Best of Bloggish

You may have seen in the press recently, that the Royal Mint have released a series of limited edition 10p coins, and they are set to become collector’s items. No doubt, idiots around the country will be paying hundreds of pounds for that missing 10p coin to complete their collection, failing to understand the sheer lunacy of paying a lot of money for something that is essentially worth…. well, 10p.

There are twenty-six to find (one for every letter of the alphabet), each representing something that makes Britain great. Like an A-Z of Britishness, if you will.


I’m not sure who made the final choices, but I sincerely hope they paid them in (normal) 10p coins, because – with a few exceptions – their selections are largely bollocks (actually, ‘bollocks’ isn’t a bad suggestion for ‘B’, as it’s about as British as a word can get).

Anyway, here are the twenty-six official symbols of Great Britain, together with my alternative (i.e. correct) suggestions for each letter….

A – Angel of the North


The Angel of the North is quintessentially British, but that’s because it is, frankly, a bit shit; and there is nothing quite so British as doing something worse than everyone else. The French have their Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe; the Italians their Colosseum and Leaning Tower; and the Americans have The Empire State Building and One World Trade Center in just one city.

The Taj Mahal, the Guggenheim, Sydney Opera House, The CN Tower, St. Basil’s Cathedral…. nearly every nation in the world has an impressive structure, but we get the fucking Angel of the North (which looks neglected at best).

My choice: Afternoon Tea

B – Bond


Much better. My only criticism, is that it should be ‘Bond, James Bond’, rather than just his surname. Heaven forbid, people mistake this as referring to a monetary device; journalist/presenter Jenny Bond; or, worst of all, something to do with kinky sex.

My choice: Bond, James Bond – although I’m slightly surprised Brexit didn’t make an appearance, since that’s what everyone associates with us right now.

C – Cricket


I’m torn. Even I have to accept cricket is very British, but – much in the same way the Angel of the North is our country doing something badly – was it really appropriate to pick a sport we’re crap at? Then again, there are no sports we’re good at any more, so at least with cricket we only get beaten by the handful of other countries who tolerate it.

My choice: Clifton Suspension Bridge, Churchill (Winston, not Insurance), or Castles (because, frankly, there are so many we could probably have one each).

D – Double-Decker


Brilliant – let’s pick our transport system to be proud of, shall we? Why don’t we opt for ‘Rail Cancellations’, ‘Gridlock’, or ‘Potholes’ as well? Even Double Decker chocolate bars would have been preferable, and they’re vile.

My choice: Dunking biscuits in tea. No one dunks like the Brits.

E – English Breakfast


Not a bad choice, but I would argue the rest of Britain makes a breakfast with most, if not all, of the same ingredients. This smacks of English arrogance (said as an Englishman myself), when the list is meant to be about what makes Britain great. This should have been included under F, for ‘fry up’.

My choice: Well, it won’t be ‘Europe’ or ‘Economy’ for much longer, so I’ll have Edinburgh Castle.

F – Fish and Chips


Can’t fault this choice (and can’t bring myself to suggest football).


G – Greenwich Mean Time


Ridiculous. Ok, Brits were once responsible for helping everyone to tell the time, but even by our pompous standards we need to let this go.

My choice: Either the beautiful Giant’s Causeway, or how about a thoroughly British insult, like git, or gobshite?

H – Houses of Parliament


I can see why this was a popular choice, as it’s an iconic a British building, but all the Houses of Parliament have ever brought us is misery.

My choice: Harry Potter, or Harvest Festival (because nowhere else, will you find children collecting crap tins of food no one will ever eat, to give to people who probably don’t want them)

I – Ice Cream Cone


Can we really claim ice cream as ours? (clue: no). Wikipedia isn’t always 100% reliable, but I’ve just checked and it was the Ancient Greeks who seemingly invented an early form of ice cream, before the Persians, then the Chinese got involved. Even the Italians, who have a far better claim to ice cream than us, didn’t wade in until a few centuries later. Does adding a tasteless stale cone make it quintessentially British? Actually, it probably does.

My choice: Inventors, or Industry.

J – Jubilee


We aren’t the only nation to celebrate milestones. Admittedly, the Queen has racked up an impressive stint on the throne (much like myself, following an all-you-can-eat carvery last weekend), but this is the equivalent of selecting ‘Anniversaries’.

My choice: Jam. Yes, I’m aware other nations favour the sticky fruit, but not like us. We worship jam.

K – King Arthur


I don’t have much of an issue with this one, but I’ve opted for the most British of minor conflicts….

My choice: Kerfuffle

L – Loch Ness Monster


You could argue London is more symbolic of our nation, but having already criticised the list for being too English, and ignoring our Celtic neighbours, I think this is fair.


M – Mackintosh

Does this refer to Scottish architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh, or the waterproof coat invented by, rather confusingly, Charles Macintosh? It matters not, because nothing screams weird Britain like that most hated of traditions….

My choice: Morris Dancing





O – Oak Tree


The largest number of oak species worldwide are in…. North America (thanks again, Wikipedia). I may be wrong, but I don’t believe people immediately associate oak trees with Britain.

My choice: (Reluctantly) Oxbridge

P – Post Box


Whilst the traditional red post box is generally associated with Britain, we can hardly lay claim to post boxes in general (the first examples were found in Paris – see how much we’re learning this week?); so this is another example of trying to pass something off as our idea, when it really wasn’t.

Far better to pick something that, whilst also not solely British, there can be no doubt we do it best…

My choice: Pubs

Q – Queuing


I’m amazed they didn’t choose the Queen, and can only assume the reason is that she’s on all our money anyway, so if you happened to find one of these new ‘Q’ 10p coins in your change, it would rather fuck up a game of ‘heads or tails’.

Agreed. We can’t resist a queue.

R – Robin


Cute little ginger birds. Then again, so was Lulu, and she hasn’t made the list. The thing is, yet again these aren’t exclusive to Britain (although it appears to be only us who call them Robin Redbreasts, because we’re a bit odd), and I’m pretty certain in my 38 years, I can count the number of robins I have seen on one hand.

My choice: I would argue we are better known for either our Royals, or, sadly (from what I see almost daily in the press), Racism. Still, if the coin portrayed Prince Philip, we’d have both bases covered.

S – Stonehenge


We can’t really choose just one of our patron ‘Saints’ (George, Andy, Dave or Paddy), so even though I found Stonehenge to be a rather small and underwhelming erection (something I am all too familiar with), I’ll allow it.


