Lakeland fun and frolics.

I’ve had a bit of fun in the Lakes the last two weeks. Friday last week, when I was looking forward to an early dart so I could do some hard training on Saturday, I got to my furthest point from base and broke down.

I’d gone under the trailer I was to take and started the ‘tug test’ (where you try to drive forward, twice, to make sure you are properly connected.) There was an electrical type smell and a red light flashed up on the dash saying the clutch was knackered.


I rang work and they got a local mechanic out. He tried to reboot the clutch but it wasn’t having it.He wanted to call out a tow truck to recover the truck and trailer but I told him the route I have to take you physically can’t fit a truck, trailer and tow truck. He left. I rang work again. They said they’d send a driver up in another unit (truck). 3 hours drive. He didn’t have satnav and didn’t know the run.

Can you see how my day was going?

I told him that he was going to have to take the bloody scary route I have to use as the main road is still closed to lorries. To be sure of my instructions I asked a local driver.

I told him I take the A591, as per the traffic office’s directions. “All our drivers go that way.”

The driver strongly disagreed. There is a simple route of main roads and dual carriageways that only puts about 10 minutes on the journey. The 591?  “No driver would ever go that way!”

Better and better.

The thing is though, after crapping myself for the first week, I quite like that route now. It’s demanding but so focusing.

This meant I had to talk the rescue driver through a route I’d never travelled. The blind leading the blind.

He got there in the end and I drove the unit and my trailer back to Irlam, there to drop him off and carry on to Crewe, then back to Irlam.

The one good thing of the shift was one of the Crewe drivers had come into Irlam and they talked him into hanging around. He took my trailer off me. So it was only a 13 hour shift. *muted yay*

I went up again yesterday. You’d be amazed at the amount of people on a Bank Holiday who don’t expect an artic and 42’ trailer to be barrelling around the corner on a tiny road. At least I now know what a car and caravan sound like when they are sliding to a stop. There must have been nearly an inch between us on that bend. Big girl’s blouse. It’s amazing how soon you adjust to the tolerances. There is a bit on the A57 (Manchester Road) going to Irlam. Just one corner, that I always hated passing lorries. Now I don’t even think about it.

It’s been a week since that driver told me of the other route, I’ve still not used it. Ho hum.

It is kind of tricky though, there’s the A591, then an unavoidable 4 mile stretch down a windy B road. Here is where one of the drivers took a creative short cut:


Of course, for more common fails you have to look to car drivers:


1 out of 10 for parking, 6/10 for effort.

Saying that, I was about 2 miles from my last drop the other night and some arse had managed to roll an artic on the roundabout. They shut the road so I had to go back to the motorway and come off at the next junction. Lorry drivers! Bastards!


Work had me in on Bank Holiday Monday, but no work on Tuesday. Couldn’t have done it the other way around so I could have a long weekend. Grrrr.

Anyway, I thought I’d make the most of it and treat myself to a long run in the Lake District. I drive through there every day and yearn to be out running over the hills.

I drove up there after researching a trail run on a large scale map I bought. The online maps recognized a place right next to where I wanted to park. I didn’t take my fancy pants trucknav as I’d be away running for hours and I was scared it would get nicked. I pulled off the motorway at junction 39, pulled over and input the name on my ‘phone’s maps (google, same bloody maps) and it didn’t recognize it. Obviously. I tried to get there from memory. That was never going to work.

I ended up at a parking spot by a reservoir. I looked it up and it didn’t seem that far from where I had intended to park, so I thought I’d run across country and then start.

Oh dear, oh dear.

I kept on running along a path only to have it hit a fence, or private property or just stop. I finally found a track that seemed to be going in the right direction and after several misadventures got to here:


It took me 2½ hours running and staggering to get there. The place I should have parked was down at the bottom by the lake, so I ran down. It doesn’t look that far on the snap above, but it was nearly bleeding vertical. It took me 40 minutes to climb back out again. When I got to the bottom there were lots of people there. One middle aged woman must have said “you should be running it” to her husband as I heard him saying, “Maybe 40 years ago” as I passed. How old are you, mate? I’m nearly 50!

On the way back I braved a field that had suddenly gained a shitload of cows. They were particularly vicious looking cows so kudos to me. Apparently they sent word by the bovine grapevine though, because as I tried to drive home their kin bullied me:


Look at the belligerence. They were just waiting for me to get out of the car to eat me. Would they bugger move! I ended up driving off the road on the grass to get past them. Bovine bully-boy bastards.

