Hill run!

It’s been another eventful week at work to which I will refer in a minute, but as a consequence I didn’t get to bed until 0330 today and didn’t get up until 1305 hours.

By the time I’d had a shower, eaten some toast, let it settle, faffed about, then driven to Bolton it was 1620. I was going to do three laps of the 8 mile sampler run we did a few weeks ago.

Obviously I immediately got lost when I started running. Luckily the summit of the ascent is that huge great mast on top of Winter Hill, so you know for miles around in which direction you should be heading. And the carpark is next to a 265ft chimney, so I was pretty confident I could find my way back as well, which is a bonus.

The first ascent was pretty bad. Over marshy fields, looping around roads, trying to avoid the rivers running down the tracks.

Once I’d made it to the top I thought it would be easier to run down the way I should have come up, then back up again so I’d know the proper route. That didn’t work out right either, but I found a more direct way. Massively steep, but a straight line at least.

When I went to do lap 2 it was already pretty dark. I grabbed my torch and soldiered on. Stupid idea. Running over rutted, rocky, muddy, washed away tracks in the pitch black. There were still patches of snow on either side of the path, so it must have been fair chilly still. Going up, slogging, wasn’t so bad. I was really getting worried coming down. I ended up running down the streams as the mud had been washed away there and it was firm underfoot. That was bracing. I was really getting concerned in case I had a mishap. I was soaked in sweat (and river water) if I’d have bust an ankle it could have got serious quite quickly in the cold and wind.

Anyway, I did it. Only managed the two laps (16.38 miles) as there was no way I was going back up again in the dark. And it was getting on. And I was cold. And, let’s face it, I was quite knackered.

This is what it looked like as a graph:




Work!  What a bloody joke!

They want me to do that Gateshead run, back to Crewe, then back to Irlam. It takes 5 hours and a few minutes driving time to get there. That means, if you have a clear run back you can make up the extra few minutes due to no traffic hold ups and make it within the legal maximum of 10 driving hours. Twice a week. The other three shifts (maximum 9 hours driving) you don’t stand a hope. Now, just to add to my enjoyment, they’ve closed a massive section of the A1/ (M). This detours you through some one horse, single lane, twisty B roads all over North Yorkshire. It’s a nightmare and adds 20 minutes to your time. Which means I’ve not got back to Crewe all week.

I was still doing 12+ hour shifts even so.

One of the days they had left the bay, unto which I’m supposed to back (then tip myself), completely full. I’d pulled the truck around and was looking to see what I could do about it when a fork lift driver came up and told me to pull my curtains so he could unload me. Fair enough. I wasn’t in any position, I’d just stopped and got out for a look. The unit was still at a slight angle to the trailer. Then whilst tipping me the forky drove straight into my units lights. Totally smashed the lense cover.  Ace. Then he got a strop on saying it was my fault as I hadn’t parked straight. I was parked. If you choose to unload me in that position the onus is on you to be able to do it. Just tell me to straighten up if you can’t do it.

He went off in a big sulk and got his boss. I just wanted a new lense cover. I couldn’t drive back in that condition.  Eventually they went and bought me a replacement and fitted it. What a palaver!

The next day I was concerned as they cancelled me. It’s not a run that gets cancelled. I thought Gateshead had been on and told them they didn’t want me on site. I rang Crewe but they said it was because my old run wasn’t needed that day, so they’d sent the full-timer who’s now doing that on my current run.  Fair enough.

Apparently the works had ‘phoned the agency in the morning to tell them I was cancelled, the agency hadn’t been bothered to let me know. So I turned up at 1500 only to have to come home. I’ve got the cheapo gym option whereby I can only go 0700- 1700 Monday to Friday. This meant I had to leg it to get a quick hour in. If the agency had done their job I could have had a proper session. Arseholes.


The bank gave us a bit of a surprise this week. When I got the car I thought it would be cheaper and easier to extend the overdraft facility to £2,000, which I did online. The form said for me to confirm my details, name, age, still working as a warehouse operative at DHL, etc. The bastards always get their money back so I just clicked ‘yes’.

Suddenly this week they must have caught on. We could spend up until 1300 hours on Thursday, at 1400 ‘no available funds’. Oops.

I was whinging to Wendy,I mentioned I may have slightly falsified my application, which she referred to as “fraudulently attempting to gain credit”.  What do they care? We’ve always paid them back.

Apparently they care.

Anyway, just transferred a grand to the card and we are back in business.  Two months, maybe three, and it will all be paid off again, so the interest shouldn’t be that painful. This month we pay off my £600.20 tax bill. And still reduce the other debts.

I may not be able to do anything other than work and sleep on this new shift, but it’s handy for paying the bills.


I managed to make it to both my Kung Fu classes last week. That’s good. Did I mention the reason I didn’t see my turn off on the M62 for my Newton-le-Willows class was because it was off the M6? Professional lorry driver fail! Twice! That was my St Helens Tae Kwon Do class that was down that way. D’oh!


On to Twitter. Again I’ve not had as much time to peruse as I’d like. I just catch it on my breaks and days off mainly now. Which is some sort of human rights abuse, as far as I can tell.


The DMreporter kept us abreast with:

HEALTH: “Box-ticking culture has destroyed the NHS” says Cameron “but it works really well when deciding if disabled people can work.”

POLITICS: Homosexual campaigner criticised for claiming voting Conservative “is just a phase.”

OPPRESSION: White, middle-class, Christian, home-owning Daily Mail readers “among the most persecuted in society.”

WILDLIFE: Urban Fox cull is the highest priority, say countryside badgers.

BREAKING: Attractive woman wins court case. Afterwards she gave an interview where you could almost see her breasts. (Pictures).

