A 7am work shift, Late Junction, and then packing Anna off to South London.
I was left with the 8:30am swimming option out in the estuary wilds.
The Trail was hard and fast - the way that I like it.
My MTB tyres were pumped up to the max PSI.
It was a good ride.
Forty lengths in the pool, and then another high pressure PSI ride back to base for more work.
@RobertElms and the Rock 'n' Roll Routemaster had a wonderful chat about Shaky. I particularly liked the early years and his history in the Young Communist League.
The mad cat was a chatty as ever as she dozed off on the BT box.
I took my opportunity to worm her. I failed badly.
I cut up a cactus instead.
We've had the cactus since the original South Lambeth Road days back in the 90's. It's grown from one shoot to half a dozen.
And then just before Christmas, one of the prickly phallic things went a little limp and started to wobble.
I gave it the snip late afternoon.
I've been reading around cactus restoration. The plan is to add a little life back into the drooping offshoot.
The circle will be complete when I return it back to South Lambeth Road.
I caught up with the four hour Boxing Day CHOONS with Gilles Peterson whilst working the afternoon shifts.
It's been an ACE year for music. ALL winners.
I finished off The Chronic Review of 2015 early evening, and then settled down for the Sunderland Vs Liverpool match.
I conveniently forgot to try and worm the mad cat once again.
A slowly, slowly back into the work routine for Tuesday.
An early morning shift, a swim, and then more work.
That was about your lot for today.
The cycle along the Trail was stunning. The tranquility was almost over-powering.
A spring dragon fly took an interest in my body heat on the way back.
Strange days, Comrades.
I caught the final few overs of the Test match ahead of more work.
It genuinely felt like mid-summer, rather than a few days past the winter solstice.
I resisted the urge to sunbathe on the sodden garden lawn.
We published the Brixton Buzz Review of 2015 today. It's a piece of writing that I 'm rather proud of - not so much for the prose, but such the scope that a three-man team can put together.
I dug out The Human's League Dare late afternoon. I've no idea why. Possibly something to do with first hearing this during Christmas 1981?
As with most synth-pop, it sounds slightly dated.
To my surprise my download included The League Unlimited Orchestra remix album tagged along at the end - a far superior listen.
I had some fiddly file updates to complete early evening.
My list of WP plugins NOT to update is growing.
I found out the hard way this evening by updating a plugin for a school site. It completely b0rked the menu.
Thankfully I had a non-corrupt version sitting on the server of another school site.
Job's a good 'un.
And then y'know: darts / football, but NO booze.
7am work start tomorrow.
A 7am work shift on Bank Holiday Monday. No worries - it would cover the cost for my day of leisure ahead.
Work was actually incredibly busy, with the expected fall out following the Christmas period.
Anna and I then cycled down a sun-blessed Trail for a morning swim.
The Trail was absolutely deserted at 8am, except for a squirrel who chose to stand in the path of my MTB by the woods.
The pool wasn't so quiet.
I was forced into a lane with Anna, and forced to race her.
Blame the cheese intake from the night before.
West Ham Wanker was holding court in the gents. My ears were full of water, and so thankfully I was spared.
We cycled on to Sunny Colch, and a 10:15am date at the Odeon for The Force Awakens.
The bloody trailers were LOUD and out of focus.
We then looked around, and saw that everyone else in the cinema was wearing a pair of shades.
Anna then clocked that we had booked into a bloody 3D screening.
The Force Awakens was about to start, and we were looking at red and green blobs, rather then the most anticipated movie of the year.
I legged it back down to the reception to buy a pair.
I then walked into the wrong screen, walking around looking for Anna.
I'm not sure what shit I was watching. Last time I looked the Republic didn't wear traditional Elizabethan costumes.
The Force Awakens was of course ACE. In years gone by I would have bashed out a blog post. But there are far better critics to do this than me.
There was an extreme sense of deja vu, with The Force Awakens essentially being a remake of a New Hope.
