Monthly Archives: September 2015

10 minutes @ Cannock Chase

The camera never lies – or so they say.  Just below (and over in the video section) is a 10 minute clip from what will be my last bash around Cannock for this year.

Need I say more ? – Your vote counts – voting instructions at the end of the video.




When the Holidays are over

The time is getting near, nights are drawing in and very shortly I will have to return to work.  A few months down in Cannes, maybe even 6 or more.  Should be a mild winter with plenty of mountains around for the good old (rather new actually) carbon fibre mountain bike.

Talking of which, I hit Cannock Chase this morning on a very sneaky dawnie session.  Sadly it was wet so was never going to be a blistering time but I did manage to make and upload a quick video of my antics on the newly refurbished ‘Lower Cliff’ run – by far the best red run at Cannock.  Video is over in the section called ‘Videos’ strangely enough.  Look for the title ‘Lower Cliff – Cannock Chase’ and you will not only be amazed at my riding skills but also my depth of music taste in selecting a suitable backing track.

This week I also managed to sell my old Specialized mountain bike.  Way back in 2011 I paid $2300 for that beauty and have managed to secure a rather impressive $1260 for it now – not too shabby for a bike that is as well-travelled and used as that one.

Money is already in the bank, just waiting for the dude to come and pick it up.

I did manage to find two magnificent wild mushrooms on the blat through the Chase.  Apologies about the screen dumps, the runkeeper app has changed, but these were stunning, bigger than my fist too.IMG_0541

This monster is called a ‘Fly Agaric Toadstool’ – apparently abundant in the UK but its the first time I have seen one.


from the same family but different shape although this one is a mushroom apparently.  Whats the difference between a mushroom and a toadstool?  if you believe ‘wisegeek’ – nothing at all, apparently the names are interchangeable.  Some believe mushrooms are edible, toadstools are toxic but that isn’t the case.

Look at me, getting all botanical on your asses !


Get over to the video page and check out my latest upload

Dissecting the Disappointment

Where should I begin?

In the wrong starting pen for starters !  A very costly mistake.  See way back in December 2014 when I applied for the Great Run, I was running a Half Marathon in 2 hours 5 minutes (give or take for poo breaks and bridge lifts) and that was the time I registered with them.  When I got my race number and realised I was in the 7th starting pen, I contacted the organisers to see if I could move up some.  It was possible but the amount of hoops I needed to jump through was off-putting.  The last training run I ran was 1 hour 48 minutes – 17 minutes faster than my registered time, and I was aiming to shave another 3 minutes off that with other runners around me for encouragement.  I thought that I could just play catch up – a very very VERY big mistake.

Because I knew I had some catching up to do, I got to my pen early and had a 3rd row place.  No big stress, looking around at the other people there, I was deffo in the wrong place but as they staggered the starts I would soon make it up – or so I thought.

By the time I crossed the starting line, the race had already been running for more than 16 minutes!  The sheer mass of runners on the streets meant that I was having to dart around like a whiley old fox dodging the hounds just to find passing spaces to get into open ground to run at my own pace.  Before I could get my legs stretched, I would be blocked in again by slower runners.  Little did I know but it would be like this for the next 10 miles.

I wanted to shout at people ‘come on’ to get them moving, get them out of my way but it was hopeless – I was getting frustrated.  Just after the 1 mile mark, I started to pass people that were already walking…..!  1 mile into a 13 mile race, and you are already walking???  Please tell me what time you registered with to be walking at 1 mile in and to have started in the pens in front of me.  A lot of liars I think. I was getting annoyed – more so with myself.

I pushed on – my run keeper in pace run mode telling me I was ahead of target pace.  I had set it at 5m 10s per kilometre for pace and each kilometre it would chime in with my instant pace and average for the distance covered. If I wanted the magical 1h 45m I needed to maintain 5 minutes per kilometre or less.  At one point, it told me I was ahead of my target by 20 seconds per kilometre.  Ironically, the slow runners that were pissing me off, were actually helping me stay ahead of my minimum pace – I was having to do lots of little sprints to get past them and all of these little sprinty bits were going great guns for dragging my time down.  But I was only half way around and no Superman.  I needed to conserve some energy.

