The new week got off to a great start with First Utility, and then finished on something of a f-up with First Utility.
So yeah - after almost a year of being billed incorrectly, and a number of threatening letters and phone calls saying that I owed money, the rather rubbish supplier finally admitted that it owes me money.
Let's celebrate. Let's put the heating back on.
But instead Anna and I braved the estuary wilds weather with a work at home day in silence, and in the cold.
We are FUN at parties, honest.
I managed to make a brief trip to the vets at luncheon.
The mad cat kept me awake all night with her scratching.
Having ignored Anna's analysis that she has fleas (mad cat, not Anna), I caved in and went to buy the magic flea pill.
This worked wonders a year ago. We mashed it up with some cheapo ham, and the fleas fell from the mad cat within minutes.
And so I handed over another £6 for a pill on Monday, in a scene that reminded me of my long lost Friday nights.
Some cheapo ham followed, with the pill being mashed up inside.
The mad cat blanked it all day.
And then back to First Utility.
"Hello Sir, we see that you are supplied by us, would you like to extend your contract?"
WRONG and NOPE.
I was actually rather polite.
It didn't put me in the best of moods for an evening Wivenhoe Forum meet up down the boozer.
But I think that we just about got there.
Strawberries for breakfast on Sunday.
Anna went a little bonkers in Sunny Colch on Saturday. She bought two bloody great big punnets.
Fine for the summer time, but we have rapidly run out of winter strawberry options. Immersing them in hot porridge is just about palatable.
I then did the Sunday bloke thing: a trip to B & Q.
I have a love / hate relationship with that place. I look forward to visits in mid-life, in the same way that I use to anticipate a trip to a local record shop back in my youth.
But woh. So much choice. I find it overwhelming.
All that I really needed was some sandpaper and a lightbulb.
B & Q has an entire hangar aisle for lightbulbs alone.
I bluffed, and somehow got away with it.
And then a swim, which soon became another Sunday arseing about in the spa session.
I managed to make it back to base along the trail, just ahead of the estuary wilds dusk.
Sunday evening was spent on online admin and various bits of writing that I had to catch up with.
Plus I made the momentous decision to ditch my endless monthly back ups of files.
It just takes too chuffing long.
Yeah, yeah - I know. Two types of people in this world: those that back up, and those that lose date.
But my host is remarkably robust and does a weekly back up across all my projects anyway.
Oh - I'm back on the first Athlete album again btw.
It wasn't quite the gentle easing into the weekend that I wanted.
All of the woes were First World Problems, but they disrupted my weekend rhythm, all the same.
It didn't get off to a great start with an urgent email to change some school policies.
Pay to play etc, and Job really is a Good 'un.
And then an email reminder to pay some hosting bills.
It should have been straight forward.
I have a pot of money in paypal account A to cover this. This needs to be transferred to my own personal bank account, and then we get the hosting show back on the online road.
But I buggered up by transferring the paypal money to a different, non-existent paypal account.
A bit of online arseing about, and soon the money was where it should be.
Can we go out yet?
The Postman Delivers... a failed attempt to renew my passport.
It turns out that I printed the application on the wrong size of paper.
I calmed down with a cup of strong tea, and a playback of the second part of Tizon's ACE Andy the Barber podcast.
The conversation captures perfectly that very specific locality of Landor Road, and how it has changed over the years.
This will be online social history GOLD in years to come.
Anna and I finally managed to leave the house just before luncheon.
First stop was the pool for a light swim.
We swam in separate lanes, but Anna had the beating of me.
She tried to pretend that this wasn't the case. Bless.
We cycled off into Sunny Colch, which was pretty miserable to be honest.
Plenty was happening around the town, but the weather was just bleurghhh.
We paid a brief visit to the Secret Vintage Fair at firstsite. It got a little lively with burlesque in the afternoon in front of a Roman mosaic.
My plan was to do the photography thing, but I discreetly put the camera away.
A brief visit to the Winter Fair at the Minories next door, and then a look around Winter Wonderland in Castle Park.
Anna declared that she had some girly shopping to do. I realised that I wasn't welcome.
Somehow I found myself up at Aldi, stocking up on very cheapo booze.
