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Long month

This month has been pretty stressful - even without all the Christmas preparations, Kitty and I had the norovirus, and then everyone except me got a nasty cold from which they're only just recovering... So things have been pretty hectic!As well as that, I've been decorating the bedroom in preparation for child3 - I've been stripping wallpaper, painting and putting together the world's biggest wardrobe, from which my arms are still aching!All the presents are wrapped thankfully, just got to tidy up a bit.Anna took Nicky into London yesterday to see the Sooty stage show which he loved, as well as going on a double decker bus to see the sights, which apparently he'd have been happy to do all day! Kitty is still a bit young to sit still that long, so instead we went to Waitrose which was absolutely mental, they opened the doors an hour before the tills opened so they had an hour's worth of customers waiting to pay by the time I got there - it was gridlocked with al…

Recovery

My updates have been pretty sparse over the last few weeks, mostly due to tiredness and being very busy, but at least last week I had a decent excuse! Last Monday evening I got hit by the norovirus - I spent what seemed like the entire night in the bathroom. I haven't been that ill in a long time - it took a lot out of me and I'm still not fully recovered. Kitty had the virus originally, poor thing, and she suffered as well, but thankfully she seems fully recovered now. Nicky and Anna seem to have survived unscathed so far (touch wood).

Due to the illness I've not played squash for a couple of weeks, and I've not even been out on the bike, although the weather is contriving against me in that regard as well, it's bloody freezing at the moment! I can't really go out if it's near freezing as the roads will be slippery - I suppose I could go out on my mountain bike but it's just not as much fun (and harder work on the roads!)

I've got most of my presen…

Catch up

I don't really have time to catch up with everything unfortunately but will endeavour to write something!Last week was long and painful, mostly due to the acquisition of a new car. I am definitely old and past it now as I am the proud owner of a Ford Galaxy! It's like driving a bus! There was some stress involved as I somehow contrived to lose the tax disc at the dealers but I thankfully got it back. I have been promoted at work! I am now a senior auditor, doing much more varied work. It can sometimes be hard fitting the hours in but I'm sure it will get easier. Sleep is very much at a premium again, although recently the problem has been Kitty - she's definitely nearing the terrible twos...

Sleepless weekend

We had one of those weekends that made me wonder why we're having a third child! I can't wait for when I can sleep all through the night every night, presumably that won't be for a loooong time. It was a fairly quiet weekend, just went to the shops. I took Kitty to the local bicycle recycling initiative to look for a Christmas present for Nicky, and ended up with one for me as well so I can ride alongside him off road (no chance I'm taking the road bike off road!) I wasn't impressed when I had a go at home though, the gears were misaligned despite the so called full service they gave the bike. I had considered getting a second hand road bike from the same place initially but I'm glad I didn't now, as dodgy gears would probably have put me right off! I'm trying to do some proper base training on the bike which means I need to cycle whilst keeping my heartbeat low. My previous attempt at this wasn't very good as it kept going up to 150bpm which is a b…

Yet more sickness

One illness goes, another one comes - it never seems to stop, although as the kids go to groups etc. I suppose it's inevitable that they'll fall ill. Thankfully Anna and I haven't suffered too badly from it, but the weekend was pretty stressful as far as Kitty is concerned. They're both mostly better now.

I took Nicky to see some fireworks at a friend's house on Saturday night, last year he wasn't interested at all but this year he was enthralled by them - it's the longest he's been quiet in a long time!

I got a promotion last week so am feeling happy :-) It seems pretty quick after the last one but I assume it means that I'm doing a good job.

I've broken the 1200 mile barrier on my bike now which seems amazingly high. I'm still gunning for segments on Strava but am also trying to do some base training and keeping my heartbeat low - it's easier said than done, I suppose I need to be more disciplined on the bike and just go a bit more slo…

Colder

It's definitely getting colder now! I went out for a ride yesterday in my long tights and upper base layer, which was OK but my toes were freezing - I'll try thicker socks next time! The cold seems to make it harder to cycle, although I'm still improving some times on Strava. I'm getting used to the pedals a bit more now, although the left one seems a bit awkward to unclip so I'll have to adjust it a little. I find it easier to accelerate with my new pedals, and clipping back in after having to stop is much easier than it was with toe straps.

In preparation for the new baby having one of the cots, we've moved Kitty into Nicky's old bed and moved Nicky into a bigger bed. This coincided with the clocks going back so it's difficult to gauge how well it's going, but Nicky did stay in his bed all night on Saturday and they both woke up at a reasonable time despite the extra hour, so I'd rate it as a success!

I had a terrible night of squash last week…

32

So, I turned 32 last Thursday, and as expected I don't feel any older than I did before! I got some lovely Hotel Chocolat chocolates from the kids, which I'm successfully resisting at the moment - given half a chance I'd scoff the lot! I also got tickets to see Greg Davies, which should be good - we liked his show that we watched on TV a few weeks ago.

