The day started writing a blog post about my old friend @JackHopkins_Lab. It ended with us having a man hug and a selfie together come close of play.
That wasn't part of the chuffing script.
And so To Transpontonia!
...early on Thursday morning.
It was much needed. My estuary wilds mind and body was restless.
First stop: SE17.
As ever, pretty much everything was covered running around the BEST school in Southwark.
Highlights for today included recording Nursery children telling me about their trip to the Horniman, Year 6 summarising the Three Little Pigs in ten seconds or under, and then a bit of funk and a Year 1 and Year 2 dance display.
I really wanted to join in to be honest.
I was once a half-decent dancer. I once had half-decent hair.
A quick LIDL dash, and then I cycled off to the entertainment for the evening, the hustings for the Prince's ward by-election that is taking place next week.
It's the by-election that no one really wanted.
The real reason for it being called still hasn't been properly explained either...
It was a decent event, very different from the estuary wilds gathering the night before.
Genuine choice is on offer here - everything from Comrade Kingsley through to the free market Tory fella.
As ever, the truth is somewhere in the middle - which will mean that Nu Labour will bag the seat once again.
It was Kate Hoey Wot Won It will be the headline.
I hope the Comrades will thank Kate for her effort.
And so yeah - then it was time for that selfie.
Nu Labour and Nu Danger both grinning together once again.
I think I need a long, long swim in the lovely lido.
Tomorrow morning can't come quick enough, Comrades.
A heavy day of writing.
Here, there, and anywhere bloody where else in-between.
I'm sad to say that I've been reduced to working in silence as well.
It's that tricky time of the year for me when the Surrey cricket season crosses over with @RobertElms.
I've tried to flit and flirt between the two, but I end up LISTENING to audio, and then working.
It should be the other way around.
And so I've taken to silence. My productivity has increased; my iTunes podcast To Listen To list has become out of control.
In Water Butt News: My butt is overflowing again.
That was quite a soaking
End of the months means invoicing and admin.
The back ups of the back ups of the back ups remains my least favourite task to complete each month.
I've never actually had the need to access any of this data in over a decade of working this way.
There are two types of people though: those that back up, and those that lose data.
Live dangerously, Jase. Live dangerously.
Scheduled work shifts took up the rest of the afternoon, as well as fretting about the mad cat.
She is due her worming session.
I wimped out.
She is also being left alone overnight tomorrow.
Fret, fret, fret.
I headed off to Sunny Colch early evening for a hustings event at the Town Hall.
It was decent - well supported and some thoughtful questions and responses.
I'm still troubled by the five white males that make up the 'choice' for the election.
Plus there's not a lot policy wise to divide them either.
I was attacked by the parachute Regiment along the trail first thing on Tuesday morning.
Literally an army of 50 or so Paras pounding the path and running in my direction.
Relax - it was only a training run. Even the pacifist within couldn't but help to be impressed with such a show of muscle.
Not so in the pool.
Tuesday was ticked off once again as a functional swim.
The indoor water certainly felt a lot thinner when compared to Lake Brockwell yesterday. I cut through fairly clearly, but just didn't have the energy for a power swim.
Work shifts and @surreycricket commentary ate up the rest of the morning and all afternoon.
I managed to escape from the desk for a trip to the dentist.
That's as good as it got I'm afraid.
I accept defeat with my £50 wager with Anna that I could keep up flossing for a six month period. It was never going to happen to be honest.
I pondered over telling Mr Dentist about my very, very mild toothache.
In the end my penny pinching ways won over. If he can't detect it, then I 'aint gonna tell him.
"You have a lovely set of teeth, Mr Cobb."
Tuesday evening was spent writing a piece as the esteemed cycling correspondent of Vice magazine.
Nope - I'm not entirely sure how that happened, either.
But job's a good 'un.
1,500 words on the Cult of the Derny Rider was the request.
1,500 words delivered.
Naked male dancing buttocks greeted me at the lovely lido early on Monday morning.
Plus some hit and miss Joni Mitchell warbling.
I get my kicks these days out of the lido changing room conversations. It's better than clubbing, plus cheaper but with similar thrills.
And I get to wear RUBBER once again.
The swim itself was spectacular.
A change in Transpontine / estuary wilds fortunes allowed me to have a leisurely morning.
It was perfect Brockwell blue from the top of the Tulse Hill end of the park all the way back down towards the Herne Hill gates.
The pool was radiant.
I had a lane to myself and made the most of it.
Ten lengths? Twelve?
I just kept on turning around and putting in the strokes. I could have carried on, but the lovely lido conversations were also on my agenda as a man of leisure.
