Me Versus 5×50 Challenge: Part 3

Day 11 till well, till today.

Day 11

The success of day ten and the first sub 23 minute run was the lack of traffic on the route. My route on day 11 had traffic lights and motors so was slowed down considerably as i ran around the streets in the nearby. I got the run in though and thats the main thing, i count these days as rest days so i can push it harder on other days. What with there being NO actual rest days in this challenge.

Day 12

I feel the biggest set back of todays run was the fact that becuase I wouldnt get dinner to much later my wife came through with a wee plate of mexican party food things before we jumped in the car to visit her mum in Prestwick (who had fell down the stairs and hurt the ligaments in her foot actually). The set back was indigestion sadly.

See I was actually looking forward to my run once i heard the news that my mother in law had taken a tumble down the stairs (was it her insistance on wearing high heels indoors that done it?) as it meant we would go down for a visit and i would get to test my wits (and running ability) against an old favourite route from when i lived down there and never had a gps type phone app that told you distances and times and things. The route is from the roundabout heading in along Monkton Road, out past airport to caravan park at end of the golf course, along a bumpy road then right along the goal course/coastline at beach before making up the rest to eek it out to 5k.

I started out well but tailed off as the wee spicy bites came back on me. Dont get me wrong, it wasnt terrible. Under 24 minutes, but could have been so much better. Plus i didnt find out how the injury happened. Will try that route again though in the next week or two. One thing that shows up on the map for my run is that Prestwick airport is called Alamo Prestwick Airport and I have no idea why.

Day 13

Since i play football on a Friday it will always be difficult to get my run in. Last week i ran home, this week my wee boy wasnt feeling himself so after football i just drove home and helped out, and as such had to go my run once Cody had fell asleep. That happened about half 9 so I headed out for a run at 9.40 on a friday night! Was actually a bit apprehensive about this and put my earphones in without anything playing in case i got jumped. I have a quite active imaginaiton, but ultimately its a negative one, i spend most of my runs turning over in my head how i would deal with the worst of possible situations while out jogging and in this instance it was how i was going to avoid getting battered.

I kept to well lit areas and ended up running out to the hospital, for one, because i knew that there would probably be no one on the pavement going that way, and two if there was and they leathered me i was close enough to a&e to get fixed up pronto. Smart thinking. Nothing happened though and i returned home for my second shower of the day.

Day 14

Due to a packed schedule I decided to for the first time split up my run to get things done while on the way and save me some grief later on. So i ran out to Crosshouse village (or is it a town?) pressed pause on the running app, popped into Coral bookmakers, put my football coupon on, unpaused the app, and ran home.

Day 15 and Day 16

Decided to just write about these together as although the times werent bad I am completely miserable about the whole thing, I have got in my mind shin splints. Andy Cole and the old Liverpool right back Rob Jones suffered from those, i dont really know what they are but my right shin seems sore, logic to me is that i might be getting it. My ankles hurt a bit too, and my left calf. My dad showed me that there is a charity organised run in the Dean Park on Sunday (day 22) though so i think I will hold on and do that, see how i feel after that. Be good to compete and hopefully run past people and get a half decent time to cheer myself up.

Day 17

Its amazing how a good day can turn your attitude to thus whole thing. As I have described in last few days I was completely scunnered, sore and getting a bit depressed at my lack of progress. But today I posted a time of 21 minutes and 5seconds and I am over the moon and in the cheeriest of moods. Shaving a good minute and a half off my last quickest time and nearly getting under 21 mins has completely flipped my mood. Peaks and troughs right enough.

It shouldn’t have happened like this, I woke up with aching shins, calves and hamstrings, to combat it a bit i wore tubigrip around my right calf before moving it up to my knee as i was unsure where was actually sore. I went out on the run just hoping to get it finished and home without being too painful. However with a first k just over 4 minutes i was bouyed. My second k was slower but i felt i was going to be under 25 minutes so an improvement on the past few shite days so i kept on going. Kilometre 3 and four were faster than the first and i was getting excited that I was going to crack it. For this run i ran from Tesco in the town centre out to Scott Ellis, up onto Glasgow Road into New Farm a wee bit before down past College and Grand Hall (which was louping with young folk because as i learnt later Enter Shikari were playing (which actually brings about all sorts of questions actually about why they were in Killie, but….)) then past the Halifax (which used to be Managrove, remember that?) down the town and up the Irvine Road via House of Chou (to keep out of the wind a bit) Seems a fair distance actually. I Managed to keep the to smaller climbs and more flat areas which probably reflects in the time, the Irvine Road most likely accounts for the slow last split. But fuck it, you do what you can. I am very proud of what i done tonight.

Day 18

Woke up with what feels like a huge knot in my hamstring. It doesnt hurt when i move or anything but it is quite sore to touch. I fire on the tubigrip again today but quickly decide to move it up onto the hammy in case it is something. Its funny about the positive mood i mentioned above, in days before I was considering quitting and wondering if I was going to get injured now I am back in the swing and working out how i dont let this knot affect me. When i got home i had a wee look in the mirror and found that the knot is actually a bruise. I have no idea why i am bruised. But i have done lots of things with bruises so i went out running anyway.