I also got some new clipless pedals for my bike, and with some birthday money I bought some shoes to go with them. I can clip in and out OK whilst the bike is stationary, I haven't had a chance to try them out properly though because it's been very foggy yesterday and today and I don't want to take any chances when I'm not used to the pedals yet! I wonder if there will be any difference to my performance or if any benefit will be entirely psychological?

According to the widget on the right I've cycled 1,111 miles since March, which seems quite good. I'd like to hit 2,000 next year but events at the en…

Cold

It seems like summer has definitely left us, to be replaced by chilly winds. We've even given in and started putting the heating on occasionally!

I've managed a couple of bike rides since last week, my knees aren't 100% but the soreness has gone. The chilly winds really don't help though, especially as no matter which direction I face I always seem to get a headwind! The aching from going swimming has finally gone, will probably go again next week when I have a bit more free time.

We went up to Mum's this weekend which was quite nice. We went out for a walk to see a pony that lives in the fields near Mum's house, but their owner was there feeding him, and Nicky was lucky enough to sit on his back!


It's two days until my 32nd birthday, and two days ago it was our sixth wedding anniversary. Feeling quite old at the moment!

Knees

I've had sore knees since Friday - I think it's cycling related, as I made my saddle slightly higher on Wednesday and did a reasonably hilly (for me) route, which I think has strained something. I'll wait until the soreness goes before getting on my bike, but this is very frustrating as I want to go for a ride regardless! Instead I went swimming this morning, it's the first time I've been for an actual swim (as opposed to just keeping an eye on Nicky) for several years. I managed 40 lengths in 28 minutes which is the same time I managed when I was swimming three or four times a week at uni, so I thought I'd done quite well, but my arms were very tired afterwards! I think I'll definitely swim a bit more over the winter as I assume the weather will stop my cycling quite so often.

The main news from the weekend is that we got Glastonbury tickets! No thanks to Seetickets, as per usual their website couldn't deal with the strain, although I should be gratefu…

More sickness

It's been a very long week, both the kids have been unwell, especially Nicky who has been very tired. We have a few disturbed nights followed by bouts of vomiting in the morning, which isn't what you really want first thing! They're both over the worst of it now hopefully.

Not been up to much other than that. I've been out for a couple of rides, the weather is definitely starting to turn cold so I've had to start putting the base layers on and wearing trousers rather than shorts (they're more like tights than trousers!)

On Sunday we made the (with hindsight) bizarre decision to go to both Ikea and Costco. Previous experience should have told us that this would be hellish but we obviously forgot or were too tired to think about it properly! Both places were packed and going with tired kids was a really bad idea. We just about survived unscathed though!

I would ride 1000 miles

I finally broke the 1000 mile barrier on my bike - as the widget on the left shows (hopefully), according to Endomondo I've done 1005 miles since the end of March. I thought this would be an impossible target given that for the first few weeks I could only manage 1 mile, 3 miles, 5 miles at a time! Strava thinks I've only done 983 miles though, I'm not sure why there's such a big discrepancy! Hopefully the weather will clear up and I can beat the target on Strava too (any excuse for a ride is good for me!)

The kids seem to have picked up another bug, so the last couple of nights have led to disturbed sleep followed by clearing up vomit shortly after waking up. Not particularly pleasant!

We went to a christening on Sunday for a friend's daughter. I had been dreading it due to my previous experience in a church, but it was far more bearable than I'd anticipated and the kids were very well behaved. In stark contrast to the previous time, this service seemed to be …

Post-holiday blues

Surprisingly it's Nicky that seems to be complaining the most about coming home from holiday - he obviously had a really good time to still be complaining about it! Unfortunately it's meant some silly behaviour, not sure if it's down to coming back from holiday or just the usual threenage tantrum.

It feels like it's been a long week since I last updated here. Saturday night especially was bad as Kitty was up for a lot of the night, which also disturbed Nicky, which meant yesterday was quite stressful - not had a night that bad in a long time, although it was a reminder of just how bad nights used to be when Nicky was younger - every night used to be like that!

I seem to still be shrinking so bought some more new clothes yesterday - I'm now wearing jeans with a 32" waist which I haven't done since before I went to univeristy! I'm also just about on the border between an S or an M, but S is too small so sticking with M. I'm still very happy with this…

South coast holiday

We've spent the last week on holiday on the south coast. We stayed at a great campsite called Chestnut Meadow, which I can highly recommend - the site has 10/10 reviews on ukcampsite which are completely warranted. The site is arranged so that the tents and caravans circle a central field, so we could kick the kids out of the awning and could keep an eye on them in the middle. It's definitely the best campsite we've been to since we had the caravan.

