearing a bikini.
Suits you, um Sir / Madam.
A quick scrub up back in Sunny Stockwell, a bit of Dulwich bloggage and then it was:
To Brixton Rec!
It was the final home court game of the season for the Brixton Topcats Ladies team.
Each time that I head to the Rec now I try and find a new route. I LOVE Stockwell Road, but I've got a 1TB external hard drive stuffed full of photographs of it over the past two decades.
I cut through a couple of estates, each time finding something new to capture.
the game itself was pretty brutal. They are a tough lot those bball lady players.
The final result was never in any doubt with the Topcats always having slightly more skill than the visitors from Leicester.
I shall miss the bball game over the summer break.
And then it was back Sunny Stockwell under bruising skies, packing the bag and then back to over there.
The journey was livened up with Mike Westbrook's Abbey Road JAZZ interpretation.
I haven't heard that in a couple of year.
I tried to sing some to the mad cat when I arrived back over there.
She ran underneath the bed.
A Guinness hangover heavy Brockwell Park Run to start the weekend.
Four pints of the black stuff Vs a bowl of pasta is an easy decision to make.
I chose BOOZE.
I was 22 seconds off a PB on Saturday morning.
I think that the don't give a shit attitude got me around the contours of Brockwell with a half decent time.
I knew that I wouldn't achieve a PB, and so sod it.
Yeah, I came close to chucking up a couple of of occasions, but I still managed a fist pump with my sprint finish.
And then it was:
To the lido!
Sally strolled up to South London as part of her fifty miles in fifty days BONKERS swimming challenge.
I managed to snap her as she was eating up the waters of Lake Brockwell.
I didn't quite manage a mile.
Twelve lengths of Lake Brockwell made me feel happy.
Anyone up for a Dulwich Hamlet Oyster card away day?
To Wingate and Finchley it was then.
I got lost. Horribly lost in North London suburban hell.
The 1pm kick off didn't help (although Mike Urban managed it 'fresh' from clubbing it back in Brixton the night before.)
I finally strolled up at the N12 ground at around 1:15pm, just in time to see Dulwich go 1-0 down.
1-0 then became 3-0.
Remind me what I am doing in North London on a Saturday afternoon?
Come full time and @clogsilk, @darryl1974 and I buggered off to the nearest Weatherspoon's boozer.
We didn't shift for almost six hours.
SEE YA, Saturday.
Up early for a bit of Brixton Buzz action. It's quite something when the Save Cressingham campaign confronts Ed Miliband.
And then it was:
I was greeted shortly before 8am by @oneeyedgrey and his amazing bowler hat.
The Swaggering Dandy tells me that it is all part of National Wear a Hat Day. I suspect that he was just showboating.
And why not?
He absolutely ACED it.
I tried it on in the gents. My head is just too round for a bowler.
@Mutley69 made some nice pleasantries. He was half-naked at the time.
And then the swim.
As ever: so this is what it feels like to be ALIVE in South London.
The first length was rubbish. I made the error of wearing my aquatic socks.
As soon as I dived in they became bloated with the cool waters of Lake Brockwell. I ditched them in the shallow end.
Ten lengths later and I was buzzing for the day.
IN YER FACE, Friday.
A rather awkward conversation followed in the gents with the Chief Exec of Lambeth Living.
We were both half-naked at the time, etc. We both ended up smiling.
The atmosphere soon changed as the school day started in SW9. I don't want to go into the details, but there was an incredibly poignant assembly that simply had to take place.
It was carried out by all to perfection.
The rest of the day was charming. It's impressive how these kids manage to pick themselves up.
My highlight was Boy Y with his best ever quote during a drama session:
"Is Tom Cruise a Jackie Chan rip off?"
It was also Wear Your Own Clothes Day, being the final day of teaching ahead of the Easter break.
Purely by mistake I appeared to come dressed as a school pupil with my V-neck and shirt.
Friday evening was spent on an SE17 school night out over in Camberwell.
Which was interesting.
A glorious ride in on the Route of the Kings.
LOVE the No. 35 bus.
The journey this morning was made all the more worthwhile with the spotting of bona fide donkey jacket.
It was proper Dexy's Geno style, and worn by a youngish fella as well.
I would love to have the fashion sense to still be able to carry the Young Soul Rebel look.