We caught the train back, ahead of a long evening of work shifts for me.
Pay to play, once again.
A very high tide to start off Friday.
I cycled off along the Trail, greeted by the high water almost bursting the sea wall.
It was high water in the pool as well.
Plus just me.
A whole pool to myself. Absolute selfish swimming bliss.
It's a shame I didn't have sufficient energy to do the space justice.
Work, work, work.
Along with Anna and the mad cat.
One of the ladies in the house was sick. I ended up having to clear it up.
Funky Friday with @RobertElms was ACE. Love Wars has always been a bit of a foot shuffler for me.
A bit of T20 cricket, and then the late, late work shift.
Oh - I managed to send off my letter btw, the one that I can't quite talk about yet.
Happy weekend, Comrades...
Early Thursday morning was once again spent being trapped by the mad cat.
I set myself up for a morning of work, and then she came and sat on my lap.
This is most odd. It has happened twice in the past five years - yesterday and today.
I didn't want to spoil the moment, but I did want to do some work.
I managed to get through an hour or so of one hand typing.
It turns out that I am rather good at this - and not for the wrong reasons, either.
A game of bluff then followed with the mad cat. Who would blink first?
After just over an hour of lap sitting, she became bored and buggered off.
Work whizzed by with an ACE soundtrack for the day.
@RobertElms played Jimmy Mack. As ever, I danced around the living room as though it was 1982 and I was back at Keyworth Youth Club.
KEEP THE FAITH.
And then a new Great Big Kiss podcast dropped.
I finished off the working day with a bit of Jerry Lee.
Good golly, Miss Molly indeed.
It was a busy evening on the writing front - various Brixton Buzz pieces, plus a submission for something that is needed by tomorrow that I can't really talk about. Yet.
And then half an eye on the Liverpool match, in-between getting myself familiar with some Essex pale ales.
Another morning work webinar to talk through the recent company changes.
Except I was trapped and almost missed the start.
I took up my position in my morning chair (there's not really an afternoon chair to be honest.)
The mad cat most unexpectedly came to join me.
Oh. Hello, luv.
The mad cat is most definitely not a lap cat. I had no idea why she decided to position herself where my MacBook should have been.
I tolerated her company for ten minutes or so.
But then the webinar was about to start.
There's a dear.
The webinar went fine. You know that you are working under a rapidly shifting situation when "traditional social media" is referred to in the past tense.
I worked on for most of the morning, and then took a break for PMQ's.
The mad cat was sick in front of the TV as soon as the PM took to his feet.
She's learning fast.
More work, more solitude in the house on my own.
And then a surprise job opportunity came my way later afternoon.
Gosh. I wasn't expecting that.
I headed off into Sunny Colch early evening for the CBC November Cabinet meeting.
Sir Bob of Sunny Colch was sitting in the public gallery.
Which was nice.
A fairly uneventful meeting, apart from the now usual political spat when it comes to Mayor Making.
I spent the remainder of Wednesday bashing out the blog post for the meeting, then catching the second half of the Man Utd match.
Some early morning Brixton Buzz action, followed by the monthly f-up from first utility in failing to bill me for an account that was shut down at the start of the summer.
The online team is being half-decent in keeping me informed; I just want shot of the company - plus a refund on what I am owed.
The rest of the working morning was carried out in solitude.
The mad cat slept throughout on her blanket now positioned on the desk from the Raj / Colchester.
Anna reckons she has fleas. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt and putting it down as dandruff.
Luncheon brought more details of the current work changes.
Mmm - that wasn't an easy email to read.
The only escape to the Great Out Doors all day was a trip to the library to buy some food re-cycling bags - TWO bundles as well.
Phew. Rock 'n' Roll etc.
Mad Hour with the mad cat kicked in a little earlier than usual. Rather annoyingly it was right in the middle of a fiddly work task.
I got my head down and led the mad cat enjoy Mad Hour all on her own.
I made a catch up with the Downtown Soulville podcasts at WFMU, something that I have neglected over the cricketing months.
Gosh, they are bloody brilliant.
And then whaddya know: football and BOOZE.
On a school day as well.
But it was Lidl cheapo pale ale.
And so that makes it alright then.