We couldn't have picked a better week, weather-wise, it was over 20C every day and all of us have a tan now. We went to the beach at Eastbourne and Hastings, where we buried Nicky :-)


The big day out was to Drusillas Zoo Park, where of course the number one attraction as far as Nicky was concerned was Thomas the Tank Engine. We rode on him three times! Apart from that though the whole site is great, the first area is a zoo, then afterwards are several play areas including an indoor soft play, then there is an adventure maze…

Bikeathon

Today was the day for the Bikeathon. I was surprisingly nervous before setting off, I don't really know why. It was a bit busier than I'd expected, I think there were at least 500 riders (I saw race numbers in the 500s anyway). It all started at 9.30 with small groups going at a time to prevent congestion.

I knew it wasn't a race but I still wanted to do it as quickly as I could, and after a few miles I found myself on my own having overtaken most people. I did catch up to an earlier group eventually, and cycled and chatted with one rider for a while. He was only doing one lap though as he had to get home, so I did the second lap mostly on my own. I know at least one person was ahead of me because they were skipping the checkpoints but I wasn't. The second lap mostly involved overtaking slower riders - I know I have a huge advantage with a road bike vs a mountain bike but it's still fun overtaking people! I finished my two laps in approximately 1 hour 40 - the lad…

More illness

Last week was not a pleasant week at all. Anna and myself both came down with a nasty cold which left us with a bad headache, sore throat and other aches and pains. I got over the worst of it in a few days thankfully, but Anna suffered much more (pregnancy definitely doesn't help). Anna's mum got it first and was suffering as well but thankfully she was able to help with looking after the kids, otherwise I don't know how we'd have coped!

We had a quiet weekend - Anna and the kids went to the Clacton Air Show on the Friday with Anna's mum to see the Red Arrows. We also went to the beach on Monday (which was very windy and a bit drizzly too, not ideal!) Other than that things have been pretty quiet (we've been too tired to do anything!)

Yesterday I did a 29 mile bike ride as a kind of rehearsal for the bikeathon on Sunday. I did a completely different route which was much hillier and my legs are aching today but I did it in around 1 hour 45 minutes, so hopefully …

Too hot

So after a wet first half of the summer comes a scorchingly hot second half. The last few nights have been really uncomfortable, and the kids haven't been coping well with it - Kitty in particular doesn't like the heat. I think I had less than 4 hours sleep last night due to kids waking up and the heat. Thankfully it seems a bit cooler tonight so fingers crossed I can recover.

I went out for my first ride in the dark on Friday evening, leaving just before sunset and getting back when it was dark 50 minutes later. I hadn't been out with my lights on before and felt a little nervous, but the breeze from cycling helped with the heat and I took an extra bottle of water with me which definitely helped! Unfortunately my pump broke yesterday (that'll teach me to buy a cheap one - or for letting Nicky play with it!) but I got a new one today from Halfords. My British Cycling membership is almost paying for itself - I paid £24 for basic membership, I get £12 cashback from Quidc…

BT London Live Olympic Closing Ceremony Concert

After the highs of the mountain biking on the Saturday, came the lows of the Sunday after...

We got to Hyde Park at around 4.30pm and waited in the queue to be frisked/X-rayed whilst we could hear Bombay Bicycle Club in the distance (at least, we could until we got nearer the speakers above the entrance - but more on the sound later). I recognised one of the songs anyway.

We had a quick look around - everything was pretty similar to how it had been setup the previous week, apart from the band merchandise stalls - we don't need a carboard milk carton a la Coffee & TV, but somehow it still took a lot of effort not to buy one.

We were about halfway back when New Order came on.


As you can see, we're fairly close to a speaker stack there, but the sound was abysmal - we could barely hear anything. It didn't help that the first half of New Order's set didn't feature any of their more famous songs, but at least I finally got to hear Blue Monday after they were booted o…

Olympic Womens Mountain Biking

Last Saturday we headed to Hadleigh Farm to see the womens mountain biking race. Mountain biking is the cycling discipline I know least about, but as it was only down the road we decided to go, on the basis that we'd likely never get to go to another home Olympics event (this was us in pre-Olympic cynic mode - in hindsight I wish I could have gone to many more events).

We left the kids with Anna's mum and got the train to Leigh, followed by a free shuttle bus to Hadleigh Farm. Despite fears that everything would be chaotic, we were pleasantly surprised at how smoothly everything went - there was a small queue for the bus but it moved quickly and in no time at all we were in!


After a lengthy queue for expensive food and expensive merchandise (the only negatives of the day really - the queues that is, I expected everything to be expensive!), we found a spot in the middle of the track, which gave us a decent view of around a third of the circuit, as well as being able to see a bi…

London

On Sunday we decided to go into London so that the kids could experience some of the Olympic atmosphere. We had got tickets to guarantee us entry into Hyde Park for BT London Live, but we decided to head for the Eye first, as the womens marathon was taking place across the river so we thought we'd try and see it from the Eye.