It is now Sunday and my legs are still stiff. Hell of a run.

Btw, I didn’t wear my headphones for the Lakes run, thought I’d be at one with my environment and listen to nature. Nature sounds like a fat old duffer wheezing his lungs up. Who knew?

I had this vision, driving through the Lakes, of a smooth cinder path, steep up to the top of the hill then running in a gently undulating path along the spine of the hills. HA! When I found a path it was marsh, rock or vanished into grass. And straight up or straight down.

Well, it’s got it out of my system.

Talking of off road running though, I bought two new pairs of trainers. One for gym (speed work on the treadmills) and a pair for trail running (for the 50 miler in a few weeks). The latter pair were gore-tex topped and supposedly waterproof. Big-arse tread to give grip.

I ordered both pairs from the same manufacturer (ASICS- which incidentally is actually an acronym from the Latin for ‘healthy mind in a healthy body’.*tumbleweed*  Sorry, I thought that was interesting.) Both the same size, US 7.5, which I read off my current pair of ASICS. The trails ones were snug though. I mean tight. As they were, as I say, the same size from the same brand, I assumed it must be a design thing; that trails ones are meant to hold you more firmly.

I went for a run. It was going to be a 50 miler. By 7 miles into the first 14 mile lap I was in misery. I shuffled back in a right state. Way too small. 9 of my toenails have turned black, one leaking fluid when I trimmed them. That was after 14 miles.

Go, as the Yanks would have it, figure.

I’m going to have to put them on ebay as I’ve worn them. Arses!


Surprisingly, after my bump, Iceland wanted me back yesterday. As I’d only done a 4 day week I agreed. We needed the money as, I have just remembered, I entered next year’s Outlaw triathlon this week! I hadn’t really thought about it. I was considering the brand name Ironman or the Outlaw. Quite by chance I saw a tweet from the Outlaw account saying there were only 540 (or something) places left. I went on to their website and they wouldn’t let me enter. Apparently they’d operated a pre-registration scheme that you had to sign up for weeks ago. The only way you got to know of that was from the website, they didn’t send me an email. (I ran an £18 marathon earlier this year, *they* managed to send me an email!) This gave the pre-registered ones a 24 hours window to book before it was open to everyone. Anyway, this panicked me into booking as soon as it opened. The half distance sold out within 24 hours.

I’m in!

Oh dear god, what have I done?

There are still a few places left if anyone wants to join me?

*tumbleweed tsunami*

We are going on holiday to Devon for week in a fortnight, after that I am going to go to the Warrington Tri club swim lessons. I know I’ve been saying it for years and never gone, but I’m going to have to force myself. If I can get a good swim time, ride regularly to work and keep up the running I could really make a go of it next year. Swim is the thing though. Crack that and I will be a contender. I’ve got the grit for the rest.

Also, after the holiday I’m changing job. I’ve had enough of being ‘self-employed’ agency.

Which brings me back to my opening point as I so won’t be working for Iceland. That run yesterday…

My trucknav charger broke. £400 of kit let down by a £22 charger. And that’s only because it’s their brand name. It’s less than a tenner for a crap cigarette lighter charger and lead. The only charger that lasts the distance in a truck is the Jabrawave one. I’ve had loads of £3 ones that melt in a day, the Jabra one is £8 but just lasts and last. I’ve ordered a USB to 3.5mm female jack lead. If that works I’m sorted. I may order another Jabra just to be on the safe side. The long and short of that being I was left using my ‘phone satnav. For a car.

OK, that’s not Iceland’s fault, but it immediately made my life a lot worse. Then when I’d got to the first store, and had to screw it round at full lock (where your cab is at right angles to the trailer and you push it round)  I found I had to unload the pallets on an incline with a a hand pump truck. Then I had to move all the deliveries for the next two stores out of the way to get at the frozen pallets, behind a padded, moveable, division wall. I got off their two pallets, moved the wall back, barred it off, pushed all the remaining, overloaded pallets uphill against the wall and barred them off. Then the guy said, “Errrr, aren’t we supposed to have four pallets of frozen?”


Start again.

It was such hard work, against the incline, on floor that was frozen, then melting. I lost my rag and punched a few things a couple of times.