Two Glove Jase rode out to the pool on a bloody frosty Monday morning.
I lost the sense of touch in my finger tips halfway along the Trail.
West Ham Wanker greeted me at the other end with a hand shake.
I asked him about his weekend.
He told me to f-off.
One day I will break the news to him that I'm a Trent End Boy, and not a Happy Hammer, as he likes to believe.
That opportunity also presented itself on Monday morning.
But he banged on about some new West Ham signing from Forest. I hadn't got a clue who he was talking about.
Maybe my days as a Trent End Boy are numbered?
A functional 40 lengths followed, and then yet more work training for a new project back at base.
I battled all day with Anna over the control of the central heating.
I gave in late afternoon, accepting that I looked utterly ridiculous wearing two jumpers and a padded body warmer.
We both sneaked out to the train station later on to pick up some tickets, thinking that the place would be empty.
I thought that I could get away with my Work at Home fashion faux pas.
There goes my Boy About Town reputation.
The Lidl Christmas stollen cake saved the afternoon work shifts.
And then Palace Vs Sunderland for Monday evening.
A winding down Sunday after a pretty manic week of work and play.
DIG FOR VICTORY etc.
Well, I did a bit of sweeping up and general tidying around the garden.
I couldn't feel my fingers after an hour or so. I disappeared for a swim.
This was never going to be an Olympian effort. It was more about arseing about in the spa and steam room.
I ticked off 30 lengths, and then spent over an hour warming up in the spa.
I still couldn't feel my fingers. They had been transformed into shrivelled prunes.
My timing was pretty poor. I had to cycle back in the dark.
I did ponder the unlit Trail, but really couldn't be bothered.
Sunday evening was a slow one as well.
A bit of school work for SE17 and SW9, and then to bed early.
Phew. Rock 'n' Roll etc.
A wintery SW8 walk to start off Saturday.
I wasn't expecting that.
I'm carrying a WEIRD foot injury at the moment. The Brockwell Park Run wasn't even a possibility.
But I did plan for a lovely lido swim instead.
The snow was actually pretty heavy for 8am.
I 'aint cycling in that.
And so I walked all the way over to Brockwell Park instead.
I stopped off at Pete the Greek's for a haircut.
But Pete isn't there anymore, having retired over the summer months.
The haircut and the conversation from Rasheed was as equally as charming.
Something for the weekend, Sir?
Steady the buffers, Mr Barber.
I walked through Brixton, up towards Herne Hill, and then arrived at the lido alongside the usual Icicles.
The name certainly held true for Saturday. The water temperature still hadn't slipped below ten degrees, but the wind factor above the water was touching on freezing.
Two Hat Jase made the first appearance of the season.
Twelve lengths, and then it all went a little Brockwell BONKERS.
Jewellery Geraldine was applying her magnificent lipstick ahead of a brisk few lengths; I noticed that the 'summer' decking in the old toker's corner had finally been finished.
And then I'm not really sure what happened.
A bit of a Show and Tell situation developed in the gents.
Le Gai Pensionnaire had packed the wrong swimming bag.
Rather than a towel and trunks he had brought along a "Finnish birch basket" to the lido.
I have absolutely no idea how this situation was allowed to develop.
But a conversation then took place amongst the Icicles about the benefits of a Finnish birch basket at the lovely lido.
Had the cold water finally got to me?
I didn't have time to hang around to show off whatever was in my swimming bag.
The snow had stopped as so I walked all the way back to Sunny Stockwell.
A few indoor domestics, and then I cycled off to Liverpool Street, and a weekend back over there.
As ever, oh dear.
It wasn't that bad.
Anna welcomed me back with two words:
"Brightlingsea" and "BOOZE."
I didn't have time to unpack as we legged it cross country before the estuary wilds bruising skies decided to fall in on us.
We made it to the Railway just before dusk.
Three pints of ACE booze followed. All in under an hour as well.
And that was just Anna.
I had a decent chat with some of the Brightlingsea Regent boys about their season so far, all under the warmth of the welcome log fire.
We bussed it back to base, then DARTS / more booze / football.
Muso update: I think that I've finally managed to ween myself off the first Athlete album.
The new Dave Rawlins Machine offering.
