Early morning indecision for Sunday.
To run or to swim?
The body was about as undecided as the weather.
The default choice is of course to swim. But Mr BBC Weather Man was telling me that South London was in for a drenching.
Mr BBC Weather Man was wrong. I felt it all along in my lido bones.
Not for long, mind. Ten lengths and that was your lot in Lake Brockwell for this morning.
Lido Peter was also in the water not so bright, but definitely early.
We had a date arranged for later in the morning.
My absolute FAVE Brockwell Icicle has been asking about an Oval trip for almost a year now. A top of the table clash Vs Lancashire seemed like the right moment.
But once again Mr BBC Weather Man was doing my head in.
An hour and a half later and I was wearing a freshly ironed crips white shirt and a cravat.
And yep - it was bloody raining.
The four hours or so with no play were spent perfectly.
It's rare that I get the chance for a really good catch up with Lido Peter. We walked around the ground and explored everything within.
We even stopped for a 29p Lidl croissant.
Red Maz of Bal'ham joined us for the afternoon session, just as the 'rrey were walking out to bat.
Plus some bloody loud cricket bores who most certainly weren't part of our party.
We moved a tier down below, just in time to see KP head back into the hutch.
A quick catch up back in the Sunny Stockwell flat, and then I had to head back to... over there for Essex responsibilities.
Live irresponsibly, I say.
Up early on Saturday morning to make it to the start line for the Brockwell Park Run.
Madam Pacemaker meant business.
I've come to accept that I can live with her for the first lap.
BMX Hill is where she puts on her race face however.
I gave her the signal, and just let her get on with it.
She use to pace me; now it's the other way around.
Madam Pacemaker fell just four seconds off a PB. I like to think that if I kept the pace, I could have pushed her on.
I was 27 seconds off my PB. I was fairly pleased. I wasn't really trying for the second half of the course.
MUST get over that mental block for Brockwell's BMX Hill.
I then sat in the sun poolside at the lovely lido, rather head straight in with a dry dive.
It was just so gorgeous as the art deco sun trap contained the Transpontine sun.
I had a decent conversation with Tim, and then made my move.
Twenty lengths later and I felt ACE.
Some lazy sunbathers were starting to gather in what we use to call Toker's Corner.
How times change.
But yeah - Lido Days are with us once again.
The South London sun wasn't exactly strong, but I felt the urge to snap away around the park.
I had some time to spare. The Lido wild meadow slope was looking truly stunning.
This is the third year that the seeds have been scattered in early spring. Where once we use to queue up all hot and bothered for the old entrance, is now the most amazing meadow.
I continued walking up towards the top of the park and had a brief look out over the City.
This was my first London view some twenty summers ago.
And now we have the Shard, the Walkie Talkie, the Cheesgrater et al.
The cluster effect is very visible from the tennis court top of the park.
The Secret Garden was next up on my To Snap list.
I think that it's in my diary for around mid-June to capture in full glory.
I've been documenting the garden in pics for the past decade, always around the peak of mid-summer.
I realised this morning that late May is the time to capture it.
It was truly AMAZING.
The garden was more or less empty. The flowers looked almost edible.
I had a bit of a South London Moment.
And then out went the shout of:
My South London more or less ends at the fag end of Camberwell. Peckham is... peculiar to me.
I've heard fanciful tales of how the Hipster Line has transformed it.
What I saw wasn't that bad.
On my agenda was to explore the Coal Line as part of the Chelsea Fringe project.
This is a disused coal railway line that a group of local people are attempting to open up as an urban walkway.
I tagged along on an incredibly informative and over-subscribed walking tour.
If enthusiasm alone could carry the Coal Line, then the project should fill the potential.
I cycled all the way back to Sunny Stockwell for a few household chores.
I'm quite enjoying cleaning the new windows.
A bit of school work followed, and then it was almost Kick Off time.
I boycotted the Cup Final.
Who the chuffers was playing anyway?
This isn't the game that I grew up loving. A 5:30pm KO for the showpiece of the season is just crap.
I do confess to listening to the radio for Abide With Me, and having a bit of a manly weak moment.
And then early evening it was:
To The Globe!
The Merchant of Venice left me a bit Meh last month.
As You Like It however was ACE.
Bankside belly laughs from start to finish.
I ROARED off the actors with great delight come the final bow.
Plus I had a little jig.
