Monthly Archives: June 2011

Solitary Bimbling

That was my commute in along the cut this morning. Very enjoyable. Quite the opposite was my journey home yesterday afternoon, the canal through Brindley Place was rammed with pedestrians all walking along at a snails pace. It had a very detrimental effect on my time home, which as I having a race with myself via my Garmin was bloody typical! I destroyed myself to catch up with my virtual partner and ended after my bimble through Brindley Place 2.5 minutes down at the end of my race. The price of the bimbling tourists!

On the subject of the word “Bimble” it has been commented on a lot by various folks over the history of this blog who have never heard it before and I thought I’d explain it to you. It basically means wandering at your leisure.

I first came across it in the Army. Actually at 8 Signal Regiment which was based at Vimy Lines Catterick Garrison at the time.

As you’re probably aware, the Military speak a different language and that language has many dialects depending on what Corps, Regiment or Service you are in.

There are plenty of ways in the military of describing getting from one location to another.

For example:

The Parachute Regiment “TAB”, which is an acronym of Tactical Advance to Battle. ‘cos they’re ‘ard!

The Royal Marines “Yomp”, just slang for a slog with a bloody great Bergan the size of a bungalow on your back.

The Guards “March”, for obvious reasons.

The Light Infantry “Double” everywhere.

Etc etc, I could go on, but you get my point.

But my old Corps, that of The Royal Signals,” Bimble”. It indicates a more relaxed, in control kind of way of getting about. Infinitley preferable to all that Tabbing, Yomping and Doubling. So stressful!

June 29th 2009

2 years ago today I started my new way of life. I knew from past failed attempts that it wouldn’t be easy. And surprise surprise I was right.

It is still a struggle, but one I’m continuing to face down and crack on with. Have I lapsed? Of course I have, last Christmas especially, but I am still pedalling, still concious of what goes in my gob and still doing my post ride upper body stuff.

I think after 2 years I have now proven (to myself anyway), that I have got an addiction to food. Why that should be I have no idea. Doing my amateur psychologist bit, the only “trauma” (and I use the term loosely) I remember was being bullied for my first 3 years at Senior School. It was crap, hurtful, lonely, painful, all of those things, but you soldier on and forget about it. I’m not aware of it affecting me in anyway long term. Maybe I’m just assembled incorrectly? Or more likely a greedy lazy bastard.

What advice can I give you from my hard earned experiences? In no particular order:

1. Regular weigh ins.

2. Keep a diary or blog.

3. Have a plan.

4. STICK TO IT!

5. Choose a weight loss eating routine that you can live with.

6. Choose an excercise regime you enjoy.

7. Don’t let it become a chore.

9. Get family and friends on side.

10. DON’T EVER STOP!

I’ve learned quite a lot about myself this last 2 years. I know I’m weak, easily distracted, look for excuses not to do the right thing, crave food and beer and be lazy. But I’ve also learned that I can eat the right stuff, I can consume in moderation and I can bang out the miles for excercise.

But the main thing I’ve learned about this whole thing is something we all know anyway. This isn’t easy, it’s hard work. Very hard. But it is actually a very simple concept. Don’t over complicate it.

And what we all know is that the only way out is to eat less and excercise more. Get your head around that fact and you’re in with a chance.

Weight Loss cyclists, read this!

Yesterday I had the honour of reading the best piece of weight loss bloggage ever.

It’s here , READ IT!

Fizzhog is in my humble opinion the most talented writer in the bloggosphere that  I’ve ever come across, his posts always entertain and I find myself lost in the words while I’m reading. Which as he’s American and we don’t share a common language is quite remarkable!

His Blog I’ve linked to struck a chord with me. Actually it gave me one huge punch across across the face. I’ve had and am having a bit of a tough time at the moment and while I’ve stayed pedalling I could feel myself start to descend into self pity and not do the right thing. It was like his words were aimed directly at me. I suppose with my blogs of late, maybe they were. That’s a huge concieit by the way!

His bollocking has had the desired effect on me. I’m a product of rugby clubs and the military, touchie feelie has never quite done it for me. I’m used to being verbally abused for motivation. It works! Thanks Fizzhog!