As we arrived at Waterloo, the heavens opened and we got drenched (the kids had their raincoats on but Anna and I didn't) so we dashed to the Eye. The queue was quite short which was surprising, and we got on relatively quickly. We could see a bit of the marathon:


I'd never been on the Eye before and thought it was pretty interesting just how much of London you could see, you could even see the Wembley arch in the distance. We could also see the beach volleyball arena that had been set up in Horse Guards Parade.


Nicky wasn't quite so enamoured though, despite being able to see Big Ben he soon lost interest apart from when trains came in and out of…

Medals

So, the Olympics have been going for a week now, and so far it seems to have mostly been good. Despite my initial cynicism I really enjoyed the opening ceremony, and apart from the massive disappointment of the mens road race on Saturday things have been going well. I can only assume Bradley Wiggins will now be knighted after his efforts over the last month! Fingers crossed that we get a few more golds.

As for my own sporting prowess, I've been out on the bike a couple of times but I don't think I've quite recovered from my illness last week, and suffered a bit! As for squash, well, it was my worst night ever, I lost every game and wasn't really at the races.

We went swimming this morning, and Nicky has finally seemed to grasp the concept of kicking his legs to swim, maybe watching the Olympics has helped? Kitty seems to have taken to the water though and was happily kicking away. There was a bit of a distraction in the pool too because Team GB's diving team were p…

The Olympics

They're finally here, with the opening ceremony tonight and some events already started. I have zero interest in the football, but will be looking forward to the cycling events (especially the mountain biking as we have tickets for the female competition!) as well as the athletics. Mostly though I'm interested in what Danny Boyle has concocted for the opening ceremony tonight.

I have been ill since last week, only really starting to recover on Wednesday. I've been itching to get out on my bike since watching Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France, finally getting out for a short 11 mile ride on Wednesday, which was very tiring due to not being fully recovered and the heat! I'm having slight withdrawals from not being able to watch the cycling on the TV every day, but at least that'll be partly remedied during the Olympics.

Apart from being unwell I've also been really busy, not a brilliant combination but I've struggled through just about. I'm very glad…

Madness

Anna is pregnant again!



We had the 12 week scan yesterday and everything is good as far as they can tell at this stage. The due date is 28th January. Obviously 3 years without sleep isn't enough!

Other than this news, not much is going on at the moment, just work, work, work.

Rain, rain, go away

I'm really bored of the rain, not only because it stops me cycling, but it also affected our holiday last weekend. We went to Kelling Heath again, and were slightly worried by the flood warnings in place for a lot of the country, but as we got there the sun came out and I was able to get the awning up without getting soaked!

However, the rain came back later that evening, and was ever-present throughout the weekend, although we tried not to let it affect us too much. We went into Sheringham on Saturday on the steam train (complete with special wooden carriages), and saw lots of morris dancers - they were having the Lobster Potty Festival that weekend. We managed to have a picnic on the beach despite the rain, and just about avoided getting soaked!

Other than that we spent our time on the Kelling Heath site, doing a scavenger hunt, trying (and failing) to find a geocache and we also went to the playground. Nicky was able to play on a few more bits this year so he enjoyed it, and Ki…

Hop Farm Festival - Sunday

We managed to get day tickets for the Hop Farm Festival last Sunday - SupaJam were offering 500 free tickets (just had to pay £5.40 admin fee per ticket) for each day, and as I knew Anna had never seen Suede but really wanted to I went for the Sunday tickets. After the usual online ticket buying stresses I managed to get two tickets!

Unfortunately we didn't get to the festival in time to see any of the new acts that SupaJam were promoting. It almost felt like we were cheating them somehow, getting into the festival for 'free'! My expectations for the festival were fairly low, as Anna had been to the first one to see Rufus Wainwright - apparently back then it was just one stage in a field and not much else. But things had obviously improved since then, there were four separate stages and plenty of shops, food places and rides to keep people entertained.

The first band I saw anything of were Athlete - they did Wires (obviously) but I had forgotten they did 'You Got The S…

Very long week

Last week seemed to go on forever, mainly due to work commitments, but the good news is that I've been promoted! I'm now an auditor with a bit more responsibility on top of my current work, and I'm looking forward to the new challenges. I could have done without my PC getting infected with a rootkit on Friday though! It was a really nasty one and despite my best efforts I had to admit defeat and have reinstalled Windows. I've changed my virus scanner, don't know if it will help! It was the last thing I needed on a Friday. I've still got loads of things to restore but am getting there slowly. I did a 35 mile bike ride on Tuesday which was a real struggle at the 26 mile mark. There were a few hills which cumulatively took their toll on me, I definitely need more hill practice. I'm going to stick to shorter hillier routes for a while until I get stronger. I did 17 miles on Saturday which was a bit better. We had a nice weekend, we went to a barbecue on Saturda…

Penalties

Another penalty shoot-out, another loss, typical England. Although we did well to even make it to the quarter finals, the match against Italy was dire. In typical Hodgson style we set out to defend and not much else, it was reminiscent of watching Liverpool under Hodgson. He'll have his excuses and will ask for more time but it won't get any better.