T – Teapot

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Clever. They knew we couldn’t claim that tea was our idea, even though the entire world thinks that we sit around all day drinking it (ssssh, don’t tell them it’s true, we still have a shitload of trade deals to negotiate), but the teapot is very British. Ok, only 2% of the population actually use one*, but it’s an inspired choice. I mean, it’s not my choice, but it’s inspired nonetheless.

My choice: Tower of London, or Three Lions (either the national football team’s motif, or the 1996 song by Baddiel and Skinner)

* entirely made up statistic.

U – Union Flag

A Union Jack flag flies in Gibraltar on

Well, I can’t think of anything better. Apart from perhaps Una Stubbs, but I don’t imagine they’d stick Aunt Sally from Worzel Gummidge on a coin.

Agreed – although if one more person says ‘did you know, it’s only called the Union Jack when it’s flown at sea?’, I will not be responsible for my actions.

V – Village


I was struggling to think of anything better for V, so I genuinely searched online and found a website offering an ‘A-Z of Britishness’. Their suggestions? Vacations (a word no Brit ever uses), or Vikings – who were, frankly, about as British as ABBA (although slightly less irritating).

My choice: Village idiot. We all have one (if you don’t know who the idiot is in your village, it’s you).

W – World Wide Web


Arguably the most significant invention for centuries, and one of ours came up with it. Ha, screw you, rest of planet Earth. Still, W offers such a delightful opportunity for some childishness, I am tempted to opt for a string of British insults: wally, willy, wazzock and, naturally, wanker.

My choice: Oh, go on then, World Wide Web. I just wish it had been invested by someone cooler than Tim from Oxford.

X – Marks the Spot


Absolutely not. Ok, X-rays aren’t ours (Germany), and the Xylophone was apparently from Asia, so I’m admittedly running low on words beginning with X (from all the picture books I read as a toddler), but, if nothing else, even ‘X-Factor’ is better.

My choice: Screw it, X-Factor

Y – Yeoman

Windsor Castle

I can see why they opted for Yeoman for Y, rather than Beefeater for B, because most Brits now associate the latter with a chain of pubs that do moderately priced food. Plus, they’re very British.


Z – Zebra Crossing


A means of crossing the road, based on a series of simple white lines painted onto black tarmac. Ignored by BMW and Audi drivers alike, resulting in the statistic that 14% of all road crossings end in injury or death.*

My choice. Fine, Zebra Crossings

* Again, completely made up.


In hindsight, I haven’t disagreed with as many as I initially thought, but I still think they should have consulted me before going blindly ahead with this.

Thanks for reading.


Run FatBlog Run (Oulton Park)


Those of you who have been paying attention, will know that I have set myself a challenge for 2018 – to run ten 10k races for my chosen charity, Kidscan (they’re a children’s cancer charity based in Salford, and you should definitely check out the hard work they do here:

Now, my plan is to write a blog entry about each race, but if it gets to the point where I have nothing interesting to say about a particular event, that plan may change. I am only too aware how boring running blogs can be – because proper runners are, by and large, extremely dull people – but I am anything but a proper runner, so we should be fine.

If you’re reading this hoping for an in-depth analysis of a 10k race, with detailed course descriptions, training regimes and meal plans, then jog on (pun intended). If, however, you are the sort of person who revels in another human being’s misery, as he drags his middle-aged carcass around a running circuit, before collapsing in a sweaty broken heap (and I know you are), then by all means proceed.

Fortunately, my first 10k for this challenge was at Oulton Park a couple of weeks ago, and this is not only an interesting setting for a race, but there were a few moments which I feel are worth sharing. That said, I am constantly monitoring the stats for my blog, and if these running entries start to prove unpopular at any point, then… nah, fuck it, I’m writing them anyway.

By dedicating an entry to each event, I am hoping to compare and rate them all, for future generations of out-of-shape sloths to learn from.

For those of you who have never heard of Oulton Park, it is a motor racing circuit in the heart of Cheshire, and, since one lap is approximately two miles long (well, it is if you cut the loop around the lake out – which was the organisers idea, by the way, before you assume I cheated), it lends itself rather well to a 10k event.

By moving the start line a few hundred yards on from the usual motor racing grid, runners can complete just under three laps of the track, before cutting in to the pit lane for a sprint across the finish line. How very exciting. And, by ‘exciting’, I do of course mean ‘dull and exhausting’.

You see, having never been to Oulton Park before, I was under the impression the course would be relatively flat – thanks, in no small part, to the organisers describing the course as ‘relatively flat’. This, to an inexperienced (and not very good) runner, is about the best news you can receive – short of discovering there is a lap dancing tent at the finish line.

What I now know, and what most experienced 10k runners almost certainly know already, is that race organisers are to the running world, what estate agents are to the property market: lying bastards. For example, if an estate agent describes a particular room as ‘compact’, it generally means you would struggle to house the family guinea pig in there. Equally, if an estate agent tells you the house you are viewing is ‘convenient for trains’, it would probably be a good idea to double-check that the proposed HS2 route isn’t going to pass right through your new back garden.

By the time I had completed my first lap, I had formed the opinion that 10k event organisers are most likely estate agents during the week, because it turned out that, when they described the Oulton Park circuit as ‘relatively flat’, with ‘slight undulations’, what they actually meant was ‘there are points on the track where you may want to hire some climbing equipment, and perhaps employ a fucking sherpa’.

For example, there was one particular incline on the circuit (I forget the name), where I swear there was a base camp situated half way up, for those with altitude sickness to get some much-needed medical attention.  It was ridiculously steep.

What made matters worse, was that I knew I had to do two more laps of the circuit before crossing the finish line, so I had to psychologically prepare myself to run up the equivalent of Ben Nevis twice more, knowing I would be more and more exhausted each time I faced it.

I suspect, if I hadn’t set myself a series of targets for this challenge, and if I were not doing this for charity, I may very well have walked some of the Oulton Park 10k; but I was determined not to let anyone down. My targets – other than raising at least £1,000 for Kidscan – are, in decreasing order of importance, as follows:

Target 1: To run all ten events, without stopping or walking at any point;

Target 2: To finish all ten events in under fifty minutes;

Target 3: To finish in the top third of all entrants;

Target 4: To not cry or shit myself.

Targets 1 and 2 are very important to me. I must run all ten events, and I am desperate to do them in under fifty minutes. I would like to finish in the top third each time, but won’t lose any sleep if I don’t. If I cry or shit myself, well, so be it.