On my favourite route it seems I head out toward Knockintiber before nicking off down the back road to Onthank and scrambling up the embankment onto the cycle path again, shaving about half a k and bringing the finish line closer to my house. I didnt hold out much hope for today, just an easing out but a quick first k had me chasing another quick time, a similar speed in the second k and was clocked at about 8 mins 20 secs which was brilliant. Unfortunately i slowed right down after that and finished around 23. Not terrible (good actually, considering what i was aiming for) at all. Met Wullie Seaweed head out on the cycle path, we acknowledged each other with a wave and a smile, no chat. Two men on a mission. I remember he fell down a dug out hole in the sand we hid under his towel in Benidorm. That was a laugh.

Times

I will fill these in tomorrow when i have time. Dont suppose they matter to anyone reading right now, you might not have even read this far having been bored to tears with the 1400 odd words that go before it……

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Me versus 5×50 Challenge: Part 2

After the intial post where I described what I am doing and the likes (click the link if its not ringing any bells) here is the continued adventures of me running around Killie for a vague reason. From day 3 till day 10.

Day 3

Well it turns out I might not actually be registered for this challenge thing. I found this out by chance when I was scooting about the 5×50 Twitter account with the idea being when I tweet that this blog is ready to read I @ them and they retweet it. Becuase as nice as it is that this gets read 20 times or whatever, by 15 people (i furiously refresh the stats page (yes, there is a stats page) post publish button press) it would be quite nice to maybe get a wee rub from the challenges over 2000 followers and get some more readers. A wee ego massage you see. They might even be reading this right now. If you are, hello! This is actually my second part of my running oddessy the first part I linked in the first paragraph. Ta.

Anyway, what happened is that on Monday night I clicked and registered but never paid my money due to a concern about how long ago I had used PayPal so I though I would do it when on the laptop and had time. On the Twitter feed it mentioned registration closing and out of curiousity I go on the site and log in and try to pay my fee. Not being able to do it I try sending a private message through twitter but they dont follow me (shame on them) so this option isnt available. Instead i search out a Facebook account and get in touch that way, explain my stupidity and hope that I am accepted and somehow get it sorted. Provided there is a problem, I might be fine.

Run wise, I leave my house and run into Crosshouse past the hospital, i dodge down past the school, round past my Dads pals work and then past the Spar and back into Kilmarnock. Without doing any of the dodging and diving in and out cul de sacs and down back roads and the likes the run lasts just over 5k. This makes me happy and could become a bit of a regular route. I also done it in less than 25 minutes. One of my initial goals. That was nice.

Later that night i got a message back from the 5×50 fb page giving me a email address to contact, so i guess I have fucked up but it can get fixed.

Day 4

Decided to run home from work but apparently they lock the gates to the car park now. Not a problem, in fact it actually solves one as I can strategically place my motor in a parking spot that near Rugby Park so that after the football at night i can collect the car and drive home and save myself a walk. This running thing is helping in ways i never imagined. So i park up at my wifes Aunts and start making my way up to Morrisons (to pick up my wifes car, the reason its in the Morrisons car park isnt important but it is there nonetheless) however the distance between the a of Natalies aunts and the b of Morrison’s isn’t as far as it seems and after a detour around the Howard Park and zig zagging around all the streets it seemed in the area of Killie where the garage and the Brass and Granite is I end up actually having to run around the edge of Morrison’s car park to get the 5k in. I mean no one would have noticed or if they did, cared, but it was mortifying. Also I was a quite a bit slower which I’m putting down to running straight after a day at work, but its still disappointing after improving my times day on day for the first 3.

Day 5

Another day another car journey to a remote location and ran from, only to be picked up later. Tonight it was Tesco as the wife wants us to go a walk with the pram once I have been out my run. Ha. Resting is not an option it would appear. My knees are a bit sore and so are my ankles.

Day 6

I play 7 a side football on a Friday night. Day 6 falls on a Friday. So to get my run in and not completely compromise my night I get a lift down to the powerleague to play football with the intention of running back. It is probably the warmest night of the year so far and when I get there its been changed from 7s to 5s and only 9 folk showed up. Good stuff. Long story short, fitba was shite and I still had to run home. I decided to head up past my old schools and the library and into the Kay Park (just the Dean Park now for the trifecta) where as I come under the railway bridge entrance at the Killie College I am met by the sight of some daft alkie enjoying the last remnants of sunshine lying on the pavement in at the wall cuddling his bottle of Becks. We used to run around the Kay Park for cross country at P.E. when I was at the Killie Academy, in tribute I ran down the oval hill at the Burns Monument, but instead of running back up I ran out the park past the tennis club up through the town and home.