7 mile marker appeared and I had caught and was passing a man running with a full-sized mountain bike strapped to his back – I was perplexed.  At 5 miles, I had passed a Pink Dinosaur and was still trying to work out how that could have had a better finishing time than me, but a man with a mountain bike – there seemed no logic to the start order.

By 9 miles, my legs were starting to feel the distance as we started what must have been a 2 mile or more climb.  Just before the 9 mile marker, Runkeeper also gave me the call that I was now exactly on my 5m 10s per kilometre pace.   With the hill looming, I was sure now to fall behind.

At the 10 mile flag, I was suddenly 5 seconds per kilometre down and resigned to the fact that I just had to keep plodding up the hill – my pace now a minute per kilometre slower than it needed to be – and clearly all about damage limitation – I have tried before to recover a 5 second deficit at three-quarter distance and it just ain’t happening.

11 miles and still on the hill when someone shouts ‘it’s all downhill from the water station’.  I grabbed a banana from one of the Toon Army lining the roadside and a fresh bottle of water from the station and then realised the woman who shouted the downhill encouragement was being  at best, economical with the truth.  More hill!

Then finally, over the crest and a view of the North Sea that I had been dreaming about for the last hour and three-quarters.  The last turn was also the 12 mile mark and the run home was parallel with the sea.

Somehow I managed to pick up my pace again and started struggling to get around other runners, there was even one person being carried by two other runners – of course, I never slowed but breezed past in my last push for the line.

When I started the race, the timer at the start line was 16 minutes and some seconds in. In my mind, I had been hoping to see the finish clock at 2 hours which would have given me the right aggregate time – not my day !

10 minutes outside of my target time, 7 minutes SLOWER than the organisers estimated for me.  What the f**k just happened?

Distraught?  Not quite, despondent – most definitely, dizzy from all the effort – yep and sweating like a rapist too!  Best of it was, after running a Half Marathon – I had more than a 2 mile walk to get to the Metro.

Sitting on the train, a local lady asked me if I was ok. I explained what had happened and she patted me on the shoulder and told me than men are far too hard on themselves.

You think that is the end ? Not yet!

On the way home, I think I may have actually gone too fast.  Those average speed cameras may have caught me out.  After sitting at 50mph on cruise throughout the whole roadwork system, I spied the national speed limit sign a hundred yards or so in the distance and floored the Rangie, only at the last-minute to see just one more camera system right before the speed limit sign peering out of the darkness – I now have a two-week wait for the NIP to drop through the door.

Still – Belgian beer in the fridge after a week without any.



Poetry in Motion

Roses are Red

Violets are Twisted

Bend over love

You’re about to get fisted !!



It’s all over now bar the racing.  That’s it, done!  Last 10k training run completed this evening in a very shabby 50 minutes (not that my heart thought it was shabby though !!)  Race weight is going to be a whopping 92.2kgs (although tomorrow nights pizza might add a few grams to that) – I was aiming for 89kgs but whats half a stone between friends huh ?

Dress code for the race will be all black with mid blue Brooks Glycerines on my feet, skin coloured nipple plasters which you wont be able to see because 1. they are skin coloured and 2. they will be under my shirt!, a transparent hooded poncho if it is raining, and whichever pair of socks get pulled out of my drawer the day before when I am packing. I will also be wearing a tight pair of briefs to keep my tackle all together and off the floor.

If you need anything else – right now it is probably too late.

I do have one question though – where are Neal Westwood and Verity McCoy – I have nae heard from either of them in a long loch.

