Friday, 16 August 2013

Meanderings...

Sometimes it's hard to know what to write about on here. This week, for example, I left home at 6.25 am on Monday, and I shall get back by 7.30 pm tonight. Apart from the train journeys between Macclesfield and Reading, I've existed within a 250 metre by 250 metre area of central Reading. I've been in my hotel, my client's workplace, and Marks & Spencer, and that's it. I've worked from 7.30 in the morning till 10 at night, sometimes later, with intermittent breaks for food, transit between buildings, and 3 visits to the Novotel gym. It's been simultaneously a damned hard working week and one that will be erased from my memory within a month or so. In other words, it's been fairly dull. I could of course share the detail of how I've helped a private equity-owned finance firm make even more money than it makes already, but I try in general not to make this blog a potential insomnia cure.

So, rather than develop any particular theme, I'm going to do a Notes & Queries-type edition:

  • Running - I ran a sub-45 minute 10k in the gym this week. I can't decide if this was better than I'm likely to achieve outside, on the basis there isn't anything in the gym to disturb your rhythm, or worse, that logic being gyms get damn hot. Either way, I was unfeasibly pleased with myself, until I tried to run the day after, when I discovered the fuel tank had been thoroughly drained the previous day
  • This weekend sees a minor gathering of the clan for my mum's 70th birthday celebration. All my kids, Mrs M, and my sister her kids are congregating twice, once on Saturday and once on Sunday, the second edition being the main event - a formal, professionally-staged and taken photoshoot, the results of which will, I hope, be on all our walls for years to come. I'm bracing myself for hours of female angst, and possibly some male (teenage) angst too over what to wear, hairstyles etc. As for me, I'll be doing nothing more of course than having a dry shave, my monthly bath (whether I need it or not etc....) and throwing on the first thing out of the wardrobe....
  • An unaccountable but irresistible urge for pastry - maybe it was that apart from a single porridge on Tuesday morning I hadn't had anything hot to eat since Sunday, but earlier today nothing save a double legbreak would have stopped my visit to the West Cornwall Pasty Company on Reading railway station. It was 10.52 am. I'd had a decent breakfast. But I had a junkie's need for a fix. And £3.80, though expensive for a cheese and onion pasty, felt cheap for a hit
  • It's always worth trying to do a deal - my stay at Novotel last week was disappointing. I complained via their feedback form, telling them I was going elsewhere this week. The general manager e-mailed me to ask if there was anything they could do to win back my valued business - she suggested an executive room at no upgrade cost. I suggested a price I was willing to pay for it which was £25 less than I paid for a standard room (itself already an internet-special), and to my astonishment she agreed not only for this week, but also, without me asking for the duration of my time in Reading. I'm thinking of asking next week if she could send up some Puerto Rican lovelies to iron my shirts wearing nothing but ostrich feathers and a wide smile
  • Bicycles - God alone knows what Brian Rourke Cycles are doing as part of the manufacture of my dream machine. What I know is that it's going to be two months late, and if I'd had the means, I could have ordered, had built, and be half way round the world on an ocean-going yacht by now. At least there's nothing specific I was wanting it for at the moment (the bike that is rather than a yacht), but I was hoping to get a few summer rides in on it before the roads clag up with the usual winter mixture of salt and muck. And I get to keep £ Quite A Lot in my back account a bit longer
I'm boring myself now with all this wittering, so I'll stop. Next week I may be able to illuminate you with tales of romance, intrigue and skullduggery, but it's more likely to concern prep for my annual hillwalking weekend with The Lad, and GCSE results of t'youngest if I'm honest.

Oh yes, I knew there was something....I've not exactly been overwhelmed by the response to this:
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StuartrunsMaccCanal

...so do it, and do it now!  (Please).

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