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Showing posts from August, 2012

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…


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…


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…