I eventually cycled back to Sunny Stockwell for a run of work shifts back in the flat.
I had hope that I could balance these with a couple of session at The Oval watching the 'rrey.
I was wrong.
Work took over and never really let loose on the grip.
Pay to play, etc.
The working day somehow just became lost.
Soon it was time to head east and back to over there.
Good luck, etc.
A brisk garden water, and then BOOZE and the Bournemouth Vs Bolton match.
I dragged by aching limbs down to the lovely lido early-ish on Sunday morning.
I was still pretty whacked after running all around town on Saturday.
The swim sorted me out.
Ten lengths of Lake Brockwell was the aim. Twelve was a bonus.
I got papped on the way out of the water.
The bloody showers were luke warm. I reckon that the 15.1 degrees pool temperature was actually warmer.
In Lovely Lido Wisteria News: The lovely lido wisteria is in full bloom.
We're still playing catch up with the estuary wilds wisteria over there.
Actually, that's true on oh so many fronts.
A quick LIDL run and then some mid-morning Brixton Buzz action action.
I was pretty pissed off how those who really should know better attempted to demonise Reclaim Brixton from yesterday.
I bashed out a response for BBuzz and put it out there.
And then out went the shout of:
"To The Oval!"
The first Surrey home match of the season, and whaddya know: it was against bloody Essex.
It seems that the 'rrey play the good ol' Essex boys every bloody week.
What a delight this was though: Sangakkara and KP at the crease, and Monty striding up to bowl.
All of this was taking place five minutes from my front door.
After a bit of a mad week or so, I was hoping that this would be a winding down session, aka on the piss in the Pavilion.
But I was too knackered to take the drinking seriously.
Plus it was bloody cold.
I was wearing a pair of tights underneath my trousers, and fours layers on top.
I only managed three pints.
A touch of slightly drunken gardening took place back in Sunny Stockwell, a bit of housework and then preparing for the week ahead.
Which just happens to involve cricket.
Job's a good 'un.
That was a day.
Up early on Saturday morning. The folk in the flat below were still partying.
Steady the buffers, etc.
The plan was to MOST DEFINITELY NOT attempt to break my PB once again at the Brockwell Park run.
It was pissing it down and so I gave it a rain check anyway.
I plodded around on a King of Clap'ham Common route instead.
Fifteen or so years ago I use to run this route every weekend. I remember always overtaking on the circuit an old boy who was gently jogging around, completely at ease in his world as the Bright Young Things of SW4 sped past him.
I have become that plodding old fella.
I feel very comfortable in this.
The penny-pincher within decided to BOYCOTT having a shower in the flat.
I cycled off to the lovely lido instead for a brisk ten lengths and a free shower, kindly paid for by Fusion Leisure.
The water was choppy, but surprisingly warm at 15.1 degrees.
I never understand the science that leads to rain raising the water temperature.
A cycle ride back to Sunny Stockwell to hang out the wetsuit, and then back out towards the town centre for Reclaim Brixton.
Where to start?
Probably with the Brixton Buzz blog post.
The event itself was everything that I wanted it to be: diverse, inclusive and mostly free of violence.
Don't believe all of the crappy headlines that the mainstream media knobbers have been attempting to frame the story around.
This is such an in-depth issue. You can't solve gentrification in a single march, let alone a bloody blog post.
But it did feel like a tipping point after the ten year Nu Labour experiment that has been doing so much damage in Lambeth.
From a working point of view I was pretty pleased.
Mike and I divided up the time as we both has other commitments elsewhere.
My plan was to snap EVERYTHING, spunk out endless tweets, whack out some Vines and try grab some audio.
I managed all of this, as well as hitting the self-imposed deadline of having it all online by 3:30pm.
I could quite easily still be blogging now, editing pics, re-writing the re-writes and trying to create a blogging masterpiece.
But you just need to get the story out there, then move on.
On a purely personal front I was so pleased to bump into my old University pal Gary N. I knew that he was back in the area but haven't seen him about.
It was slightly rushed, as were most of the conversations.
Apologies folks - I was running around making sure that I didn't miss anything.
The 3:30pm deadline was ahead of a rendez vous with @richardgallon by the South Bank. We had long since arranged a photo shoot and a general social catch up.
The stretch from Blackfriars to London Bridge was bloody heaving. Photographing folk from the hip is no great challenge and is just plain rude.
We took the strategic decision to walk the backstreets of Bermondsey. We were rewarded with some wonderful backdrops of what is remarkably a slice of South London that refuses to gentrify.
And then just before 7:30pm, out went the shout of:
"To The Globe!"
I thought that I was seeing the Comedy of Errors. I thought this all the way through until the interval when I realised that it was old Shylock and The Merchant of Venice.