Day 7

My times have been pish as the week has gone on, I put that down to working and then running and generally being tired. My thoughts are that a good sleep and a run on Saturday morning followed by a run on Sunday night will see me go faster with more recovery and sleep and less manual labour. So i head out this morning again from Natalies aunts house but instead of going the same way I decide to try going out the road that runs from the old abbatoir up to the Crosshouse roundabout past the Premier Inn and also past the Heron Bros site across the road and up a bit which i have no idea what is going on in and its driving me up the bloody wall. I saw a few guys making a road into it on the 3rd of January in the dark on my first day back at work this morning and since then its got bigger and bigger with all sorts of diggers and that in there. Bugging that i dont know what it is.

Anyway, the run is pretty much uphill which is bugging, still i do it fairly quickly (certainly quicker than my crap runs in previous three days) so i am thinking my plan is going to work.

Day 8

FUUUUUUUCK! Twenty three and a half minutes (ish)! My fastest time yet but I am disappointed because after a facebook conversation with my fellow 5x50er who said last year he tried for a sub 23 by day ten (sub 20 by day 50 also which is my dream) I had hoped i would have cracked it on day 8. Especially as the running app on my phone which gives time splits every km gave me hope that i was in with a chance as it was looking good at each split. To be beaten by seconds is annoying, especially as i waited off till late on on Sunday to do so and in doing so be well rested. I am taking this serious I have to say. Too serious my wife says.

On this run i went on a old favourite of mine. Out Fardle hill to Knockintiber, turn right and head for Kilmaurs and nip down onto the cycle path and run back to Kilmarnock along the old railway line (or current, im not sure) to the town dump and in home. its about 5 and a half km, a decent run and up and down hills. Do you know i never saw one bike on the cylce path. Or a dog, its usually louping with dogs. I did see a big bird in the sky, a perigrin falcon or a buzzard maybe scouting out a rabbit or some other animal no doubt, it did cross my mind what i would do if it swooped for me, i realised i dont know what i would do, i am trying not to worry about that.

Day 9

After yesterdays strong run I wasn’t expecting much and ultimately it didn’t deliver much. I do however think that the 25 minute plus days are behind me, as I was under that time easily. Also when Victoria Pendelton’s automated voice on my MiCoach adidas running app thing chimed in with the announcement that “distance (beat) three (beat) kilometres” in the fashion she does I distinctly remember feeling that I had a fair amount left in the tank which made my heart soar.

Day 10

When I almost broke 23 mins on day 8 there were a few factors which hindered my progress, one of which was the dog at one of the farmhouse type places on the road to Knockintiber which although didn’t actually make any move in my general direction did hamper my time by a few seconds due to me trying to keep my distance and also trying to keep my cool and not let on I was feart it was going to savage me (which it wouldn’t). I also had to tie my laces which takes a bit longer than you would think and of course the problem with the big bird that wasn’t interested in me. All these variables can be reduced, mainly by tying my laces better before leaving and also, with luck the dog won’t be there on the road since its a weekday and not the weekend (dogs on the cycle path are unaccountable for).

So I head back out on the same route, its a good route because there are no red lights to cross or any real traffic, the only problems seem to be the ones i have already highlighted.

Anyway, long story short, I done it. 22 and a half minutes. I knew i was in with a chance with the splits at each km but when i did do it, when Vicky said the time i was up on the Western Road, just past the dump and i raised my hands in the air in triumph. What a dick i am. I also ended my run on the app and walked home proud of myself.

TIMES

Day 3: 5k-25.34mins, Total run 5.23km-25.54. Day 4: 5k-27.37, Total run 5.05km-28.00. Day 5: 5k-27.09, Total run 5.04km-27.27. Day 6: 5k-27.22, Total run 5.25km-28.57. Day 7: 5k-26.0,1 Total run 5.22km-27.15. Day 8: 5k-23.28, Total run 5.58km-26.27. Day 9: 5k-24.19, Total run 5.4km-26.28. Day 10: 5k-22.30, Total run 5.12km-23.09.

Oor Cody and What I Have Learnt about Parenting and Stuff Like That

4 weeks and one day ago, one whole month considering that month was February (plsus a day) after I bemoaned the fact that my baby seemed not to want to make an appearance and simply wished to stay in his mums belly a bit longer, I decide to write this in the time I have between now and Cody, which is the name we gave our son, waking up for his night feed. My wee boy Cody was born on the Sunday afternoon, the day after I wrote that last entry. What a day that was, what an experience it has been.

having been up since 2am I was starting to look a bit tired
having been up since 2am I was starting to look a bit tired

Yes, I am now a dad, and this is a big night as this is the first time I am flying solo in the baby looking after stakes as my wife has went out for dinner. I have the PJ’s set out, along with all the other stuff I am told i will need. Fair to say i am shiting it. So I decided to try pass some time till his mum comes back, as he lies sleeping in his swing like a ticking timebomb ready to go off at any point and start screaming for something by giving my, (disclaimer: views are both pathetic and probably factually wrong) view on a few things that have stood out in the last month.