I was wearing a Paisley cravat I might add - and heading for a primary school as well.
I somehow managed to survive the Cravat Day in SE17. My colleagues are either extremely polite, or they are probably too busy to even notice.
Probably too busy to even notice...
A bit of an over here, over there day in SE17.
It wasn't helped by some tech woes. I had a very kind invite invite to go and capture a lovely Year 1 / Year 5 literacy buddy session.
Except I foolishly forgot to charge my main camera overnight. Plus my bloody iPhone was almost full when I tried to record some video.
Your Photo Stream is stored internally?
Didn't know that.
I did the rather energetic Insanity workout after school once again. I've no idea what I'm doing.
ACED it though.
My two fitness companions were probably still younger than me with their ages combined.
Still got it, Comrades.
I walked it back to SW8 once again, just as the Transpontine skies were starting to darken. Kennington looked pretty dramatic.
I've not been in the flat for over a week now. Anna has done some pretty fine work on the DIY front.
My contribution was to put on a colour load of washing.
A bit of Brixton Buzz FoI business took up the early evening. We've hit a brick wall.
There is a definite art to knowing precisely how to pitch your FoI. I'm still learning...
Know your place.
We did hit a late spike with something of a decent story.
SO much more to tell here...
LIDO bound tomorrow morning
The highlight of the morning swimming trip was passing a pheasant on the trail.
It was beautiful - cocksure, pruning and looking slightly out of place.
A bit like me in the pool.
The morning shift soundtrack was the ever unpredictable Late Junction.
First Track: God's Comic from Costello's Spike.
Back in the day and the Fair City crowd that I use to run with worshipped this album.
25 springs ago and Spike and Shakespeare Alabama were both the soundtrack for what seemed like the weekly Wembley trips with Forest.
It's a powerful record that holds so many memories of the time.
It was slightly... odd, hearing it once again on Tuesday morning.
No Wembley trip, either.
@RobertElms was just BRILLIANT.
I love Wednesdays and Notes & Queries.
Anyone know anything about the Hampstead Heath donkey rides?
You'd be surprised.
What followed was some fantastic social history calls. The Donkeys of Hampstead Heath was soon explained.
And what about the Elephant & Castle Donkey Market?
It's all about the social stories, Comrades.
TfL confirmed mid-afternoon that the Stockwell gyratory proposals will take place.
They are far from ideal, but the War Memorial Gardens remain hellish for cyclists.
This has been the case for the past 20 years since I've been cycling through.
It's not as simple as transport infrastructure changes leading to gentrification, but yeah - Stockwell IS changing.
Anna and I were both gobsmacked after only four years away.
I ran into a red tape localgov brick wall late in the day.
I tried to bypass the usual localgov procedural crap by approaching a friendly local Cllr over a certain 'access issue' that is coming up.
I was helpfully told that the Chief Exec is very sympathetic to my request - ask the Top Man.
So I did.
He was out of office.
But the red tape localgov brick wall rebounded, with the mail finding its way to the Head of Democratic Services - the exact route that I wanted to avoid.
Wednesday evening was spent with work admin, and backing up the back ups of the back ups across all my sites.
Phew. Rock 'n' Roll.
A swim, a haircut and a run of work shifts.
IN YER FACE, Tuesday.
The swim was extended by 10 lengths. 30 was always the aim. It felt rude to stop.
I said the same thing to my barber as the clippers tried to make sense of my WEIRD hair.
Something has gone VERY wrong over recent weeks.
If in doubt, ditch it.
Work then somehow carried me though the rest of the day.
Gilles Peterson was the musical food for thought.
I couldn't resist a run through of the Dexy's album early evening.
A bit of Brixton Buzz planning, and then some mad cat time.
Here she comes in now.
Another day lost to work.
Or maybe that should be the other way around?
It felt like lost. But at least it was all carried out on the Desk from the Raj / Colchester.
The To Do list didn't even have a slight dent made into it.
Some days are better than others.
Plus my hair has gone shit.
Ha, bloody ha.
I've no idea what it is, but something isn't right.
How hard can it be for a No. 2 all over to fuck up?
The past couple of months has seen it collapse. I think I need to downgrade to a No. 1.