It rained ever so slightly, but not sufficient to spoil the experience of being back at the Wood O.
I'm very excited about the new season ahead.
That was a day.
Another power swim to start the day - I make this three consecutive half-decent efforts at cutting through the water.
A little lane congestion slowed me down towards the end. I can give (and dig) as hard as I can take it.
A brief return back to the estuary wilds, only to find that it was another His 'n' Hers working from home day.
Anna was on the warpath at work. I was kicked out to South London. Can't complain.
I headed off to Impact Hub Brixton. This was a long overdue meet and greet.
The ideas that I heard were interesting. I greatly enjoyed the conversation (and free food).
My suggestion of mentoring local Lambeth Y11 students to help develop a business project was well received.
I cycled back to Sunny Stockwell for a run of afternoon work shifts, just in time to hear Al Stewart with @RobertElms.
The Year of the Cat still leaves me GRINNING, every time.
Plus back over there and it has most definitely been The Year of the Mad Cat.
Ta for the cat sick first thing this morning, luv.
Funky Friday was all about the British Hustle.
Brit Funk remains the BEST.
Junior's Intuition had me tapping away at the work keyboard in time with the bassline.
The working shifts came to a close whilst listening to @SE1 using mixlr to broadcast live from the Bermondsey and Old Southwark hustings.
I could have just opened my lounge window and (almost) heard the debate.
But how brilliant that a local blogger can head out with his iPhone and deliver democracy back to others.
A quick LIDL run, and then I rolled out with Critical Mass.
It was a lively old ride, but as ever, a little too North London centric for my liking.
Big old day in Brixton tomorrow, Comrades.
A most unexpected Adam Faith / Budgie conversation early morning in the pool.
No surprises that it involved West Ham Wanker's mate.
I LOVE Budgie.
I'm learning to LOVE West Ham Wanker and West Ham Wanker's mate.
A fantastic swim followed.
In yer face, Thursday.
I fell asleep back at base for the rest of the day.
Network Rail was decent enough to respond to my FoI over the Brixton Arches evictions.
The increasingly annoying 'commercial sensitivities' was quoted as the reason for not disclosing what should be public information.
The suspicion that we have at Brixton Buzz is that Lambeth Council knew about the evictions, long before the back-tracking and half-arsed attempts at support started.
Exploring 'other options...'
And then I settled down for the working day.
It was something of a struggle to be honest.
Policy changes, internal communications and an increasingly hit and miss bloody estuary wilds WIFI connection.
It held up though for Cover to Cover with @RobertElms: Edith Piaff Vs Miss Grace Jones and La Vie en Rose.
Where to start?
With the original I guess.
I LOVE Gracie. She can do no wrong with my listening tastes.
Edith did the business though.
Scheduled work shifts came to a close. I then shifted towards some school video work.
Something has gone very, very wrong with my seamless way of working on the fly.
It can all be traced back to the latest bloody iOS upgrade.
It's taken me the best part of week to edit and upload video content from three schools. I'm thinking of going back to the clunky iPad way of working.
A brisk water of the thirsty garden, some stretching, some office admin and then I was ready to welcome Anna back from Transpontonia.
I'm heading out the other way tomorrow
DARTS, CRICKET, BOOZE completed Thursday.
A different day, a different flower on the trail en route to the morning swim.
If it's a Wednesday then it must mean that the estuary dandelions have come out to play.
Rows and rows of deep, golden yellow WEEDS lined my route. I felt like I was processioning all the way to the pool.
It will be dog shit day tomorrow.
Meanwhile, In Knackered Knee News: my knees are knackered. Again.
I've no idea what caused the pain this time. The arthritis seemed to have disappeared with the endless stretches each night.
My current hypochondria obsession isn't arthritic, just bloody sore.
The swim eased the creaking ever so slightly.
Work and cricket was the ideal combination for the remainder of the day.
@surreycricket ball-by-ball in Cardiff warmed me up, and then come stumps it was time to switch to the Test.
It was a working evening, going all the way through until the close of play in the Caribbean.
An early morning swim was rewarded with a rare appearance of the Incredible Treading Water Lady.
She doesn't swim, she treads water, natch.
But somehow still manages to move as well.
Not very fast, or even very far, mind.
Me? I managed 40 lengths, a changing room chat with Old Archie and then cycled back along an incredibly dry trail.
The estuary wilds garden has blossomed since my time in Transpontonia.
I marked the occasion with a random set of snaps. I do the same thing every spring. I could just cut and paste from last year.
Slowly, slowly, Anna and I are starting to leave our own anarchic gardening footprint on the land.
