Tuesday 11th April, 2023

The inactive Active Lambeth app finally got its shit together overnight. It’s only taken a week of in-house leisure management to start working.

How very Lambethy.

It’s now showing a price of £3.28 for me to swim off peak at the Rec with Pay and Play membership. This was £2.80 before Lambeth decided to cash in on the leisure contract.

I’m still not convinced that the pricing structure in the app is correct. The £3.28 is actually a little less than what was passed in the budget last month. But it’s an improvement on £5.43 Active Lambeth was trying to fleece me for last week.

Meanwhile Vauxhall remains at £5.43. Yes, yes – I know Vauxhall is the loner in the Active Lambeth family. That’s what happens when you badge up a private pool and claim that you have built it. But we were promised a pay parity at the GLL managed Vauxhall Leisure Centre.

Lambethy, Lambethy, Lambethy.

More clicks followed, more online transactions took place. My movements over the next few weeks are becoming a little clearer. I’ve been summoned back to the bloody Estuary Wilds.

Oh great.

I bought up a run of train tickets to see me through the next couple of months as I come and go. I’m never sure if I’m Arthur or Martha these days.

Album of the Day: The Cure – Pornography

Well this is a HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY album. It makes quite a statement from start to finish with a big old sound. The rolling drums are a little one dimensional and haven’t aged well. On the other end of the scale is Bob’s voice. Booming and masterful.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

To Vauxhall! For a full price swim!

Having moaned about the price difference, Vauxhall does offer a superior swimming experience compared to the piss stained floors at Brixton Rec. The floors are heated over in SW8 – and not through warm puddles, either.

The swim got off to a tricky start. Unannounced there was a lifeguard training session in the fast lane. The slow and medium lanes had been merged into one. I didn’t fit in.

I found a channel and cautiously pushed off for four lengths. The lifeguards in waiting then buggered off and I had the fast lane to myself for a short while.

Another fella then rocked up. I could hear a most peculiar sound underwater. I soon worked out that it was his breathing technique. He sounded as though he was snoring along as he put the lengths in.

It was slow progress from me. The swim time was just over twenty minutes for the forty lengths. I’m always surprised how you can lose your pace and rhythm when you are out of the water for a few days.

This might be my last Vauxhall swim for a while. Every penny does count right now. If the inactive Active Lambeth continue to offer me a cheap-ish Rec swim then I need to take it. I also need to take some flip flops for the piss stained floors of the Rec.

I cycled back to the flat on the Raleigh 20. The Sturmey Archer gears are still giving me some grief. Second gear keeps on slipping. I think this is due to the slack in the gear cable.

I had a little spare time and so experimented with some trial and error mechanics by the garages at the back of the flat. I may have fixed it.

On the other extreme of bicycle etiquette was the S Ldn Yoof riding along the South Lambeth Road pavement on a clunkety clunk Lime bike. The clunkety clunk is the not too subtle signifier that S Ldn Yoof has blagged a free ride and is wrecking the drive.

Erm, Chapeau, S Ldn Yoof.

The Lidl shop was difficult. I thought I did well with my laser focussed snaffling of some red sticker items: a big bowl of pasta, a ponecy quiche, a pasta salad and some potato and leek soup.

The soup in particular was a Gypo Aisle steal: 89p down to 36p. Except the self service till didn’t register the discount.


I had to queue at the main till whilst some geezer loaded up two trolleys worth, and then politely ask for the 53p that I was owed to be returned.

Mr Lidl was actually very relaxed about this. He took pity on my financial status and my determined obsession in getting value for money.

Album of the Day extra: Belle and Sebastian – Tigermilk

The trumpet saves the songs here. There’s some half decent melodies and structures. But they need a bit of brass to flush them out. The production is a little too DIY and tinny for my liking. I’ve always felt B&S to be something of a closed scene. You need to be really into the little grouping to get the music, unlike other outsiders of the time such as Pulp. I didn’t fancy hanging out with bed wetters.

⭐ ⭐

Some Gilles Peterson catching up took place. GP opened with Ryuichi Sakamoto and the Brussels Philharmonic playing a grand version of Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. It was glorious.

Chat GPT waded in to the conversation.

The eBay mails were rich in content, and in price today. A Giant ONCE frame appeared. It looks a BEAUT, but I want the full on bicycle and group-set if possible.

A GoCycle G4i also appeared at a decent price of £999. Pick up is from Chelmsford as well.


I had plans for a late afternoon photo shoot testing out the new PEN F. The rain put a stop to that.

Ditto the Dulwich women’s game over at Champion Hill. D texted saying he was heading over to the football. What a TROOPER.

I stayed in and watched a decent Man City performance instead.

My MacBook finally calmed down having spent the past three days uploading 75k+ images to Amazon Photos. Just wait until I start shooting in multi-burst mode on the PEN F.