I played around a little later in the evening with @DaveWiner's latest blogging tool.
The speed in which he is shipping these snacks and micro snacks is incredible. All of them are relevant as well.
My issue is that I'm already locked down with other CMS silos - the very point that Dave is trying to prove with his wonderful open source ideas.
One of the golden rules of blogging is not to start a blog simply because you like the platform.
...said the man who decided over a year ago to use Dave's fargo.io for this very same hit and miss blog.
Prefab Sprout were LOVELY today btw.
Optimistic of a better work / life balance for tomorrow.
The start of the Spring Classic season.
And so on the morning that the Milan San Marino rolled out, Anna and I cycled off on the traditional Wifey Weekend ride.
It was rubbish.
That's not quite true. We both have many, many more miles to build up before we are back anywhere near a half decent riding pace.
It was noticeable that the number of riders is starting to build up. The summer road bikes have come out once again and the lanes are starting to fill up.
This was the first time that I have done the Weekender route on the new roadie.
As ever, I was paranoid about punctures. The gravel heavy surfaces didn't help.
We stopped off at the pool for a tame swim and a clean up come the close. Thirty lengths, and then some time spent in the spa.
And then it was back to base to watch... the Milan San Marino.
I LOVE the Spring Classics - possibly more so than the Grand Tours. It is the anticipation of what lies ahead after a winter of pro-cycling inactivity.
Milan San Marino didn't disappoint. The bunch speed was BONKERS.
How the hell did they all managed to remain upright?
I published the pics from the Brightlingsea BOOZE walk from Saturday, and then we both had a glorious later afternoon gardening session in the estuary sunlight.
It's getting there...
The depressing, dampness of the estuary winter months are drying out. 'Things' are growing. I've no idea what but the garden does have the first hints of colour.
And then it was METROKNOBBERS with Darryl.
We spoke about the Whig Party.
Sunday evening was spent publishing a little more school content ahead of the new working week, as well as some phone envy with Anna's new iPhone 6.
Not great cycling conditions for the Wifey Weekend Roll Out on Saturday morning.
Let's go for a run instead.
It was ACE.
The light drizzle and light breeze was ideal for pounding the mean streets of C07.
I even managed something of a middle-aged sprint finish back to base.
Take that, creaking calf muscles.
A cravat somehow then found its way around my neck.
Out went the shout of:
"To the Farmer's Market! Looking like a rural Dandy!"
We're not from London.
£10 all in bought us five generously proportioned servings of SAUSAGE MEAT, some bacon, a bag of carrots, a bundle of leaks, some carrots and an onion bag.
You could even write a blog about that.
We then wandered down to the Quay to see our framing man. The poor fella is slowly working his way through our Sunny Stockwell requirements.
Saturday was all about Le Tour - two TfL posters picked up and all ready to be packaged back to SW8.
Good luck with that one, Anna.
Brightlingsea BOOZE followed.
A brisk walk with Anna out along the estuary wilds.
I think that we've done this before.
As ever, the chase was always better than the kill.
But The Railway remains my FAVE boozer in the world right now.
We worked out way through the menu - mild, to light to fuck knows what.
Class War was breaking out in the main saloon.
Football Vs rugby, anarchy Vs UKIP.
An inclusive pub.
A brief bus ride back from Brightlingsea, and then we settled down for The Man on the Moon DVD.
It's probably been a couple of years since we last watched the film. It remains one of my all time favourites.
Tony Clifton is a STAR.
I was awoken by the mad cat at 5am this morning.
Me, not her.
I didn't anticipate spending the very early part of my birthday morning editing and publishing school pdf's, but hey hoe.
Job's a good 'un.
I had heavy legs for the short ride to the pool. I've no idea what happened there.
I managed to beat the Butterfly Boy who was poncing about in the pool.
He may have had the style, but I had the splash.
All in yer face.
Take that, Butterfly Boy.
And then it was an odd stop / start working day for the rest of the birthday celebrations.
I managed a mid-afternoon escape for a BIG BOY Birthday Ride.
I was wrapped up in full lycra from top to toe. I probably could have got away with a pair of shorts
I was slightly paranoid about punctures. Two rides, two POPS for the new road bike isn't a good ratio.
It was third time lucky as I did the Tendring loop in a half-decent time. I picked up the pace for the final third, finding a decent rhythm to tap out for the home stretch.