Fortunately, I am off to a good start, in that I completed the Oulton Park event without stopping, in a time of 49:11, finishing 65th out of 255 runners (so, for those who struggle with maths, the top third was anything higher than 85th place). Also, I didn’t cry, or – to my knowledge – shit myself.

All in all, a good day at the races (again, pun intended), and even I have to admit the sprint finish down the pit lane, with the crowd cheering all the runners on, was pretty special (although my euphoria was primarily down to the realisation the race was mercifully over).

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The Pit Lane

I did say at the start of this entry, however, that I wanted to compare all of the 10k events I am doing this year, in a series of important categories. Therefore, here is my first review:

Time: 49:11

Position: 65th (out of 255)

Cost: £25.00 (the most expensive event I have entered – so far)

And now for the ratings…

Course: Not as flat as I would have liked (and as promised), and not particularly scenic, but definitely unique, the ground was obviously nice and smooth, and it was impossible to get lost 6/10

Weather: Thankfully dry, but very windy, and freezing cold (around 1°c) 3/10

Organisation: Pretty good. Plenty of pre-race details, well-organised on the day, and my only complaint was the rushed start with little warning 7/10

Official Photos: Plenty of them (even though I look dreadful in most – here’s a selection) 7/10

Medal: Made of metal, solid looking, and stylish. An impressive 8/10


Goody-bag: Well, there wasn’t one really. At the Sandbach 10k last September, we got given drinks bottles and a funny hat thing (one of which leaks, and the other makes me look like a twat), but in place of this we were handed a rather fetching t-shirt, and I would far sooner wear that. Lovely. 8/10


Post-race refreshment: A mixed bag here. On the one hand, I was approached by a lady just after I had finished the race, who offered me a bottle of water and some whey protein powder to put into it.

I was immediately apprehensive, having never tried whey protein before, and when I heard her say there were two flavours, one of which was ‘strawberry’, I decided I would opt for the alternative (even though I hadn’t heard the end of what she said). For some reason, the prospect of strawberry-flavoured protein water made my stomach churn, and I firmly believed the second option must be preferable.

I was wrong.

In case you cannot make that out, the alternative flavour was ‘birthday cake’. Needless to say, the pack remains unopened in our kitchen.

On the other hand, shortly after discovering I was now the proud owner of  vomit-inducing birthday cake mixture in a packet, the Oulton Park organisers redeemed themselves with the sort of delights a pretentious pop singer might request in their rider: trays of jaffa cakes and jelly babies. Ok, Isaac stole the three jaffa cakes I grabbed for myself, so I never got to enjoy their orangey-goodness, but fair play, Oulton Park, fair play indeed. 7/10



Course – 6/10

Weather – 3/10

Organisation 7/10

Photos – 7/10

Medal – 8/10

Goody-bag – 8/10

Refreshments – 7/10

All of which gives the Oulton Park 10k a grand total of 46/70 (or 66%, if you prefer).

Not the best of scores, but the weather really let them down. You could argue this wasn’t really their fault, but you have to bear in mind that they chose to organise the event in February, so what did they expect?

Next up, is the Arley Hall 10k tomorrow morning. If you’d like to keep closer track on my progress, or make a little donation, the full details of my challenge are here:

Thanks for reading.



The Mind Bloggles

Last week was half-term (or, at least, it was here in Cheshire), and we decided to spend the first few days by visiting my sister in that there London Town.

Here are ten things I learned from our trip:

1. The M6 toll road is a pointless waste of money

Now, contrary to what you may immediately think here, I actually learned this fact by not going on the M6 toll road.

Let me explain. Soon after leaving home on the Saturday morning, and joining the M6 at Sandbach, I noticed a Toyota Avensis being driven directly behind me. About two inches behind me. The car was so close, I could not only make out the maniacal grin of the deranged Oriental lady at the wheel, but I could count her teeth at the same time.

Needless to say, I took an instant dislike to her (not because she was Oriental), which was only made worse when she spent the next thirty to forty miles driving like a lunatic – undertaking, swerving in and out of lanes, driving inches behind whichever unfortunate bastard happened to be blocking her path at the time, and generally behaving like an utter bell-end.

The only difference between her and all the other bell-ends on the road, was that every time I saw her up close (which was generally in my rear view mirror, where objects may appear closer than, say, your own children on the back seat), she was laughing and chatting with her passengers, which somehow made her even more irritating. At least BMW and Audi drivers know they’re driving like arseholes, and adopt an angry ‘everyone else on the road is inferior to me’ expression when at the wheel, whereas she simply didn’t care.

And, naturally, like all undertaking arseholes on the motorway, she invariably ended up directly behind me again every few minutes.

Anyway, as we approached the part of the M6 where the lanes for the toll road split off to the right, I was dismayed to see that Crazy Toyota Bitch (not to be confused with Crazy Toyota Dwarf Bitch from my daily commute – see – as this particular Toyota driving bitch appeared to be of normal height), was continuing on the regular M6, with us.

It seemed that, despite being a terrible driver, she similarly begrudged spending a fiver to drive on a road no different from any of the others in the UK (apart from that really fun bit after the toll booth, where there are no lanes, and for a few glorious moments you feel like you are on a race circuit).

I started to wonder whether she was only continuing on the ‘free’ M6, because she had somehow become attached to my bumper – however, at the very last second, she suddenly cut across four lanes of traffic, in favour of the toll road.

Relieved that she had, for want of a better phrase, fucked right off, we continued on our journey, and eventually joined the M40 towards London…. only to discover – about fifty miles since she had left us – Toyota Bitch was unbelievably right behind our car again.

I have no doubt that she would have been hurtling down the toll road at speeds similar to a space shuttle launch, yet here she was, stuck behind me again some considerable distance further south.

Which just proves that the M6 toll road is a complete waste of money, as you don’t get anywhere quicker, and it costs you £5 for the privilege.

2. When your wife announces ‘There are four holes, and I have a camera’, you really shouldn’t get your hopes up


3. Isaac is part Dutch

I’ll keep this brief, as it is neither pleasant, nor explainable. I am not Dutch. My wife is not Dutch. Neither of us have ever even been to Holland.

So why does our youngest son, Isaac, insist on regularly adopting a Dutch accent to inform us that his ‘bum is schwetty’? It’s too much information anyway, and I’m not sure what he expects us to do about it (other than mop the offending derriere with a piece of kitchen roll, perhaps), but he definitely doesn’t need to adopt a Dutch accent purely for this phrase.

He’s like a mini Steve McLaren, only with better hair (which is not an accolade we often bestow on Isaac), and he would presumably do a better job of managing the England football team.