Anyway, the Tour de France will start at the weekend so who cares about football? Speaking of cycling, I've broken the 500 mile mark now, and last week did a 30 mile ride and a 20 mile ride. Both times I went slightly hillier routes which were much harder, but something I need to work on - on flat sections my Strava times are respectable but on hills they're pretty poor.

Not much else I can think of to write about at the moment...

Struggling to think of a synonym for tired that I've not previously used

We've just had a terrible, sleep-deprived weekend. For one reason or another, I didn't sleep well from Wednesday through to Sunday, and as a result I've spent the weekend as a bit of a zombie, and the same goes for Anna as well. Kitty is teething (her lower canines are coming through) which explains her lack of sleep, as for Nicky, well, he's just carrying on being Nicky, although to be fair he was being disturbed by Kitty too.

For Father's Day I got two lovely handmade cards, two bars of Green & Blacks and a big Toblerone, mmmm. They won't last long in my greedy hands!

Haven't really been up to much recently. I didn't even have the energy to go out on the bike yesterday despite it being the best weather we've had for a while. I'm up to 442 miles now, still waiting for an opportunity to break the 30 mile barrier but I've been really busy with work recently so it will have to wait.

I've watched some of the football, but haven't be…

Rhod Gilbert at the Cliffs Pavilion

Last night Anna and I went to see Rhod Gilbert - The Man With The Flaming Battenburg Tattoo. Expectations were high after seeing The Cat That Looked Like Nicholas Lyndhurst, and we were hoping that it'd be better than when we saw Dave Gorman and Paul Merton at the same venue. Thankfully, it was.


As expected, Rhod was his usual angry self, despite claims to have mellowed out a bit following anger management (which is what the show is mostly about). The show started with Rhod's glamorous introduction to Essex by a man in a dressing gown, and there were memorable rants about potato packaging in Tesco, advertising in toilets (and what constitutes the back of a door), expensive toothbrushes and inept builders. Unfortunately, due to the bit at the beginning about the man in the dressing gown, the show overran a bit and it didn't finish until 11.10, by which time we were pretty shattered! The bit about the travelling chef also went on a little bit too long, but overall I really e…

Windy

Turns out the weather forecasters weren't joking about it being windy outside - I cycled 8 miles this morning but it felt more like 20! Normally I would have given it a miss but I haven't been out on the bike since Saturday due to punctures and other commitments so needed to get out, even if it was only for a short while.

So, the long weekend did feel rather long in the end, what with watching the boats on the Thames (on TV, that is - not mad enough to drag two kids to go and stand by the river in the rain!), a street party on Tuesday (interrupted by the rain, naturally), and most importantly as far as Nicky was concerned, going to see Thomas the Tank Engine at Colne Valley Railway on Monday. We were lucky as far as the weather went, with just the one shower, and the kids enjoyed it. We got to ride on Thomas:


We also got to ride on Daisy:


We also got treated to a story re-enactment, where naughty Mavis the Diesel knocked over some cans because she wasn't listening, and Tho…

Scorching

After ages complaining about the wet weather, now we're going through a hot spell - I can't win really! Although sun is mostly better than rain because I can at least cycle in the mornings/evenings when it's cooler.

Friday was a long day, where Jonathan and I went down to Somerset for our Granddad's funeral. We ended up being very early and spent around an hour and a half looking around Bath, I would have liked to at least look at the old baths etc. but Jonathan was more interested in the Hollister shop! We got to the crematorium in plenty of time, and caught up with relatives that we haven't seen in a long time, as well as meeting some of the old boys from the home that Granddad used to run, who also knew Dad when he was growing up.

The service was different to what I was expecting - I knew it was going to be according to Quaker custom but I didn't really know what that would entail. In the end though I think I much preferred it to a traditional service. After…

Warm

Things have really brightened up weather wise, and looks like it will continue into the weekend for the airshow which is good. I've managed to get out on the bike three times this week, doing 8 miles, 20 miles and 11 miles in the last three days. I'm glad to have finally broken the 20 mile barrier, next is 25 or 30 miles, but I'll have to wait until I have enough time to attempt those. I've now ridden 264 miles in total, just over £1 a mile now for the cost of the bike!

We went to a wedding on Saturday which was very long. I expected it to be around an hour as it was in a church, but it lasted about 1 hour 40 with all the singing. There was also one part where a man spouted some incredibly offensive nonsense about gay marriage and how women should be subservient to men in marriage as that is God's design. If you're bigoted enough to believe that then that's your opinion but a wedding really isn't the place for it! Out of the 1 hour 40, approximately 5 m…

Holiday

We came back from holiday yesterday, and I could do with another holiday to recover from that holiday!