We walked out of the Odeon shortly after midday, just as a young Stormtrooper was entering for the matinee screening.
Top work, fella.
And then I bought a pair of wellies.
LIVE the dream, etc.
We stayed around Sunny Colch for a short while doing the photography thing, and then a trip across town to see the Dodds exhibition at Firstsite.
The cycle all the way back to base was a little wobbly with me carrying the wellies.
We made it back in time to catch the final session of the Test match.
Some more work shifts, and then you know the rest: football, darts, BOOZE.
A rare early morning walk out to Brightlingsea and beyond with Anna.
Usually we start these rambles after luncheon, and then end up chasing the last remaining rays of sun light before it all goes a little Blair Witch in the woods.
We decided to just attempt one thing on Sunday, and that would be a leisurely walk.
Well, well, well - there's a bloody river along the route. Fancy that. We've never seen that before with our heads down as we make haste to the Brightlingsea boozer.
The weather leaving Wivenhoe wasn't great.
I tried to do the photo thing, but spent more time fretting over my damp lens.
It cleared up once we reached the Creek. The the cross-country trek around the back of Brightlingsea was positively balmy.
The luxury of time to take it all in was welcome.
We approached Brightlingsea from some back streets, and then weaved our way down to the harbour.
The tide was bloody high. Walking along the foot ferry pontoon was a little like a fairground House of Fun ride from back in the day.
BOOZE was on the agenda. But neither of us was really up for it.
Instead we dined on tea and cake in a local cafe.
It should have been fine for the bus journey back to the base.
Except the bloody bus didn't turn up.
An hour later and we were cold and tired, but boarding the fun bus back to Wivenhoe, just in time for the start of the Forest Vs Dirty Leeds match.
Bloody Dirty Leeds.
I edited the photos, and then organised my costume for the evening entertainment.
Costumes and acting are something that I just don't do.
But a very kind invite to a house party required an element of both.
Plus some Christmas singing come the close.
I was pretty crap at the acting, but enjoyed bellowing out some festive songs.
Back to work tomorrow morning.
An aching frame for Boxing Day morning.
I am but one house move away from a bloody stair lift.
I delicately limped down the stairs on Saturday morning, and then collapsed in the tea drinking chair for the best part of an hour.
Morris dancing was on the agenda for luncheon.
But balls to that.
We really couldn't face it to be honest.
And so instead Anna and I rolled out on the MTB's for the usual weekender route.
The aches and pains were worked off with each pedal rotation.
We clocked in a half-decent time, considering we were going around the reservoir on bloody clunky MTB's.
The scenery was pretty stunning.
It was high tide along the muddy banks of the Colne as we set out.
And then the Mersea and Stroud estuary was glistening in the midday sun as we made our way out towards the coast.
Every berry tree [?] was heavy with... berries.
I mean bloody heavy. I've never seen so many small red balls line the lanes as we went around the circuit.
We pulled in for a swim and freshen up on the way back.
Forty lethargic lengths, and then we arsed around in the spa.
We made it back to base just before the estuary wilds sunlight finally faded.
My butt collapsed.
It is full of water after a heavy few days of rain.
The wind blew my butt into the fence.
I tried to patch it all up with what remained of the daylight.
I'm not sure that my butt will stay standing overnight.
And then the aches and pains started once again.
Darts, football and Boxing Day BOOZE was the best cure for that.
Gonna be interesting tomorrow morning.
Oh yeah - I rediscovered the magic of Yello later in the evening.
What a band!
Trapped once again for Christmas Day morning.
So much for the 7am run.
Instead I had the mad cat taking up her morning spot on my chest. Those claws 'aint getting any softer.
And so it was an 8am plod around the mean streets of Sunny Colch instead.
The plan was for the usual 8km route. I found my rhythm by the University, and so kept on running.
All the way down to the Big Red Boat, and then back up by the University.
12km. Happy with that.
A bloody walk?
Anna was really up for it. We had both seen the estuary wilds weather forecast. It wasn't looking too clever.
