Get back on track

So it’s time to get back on track. Having to buy the largest waist jeans M & S sell is never a good plan, which when I did lose weight I promised I’d never put it back, but alas I failed there. Time has come to fix this.

I’ve ordered some new swimming goggles (with prescription lenses, hence the not buying on the high street). My swimming kit is already sitting under my desk as work so once they turn up we’re ready to rock and roll. I really need to start rolling as Kat suggest we do London Tri 2020, currently I’m not going to be able to get anywhere near to getting my wet suit on.

I’m also going to have a go with Huel, but in reality I’ve got the nutrition right if (and it’s a very big if) I can stop myself from snacking. Now it was competition with Kat that worked for me last time the weight came off, so hopefully I can make this work all over again.

As a Tough Mudder Brand Ambassador it would be good to be able to run more of the course, but then I do also love my volunteer shifts with Tough Mudder. I have to include any first timers wanting 30% off use BRANDUK9353 as a discount code to sign up.

Anyway the plan is as for next week to be swimming three times a week, before upping this to some none swimming exercise.

After my UK A to Z

Should I do a Europe A to Z or a tour of places from the “Meaning of Liff“?

I thinking myself I should do both as I love Europe, but it’s big and might take me a while. When I was a young teenager it was Douglas Adams who really made me rekindle my love of reading. As long as I document both; might as well do both at once….. That said still want to finish my UK A – Z first, but when shall I go to Bacon End? Maybe this Saturday when we have a one day heat wave and I like the idea of sitting in the car with air con to keep me cool. Yet hot weather tends to equal other drivers being more grumpy so maybe stay at home and shade bathe is the answer.

I’m going to promise to visit Bacon End this weekend or next!

Cramp, but we won

I went to the pub last night, and this morning woke up with a horrible left leg calf cramp. Now before anyone says I drank too much I had one pint of beer and two pints of diet coke, plus I ate pizza so I doubt it was not getting enough salt…. I’m going to blame the weather.

More importantly somehow despite our team being just three of us. We managed to win said quiz which is done in a winner takes all format!


We tried to work out when we last went to this pub, but failed to come up with a certain date, but we’re talking years ago. The quiz master has changed, and now seems to be a lady who likes science which did us a bit of a favor.

Ae (Mike’s UK A to Z)

So I’ve started my A – Z project with a trip to Ae Village. I visited Ae on Friday 14th June 2019 whilst on the way to Tough Mudder Scotland where amusingly to me one of the obstacles Arctic Enema often has it’s name shortened to A.E. Whilst speaking of Tough Mudder remember any first timers can get 30% off any UK classic or 5k event with my ambassador code of BRANDUK9353

I was also not in A & E as one of my friends suggested when I made the check-in with Facebook.

Whilst we were there we happened to find a honesty box tablet and brittle stand. This was £2 very well spent in my opinion (one bag of each)

Ae Village sign

So I’ve decided my only requirement in each place is to visit and briefly document the visit. So you get a photo and my rambling blog post about each one.

B is going to be for a Bacon based place name, but can anyone guess which one? I think a few of you already know so no you can’t play!

Note: has the list as I make it up

Playing with the TFL APIs

So I often get annoyed coming home from work that the platform indicator board at South Kensington only displays very close trains.

It turns out that the API they offer has lots of useful data, that isn’t shown on the platform displays. Surely that’s not a hard fix if they have the data…..

Anyway this now works on my phone and my PC…. Yes it’s rough and ready, but it’s for me!

Oyster / Oyster Replacement over a wider area (PAYG)

Yes the government are doing a consultation on making more pay as you go options available.

This in my opinion really needs doing, but there are two big things I want.

One monthly and annual caps (ideally with X day a week options to cover part time commuters).

Two if the technology needs replacing add longer range RFID too so they can see when I have gone through my home station in the evening. Currently having a season ticket on there means according to the rules I “should tap out” not “must tap out” if you force every to tap out you end up with a stupid queue…

I’d really like to see this working nationwide at some point, but to do that you’re going to have to have the option to put tickets on unless advance fares ever go away, which would make me sad! Then I still remember being in Rome my walk up ticket didn’t cost much at all, why can’t we just have affordable walk up fares?

The phone line is fixed

Photo showing work starting at 3, when appointment was 8 till 1

So the phone line did get fixed before 1pm, thank you sky for getting BT openreach to deal with the fault.

I am told there was a flood locally with lots of BT vans in the morning, hence guess them fixing that might be related.

What was slightly annoying was making sure I was at home for an appointment when there was no visit, but at least there were less work interruptions that way.

The local Petrol station is currently cash only so I wonder if they also lost phone lines. Then businesses tend to get better SLAs so would be surprised if they weren’t fixed before us.

The phone line is down

So I got home to the phones saying check phone line and did the whole moving furniture to check the master socket and still no phone line.

The good news is the broadband hasn’t died with it, but of course a half broken phone line makes me worry it will break some more.

Sky took about 18 minutes to answer my call to report the fault, but were quick to run a line test and then book us an engineer visit once I had escaped the queue. Will it stay broken to Wednesday which is engineer visit day?

Uh-oh… I’ve had an idea

Chatting to some friends last night I came up with an idea….. I want to visit a place in the UK for every letter of the alphabet.

For each letter I’m going to choose a place I like the sound of and make that the place I go to. My definition of go to is going to be find a sign with the place name and take a photo of that, but a sign from a vehicle window doesn’t count.

Although I really want to start soon, just because I’ve found out it exists I want to start with a place called “Ae” so looks like I need a trip to Scotland! Shortest place name in the UK….

B is decided already and will be Bacon End.

Commute with “snow”

So there’s a tiny dusting of snow on the ground and the temperature is above freezing. So far the winter timetable just means less trains, not more reliable ones in my view.

This said according to the Met Office forecast it is going to dip back down to zero degrees centigrade, and snow at the same time so maybe conductor rail icing will become an issue.

So when the train gets very squished due to the cancelling of other trains I have come down the line to the terminus at Hayes (Kent) first. This means I now have a window seat sitting facing the direction of travel.