Same day, same shit.
But I actually quite enjoy the 7am work shifts.
I then had a brief gap for a lovely lido swim.
We've not quite hit the testicle testing temperature of 10 degrees or lower - but BOLLOCKS; we're not far off.
The official reading was 11.7 degrees for Friday morning.
I abandoned my dry diving technique during the early days of autumn. No particular reason, apart from goggles becoming dislodged with the impact of the water.
Instead I gracefully slip into the water of Lake Brockwell (but not quite with the GLORIOUS faff put in place by @oneeyegrey...)
I had time for ten lengths of Brockwell blue.
I bloody loved it.
A quick cycle back to Stockwell, and straight into the SW9 school assembly. The Year 9 students pulled off a Paris assembly to perfection.
I spent most of the day testing out my iPhone to the max with as much video as I could shoot.
16gigs is not great, to be honest.
Come school chucking out time and I cycled off to the Clap'ham Road chemist where I had a set of passport pictures taken ten years ago.
On the agenda for today was... a set of passport photos.
The old fella still provides the service.
I made some joke about him possibly remembering a handsome face.
He told me not to smile.
No rock 'n' roll fun for Friday evening. Just school work. But that's the way that I like it.
Still can't stop playing the first Athlete album btw.
A 7am work shift, and then a mad dash for the train for a few days away in Transpontonia.
I was alive and kicking as we ROARED through the Essex commuter belt. Sadly Mr Snory sitting next to me was out for the count.
And then a cycle along the Walworth Road and a day at the ever ACE SE17.
One minute I was singing along with Stick Man, and then the next I was the Jelly Man during a Y5 Southwark Splash rehearsal.
I quite liked my style to be honest.
I delayed my SE17 departure, waiting for the bloody rain to stop.
It never really happened.
I am such a Brompton ponce. Rather than cycle through the South London puddles, I walked with the Brompton back to not so Sunny Stockwell.
Londonist published my Lambeth Council housing piece late afternoon. I'm quite pleased with it.
Good timing as well, Comrades. More of that to come...
The rest of the evening was spent editing school content and being reminded how brilliant Blue Rondo A La Turk were.
Thoughts with all for @boriswatch tomorrow
It was the morning after the night before on the Trail.
Fallen branches had to be swerved on my bicycle ride in.
A 30 lethargy morning dash followed in the pool, and then I had to peg it back to base for another work webinar.
But change is good.
I positioned myself all day downstairs at the desk from the Raj / Colchester. I had the mad cat for company.
I don't think that she appreciated all of the Late Junction mid-morning noodlings. She nodded off when it all became a little space jazz.
Work, work, work.
Plus @RobertElms playing Luka. Always something of a moment.
Luncheon was spent escaping for some EXTREME window cleaning.
It needed doing, but climbing up my ERRECT ladder during a minor estuary wilds gale wasn't the wisest thing to do.
What kind of twat cleans his windows ahead of a rainstorm, then rakes the garden ahead of a gale?
A bit more work to carry me through until early evening, and then I finished off Wednesday by writing the Londonist piece on Lambeth housing.
Dirty job, etc.
Oh yeah - I keep on playing the first albums by Athlete / Thrills / Doves.
Like middle-age never happened.
I went to bed with a smile on my face, having found out the folly that is straight talking, honest politics.
An unwelcome visit from Mr Mouse at 2am on Tuesday morning.
Bloody mad cat.
She awoke me with her banging around. Anna slept right through it.
I knew straight away that this meant that poor Mr Mouse was probably being petrified by the mad cat.
I tried to ignore the situation for a couple of minutes, but couldn't get back to sleep.
NAUGHTY mad cat.
Mr Mouse was hugging the corners of the room, whilst the mad cat tried to tease him.
All she wanted to do was to play with her new friend.
But I wanted to get back to bed.
I tried and failed to catch Mr Mouse to liberate him. The last time this happened we found a poor little fella rigid in a box of statched away After Eights a couple of months later.
Death by chocolate, etc.
I lost interest early on Tuesday morning and turned in again.
There was no sight or sound from Mr Mouse some four hours later. The mad cat was out for the count.
It all meant that my morning ride and swim were lethargic.