And so is the mad cat. What 'compost' do you think helps to turn those tulips such a delicious red colour?
Naughty, naughty girl.
It was a Brixton Buzz heavy morning.
We had a minor tussle with the other lot over the weekend. We're calling it our reason to Keep on Keeping On.
And then work shifts kicked in for the afternoon and the evening.
It was the first working day of the year spent outside in the estuary wilds garden.
The sun conveniently radiates down on my DIY office set up from 1pm - the exact time that the working shifts started for me today.
The @surreycricket commentary was my afternoon working companion.
I moved indoors early evening and switched to the Test match.
Hurrah for cricket.
I had further video woes later in the evening.
My seamless system of shooting, editing and uploading all via mobile has been b0Rked by upgrading to bloody iOS 8.3.
Airdrop is rubbish, btw.
It's taken me almost two days to turn around some school videos that I normally wrap up on the train.
A headstand start for the day down at the lovely lido very early on Monday morning.
I've absolutely no idea why, but the good @mutley69 was doing a headstand down at the deep end before a spot of dry diving.
A sudden rush to the head, etc.
The extra head heat wasn't needed, even though the water temperature had mischievously dipped .1 of a degrees overnight down to 14.9.
It was absolutely perfect.
Time was tight however at the start of the working week. The clock was counting down for a school assembly, and so I only had time for ten lengths.
A WEIRD sexual health conversation then followed back in the gents.
I hope that the ladies next door couldn't overhear.
And then it was time for the EPIC work commute, all the way up Croxted Road and a school day Somewhere in SE21.
The school singing assembly was as uplifting as ever.
I am starting to tire ever so slightly of Let It Go though...
Just bloody let it go etc.
I ran around from Reception through to Year 11, writing, snapping and recording video and audio.
Pretty exhausting, but pretty good fun all the same.
Boy Y was a STAR, as ever.
You could write a book / blog out of his random quotes.
And then I legged it at chucking out time, cycled over east and headed back to over there.
Don't forget to breathe, Jase..
A cold morning at the lido.
I'm not sure why. The water temperature was actually up slightly from yesterday at bang on 15 degrees. The air temperature wasn't far off.
I felt a shiver though as did the Walk of Shame past the Lido Cafe and all set for the dry dive.
I shouldn't have worried.
One length in and I was loving it.
The aim was to reach 12 lengths. I just kept on going.
Twenty lengths in total were completed on Sunday morning, the first serious swim of the new season.
A whole gang of girls got into the water just as I was finishing the final few lengths.
It was all a bit weird - around 15 in total, non seasoned winter swimmers and splashing around at 9am in the morning.
A lido hen party?
I fled for cover and the safety of the gents.
Sunday morning was then all about the gardening.
It's been 18 months now since we took back the Sunny Stockwell flat. The front garden was a bloody mess when we moved back in.
A decade of neglect had led to ivy completely taking over. The whole garden was covered in ivy. It had grown to around five inches in thickness for the trunk.
I've spent the best part of the past year hacking away and cleaning up the garden.
Underneath all of the growth were empty bottles, syringes and used condoms.
We started planting some bulbs just ahead of the autumn, and then a few other spring planters a couple of months back.
The rewards are now starting to show.
It's a continuous job to clear up the crap that some folk throw over the front wall. Plus there's plenty of weeding and general sweeping up.
But I'm very proud of our little patch of South London that I can call our own.
Next up was a window clean. I haven't a head for heights and so didn't look down and just got on with it.
I cycled to the South Bank just after luncheon. I had a very loose aim of looking around The Globe as part of the Open Day celebrations for the Bard's birthday next week.
But the queues were bloody horrendous.
I walked instead from Bankside down to Waterloo, snapping away as I went.
Sunday evening was spent with a slightly irritating video editing session across various school site.
My quick turnaround method of editing and upload all via mobile seems to have come stuck via the latest iOS upgrade.
Either that or I'm working off a painfully slow connection in the Sunny Stockwell flat. The broadband speed test doesn't seem to suggest this.
Still - I've got another school day tomorrow to test out the theory all over again.
A relatively mild hangover for Saturday morning. That's what two pints of strong Bal'ham BOOZE does for you.
I admit that dragging my arse over to Brockwell Park for the @bwparkrun wasn't high on my agenda as the alcohol fog descended over my forehead.
But I made it to the start line for 9am and pondered how I was going to get around.
...said Madam Pacemaker as she enthusiastically made her way to the front of the pack ahead of the start.
There's no escaping.
"Do you fancy going for it this morning?"
"C'mon, we can PB this one together."
I paced her through the front lido stretch. Madam Pacemaker then dragged me up Cressingham Hill.