Funky Friday with @RobertElms was ACE. There was an old school rocksteady feel to it. I felt like I was back in my youth club days once again.
More work, and then a returning Anna returned with BOOZE.
Somehow we spent my birthday evening watching D***y Vs Wolves.
How the hell did that happen?
Oh yeah - the eclipse was crap.
Spring is in the air.
And so is that bloody awful smog.
The cycle to the pool was a mixture of suffocating on the smog, and then breathing in the smell of freshly cut grass.
I was soon covered from top to toe in the overbearing stench of chlorine.
The swims have been rather successful of late.
Another 40 lengths ticked off for today, each one completed at an increasing pace.
I'm tempted to do something with all of this swimming activity.
We're not talking about crossing the Channel. But I do need a swimming challenge in which to work towards.
I may even swim back in Brixton Rec once again...
It was another day of being called 'buddy' by everyone.
At the pool, through work calls - even Mr BT on the phone referred to me as BUDDY.
I have never met Mr BT.
Where did all of this come from, Buddy?
It was a most odd day music wise.
The working soundtrack went from Prince's Dirty Mind to Prefab Sprout's Jordan: The Comeback.
Somewhere in-between was Richard and Linda Thompson, as well as some Elvis Costello.
It was a WEIRD day on the Brixton Buzz front as well.
I did a complete re-write of an @SE1 story - having asked the good @SE1 first if he is fine with this.
He's a fine egg.
I added a little extra Lambeth context to the story, not really expecting much, but at least covering the FoI story.
And then WOH.
Engagement twaddle - but yeah, we got it
We also had some tweets directed at us from the Leader of the Council. We're surprised she has the time to be honest with so many developers to hold elitist breakfasts with.
As ever, time is always the issue with BBuzz. Finding the stories is the easy part.
And then DARTS to finish off Thursday.
Um. BIG (ish) birthday tomorrow
An impressive spring high tide for the short ride to the pool this morning.
Sadly the water in the pool was not so impressive.
I was caught up yet again in the whirlpool created by the aquatic roly poly ladies.
They shift some water mass, those girls.
Time was tight, and so only 30 lengths.
It still felt ACE.
Swim to live, live to swim.
Work shifts filled up the morning. These were cheered up [?] with PMQ's.
I seemed to be on something of political death wish by listening to the bloody budget as well.
Work, work, and work carried me through all afternoon.
I played around a little with the Alpha invite for Adio early evening.
Marc has built a brilliant tool that has so much potential. I'm still trying to think of the best way that I can use the tech for both work and play.
As ever, online storytelling is key here.
The rest of the evening was swallowed up with the CBC Cabinet meeting for @ColchChronic.
It was a packed Grand Jury Room with the street traders angry about the changes to their pitch.
It was like a plot out of a dodgy version of Eastenders.
But Localism is alive.
Have Your Say is just that. TEN street traders addressed Cabinet.
The policy remains the same however.
I managed to blag a lift back to base with a man I know only as the Colchester Peasant.
Funny old town.
Up early to see off Anna, and then WORK.
That was Tuesday.
No time for a swim. But at least @RobertElms had three hours of swimming chat.
I'm not sure which was more of a distraction - all the swimming talk or the mad cat.
She's bloody hard going when you are trying to work.
That was Tuesday.
An uneventful morning swim.
The highlight was another West Ham Wanker conversation in the changing rooms.
He's a lovely fella.
I confess to actually swotting up on my Hammers knowledge. I really haven't the heart to tell the West Ham Wanker that I'm not a fan.
I passed a cargo bike on the ride back to base.
A beautiful bicycle, but it looked like bloody hard work going uphill.
I didn't quite get it - the cargo carrying space was... empty.
It was another His 'n' Hers home office working day.
I battled it out with Anna all day for the control of the heating.
If it 'aint dark, then it's not going on, luv.
A routine run of work shifts for Monday.
Some days are better than others.
A familiar start to Sunday: waking up to watch MOTD from the exact same position where I fell asleep watching it the night before.
My body clock is brilliant.
I can remember dozing off with the iPad in bed halfway through the second half of Sunderland Vs Villa.
I woke up with perfect timing to have a cup of tea, and then turn on the TV to pick up where I left off.
