Glory days.

I was listening to a classic rock radio station the other day, they were playing Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days (I’m assuming that’s the title) and it set me to musing.

The premise of the song is he meets some high school chums, one of whom was an ace school sportsman, the other was a high school hottie who’s grown older and had kids etc. Both of them just keep banging on about their glory days.

It struck me that that’s bollocks.

Here am I, just approaching my prime *coughs* and racing towards 50 (OK, I’m 47, but I’m already rounding up, mentally) and I am still striving to achieve my next goal. I’ve done more I can be proud of in my 40’s than ever. I’ve been of the beer, fags and such for 6 years, got my head around straightness and reinvented myself and my goals.

My first goal was to be able to run 1½ miles for the TA thing, so I ran 1.9 miles (by accident) first attempt. Then I thought a half marathon would be a monster achievement, did that 6 months later. Then Iron distance triathlon 9 months later, with a marathon along the way for training.

After doing that twice I thought I’d try Ultra running, I did two long runs then ‘ran’ a 50 mile race.

Now I’m going for a sub 3 hour marathon, the benchmark for marathon runners, then pushing on to win a marathon (admittedly that’s pretty damn unlikely).

Also in my 40’s I passed my car test then decided to get a job (out of manual graft) as a lorry driver. That was an ordeal but I did it and have just landed the job I’ve been after for a while.

In short, shove it up your arse, Mr Springsteen, you ain’t the boss o’ me!

I flatter myself that I did some monumentally reckless, stupid and ill-informed stuff in the past, all of which has it’s own merit, but I’m damned if I’m going to stop just because I’m old enough to know better.

And as for the assumption that a woman’s only worth is in being young and pretty..

Bah. I’m not even going to joke about that.

Again it sounds like I’m blowing my own trumpet, but it’s kind of hard to point out the achievements of which you are proud without mentioning the achievements.  One of my Twitter chums changed her handle to include her Doctorate. @DrLangtry_Girl.  In her bio she put “Yeah I levelled up. If you don’t like it get a PhD.” Or words to that effect. She said it better, obviously.

That’s my thinking. I’ve done some things I consider achievements, but so could anyone else. Anyway, it’s like Virgil said “here we make a virtue of necessity”. I’ve done these things because I’m straight and you have to do *something* to fill the joyless infinity of hours before the grave.


Not that I have that many free hours to fill at the moment. Work is most time-consuming. I like the long runs better, mind. It’s simple. Pick up your unit, find your trailer, drive to the place (had a nice one next to Taunton, Somerset, the other day) swop your trailer, (or whatever) drive back, job’s a good ‘un.

The local runs are more of a pain in the arse. In and out of the yard, never knowing how long you are going to work or how many runs you are going to do. Still, it pays well, even after tax and N.I. I’m on a lot more than I was. Happy days. We’ll see how it works in January, but the signs are that they’ll still need drivers.

I hope so, as this is Wendy’s last month of full sick pay, from January she’s on half pay. Still massively generous compared to any place I’ve ever worked. I think the Royal Mail gave you 4 weeks a year, nowhere else has given any. Just SSP.

I’m off tomorrow (as today) so I’ll be running Wendy into the hospital to have her MRI scan. If there are no blockages they can then decide to go ahead with surgery. It’s going to be some time in the New Year though, it seems. Ha! Wendy thought an endoscopy was the surgery, showed her the picture of an endoscope, so less than thrilled. I thought she knew.


Btw, on the subject of running, I was at my club last week. I have been twice before and went out with the middle speed group for training. The fastest of them was as fast as me, most of the time, but on the hill runs I ended up lapping some backmarkers. This is not what I need to push myself. I was a bit scared of going for the fast group as I thought they’d make mince meat of me. Anyway they were one group leader down for the middle group, so they had too many people, they asked if anyone would like to train with the fast group instead. I took it as my cue and went for it. I was in the top 4 of that group. I ‘won’ one of the 1 minute sprints (2 minute recovery jog, and repeat).

Then on the jog back to the gym from which we started I was talking about wanting to build speed for a marathon. Some other chap butted in, asked me about my times and target, then said I should aim for a 3.15 marathon, then try faster later. Obviously I immediately vowed to redouble my efforts and get a sub 3. 