We headed down to Wiltshire on Thursday, and made decent time despite a few false starts (note to self: caravans move a lot more easily without the handbrake on, and your clutch will thank you for this). Unfortunately, when we got to the campsite at Brokerswood the rain was heavy and the wind was strong, and it took me around an hour to get the awning up. But once we were all sorted we found a local pub which did really nice food called The Bell - it was so good we went again on the Sunday.

Thankfully the weather cleared up on the Friday for our trip to Longleat. I think the weather had put a lot of people off as the place was pretty quiet. We opted to pay £4 per seat for the safari bus rather than take the car through, ostensibly so that the kids would have a better view, but on my part I wanted to keep the car in one piece!

The safari was pretty interesting, and the bus driver prov…

Granddad

My Granddad died last Thursday, having been quite unwell for some time. I don't think I've really dealt with it yet, I'm sad but on the other hand I'm happy that he is no longer suffering. We were supposed to see him this weekend as we're taking the caravan down for a long weekend. The funeral will be towards the end of the month. I've never been to a funeral before. Of course, I have been to a funeral before, for Jack, which was slightly different but I shouldn't have forgotten about it so easily.

Apart from this, the week has dragged and dragged, I don't really know why. Maybe it's down to the weather which has been pretty much consistently wet, although yesterday was dry and today has at least offered dry spells. I've managed to get out on the bike a couple of times and have broken 15 miles for the first time, doing 16.33 miles today, which took me just over an hour and has left my legs quite achey! But I feel much better for finally getting …

Ill again

One day, everyone in the house will all be well at the same time. I can't remember the last time that happened with us, what with chickenpox, teething and whatnot. This week it is my turn, I have a cough and a snotty nose.I've had a bit of a frustrating week, as well as being unwell I've had a list of things to do which has been threatening to get too long but I've managed to get a lot of it done this week. The car was MOTed today, it failed on a drop link but they were able to replace it this afternoon. I got some new glasses ordered yesterday, as Kitty kindly threw my glasses to the floor in IKEA on Saturday and chipped both lenses! Boots have a few decent deals at the moment and I was able to get two pairs, one a pair of sunglasses with polarised lenses, for less than what I paid for my current pair! Hopefully they'll be done before we go away next week.Managed a couple of twelve mile bike rides over the last couple of days, despite the rain. It's so windy d…

Wet

I'm getting pretty fed up with the weather now, wind and rain does not make for a comfortable bike ride! I did two 11 mile routes at the weekend which were good, however yesterday I experienced my first punctures which I think I got from missing a pothole. I changed one inner tube without any problems (must be over 15 years since I last did it) only to notice that the other tyre had punctured as well and I didn't have another spare inner tube. Sadly I was as far away from home as I could possibly be, so had a 3.2 mile walk/jog home pushing the bike, half of it in the rain, fun!

Apart from cycling travails not much is happening really. Just wish it would stop raining!

Aching

I've been pushing on with the cycling, my furthest distance now is 11.31 miles which I managed yesterday despite the high winds and rain on the seafront! Only did 7 today because the wind seems even stronger out. My legs are aching but in a good way, I'm definitely feeling the benefit and feeling fitter. Hopefully it will translate to squash tonight, I did a bit better last week.

We went to see Paul Merton on Friday, which was a bit average I thought. The first half was a bit so-so, the second half improved thankfully, although the best bit was the improv stuff which worked far better than the rehearsed bits. I'd love to see him do some improv as he's so quick-witted.

We had a quiet weekend, went to the woods on Sunday - here's a picture of Nicky and Anna:


Here's a picture that Nicky coloured in on Zebra Paint, claiming it's me - I don't think I'll ever be arrogant enough to wear a yellow jersey whilst cycling, but I do have a red helmet :-)


Better

Everyone has recovered from their chest infections thankfully, so things are a bit less fractious. Nicky even slept through last night! We had a reasonable long weekend as well.

Anna and I went to see The Hunger Games at the cinema last Thursday, which was spoiled by four people behind us talking throughout. I really haven't missed the cinema in the almost two years it has been since we last went, if we wanted to watch a film with constant mindless chattering we could have stayed at home and saved £30! Vue have not responded particularly well to my complaint (whatever happened to cinema ushers?) and as it stands we will definitely never be attending another Vue cinema. As for the film itself, perhaps it's unfair to judge it based on this experience, due to the innappropriate noises coming from behind us (laughing at children killing each other, giggling at two people kissing), but we felt it lacked a certain something from the books. On the way there Anna and I had wondered wh…

A long week

Further to my last entry about everyone being ill, last week proved to be exhausting. Anna and Nicky went to the doctors on Thursday and were prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection, and Kitty went on Friday and was also prescribed antibiotics. Somehow I am the last man standing! I've still got a little cough but don't seem to be developing the same symptoms as the others.

All of which meant a lot of stress as yesterday was Nicky's 3rd birthday. I can still remember him being born, where did the three years go? On the one hand it has gone very quickly, but on the other hand I remember the long nights of trying to get him to sleep which makes it feel like a very long time indeed!