Football. Bloody hell, etc.
It inspired me for a mid-distance run.
I've not really pounded the mean streets much since the 'unfortunate male medical condition' that laid me up for all of the Christmas and New Year period.
But I fancied 10km or so on Sunday morning.
I headed out along the estuary and out towards Alresford, and then back along the top half of the valley.
I didn't pass a single person until the final 15 minutes or so.
The plan was then to stay in and catch up with various work hangovers and admin.
But Anna fancied a swim.
We cycled off along the Trail together on the MTB's.
She burned me up heading up Whitehall Road hill.
I'm blaming the MTB.
The swim was funny. They always seem to be with Anna.
We have developed by chance a random underwater aquatic game: who can avoid cracking up first.
We swim parallel, GURNING at each other with each underwater stroke.
Silly for sure, but it livens up the process of putting in the lengths.
Anna cracked after ten lengths.
We arsed about a bit in the sauna, and then went off walking in the direction of Rowhedge.
It's been over a year since we strolled out on this side of the muddy banks of the Colne.
A new path is in place. And rather nice it is too.
Except when you reach the final 500m or so and it's back to the mud. It's as though the funding fell short, and so did the path.
We stopped off for a couple of drinks in The Anchor. I have definitely turned from the dark side with my love of all things pale ale.
The walk back to the bikes at the gym was brisk. Two pints tends to do that to you.
We sobered up with a bike ride back along the Trail, just in time to catch the second half of the Man Utd Vs Spuz match.
Still haven't forgiven them for the '91 Cup Final.
Bits of the work hangover were cleared up early evening. We then watched the final stage of Paris-Nice.
The Wifey Weekend Roll Out was over before it even had the chance to get started.
It wasn't quite this drastic. We dragged ourselves out of bed incredibly early, donned the lycra and then went to get the roadies.
My rear tyre was as flat as my morning hair.
Anna pressed on with a solo ride. I think that she was just pleased to have some space.
I returned to the now familiar routine of catching the train into Colchester to get a new inner tube fixed.
I think that it is more than a puncture. My man at Colchester Cycles ripped out the rim tape and fitted a new lining.
The tape was loose. The theory is that it allowed a spoke to push through.
I stopped off at Velo whilst the wheel was being seen to.
I haven't caught up with Richard for a while.
We had a charming coffee conversation covering bikes, promoting bikes and beer & bikes all on the agenda.
I managed a little more shopping around town. I seriously considered buying a top hat that I found in my FAVE Sunny Colch charity shop.
It fitted me perfectly and it looked the part.
Exactly what part, I'm not so sure.
I may come back to this fixation in another five years time.
I sprinted back to base on the roadie, keen to push the bike to the max and test out the the rear wheel.
All seemed fine.
Anna and I wandered down to the Quay mid-morning. We had a date with our picture framing man.
We offloaded eight pictures for the Stockwell flat just before Christmas. The poor chap is just about there with our framing requirements.
I was particularly pleased with the print of Stockwell Bus Garage. It will look grand next to the window that overlooks... Stockwell Bus Garage.
We both hit the bikes once again around luncheon for a late swim.
It was a parallel effort, swimming side by for 40 lengths. I'm not sure who was pushing who.
Anna showboated with her tumble turns. Slow and steady wins the race for me.
We stopped off at the University during the ride back. I've not been back on campus in around four years.
The Something Fierce exhibition was on our radar. This reflects on 50 years of radicalism at the University of Essex. It was ACE.
We couldn't resist a cheeky pint and a late luncheon in the SU bar.
I think that we just about got away with it.
And then back to base for a bit of a garden tidy up, and then the Man City match early evening.
And a delightful paneer curry.
I edited and published the school content from SW9 from Friday, bashed out a bit of Chronic bloggage, and then the rest of Saturday was spent in the company of sloe gin.
Red Nose Day at the Lovely Lido.
"I don't like to talk about my charity commitments" ...as I told @oneeyegrey at poolside shortly before 8am.
Truth be told and I think that we were both being tight arses.
Plus I didn't fancy a swim wearing a red nose.
The lido is all about routine. I like to arrive at the same time, put in roughly the same number of lengths, and then collect my thoughts for the day ahead as I get changed in solace.