That was a day.
Brilliant Brockwell blue skies for the early morning swim.
The water was fast and choppy - the way that I like it.
A late breakfast back in Sunny Stockwell, and then I headed out to the National Theatre for Tuttle.
In the short space of just under an hour, the weather had turned from Brockwell Blue to a South London soaking.
I walked along an almost deserted South Bank, listening to the Cathal Smyth album, something that I simply can't resist repeated plays of.
It's very much a London album, without any overt references.
It felt just right walking along the banks of the Old Father as the rain came down.
I made it to Tuttle, albeit slightly late.
This was the first time in over a year that I have met up with the random Friday morning gathering of thinkers and conversationalists.
Half term week does wonders for the soul.
As ever, I barely knew anyone. The best conversations come out of these situations.
Somehow the conversation turned towards Brixton and online action.
"You should read Jason Cobb's Brixton Buzz pieces"
...was one observation.
I then legged it over the river and on to St Paul's.
The lunchtime Eucharist was on the agenda.
I'm no man of the cloth, but I'm also no man that will fork out £15 or so just to enter a bloody church (OK, Cathedral.)
Sitting through the Eucharist is the penny-pinching way in which to gain entry to St Paul's for free.
The service itself was quite peaceful.
I was sitting next to a Eucharist groupie who knew the script better than the robed up chap leading from the front.
I spent most of the time just looking up in awe of the architecture.
I declined the bread and wine, although I wasn't alone in having a slight chuckle when the robed up fella necked a whole glass of the leftovers.
Vague plans were in place for the afternoon.
But the weather was an arse.
I just started started walking, and didn't really stop until I reached the Elephant.
I was snapping away for most of the route, taking in many side streets and avoiding the main London Bridge drag.
And then an afternoon of admin in the flat followed, with some @surreycricket t20 action in the evening.
West Ham Wanker had some wise words of wisdom during the early morning swim on Thursday:
"If you wear arm bands then you won't get swimming sickness."
Cheers for that, fella.
Not that I've ever felt the need to throw up whilst going through my front crawl routine.
West Ham are looking for a new manager.
West Ham Wanker is yer man.
I was Sunny Stockwell bound mid-morning for the next week or so.
A planned train strike might even provide me with an extended Transpontine holiday.
The front garden in the flat continues to bloom.
It looks BLOODY GREAT.
At least it did after I had cleared out the Coke cans and crisp packets from the past few days.
I never appreciated previously just how much of a South London sun trap this is. The rays come down from the direction of Battersea Power from first thing, and never seem to disappear.
A bit of household stuff filled the afternoon, and then it was:
I had an appointment with an MP.
But what to wear?
I ruled out the classic pinstripe. Every politico walks around Parliament looking like a clone.
I opted instead for the cream trousers, the boating jacket and the cravat.
The plan was to look like a fetching Sir Humphrey.
Instead I ended up more like a washed out Weller from The Cost of Loving period.
The chat was charming. As expected.
Nothing in particular, just an exchange of views and information.
Well I never.
I wandered off towards the West End early evening.
There was a flash sale along Carnaby Street.
Yeah, yeah. I know.
I'm after a long sleeved Fred Perry. eBay has plenty, but I need to really try something on first.
I've not been the Ace Face along Carnaby Street in probably over a decade.
I certainly wasn't for my return this evening.
What the hell has happened to the place?
Gentrification, for sure.
All of the indie Mod shops have now been replaced by the chains.
It was crap.
I buggered off back to Sunny Stockwell and sulked with a Lidl cheese pastie.
Brixton Buzz bits and bobs took up the evening.
Stuff elsewhere has led to a growing news list.
I'm slowly working through it.
The changing rooms reeked of Dettol for the early morning swim.
It's probably best not to ask why.
Only 30 lengths this morning. I was on a mission to make it to the Town Hall for the Mayor Making bollocks.
I had to time it to perfection though.
Having decided to BOYCOTT (arf) all of the civic nonsense of fur gowns and wigs, I wanted to be in the chamber for the actual Full Council meeting itself.
My timing remains spot on, even if my fashion sense of LYCRA was slightly wonky for a Borough Council meeting.
It should have been a formality of a meet. Instead it was MESSY right from the start.
The Tories tried to take control of the Council. They hold the most seats, and so why not?
The bloody political careerists from the Cabinet with no Mandate somehow hung on for power.