Screw that! I’m going to Hermes. Trunking. Never open a trailer, never mind do all that dicking about. Supposed to be easy drops to big yards. It’s more money, even with the umbrella scheme that takes out your NI and tax and you get holiday pay. It’s taken me a long while to realize that. When you consider 4 weeks a year unpaid (if I was to take them, which I don’t as I can’t afford it) my wages are crap. I was only doing it initially because it was all I could get, then because I thought I could get taken on full time so it didn’t matter. Now I see it’s long term, and I have employment options, I’m getting out.

This should give me a bit of a life as well, as you can choose your preferred start time window. As mine will be mornings (say 0400- 0700) that should give me a few hours a night before bed. I’ll get to see Wendy more than a few hours a week and maybe do some club training. Maybe even night school for languages lessons. German for me, French for something to do with Wendy.

Anywho, that’s all if and when.


When are you going to stop waffling and tell us of Twitter? Right, now! Yay!


The DMreporter had:

WEATHER: Leeds Festival hit by torrential rain, teaching revellers an important lesson about the folly of youth and the mediocrity of music.

This week’s Daily Mail Cancer List: Mo) Butterflies Tu) Salad We) Cocaine Th) Hubris Fr) Puppets Sa) Dorset Su) Foreign neighbours

SYRIA: David Cameron to consult Simon Cowell on how best to sell ‘a terrible idea that benefits no-one’ to the public

SYRIA: British government unanimously vote in favour of Syrian airstrikes after USA threatens to revoke Piers Morgan’s Visa.



In politics we had:

"’Young lack the grit to get jobs’, says minister (4th generation MP, son of a cabinet minister, Eton, Oxford, etc) God he’s had it tough!

The £6735 Tory MP Nigel Adams claimed for a spare room for his dependents is equal to over 9yrs of #BedroomTax at £14 per week

The bedroom tax has directly resulted in a £1.5 billion per year annual increase in housing benefit spending. *slow clap*

The Americans are to produce a dossier to justify war. I feel a sense of déjà vu.

The people who say we have no money for hospitals and schools meet on Thursday. To decide how much we spend on bombs… Think on that.

"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it & eventually they will believe it." (Hitler in 1933; Cameron, Shapps and IDS almost daily)

"Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy." (David Korten)

So I don’t suppose the UK or US or French government would care to put the question of air strikes in Syria to a popular vote would they?

Which country in Middle East has illicit caches of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction?

UK Parliament will vote on Thursday on whether to form an alliance with Al-Qaeda. Funny old world. #syria

Of all the urgent & unavoidable crises that have forced us to bomb other countries, this is surely the urgentest, unavoidablest & crisisest

"If all you have is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail"…*Gen. Wesley Clark. #Syria

"We are at war with Eastasia. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia."

#Houla massacre was immediately blamed on Syrian govt which after investigations turned out to be work of the rebels. Just like #CW massacre

Well. The whole #Syria situation was headed for regime change. Who could have predicted it might have been the UK regime…

Ed Miliband is dividing the nation by selfishly representing the views of two-thirds of it. #isthisright

Boris, who backed #racistvan and the targeting of non-white minorities, wants free movement for Australians in the UK

Cameron recalled parliament and ends the day with a defeat and shouts of "resign" ringing in his ears DOH!

Remember when #Israel used white phosphorous on #Gaza? Didn’t merit intervention 4 years ago #Syria #chemicalweapons

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New York Daily News react calmly to Britain’s Syria no-show.

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seems most of the posh people are angry they don’t get to send poor to fight a war for them. #syria

John Kerry says evidence from #Syria about chemical weapon is as "clear as it is compelling". That doesn’t make it either.

Wondering where Kerry’s concern was when the US, West Germany, Switzerland & others assisted in their ally Saddam’s gassing of Iranians.

History will judge us harshly if we don’t engage in a limited tailored bombing campaign not expected to change anything.

Sky lit up just now. Either impressive random fireworks or Assad is trolling Cameron.

#ObamaSyrianMovies The Drone Ranger

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"if minimum wage had increased at same rate as pay of FTSE 100 directors since 1999, it wld now be abt £19 an hour"



General was as lovely as ever:

I don’t know why Hugo Weaving bothers learning the script of a film. When he talks, all you hear is “Mr Anderson”

Anti-gay preacher comes to Iceland. Locals buy all tickets to his event in Reykjavik, and then don’t turn up, leaving empty arena. Class.

VeryBritishProblems had: Requesting your P45 after discovering someone in the office has used your mug

Just had to carry a doughnut back to my boss without taking a bite.. now I know how Frodo felt.

The Canadian curator account posted this picture:

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I posted a picture of someone’s reg, my Swedish chum @GLarAuna replied:

Help, you’re driving in the wrong lane!!