4. A ‘thumbs up’ doesn’t always mean you’re having fun

Exhibit A:


5. Our children switch roles in museums

In almost every way, our eldest son, Ollie, takes after me and my side of the family, whereas Isaac is more like my wife’s side…

… except when it comes to museums, as we discovered in the (excellent) Museum of London during our trip.

Here, the boys switched roles, because Ollie suddenly became fascinated by history (my wife is a history teacher), whereas Isaac – well, Isaac decided to take a nap on a bench:


Never been prouder.

6. London parents give their kids ridiculous names

In most parts of the country, encountering a two year old (with dreadlocks) named Alan, would comfortably win ‘most inappropriate name 2018’, but not in our fine capital city.

Whilst listening to a story at the aforementioned Museum of London, the storyteller was trying to get children to go up on stage to share their own ideas. Ollie, naturally, was far too shy to even contemplate doing this, but the precocious little public school shit directly in front of me, was eager for everyone in the audience to hear his Tory Boy ideas. Up he marched, onto the stage, before announcing to everyone that his name was…. wait for it…..


That’s right, this guy:

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I don’t even mind that his mother may have heard me laughing, because the fact this kid was named after a late-70s television detective is almost certainly her fault. It was either her idea, or she didn’t veto it.

The only thing that could have possibly angered me more, was if the younger brother (who was stood right in front of me) wasn’t called Hutch. Because, if you’re going to give your eldest child a ridiculous name, from one half of a famous TV duo, you damn well better make sure you see the joke through, when your stupid hippy womb pushes forth another Eton prospect a few years later.

Some people make me so mad.

7. I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime

After a few pints in the pub on the Sunday afternoon, I set myself a challenge to see how quickly I could fall asleep on the tube.

Answer: Three stops.


8. Someone has discovered a way to make soft-play even more unbearable

There is not a parent in this land who actually enjoys taking their child(ren) to a soft play centre. Sure, it means the little sods leave you alone for a bit, while they run around like fucking lunatics (hopefully burning off some energy in the process), but soft-play venues are – without exception – like going to Ikea with a migraine, while someone screams at you and hits you over the head.

But the owner of one particular soft play place in Balham hasn’t stopped there. They have decided to make an already unbearable experience even worse, by turning the heating up as high as it will go (ok, it was February, but everyone knows playing children generate the same sort of heat as a nuclear reactor), then filling the venue with an odour of equal parts vomit and disinfectant… whilst playing Abba at full volume. Oh, and they charged £8.50 for my sausage sandwich (which was admittedly delicious, but for that kind of money I would have expected the sausages to be made from unicorn meat).

9. The relationship between a child’s name, and their parent’s attitude to discipline

I have discovered, through my time spent in the same soft play area, with my nostrils and ears bleeding simultaneously, that there is an inverse relationship between the normality of a child’s name, and how much their parent cares about discipline: the more obscure the name, the more disinterested the parent is.

“Elderflower, darling, stop stamping on that other child’s face, that’s a no-no…”

10. Ollie’s ‘illness’ was not all it seemed

On the Monday of half-term, the day before we were due to travel home, Ollie woke up feeling unwell, and was promptly sick in the toilet. He couldn’t eat, had a terrible headache (which led to him vomiting), and any bright lights were hurting his eyes.

I should explain at this point, that my wife suffers with migraines, and she became very concerned that, as with his love of history and museums, this was to be another unfortunate trait he would inherit from her.

However, once he had some more sleep, a Subway sandwich, and a giant shit, he felt much better.

All of which leads me to conclude that, far from having a migraine, he was in fact chronically hungover.




AirBlogs As Standard

Seeing as this week’s entry is something of a milestone (Blog #150, for those not keeping count – which I suspect is everyone apart from me), I thought I would treat you all to something a little different – an angry rant (yes, that was sarcasm). This week’s entry, is all about the stress of buying a new car.

Why do salesmen, dealerships and – in particular – car supermarkets, all like to pretend they are all making the purchase of your new motor as stress-free as possible, whilst actually making the process extremely stress-ful? I’m a lawyer, and even I think the constant bullshit they come out with is excessive.


Along with moving home, changing jobs, and having a child, buying a new car is right up there on the ‘life’s most stressful experiences’ leaderboard. I have moved house and changed jobs a few times, and have gone through the ordeal of childbirth twice (yes, I know women have childbirth slightly worse than men, blah, blah, blah….); but as it is more than ten years since my last house move or job switch, and the chances of us having any more children are remote at best, the most recurrent life-stress in my foreseeable future is going to be changing cars.

Thinking about it, buying a new car is a little like having a baby:

  1. The whole process seems to take about nine months;
  2. When your bundle of joy arrives, you are overcome with love, and want to spend all your time with them;
  3. They smell really nice at first;
  4. After a few weeks, the novelty begins to wear off, they start to smell bad, and you realise how fucking expensive they are to maintain;
  5. It’ll probably be at least a couple of years before you get screwed again.

Having owned my current car for two years, and having witnessed the novelty wear off far sooner than with its predecessors (on account of the fact VWs are largely boring), I planned to upgrade once Christmas was over; but as soon as I started making enquiries, I knew the process was yet again going to be an unhappy one.

First of all, the part-exchange valuations I have been getting are disappointing to say the least (it’s like all the dealerships have met my children, and have – correctly – anticipated the damage they have caused to my car, both inside and out).

I am, however, realistic, and if all of the online valuations had been similar, I would have most likely accepted this, and adjusted my spending limit accordingly. Unfortunately, however, one particularly well-known car supermarket (for reasons which will become clear, I had better not mention Fords of Winsford by name), were quite a bit higher than everyone else, and I stupidly fell for it. What makes this even more irritating, is that it isn’t the first time this particular company have conned me, and I swore last time I would never go back there.


Very much as a last resort, because I appeared to be getting nowhere with other car dealers locally, I searched the selection on Fords of Winsford’s website, and to my amazement the prices weren’t as ridiculous as I had found them in the past. I therefore assumed it would be the part-ex valuation for my car which would be the disappointment, but having completed their online form, I was pleasantly surprised – they were seemingly willing to offer around one thousand pounds more than anyone else.

To ensure this was completely accurate, I ‘modified’ the form, to correct some of the assumptions they had made about my VW: in particular, I told them that the bodywork was not perfect (thanks to a devious little bastard of a concrete pillar at Crewe County Court), that the MOT is due within six months, and that I do have a personalised number plate (although why this devalues my car is a mystery). I even over-inflated the current mileage, so that they couldn’t use this against me by the time I had driven the ten miles or so to their premises. In short, not a single bit of information on that form was anything other than accurate, yet the valuation was still coming out at £7,600 – £8,025. I was happy with that.