I pedalled back to base on the tourer, pondering how BONKERS the poxy political games are.
I lost myself in an afternoon of work shifts and the new Weller album.
The mad cat was adorable as ever.
Roll, after roll, after roll.
All she wants is attention.
I gave the windows a bit of a clean ahead of dusk, and then started to plan for a week back in South London starting tomorrow.
I packed Anna off to Transpontonia incredibly early.
And then Tuesday came to a shuddering halt.
I was housebound with a run of stop / start work shifts.
Mid-morning I attempted to tinker with the dishwasher.
Bad move, Jase. Bad move.
The handle has become slightly loose.
No worries - I can fix this by whipping off the front cover, tightening up the loose screw and then putting it all back together once again.
DIY Jase strikes again.
About an hour later and it was just about a job well done.
Never take things apart to see how they work. You'll never be able to put them back to together again, as Uncle Bill once sung.
The evening garden watering session is starting to take longer to complete. This must be a sign that mid-summer is almost upon us.
We attempted to move some 'plants' (haven't a clue what) from the front to the back garden over the weekend.
I think that we've managed to kill them off.
I started to work through my growing Brixton Buzz news list towards the close of Tuesday.
There's some half decent ideas in there in the leads that I'm getting. But few of them actually stack up.
Most seem like non-stories for the sake of it.
Just Tell It Like It Is, etc.
I randomly watched a BT Sport film on the Bradford fire.
I remember it well.
Thirty years ago.
A Wifey Bank Holiday Boner to start the day.
It was back to the road bike after the excursion on the tourer yesterday.
The bike felt good, the legs not so.
I still had absolutely no idea where we were cycling.
A couple of arsehole Bank Holiday drivers came close to spoiling the ride, but we got round safe and without any mechanicals.
And then work.
I messed up with the Bank Holiday dates.
Test match cricket kept me company.
Anna disappeared to do the golf thing shortly after luncheon.
I was pleased to be working to be honest.
My Bank Holiday Monday evening of JOY was spent balls deep in an FoI spreadsheet.
It still doesn't make any sense.
We're talking finance here. The FoI response appears to have left a missing 000 off the end of the calculations.
This hasn't been referenced in any explanation of the figures.
For some reason I ended Monday evening listening to some Diesel Park West.
Still got it.
Still got it.
Keep the Faith.
Early Sunday morning saw the inaugural roll out of the Colne Valley Cycling Tourist Club.
If I'm foolish enough to buy a bloody tourer then I'm going to take the credit for the Colne Valley CTC.
I was the lone tourer for the first ride. Anna sprinted ahead on her carbon monstrosity.
She appeared to dance away on the pedals with little effort. I had an enjoyable ride, but it was a struggle to hold her back wheel.
Overall I was pleased with the new purchase. The steel forks are certainly sturdy and gave me a strong handling and a firm ride.
I'm not sure how the 60kmh max speed was clocked. The average of 22kmh felt about right.
There was a slight incident on the run in back to Sunny Colch.
An over-sized Essex boy failed to remove his seat belt in sufficient time as he pulled over to lamp me one.
It started when he became impatient for me to turn right on route to the pool. He gave me a polite bump from behind.
Cheers, fat fella.
I asked him what he was doing.
I needn't have bothered.
It was clear that he was about to pull over and try and take me out.
But yeah - never underestimate how long it will take a twenty stone plus fat Essex f-er to undo his seat belt.
I was halfway to doing my first length.
It was a similar race against time back at base.
A quick mowing of the lawn, a compost run from the Co-op, and re-arranging the wormery - all done before the estuary wilds rain started.
And then it was time to Relegate a Geordie.
Except it didn't happen.
The remainder of Sunday was spent with Brixton Buzz action, photo editing and Giro highlights.
A working day tomorrow
An early morning train journey into Sunny Colch.
The purpose was twofold: buy bike, lose bike.
My MTB has finally gone past the point of no repair. Time to upgrade.
What about buy touring bike?
How the hell did I get to this default position of being an old fella that plods along on a sturdy tourer?
Truth be hold and I absolutely hate MTB's. The only need and purpose for me is to get from one end of the trail to the other.
I occasionally use the MTB to ride into Sunny Colch, rather than take the roadie or Brompton.
And so how about a tourer that will tick all of the boxes?