As soon as we left the house it started to drizzle.
We got down to the Quay and it became slightly heavier.
Halfway across a field in Gawd knows where, and it became a downpour.
But it's better than staying indoors watching crap TV.
A bit of a drying out back at base, and some photo editing.
And then the shout went out for:
"To the BOOZER!"
Actually it was two boozers.
One for booze, and one for booze and food.
Double bubble, etc.
The Greyhound was ACE.
I was in serious trouble after the main course. The belt was loosened, and I needed to take some air.
I managed the mince pie, and then we gave in with the doggy bag for the cheese.
Early evening was family catch up time, and then presents.
A South London Hardcore T-shirt, a Forest DVD and some long Johns.
I am easy to please.
We finished off a tiring, but enjoyable Christmas Day by watching the Forest DVD.
I still believe in miracles, etc.
A 7am work shift, and then...
A few bell ends on the Trail this morning.
It's that bicycling etiquette of Do I or Don't I ring the bloody bell?
Damned if you do, etc.
For the record: I always ring.
This usually leads to sneers from the nature lovers out doing their nature loving thing on the Trail.
Christmas Eve appeared to bring out the sneerers en masse.
Sneery look as though I have just startled the rarest of birds in the whole world
I won't bother next time, Madam. I'll just plough straight through you.
And so I was a little pumped up for the morning swim.
Which was unfortunate as it was a rare His 'n' Hers swimming session with Anna.
I didn't engage in the aquatic duel that deep down I know that she craved for.
Enjoy your swim, luv.
Some more work back at base took me through to late afternoon.
Anna did the Christmas food shopping.
This involved buying cheese and and BOOZE.
I finally finished the Brixton Buzz Review of 2015 early evening.
SO much to fit in. Deciding what stories to leave out has been tough.
And then we spent Christmas Eve on the piss round at the neighbour's, before falling into the pub.
No DING DONG action tomorrow morning.
Have a good one.
The Wednesday estuary wilds weather was just BONKERS.
Bright sunshine, from dawn to dusk. Enough blue sky to make a sailor a pair of pants.
I actually hung the washing out on the outside line early morning.
The ride along the Trail to the pool was stunning.
I was wearing my summer cycling shades. I could have got away with short sleeve lycra as well.
The swim itself was so so.
Work has scaled down slightly.
I'm working up until tomorrow evening, and then back on Boxing Day.
I escaped to the garden for an hour just as the sun was setting over the estuary wilds.
I could have been sunbathing, but I had HACKING to do.
It would be a push to call it gardening. It was more like HACKING out anything that looked dead.
Which happened to be half the garden.
Plus the evergreen bloody ivy, that refuses to die.
DEATH to the ivy.
The raspberry bushes looked fallow and empty of life. These were delivering a daily harvest but three months ago.
Nature really is quite LOVELY.
A little more work, and then I played with the mad cat.
We've both done very well - over a week without Anna in the house.
Speaking of which: the girl returned from South London later in the evening. The mad cat went BONKERS.
The Brixton Buzz awards were bashed out early in the evening. As ever, we made them up as we went along...
Tell It Like It Is, etc.
Love time of year.
Which now means that I have bloody Colonel Abrams... trapped in my head.
But yeah - I woke up Tuesday, unable to move as the mad cat had taken up her position on my chest.
She may be mad, but she is also adorable. I hadn't the heart to shift her.
When we both finally got going, she carried on with the routine.
I took up my place in my morning tea chair, and yep, the mad cat came to join me on my lap.
Anna doesn't believe a word of this. She was trapped herself over in South London.
I had some early morning work shifts, and so had to complete them trapped, cat on lap, MacBook balanced on the arm of the morning tea chair.
The morning swim was slightly delayed.
It was a strange all-male affair, with topless torsos racing up and down the pool.
I plodded along and tried not to get caught up in any internal race.
More work followed back at base. I had something of a testing day with the work tools.