So, on Sunday, I braved the icy sleet and hailstones, and drove to Winsford, despite having more than a sneaking suspicion that it was a wasted trip. You see, I have bought two cars from Fords of Winsford in the past, neither was without its problems, and the few occasions I have been back there since, they have tried to screw me on the part-ex valuation. This time, however, I tried to convince myself that their online calculator was more detailed, and because I had been nothing but honest, there was no way they could fail to honour that bracket. Even if they offered me the lower end of the range, which they surely would (I’m not an idiot), it was still higher than every other company I had contacted.

I didn’t want to get my hopes up by looking at the range of Kugas on offer, and falling in love with one (the one advantage that car buying has over childbirth, is that you get to see what they look like before you commit to the deal), so I decided to make certain of the part-exchange before proceeding.

Having approached Grumpy Old Git at the entrance, and having been re-directed to Disinterested Young Girl at the main reception, I was told the waiting time for valuations was about twenty minutes. True to their word (the one time this happened in the entire visit), in just over fifteen minutes I was approached by Fat Salesman, who directed me to his ‘booth’ so that he could take some of my details down. I obliged, despite having already provided everything online that they needed to value my car, and I again made it clear that I had been very honest on their website, and expected the valuation to be within the quoted bracket.

If anything, I explained, their valuation did not take into account the recent improvements I had paid for (new tyres, cambelt, etc.), nor the Parrot phone system I had installed, and would gladly leave in the car (I neglected to mention that it is the single worst phone system ever invented).

Having gone through the motions, Fat Salesman took me over to my car, and explained we would now need to wait for Fat Engineer to come and give me an ‘exact’ valuation.

After another ten minute wait in the freezing cold, Fat Engineer waddled over, and spent a similar period inspecting my car, noting the scuff at the rear, reading the (full) service history, and laughing with Fat Salesman at the Stockport County sticker in the rear window (despite it being perfectly clear that neither had the first fucking clue about football).

Fat Salesman then pointed out to Fat Engineer that I had already received a valuation via their website (following which, the two shared a knowing smile, which did not go unnoticed), and Fat Engineer grimaced slightly – which I assumed was either his way of indicating I should prepare myself for disappointment, or else it was a build up of potentially fatal cholesterol – before wandering off.

Fat Salesman (who either had no concept of personal space, or was drawing me towards him by some kind of gravitational pull), then lead me back into the main showroom. After another ten minute wait for Fat Engineer to upload his valuation into their system – presumably the delay was down to his massive sausage fingers mistyping everything – Fat Salesman finally broke the news: their actual valuation was almost £1,000 lower than the bottom end of the bracket I had received online

I very politely – and slightly more eloquently – offered a ‘what the fuck?’ reaction, explaining for a third time about my honesty when filling in their online form, but all Fat Salesman could offer by way of an explanation, was that the website calculator was merely a guide, and it was Fat Engineer who provided the final figure.

I questioned whether their website valuation was therefore just made-up bullshit, designed to lure poor unsuspecting bastards to their showroom (presumably in the hope that, once they had travelled all the way there, they would reluctantly accept a sizeable deduction in valuation rather than leave empty-handed), but he had no answer to that. I therefore took his silence to mean ‘yes, that’s precisely what we’re doing, I can’t believe you figured us out’.

I was about to storm out, in anger at yet another wasted trip, but decided it was still worthwhile taking a look at some of their stock, if only to narrow down exactly what I wanted for my new car, even though I had no intention of buying it from them.

Having spent a further twenty minutes looking at a few cars (and making sure I trapped a particularly pungent fart in each and every one of them), I returned the keys to Woman-With-A-Face-Like-A-Bulldog-Chewing-A-Wasp, scribbled something offensive in the Stock List handout they had given me, replaced it on the pile, and then stormed out.

Image result for flipping the bird gif

My anger hadn’t subsided by the time I got home, so I made myself feel better by leaving as many negative reviews as I could muster (how very British), and was slightly comforted by the fact most of their recent online feedback was very similar.

I have since had a response from Fords of Winsford to one of my reviews, explaining (for the benefit of any potential customers reading it), that they have had some ‘teething trouble’ with their new online valuation service, and they regret my wasted trip, as that was certainly not their intention. All of which looks very reasonable to those reading, except for the fact FOW have done this to me twice in the past, long before their ‘new’ system was introduced. To rub salt into the wound, they have also e-mailed me three times since then (in the space of fourteen minutes), with precisely the same valuation. Yes, I get it, you’re lying fuckers, you don’t need to keep reminding me.

So, now I’m back to square one, hoping that somewhere out there I can find a genuine car salesman, who isn’t trying to screw everyone. After all, I’m a genuine lawyer, so I feel certain that – whilst rare – they must exist.

Either that, or I’ll keep this car forever.


Super Blog LII

On Sunday evening (well, it mostly the early hours of Monday morning), I watched my first ever Super Bowl – between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, at the rather comical looking U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.


My only previous experience of American Football, was when I collected a series of NFL key rings as a child. Our local ice cream man (who, to my knowledge, still visits the road I grew up on to this day, despite the fact he – and his van – must be older than The Queen), had packets for 10p, in which you would get a random American Football shirt on a key ring, and a bubble gum. For 10p! You can’t even get a fucking Freddo for that these days.


To this day, trading my pristine San Diego Chargers key ring, for a tatty Miami Dolphins one (it might even be the example in the picture above) – purely because it was the late ’80’s, and the Dolphins was the team everyone at school had heard of – remains one of my biggest ever regrets.

Anyway, what’s done is done. The fact is, I’ve been meaning to stay up and watch the Super Bowl for a few years now, not through any particular love of American Football (or, as they call it over there, ‘Football’ – despite a fundamental lack of any foot-to-ball contact for the vast majority of the game); but because it feels like an important event that you should witness at least once in your lifetime (like a royal wedding, the inauguration of a President, or a ‘super blue blood moon’ – which, I have since discovered, has absolutely fuck all to do with Harry Potter).

Such is the importance of this particular event, they always get a celebrity to sing The Star-Spangled Banner at the beginning, and this year they got Eddie Izzard (or it may have been Pink, it’s getting increasingly hard to tell). This gives you some idea of the national (if not, global) significance of the Super Bowl, so you get the sense it is something worth watching.

