Monday 9th January, 2023

The bastard 6:55am train straight outta Weird Wiv on Monday morning. It was cold, dark and damp. I had to double check to make sure today wasn’t Blue Monday. That pleasure can wait for another seven days.

I almost didn’t make the 6:55am. I had been up over an hour with my pruning and tattoo cleaning routine. Everything was packed. Apart from the AirPods. Where the bloody hell are my chuffing AirPods?

I paced up and down around the house, checking the possible places where they might be. Nope. Nothing. I then looked in the pocket of my Brompton bag where I transfer them to as part of my leaving the house routine. Everyone has a leaving the house routine, right?

And they they were. I had transferred them over the night before. I’m far too bloody organised. It will be my downfall.

I felt and looked the BOLLOCKS once I finally boarded the train. I was wearing my Beatles jacket (that’s not actually a Beatles jacket, but it does have a rather sharp grandad collar.) If in doubt, dress up, as Madam Vivienne use to say.

I dipped in and out of various podcasts, but with little motivation. 7-8am is no hour for podcast listening. I reached LS and set about cycling back down to S London.

This was the first real test in riding the Brompton after the weekend service. Having paid £250+, I expected a Rolls Royce ride. I wasn’t disappointed.

The Schwalbe tan wall tyres are worth every pound of the £60 per tyre. They’re incredibly light on the road, but have sufficient grip to match the responsiveness. The new cassette and chain were seamless.

I reached Brixton and cycled through the Railton LTN. It was an absolute JOY. It’s taken a while, but the LTN ethos has caught on. The usual Ldn cyclists were riding through it for the first 18 months or so. It’s now not unusual to see the Rapha Boys mixing it with kids riding Halfords bikes on the way to school.

Three electric cargos passed me along Railton alone. Chapeau!

Monday was then all about a full on school day in SE21. I made sure that my first port of call was the primary school class I missed out on before Christmas. I walked into a lively sensory session that involved plenty of paint and glitter. The Beatles jacket was back in the staff room. The immaculately polished cherry DM boots took a bit of a battering.

Most of the morning was spent in various PE sessions. The school trampoline was set up for the start of the new term. The kids love it, and so do I. You can’t go wrong snapping smiling pupils on a trampoline. I even shot some video as well.

I spent a little time with the charming sixth formers. They are planning a rainbow themed party as part of their Enterprise learning. The task for Monday was to bake some rainbow decorated biscuits.

Boy Y was asked what the theme of the party is.


…came back the reply.

Boy Y is a STAR.

I managed to leave SE21 on time, a little cold and exhausted, but still grinning. I was chased down through Brockwell Park by the ever present parakeets of S Ldn. I had to dodge various discarded Christmas trees around Poet’s Corner in Herne Hill.

A brief Lidl run almost ended in disaster. FUCK – what have they done with the cheese coleslaw and potato salad? It looked like there was a supply issue as the entire aisle was empty. Don’t panic – it’s been repositioned to another aisle.

The Forest fall out from the weekend on BBC Nottingham was painful listening. I couldn’t believe it when there was talk once again surrounding Steve Cooper’s future. Always play the long game, Comrades.

I put in a cheeky eBay offer for Michelle Shocked’s Short, Sharp on CD. Nothing came back. I then got involved in a ping pong Offer War with a cheeky fucker who was trying to undercut me with the Springsteen Darkness cassette I’m flogging.

There was a victory as I landed a Crass T-shirt for a decent price. It got a little confusing with eBay saying ‘we are determining who has won the item’ for around five minutes. That will be mine, then.

Oh the irony of using a tech giant platform to go tit for tat with another dude for a Crass anti-capitalism T-shirt.

Just kick it until it breaks, etc.

Colchester Fibre got back with details of the pricing to roll out the service back in Weird Wiv. They want £39.99 each month, compared to the £42 BT deal I’ve just agreed for a far slower service. The downside is that I’d have to pay an extra £25 for BT Sport, and then grab whatever deal I can with Now for the Sky Sports package.

I miss the days of the old dials ups delivered by a dodgy CD that you picked up from PC World.

Album of the Day: The National – High Violet

I wasn’t listening to a lot of new music in 2010. I don’t think that I missed out on much. This sounds like a cynical attempt to make a lo-fi record. The distortion is overplayed. The drums crash over all the wrong places. There are hints of melodies that might draw me back in again. But I just don’t get these tidal wave songs that grow and build. The climax is always a disappointment. It leads to an album with little direction. I want some variety in there.

⭐ ⭐

Links for Monday 9th January, 2023

Death of a velodrome: Remembering Edinburgh’s Meadowbank