It usually ends up with rutting stags in the gents flicking towels at each other.
And so ten lengths in a tepid 10 degrees pool.
It was lovely.
I ditched the rubber gloves and socks. Soon I will be down to one swimming hat and not the slightly over-cautious current pairing.
I had a short ride back through Brixton, and then on for towards Sunny Stockwell and a working day in SW9.
Many highlights. It all kinda passed me by.
From memory there was a Red Nose assembly, a deep Y11 discussion all about the death penalty, some Y8 literacy, a bit of baseball back in Y11, literacy once again with Y7 and then baking a chocolate cake with Y9.
As ever, I came out smiling.
Boy Y was brilliant. We spoke about a new class reading book. He explained about the setting, the plot, the style of writing.
I asked him who his favourite character is.
We weren't reading Spiderman.
The commute back to over there went a little wrong.
Somehow I managed to board a Braintree train.
A bit of smart thinking and I was soon back on course.
Friday evening was filled with cricket catch ups with Anna, and weirdly watching bloody Labour Door Step videos.
We're hopeful of a big ride out tomorrow morning.
A morning ride in on the No. 35 Route of Kings.
I LOVE that bus. From Ldn Bridge down to the Walworth Road. It's all there.
And then it was all about SCIENCE WEEK in SE17
I confess to being slightly thrown by it all.
I'm fine with Literacy Week; I can bodge my way around Maths Week.
But Science Week?
That 'O' Level Grade D in physics never really was of any use.
Thankfully I was helped out by some Y6 pupils. We filtered down some dirty river water and made it almost drinkable.
Not so clever Jase.
Like I FOOL I stepped forward for the after school Insanity workout session with a much younger staff member.
I just about kept up with his pace.
We both wisely made a pact not to go topless midway through the workout, as the dudes in the DVD have no shame in doing.
The Brompton was back in the flat and so I took the opportunity to walk back down to Sunny Stockwell.
The blossom is out on the trees lining Kennington Park. It was still light when I reached SW8 around 5:45pm.
The cricket season starts soon...
A quick LIDL trip, and then Thursday evening was spent editing school content and a little Brixton Buzz action.
Optimistic of a lovely lido session tomorrow morning.
A top half swim to start Wednesday.
My legs were still numb after the Tuesday Time Trial on the bike.
Nothing impressive about the splashing about. Functional, much-needed.
Swim to live, live to swim.
I did a bit more garden FORKING back at base. The back garden is smelling of cat shit.
And then I settled down for the work shifts all the way through until the evening.
A possible big political story came my way. Got to sit on it for now. Politicians get very twitchy around timing in the run up to an election...
Shifting to a different patch tomorrow
A treacle swim in a treacle pool first thing.
Bring back the Lovely Lido.
I did manage to tick off 50 lengths, but it was very much going through the motions.
Most of the morning was spent sorting out the mess Anna had created over the weekend: mending the washing line, repairing garden tools, washing wet lycra.
All very rewarding.
I made a brief trip up to the vets to pick up some more worming juice for the mad cat.
She thanked me by doing one of her incresingly ridiculous rolls, right in front of her food.
The bowl of Felix went flying.
We were asked at Brixton Buzz later in the morning to take part in an 'exciting new project.'
The phrase 'pop-up' appeared in the blurb.
Ha, bloody ha.
The Enemy Within, etc. We agreed, but not before putting forward our friends from Save Cressingham, Brixton Community Utd and Ritzy Living Wage first.
Work shifts then ate up most of the afternoon and evening.
@RobertElms was after bird songs. It was good to hear him play my suggestion of the Be Good Tanyas and the Littlest Bird.
I was called a "New Labour-style policy wonk" later in the day.
Someone has fallen asleep at the back.
Which just shows how misunderstood the modern interweb can make you appear.
Don't let the Lambeth Comrades know about my sudden Third Way reversal.
I managed to escape for a brief bike ride in-between shifts.
An ACE head clearer.
I spent the rest of the evening publishing the content from SE21 collected yesterday.
A Brompton rest day.
The forecast was for a heavy downpour at around 5pm when I would be leaving Herne Hill.
It never happened.
But it was a decent commute in, all aboard the No.3 bus.
Those bloody Brixton station queues.