                        Pink                                         Eddie Izzard

The difference here, of course, is that most other global events are usually capable of being viewed at a sensible hour; whereas the Super Bowl doesn’t even start until nearly midnight in the UK, so to watch it requires not only an ability to survive on very little sleep the following day, but also a complete disregard for your job (assuming you’re not one of those idiots who wastes some holiday entitlement to sleep in the next day).

Whilst I undoubtedly possess a fundamental indifference towards my job, I cannot afford to lose any more sleep than I already do (or, for that matter, a precious day of holiday), so I am ashamed to say I didn’t make it all the way to the end of the game.

In fact, I didn’t even get as far as the half-time show. Granted, had the half-time show featured Katy Perry (before the stupid hair cut) rather than Justin Timberlake, I may have been inclined to stay up (in more ways than one), but the fact of the matter is I valued my sleep more than any desire to watch the game until it’s – by all accounts – thrilling conclusion.

                 Hell, Yes                                         Hell, No

Nevertheless, I saw enough to broadly follow what was happening, form an opinion of the event (and sport) itself, and choose my favourite team (of the two on show). I also promised myself that, one year, I’ll make it all the way to the end – then again, I’ve been saying the same to my wife for several years now.

I know my lack of stamina will be disappointing to some (behave), but in my defence – or, as the Americans would say, ‘defense’ (pronounced dee-fence) – this is a game which appears to be an hour long, in that it comprises four ‘quarters’ (which is the standard quota for quarters, usually) of fifteen minutes each, yet the entire spectacle somehow drags on for nearly four times that. For those struggling with the maths (or, ‘math’), that’s four hours of sport.

Four hours. I’m pretty certain my interest would start to wane after just two hours of women’s beach volleyball; so watching four hours of over-sized jocks running into each other, grunting and high-fiving, isn’t my idea of a sporting spectacle.

But the hour or so that I did watch was quite enjoyable, and by the time I retired to bed, I had a slightly better knowledge of how the game works. Until the weekend, for example, I wasn’t aware that only half of each team takes to the field at any one time (one side fields their offense against the other’s defense, and then they swap over), and I also learned more about the quarters and ‘downs’ that had previously baffled me. Admittedly, most of this knowledge came from a quick scan though a ‘Beginners Guide to American Football’, which was primarily aimed at children, but I figured that was pretty much my level.

Previously, I had assumed that when the commentators referred to the ‘3rd down’, that was the number of casualties currently lying on the field at the time. I would find myself thinking of course he’s fucking down, he’s just taken a direct impact to the skull, from a man who appears to be the same size and weight (and speed) as a Range Rover. He should be grateful he’s only down, and not deceased.


In actual fact, a ‘down’ refers to the attacking team’s opportunity to try and advance ten yards further up the field, towards their opponent’s goal line. If they fail to achieve that ten yards, they relinquish possession of the ball to the defending team. Quite why they chose to call this a ‘down’, rather than perhaps an ‘attack’ or an ‘advance’, is beyond me.

It doesn’t stop there, either. Rather than have a Captain, or even a ‘Main Thrower’, they have a ‘Quarterback’. Then, if someone makes it all the way to the opposition’s goal line with the ball, they score a ‘touchdown’, even though they don’t have to physically touch the ball down in order to collect the requisite points.

Frankly, aside from the fact the zone at the end of the pitch is sensibly called the ‘End Zone’, the rest of American Football is just jargon that bears no resemblance to the player, act, or area of the pitch involved.

It’s not often it’s the Americans using overly complicated and inappropriate words to describe something – their vocabulary is usually far more straight-forward and logical than ours. How dare they steal our thing?

Still, despite the confusing terminology (which, I’ll admit, was rather fun to try and decipher), and the excessive number of ‘time-outs’ – which seemed to result in no player having to exert himself for more than thirty seconds before getting a well-earned break – I consider my inaugural Super Bowl something of a success.

Admittedly, I didn’t even make it until the half time show, which is supposedly a highlight (although, to be honest, I had heard rumours than Janet Jackson might join Justin Timberlake on stage again, in a repeat of the ‘nipplegate’ atrocity of Super Bowl XXXVIII from 2004, and the last thing I wanted to see at 1.30am was a 51-year-old woman’s ‘spaniel ears’ flopping around on stage), but I’ve given myself a firm basis for trying to make it to at least the half-time show next year, and perhaps even all the way to the end the year after that.

File photo of Janet Jackson during Super Bowl halftime performance with Justin Timberlake.

Awkward tit….. exposes Janet Jackson’s breast

Best of all, my team won! Ok, I based my support partly on the fact the Philadelphia Eagles were considered massive underdogs (and being a Stockport County fan means I will always back the underdog), and partly on the fact I preferred their jersey (it was a delightful teal colour, which, after several rum and cokes, I even contemplated buying – if it weren’t £62) but my first ever Super Bowl ended in success.

Shame I slept through most of it.


The Knee Blog’s Connected To The Hip Blog

On Wednesday evening, I had my first ever physiotherapy appointment.

I know what you’re thinking – how can a man on the very precipice of turning thirty-eight, who has tried his damnedest to fill those thirty-eight years with as many ridiculous accidents as possible, avoid physiotherapy until now? Amazing as it may seem, it’s true.

I suspect the main reason for my impressive track record, is that – by some miracle – I have never broken a bone, or suffered any serious injury, which required rehabilitation.

Ok, I’ve bent my finger back playing football; I’ve snapped a metal crossbar from its supporting goalposts and down onto my head; I’ve sledged at speed (and out of control) into a different goalpost, with my legs – and, from painful recollection, my individual testicles – going their separate ways either side….

Image result for injury to testicles gif

What’s worse, that’s only the injuries sustained on the playing fields adjacent to where I grew up. One specific location, in one comparatively short period of my life, resulted in three potentially serious injuries (that I can remember – there may have been more, but the fucking crossbar really did a job on my memory).

The fact is, when we add up all the injuries I have sustained throughout my lifetime, it’s a wonder at least a dozen of them didn’t kill me, let alone result in prolonged treatment.

Then, in the latter stages of last year, a chance encounter between my right hip and a rogue door handle brought my impressive record to an end. At the time, the initial impact seemed relatively innocuous – I mean, it hurt like hell, and our house was instantly filled with the sort of violent expletives that would make a Tourette’s sufferer blush; but as far as injuries go, I’ve had worse.

It’s usually my outer extremities which are the most prone to harm (my head on door frames, my feet on sharp toys, my scrotum on Isaac’s foot, etc.), so once the pain in my hip had subsided, I thought nothing more of it. In fact, aside from some delightful bruising, which closely resembled Van Gogh’s The Starry Night (bit of culture for you), the side effects appeared to be relatively short-lived.