(Day after. Tuesday)

I’ve changed my strategy, yet again. If I can maintain a 6.45 m/m pace for the full 26.2 miles, that’s 3 hours. I’m not doing their plan. I’ve set myself an hour’s run on the tready at marathon pace. After 3 miles my breathing goes to tits and I have to stop, but I’ve sussed out that if I take a few minutes breather I can carry on for at least another mile. Breather, mile.This is training my body to be tired but continue. Yesterday I started out on the new plan. I ran 3 miles, then had to take 3 minutes, ran again. I ended up doing 6½ miles (after warm up) in an hour. Today I ran 2½ miles on tired legs then had to pause. I rested my hand on the control panel and cocked the machine up. Even though I turned it off and on again it insisted on raising itself to full elevation then lowering itself fully before it would let me restart. I lost 4 minutes pissing about with that. I set back to it with a vengeance. I thought I’d best do 10.05 minutes (a mile and a half) to round it up to a mile again. After running for 4 minutes and thinking it was too easy I looked at my chart (6 m/m = 16.1 kph, the tready shows it in kph, I work in m/m) and thought I’d set it too slow. I upped the pace and battered it for another 8 minutes even though it nearly killed me, to make up for the 4 slow minutes. Then I realised I was right the first time, I’d upped it to halfway between 6 and 6½ m/m, not 6½ and 7. Balls. So I’d just run a mile and a quarter on knackered legs, second attempt, at 6.15 m/m pace. Ace.

Anyway, pause/run, I managed 7¼ miles. That was with losing a few minutes to the tready and cocking my pacing up.  My plan is to go as long as I can in the first run, take a break then run again. Quickly adjust to the pace and breathing, take shorter breaks and longer sessions until I’m good for a solid hour. When I can do an hour I can extend it. By then my legs and breathing should have adjusted. I’ve got the stamina for going long, I just need the speed.

Wendy went for her MRI today. No dramas. The receptionist said they’d send the results off to the consultant, but being so close to the hols, it would probably be new year before Wendy hears anything. Then it will be just another appointment with the consultant. If the MRI was clear, then he can arrange a date for surgery. If not it’s an endoscopy and showing things down to clear the obstructions first. Possibly another wait for a confirmation MRI, another appointment, then surgery. It’s bloody long winded. Poor sausage.


Work have just texted me, I’m back in tomorrow at 1300. This means a good lie-in (had to be up early to go to the hospital today) and chance for another hour on the tready before work. It’s too damned noisy to use except in the middle of the day. If I could do an hour a day though I reckon I’d soon batter this challenge. My mistake before, I now think, was trying to do 3 mad fast miles, not achieving it, then stopping. And just doing long, moderate runs. Fast enough, and keep going after each stop. That should turn defeat into progress.

Hopefully, after the xmas rush, I’ll be able to set my start time at work. If I can do an early start then I should be able to do an hour a day, most days.

I am going to crack 3 hours in April if it kills me.


Anyway, enough of my waffling, let’s see what delights the Twittersphere has to offer:


The DMreporter had:

NIGEL FARAGE: “Rest in peace Nelson Mandela – political prisoner, freedom fighter, president of Bongo Bongo Land.”

CAMERON: “Maggie didn’t mean ‘terrorist’ like that. She meant it in a ‘revolutionary hero, inspiration to us all’ kind of way.”

ED BALLS: “Nelson Mandela.”

NICK CLEGG: “…and I’m here too.”

FINANANCE: 2nd Computer glitch sees Natwest and RBS empty customers bank accounts again. A spokesman said “don’t fuck with us, bitches.”

CELEBRITY: “I am Cliff Richard’s secret son” says man. Who wants to be the first to tell him?


In politics/ tory scum we had:

Osborne confirms 2018 target for complete removal of empathy for poor and disabled #autumnstatement

There’s something gruesomely fascinating about watching a millionaire with his hand in the till tell everyone else to be poorer. #AS2013

"I’ve noticed that you might live a little longer. I’ve decided to celebrate this fact by making you work for that extra bit of time."

IFS questions Labour’s claim on working people being £1,600 worse off under Cameron. Concludes it is "not misleading" …

"I’ve never voted Tory before but…

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I’m sad to say that at my NHS practice if we have a patient who has unexplained symptoms, we have started asking if they can afford to eat

BBC News – Most people classed as being in poverty ‘have job’

The MPS pay rise of £7,600 is more than double what we give an unemployed adult to live on for a year

MPs pay rise 11% … after they backed a welfare benefit rise of 1% …

Say what you like about Michael Gove. I’ll start: he’s a twat.

Weekly income after tax: MP: £1015 FT firefighter: £367 FT living wage: £259 FT min wage: £227 Income support: £71 All in it together…?