The stench of raw sewage coming out of the Hythe was repulsive.
The water in the pool was a little better, but I couldn't concentrate thanks to the polyester costume of the lady in the lane next to me.
MY EYES, Madam.
I had a random work shift, and then a quick turnaround for a trip to the dentist.
An old filling needed patching up.
It was actually rather pleasant, as far as trips to the dentist can be described as such.
I gave the MTB a good LUBE of the chain, and then settled down for the remainder of the working day.
I resisted the temptation of the ODI cricket.
A welcome commission came in mid-morning - 500 words for Lonondist on Lambeth's current estate regeneration policy.
I could write 5,000 to be honest.
Early evening saw the return of Mr Mouse.
I was working in silence at the desk from the Raj / Colchester. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a dart from one end of the room to the other.
OH HAI MR MOUSE.
The mad cat was still asleep upstairs, tired and emotional after a night of hunting.
It was as easy as opening the back door for Mr Mouse. He had the decency to disappear without any encouragement.
Go on. Do one. F-off. And don't come back tonight.
Work of late has involved some involvement with a Stars Wars campaign for a client.
I have... resisted so far.
But not on Monday morning.
Oh the glamour of booking tickets on Monday morning for a 10am screening in Colchester over the Christmas period with Anna.
I've told her that we are watching a weepy Christmas tear jerker.
Late Junction eased me gently into the start of the working day.
But then I was in need of some foot shufflin'.
GOOD NEWS, etc.
The Great Big Kiss new podcast got me in the mood for the rest of the working day.
MUSIC OF THE GODS.
Keep the Faith, etc.
And then WHAT A SHOW from @RobertElms. He opened with the timely What's so Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding. Roy Hudd was then the Listed Londoner.
ACE-ed it, etc.
Anna and I were both restless post luncheon. It was a working from home day for us both. We saw a chink in the estuary wilds light. We legged it outside for a brief walk.
It was down to the Quay, then up past the old Arts Club, and cutting through the estate.
I did the photo thing, just as the estuary wilds sun slipped off the radar.
It was all done and dusted in 45 minutes flat.
Work, work and work followed.
Plus I finally got to hear the Max Miller BBC banning bloke.
Blocking her passage indeed.
Ha, bloody ha.
I had some tricky school content to try and publish very late in the day. Basically it was EVERY piece of homework set by EVERY teacher for EVERY class in the school for the entire term.
It was bloody fiddly.
I started on finding the most complex solution.
I have learnt from previous mistakes that you need to offer something manageable.
This option would have worked fine for some, but not for me. I don't want to be wasting an entire week uploading homework every term, when in reality, no one is going to be accessing it.
I put in place a short cut instead.
Dropbox is your very good friend.
We both finally managed to down tools to catch the second half of the Ireland match.
A blowy bicycle ride along the Trail to start off Sunday morning. The tide was incoming, but the wind was most certainly heading in the opposite direction.
At the other end of the Trail I was greeted by an empty pool, apart from the lovely next door neighbour on the other side of the lane rope.
It could have been awkward, but of course it wasn't. We both put the lengths in, exchanged a few words, and then she managed to beat me back to base - in the car, of course.
I had some Sunday work shifts, which pretty much ate into the day. No time to start - let alone finish - anything significant.
Sorry windows - you can be cleaned another day.
I caught the final 15 minutes of the Portsmouth Vs AFC Wimbledon match.
Gosh. That looked a bloody drag.
I rediscovered Athlete's Vehicles and Animals album late in the day. I bloody loved that record back in the day. It was pleasing to hear that it hadn't aged much over the past decade or so.
I'm not quite ready for the Shed 7 revival just yet.
I had some school work to catch on from last week. My midweek morning spent with my head down the toilet on Thursday set me back.
And then Sunday evening was all about the DARTS.
The main aim for Saturday morning was to beat the Estuary Wilds rain with an early swim.
Anna and I cycled along the Trail and both ended up with wet arses.
I reluctantly became involved in a race that wasn't a race in the pool.
A fella with more tattoos on his torso than his naked flash decided to take me on.
He had a powerful stroke, but for one length only. Each time that he reached one end of the pool, he took a breather whilst I headed back down on the return length.