However, soon after the bruising faded, I noticed that my hip was clicking when I went up and down stairs, and, after a few weeks, this developed into a disturbing crunching sound.

I therefore made an appointment to see my GP, and having examined and ‘manipulated’ my hip, he told me it was nothing to be too worried about, but suggested I still get some physiotherapy.

Unfortunately, the physiotherapist associated with my GP surgery (which had a surprisingly short waiting time for the NHS), does not offer evening and weekend appointments, so I opted instead to pay for private treatment.

A friend recommended a sports injury osteopath in Sandbach, and, having e-mailed an enquiry to them around 8:00pm last Monday evening, they had impressively responded by 9:00pm, with a few different appointment options for me.

My friend had suggested that I try to see the main doctor (whose practice it is), since, although his two colleagues – one male, one female – are no doubt very well qualified, he had no personal experience of either, and so he could only recommend the osteopath who had always ‘fixed’ him in the past.

I therefore took a more detailed look at their website, because the thought of having osteopathy for the first time was somewhat daunting, and I wanted to have a better idea of what to expect. After all, no word ending in ‘-path’ is ever good news: psychopath, sociopath, warpath, towpath, etc., so I was understandably apprehensive of osteopaths  in general (without checking the definition, I assume ‘osteo-path’ means  something like ‘destroyer of bones’).

Of the available appointments, I had the choice of waiting until this Wednesday to see the main doctor, or alternatively I could see his female colleague even sooner (last Wednesday), and at a more convenient time.

This presented me with a dilemma. Not only had my friend specifically recommended the main practitioner, but I had also noticed on their website a section entitled ‘what to expect on your first visit’, and the point which immediately jumped out at me, was that you would be expected to undergo an examination in your underwear. By that, I don’t mean they would examine inside your underwear, more that you would be expected to undress for the assessment.

The website went on to explain that the alternative was to wear ‘cycling shorts and a sports bra’ (I assume the latter being primarily for ladies), but since I don’t even own a bicycle, possessing cycling shorts has never seemed appropriate (albeit marginally more appropriate than, say, buying a sports bra). Boxers it would have to be.

Now, for some reason (and I accept this is entirely irrational), I didn’t fancy stripping down to my underwear for any woman other than my wife, even if said female happened to be a trained physician. Aside from the fact that even my wife appears to be repulsed by the sight of me in boxer shorts – so I would like to preserve what is left of my already fragile ego – my main issue was that, whilst the osteopath would be nothing but professional, I would inevitably make things awkward and inappropriate. I can’t help it, it’s what I do.

At the mere thought of being manipulated (in a physical sense) by a female professional – whilst  semi-naked – my brain immediately began conjuring scenarios in which I would surely make things horrendously uncomfortable (in a non-physical sense) for the both of us. As someone who loves nothing more than a bit of innuendo (‘in your endo’), I don’t think I would be able to resist certain opportunities. For example:

“Ok, do you want to take your clothes off?”

“Can you feel that muscle start to stretch?”

“Let me know when it starts to go stiff”

You get the general idea.

So, bearing in mind the potential for embarrassment, and the fact that – whilst not exactly my type – the lady osteopath happened to be young and somewhat attractive, I opted to wait the extra week and see the main doctor.

I have to say, when I arrived on Wednesday evening for my appointment, he was warm (both in terms of his manner, and – thankfully – his hands), and patient. He took my medical history, a brief description of the pain I have been having, and then asked me to take my clothes off for a physical assessment.

I briefly flirted (no, not like that), with the idea of saying something inappropriate like ‘don’t you want to buy me dinner first?’, but my internal ‘don’t try to be funny’ sensor went off just in time, and I held it in – along with my stomach, which I was instantly conscious of as I undressed, even though I was not trying to attract this man in any way whatsoever.

In the hour-long physical assessment which followed, a number of interesting developments occurred:

Firstly, my collision with the door handle – whilst undoubtedly the trigger for me noticing the clicking, and for seeking treatment – is not the cause of my problem, and it is far more likely that my return to running last year has aggravated an underlying condition.

Secondly, that underlying condition has materialised because my posture, spine, and general skeletal structure is, in medical terms, ‘a bit shit’. Obviously the osteopath was far too professional to use that exact phrase, but it’s clearly what he meant.

Thirdly, I am apparently a fucking wimp when it comes to the infliction of pain, and I wouldn’t last thirty seconds were I to be captured and tortured by the Taliban or ISIS (which is admittedly unlikely, when my travels rarely see me venturing anywhere further afield than Spain).

At one point during the assessment, he folded me into a sort of foetal position, as if he intended to squeeze me into a suitcase, and then the conversation went a little like this:

“Right, what I’m going to do now, is gently apply pressure to your hip with my elbow. I want you to start counting upwards to ten, describing the level of pain, and when we get to about seven, we’ll pause there for ninety seconds, ok?”

“Erm, ok”

“Right, so I’ll start to apply gentle pressure n-“


Ok, I may have use artistic licence to embellish my reaction slightly (but only slightly).


In the end, however, I was very impressed with his manner, diagnosis, treatment plan and easy-to-understand descriptions (I’d mentioned my A-level in Biology from twenty years ago, but he rightly assumed that I remembered none of it, and described everything as if my knowledge of anatomy lay somewhere between toddler and GCSE level).

Then, just as things were going so well, came the crushing blow. He informed me that my next appointment (and first proper session of treatment) should ideally be before I run the Oulton Park 10k at the end of February, but he could not offer any evening appointments with him until the end of March.

As such, he confirmed that my next session will have to be with his female colleague.

On Valentine’s Day.

So, now I have to find a way to explain to my wife, that I shall be spending the most romantic night of the calendar year getting undressed in front of an attractive female, before allowing her to place me in all sorts of compromising positions, and pressing herself up against me until I feel less stiff.

Image result for awkward gif

Actually, she’s bound to read this at some point, so that ought to do the trick.

Sorry, dear.


Sunday Bloggy Sunday

Or “The 10k Race That Never Was”.

I’ll pre-empt this week’s entry, by admitting that it is technically about running, but I don’t want that to put you off reading. I am well aware that running blogs are often very dull (because, well, people who run regularly – and like to write about it – are themselves sinfully boring), but I wish to distinguish this entry in one important respect: no actual running took place.