CONFLICT: “Mali could be Britain’s Vietnam” warn experts with absolutely no understanding of military history.


Some top tips:

KITCHEN roll laid over scattered popping candy makes for a hellish minefield for slugs.

Whenever I’m on the Channel Tunnel, I like to pour a bottle of water over my head, then run the length of the train shouting, "IT’S LEAKING!"

To Do List : 1: Buy 4 Pigs 2: Paint numbers 1,2,3 & 5 on their backs 3: Release them in Wal-Mart 4: Sit back watch Security search for #4

ENSURE your kids stay in bed at night by standing at their door in a clown mask with plastic cutlery taped to your fingers.

VATICAN. Increase awareness and swell your coffers by using this opportunity to launch Pope Idol


There was this sad story:

Girl Gets Boyfriend’s Name Tattooed Across Face Less Than 24-Hours After Meeting IRL [In Real Life] (Originally Met Online) http://flip.it/c7Flp

To which I added: Sweet Jesus I hope that works out for that poor girl. What a muppet.

And a chum replied: yes – she should’ve gone for a marker pen for the 1st couple of dates at least


General observations:

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is that you’re stupid and make bad decisions.

I noted:  “On run, crossing road, BMW driver went straight through on red. They should change the badge to a steering wheel with an arsehole behind it.”

Watching Harry Potter on TV reminds me of the time my parents were killed and I was adopted by muggles before going to a school for wizards.

Imagine my piratey distress at discovering Seabiscuit is in fact a horse. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT HASN’T BEEN CONTAMINATED?!?! 🙁

We are seeing foxes more often round our way, these days. We now keep our glacier mints safely hidden in a cupboard

About 2,500 or so children killed or seriously injured on our roads every yea, no one gives a damn. 1 child hurt by a fox, thats a crisis?

My mother just called. ‘Is the Internet open yet? Can you check something for me?’ Told her it opens at 10am.

Dear bloke on the train with the Quagmire from Family Guy ringtone. I do hope you can dial using your colon.

The newsreader just said that we should be prepared for more unwelcome news. That’s not really selling it.

The Pope, a packet of Tesco burgers, Richard III and Chris Huhne walk into a bar. Twitter melts.

Sometimes when getting off a train with headphones on I wait til the person next to me moves then follow muttering "target is moving".

Sky News just described someone as "the victim of a gun-related shooting".

Hard to know where this guy’s parents stood politically:

I drew this during a training session. it’s called "your powerpoint presentation killed my bunny."


The Pope resigned:

The Pope has resigned. My guess, he was involved in some sort of horrible movement when he was younger and doesn’t want us to find out.

So remember: when you’ve got the Spanish Inquisition and the Hitler Youth on your resume, eight years leading Catholicism is all you get.

Wanted: Celibate bigot with experience of enabling paedophiles. Infallibility preferred. Bullet proof van provided. Salary: Unlimited

@TonyForPope (Tony Blair spoof account) tweeted: Ask me my three main priorities for the Papacy, and I tell you: transubstantiation, transubstantiation, transubstantiation #TonyforPope

And got this reply: Surely he would be against sin and the causes of sin ……

Pope walks into a mosque. Imam says "Why the wrong faith?"

BREAKING: Statement from Vatican says Pope resigning so he can "spend more time judging your family"

Just realised the pope resigned 2 days before lent… Seems like someone didn’t want to give up cigarettes or roller-blading.

@paddypower have put odds on Richard Dawkins @richarddawkins becoming Pope at 666/1.

The Pope in Rome Tweeted:  Phew! David Cameron has praised my decision. I was worried he might mention the whole kiddy fiddling thing for a second there. Panic over.

On the up side this does mean I’m free to play The Emperor in Disney Lucasfilm’s upcoming Star Wars trilogy. Have your people call my people

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. This was my decision alone. We are in control. Now eat this magic bread.

I observed:

Someone saying Brits can’t knock nazi pope as our royal family have links. Royals aren’t considered God’s gobpiece. And I want a republic.

As I recall it ended rather poorly for the last monarch who claimed the divine right of kings.


Political observations:

really enjoy the phrase "the anti-war left" like not liking wars is some niche trotskyist talking point

Comparing US drone killings to Latin American death squad killings is just silly. The US is in *North* America.

Sarah Palin posted on Facebook: "A CNN anchor asked if an asteroid was caused by global warming. Duh! Asteroids are caused by GAY MARRIAGE."

Voting UKIP because you don’t like the Tories & Labour, is like saying "I hate Pepsi & Coke, so I’ll drink piss.”

Blimey, clips from ‘Metropolis’ in a report about the Cait Reilly #workfare legal victory: I sense #newsnight has taken a view..


Tory Scum:

Are we seriously doing the whole killer urban foxes thing again? Those toffs just want an excuse to mount up and hunt the poor things.

So foxes (which are in essence wild animals) attack twice in 5 years. Dog attacks are reported almost daily yet no action. #hiddenagenda

Jeremy #Hunt is delivering this speech like he has never seen it before, let alone written it. Or seen paper. Or words.

Boris Johnson on urban foxes: They look cuddly, but they’re a dangerous menace. Oh the irony Boris, the irony.

Fox harms one baby & MPs scream for a cull. Coalition sends thousands to poverty & even death and NOTHING. When do we cull toxic Government?

The most outspoken opponent of a mansion tax is Boris Johnson. Estimated value of Boris’s home: £2.6m.

If #Newsnight covered horsemeat like they did NHS privatisation, we’d have hours of promotional videos for Romanian abattoirs.


And some from the vaults:

I wonder if Adele is over me?

How bad was the break-up, on a scale of 1 to Adele?

Fine Young Cannibals? That’s ridiculously lenient sentencing!


Right, enough for now.