And then when I was back to his position, he decided to take me on again.
This pointless routine was played out for 40 of my lengths, 20 of his.
I'm not really sure what was to be gained for either of us.
A quick dry and brush up back at base, and then Anna and I headed out to not so Sunny Colch.
It was bloody miserable, to be honest.
I finally ditched a pair of mid-life crisis jeans. Whatever possessed me to buy some denim that separates in three places along the trouser leg, and has more tassels than the bra of a burlesque lady?
You're welcome to them if you head to the British Heart Foundation in Colchester.
Next up was Firstsite for the Open Exhibition. I've left it very late in the season to catch the exhibition, having been South London based for most of the time of late.
It was tremendous fun.
What I really enjoyed was the overall lack of any theme. This didn't restrict your way of thinking when trying to actually look at some of the art and appreciate it.
We then did a bit of a charity shop run ourselves. I came close to buying a beautiful pair of Kid Creole white spats.
Sorry - I just haven't got the bottle.
I did buy another cravat by mistake.
And then we joined up with the Refugees Welcome march in Colchester. It was a bloody good turn out for what was piss poor weather.
The route was pants though. You couldn't have made it more low profile if you had asked a SatNav to find the backstreets of Sunny Colch.
I suspect that this was deliberate on behalf of the police.
We had a little more shopping to complete. A trip down to the East Hill antique shop was memorable for the the BLASTING OUT of side one of the first Clash album, vinyl as well.
Fine work, Sir.
I confess to singing out loud: "I don't want to go where the rich are going..."
But we did go to the Mod Shop next.
Apologies - I just couldn't resist.
I've had my eye on them for some time.
And finally a swift pint in the Odd One Out.
I was thrown out for breaking the house rules of NO SWEARING.
I started the drying out process back at base by listening to Paul Young's No Parlez.
What an album!
Having won the Paul Young Sing Off with Anna the night before, I was keen to take on the Man himself.
I managed to match the opening "Mmm, Mmmmmm, Mmm" of Wherever I Lay my Hat. Then I lost it.
I had forgotten how No Parlez is essentially a covers album - Love of the Common People, plus Love Will Tear Us Apart.
The jury is still out on that one. I haven't the heart to suggest it as a Cover to Cover with @RobertElms.
Saturday evening was spent catching up with the last episode of Music for Misfits on the iPlayer, and then then the boxing on C5.
A good day.
The morning after the Night Nurse before.
Friday was always going to be a little groggy.
I didn't quite make the start of play in the cricket, but I did make the first work shift of the day.
Night Nurse and me have a healthy / unhealthy relationship.
It is the only upside of feeling a little green around the grills.
One sip of the magical green liquid and I am out for the count.
That count usually lasts for twelve hours plus.
I managed to pull myself around for a full on working day.
We gave the mad cat a choice: the desk from the Raj / Colchester with Anna, or sitting with me on the settee.
She wisely chose the Raj / Colchester.
It was one of those days where I just chased everything. I was about an hour behind on most things.
The working day ended, and then I... caught up with a couple of lovely, lovely old work colleagues.
It was charming.
We started watching the England football early evening.
I got bored and watched the Clough / Revie spat on youtube instead.
Oh - and a BOOZE free day as well.
My stomach is not for turning tonight,
I IS ILL.
Not ill as oh woe me, but ill as in head down the u-bend at 7am, and emptying anything that remained in my stomach.
I didn't really booze it last night, honest.
I think that I've picked something up in one of the schools earlier in the week.
It all meant that apart from work, Thursday was an absolute write off.
Thankfully it was a working from home day. I did manage to get dressed after the 7am chunder session, but it wasn't pretty.
And then mid-morning we had a [very important] work webinar.
I logged into Hang Outs, then had a huge sigh when I realised that my own web cam didn't need to be activated.
Anna was having something similar in the room next door.
As ever, my work briefing seemed far more fun.
Work carried me through all the way until 9pm.
The only solid to pass through my mouth was a smoothie.
Let's hope it doesn't reverse the route over night.
Passing ships, passing trains with Anna.
It was Wifey's turn to head off to Transpontonia early, early on Tuesday morning.
