Saturday 29th April, 2023

Saturday morning started in the same way Friday night ended: dealing with a mouse brought in by Dotty. I managed to rescue the Friday night visitor. I fear the poor little fella out for the count on the kitchen floor first thing was a returnee.

I was also making a return, this time to ParkRun. Injuries have kept me away for over two months. ParkRun anchors your weekend and all that is to come. I’ve really missed it.

I had a mad train hop to get to Sunny Colch. I was taking the opportunity of being in the town / city to get my road bike serviced. But I also wanted the MTB so I could take in a swim post ParkRun.

I legged it down to the station, rolling out two bicycles. I made it with seconds to spare. Rugger Buggers from Clacton were on the train, Twickenham bound. Each to their own.

Castle Park in Sunny Colch looked stunning. The grounds team carry out a stunning job each year as we head into the summer months.

It was good to see some familiar faces as I made my way around the ParkRun course. Woh, this was tough. I came close to a chunder incident as I crossed the finishing line. My final time of 22’55” wasn’t worth that extra effort.

I made my way over to the bicycle shop with the roadie. By pure chance I bumped into M, my bicycle sage of choice. He immediately put a halt on my plans to put some hard tyres on the roadie. The nice bicycle mechanic also agreed.

Camera advice followed in the London Camera Shop – which happens to be in Colchester. I was considering buying a lens mount so I could put a Nikon lens on the PEN F. Mr London Camera advised against it. Apparently it would mean most of the functionality in the PEN F would be lost. That’s one less thing to buy.

A brief charity shop trawl followed. I’m after some *ahem* distinctive headwear. I’m a little ashamed to actually say what I’m on the hunt for. None of the shops came close to stocking the style I’m searching for.

I pleased myself in staying away from the piles of charity shop CD’s. I’ve got nearly 1,000 of my own to get through on the To Listen list.

I popped into Firstsite, having been led to believe that some of the gallery space had changed since I was last in the town / city two months ago. It hadn’t, but it was an enjoyable way of spending fifteen minutes on a Saturday morning. The Big Women exhibition is very playful.

A brief Lidl run followed en route to the pool. This week is WATER SPORTS WEEK at Lidl. Some of the clothing looked acceptable. I’m not sure I would trust a budget £199 Lidl paddle board though.

Elsewhere and the price of cheapo Lidl cheese is a cause for concern. The £3.99 price of late last year is already up to £4.80.

The swim was great. The pool was empty so I had the space to splash around and put in forty power lengths of freestyle. I clocked well under the seventeen minute mark for 800m.

I cycled back along the Trail. The Hythe reeked of piss down by the sewage works. I glanced over briefly at the water. Just look at the state of that. And some people swim in this shit.

I was free over lunchtime to pop in and see F in her brilliant new record shop in Weird Wiv. It’s a fantastic little set up. It’s well stocked with quality items, all priced competitively. I came out with three Charlie Parker albums.

I raised a smile at the stupid Coronation display in the local funeral parlour. Here’s hoping, Your Majesty.

Back at base and The Postman Had Delivered: a discounted Forest home shirt. This will bring the team luck a little later in the afternoon, right?

The Estuary Wilds weather was stunning. This was an afternoon to be out and about. I decided to roll out on the Raleigh electric for the first time in a couple of months.

It was warm enough to wear a pair of cycling shorts. The ride was characterised by blossom, blue skies and bloody Essex flag poles.

I had the commentary for Forest away at Brentford in my AirPods. Apologies to the motorists of Tenpenny Hill. I let out an almighty YOU REDS when the goal went in.

I passed a game of village cricket at Great Bentley. It looked a lot more sedate compared to what was going off in my ears.

The lanes were empty of cars. I slowed down to overtake a couple of horse riders, the only company I came across for most of the ride.

And then Brentford equalised, soon followed by a late, late winner.


That bloody ruined my bicycle ride.

I caught up with events elsewhere back at base. Surrey impressed winning away at Warwickshire within three days. Dulwich lost and are now down.

One of these outcomes meant more to me than the other.

To the Sailing Club! …early evening. I was booked in for a sunset row with Wivgigs. We had seven in the boat and shared rowing and coxing duties.

This was down for being a short row due to the lack of tide. In the end we managed almost 6km and went past the Creek before turning around. It was the ideal way to calm down after the football.

That was a day.