I looked ahead to the New Year late afternoon with some South London planning.
Synching my here and there lifestyle with Dulwich, cricket, Critical Mass etc can be confusing.
It looks like the term dates for 2016 tie in with the London Lions home fixtures for the second half of the season.
I blagged a ticket for the L****er Riders ball game at the start of the month.
And then more Brixton Buzz end of year review action, with the ACE Gilles Peterson Worldwide Winners as my tappety tap soundtrack.
And then darts.
Booze free, as well.
A day jumping back and forth between different work projects.
I quite enjoyed the variety.
The estuary wilds weather was bloody awful.
I positioned myself in the office, sitting opposite the mad cat.
After keeping me awake all night with her marching on my chest, I repaid the favour by allowing her to listen in on my work conversations.
Sweet dreams, luv.
I tried to delay heading out for as long as possible. But I had a few pre-Christmas errands to run.
I ventured out just before the Solstice dusk, down to the Quay to deliver some cards, and then back up towards the top of the town for milk and cat food.
I get paranoid this time of the year that we will run out of both on Christmas Day.
Some early plans for 2016 were put in place later in the afternoon. Meetings about meetings. But I'm pretty excited.
I went back to my indie routes early evening. Inspired by @richardgallon's annual Christmas podcast, I fired up iTunes, and our came... The Wedding Present.
Well I never.
Bizarro hasn't aged well to be honest.
I took the only rational course of action, and turned to The Jesus and Mary Chain instead.
There. Thats better.
I got my head down with the Brixton Buzz review of the year. I made it as far as May.
I don't think that we are in for a happy ending, Comrades...
And then a mixture of darts / the Arsenal Vs Man City match.
Anna kept on sending me pics of her rather large glasses of red that were being served up first class, as she sped from one end of the country to the other.
It seemed rude not to join the girl in her rude health.
I attempted to use my non-existent 'O' Level woodwork skills early on Sunday morning.
Out came the hammer and I BANGED away.
Nothing too serious. A few nails have come loose in the wisteria support frame.
I bloody LOVED banging away.
And then I went for a swim.
Sunday swim sessions of later have become something of a lost day as I put in the lengths, and then fall asleep in the spa.
It was no different today.
I woke up and looked at the pool clock, realising that I had half an hour before my work shift started.
A quick shower, and I was back at base just in time.
I caught the end of the Watford Vs Liverpool match, then worked on some school content whilst Swansea and West Ham went through the motions.
I waited for the estuary wilds rain to finish early evening, and then made the short walk down to the Quay for the Carols.
It was an impressive turn out.
I didn't sing a single note.
I did record the Carols though for the forum.
A little more school work, and then Sports Personality.
Which lost the magic many, many years ago.
A darts hangover to start Saturday morning.
I'll be back on the oche later, mind.
A trip the farmer's market didn't help.
All I wanted was some basic veg. I ended up stumbling through some random hangover conversations.
Christmas dinner was then organised.
I say organised, I mean that I popped into the boozer and gave the bar staff our menu choices.
Job's a good 'un.
And then finally a cycle along the Trail for a luncheon swim.
It was incredibly mild out in the estuary wilds. This doesn't feel like the Christmases that I remember.
I absolutely BOMBED in the pool.
I had the entire pool to myself, but still I couldn't hit the right strokes.
The second half of the Brighton / 'Boro game put me in the mood for some proper football. I buggered off to watch Wivenhoe Town Vs sorry, forgotten who.
6-1 to the Dragons. I rather enjoyed it to be honest.
Early evening was spent rustling up some slop from the farmer's market odds and sods that I picked up. I've got enough for four days of meals.
More bloody school video editing followed. I've just about finished.
And then DARTS.
Another 7am work shift, and then another mad dash to the lovely lido.
With the winter solstice upon us next week, the blue waters of Lake Brockwell are not open until as late 8:15am at the moment.
This makes for something of a splash and shower spectacle, when you are expected at school for a 9am start.