Scab Etiquette

I sat on the sofa the other night, peeling off the second scab from my knee (no not a miner from the Thatcher era) after my mountain bike tumble the other week.  As I pulled a section out, I placed it on the sofa next to me so that I could dispose of it properly after getting the rest of it – and that got me wondering.

If you were a guest at someone’s house, would it be ok to pick at a scab?  Clearly if you did, leaving it on the sofa would never be acceptable but there is a time in a scabs life where it gets itchy and it needs a little assistance to break free from its regenerating role of replacing your skin.

What did fascinate me though was the thickness of the damn thing.  When something gets that thick, it needs peeling off, I think they get to a point where they are too thick to do their job.  When you can snap them in half just like a single finger of a Kit Kat then you know it is time to go.

The human body is amazing!



Which leads me nicely into running again – much to some readers disgust.



The weekend had me hit a double whammy – two personal bests fell by the wayside.  Saturday morning in Leicester, I ran my fastest 5k there – admittedly it was almost a minute off my best 5k ever but different terrain brings different times right?  The best was yet to come though.  Sunday mornings I have been running half marathons in preparation for this weeks race up north. This sunday, I managed a new PB for a half marathon too – 1 hour 48 minutes.  Curiously this time is slap bang in the middle of my target time and the predicted finish time the race organisers have given me, so the gauntlet is definitely thrown.

Spare a though – on Friday evening I ate a large thin crust double pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut all to myself – so is it mere coincidence that I then went on to run two new PB’s?

I think it was not coincidence so will be visiting Pizza Hut again this Friday evening.


So it’s almost here, watch me on the BBC or track me in real-time as I run by downloading the runkeeper app to your smart phone, tablet or log onto their website and sign up.  Look for the username of hairygoose and add me as a friend.



Cheeky eBay Bar Stewards

Woe is the generation that believes all that their computer screen puts in front of them.  From social media outlets to the ‘wonderful for stupid people’ eBay.

Last month I tried to sell my Range Rover on eBay.  Unfortunately it didn’t sell.  It did however, attract a lot of wankers.  You know the type – ‘I will give you 10 grand cash by saturday’ or ‘will you take my pikey mobile in part exchange’.  How these feckless idiots actually manage to navigate their way through life baffles me, but then eBay took one step closer to the crown of ‘Wankers of the Universe’  by sending me a mail suggesting I relist it with a 99p start price.  Can you imagine the fucktards that would crawl out of the woodwork for that one?

They also sent me some examples of ‘similar’ cars that had started as a 99p sale and also listed what they actually sold for as an example to tempt me in deeper to their dark web of deceit.  I very quickly took a screen dump of their clever marketing strategy – see how long it takes for you to spot the problem (if it takes you longer than 3 seconds, I recommend you stay far far away from internet sites that can take your money).






Spotted it?  I hope you did, and instantly too.

Actually, thinking about it, selling the same car twice could double my money and potentially mean my next car is ‘for free’.



On a lighter note, I got my race number for the upcoming Great North Run (Yes Susan, I am talking about running again).  The race takes place on Sunday 13th September and will be live on the BBC.  if you see someone running that looks like me, wearing the number below – there is a very good chance it might be me.  Please therefore wave at your TV screen.





If my timing is a little out and you see me squatting at the side of the road squeezing one out – DIVERT YOUR EYES!!!!!!



And Finally

Did you ever make a mistake that pays off?  Last week, I emailed the captain of my current boat asking for a reference as I have found another project of interest.  I accidentally sent the request to the vessel manager rather than the current Captain.

Normally this would have been a disastrous faux pas but in my case, it may have actually done a whole heap of good.  I had been trying to get a committment out of the manager for some time as to how much longer my contract might run – he had never responded but the slip of an email suggesting I might not return to them at the end of the month had him on the phone within 48 hours offering things like a ‘sale’ retainer.  If I stay on and the boat is sold from underneath me, I would get a 3 month salary bonus on top of everything else.  The conversation ended with him asking me to consider what I want to stay on until the end……………………now, what shall I do?

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