Somehow we managed to get everything sorted and Nicky liked all of his presents. We took him to the farm yesterday, and as per usual he took no interest in the animals, but loved the tractors, diggers, train and the big soft play area! He had a nice day which is the main thing.

Due to the illn…

More illness

I can't remember the last time all 4 people in the house were well, and it seems like that's going to carry on for a while. Nicky has a nasty cough and a temperature at the moment which he has passed on to Anna. Somehow I am OK (apart from a little cough which I've had for at least 3 weeks now), and Kitty seems well.

We went up to my mum's house this weekend, and had some nice weather. We went to a rare breeds farm on Saturday, where Kitty enjoyed looking at the animals and Nicky (as predicted) ignored the animals in favour of the tractors. They had a playground there too, and Nicky stood up for himself against a couple of other children who were blocking his path through a tunnel (afterwards my mum overheard the children complaining to their mother who said they should have slapped him! Such charming parenting).

The other interesting thing from the last week is that I finally stopped dithering and spent some of my inheritance on a bicycle. I've been thinking about…

Strange day

It's Jonathan's 30th birthday today, which would normally be a reason for a big celebration, but it's also the anniversary of Jack being born, so things are a bit strange. I popped round last night with presents and cards and also some flowers for his girlfriend, as we weren't quite sure what else we could do. Jonathan did text me to say it was appreciated though.

Despite my claiming not to be that interested in football I still took advantage of being able to watch the whole match yesterday, then again I did get to see some of Milan-San Remo on Saturday as well. I would have watched the F1 too if it weren't for bloody Sky getting the exclusive rights to half the races... The BBC radio coverage is good but it's just not the same as watching it.

Tired

I'm still not entirely recovered from my illness of the last two weeks, I'm still a bit bunged up, and it seems like Nicky might be coming down with something too. He also woke me up at 4.40am today so I'm a bit of a zombie at the moment...

It's been a reasonably quiet week, can't remember much of note. Two of Kitty's top teeth have finally come through to make it 6 on top, and the matching bottom pair seem to be trying to break through now.

My interest in football is at an all time low - this can probably be partially explained by Liverpool's poor form at the moment, but I just really don't care about any of it at the moment - I'm really not that interested in Euro 2012 and how England might do (presumably I will get caught up in it nearer the time though). For now I spend more of my time following the cycling - I watched most of Paris-Nice, will probably miss Milan-San Remo at the weekend though.

Better

I've recovered from whatever it was that I had last week, it developed into more of a cold which is still lingering but is mostly gone. Thankfully Kitty is completely recovered now too, although now her teeth are coming through again, hopefully this time they'll actually break through - I can feel pointy bits just underneath anyway when I put teething gel on her.

The wedding at the weekend was lovely although fairly exhausting, as I spent a lot of it chasing Nicky around and preventing him from escaping! Once the dancing started though he was completely in his element, I still have no idea where he gets it from because it isn't me or Anna!

We've had a fairly quiet couple of days due to the weather and general tiredness. I'm still horribly addicted to Grand Prix Story and am now halfway through my second play through. I noticed Kairosoft have yet another new game available, I've got 2 or 3 others still to try first!

Ill

As I wrote before, Kitty has been ill since Friday, she seems to be over the worst of it now but is still quite tired. I know how she feels because I've been the same since Sunday, and I was also quite unwell Saturday morning (although that was self-inflicted after James' stag do on Friday night). I seem to be OK if I sit or lie still, but moving around makes me feel a bit sick.

One of the few benefits of not being able to move around is that I had a decent excuse to sit and watch the Carling Cup Final on Sunday, featuring the worst penalty shoot-out I've seen Liverpool take part in, yet somehow we still won it! It was really unfair on Cardiff but not going to complain too much. It may not be the most glamorous of trophies but a cup is a cup, and it means at the very least we're in Europe next year.

I've got myself re-addicted to playing Grand Prix Story on my phone, just coming up to the end of the first play through...

Birthday

Tuesday was Kitty's birthday, it's difficult to believe that she's one already, although having said that the last year has at times felt like it's been really slow and then at other times really fast. Kitty obviously wasn't really aware of why she was getting lots of presents, although her favourite things were a balloon and her card from Nicky:


Her main present from us was a Wheelybug, although she's still a bit small for it and predictably Nicky now wants one!

We took them both (and both grandmothers) to soft play for the day, and it wasn't too hellish, they both had a nice time, Nicky is pretty fearless about going down slides and being up high, not sure if that's good or bad!

Squash on Wednesday was terribly bad - it was the first time we'd had all 6 of us for a long time. I was trying out a different way of holding the racquet - the correct way, apparently - and although I felt an improvement in certain shots it probably led me to losing all 8…

Sleep

I think this has been Nicky's best ever week for sleep, he's stayed asleep in his bed all night for 4 out of the last 6 nights, which is something of a miracle given the last few years! Hopefully this means we all might get to sleep now, although last night was one of the nights he woke up so I'm suffering a bit today.