Don't forget that Di Lieto olive bread, and the LIDL BOOZE.
I had to be content with a swim in the dark.
I've absolutely no idea why, but the lights weren't on at the pool first thing.
My body wasn't really at home either.
Only time for 20 lengths, before a run of work shifts all day at home.
Some of the major work changes are starting to fall into shape.
Interesting times ahead, etc...
I managed a brief bit of gardening in-between shifts, and then some errands around the village.
Top of the list was booking Christmas Day dinner in the boozer.
Job's a good 'un etc.
I had a little more Brixton Buzz business early evening, and then as ever, DARTS, BOOZE.
Ring, ring 7am - isn't that what Uncle Joe once sung about?
Wave b-b-bye bye to the boss etc.
Try ring, ring 6am for a Monday morning work shift.
It wasn't the most busy to be honest.
I buggered off to the lovely lido at 7:30am to purify myself in the waters of Lake Brockwell.
A brief photoshoot with @mutley69, a naked catch up with @oneeyedgrey, and then I put the lengths in.
There was only time for ten on Monday morning. But each stroke was reached with plenty of love for this place.
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE, etc.
The water temperature refuses to dip below 13 degrees. It still gives you a polite slap around the face when you dive in, and leaves you chilled even after a hot shower.
But it is BLISS.
I made the incredibly short bicycle ride up to SE21 for another school day.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
I departed seven hours later with a permanent grin.
A mad dash through Brixton, and then briefly back to Sunny Stockwell.
I had BOOZE to pick up.
To take back over there.
Oh yeah - and DARTS to end Monday, as I downed the Transpontine BOOZE over there.
Good morning Sunday, good morning a 7am work shift.
As expected, the modern interweb was still sleeping, and so it was all relatively tickety boo.
I downed tools at bang on 8:30am, and the slipped off for a lovely lido swim.
These have been all too brief of late. I arrive, swim, then bugger off.
I had a little more spare time to spend down at the chilled waters of Lake Brockwell on Sunday morning. Sadly it seemed that most of the Icicles had already been and gone.
Sunday was all about the swim though. Twenty lengths of Brockwell Blue, and a lane all to myself as well.
I had the first mild chill of the season whilst showering. 13 degrees remains the perfect temperature for an outdoor swim though.
A quick cycle back to Sunday Stockwell, and then a spot of gardening.
The South London Indian summer has meant that we still have various 'things' that are still flowering.
I de-headed the Essex lavender garden that made the correct journey back down South. I may - or may not - have disturbed some of the bulbs that Anna spent all weekend planting.
A day of leisure meant that I then had some time for some photography.
@RobertElms has been banging on of late about the wonders of the great lost Clare Market.
I cycled up Kingsway, cut through Turnstile Great Turnstile, and then... looked across at a bleak Lincoln Inn Fields.
The fabled market of old was a little north of here. I wandered around some back streets, pointing my camera at anything that I took a fancy to.
Mr Elms swears by the psychogeographic draw for this part of town.
I just got a little lost and ended up back on Chancery Lane.
No worries. I kept on wandering.
I took the familiar old ITN working route of up Grays Inn Road, and then cutting through the edges of Clerkenwell and then through Leather Lane.
It was pretty grim for a deserted Sunday afternoon.
I miraculously ended up back at Lincoln Inn Fields where the bicycle was locked up.
And then the cry went out of:
To Brixton Rec!
I crossed at Waterloo, and then back through Sunny Stockwell en route to the Rec.
I made it just in time to see the Topcats tip off at the Ruffhouse.
There was quite a crowd to see the boys - and girls, with the Lady Topcats playing in the WBBL in the earlier game.
It ended up quite a classic with the home team just running out of time and points.
Sunday evening was spent catching up with bloody housework in the flat, a bit of Brixton Buzz action and the seemingly endless conveyor belt of school content to edit and publish.
A rainy start to Saturday morning meant a run rather than a swim. Don't worry - there's logic in my decision to get wet by not getting wet.
Rain and cycling to the lovely lido just don't go for me.
Bye bye Brockwell Lido, hellooo Clap'ham Common.
I set off at an incredibly slow pace, just wanting a light work out.