A bit of an online nosey the night before and it soon became clear that the LOVELY Colchester Cycle Store had the exact Dawes model that I was after in stock - and on sale too.
Job's a good 'un.
And so I was in town by 8:30am and all set for the sale.
Sunny Colch is weird.
Best paraphrase that, Jase.
Sunny Colch is weird before the shops open.
It was strangely quiet until around 10am. It reminded me of the days of my own shop work back in the Fair City.
Saturday mornings were always a little wonky. This was the time to recover from the hangover, ahead of the mad Saturday afternoon rush.
The bike shop didn't open until a little later, and so I wandered around the town doing the photo thing.
I strayed into the Dutch Quarter, the first time in around four years. It was incredibly peaceful.
And then I did the business with the bike.
The frame was ever so slightly too small. Add in an extended stem and a raised seat pole, and I just about got away with it.
The plan was then to liberate the MTB by leaving it unlocked down at the train station. I no longer have any use for it.
But my timing was perfect with a train just pulling into the station. I put both bikes back on the train and headed off back to base.
I'm still not sure what to do with the buggered MTB.
I gave the tourer a short ride out to the pool after luncheon. I will take it on the trail, but not for now. The steel forks felt incredibly sturdy.
Not so for my swimming technique.
I had a lane to myself, but still managed to create more of a splash than a stylish swathe through the water.
We watched the final session of the Test, and then went out in search of local booze.
It wasn't that bad.
West Ham Wanker turned up to the local music / beer fest.
Well I never.
I didn't recognise him with his clothes on, etc.
We bailed out early to continue the BOOZE back at base.
Plus Test match highlights, RHS Chelsea, Giro and some Weller.
A GOOD day.
No rhythm for the morning swim.
It was mechanical, rather than fluid.
I'm not entirely sure why. The late evening booze burst from the night before might have been a factor.
Or maybe the recent run of a busy work and play schedule is finally catching up with my aching body.
I've got a couple of big bicycle rides planned for the weekend...
Stop / start work and Test Match cricket was took up the morning. Anna blagged the desk from the Raj / Colchester.
BB King was on the four-fer with @RobertElms. I know that I should really appreciate his music, but sorry, I just don't get it.
Work plodded throughout the afternoon.
Anna and I went out for an early evening estuary walk.
The plan was to play postman and drop of the post that is still being sent to the lovely people we bought the house from, some five years ago.
The walk became a hit and miss photo shoot, an invite inside for some gossip and then CHIPS.
Which always then means BOOZE.
We caught the second half of the Hampshire Vs Kent t20.
And then drunk some more.
Emma Fitness paced me for the early morning swim.
As the name suggests, Emma Fitness is fit. She pretty much lives at the gym.
I quit after 40 lengths, leaving her to swim another 400 or so.
It was a GLORIOUS estuary wilds morning.
Make hay, etc.
Three loads of washing, a Brixton Buzz post and cat sick cleared up - all before 9am as well.
Neil the Painter then came round.
But Neil is much more than a painter.
The side wall is having a new lick of paint, damp patches are being addressed and pictures are being hung.
It's Anna WEIRD choice of artwork.
I told Neil to hang them in a dark corner and be done with.
I finally got round to downloading the new Weller album mid-morning. I've changed my opinion.
Am I allowed to do that?
Having streamed it last week, I thought that yer man had entered another treading water, Weller by numbers phase.
But seeing him play the songs live at the BBC Theatre last week changed all of that.
Fickle, Jase. Fickle.
What would you rather want? Eton Rifles 2015, or electronic noodlings experimentation?
I did some work for the remainder of the morning in preparation for the Year 6 school play.
Half term week is approaching and the pupils have songs to learn.
We've set up a secure area on the school site where they can access the songs.
Stop / start work shifts elsewhere dominated the day. Plus flicking back and forth between the Test and Surrey away at Northants.
Early evening was spent gardening.
Phew. Rock 'n' Roll, etc.
And then Test match highlights, RHS Chelsea (swoon), the Giro and DARTS.
Some early morning rubber frustration to start Wednesday.
I made the error of entering the rubber lane at the lovely lido.
They hunt in pack, these wetsuit boys.
Three of them were swimming in a train. They didn't take any prisoners.
It wasn't so much the pace that was the problem - I could keep up with them.
What was annoying was that once they reached the end of each length, they then held a mini-conference to decide whose turn it was to lead out the train.
