Bye bye hair


It’s that time of year when my hair gets quite curly, and I get fed up with it and cut it all off. I bought clippers a few years ago and I’ve saved myself a few quid.

I often end up doing it in the winter, which is a bad idea, as a #6 cut can be chilly. But it’s spring, so I’m hoping we’re not getting any blizzards for a few months yet.

So far, everyone has said it looks nice, and is an improvement.


No cycling for me

One thing I was going to do in my week off, was go for a daily ride in my ‘new’ bicycle. The rear wheel is now repaired, and although the front tyre has a slow puncture, it ok if you keep it pumped up.
But I came to use it yesterday and found the rear tyre was totally flat, and the puncture is really bad as when I tried to pump it up, it hissed like an angry snake. Bugger!


Up in the loft


I’ve never been up in the lift here, although I moved in just over eleven years ago. The storage in the flat is now more or less at capacity, so when I got a Christmas tree in the sale I needed to find somewhere to put it for the next twelve months.

The building is pretty old – there might be brick on the outside, but there are exposed beams inside, and the flood are wonky, as they’ve had a couple of hundred years to settle.

I didn’t know what I’d find in the loft, hopefully something valuable (one can dream!) But I wasn’t expecting to find that my loft and my neighbour’s loft were one and the same, with just a short wicker fence dividing them.

I can’t help think it’s a bit dodgy from a security point of view.

What I did in 2011, Part 14 – got a Man-Bag

Did I mention my man-bag? I don’t think I did. I suppose technically it’s a satchel or a dispatch bag, which means that it’s a man-bag, essentially.

Not being female, it is not filled with make-up and…actually, what exactly do women keep in their handbags? I’m not sure, but it seems to add up to quite heavy, so it could be bricks for all I know.


My bag contains the following: pocket notebook (mainly for writing my work hours in), packet of tissues (for those snot-explosion moments), a pen, wallet (more comfortable than back pocket), mini torch (I like torches, plus it has a bottle opener), hat and gloves (it’s winter!), mini umbrella (Britain is notoriously, and unpredictably, wet), asthma inhaler, lip balm and my Nokia N73 (now my camera of choice since the Fuji died). At various times in the week it also contains my sandwiches and a newspaper. And sometimes a paperback.

I don’t know how I ever coped without it.


I’m not making any resolutions this year – I never do – but if I did they would be something like this:

a) blog at least 5 times a week
b) run at least four times a week
c) make music 3 times p/w, minimum
d) make effort to sleep better
e) read loads

That lot shouldn’t be too difficult.

Why Running?

I live in the centre of town, about 30 second´s walk from the park, which follows the river as it winds through the town, where you often see people jogging past wearing florescent tops and shorts. And now I am one of those people.

As a keep-fit strategy, jogging has many advantages: it’s cheap, you can do it at any time of day, you don’t need any special kit (well, not quite true-some good running shoes are essential) and it gets you out in the open air. The disadvantages are that when you start out and if you are not fit, and you are lurching wheezing purple-faced wreck, the general public can see you, and point and laugh. And the open-air is often cold and wet.

I don’t much enjoy the running, but I enjoy the way I feel when I have finished, when I have had a nice hot shower, and the muscles are throbbing in a pleasant way. It makes the fifteen minute slog through the horizontal drizzle worthwhile.

So why did I start running? Because I was getting fat (getting on for twelve stone at one point, when I’d normally weigh ten and a half) and just getting generally run down and feeling like crap. And I was approaching forty, so I thought I’d better do something now before it was too late. And I was fed up of having to buy new jeans as my waistline expanded.

I’m glad I started running, it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever taken up, along with reading and playing a musical instrument.

What I did in 2011, part 12 – Went Android

The price of mobile phones has now gone so low, that I went and got me another, so I have two contracts running at the same time. Since they each cost me about £10 a month, this is still pretty cheap. And I wanted something that I cold run ‘apps’ on (even though Nokias have been running apps for years now).

My new phone
My main phone is my Nokia which I use for making calls, texting, and so on. My new phone isn’t being used as a phone at all, I am using it for Facebook, Twitter, Email and things like that. This is my Android phone, the first time I have got a phone that isn’t a Nokia.

There are advantages and disadvantages to having this new portable web device. Advantages are that I pay a flat rate for the data and don’#t have to worry about that at all. It had a nifty touch screen. It is shiny and new. I can do the social networking stuff curled up in bed listening to music and not hunched over my PC keyboard every time I want to tweet.

Disadvantages, so far I have noticed: Nifty touch screen is a pain in the arse to do much typing on. The battery only lasts for about 25 minutes on full charge (ok, a day more-or-less, but it is already starting to annoy me). I have my social networking sites on hand 24/7 – I AM WASTING SO MUCH TIME NOW IT IS STUPID, I should be making music, reading, anything instead of tweeting that I should be making music, reading or etc.

My Nokia might not be so exciting, but I know the charge will last for several days, and when I send a message I won’t spend 50% of the time fixing typing errors because of the tiny virtual touch-keys (although Swype is rather clever way to input text on Android, it is still hit and miss with my normal-sized hands).

In conclusion: I like having two phones

What I did in 2011, part 6 – Got some culture

For my birthday back in March, Dad and Jean took me for a weekend to London, in order to culture me   for  a birthday treat. So I made a list of things I’d like to do in London that I’d like to do, as the last time I did the tourist thing in the capital was when I was 5. The list looked a bit like this:

  • British Museum
  • National Gallery
  • Natural History Museum
  • The Eye
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • etc

In a rather manic Saturday in early April, we managed to do the NHM, the V&A, the Science Museum (not on my list, but it’s night next to NHM, so it made sense to pop in while we were there), then a trip up and down the river on a tour boat looking at the sights, followed by a jaunt on the London Eye. All on foot, except for the bit on the Thames. It was good fun.

On Sunday, we managed to have a good look at the National Gallery.

me and a lion

 This was all very enjoyable. We also examined the tea shop of some of the attractions – the National Gallery tea room isn’t all that good, but the V&A tea rooms were so good we went back on the second day.

Sadly, there was no time to do the British Museum, so that’ll have to wait until next time. I’d like to do the National Gallery again, properly, and maybe the Portrait Gallery too.

tower bridge, nice sky

Tower Bridge, from a boat

What I did in 2011… Part 1 – Started Running

I didn’t mean to leave this blog for over a year, I just never got around to typing up the incredible blogging ideas I had, and now those ideas have slipped from my mind…  so I’ll just  sort of sum up my year.

some running feet. not mine, though

This is the year I really started running. I was pretty surprised myself, but it show no sign of stopping. Technically, I started  running (or, at this early stage, staggering and wheezing  around the park) late 2010, but this was the year I actually felt I could admit this to my friends and family.

I live in the centre of a small market town, but we’ve got a large park alongside the river, and that is great for making nice running routes, and it’s generally really pretty (except now, where it’s pretty grim, and mostly flooded).

There have been some health benefits to this, which was the point of it all. My asthma is much better now, and breathing in general. Since I started I have lost almost a stone in weight, which was a nice side-effect.

On the downside, in warmer weather the good townsfolk of Shrewsbury have to endure the sight of my knees. Sorry Shrewsbury.