Labour

Labour wasnt nearly as traumatic as i thought it would have been, it also is nothing like what i have seen on TV and in films, there was very little (if any) lying on beds, and no doctor or midwife checked and told you how dialated you were before leaving you to watch tv and eat grapes and such. Its all very intense but totally hands on from the midwives who i thought were all bloody great. But thats at the hospital, before we even got there was quite an experience. for about four hours we were the baths, on the couch, in the hall, in the kitchen, on the phone, back in the bath. I watched a fair amount of tv in this time, Stewart Lee live at the stand from about 6 years ago, was quite good. Also Cheers comes on itv4 quite early on a Sunday, i enjoyed an episode and a half of that, love Cheers so i do, it took an hour to get from the moment the phone call to the maternity unit said we should come out to us actually getting out (a five minute drive) due to the unexpected struggle to get socks and jeans onto a pregnant woman in labour. Such things you dont really think about and certainly dont get told in the anti natal classes.

Anyway, when it comes labour, and i mean labour labour we were in the pool which was actually great. I used the edge of the pool from my position behind Natalie on a seat

outside to obscure my view of what was going on in the water, i could see the other side and natalies head but couldnt see the water down below. Natalie’s way of describing it has been a “scene from Jaws” bearing that in mind i feel my decision to choose what i could or couldnt see seems justified. If i needed to stand up, or say leave the room to go to the bathroom when i was given permission (its a long time not to go for a pee) i tried to stand up and take a step back at the same time thus keeping the same view of the pool. Of course it wasnt foolproof and i did see some things that i wish i didnt but the ability of the human brain to instantly assess and delete such images or simply lock them away in some deep dark recess of the memory has astounded me. Well chuffed with that, I had feared mental scarring for most of the 9 months prior, as well as about ten years before that. Full thing was a happy exerperience in the cabable hands of professionals.

Oh and i tried “gas and air”, it was crap.

Object in the rear view mirror may seen like their jacket doesnt fit
Object in the rear view mirror may seem like their jacket doesnt fit

Bibs

Now I’m not in any position to hand out parenting advice what with Cody a month old but if I was in a position to do so and any expectant mums or dads, or recently married couples planning families or even reckless youths having weans unexpected are reading this, I would advise to buy in excess of 1000 bibs and put them in every room in every drawer on every flat surface and every wee nook n cranny in your house. We have what we thought was plenty, but its not enough. Black bin bags full of them everywhere is plenty, having 40 under the couch just in case is plenty, being ale to lay your hand on one regardless of where you are in your house is plenty a wee drawer upstairs and a couple in the changing bag and box (maybe 30 in total) is not, we will be buying more but please take heed future mums and dads, for me, this shit is important.

Newest Killie fan
Newest Killie fan

Colic

Colic is a strange thing, noone can really tell you what it is, and to be honest my knowledge of the subject was the passing statement of people i wasnt ever really paying full attention to saying something about a baby being a colicy baby. I think, (bearing in mind we think (thats think) that Cody has colic)  that its something to do with wind and finding farting sore but really its still a bit of a mystery. Apparently they grow out of it after about six months, I am taking this as the gospel truth and count down the days of the next five months and rue the fact that not all months are the same length as February. There is a bottle brand called Dr Browns who specialise in bottles for colicy babies. Dont know how that works though, the bottles look complicated.

Bottles

Talking of bottles, we are using Avent ones made by Phillips of all people. I just thought they made tellys and hifis but aparently they are now in the lucrative business of babies. Smart move, there isnt a lot of competition, not like telly, so plenty of opportunities to make dosh. Dont know exactly how this affects dutch fitba team PSV Eindhoven mind you as their name means Phillips Sound and Vision which may well change since they are taking their business in a different route. Phillips bottles and steralisers? PBS Eindhoven maybe? I think i might get Cody a strip.

Taking his Photo

I like most people have a camera on my phone. I now exclusively use this to take photos of my child. Thats a lot of photos of someone who doesnt really get out the house much and visit different places. To combat this i take them in both colour and black and white to give the impression of diversity.

More Robust Than You Would Think.

Its all about dressing your kids properly
Its all about dressing your kids properly

My headings are getting a bit more descriptive and and as such the explanation seems pointless. This one is just such a self explanatory effort. Turns out wee babies while hot potatoes you are feart you snap with your bare hands when they are other peoples are actually fairly robust wee units when they are your own. there isnt a big time gap between being handed him not long after being delivered and being able to move him from arm to arm and up over your shoulder or even the weird choking out motion of holding his body straight to get a wee bit o wind up during feeding.

Pushing Prams

I am right into this, I push the pram everywhere, earphones in and stomp about for a fair bit, the wean loves it, all the bumping about and is sleeping pretty much instantly and i get a bit of exercise and the chance to catch up on podcasts and that. Win Win.

Paternity Leave

Is truely bizarre and I was glad to be back at work. Its so fake. Every activity was all hands to the pump, like a nappy change for instance would see us both running around barking orders at each other about who is doing what, feeding was a military operation and the notion of heading out had to be planned days in advance. Better me back at work and real life can resume.