Balls to that.
Just bloody swim, fellas.
I only managed 12 lengths this morning. Time was tight. I had to be over in SE17 for 9 sharpish as part of a school trip.
And that pretty much took up all of Wednesday.
Year 1 performing on stage at the National Theatre.
I did the usual video / audio / photo running around. Plus experimenting with Vine for the first time in a school.
You've only got six seconds, young man. Please say something interesting.
I use to head out on school trips regularly back in the day. I've somehow slipped out of the habit.
I need to work on this as the summer beach trip season approaches.
I headed back over there early Wednesday evening.
A glass of red certainly helped. And so did the Dexy's album, something that I refuse to stop playing.
I managed to get all the content from the National Theatre edited and published before bedtime.
The deal was a day out, but make sure that it is online so the lovely kids can see it first thing tomorrow.
Job's a VERY good 'un.
The bloody Garden Bridge conversation continued early on Tuesday morning.
It was the talk of the lido.
What is clear is that the folly of the foliage Thames crossing is attracting fierce criticism from traditional tree huggers.
This was the case last night at the Garden Bridge public meeting. The bloody Ramblers Association was in opposition.
And then on Tuesday morning and the lovely wishy washy lido lot were set against it as well.
I just about managed time for a swim in between all the chat.
Twelve lengths was the aim on a blustery transpontine morning.
The South London sun came out, just as I was about to leave the pool.
Eight more lenghts in the blue beauty of Lake Brockwell?
Don't mind if I do.
The garden bush was trimmed.
Work shifts, publishing the school content from yesterday and Surrey cricket commentary completed Tuesday afternoon and early evening.
I was then joined by a surprise guest to the flat who ended up sharing the bed with me.
Oh Hai, Wifey.
It was our first night together in London since 2010.
She still bloody snors.
The early morning lovely lido swim was substituted for a King of Clap'ham Common run instead.
Rain was forecast around Transpontonia from 7am. My Brompton just doesn't do the rain, dahhhling.
By 7:15am and there was no sign of the rain.
I gave it until 7:30am, but still no drops.
A school assembly in SE21 was creeping up on me.
Just Do It, etc.
And so I did, once around Clap'ham Common, and then back to Sunny Stockwell for a quick shower.
I left the flat and the rain just started to hit SW8. I probably could have got away with a lido swim after all.
The day in SE21 was another WOH working day.
It just went. I'm not sure where to, but I came out with an iPhone saying that my storage was full to capacity, and 2,700 words bashed out on the fly on the MacBook.
The second half of the summer term is always a transition period for most SEN schools. The pupils move up ahead of the September term. Time is needed to feel at ease with the change.
I became rather confused walking around various classrooms.
A brief stop back in Stockwell, and then I cycled off to Waterloo to meet up with @Darryl1974 for the bloody Garden Bridge meeting.
A broad coalition of opposition has been built. Any top table that includes the Greens, the LibDems, Labour and the chuffing Tax Payers' Alliance is slightly broader than my waistline.
It was a very useful meeting, albeit something of an echo chamber.
JoLu's bloody Garden Bridge is just a bad idea.
Tech wise and I tweeted the arse out of the meeting whilst Disco Darryl streamed it via @mixlr.
His iPhone was dying and so he plugged into my ee power bar.
My iPhone signal was shit, and so I pimped off his 4G hotspot.
Whoever said collaboration with shhh hyperlocals is dead?
Monday came to a close with a number of new leads and blatant political gossip coming my way.
Well I never.
Up early with the summer daylight.
I had a backlog of school content that needed editing and publishing.
There's a busy few days coming up with work and play. If this backlog wasn't cleared, then it would just clutter up my various storage devices.
There was a sense of satisfaction in uncluttering. I celebrated with a Wifey Weekend Roll Out bicycle ride.
We cycled off around the mean streets of Tendring. I had absolutely no idea where we were.
I found my legs for the final third of the ride. I was pleased with the 25.4kmh average over a 37.5km course.
We seemed to gatecrash an official race for the run in home.
I was impressed with Anna's frustration as the proper lycra boys slowed us down, and she put her head down and sped past them.
A bit of gardening back at base, and then I was bound for the Colchester Arts Centre early afternoon.
I had some more work helping out at the second Warm and Toasty session with @snippetcuts.
My brief is to basically blog the arse out of the event.