...said the lovely @bwparkrun volunteer.
Back down towards Herne Hill, and then up BMX Hill.
Madam Pacemaker look determined. Her arms were cutting through the South London air, a sign that I now know means PB or bust.
We didn't bust, although I did chunder as I crossed the finish line.
What a bloody waste of two pints of strong Bal'ham lager.
PB SMASHED though. 22:09 - happy with that.
And then it was:
We have now entered the rubber boy season. Hordes of wetsuits turn up at the lovely lido once the water hits 15 degrees. The Triathlon lot have the resilience of a cold cup of tea.
I was elbowed out by a particularly determined Tri Boy.
But he hadn't seen my total immersion in action.
A winter of swimming outdoors at Lake Brockwell is worth more than the price of your poncey wetsuit. I sailed past him.
Take that, rubber boy.
A quick shower, a cycle back to Sunny Stockwell, and then out again up the road to the Oval Farmer's Market.
The occasion was the Vauxhall hustings.
It was ACE.
Nine candidates, including the Vauxhall WHIGS, and the Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol party.
I'd personally like to see a merger of the two.
I saw a few Comrades from Lambeth Labour. We actually has some decent and friendly conversations.
Kate was of course in control.
I live tweeted it all, plus grabbed some video and audio.
There was no time to publish it as Transpontine del Curva was up next.
An all-ticket crowd filled Champion Hill to the 3,000 maximum capacity. The 0-0 draw didn't live up to the occasion, but it was good to see Maidstone win the league at Champion Hill.
Saturday evening was spent catching up with some BBuzz hustings action, and then editing the pics from Dulwich.
Heading off for a couple of pints of Bal'ham BOOZE.
If it's a Friday morning then it must mean the LOVELY LIDO.
The water temperature has crept up to just under 15 degrees this week. This is the tipping point in the lido summer season calendar.
Fifteen degrees was always the temperature in which I returned to the waters of Lake Brockwell back in the day, before we had the pleasure of winter swimming.
It was always the most painful swim of the year.
As for 2015?
A winter of outdoor swimming where we went as low as three degrees has made 15 seem positively tropical.
I ditched one of the two swimming hats for Friday. My Speedos will be making an appearance next week.
This is the BEST time in the lido calendar. Your dangly bits no longer invert [ooh], yet the water is still fresh enough to keep you GRINNING all day.
Plus the fair weather swimmers have yet to make an appearance.
I shared a lane this morning with @mutley69 and @gipatkinson.
It is a very reassuring feeling to be swimming in a pool that you have called home for the past twenty years, surrounded by friends who hopefully all feel the same.
The Brockwell blue water was clear from the deep to the shallow end. Around me I could see @PeterIntheswim, @iciclepeter, @Kingwellfish and even @OneEyeGrey.
ALL lido lovers, ALL lovers of life.
Once again: ALIVE, South London.
I stayed around for some changing room silliness, and then cycled back through Brixton and on to Sunny Stockwell for a day spent in SW9.
This is was first time back here since the Easter school break. Staff and students seemed refreshed and ready for the summer term slog.
Boy Y took a shine to my wedding ring:
"Sir, is it that you is married?"
Before he had the chance to ask his next question, I confirmed that yep, I am, and also that the name of my WIFE is Anna.
He gave me a knowing grin.
I took one for the team during Year 8 PE. A tennis ball hit me right in the eye.
POW. RIGHT IN THE KISSER.
Never show any signs of emotion within a school.
I headed out back towards Brixton at school chucking out time with a few errands around town.
Then back to Sunny Stockwel, and out towards Bal'ham for an evening with the Korfball Set.
A day spent in SE17.
Varied, as ever.
I particularly enjoyed the Y5 General Election assembly. They had so much knowledge, perspective and maturity.
I've been trying to think back when I first became aware of politics. It certainly wasn't as a Y5 pupil.
A pretty big story broke over there midway through the assembly.
I managed to blag an interview and bash out a hit and miss blog post, all before the bell rang for the afternoon session.
The silliness of the Insanity workout was thankfully cancelled for this week. I'm still aching from the bike ride from last night.
Plus I had a few early evening chores back in the flat.
It's proving impossible to get Anna and I in the same Sunny Stockwell flat at the same time - let alone the same bed.
But we had a joint bed shifting task to carry out before she buggered off back to over there.
I pegged it over to Herne Hill early evening for the Herne Hill Forum's election hustings.
It was ACE.
Absolutely packed, and evidence that politics really matters around these parts.
The questions covered everything from Trident to the selling of local school fields.
Sadly no Free Swimming for Every Resident.
