Tag Archive for Monthly Mentor

Butchery Day

Part of my visit this weekend was to do a butchery course at Empire Farm at Templecombe, over the border in Cornwall. It was a group of six of us and half a pig. We had bath chaps, ham burgers, pork pies, sausage roll, sausages etc. It was great fun and a real adventure. So if you have a pig (a dead one, mind) I will be happy to cut it up…for a fee. I am actually going to Wales this weekend to pick up a pig that has been grown for me in amongst woodland in the Welsh hills, nibbling on wild garlic and acorns. Fabulous.

Day 51
Miles today: 3.00
Miles completed: 161.72
Miles to go: 943

Abbotsbury Swannery

The Swannery was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040′s. The monks farmed the swans to produce food for their lavish Dorset banquets. St Peter’s monastery was destroyed in 1539 during the dissolution. Some of the ruins are still visible around St Nicholas’ Church in the village. Since that time the Swannery has been under the stewardship of the Ilchester Estates. There is the ability to help hand feed 600 swans, which is not great if you are scared of having you arm broken. The swans at Abbotsbury are all free flying, it is a sanctuary, not a zoo. There are no cages.

Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset, near Weymouth, has become one of the most popular things to do for the family visiting Dorset. Located on the dramatic Dorset Coast, this unique natural wildlife habitat is also popular with film makers and has been used as a location for Harry Potter filming.

Day 50
Miles today: 3.00
Miles completed: 158.72
Miles to go: 946


This weekend I will be in Dorset, South West England, for a break with family. The upside is that I will have some time to relax. The down side is (and it is a big down side) we are staying in amongst the Dorset Downs which meant that any runs I do, and todays was a classic example, involve a lot of steep hills, which is as painful going up as it was going down. It was brutal. The scenery of Chesil Beach and the Swanery was lovely and a welcome break from the streets of suburbia, but nevertheless I did not enjoy todays runs. The other bad thing is that there is no reception so there is no Endomondo (but I used the car’s milometer and walking signs) and therefore I can not update my posts until I get back so once again there will be a surge. Sorry.

Day 49
Miles today: 3.00
Miles completed: 155.72
Miles to go: 949

A-ha me hearties

Today is ‘International talk like a pirate day’. I tried to be clever/lazy by finding a load of jokes that I could blog but they were all so bad that they made me angry. I then thought of using an online translator to write my blog in pirate speech, but having written a small passage I hit the button that said ‘Ahoy!’ (yes, as opposed to Avast, meaning cancel) and all it did was add a ‘t’ in front of the odd word. So basically it translated all the sentences so that my in laws from Yorkshire could read them. What a load of rubbish.

Anyway, having swashed my buckles and got my booty moving it wasn’t a bad effort. Second mile was just over 8 mins and that is with a pulled muscle just above my left Achilles. Annoyingly I have tried every stretch I know and tried to manipulate my lower leg to ease the stiffness I have when walking, but nothing worked. Thankfully it is not an issue when I run, but I know that I have pulled it by being flat footed and putting my weight on the inside of my foot.

We will see what it is like on the roller. You will hear the screams from Surrey no doubt.
Till then.

Day 48
Miles today: 3.03
Miles completed: 152.72
Miles to go: 952

United since 1707

On the eve of the referendum in Scotland, which is crippling Sky news’ scope and diversity, I thought I would share my thoughts on the matter. Not because I want a debate, as everyone is sick of those and to be honest I am as interested in others thoughts as others are of mine. However, I feel that people are being duped into thinking that this is a good idea.

I am obviously very mindful of the fact that I do not live in Scotland, so this is the excess verbiage of a British citizen with genealogical roots both sides of the border.

For me, the foundation of this referendum is legacy. It is obvious that Alex Salmond, as the First Minister, has been dying for an opportunity to be immortalised in any which way, for years. The majority of those in current political positions are following suit so as to ride on those coattails, convincing others that this is a good idea, regardless of their own views.

There is no doubt that Scotland has more than its fair share of top quality thinkers and doers, they are a proud people and rightly so, they have a fantastic country. Yes, they would make a good fist of going it alone, but none of that talent is in the political arena. People in the private sector, for instance, will follow money to the best paid jobs, which are arguably south of the border, in turn starting a self perpetuating cycle of stagnation within the domicile industries.  The same has been happening in England for years. People from all over the country go to London to make proper money leaving the large (but small in relative terms) cities behind with a smaller pool of talent, which has ultimately stagnated their growth over time widening the chasm between them and the capital. Investment is key to it all and it is completely unknown as to whether there would be an increase of inward investment following the split or, as has been rumoured,  a great exodus of businesses that don’t want to deal within the Euro.