It was pretty manic, capturing video, audio, pics and endless tweets.
I had to head straight from the Arts Centre and back over to South London for the working week ahead.
Some Porto team had won something.
Half of Sunny Stockwell was out celebrating with the car horns.
LOVE IT around here
My Saturday morning was shattered when I arrived at the Brockwell Park run, only to see that Madam Pacemaker was hunting me down.
"I'm up for it this morning - you in?"
...she rather disappointingly asked.
I LOVE Madam Pacemaker. She guides me around the BW Run, and then buggers off at the end with a sprint finish that I can never live with.
She is the sole reason my PB came down to 20:09.
It 'aint shifting any lower.
But then each week I turn up, see her enthusiasm and think YEAH, let's do this.
I felt good for the first circuit of the park. We paced our run perfectly, catching up the early sprinters, and then making some progress on the first Cressingham climb.
I knew what was coming next.
Seeing Madam Pacemaker drop her arms to her hips is a sign that yep, SHE IS UP FOR IT.
You go, Madam Pacemaker.
Nope - YOU REALLY DO GO.
I waved her along, and then plodded around the second circuit alone.
I was overtaken with some style by Mr Nu Labour Cllr.
He gave me a smirk as he sped past.
The beauty of Lake Brockwell was far more peaceful.
It was another BLOODY LOVELY Brockwell blue swim of a morning.
I stayed around for a few chats, but time was against me. It was ACE to catch up with @Hendopolis for the first time this season.
Conversations elsewhere were all about Chuka.
I noticed all too briefly as I was leaving the progress being made on replacing the lido decking. This fascinates me.
The old decking has been down for around 15 summers. I remember when it was first put in place.
And now it is being ripped up, plank by plank.
What lies underneath is absolute Brockwell Gold - the Transpontine social history of layers of long since forgotten lido artefacts.
Under the paving stone, Brixton Beach, etc Comrades.
My previous 'lively' lido lifestyle has seen a few scenes being played out on those very same concrete slabs.
I headed back over there briefly at lunchtime. I've got some work at the Arts Centre on Sunday afternoon and so need to be around for that.
I arrived back at base just in time to see the Surrey innings in the t20 twaddle.
I still haven't recovered from the thrashing at The Oval last night.
I don't think that the 'rrey have either.
Anna and I had a rare Quayside BOOZE trip late afternoon.
The estuary sun was shining. It just seemed right to soak up the sun and the alcohol.
It was most pleasurable.
It became a mini-pub crawl with a trip to the Black Buoy as well.
And then a spot of drunken gardening, followed by the Giro highlights.
A random Dulwich Hamlet conversation with a random Brockwell Lido swimmer first thing on Friday morning.
Five years ago and this simply wouldn't have happened.
The Rabble down at the Dulwich numbered 150 max. You knew everyone.
Plus what took place at Champion Hill usually remained at Champion Hill.
You didn't go around boasting that you were a pink 'n' blue boy.
I have no idea who the lovely lido Hamlet fan was. I enjoyed the chat, all the same.
Elsewhere at the lido and make up was being applied in the gents.
This was my first work outing for the man make up that isn't really make up.
Applying it in full public gaze of the Icicles was more of a challenge than diving into the water itself.
I think that they were actually quite jealous of my balls, so to speak.
And then a brief cycle through Brixton and a day spent Somewhere in SW9.
Singing assemblies, the story of Moses and volleyball. It was all there.
And then Friday evening brought out the shout of:
To The Oval!
t20 has started bloody early this year. So much so that I was booze free for the Glamorgan match. It just seemed wrong hitting the sauce whilst shivering at the top of the Pavilion.
The 'rrey were bobbins at bowling. 240 was always going to be an over-optimistic run chase.
Away to the Essex slags tomorrow.
The cycle to the pool this morning was crap.
My MTB is buggered.
This was always part of the plan.
Five years of estuary wilds abuse, five summers of it being serviced.
But there comes a time when the MTB has b0Rked and is in need of a replacement.
Now is that time.
I tried to tinker with the gears last night. This led to the chain being marooned on the smallest ring.
The cycle to the pool was bloody hard work. It took almost twice the time.
I've resolved to replace the MTB with a hybrid. Best of both worlds, etc.
A bit of work back at base and then a catch up with the industrious Mr Roof Man.
Job's a good 'un, etc.