The rest of the evening was spent bashing out the BBuzz piece.
An early morning appearance for the short-sleeved lycra and fingerless gloves on the ride out to the pool.
"What a lovely day"
...commented West Ham Wanker.
"It was until I saw the bloody UKIP manifesto launch on the changing room TV," I replied.
"Oh I know," said Mr Wanker.
"If it was down to me then I would let the army take control."
Straight outta the pool, straight into the barber's chair.
I'm edging ever closer to a No. 1 all over as my mid-life hair continues to collapse around me.
A morning and afternoon of work shifts followed.
True to form, @RobertElms played Nina's Here Comes the Sun.
A single tear of happiness soon evaporated from my cheek.
Davina and the Vagabonds were the find for me last night on Later. I fired up Spotify and smiled all the way through the Sunshine album later in the working day.
The mad cat overheated mid-afternoon. It was the first time this year in which she needed fanning down.
I received a friendly bite for my troubles.
I escaped for an early evening midweek wobbler, just as the estuary wilds sun was starting to fade.
I'm starting to feel incredibly confident on the new road bike. I've got the measure of the handlebars, effortlessly switching from cruising to full on racing position.
I pushed the bike (and myself) to the absolute max. Both man and machine did half-decent.
I was all set for some good Strava data when I hit the Ardeligh / Elmstead run in.
I had about 6km of freshly laid gravel. The Essex approach to road maintenance is to literally layer some glue on the road, and then dump a truckload of gravel on top.
Cars find it freakish.
My road bike was all set for a cropper.
I slowed it right down. I even considered walking. Puncturing was a probability, not a possibility.
Somehow I made it out at the other end.
It was the most technical piece of riding that I have done outside of le velo.
There goes the Bobby George Ardeligh roll out route then for this summer.
I caught the cricket just in time for BELL END.
A glorious blue sky and blue pants day.
I'll take a picture of that - sky, natch.
The morning swim was more technical than recreational.
Ever since my male admirer made a comment about my total immersion style, I have been striving to improve it.
West Ham Wanker was having none of it in the changing rooms. He was still banging on about how he is falling out of love with the beautiful game.
I tried to sell him the idea of the pink 'n' blue boys at Dulwich. I might have blown it when I referenced Peter Crouch and Alan Pardew.
The cycle back along the trail had another halluciogenic moment. I mistook a floating log for the Colne seal.
It's not been a good bicycling week for me.
The first full watering of the garden followed. The tulips from the estuary wilds are starting to bud. This excites me.
Work shifts then ate up most of the morning and afternoon.
Elsewhere and we're sitting on something pretty big at Brixton Buzz. We could tell the story now, but we need the... co-operation of others to add authenticity.
This moved a step closer early evening on Tuesday.
Timing is everything, Comrades.
TEST MATCH CRICKET completed Tuesday.
Another BONK to start the working week. This time on the trail.
I cycled off on the tank of a MTB to the pool. My MTB loving neighbour joined me on his [I can't chuffing believe how much that cost] new MTB.
I BONKED before we had even reached the end of the road.
Back in the water is where I belong. It was a bloody good swim.
I'm still buoyed by the compliment on Saturday that I swim the perfect total immersion technique.
Old Archie at the pool this morning reckoned that the compliment came from a swimmer who took a shine to my Speedos.
West Ham Wanker is back from his cruise. I'm sure that the cruising sorts had as much enjoyment out of his Allardyce morning moans as I do.
He still thinks that I'm a bloody Hammer.
A brief stop at B & Q and then back to base for a His 'n' Hers working day.
We were optimistic of a LABOURDOORSTEP mid-morning.
The letterbox was nervously pushed open. Both Anna and I were working at the desk from the Raj / Colchester. We could see a Comrade poke his hand through.
Anna shouted out:
Sadly we weren't knocked up
Stop / start work, and a bit of Neil Young with @RobertElms.
Harvest Moon sounded fantastic. Likewise for Walk Away Renee.
Early evening and the shout went out for:
I was still slightly shaken up by the bonking of yesterday. I wanted to carry out a scientific experiment to see if I could hallucinate two days in a row.
Thankfully the funny faces in the fields were nowhere to be seen on Monday.
Well - not in my hallucinating world anyway.
Monday concluded with Test match cricket.
We've got four more days of this to follow.
Oh - happy birthday Al Green
A bike ride and a BONK.
I rolled out early Sunday morning with the decent chaps from ColVelo Cycling Club.
The plan was for a 70km-ish hack up towards Hadleigh, and then back to the Velo shop to catch Paris-Roubaix.
I was left BONKING gawd knows where.
It was actually an ACE ride, only slightly disturbed by my hallucinations during the run in back to base.