I managed a brief photo opportunity with Le Gai Pensionnaire, and then had 8 lengths of Brockwell blue.
The water was way too warm.
The official reading was 10 degrees, but I suspect a couple higher.
I was fine with only one swimming hat, and then had to set the shower temperature to cold in the slightly stuffy changing room.
A cycle through Loughborough Junction, Camberwell, and then through to SE17.
It was the BEST day of the school year.
Not in absolute terms (I have personally had better...) but for sky high staff and pupils who are all in need of a Christmas break.
I was stuck in a bloody annoying iPad tech loop.
It should have been so simple: I wanted to lift some school Christmas concert videos off an iPad.
The ideal solution would to simply upload via the iPad to the school Vimeo account. But the broadband capacity wasn't there for 25 or so video clips.
No worries. I will mail them to myself.
Except the school server won't accept gmail connections for some weird reason.
OK - how about installing my ancient hotmail account on the school iPad, and then try this route.
It worked, but it meant that the clips were all horribly... clipped.
I then needed to upload them to iMovie on the Mac, edit, export, and then upload again to Vimeo.
Back in the day and my reliable flip cam would have turned this around in half an hour or so.
The modern interweb: overrated.
I had to duck out of the Secret Santa consumer fest at chucking out time.
I was booked on the 16:44 back to over there, with a very special girl waiting for me.
The mad cat has been on her Jack Jones for the past 48 hours
She greeted me with a roll, and then sulked all evening.
My ROCK 'N' ROLL Friday night continued with chuffing video issues.
All of the work that I put together during the day was of course exported at a WHOPPING file size via the set up on the school iPads.
I tried to upload 10 new clips to Vimeo.
The uploader gave up after the first ten seconds of the first video.
And so to complete this fargo update with a weird fixation with Friday video files, I then opened each file in Quicktime, exported it back down to a reasonable size, and then uploaded to Vimeo once again.
I've got ten more clips of the school Christmas concert to go. My Vimeo limits are set to ten uploads per day.
I'm in this for the weekend.
Bloody hate video. Audio all the way.
I finally managed to get my head down for some serious DARTS action around 9pm.
World Champs - LOVE IT.
A 7am work shift, and then the 8:34 train back to South London.
I looked sharp, even if I say so myself.
The cycle down to Sunny Stockwell was strangely quiet.
What has happened to all of the traffic?
Even the new Elephant Bend was a bit of a breeze. I still managed to get lost though.
And then there was a strange SW9 school day.
It was all fun of course, but I switched SE17 with SW9 for the day.
The school Christmas talent contest was taking place in SW9.
Cliche, cliche crap - but this is the real meaning of Christmas.
So many kids - some with talent, others less so to be honest.
But everyone was grinning.
My mouth hurts.
It was fitting that a young stand up comedian was the winner.
Thursday evening was spent back in the flat, battling with crappy broadband and losing the battle to upload school videos.
And laughing at Chelsea.
Late Junction to start an early morning.
The show is always something pretty special around this time of year.
I never understand why some folk listen to Late Junction... late. I'd just nod off to be honest.
For me it is the perfect early morning listening to set me up for the rest of the day.
I had a burst of work shifts, and then disappeared for a mid-morning swim.
I noticed that the elephant feet plants in the garden are starting to flower already.
My route cycling along the Trail was blocked by a fallen tree.
And then once in the water, I ticked off the 40 lengths in a lane to myself, and then was back at base for an afternoon of work.
I attempted a mad dash of a gardening session before sunset.
It was bloody wet and messy out there.
I gave up after raking a pile of leaves off the lawn.
Rock 'n' Roll Wednesday came to a close with some bloody housework, ahead of escaping to South London in the morning.
A dull day - made duller still with Anna disappearing incredibly early off to South London.
This wasn't the estuary wilds weather for heading out. I stayed in and got my head down.
Stop / start work shifts took up most of the day. The modern interweb melts in the run up to Christmas.