And then it was time to head to Transpontonia for the next week or so.
I made it down to Stockwell just in time for the 2pm work shift.
I fired up @RobertElms, so to speak, and whaddyaknow: the South London soundtrack of Freddie McGregor was playing out.
I Just Don't Want to be Lonely was up for consideration in Cover to Cover.
The Main Ingredient Vs Mr McGregor.
Freddy McGregor and cheese reggae was part of my youth. Such memories.
I'm still searching around for some of those long lost Greensleaves thick 12" vinyl releases. Very much of their time, all ACE.
Freddy finished first in Cover to Cover.
As it should be.
A quick LIDL stop, and then it was:
To Broadcasting House! To see Weller!
I was surprised how easy it was to blag a couple of tickets for yer man's R2 gig in the West End.
Having listened to the new album, I'm now a little better informed.
Of course it was a promo ahead of the official release on Monday; of course it was all slightly staged.
But I still LOVE seeing Weller, and then getting all giddy-eyed about 1985 and all that.
The set itself was pretty special. An hour and fifteen minutes of old meets the new.
The sound quality was amazing. Seeing yer man up front with only 300 in the audience was ACE.
Keep the Faith, etc.
I'm losing count of the number of times I take the train to Sunny Colch WITH my bicycle.
Which can only mean one thing: PUNCTURES REPAIR TIME.
Having had a masterclass in inner tube fiddling the night before, @pmmikes and I (OK, it was him) worked out that my RIM tape was an issue.
'aint that always the case?
And so I took the roadie into town to be re-rimmed.
Colchester Cycles were lovely as ever. They recognised the error on the new roadie and fixed it at no cost.
I had half an hour or so to walk around town and take a few snaps.
I'm running out of Sunny Colch locations.
I nervously cycled off to the pool. Any minor defect in the road had me on RIM watch.
The pool was empty.
I did get to hear some chiropody tips from West Ham Wanker though.
Back at base and Mr Roof Man is making good progress. The front of the house has been fixed. He made a move on the shed mid-afternoon.
I retreated with the mad cat to the desk from Colchester / Raj for an afternoon and evening of work shifts.
I listened to the new Weller album via The Graun.
As per the last two releases, a slight disappointed followed.
22 Dreams remained a recent hight point for yer man.
I'm off to see him tomorrow, mind
Surrey cricket commentary kept me company for the remainder of the afternoon.
Woh. Where did that run chase come from?
Amazing stuff from the 'rrey.
It will probably be a slower run rate when then the t20 nonsense starts on Friday evening.
Wednesday came to a close with a FaceTime 3-way between Anna, me and the mad cat, and then the Giro highlights.
A day of being trapped indoors whilst others were out playing.
Mr Roof Man got cracking on the Great Roof Repair Part II.
I was listening to the great outdoors down at The Oval to see me through the work shifts.
The mad cat disappeared for most of the day, escaping the industrial sounds coming from Mr Roof Man.
Early evening and I learnt how to change an inner tube.
It only took 46 years - that's 46 years of ignorance, rather than 46 years to change a tube.
Tuesday evening was spent on garden matters.
Oh to be outdoors.
Delicate legs for the morning ride out to the pool.
I'm still aching after the seaside ride on Sunday.
West Ham Wanker was off on one in the changing rooms.
He was spinning some yarn about the case of the mistaken underpants identity.
I kept up with this for all of three minutes, but then got bored and headed for the water.
A busy old swim.
Three in the lane.
I managed to take a wrap on the knuckles from a man who really shouldn't have been in the fast lane.
It was a His 'n' Hers working day from home.
Anna blagged the Desk from the Raj / Colchester. I was stuck in the pokey office with the crap view.
Which was a shame because the first work task of the morning was the annual appraisal, all carried out via a Skype video feed.
I detected disappointment in the eyes of m'work colleague - hopefully from the surroundings, and not from my responses.
Surrey cricket kept me company for the day.
Likewise the lovely fella from Transition Town Wivenhoe who came round late afternoon with my fully repaired Brompton bag.
I dropped it off at the library on Saturday with a slight tear in the stitching. It was patched up to perfection, and all for the price of a small donation.
We gave the garden a damn good water early evening.
Gotta say it's looking great.
Going to give it some wide angle lens photography action tomorrow.
And then Monday came to a close with some channel hopping between the Arsenal match and the Sheff Utd play-off game.