I kept the pace and the pack for most of the run. I was even asked to hold off on my pace sitting at the front for the first 10km or so.
The turnaround at Hadleigh was fine. I had plenty left in the tank. I even took on board a bloody awful gel bar just to make sure.
But then I noticed I was struggling as the pace picked up again. I tried to hold on to the peloton, but kept on slipping.
At first it was 1m off the back wheel, and then 2m, 3m. I accelerated each time and made the connection, but then one final push was too much.
I still felt fine, just not quite as fit as the rest of the riders.
They gave me plenty of support, but I knew I was holding the pack back. I waved them on, and then pondered a solitary ride in.
I'm not entirely sure where all of the WEIRDNESS started. My mind went very blank.
But I was cycling along lanes that I know inside out, but seeing some very different things.
Strange colours started to appear in the fields. I had a sensation of not cycling, just moving. My mind wasn't sure as to why this was happening.
Common sense should have meant that I took time out and take a roadside seat to recover.
JUST GET ME BACK ON THE BLOODY BIKE etc.
The hallucination became more vivid. I really wasn't very well.
Yep - they were all there.
But I somehow made it back to base and immediately ate a whole bar of cooking chocolate, the first thing I could find in the house.
Anna wasn't happy.
Paris-Roubaix was just starting to roll out. I'll watch the first five minutes, have a milky cup of tea and then get showered, I though.
Five hours later and I woke up.
I think I passed out, rather then having fallen asleep. There was certainly no dreaming.
I missed the race, albeit the track sprint at the end.
I recovered in time to record METROKNOBBERS with Darryl and Mr Inside Croydon. I edited it and turned it around there and then.
I'm pretty pleased with it. Between us we provide some half-decent political analysis.
I might go for a bike ride tomorrow morning...
That was a day.
A silly Saturday early start for Anna and I. We both had some work bollocks to bat away before the weekend could really start.
And then it was a bit of a blowy one for the Wifey Weekend Roll out.
My new carbon forks [oooh] were actually blown about half a metre across the estuary wilds lane about ten minutes in.
I tapped away the rhythm, and managed to get a steal on the girl.
There was absolutely NO ONE about. I sung some Dexy's at the top of my voice for five minutes or so.
Anna has been giving me a strange look all day.
This was the warm up ride for Paris-Roubaix to follow on Sunday.
A brief stop at base, and then we put away the roadies and got out the MTB's.
Bloody hate mountain bikes.
But needs must.
We got bloody drenched cycling along the Trail en route to the pool.
There was some retro car / bike thing going off along the Hythe. Not my kind of thing, but it all looked decent enough.
Flipper Boy was swimming in the adjacent lane.
After 40 lengths he asked me if I was swimming the "total submersion" technique.
I hadn't a bloody clue, but took the compliment anyway.
Anna was none too impressed. She responded by clumping me around the head as we passed on the next length.
My goggles let me down and started to take on water.
A cycle back to base, and then we headed out to Colchester.
Sorry, but firstsite was absolutely shit.
It was completely empty, both of punters and art. It felt like the last rights were being read.
I did a few snaps around town in the Sunny Colch sun.
And then we ended up at the Town Hall.
We had an invite for the Grill a Green session in the Moot Hall.
It was decent stuff, albeit all very one-sided. The panel were preaching to the converted.
I did a brief interview with the PCC for Colchester.
Booze was needed.
A couple of pints at the Odd One Out and I was ROCKING.
All the way back over there, and then an evening of A Sunday in Hell.
BIG, BIG race tomorrow.
Another early morning start catching up with the runners and riders for Brixton Buzz. There's no great surprises, although some of the fringe parties raised a smile.
Anna spotted the first strawberry of the season growing in the garden.
Bit early for summer festivities, Sir.
It wasn't quite your full blown bloomin' red strawberry. It was more of a green blob.
But it's getting there.
I was treated to an empty lane at the pool. My input was a sluggish swim.
Back at base and it was a rare office sharing day. I was shunted off the desk from the Raj / Colchester, and back up to my office.
Funky Friday with @RobertElms was ACE.
It was a hammond themed half hour funk session. I closed the shutters in the office and did a bit of foot shuffling.
Keep the Faith, Comrades.
I played around a little bit late afternoon with the integration of Photos into into Yosemite.
I was no fan of iPhoto, but the new way of working is even worse.
A useful dialogue with the University completed the office based tasks for the day. They are keen to work more with the Wivenhoe Forum to help bring about a better understanding.
We headed off out into Sunny Colch for the evening.
It was actually overcast.
On the menu was Fish Friday at the lovely, lovely Waiting Room.