In 1977 MPs earnings were nearly £3000 more than nurses. Today MPs earnings are £45,000 more than nurses.

MPs wages should be paid pegged at a ratio of the minimum wage – that way any MP pay rise would also be linked to any min wage rise.

Our MPs need an 11% pay rise to stop them committing expenses fraud Apparently. Whilst unemployed risk jail and lose their homes. #newsnight

Parliament has the power to freeze the pay of the whole public sector including teachers, soldiers and the whole NHS but not MPs. Funny that

in the austerity years after WWII, the welfare state was created, new homes were built, NHS started. Tories against it then and now

Perhaps we could try making our politicians as inspiring and selfless as Nelson Mandela by imprisoning them for 27 years.

£40m written off in computing costs for implementing UK welfare scheme Universal Credit – @DWPgovuk‘s IDS confirms

£40 million! Written off! AND THEY CUT BENEFITS scum of the earth

George Osborne’s claim that households are better off is ‘inconceivable’, says independent financial watchdog

THE REAL REASON FOR AUSTERITY. The corrupt thinking behind the Cameron Governments austerity policies.

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IDS ignores only 0.7% of DWP budget defrauded(errors 1.3%) because doesn’t fit nasty agenda. HMRC would kill for those stats


And favest of faves, General:

A bit of a Nigella theme still:

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"I did not have a drug problem," she told the court. "I had a life problem." SAY NO TO LIFE KIDS

‘Kin ‘ell. She’s changed her tune an’t she

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(To which someone wittily replied: “Fake!”)



How’s this for a response to a complaint? Bravo:

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When someone demands "Do you love this country?" the accurate answer is almost always "I love the parts you’re trying to destroy"

Hate being on this motorway. Really windy and rainy. Stressing me out telling my chap how to drive

Mrs worried I’m going to die, as a lorry diver already has today. Told her it’s rare, once in a lifetime in fact.

There are two types of person in the world: people who love Sepp Blatter and people who aren’t Sepp Blatter.

Nelson Mandella was the obvious other theme for the week;

In 1986 during Apartheid, the city of Glasgow invented trolling by renaming the street in front of the SA Consultate "Nelson Mandela Place."

Me: It’s very sad, Nelson Mandela is dead. Charlotte (age 6): Was he a very *good* footballer?

From the archives: A group of UK Mandela supporters discuss approaches to combating apartheid.

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Miliband reminds MPs Mandela went to Labour(not Con or Lib Dem) conference. Called himself unemployed pensioner with criminal record!


Just made myself giggle by whispering "don’t cross the streams!" as I squirted bleach into the sink. I’m so alone

Pulling an industrial carpet cleaner through Wandsworth, like a shoot for a really low-budget remake of No Country For Old Men.

This is still my new favourite cat photo

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Watching Graham Norton & not expecting to see Cliff Richard. I feel violated

Christmas: Where western Christians celebrate a Jewish dudes birthday under a Pagan tree by receiving gifts from a fat German trespasser

Guardian saying post Mandella Right whitewashing historical support of racial segregation. #DontMentionIsrael

Netanyahu says going to Mandela memorial too expensive

I’ve become momentarily interested in the positioning of eggs in supermarkets and convenience stores. There are no rules for this.

I frequently find myself wandering around thinking “where are the fucking eggs?”

Obama caught in a big lie:

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Obama disagrees w/Pope on birth control. GOP: "WAR ON RELIGION!" Obama agrees w/Pope on income inequality. GOP: "THEY’RE SOCIALISTS!"

Not only did Obama shake Castro’s hand, lip readers confirmed that he whispered: "our socialist takeover of the US is complete *evil laugh*"

Iggy Pop’s full name is Iguana Popadopoulos.

You’ve got to love Yorkshire…..

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Edward Snowden voted Guardian person of the year 2013

1: Connect sewing machine to polygraph test 2: Lie repeatedly 3: Describe new jumper as a fabric of lies 4: Laugh forever

Four stars. ‘MURDOCH IS EVIL’ message appears in kids puzzle page of @RupertMurdoch‘s Sunday Telegraph

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Charlize is sitting beside Bono. Her face says it all.

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Well, I got the lights put up.

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Saw this image of London as it would have looked if the Thames barrier wasn’t in place for last week’s floods;

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I suggested we scrap the barrier and leave London to ‘managed decline’. Oh sorry, that only works for Northern towns.

And with that shock revelation,