I then decided to try and make some progress in my online un-archiving project.
This has been ticking along incredibly slowly for the past couple of years.
Basically I'm uploading all of my images from CDR over the past decade back to my online archive, sorting, tagging, and then trying to think of a suitable system for sharing.
I'm pretty excited about it - especially the ten years of school pics that I have hidden away.
I haven't seen most of these images in over a decade.
Dulwich, Streatham Redskins and London Towers basketball feature heavily.
In fact for the period 2005-2010, all that I did was watch Dulwich, Redskins, Towers...
It's a slow task to complete this process.
In two years of on and off tinkering with the CDRs, I've got as far as... 2005.
@RobertElms kept me company for the shifts / photo sorting.
I really didn't want to enjoy the three hour Peckham special, but the listeners came up with some fantastic local stories.
I then received an invite for speed-dating.
Relax - it's not as SEXY as it seems.
I have been invited to speed-date as a sociology graduate with undergrads, telling them how my ACE degree has changed my life.
Except it hasn't.
Sorry luv, I just don't fancy you, etc.
I let them down gently.
My interest in all things archival then got me making a start on the 50 odd unplayed Downtown Soulville podcasts.
I reckon that this was what I listening to back in the day when I was taking all of those snaps.
Plus I never knew that Got My Mind Set On You is an old soul 45 original.
Tuesday evening was spent watching the Salford match.
Oh - and half an eye on @SE1's Twitter and Mixlr feed.
Bloody Garden Bridge.
A plod of a day.
And that was Monday, pretty much.
It was definitely a case of another day, another dollar.
Not much else happened, apart from work.
Anna and I kept on clashing on the home working front.
"Nope - I'm busy now..."
Our schedules didn't synch all day.
My body was aching all over. It's probably playing catch up after a weekend of partying.
I took the opportunity of a Sainsbury's BOOZE order late in the day to unwind whilst watching the Forest Vs Blackburn match.
Like I said - a plod of a day.
I woke up on Sunday morning for the final time in the family home in the Fair City.
It was a fitting achievement that I woke up with a hangover.
I felt like I was 17 years of age all over again.
As ever, a morning swim was the only solution.
I ventured out to the Keyworth Duck Pond [not really a duck pond] where I first learnt to swim.
It's my least favourite place to swim.
But a swim is a swim.
I managed 40 lengths, and then pondered a full frontal 'male shower' in the bloody awful mixed sex 'village' changing rooms.
I would have received a ban for life, and no doubt a place on some nonce register.
I walked back to the family home, and past the setting up of the Keyworth Turkey Trot event.
I was very tempted to pound the mean streets of South Notts for 13 miles. But I have some very odd body injuries right now.
A brief visit from my sister and young niece, and then Sunday was mainly about some long form writing.
I've got various end of year reviews to start thinking about.
There's no way I'm going to rush write these on 31 December.
I bashed out my own personal thoughts, and then started work on the Brixton Buzz end of year round up.
Blimey - we've been bloody busy.
SO many stories coming out of SW9 in the past 12 months.
It was tough trying to cut down the story count, and concentrate on what were the big stories.
They were ALL big stories.
A brief work shift, and then I took some final photos around the house whilst there was still some daylight.
We watched a bit of the Arsenal match, and then the Spurs match to follow.
My first Christmas dinner was gratefully received early evening, ahead of a train journey all the way back over to the estuary wilds.
I arrived back over there pretty knackered, and still slightly hungover.
"Do you want a 7:30am Saturday morning work shift?"
Probably best not after a 2am school party the night before.
And so I settled on the lovely lido instead to start off the weekend.
I was late in arriving, catching the tail end of the other Icicles at 10am.
This also meant that I had a lane to myself.
Twenty lengths. 'Avi it.
It was probably four too many to be honest. But the mental figure of 20 pushed me through the FUCK - what's happened to my fingers feeling.
The hangover was cured, and just hd time for a few flat chores at Sunny Stockwell.
"To St Pancras!