It all seems quite short sighted in my limited and ill-informed view. During the debates Alex Salmond was referring to the North Sea oil as a positive thing “…it will be here to stay for at least the next forty years”. Forty years? Is that a good thing? It’s better than ten years admittedly but what happens after that? The split of the wealth from the oil within the ‘granite city’ is currently not clear and what the distribution would be like after independence, throughout the rest of the Scotland, has not been clarified, yet it is accepted that it is one of the higher proportions of income (second to shortbread – that is my natural flippancy). In forty years time, when the oil has run out, Alex Salmond will be old, frail and probably won’t remember what country he is in. He will have left political office years before and won’t necessarily care about the state of it all as it was all OK during his watch, having never really contemplated the fall out if things go wrong and how to recover.

It is right that the younger people get to be a part of such an important debate, but when I was 16 I was so patriotic (for Britain not just England) that I would have voted anyway that a rugby player, Lawrence Dallaglio for instance, told me to. I am genuinely not meaning to be patronising, but 16 is too young. However, it works for Alex Salmond to whip the impressionable people up and get the extra votes.

I am all for Scotland to get better powers, why shouldn’t they, but this whole process has been ill conceived and driven by one individual, in such a short period of time, during a down turn that has hurt the whole country. I don’t want to loose Scotland. The rivalry during the 6 Nations will not be the same as they will be just another country and not like the older brother that you live with who rubs you up the wrong way just because he is breathing the same air as you, but secretly you will be gutted when he leaves home, because you won’t have anyone to secretly admire anymore.

Please Scotland. Please stay within the UK. It would not be the same without you. It’s not you, it’s me. I can change, I promise. I will come and visit every other weekend. Please stay.

Day 47
Miles today: 3.00
Miles completed: 149.69
Miles to go: 955

Back when I were a lad

Nostalgia is a dangerous thing. All those that think it was better back in the ‘good old days’ have conveniently forgotten the majority of the past…for good reason. There are some points of modern life that are simply rubbish, admittedly, but the benefits outweigh those tenfold. For instance you can get a take away meal that tastes as though it has almost been produced in India. It’s amazing.

So what? Well, I surprised myself in my selection of running music last night. I chose the soundtrack to the stocking and bodice fest that is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Odd I know, and fear not I will not post a picture of me in suspenders unless I get 1,000,000 positive responses plus donations of £1. But it took me back to when I was a boy and my older sister went to watch the stage show a couple of times with Meg Huish and the Davies sisters (friends of hers, not a Motown trio). I was given the cassette tape to listen to; I watched the film and continued to develop my love of the music written in part by Richard O’Brien. There are some fantastic standalone numbers in there, regardless of your thoughts on musicals. Meatloaf sings for goodness sake! What’s not to love about that massive cuffed, hanky waving, steroid induced, moob hoarder.

Listening to the album led me along the meandering experiences I have had throughout school and University. It stopped my thinking about current issues and my burning lungs, allowing me to glide, almost effortlessly, to a sub 26minute time (excluding my Anika Rice style urgency as I fumbled to stop the clock). I have no idea where that run came from. I felt so good at the end due to both the run and the music, that it made a week that was shaping up to be horrendous, melt away like butter in ones pants (I can’t recommend that highly enough).

The final scenes of the film include a song called Rose Tint My World. It is Tim Curry’s (as Frankfurter) last hoorah. It features the phrase “Rose tints my world, keeps me safe from my trouble and pain”. That’s my personal definition of nostalgia.

I will be donning my curly afro and stilettos for tomorrows run. Stay tuned for my next post, which will no doubt be from Casualty, having turned my ankle in a pot hole.

Till then.

Day 46
Miles today: 3.01
Miles completed: 146.69
Miles to go: 958

Up to date

Up to date now and I will add a little more to the posts from here on in.

Day 44

It took 4 mins extra to get a loaf of bread from M&S and fight through the queues.

Day 44
Miles today: 3.08
Miles completed: 140.60
Miles to go: 964

broken phone…it must be

Really? How difficult can it be to find satelites in the 21st Century in Epsom, when you job, as a phone, is to find satelites? I hope to goodness that it didn’t take me 33 mins to run less than half a mile. Maybe I am going backwards…not literally.

Day 43
Miles today: 3.00
Miles completed: 137.52
Miles to go: 967

Day 42

Yet another two efforts in terms of the Endomondo. 25KCal in 14mins? [insert annoyed face]