I still don't quite understand why folk don't find alternative transport.
I was actually incredibly early for the working day in SE21. It was good to spend some social time with the kids in the playground.
A productive day followed. I've had busier sessions in SE21, but I still came out with 2,000+ words, 80 images, seven videos and two pieces of audio.
Job's a good 'un.
I just need to find the time to edit and publish it all now.
Man Utd Vs Arsenal took up most of the evening.
Plus a most splendid bolognaise.
A morning for socialising rather than swimming.
I managed two widths of Tooting Bec Lido.
But it was worth it for the many conversations that I had with fellow competitors at the South London Swimming Club Gala.
I cycled up Brixton Hill shortly after breakfast and through Streatham.
This was MY South London back in the day.
Our original base was on the borders of Brixton and Streatham. I still have a very fond spot for this part of town.
The old house was still standing. I felt like John Major going back to his Brixton roots and pointing out parts of his history.
I hadn't really given much though to the Swimming Gala to be honest.
Be there for 9:30am and we'll take it from there, was the message.
I haven't swam / swum in Tooting in over five years now. It's just TOO big for me.
Lucky we were doing widths then this morning.
The Brockwell Swimmers team wasn't an official endorsement from the Lovely Lido, but it was a team with very strong Brockwell roots.
I was down for x4 relay race, and then a x8 relay race.
As with the Brockwell Gala earlier on this year, the races come thick and fast.
The last thing a cold water swimmer wants it to be standing around waiting to get in the water again.
The tricky part was to judge when to strip off.
My first race was No. 8. I stripped down after race No. 4, and then tried to make sure that my manhood wasn't disappearing on me.
And then HONK! And we were off.
Thirty or so seconds later and that was it.
I think I finished last.
The x8 relay got a little muddled. It's the Brockwell way.
A decent morning though, albeit with a lack of swimming.
I thought of stopping off at Lake Brockwell during the cycle back down towards Brixton. But it would have been odd to get wet and then toweled up all over again.
Some light luncheon in Sunny Stockwell, and then I walked it back to Brixton.
The Topcats on the home Brixton Rec court was my entertainment for the afternoon.
The home team struggled right from the first buzzer against a very strong Loughborough Riders.
I walked back through a couple of estates and did the photoblog thing.
And then an evening of online catching up, plus some Jackie Wilson foot shufflin' around the flat.
Back to Lake Brockwell tomorrow morning
Back in the lovely lido swing of things for Saturday morning.
It wasn't exactly bright and early, but it was certainly Brockwell Blue.
The hangover from the night before at NOT How Does It Feel wasn't as bad first feared. It was soon washed away in the waters of Lake Brockwell.
The aim was for eight lengths. In the end I managed 12.
It was ACE.
An absolutely pure blue South London sky beaming down and reflecting a Brockwell blue around the four walls.
Seven degrees is around my favourite water temperature.
There was just enough of a kick to make sure that I kept all parts of my body moving. It was far from brutal. I probably could have managed another couple of lengths.
I cycled back through Brixton and was reminded how brilliant this place is when the sun comes out. It transforms the town.
I was inspired to carry out a spot of light gardening back in Sunny Stockwell.
The SW8 lavender garden is taking form. I've no idea what else Anna has planted, but some purple things are starting to shoot up as well.
As ever, gardening is the most social of activities.
A neighbour saw me out in the front, and then came down to offer up a few bulbs.
Very kind, Sir.
I even had time to give the Cobb Deluxe a quick clean, and then out went the shout of:
I passed another rider on a Moulton space frame en route. The blossom in the trees along Camberwell New Road looked lovely.
And then the football.
Truth be told and I've not had the best of seasons with Dulwich. My rare visits this season have coincided with a pink 'n' blue defeat.
It was the same for Saturday with a 2-1 home defeat to the mysterious VCD Athletic.
The crowd was simply WOH - the sixth successive Saturday home match with over 1,000 fans down at Champion Hill.
I did a quick photo walk around the ground, and then settled down with some pals.
And they kept coming...
I LOVE the social experience that watching Dulwich has now become.
Saturday evening was spent staying indoors as the South London sun gracefully descended below the three towers of Battersea from my bedroom window.
I'm still slightly tired and emotional from the Brixton Big Night Out to Honest.