Or To The Fair City, via St Pancras.
I had family Christmas commitments back in Nottingham.
This is probably the final time that I will get to spend in the family home. The folks are moving on...
I saw my sister and a nephew, fresh from his gymnastics display.
I made a crap Uncle joke about the spelling of Boyz on the back of his gym club hoodie.
We watched some Ram Slam T20 and the Man Utd match, and then I buggered off to the City of Death.
It was bloody brilliant of course. The reason to cross the County boundary to Leicester was for the annual Diesel Park West Christmas gig with the crowd that I use to run with back in the day.
Booze and Byrds inspired strumming from the heart of the Midlands.
I kept up the tradition of blagging another DPW set list ti file away with the other 20 or so.
Another swim tomorrow morning hopefully, back in the pool where I first learnt to put in the lengths.
Back in the water for Friday morning.
It was more like back in the water for the bicycle ride in to be honest. The Trail was a bloody mess.
I managed to have a lane to myself in the pool. I put is a satisfactory 40 lengths.
And then back to base, and back in the estuary wilds mud all over again.
What a mucky pup.
Work was pretty good for the end of the week.
I received some unexpected news about a client for the new year ahead.
Job's a good 'un, etc.
And then late afternoon I buggered off back to South London.
Friday night was spent in Camberwell on a school Christmas party night out.
I'm always a little unsure of these events.
But yeah - I rather enjoyed myself.
I had a bit of a bop as well.
Lovely lido for the hangover cure in the morning
The mad cat alarm call worked wonders for Thursday morning.
She was marching away on my chest, well ahead of sunrise.
And then she refused to move.
I was trapped in my own bed by a mad cat who had taken up residence on my warm chest.
I played along for a short while, and indulged her new place of sleep.
But pay to play, etc - time to WORK.
She didn't speak to me for the rest of the morning, apart from throwing up a mix of dry food and garden grass.
In better news: First Utility - DO ONE etc.
My cheque finally arrived on Thursday. I am free from the far from competent utility company.
It only took the best part of a year to resolve this.
A leisurely cycle along a blustery Trail followed.
At the other end I found my barber (actually, she's a hairdresser, but that doesn't sound quite as blokey.)
A quick No.1 all over, and then a quick dash for the pool.
But there was to be no swim for Thursday morning.
Woe is me, but I'm still full of snot and shit.
I arsed around in the spa and steam room instead.
A mild working day, with a later afternoon trip into Sunny Colch.
I had a 'business meeting' (ha!) for a possible new year project.
I finally managed to buy a pair of M&S slippers as well.
Don't ask, but hellooooo Dad.
And then on to the Town Hall for the final CBC Full Council of 2015.
Anna came back from South London late in the evening.
The mad cat went extra BONKERS.
I fear that we won't get much sleep this evening.
Bright estuary wilds skies to greet Wednesday morning, which meant a midweek swim.
But something wasn't right.
The signs at the pool directed me towards the female changing room. I didn't need much encouragement to be honest.
Inside I found West Ham Wanker shampooing his short 'n' curlies.
Happy Wednesday, etc.
The Wife Swap situation was to do with workmen carrying out some repairs. If I had known I would have brought my bikini instead of my trunks.
It wasn't the best of swims - 40 lengths with a blocked nose.
I'm never sure if a swim is the best cure for a timid cold. I'll find out tomorrow morning.
Some work shifts back at base, and then a out to meet an old work colleague from... 1987.
It turns out that we have both been washed up in the same estuary wilds village.
The social then became the practical. The conversation turned towards a couple of new projects for 2016.
I have the ideas, the skills, and hopefully the time.
An afternoon of further work shifts followed. I'm still locked out of some of my key online tools.
A workaround has been sourced. I'm treading carefully...
Aswad were the Reggae Tune of the Day with @RobertElms. As ever they sounded absolutely ACE.
We'll get to see them at Lambeth Country Show one summer...
Early evening was spent on bloody end of year tasks. By nature, it is a chore every chuffing year.