Regular readers (God bless you both), or those who know me in ‘real life’, will be aware that I have set myself a challenge for 2018: to run ten 10k races for my chosen charity, Kidscan. Kidscan are based in Salford (but don’t hold that against them), and they carry out vital research into childhood cancer, so a worthier cause you could not hope to find.

You will also be aware that, until last Easter, I had not run in several years, and despite having the sort of slender physique that might lend itself to distance running (certainly more so than to, say, bodybuilding, manual labour, or attracting the opposite sex), I am definitely not a runner. In fact, it would be fair to conclude that I am to running, what Verne Troyer is to basketball. What Kim Jong-un is to haircuts. What Donald Trump is to…. well, anything really. You get the gist.

Having registered for nine of my ten races, with plenty of options for the final one later this year, the inaugural event was intended to be the Kidsgrove 10k last Sunday. Some of you will already be aware that this did not exactly go according to plan, in that it didn’t ‘go’ at all.

Booking a running race for January is risky, as the weather at the start of the year is always likely to pose a threat to the event taking place, but the organisers had cautiously set aside two ‘reserve’ dates for February, in case the conditions became too treacherous for the run to proceed as planned. Unfortunately, however, last Sunday Mother Nature decided to (literally) piss on everyone’s parade, with very little warning whatsoever.

Towards the end of last week, it became clear to all involved, that the Kidsgrove 10k was likely to take place in somewhat Baltic conditions, as temperatures were dropping faster than a hooker’s underwear, but a little cold never hurt anyone (apart from elderly people with no winter fuel allowance), so the event was certainly not in any doubt.

Furthermore, my preparations were going quite well, in that I had done a couple of practice runs around my home town of Sandbach, and could seemingly manage five miles (roughly 8k) without needing medical attention. Ok, I wasn’t going to break any records, but I was on target to finish in under fifty minutes, which is the threshold I have set myself for these ten races. In short, I was quietly confident of at the very least not dying.

Then, on Sunday morning, as my family and I set off towards Kidsgrove (which is about ten miles away), the weather quickly progressed from ‘cold drizzle’, to ‘blizzard’, to ‘fuck me’, in the space of a few minutes. And, whilst my inner nerd is always secretly delighted at the prospect of driving in sleet and snow (so I can pretend to be Han Solo, piloting the Millennium Falcon through hyperspace), on this occasion my inner nerd was firmly cocooned within the outer-shell of someone who had to go for a run, and it would be fair to say my outer shell was thoroughly pissed off with this meteorological turn of events.


I turned to Chewbacca (my wife – although I must say that she bears no resemblance to the famous wookie, even when she hasn’t shaved her legs in a few days), and expressed my dissatisfaction with the deteriorating weather; but all I gained in response, was the fact she was going to have to stand in the sleet with our two boys, whilst I at least got to run around in it to keep warm.

I thought about arguing back, along the lines that she was wearing a coat, while I was in a running top and shorts (and therefore in grave danger of losing my genitals to frostbite), but thought better of it – over the years, I have realised it is always best to let the Wookie win. I therefore apologised, wholeheartedly, for dragging her and the boys out in such terrible weather, and I promised to run my (soon to be frozen solid) arse off, so we could get back home as quickly as possible.

When we arrived at the school which had been turned into ‘Race HQ’ for the morning, it seemed most of my fellow runners were in good spirits despite the weather, which only added fuel to my argument that regular runners are, by and large, utter wankers.

I collected my race number and electronic timing chip, the latter of which I had to securely fasten to my running shoes, and began to warm up in my brand new, bespoke, charity running shirt:


I should explain, at this stage, that the organisers had decided to split the event into two start times: 10am for the ‘elite’ runners who were expecting to finish in under fifty minutes, and 11am for everyone else. Now, even though my only prior 10k had resulted in a time of 49:12, and I have set myself the unofficial target of running these ten races in under fifty minutes, I still opted to enter the 11am race to be on the safe side.

My reasoning for this, was that it would be far better to take part in the slower race, and then hopefully surprise everyone by finishing in under fifty minutes and somewhere near the front, than pushing myself to compete in the elite race, finishing stone cold last, and crying as I vomited into a bush. Besides, if I ever get to the stage of thinking I am an ‘elite’ runner, I will have become one of them: I will be a running wanker.

Anyway, at approximately 10:45am, someone with a megaphone stood on a chair, and shouted that, for safety reasons, the organisers had decided to change the course at the last minute. Essentially, the unexpected – and seemingly relentless – downpour of snow, had made some of the country paths very slippery, so the route was altered to stick to roads and pavements instead.

This didn’t really bother me. I mean, sure, I might have stayed up late the night before, memorising the intended route so that I didn’t get lost and look a complete tit, but I wasn’t going to let a last minute change of plan panic me. Nope. Not me.

Ok, maybe a little.

Then, as if I wasn’t nervous enough, I suddenly realised I had left my mp3 player in the car, and had a little under eight minutes to ‘run’ back and get it.

In jogging/skating/sliding back to the car, I suddenly realised how dangerous even the roads were, and how there was not a cat in hell’s chance of me finishing the race in under fifty minutes. In fact, if I arrived back to ‘Race HQ’ by nightfall, I’d consider that a fucking win. The weather was frankly ridiculous.

Evidently, the organisers were quickly forming the same opinion, because at precisely 11am, as we all lined up ready to start the race, megaphone man re-appeared and informed us all that the event had been cancelled. He explained that the elite wankers had just finished their 10am race, and the conditions had become so treacherous that a number had fallen (cue smug smile crossing my lips, at the mental image of some dipshit in running tights skidding face first into a wheelie bin). So, for safety reasons, they couldn’t possibly let us run.


The start line

Amazingly, despite it being cold, wet, and hazardous – not to mention the fact I really dislike running – I was honestly gutted. As well as having mentally prepared myself, I’m doing these ten races for charity, and I (rather sadistically) felt that if my first race was in shitty conditions, I was earning every donation just that little bit more. The whole point of doing this, is that it is genuinely challenging. If I was going to try and raise money by doing something I actually enjoy, I’d get people to sponsor me to eat chocolate hobnobs in my underwear.

What I will say, in hindsight, is that it was absolutely the right decision. All joking aside, one of the elite runners did require an ambulance, and although I was disappointed to go all that way in terrible weather for nothing, that was infinitely preferable to running, breaking something (and I would break something), and jeopardising the entire challenge. Plus, these guys really weren’t in the mood to stand in the snow for an hour while I ran:


So, my first race will now be at Oulton Park on 25th February, and if anyone would like to come along to support me, or better still donate to my challenge, you’ll find all the details here:

Thanks for reading.