Me: The rest of the world has got it wrong, we know we’re right.

Her: Hah! It’s so cute, that certainty :p

Me:We started on horseback, so right handed ppl could draw sword and fight ppl coming the other way

Me:nowadays the rest of the world have to shoot oncoming traffic left handed. #losers

Her:Haha! Most ppl are right handed, at least they’ll hold the stearing wheel steadily.

Me:Good point. You don’t want to cause an accident while you are shooting ppl 

(Actually that’s not that entertaining. It was funny at the time.)


I had a rant after someone got all self righteous:

Fur, fur, glorious fur. Going to buy a mink jock strap.

it’s funny how animal activists spray the old ladies in minks not the Hell’s Angels in leathers. #twats

I don’t condone animal cruelty in any way but some of the self righteous hypocritical twats that shout about it make want to punch a kitten

See that kitten? The one with the black eye? That’s your fault.

Disclaimer: no kittens were harmed in the making of that tweet.

Internet joke:

“Ok, we have you with us for 4 nights in room 404.” “I just hope I can find it!” “I’m sorry?” I hate myself sometimes.

One-legged man falsely accused of benefit fiddle after officials examined the wrong leg

I just got back from the friend zone. There was nothing but unattractive people there.


‘My cousin reckons you need 11-12k net a month to live properly in London if you are doing the private school route.’ What is life.

"3k rent/mortgage, 3k pension, 2k bills/food shopping, 3k private schools/childcare, 2k holidays, car, clothes, clubs, socialising"

Christ-on-a-bike.. Is this a spoof site? "Vegetarians are evil" " @LorrieHearts I KNEW IT!

FYI single males, this is currently being given out outside Embankment statement. Meet women "unspoiled by feminism"

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Just watched an ageing hippie get a strop on because someone was on the petrol pump he wanted. Some lentils are in for a hard time tonight

And this is why men have more fun at #weddings

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"Who do you want to play Batman?" I ask the mob. "Someone who has already played him!" one man shouts. "We lack imagination!" another wails.

As a dad, I have to go to all the big superhero movies. Ben Affleck’s casting has actually made me love my children less.

A new (to me) spoof account, NigellaFarage had:

Presentation can say a lot about your personality. For example, when making a fry-up I like to serve the black pudding on a separate plate

Love Indian food? Then why don’t you move there!

Before cooking trout I like to make sure it’s thoroughly Nick Clegged – Gutless and without a backbone

Undecided on how to serve your eggs? How about on David Cameron’s face


Poor old Richard Dawkins was copping for flack. He noted: "It’s a lovely day!" Check you’re privilege. Your a dick. What does "lovely" even MEAN for atheists with no absolute standard of loveliness?

feel sorry for @RichardDawkins sometimes. Poor chap can hardly throw away an orange peel without hitting an idiot.

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Two guys tried to rob a cafe in broad daylight. It didn’t quite go as planned. …

Holy Mother of Everything Russian dashboard cameras …

Got an email that said ‘Want to see Ed Sheeran live?’. At first I thought it was a ransom demand.

Travelling cats and dogs……..

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Colleague: "I used to play in a band." Me: "Covers?" Colleague: "Nah, our own stuff." Me: "What were you called?" Colleague: "Depeche Mode."

REDUCE the risk of people dawdling after paying at the supermarket checkout by leaning forward and gently smelling their hair.

At a cat show. It’s like the Internet, but with odours!

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Hoping this bottle of cheap red plonk will improve with age. I’m giving it about 10 minutes.

The rain. It won’t stop. Like reruns of Big Bang Theory, it will never stop. It will only cause horror.

Church sold orphans, including to paedophile (considered of good character as promised not to use contraception) …

You say tree hugging I say amateur Ent porn.

In the salon of success you get the perm of perseverance. It looks terrible on you but you keep it anyway because it was really expensive.

If twitter had been around when Martin Luther King was alive, he could have told everyone about the dreams he had. Every. Single. Morning.

Any hotline is a suicide hotline if they put you on hold

Guys, I just tried to type Womble & autocorrect made it Wimbledon. I think it’s become…self-aware.

USING the expression "I understand" rather than "I read on Twitter" will convince others you’re a Sky Sports News presenter.

New Jersey denies application for ATHE1ST license plate as "offensive" New Jersey – not Iran

I’d rather watch Chewbacca get a bikini wax than watch Miley Cyrus twerk.

And finally, a baby giraffe:


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