It involved going through my files, updating records and shredding outdated documents that have now been replaced by 2015 versions.
Remember: financial investments can go down, as well as up.
I was on a roll though, and so foolishly attempted the Christmas card writing session.
I'm pretty organised, with an Evernote list of folk to send cards to each year.
I went up to the loft to get the spare cards that were left over from last year.
I resisted the temptation to get the decorations down as well - far too bloody early.
Much to my surprise, Anna was incredibly organised as well.
A pack of cards had a post it note on saying: Used same cards in 2012.
I think that a three year break is sufficient. It does show the folly of the whole card exchange thing though.
Have a good one, etc.
And then the second half of the Arsenal match.
A His 'n' Hers work morning from home. We were both desk bound at 6:30am.
Anna then buggered off to South London, leaving me with some company network connectivity issues.
Working remote is all fine, except when the internal connectivity isolates you.
I went for a walk instead to the Post Office to collect another pair of Rockabilly jeans that I have bought.
I'm in love with them already.
The cut of the denim is ACE. You definitely need to decide if you want to hang left or right before buttoning them up.
No room for swingers.
Chas and Dave livened up the luncheon working shifts with @RobertElms.
True Diamonds. We will be eulogising them as London icons in generations to come.
More work with a restored internal network followed.
And then Tuesday came to a close with some school editing from SE21 yesterday, and laughing at Man Utd.
An 8:10am opening for the lovely lido.
What's that all about?
As Icicles we can survive the almost sub-zero water temperature, but not darkness apparently.
I was prepared for this, and so set off a little later from what was a genuinely Sunny Stockwell.
I was still late, natch.
The usual Icicle crowd was already towelling down.
I had something of a strange female changing room incident - I really can't explain what happened, and I don't think that the poor @KingsWellFish can either.
And so only time for eight lengths this morning, and then a cycle up through Herne Hill, en route to a school day in SE21.
Straight outta the pool, straight into... Mariah bloody Carey.
All Christmas songs are ACE of course, apart from Mariah bloody Carey.
And then the day went, just like that.
I managed to make it around most classes, Primary through to Secondary.
There is still plenty of learning taking place. The Christmas countdown has yet to fully kick in.
Come chucking out time and I had to finally head back to over there after my week of self-imposed Transpontine exile.
Oh dear, etc.
I had the joy of the new E&C roundabout that isn't a roundabout to cycle over.
It was a doddle, to be honest.
Back at base and I had another work seminar - the final one following some pretty major company changes.
The phrase 'brilliant jerk' was referenced.
And then Monday evening was spent editing school content, with a half an eye on Anna's Blue Nose Toffee boys.
On Sunday morning I learnt that cider drinking leads to a hangover.
Top of the class for me...
That bloody hurt.
I stumbled around the flat for a bit, only to realise that the way to shake this off was for a lovely lido swim.
Some trips over to Lake Brockwell are easier than others.
Sunday morning was particularly painful.
I arrived just after 9:30am. Most of the other Icicles had already put their lengths in.
I spoke with David and Peter, trying to delay the inevitable.
In the end it was absolutely lovely of course.
Ten lengths was the aim; I was happy with my 12.
I cycled back to Sunny Stockwell with a clear head.
A bit blogging catching up from yesterday, and then I put on the gardening gloves.
There's not a lot to do at this time of the year. It's mainly picking up crisp packets that find their way on to my SW8 lavender lawn.
I swept up a pile leaves, and disturbed what was more of a medium sized snake than a garden worm.
And then out went the call of:
"To Brixton Rec!"
The Topcats were at the Ruffhouse home against Ipswich Hoops. It was lively old game, with the away team pulling away at the close.
I think I've got my basketball love back to the same levels for when we regulars at Crystal Palace for the London Towers.
I'd certainly rather watch basketball than professional football right now.
Sunday came to a close with a bit of school work to finish off for tomorrow, and then very early to bed, booze free.