The subject of his Blog is Gaz, of whom most of us know from a few years ago. We know the progress he’s made, the weight he’s lost and the battles he’s still fighting. He is definately not a typical weight loss cyclist, but if he can do that then you and I can most certainly do our little bit with no bloody excuses. Maybe I just needed reminding.

Leaking

Wow, how warm is it today? I was sweating for England when I got into work. I did the route I know as the “Classic Cut” which is along the Bristol Road to Selly Oak then along the Birmingham & Worcester Canal into work. As is the norm I didn’t see anyone along the canal at all. Which is how I like it. There are no ill effects from my crash a fortnight ago both physically or mentally. Although my hip injury is still a bit sore.

Yesterday was a giggle at the farm, Dan enjoyed the place, but the toy pedal tractors were his favorite.

I had the added bonus of watching Worcester Tri Club’s cycle stage which was being held out out of the farm.

A Fay free day.

Fay my eldest is off on an Air Cadet day today, actually wifey dropped her off at the Squadron at 0645hrs this morning. So it’s all about Dan the Spawn of Satan today. There is a kids farm near Worcester we’re off to later to keep him occupied.

Roast Lamb for Sunday dinner which is something I’m really looking forward to and the U20 Rugby World Cup Final between New Zealand and England this evening, which features Matt Kvesic one of my old North Midlands County players. Good to see him wearing the white shirt. But us coaches always knew he would. The lads from the land of the long white cloud are red hot favourites as usual. But it’s a only a 2 horse race after all and if we a knew for certain who the winner would be there’d be no sport at all!

A week of towpath and NCR5 commuting on my MTB awaits.

My last 6 months summarised…

I’ve been very lapse lately in all departments. Cycling, blogging, food management, but more importantly being a good Dad and attempting to be a good husband.

There are lots of reasons for that, none of them an excuse though.

I’ll talk about the peripheries first.

Work.

We have major issues with a piece of our kit which is causing all kinds of problems. Without going into boring details, people that should know better didn’t follow basic change management principles and shipped an untested part from a supplier to our customers. This has caused/is causing nationwide dramas in our largest customer’s mobile work force.

Guess who is having to fire fight and solve it? Yep you guessed it, the poor sap who manages the maintenance & warranty department. The fact that it was one of my engineers who originally discovered the change on a service call tells you all need to know about the magnitude of the fuck up by others. We are a small company who relies on excellent customer service and innovative engineering and IT solutions for our good name and sales. This is all my MD cares about at the moment and rightly so, what caused the fuck up (of which I know exactly what did due to my manufacturing background) is taking a back seat and I’m left holding the baby to solve. And due to us being a small company, my resource is limited and I’m desperately trying to service our other customers and deal with this deluge of issues too. Not good. Extra hours for me and my boys then, only they get paid overtime!

Rugby.

This is my passion as you know. On top of my existing responsibilities in the club, I’ve been given the task of setting up and running a new U19s team using our existing youth teams. Sounds easy. It isn’t. There are a myriad of personalities, agendas and politics to navigate before you even begin to start. Diplomacy isn’t something I’m good at. I’m never deliberately offensive, but I tend to say things as they are and tough if you don’t like the truth. I’m not looking forward to this at all. Add on the fact I’ve been approached to head up the forwards in the Greater Birmingham set up and carry on with the North Mids School of Rugby then you can see that I’m very busy on the rugby front.

Home, ah home, now here’s where Stress City is really happening.

Over the past few years we have been attempting to move house on and off. Obviously wifey is driving this as all blokes will tell you that they really ain’t that bothered where they live within reason, so just crack on and do it.

There are a few reasons why she wants to move, the main one is to be closer to her Mum who isn’t coping too well after the loss of Wifey’s Dad 5 years ago to illness. That’s fair enough. There are other reasons, all valid, but I’m conscious of my reader’s terminal boredom.