Tasting the Milk

Only the formula stuff, not breast milk, couldnt bring myself to do that. Though in hindsight, it surely couldnt be any worse than formula which is like ready brek made from cabbage.

And thats about it, wish i had ended on a more interesting thought though. Its been a strange old month. I have enjoyed it. We have enjoyed it actually, the three of us. Well I think Cody has enjoyed it. I dont really know.

Look at that wee face
Look at that wee face

Wait, I just asked him there, he didnt cry, i am taking that as a yes he has enjoyed it. I am happy with that, feel like a success as a parent now. Well, Natalie wont be long now, I will just press publish and see whats on the telly.

Cheers.

Our Baby is Late, Just Like its Dad

Well, looks like there wasn’t a 90th minute winner in this game of pregnancy. We are now past the due date and with no sign of the kiddo yesterday a golden goal in extra time will be needed to finish the match. At this point in time we won’t even consider the end of the two week extra time and the midwifes inducing Natalie to bring on the labour which for the sake of extending this painful cup final analogy we will call penalty kicks.

It would seem we are playing the old waiting game.

But the bags are packed, the nursery decorated, cot built, baby monitor set up, moses baskets (one in the living room and one in the bedroom) are set for action, pram is in its space under the stairs and its tyres blown up to the advised pressure, isofix base thing fitted in the back seat of the car, clothes are all washed, even the coming out of the hospital clothes for Natalie and the baby are hanging in the new wardrope ready for me to take in with me so i dont fuck that up. Its all taken care of.

But we wait.

I guess i could shine up the metal work of the pram, so it looks nice. Or i could get the steraliser out in the kitchen and have a wee trial run with that and the bottles for feeding. I could even read one of the parenting books i have so far dodged for 9 and a half months (and now a day ontop of that). We could decide on a name, or rather names since we dont know what we are having.

We could do all these things as we wait but we arent.

We are just waiting, we have tried all the things they tell you but so far no joy, it will come when its ready. I am quite enjoying it actually, Natalie not so much. Its not too much pressure on me, mostly i am doing the things i usually do, working and watching the telly, Natalie is off her work on maternity which initially i was fairly jealous about but she is mostly knackered from carrying around the bump and needs a pee every twenty minutes so i suppose the novelty will wear off soon. I will get my paternity fortnight soon, the two of us working out how to look after a wee toaty baby.

I am looking forward to it.

But I am not excited, I rarely get excited. Not a very excitable person really, I can appear quite dour. Wonder if my kid will be like that. If it is Natalie will be demented. Thats away in the future though, now as I try to remember the advice given at the anti natal classes we attended about how to deal with labour (there isnt a lot of info about a fathers perspective at those incidentally, certainly not the ones i was at, so you have to improvise a bit from the mothers perspective info) and put it in practice when the waters break (if they do) and mop up the gallons of stuff that comes out (imagination getting away from me, hopefully) before packing us all up in the car and heading out to the maternity unit at the hospital. Surely its within the week?

Not sure where i am going with this now, think i will just press publish, go see what Natalie is doing. Its Saturday night, T plus one day (is that how it is described?) and since its after 11 its unlikely we will see a wee mucky baby arrive before due date plus two so the wait isnt near to being over. This is frustrating writing this, more frustrating than just sitting about waiting.

Waiting….hmmmmm.

A Diary in 53 Parts: Part 10 :Week 9

Where i made it to part ten which given my track record is something to behold, wasnt a classic as far as notable events go mind you.

Sunday 26th February.

Every fortnight on the weekend FIFA 12 open the head to head area of the game up for a cup. Its bloody brilliant and myself a few fellas i work with at the warehouse talk about it frequently. “is it the cup this weekend?” one of us will ask, some weeks we will say “naw”, other weeks we will say “aye, i think sa”. Granted its not the most exciting of conversations but we do have it most weeks. This weekend, Friday, Saturday and today being Sunday it is open and I spent a fair bit of of my afternoon chasing the dream of a shiny cup and bragging rights come Monday at work. Sadly though i got papped out regular and lost the place with it and packed it in. Next time hopefully.  On my tv today i had the carling cup final where the commentators sold Dirk Kuyts goal as a cracker, i thought he tackled it in, also watched Sean Lock live from 2008 i think, big fan of him off the tv but this is actually the first time i have seen any extensive material from him, was great i thought. Oh and while the mrs watched dancing on ice i scoured youtube 9actually it took 2 minutes) to find the footage of Bill Hicks on the funny farm from the 80s. I have very vivid memories of the opening credits of that show from my youth, probably because it was a cartoon chicken walking down the street, had no recollection of the show itself. The reason i looked up this video was three fold. 1. I found out about it through facebook by Stu Who? who was on the bill the night i did the open slot at Rugby Park and was very nice to me afterwards (and before, an all round good guy) as he is the guy introducing him onto the stage. 2. Hicks would have been 50 today. 3. my phone wouldnt play the format of video the link he posted had and my laptops sound is gubbed so needed to post it to myself on facebook to watch it. Complicated but worth it. In the five minutes he did i saw a guy who used material i had saw work before but get a slightly muted response which he found pretty funny.

