Friday, 18 September 2009

Paras 10

Well, I completed my first "race" in two years...10 miles carrying 35Ib. Was quite pleased with my 2 hours 15 minutes. This was later than the target 1 hour 50, but for some unknown reason my shins cramped up in the first mile, and it took a couple of miles to get going again. Excellent event, well organised by the Paras. Good friendly atmosphere, challenging course, with some very steep hills. It can be run as a cross county sans bergan, but I think thats kind of missing the point.

I did think it was awfully decent of the Paras to drag the dead sheep out of the water hazard before the event!

Definitely on the calendar for next year.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

First Training session for the Para 10

Decided to enter the Para 10 some months ago - it for charity after all. Here is the website if you want to know more.

Anyway Brian, another runner from the village saw it on my facebook and entered it too. This morning we went out for our first training session. After and hour and three quarters we had covered six and a quarter miles or undulating ground with 35 pound packs. While we need to speed up from 15 minute miles to 11 minute miles and cover an extra 4 miles, all in all, I thought it was not to bad a start.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Went to Lyon on business, because of the flights I had to go Sunday. As "microholidays tagged on to business trips" go this was one of the better ones. I was in the centre of Lyon by 16:00 local so had a good few hours wandering about, first along the river then up the slopes to the Basillica. This is the view down the steps to the old town.

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Bionic Cat

Don't know how Felix did it, but some how he managed to snap all four ligaments in his left stifle.

Two surgeries later he is now home with an external fixator. He won't get full range of movement in his leg gain, but he should get some use from it. Hoping the his course to recovery goes smoothly. Originally his knee was fixed with an internal pin but this broke through the bone and had to be removed - hence the need for the second trip to theatre.
Felix is pretty fed up with the whole situation. He is restricted to a large dog crate except for 10 minutes twice a day, and thats the plan for the next 6 weeks (he's already 10 days post op). Thank goodness for pet insurance.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Progress Report - 100 Push up challenge

Good news and bad from the press up challenge.

I have completed 2 weeks and at my first progress test I found the maximum number of reps had gone up from 16 to 25, not bad in 2 weeks. Now we come to the problems. That keeps me in the highest rank of routines, but I am finding it harder and harder to complete the sets with each sessions. On week 1 day 1, I could finish all the sets and achieve the minimum standard for the final effort. No I am failing to complete the 3 set.

I don't know if I should repeat a week, drop a rank or persevere. I think I'll drop a rank for the next session and see how that goes. If I don't achieve the full work out, I'll repeat the week at that level or if I do really bad, I'll repeat week 2.

Its a good challenge and pretty well organised. The only thing is I am not sure when I should fit the progress tests in.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Man who wrote the Leaphorn/Jim Chee novels

I've been reading Fallen Man and re reading Coyote Waits and I am now reading Skeleton Man. I looked on Wiki to see what sort of order I was reading them in. I was all over the place as usual, but then I started with the Dark Wind. I got into Dark Wind because of the film version that came out roughly the same time as Dances With Wolves - I was going through a period of being fasinated with Native American culture at the time. I guess I still am.

Any I looked at wiki and found that the author of these books had passed on last year. Don't think its a wiki falsehood because its pretty well referenced. So when I have read the last couple of books that will be it, the end of twenty years of enjoyable exploration of Navajo, Hopi and Zuni culture through the medium of crime fiction with a bit of tracking stuff thrown in for good measure. One Navajo custom metioned is not naming the dead.

Well this is not entirely the end, because hopefully one day, I'll be able to visit the Navojo Nation see the beautifully described landscape and explore that desert wilderness myself.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


Couldn't think of anything to give up for Lent, so I thought that I would try the 100 press up challenge

After an initial test of 16, started the first day, today. Managed 45 press ups in 5 sets - well its a start!

So thats 3 days of the week squared away, but not sure what to do with the other 3 - assuming you can have Sunday off. Did think of doing the 200 sit up challenge but I don't think that is what my physio had in mind when I had by hip flexors treated last week!

Of course I would rather be spending 40 days in the wilderness for Lent, but I don't think that my boss would give me the time off.

Monday, 23 February 2009

A Night in the Woods

Had an opertunity to spend a night in a wood this weekend, so I grabbed it with both hands. It didn't look like rain so I only put up a tarp rather than use my bivvy bag. It was the first time bivvying with the dog, but it went well, although I think she was a little cold at times. The plan was for her to sleep on the rucksac but she ended up on the camp matt next to my feet - I guess she was more out of the breeze there. If bivvying becomes a more regular activity I think I'll have to sort out some sort of tarp/groundsheet/bed arrangement for her.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


This what the river looks like when we normally consider it to be running high
This is it when its burst it banks

This is what it normally looks like! The river is someway down the path

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Did some one just take my temperature?

Tried to get some decent pictures of the dogs while out for their morning walk...this was one of the better ones.

Friday, 6 February 2009

The indoor cat

We got a cat from a rescue centre. We knew what we wanted. A big, outdoorsy cat that could look after himself in a household with kids and dogs and out and about in the neighbourhood (our last two cats were always coming off worst in the local scraps. We wanted a male cat, to try and balance out the oestrogen in the household and we wanted a tabby. Well we got all of that except the tabby bit with Felix. We asked about his FIV status but were told he was in a low risk group (this is a large young adult male cat being rehomed because he wasn't fitting in with the other cats in the household). We didn't question it at the time. For some reason we got him tested this week and, you've guessed it, he's positive. The vet gave the options of rehoming, keeping him inside or euthanasia. Now indoor cats don't really fit with our lifestyle, especially in the summer. The garden can't be cat proofed. Keeping him is going to be a stuggle.
Subsequently, I have looked at the rescue charities policy on FIV on their website. Apparently its okay to re-house FIV+ cats to remote areas. Obviously they have no worries about introducting FIV to feral cat populations, and have no intention of limiting the spread of this disease. Okay, there is a cost in testing, but we would have paid for it up front. We won't be going back to this charity, there are more responsible organisations who plan ahead so this sort of heart ache doesn't occur.

Monday, 2 February 2009

A very good reason for not commuting

Played around with the night setting on my camera last night I was very pleased to here the office was shut today. The roads may be passable but it only takes one jack knifed lorry, and you are stuck on a motorway all night. Better off staying at home.