So just before Christmas our house went on the market again and we waited. In February we had a viewing and this family decided that they wanted it and were ready to go immediately. Good news. Luckily in Mum in Law’s location there are very few options for us so we found our house the same day and got the offer accepted and after a bit of negotiation we got a fair price for our house. Mortgage arranged, solicitors instructed. So in about 6 weeks we expected to exchange contracts and complete as our buyers were ready too.

We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Come April I chased our buyer who told us he was ready to go immediately, then discovered that his buyer was on holiday.

We waited.

Then I discovered that his buyer had decided to change mortgage companies for a better rate.

We waited.

Then I discovered that his buyer was having “solicitor troubles” whatever that is.

We waitied.

Then I discovered that his buyer was having trouble getting the funds released from their bank due to “technical difficulties”.

We waitied.

Then it transpired that his buyer had been refused a mortgage, but that doesn’t matter as he has 2 other buyers waiting in the wings.

We waited.

By this point the people who owned the house we were buying started to threaten us with pulling out of the sale understandably. We have only one option in Mum in Law’s location, if they pull out then we’re screwed. More stress.

We waited.

During all this time our vendor’s estate agents were constantly on at us every day by phone for updates and putting severe pressure on us to get things moving. Us!!!??? What the f*** can we do??? We have no control over our buyer’s sale, as I pointed out in no uncertain terms to them and to their office manager.

We waited.

We waited.

Then our buyer said his original buyer was going for another mortgage. I suppose I’m lucky in as much wifey did 25 years in the finance industry as an Independent Financial Advisor and a mortgage consultant . (Wifey is no longer working in her industry as it nearly killed her and our family. Which means money is tight as I’m the only breadwinner, but at least if it wasn’t for the house thing I have the girl I married back).

So wifey knows the process better than most folks. She told me that his buyer will never get another mortgage in a month of Sunday’s as they have been refused once, their credit footprint was now too visible (whatever that means) and given the economic climate with the banks reluctant to issue mortgages they were knackered.

I told this to our buyer and with all due respect to him, I always suspected he didn’t understand the process and this just proved it as he said he was going to continue to sell to the buyer who had mortgage difficulties. Nothing like banging your head against brick wall then. But he wouldn’t listen to me. I didn’t doubt he was serious about buying our house, as he has moved his kids into schools by us. Which means a school run of 250 miles a week for his Mrs!

All the while this was going on, our home life was disintegrating. As I’ve said before, I can cope with external pressures, it’s wifey’s reaction to all of this that I struggle with. It’s been a terrible, terrible, truly awful 6 months for us.

Our situation as it stands now is that I have negotiated with the owners of the house we are after and they have agreed to wait a further 8 weeks for us to sell ours.

We have left our estate agents, kicked our original buyer into touch and gone with a company who sells properties to investors and their selling timescales are 6 to 7 weeks. They seem very confident they can achieve this are very relaxed about it and even said they see no reason they can’t get us a better selling price! Whatever they say this is last chance saloon. But the irony is that this has calmed family life down. Hopefully wifey will regain an even keel because of this.

Wifey has decided that if this doesn’t work we’re staying put and cracking on. I personally don’t care where we live. I like where we are now as does wifey. Living by Mum in Law wouldn’t bother me either, it’s a nice area and we get on great, I just want an end to this. Which will be the middle of August one way or another. We’ve been living out of boxes since March, our house is quite clearly prepped for moving and getting in and out of the garage where my bikes are is nigh on impossible.

So that’s been my life for the past 6 months. I haven’t stood on the scales since April or been doing my upper body stuff. Food has been iffy, but not stupid I’m quite proud to say, but my beer intake has risen.  All of this will change as of Monday when I re-start yet again and do what I’m meant to be doing.  So much for Thinking Clearly Under Pressure, doing the right thing under all circumstances and cracking on. It also makes my 3 stones loss for the year target a bit problematic, but I’ll still go for it.

To summarise the last 6 months: crap at work, crap at home, crap at rugby, my dog being put down, trying to move house, a crash on my bike, beer intake up, food management iffy and my cycle to work scheme being pulled.

But to end on a positive, I’ve still kept on with my pedalling.

Dodford this afternoon.

Big post tomorrow.