And then the Colchester Sessions with Cool Colchester.
It got slightly messy.
So much for the estuary heatwave. I still needed the gilet for the short ride to the pool. I looked a right prat.
Ed Miliband was splashing around in the pool.
Not Ed Miliband, obviously, but he did look like him. He was also out of his depth.
Madam Perfume managed to empty the pool with her cheap stink in the water.
No need for that, Madam.
Cover to Cover with @RobertElms was Dark End of the Street.
An absolute soul classic.
James Carr Vs Gram Parsons.
Very, very special. Hiding in shadows where we don't belong, etc.
I prefer the bootlegged Billy Bragg version myself.
Nostalgia carried me through the afternoon work shifts: The Christians, Fairground Attraction and the LOVELY Tanita Tikaram.
Well I never.
It reminded me of the late 80's and my first job at Radio Trent back in the Fair City.
Add is the Transatlantic connection of Tracy Chapman and Michelle Shocked and I could quite easily have been back sitting at the old Castle Gate desk.
Anchored down in Anchorage, etc.
That really has happened, Comrades.
I spent the early evening bashing out a hit and miss blog post for over there.
I LOVE it when the nomination papers are published.
I'll do it all over again tomorrow morning for Brixton Buzz...
Anna returned back from Transpontonia later in the evening.
Thursday was then lost in BOOZE and darts.
Work is woe.
Woe is work.
IN YER FACE, Wednesday.
I didn't get the chance to leave the house all day.
Half an eye on the Blackburn Vs Liverpool match.
That was the best that it got.
Up early once again to see Anna off to Transpontonia.
After the cycling, swimming and canoeing of Monday, my legs were kicking for a run on Tuesday.
I started off in bright estuary sunshine, entered a hazy mist, and then managed a sprint finish as the sun was burning off the cloud cover.
An early work email to start the working day: can you set up a work blog please?
Yes, of course I can.
In fact you probably can.
But as ever - is this really thought out?
Setting up a blog is just the process. What of the input?
Who will take ownership of this? Who will update it on a regular basis? What happens when you lose interest?
I bashed out the Brixton Buzz wrap for March mid-morning. These pieces are taking longer to write. We're increasing out workload, and the sheer volume of gentrification stories is ever-growing.
And then work...
I escaped late afternoon to soak up some estuary sun. There was an odd gap in the work schedules. It seemed rude not to go out for a bit of a photographic exploration.
I was inspired earlier in the day by @jeredgruber's ACE photo essay of Gent-Wevelgem.
It got me thinking about the way that I approach images online.
There's m'photoblog, which is an unashamed dumping ground for my photos. I simply haven't the time to craft these into a photo essay.
A picture paints 1,000 words etc...
But I absolutely LOVE what @jeredgruber is achieving with his craft.
Most photo shoots that I do don't even have a story to tell. Adding in dialogue might over elaborate the images.
But I'm pondering...
Having said all that I did a clumsy hit and run shoot of the Wivenhoe Wildlife Garden.
This then led to the first proper garden watering session of the season.
My tulip heads are BULGING.
More early evening work, more Gilles Peterson, and a bit more Brixton Buzz catching up.
Bank Holiday Monday and a BONK with Anna.
We both struggled on the early morning bicycle ride.
Me with directions, her with the effort.
I made the bicycling fashion faux pas of shooting my load too early with the shorts. A bit of a headwind around my head. Top and bottom.
It was the busiest day of the year so far for fellow cyclists.
Everyone seemed to be out, from the Team Sky lycra boys through to couples plodding along on hybrids.
I think that Anna and I sit somewhere in-between.
A brief bowl of porridge back at base, and then we ditched the roadies in favour of the MTB's for the short ride to the pool.
The Trail was HARD and FAST - the way that I like it.
The pool was WET and SLOW, um...
I somehow got dragged into a race by mistake with Anna. I pushed her to 50 lengths. She got the underwater giggles before I did.
Half of Wivenhoe appeared to be having a Bank Holiday dip.
MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT ONLY AT ALL TIMES.
We were now on a roll.
To the Canoes!
...went out the shout shortly after luncheon.
High tide was at 2:20pm. We managed to make in into the water for 2:40pm.
We paddled against the estuary current towards the Hythe. I panicked slightly noticing that we running out of water around the halfway point.
We let the tide carry us back towards the Quay.
A bit of a garden catch up followed. Anna planted some crap or other; I did the weeding. The mad cat was in prime show off mood, climbing on to the roof of the shed to keep a watch on us.
A bit more Brixton Buzz action early evening, and then BOOZE and the Pal-arse Man City match.
A decent Bank Holiday.