The final time was half-decent. Truth be told and I was in need of irrigation for the three cups of tea that I foolishly fuelled up on.
The plan was then to walk up to Brixton, then back to Stockwell with the Lambeth Libraries demo.
But bugger to that, Comrades.
Not in the South London rain, anyway.
Instead I wimped out and made the short walk down South Lambeth Road to the Tate South, the end destination for the protestors.
I was about 15 minutes ahead of the ETA.
I had a lovely, lovely insightful chat with some of the event organisers who were part of the advance party.
Well I never - I didn't know that, Madam...
And then the protestors arrived.
It was lively, respectful but bloody angry over the shoddy Cultural Consultation.
Cllr Edbrooke remained inside the library, 'holding her surgery.'
The police and protestors were out in the pissing rain.
To be fair to Jane she was talking with anyone who went inside. She just didn't want to face the crowd.
I think we both found it equally awkward with a brief photo snap for Brixton Buzz.
But ta, appreciated.
I published the protest piece for Buzz, and then walked off towards The Oval in search of the mystical 185 bus.
There was a HUGE crowd down at the Dulwich.
We all got very wet once again.
And then an evening of yet more endless school publishing, and watching the Sunny Stockwell fireworks from the back window.
Oh, and Jesus and Mary Chain.
Which always helps.
Another 6am work shift start.
It was by choice and will pay for a round of drinks later.
And so all is fine.
Plus I made the mistake of changing the autumn duvet to the winter duvet in the flat.
First World Woes etc, but I woke up far too early in anything but a cold sweat. I'll sleep in my birthday suit for Friday.
Dontcha just LOVE the level of detail I am giving you here?
I also woke to find that the two simple school videos that I set off uploading before I went to bed had finally touched down.
A cheap as chips broadband deal for the flat is proving to be something of a false economy.
A bit of Brixton Buzz action, and then I buggered off to the lovely lido.
I was a little unsure of what to expect. This was my first Lake Brockwell dip since the winter season started in November.
I definitely haven't paid for a new winter season, but the very nice guy on reception is convinced that I have.
My card worked and so I strolled through for a 12 degrees freshen up.
I'm not entirely sure why, but I seemed to float down on a current towards the old Whippersnappers end, yet struggled swimming back up in the direction of toker's corner.
Random autumnal leaves had to be navigated as I put the lengths in.
There is really no where else in the entire world where I would rather be.
Except for possibly SW9.
A school day in Sunny Stockwell lay ahead.
A highly visual Guy Fawkes assembly was a lively start to the day. I then found myself carrying out my metal detector fantasies during a drama session.\
I was asked to sign a Lambeth Council Register of Interest late in the day.
NOTHING TO DECLARE, Comrades. Absolutely NOTHING.
I had to walk back into Brixton at school chucking out time. My bloody bank card is b0rked.
Withdrawing cash over the counter via a cheque use to be a simple affair.
Not any more.
I spent the best part of half an hour in the Brixton branch trying to get BOOZE money for the weekend.
And then a walk back down Stockwell Road and an evening of more work shifts and school site editing.
I daren't check on the Forest score until FT.
But still GET WARNOCK etc.
A school day in SE17 with cufflinks by mistake.
The fresh shirt that I picked out early on Thursday morning wasn't the one that I intended.
But time was tight, and so were the bloody cufflinks. I rather like the GEEZER element to them, to be honest.
I confess to some slight transport confusion and well.
How the hell did I manage to mix up the 344 and the 35?
They both end up at Clap'ham (I think?)
But I ended up crossing at Southwark Bridge and being dumped at The Elephant.
Not for the first time, either.
As ever, the school day in SE17 just went WOH.
I finally managed to finish the photos of all staff. It's only taken me half a term to get around the entire school.
The Year 5 rehearsals for Southwark Splash were pretty special; I had a lovely time making some Year 1 firework models as well.
Oh - and it's never too early in the school term to start rehearsing Christmas Carols, Comrades.
The bruising Transpontine skies meant that I was Brompton-less for the day.
I walked back to not so Sunny Stockwell, via The Oval.
Thursday evening was spent editing school content, and then some work shifts elsewhere to finish off the evening.
It's a Lovely Lido day tomorrow