For dinner we had Chicken curry and haggis pies from Brownings which were smashing. Haggis with chicken curry on the top baked in a pie. An explanation probably wasnt needed as chicken curry adn haggis pie pretty much summed it up.

Monday 27th.

Came home from work to a running bath which my mrs thought she would treat me too. Climbed in and read my book for half an hour, the book is Game of Thrones and i have been reading it since November, not the best at reading in the winter.

While in this bath i discovered chocolate and mint Original Source shower gel which might be greatest bathroom based invention ever. It takes all my energy and will power not to eat it. If mint aeros smelt like this i would eat one for my dinner every day.

Tuesday 28th.

I dont think i mentioned it at the time but a few weeks ago i went to the dentist for a check up, needed a filling and today was the day it was getting done. My only decision was whether to go white or get one of they horrible metallic amalgam minging things. I already had my fair share of both these things in my mouth prior so it wasnt a case of keeping a uniform look to the inside of my gub. Went with white because the amalgam ones taste horrible for longer, must be the steel content or something.  Or  zinc or whatever its a mixture of. Gadz.

Its supposed to be better now at the dentist. Jags leave no real swelling and you can go about your day as normal without a tennis ball shaped cheek. But in those days that face meant people knew where you had been and gave you the benifit of the doubt when slevers hang from your chin as you walk to the carpark to get home. Now you can be sitting on the bus home with a normal face and shlurping up saliva you are sure is escaping but have no real confirmation of till its making a pool in your jacket. Folks tut tutting you and nothing you can do as your slurred slevery speech doesnt help.

So i got one, right up the back where the tooth hasnt came through properly so food gets caught in the gum and stuff, all very boring. Had a fair amount of work done on my gnashers and another wee filling to add to the collection isnae the worst that could have happened.

One final thing, when the dentist is in there doing the drilling and your mouth is numb do you think they put a wee hole in another tooth to makes sure theres a wage to get come the next check up appointment? Food for thought.

Wednesday 29th.

Your supposed to do something you never usually do on a day like today i am told. I dont think i bothered.

Thursday 1st March.

Never did too much today at all.

Friday 2nd.

Played some football after work and had a fairly early night.

Saturday 3rd.

Got up early to do some overtime at work. On my way home i decided to be proactive and get my coupon on before going home to have lunch prior to football. That way i wouldnt have to rush early going to the football to get to the bookies before. However as i sat eating my beans on toast updates appeared from the Swindon game which featured on my line. They were getting beat.

So the moral of that story is dont try to be smart, dont try and be punctual and make sure things are organised in advance because i had to spend more money backing the rest of my teams in that line again minus Swindon because i would have went mental if Swindon had been the only one who let me down and it was before 3pm. If i had just done my usual and left it to the last kick the n ice lady in the bookmakers would have said, “sorry pal, ones already kicked off, you want me to still put it through?” and i would have said yes then punched the air in delight for dodging a wee bullet.

After all that excitement i went and got bored to tears at the Killie game before a few beers at the Burns’ with my big cousin and the rest of my family on a wee day out for oor Jock, before heading home via Shahs Palace where we got our dinner. One cheeseburger, one chips and cheese and one large portion of veggie pakora between two.

A Diary in 53 Parts: Part 8: Week 7

A week in which i won 70 quid and do a fair amount of cooking.

Sunday 12th February.

Went for another run today, exactly 5k down and around the town and back up. Hips are sore, feel like an old man. Also feel like a fat man so gonna have to put up with the pain. At night I watch Zambia upset the odds and win the African cup of Nations against favourites Ivory Coast (or Cote D’Ivoire as its also know) Cote D’Ivoire is also the subject of maybe my favourite fact ever. That fact being that its illegal to call the Ivory Coast the Ivory Coast while in the Ivory Coast, if you do call it that then its an affront to the King. Now, a few things from that, for one i dont really know if they have a king or even a royal family and it was a while since i was told that gem so maybe using the term fact is a bit of a stretch.

Was delighted when Zambia won, always been a Cameroon man myself but since they never qualified and the Copper Bullets beat other big guns along the way and i am a big fan of the underdog it was a no brainer. Plus Zambia used to be called Rhodesia and Killie toured there back in the 60s so that tenuous link was enough for me to put my support behind the Copper Bullets. I just hope they dont have some sort of horrible record of human rights violations or something….

Monday 13th.

Natalie isnt too well today, I feel fine. I make the dinner, pasta (its those wee pasta parcle things, this time with walnut and gorgonzola which was weird) before heading out the the Trust board meeting.

Tuesday 14th.