Poor Young Nigel
Fingerless gloves for a Sunday morning cycle to the beach.
This felt like the first proper ride of what I am optimistically calling the summer.
The idea was for bruncheon on the beach, and then to be back at base in time for the football.
It actually wasn't that bad. My front inner came a cropper coming down Tenpenny Hill, a couple of miles from home.
As ever, I am hopeless at fixing these.
And so I walked.
An old boy on a beautiful bone shaker caught me up on the final stretch. He very kindly offered to fix the puncture for me.
I don't think that his mechanical skills were any match for a 2015 roadie model.
But it was genuinely very, very lovely all the same that he stopped to help out.
And that pretty much meant that Sunday was a write off.
I recorded Metroknobbers with @Darryl1974 early evening, edited it and then published it just before bedtime.
Completely random, no preparation, just Tell It Like It Is.
A bit of a windy Wifey Weekend Roll Out.
I was leading.
Gardening was on the agenda mid-morning. The first mow of the lawn for the season is always worth celebrating. I had milky cup of tea and surveyed my work.
Ipswich Vs Norwich, and then the fag end of Everton Vs Sunderland followed.
We cycled off again for an afternoon swim. My knees were aching. My body is falling apart.
Anna pressed on ahead in the pool. I kept with her for 20 lengths, but then couldn't maintain the pace.
We had a few errands to run around town.
I had a rare moment of being a spend thrift.
I bought a new pair of running shoes, a new phone case and some make up.
Some make up.
But we don't really talk about that (unless we want to call it 'male grooming' products - which it clearly isn't, seeing as though it was on the women's make up aisle at Boots.)
BOOZE and bad films filled Saturday evening.
I'm not sure technically where to start this Friday update.
At one minute past midnight when I was just warming up at the Colchester Borough Council General Election count?
Or 11am on Friday morning picking up from where I left off with the blog entry yesterday?
Times passages, etc.
And so I was at the CBC count until 7am on Friday morning.
The plan was to sleep until around midday, and then do it all again for the local election count.
But of course that never happened.
And then election catching up with Anna.
Plus some BBuzz bobbins as well.
It was almost time to head off our for the local count. We both felt very smelly. We both went for a swim.
It was just what I needed. No sleep for over 24 hours, and in desperate need of an energy boost for the count to come.
It wasn't the most dynamic of swims - 20 lengths, and then I was chatted up by a wrinkly in the shallow end.
I made it in time for the 4pm election count start. I was all prepared to bed in for an 8pm finish.
Mr Returning Man did brisk business. We were done and dusted by 7pm.
A cycle back to base, a bit more blogging and then BOOZE.
Politics aside, life's good, innit?
An early morning spot of 'vote rigging' with Anna.
You vote for Madam X over there for me, and I'll vote for Mr X over here for you.
Job's a good 'un.
Elsewhere and the 'choice' was far more easier.
I'm becoming something of a master at drawing big fat spunking cocks protruding into the face of certain candidates.
X marks the spot.
Now go and wash your hands.
Or even a complete body scrub, which is what I had ahead of the morning swim.
I'm not sure what has happened to my metabolism over the past few days, but once again mind and body were both up for a BIG swim.
I had to cut it short at 40 lengths - I 'aint gonna get any sleep for the next 48 hours. Energies are needed elsewhere.
West Ham Wanker was on fine form in the changing rooms.
He gave me the full lowdown on the election.
Tell It Like It Is, etc.
Couldn't possibly repeat any of West Ham Wanker's words of wisdom here.
Next up was an election haircut. What is left of my hair is growing faster than it use to. Just not in the right places.
I've changed the frequency of the cut from four down to three weeks.
Oh the irony of losing my hair, yet increasing the number of times that it is cut.
Late Junction livened up the morning work shifts.
Roof Man returned mid-morning, all ready for round 2.
Scaffolding was ERRECTED.
From the front, as well.
The esteemed Cycling Correspondent of Vice magazine (that will be me, then) heard back late afternoon that the first submission has been successful.
I'm working on extending the remit to cover County Cricket as well.
And then it was all about the bloody election count.
I cycled off to Charter Hall in Sunny Colch to cover it for @ColchChrnonic.
Nine hours later and I had pretty much tweeted my arse off.
Back again in 12 hours time to do it all again for the local elections.