Squash last night was pretty terrible, I only won 2 out of 6 and Jonathan won overall by winning 5 out of 6. I definitely need to get fitter somehow.

I'm struggling to think of anything else significant that has happened in the last week or so. It's Kitty's birthday next Tuesday, that's all that's happening right now.

Snow

Thankfully the snow just about held off for our trip down to Somerset, although it did snow whilst we were seeing our Granddad it wasn't too bad (despite Jonathan's protestations) and once we got to the A303 it was all clear. We got about half a foot of snow overnight though, which is still hanging around. The next morning we went outside and made this:


Well, Anna and I made it, Nicky helped for about a minute before getting bored!

It's been a big week for sports stories, what with Contador getting banned and then Capello resigning. I'm writing here that I completely disagree that Harry Redknapp will make a good England manager, and once the press have decided he isn't the messiah and stab him in the back, I can say 'I told you so'. I love the way Capello is branded a flop despite statistically having one of the best records as England manager, and his pedigree of titles in Spain and Italy as well as the Champions League, whereas Redknapp has one FA Cup. Of…

Groundhog Day

Yesterday was Groundhog Day, and it very much feels like this whole week has been one repetitive day, where the kids don't sleep, we don't sleep and everyone is grumpy for the whole day. The cold, whilst not being the cause of it, really doesn't help - I took the kids to the park yesterday afternoon and the wind chill was -5! Nicky was happy but I forgot to take any gloves, won't be making that mistake again...

I set up a profile at Goodreads to keep track of books I've read and want to read. At the moment I have a long list of books to read because I'm currently reading Ulysses by James Joyce, which after reading 60% of it I know that I hate it, but it's on the BBC list so I have to finish it (that and I'm stubborn) - I'm forcing myself to read at least 1% a night just to get it done with.

Not much else is happening at the moment. Hopefully the snow will hold off so I can go down to Somerset tomorrow to see my relatives...

Back to normal

After having a few days of reasonable sleep, the last week has seen a return to being woken up in the middle of the night. This is despite doing our best to wear Nicky out, especially on Sunday when we went geocaching for the first time. We walked two and a half miles around Hockley Woods and found three caches, it was quite fun.

Not much else of interest is going on apart from that. Feeling pretty tired ahead of squash tonight, although at least Jonathan will be playing tonight so I'll get a rest between games!

Up and down

We've had a really nice few days, the weekend was nice and the kids have been well behaved (and more importantly have slept - mostly!), but last night saw Nicky back to his old tricks, and Anna woke up feeling really unwell. Oh well, at least I had a few nights sleep to fall back on!

Saturday was a really nice day, we went to Barleylands as they were offering cheap tickets on their website. Nicky had a great day, despite mostly ignoring the animals, he got to go on a miniature diesel train, various tractors and the big soft play area that they have there!

We'll definitely go back at some point, hopefully Kitty will appreciate parts of it more when she's older, although she also liked the soft play. The only downside is that lunch cost us more than the entrance did, but we'll take a picnic next time.

I have played squash the last two weeks, but it's only been me and Will - and last night we had booked a double session, anticipating that some of the others would play…

Reasonably awake

I've actually had a reasonable couple of nights of sleep, so not feeling too bad. I'm still a bit stressed about the amount of work I have to do but I'm making progress. Playing squash tonight, just me and Will so it's going to be pretty tiring playing without breaks between games, but it'll be good for me.

The kids' spots have all scabbed over now and seem to be clearing up slowly, although Kitty seems to be teething again! Nicky also had his two and a half year check yesterday and passed everything with no problems.

Right, I need to look up giving blood now before I forget.

Stumped

Nicky just stumped me with a clever question. He was complaining that I was putting him to bed instead of Anna, who was settling Kitty. The conversation went like this:Nicky: "Why can't you put Kitty to bed?"
Me: "Because I can't feed her"
Nicky: "Why do you have nipples then?"
Me: "Er..."I know, but being put on the spot like that caught me off guard! I'm sure it's the first of many similar questions, I'd better brush up!

Slog

2012 has been pretty exhausting and stressful so far. Kitty developed chickenpox on New Year's Eve, and Nicky followed shortly after. Thankfully most of the spots have scabbed over so they won't be infectious soon and can mingle, but we've had a couple of sleepless nights. On top of that I've had loads of work to do - normally I'd be happy about that but piled on top of the lack of sleep means I've been pretty stressed - thankfully I'm almost on top of things again now.

I've not even had time to think of resolutions etc. For now I'm just trying to work my way through all the junk food still in the house - including one and a half hampers that I've got, and the boxes of chocolates downstairs, plus cheeses, nuts, crisps... good thing I wasn't planning to diet! Not that I needed to after getting down to 12 stone over Christmas...