Ah Valentines day, the patron saint of buying cards and flowers, both of which i did yesterday. We dont really go in for Valentines much neither we do, Natalie isnt too bothered about it at all which makes me happy becuase for me its a load of old bollocks. The thought of struggling to get a table in a restaurant or a seat at the pictures on the 14th of february becuase a bunch of akward folk are doing a valentines date and are sitting across from each other hardly speaking and finding out they have nothing in common fills me with dread. No, i feel i can take my beloved out any day of the week or month and i think she agrees. instead of all that i augment a frozen magharita pizza with hot sauce, frozen peppers and wee bacon bit things while the wife lies with her feet up watching Hollyoaks. She is still not better and coughing like an old motor but she manages to eat my delicious meal. We finish the night watching those horrendous Gypsy wedding folks which amuses me as the bride has the biggest ears i have seen in ages. The look like the kind of lugs you see on old men in the bookies.

Or any place old men frequent i guess.

Wednesday 15th.

On my first break at work i recieve a text asking if i want to paint the kitchen on Saturday, my kitchen to be exact. Strange how this hasnt been mentioned before that minute. Also, its not as if its a question, more a statement that “you’re painting the kitchen on Saturday”. Its nice to have my weekend planned out.

For dinner i made macaroni cheese from scratch. Top cook this week.

Thursday 16th.

Finally watch the new version of Pointless, its pretty much like the old one except its in HD and there are a few changes in the rounds they play. Not sure i like it, but most likely it will be like the facebook changes where you initially hate them but learn to accept them and forget the old way after about an hour. Need to apply to get on. Also tonight i sort out the arrangements for getting cup final tickets and put plans in place to get back on the Burns bus too. A trip back to the Phoenix club looks likely. Natalie takes control of the cooking duties again and trys to dupe me by saying were getting chicken but actually giving me turkey. She must think i am an idiot. I eat it anyway. She apologises. No big deal. We have golden syrup cake and custard for a wee dessert which is ok but as soon as i taste it i realise it was probably jamaica cake i wanted. Thems the breaks though. As they say in The Wire, “s’all in the game, yo” though admittedly its not the same circumstances.

Or even particularly relevant now i think about it.

Friday 17th.

After work i play in what was probably the best game of 7 a sides i have played in years. Now that i write that i have jinxed any other games i will play but it was nice to have that high point to look back on. Never more than two goals in it and everyone trying for the full hour, cant ask for more. To balance out all the running around i did during said “best game” i had a full pizza supper with grated cheese and curry sauce drizzled on top for my dinner. Havent had such fine cuisine for a good while and fair enjoyed it. Cant beat a chip shop deep fried pizza i dont think, though its pretty likely that calling it a pizza is against the trade descriptions act. I managed to refrain from getting the pizza dipped in batter before cooked so it could be argued i took the healthier option all things considered.

Once fed we took a trip down to Prestwick to visit Natalies old neighbours Joan and Davie who she has always called aunt and uncle. Lovely people who have been very nice to me ever since i met them about 8 years ago. Back then i was still a cinema student and Davie name dropped Eisenstein into the conversation which i picked up on and we still mention it now. Finally saw in his computer room he has told me about for years tonight, his camera collection lining the walls and his imac switched on we tried to find his photos fo our wedding to have a wee look at, never found them though, maybe next time.

He regaled us with stories, most of which i hadnt actually heard, one of which was about his visit in the mid 60s to Kilmarnocks German twin town and the subsequent visit back to Kilmarnock. A great old guy (also a socialist as he likes to point out) and his wife Joan (a tory he tells me quite regularly) keeps him in check. Smashing folks.

Saturday 18th.

A day i fully expected to spend painting my kitchen listening to the football on the radio and trying not to trip over my bottom lip while in a huff about my Saturday activities actually turned out to be a great day. We never actually had any rollers or brushes to do the painting, or any actual paint for that matter so that job has been rainchecked till next week at the earliest. Instead i spent the morning farting about while Natalie heads off to Irvine with her sister before taking in Killie glorious victory over crisis club/tax cheats Rangers by means i dont really want to admit to on here. fair to say it was a steady “stream” of activity for the afternoon. Before I watched that though i stuck on my Saturday coupon and while i basked in the glory of our 1-0 win i checked my bookies lines and found out i was 70 quid to the good on one of the lines. Thats two in three weeks which sounds like a rich vien of form but like all statistics its all about the depth of focus and if you look at my record over the whole season it still stands at two winning lines. However, i dont care, a wins a win.

Head up the road after football the wife and I are visited by our friends and their young kid. The wee fella is going to be a year old at the tail end of April and it strikes me how quick a year it has been for them. A bright wee thing he is as well too. When they leave we take in the best Saturday night telly has to offer, Take Me Out and Johnathan Ross. Both passable for entertainment when you cant wipe a football/coupon win smile off your face.

