What’s So Funny?

Cornbury time again. The highlight was on Sunday morning, listening to a bunch of eight-year-olds happily giving “Paintball’s Coming Home” a good go.

Here’s Nick Lowe, from Saturday night:
Nick Lowe

Great Manchester Run 2008

Almost no training since the Wilmslow Half, and wouldn’t you know, it’s a personal best of 53:51. I guess I’m reaping the benefits of my earlier training.

Here’s my race result, and here’s a screen capture from BBC iPlayer showing us on the telly in the highlights programme. This was at the finish for Richie’s race yesterday.

Edited to add: I subsequently found out that two of the people I know who were in the race, Paul and Phil, beat me, but by less than a minute, and I’m damned if they’re both not 15 years younger than me, and one of them’s a flippin’ fitness coach.

Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run 2008

(I’m never sure which order the words go in on these events.)

The boys ran their races today, D. tackling 1.8km and R. doing a slightly longer 2.4km. Although the weather wasn’t kind, they both did a great job. D. finished in 12:24, and R. in 13:50. Their own blogs are the places to look for photos, obviously.

Pop Geek

Guardian Book Of Playlists

Chuffed to find myself mentioned (thanked, even!) in the preface to this book. I’m just one of several, of course, and listed under my nom de clavier, but still.

Take the Pinheads Golfing, Take Them Golfing

Golf - 2003Golf - 2008

A weekend at Centerparcs. Very, very cold, particularly when we were out on the bikes, which made me ask myself if it was really worth all the stress of strapping them to the roofrack and wondering which stretch of the M6 they would fall off on.

The boys flew birds of prey, played football, climbed trees (Richie did at least), swam and archeried. We played short tennis and mini-golf, and Sarah did some pilates. I had a small victory in that I actually managed to finish a book (The Prestige, by Christopher Priest, top notch, as is the film), which brings this year’s total to, I think, two.

Amazed to find out that it was 2003 when the first of the pictures above was taken, and D. must have been not yet two.

Fun with Endorphins

Wish I'd worn a different pair of shorts Well, as it turned out that Wilmslow Half-Marathon was actually nearly enjoyable. The weather yesterday was horrible, cold and rainy, and the less said about last weekend’s White Easter, the better. But today dawned sunny, if not exactly warm, and you know how a bit of sunshine on your back can perk you up.

I’d never run thirteen miles before in my life. A couple of weeks ago, my training programme called for a twelve mile run, and I got through the mileage, but only with a walk up the hill in Wilmslow Park. Today, however, it felt good from the start, and I knew even after a couple of miles that it was going to be OK.

My first target was nothing more than making sure I kept running from start to finish, and as it turned out there wasn’t a single moment when I was tempted to walk, which was really quite amazing when you think about how brutal my twelve mile run was a fortnight ago. I don’t know why that would be. I haven’t run for a couple of days, so maybe it’s that I’m rested, or maybe it’s because my routes through Wilmslow and Handforth all have nasty hills, while today the course was relatively flat. Or maybe it’s all the people around, and maybe it’s just the nice weather.

If I managed to make the first target, I was aiming for 2 hours 15 minutes, and ended up with a time (by my watch, not my official time) of 2 hours 6 minutes and 38 seconds. Actually, now that I think about it, if I was running all the way, it would have been difficult to go as slow as 2:15. 2:06 represents a pace of 9.67 minutes per mile, or 9.95 km/h, so I basically kept (fractionally below) my typical pace for the full 13.1 miles. Chuffed!

On the last mile, my hips were aching a bit, but I had none of the problems from my ankle, knees, shoulder or feet that I’d had during training. I was even thinking “you know, I could tackle a longer distance than this if I wanted to…”

But that has worn off now, thank goodness, and I think it was the endorphins talking, and I’ve found it hard to dedicate the time to this, so a marathon might be a step too far. It would be nice to do the Manchester 10K in a significantly faster time though…

You can still donate via justgiving.com.

Wilmslow Half-Marathon for Amnesty International

I’m running the Wilmslow Half-Marathon on 30th March in aid of Amnesty International. Please click on the “Just Giving” widget in the sidebar —> to go to the web site where you can make your donations online.


A new mash-up what I done: The B-52s’ “Love Shack” b/w the Smiths’ “Bigmouth Strikes Again”.

Download it here (4.28 MB).

There Is Nothing Left To Listen To

I did it, I listened to every single song on my iPod.

Out of interest (it’s just as expression), the last 10 songs that I listened to (not including songs added in the last month, because, like, give ’em a chance at least) were:

  • Ronnie Lane – How Come. Actually, I do like this, so I’m not quite sure why I’ve never listened all the way through. It’s not the hit single version, so maybe that’s it.
  • The Costello Show – The People’s Limousine. I used to listen to Elvis all the time, at least in the days of vinyl and CDs. Not so much these days.
  • The Chemical Brothers – Setting Sun. Fair enough, I do always skip this one. Forced to listen to it here, I admit it sounds pretty good.
  • Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Born In Chicago. This is great, and while I like the Pixies version more, I’m glad I got this on the Elektra records box set.
  • The Sugarcubes – Shoot Him. Strictly unfair that this should be here, because it’s a relatively recent arrival on the iPod, just a couple of months ago. But rules is rules.
  • Jonathan Coulton – Flickr. Odd. Surely I listened to this loads of times? But iTunes says no. Musta reloaded it at some point.
  • Yo La Tengo – The Summer. Couldn’t hum this to you even now.
  • John Barry Orchestra – 007. Another semi-recent addition
  • The Who – Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere. This is OK. No doubt a victim of that irritating iPod habit I have of skipping forward all the time.
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor – 09-15-00 (Part One). 16 minutes 27 seconds of noodling. Would only have previously been lucky enough to be played by an iPod left on its own in random play mode.


Click the image for more information, refresh to change the text.