A Diary in 53 Parts: Part 7: Week 6

Sunday 5th February

The prospect of a trip to Ikea with a hangover leaves me in a quandry, on one hand the drive up could be to much for my fragile state and on the other the prospect of a hot dog party if and when i get there to soak up the booze is tempting. Ultimately the decision isnt mine and the wife decides that we are going so we go and i get filled up on Ikeas wonderful cuisine. Dont know if i have mentioned it on here before but just in case i havent, i think that ikea have upped there game again on the hot dog front after a spell where they were rotten. My only gripe is that the mustard always seems to be on the blink or almost done when i am there, even though its not as popular as tomato sauce. Just an observation. qwhat they need to do is get in touch with Ikea in Etobicoke, Toronto and find out how to get sweet green relish over here because that stuff is the bloody bomb. In fact Toronto for me is the hotdog capital of the world but maybe i will elaborate on that in a seperate blog post….anyway, another thing i noticed walking around ikea is that some of their staff have some stoating hairdos. Real belters which would take some amount of blow drying and product to produce, but then they are teamed up with that weird yellow colour their uniform and you wonder why all the effort.

Its Super Bowl Sunday today which means its two years since i made a complete show of myself at my one and only Super Bowl party i have ever attended over in Canada. I dont know whether I am ready to own that particular story just yet by writing it down, though I did tell someone it last week for the first time and the version (story included roaring “cunt” at the top of my voice in company, not eating, guys getting grabbed by the throat, boozing a lot, waking up with no memory and other vignettes) i told got a laugh so maybe its time to get it down, however i did use the word “version” which may allude to the fact that maybe i hold some details back and to be honest i did. On the Super Bowl, i went to bed to to watch it with the plan to fall asleep with the tv on so that if i fell asleep then woke and caught five minutes here and there it would class as watching it. I saw Kelly Clarkson sing the national anthems and fell fast asleep mind you, woke up to the tv off.

Monday 6th.

Wake up for work at my usual time and instantly regret my laziness and not going for a Sunday night shower. Feel horrible but dont like my morning routine messed up so decide just to grin and bear it, man the fuck up and just wash my face and douse myself in deodorant and go to work like an old fashioned savage.*

*maybe an exageration in terms of description of pretty much everything.

It was a long day so it was, mostly due to the dawning realisation that this was the second half of a two day hangover, but once the working was done i got home, had a shower and settled down for the last fifteen minutes of Pointless. In that fifteen minutes i managed two pointless answers and my chest swelled with such pride. Time to get in on that action i think and application to get on the show is going in, as much for the chance of winning the dosh on the back of my knowledge of obscure answers to regular questions as it is for the opportunity to be in the same room as the guy who has all the answers and prove to some folk that we look nothing alike.

Tuesday 7th.

Cant remember.

Wednesday 8th.

Watching Pointless again today and a round based on boyband members names strikes a blow to my plan to take home the cash. With that being used today its unlikely to be used again if and when i get on which is a shame as i pride myself on hate myself for my knowledge of the subject. Its just one of those things that has came out of reading look in as a kid (then Smash Hits (slaps hand over face)) and having a younger sister who liked boyband music growing up. That and a strage ability to hold info like that in my mind like they are football players and still be able to draw on the knowledge. Spike, Jimmy and Lee are 911 and whether you beleive it or not, i knew that without checking wikipedia. I have that sort of thing in my arsenal. Its quite a weapon.

Thursday 9th.

for breakfast i ate Red Berries Vitality which is asdas own Special K. Its quite nice but next week i am going back to my old favourite of Kellogs Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes (now just called Crunchy Nut for some reason). Before i got into the vitality i got something called snow puffs. if your not aware of this delight then i shall explain, it is the Honey Monsters favourites Sugar Puffs with some wee dods of meringue scattered in for a white look. Absolutely rotten. The meringue i hoped would be like the wee colourful bits in Lucky charms so would go soft and be a nice wee sugar rush in the early morning, sadly it wasnt and those wee white bits stayed hard and felt weird on your teeth as you chewed them. Big thumbs down. i actually tried eating round them after a few days which wasnt as easy as i thought to begin with.

Apart from that cereal excitement it was a quiet day.

Oh, apart from the fact that i watched Mad Dogs in real time when it was on the tv, an achievement in itself.

Friday 10th.

Down in Liverpool for a funeral. Was in two minds about trying a pint of mild in pub after it, ultimately i bottled the opportunity and so it will be next time in England at the earliest i try it..

Saturday 11th.

This morning i found myself in Kilmarnocks forgate for the first time in years. While i was there i did some things i havent done in an eaven longer time. 1. I used an actual butchers and 2. i went in the pet shop. A few points from these two things, the sight of that watery blood in the empty and half empty trays in the butchers gives my the boke but at the same time i cant avert my eyes, the butchers sells everything (you can buy a big lump of pork and a can of red kola at the same time), the pet shop isnt as good as it was when i was younger, mostly because i am certain they had dogs and cats back then which i suppse were wortha  look at. Now its just wee tiny snakes, fish and gerbils, rabbits and hamsters. A hamster costs a mere £8.50. I kind of think that seems weirdly cheap, like if you lost one or dropped it down the stairs it can be easily replaced for under a tenner. sobering thought. While up in that neck of the woods I also found out that the Queens cafe is no longer called that. A regualr haunt back when i was in first year at the academy even all these years later i remember the old italian lady with the drawn on eyebrows selling me my friday chip roll. Golden Arrow is still called the Golden Arrow though and we got fritters.

Went to the football in the afternoon, was a good game.