Tag Archives: Vanity

Cycling Kit Haul

Yesterday, Joby stuck a big Aldi advert on his blog which saved me a fortune.

I’ve read a few blogs by the ladies where there are regular posts following uncontrolled shopping expeditions.  These “Haul” entries seem to exist primarily to ease the inevitable feelings of post-purchase dissonance and to garner positive reinforcement of ill-considered decisions from internet friends…

.. so I thought “Brilliant! I’m going to do one of those!“.

My Aldi Haul.

After picking up my little girl from school, I reminded myself where Aldi was (I get them and Lidl mixed up all the time) and dragged her along as my unwilling accomplice.  This is what I got:

That little lot cost me £33.00 !  How’s that for a bargain?  Not bad considering, as has been pointed out, that a new top at Evans is about £40.00.

I’m chuffed.  I suggest you get down to your nearest Aldi and see if there’s anything decent left, this instant. Tell ’em Phill sent you! 🙂

Good News Bad News

Good News and Bad News

This morning it was time to see my new GP.  I registered with a new surgery because, to be blunt, my last one was rubbish.  I’d put up with 3 years of having to ring after 10am to order prescriptions, then the phone being engaged until 12 noon.  I would spend my mornings at work, in work’s time, ringing them again and again just to order the drugs I need to manage my diabetes.

I’d had a letter to arrange a “routine appointment” with my new GP. So I did.  This morning I turned up, checked in via the fancy little touchscreen in reception and waited for less than 5 minutes before he called me in.

Good News

Up to this morning, I’d only ever been told what I was doing wrong by health professionals.  Sometimes a nodding approval of what I try to do, but usually just reminding me what I don’t do perfectly.  This morning was different though.

My HbA1C has been 7.6 the last 2 times it’s been measured.  I thought this was just about acceptable, but Dr. Parton said “That’s very good for a Type 1 diabetic”. Cool!  I think this is one of the problems with diabetes: everyone assumes that Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependant)  is as easy to manage and should have the same parameters as Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependant, usually in middle-aged or older folks).

My blood cholesterol is als pretty low.  The good Doctor asked how I was doing with the statins.  I replied “I’m not on statins”.  He then asked what other medication I was on besides my insulin.   “None”, I explained.   “So you keep the cholesterol down without statins or anything? Brilliant.” he said.  I was feeling better by the minute!

So, lots of good news.  My new Doctor is efficient, understanding, an expert on diabetes and a generally good guy.  Not just that though:  He’s also reinforced my belief that I am doing ok with my diabetes management, by just using a few encouraging and motivating words.

Bad News

Things can’t all be sunshine and roses.

A few weeks ago I took an elbow in the ribs during a Wednesday night football game.  It hurt when it was done, but over the last few weeks it’s hurt steadily more and more every time I’ve played.  On Wednesdays after footy and on Thursday mornings, it’s been creasing me.  Getting out of bed is a big job.  I’m only 40 for goodness’ sake.

Dr. Parton confirmed what I already knew.  I can’t keep my head in the sand any longer.  No more football for a few weeks, until at least 2 weeks after it stops hurting.  If I don’t rest I won’t be running in the Great Manchester 10k Run, or doing the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride this year.  Both of those are in my plans for 2010 and I’m using them to help raise money for the hospice where my Mum was so well looked after, so football will have to take a back seat until I’m properly better.

What Next?

Keeping fit is a must, so I’m going to ride the bike when I can but no bouncing around off-road for a while.  If the ribs are ok after a week or two, I’ll get back on the treadmill too and try to complete an 8 or 9-week training plan before the 10k run.  I won’t be running all the way, but I will be completing it and joining my colleagues (and anyone else who fancies joining us) in the Moon Under Water on Deansgate for a pint afterwards!

If you can join us there on May 16th, tell me I sent you!

Why Does Nobody Read My Blog?

Recently, I’ve suffered the ignominy of not receiving a single comment on a couple of my blog posts.  The first time it happened, I shamelessly canvassed friends to put it right.  I was not proud of myself, but it made me feel a little bit better.  The second time, I took a more considered approach and decided to try and find out why.

Here is what I found:

I Talk Some Crap

I love words. Words are great. But I use too many.  When ten words would do, you often see fifty or a hundred.    Must do better.  I find rambling fun (not the walking kind.  See? There I go again) but you don’t have enough time to read all my rambling and that of all the other blogs you follow.

Here’s a Wordle of my blog content. As you can see, it’s very random indeed. Maybe I need some more direction, or to split my blog up a bit…?

What Crap I Write About In The Blind Leading The Blinds

What Gets Written About

I Post At The Wrong Time

Google Analytics and Google Reader tell me the hard truth: I post most of my blog entries at about 1pm.  You read blogs between 12 noon and 1pm.  So my post is a day old if you read it.  Also, the automatic thingummydoofer that posts my new blog entry to twitter does it after your lunch hour has finished.

There’s not much I can do about this.  I get a lunch break, during which I write my posts.  By the time I’ve written them, attached and edited photos, corrected my spelling and rubbish html, etc., you’re all back at work.  I just hope you don’t mind reading them late – I need to work out how to remind you to do that at the beginning of your lunch breaks, though.

I Need Help To Get More Subscribers

From the stats I’ve got my hands on, there are 15 subscribers to this blog via Feedburner, 3 from Google Reader and 8 Google Friends.  Now that you’ve realised you’re in such a select group, rather than a crowd of Papal Mass proportions, there are probably even fewer 😉

I need better ways to get my blog in front of people, automatically (but carefully and ethically)and via the people I know.   Or failing that, just tell your friends to read my bloody blog! … please. 🙂

I downloaded the Arkayne plugin recently, with the intention of finding other blogs I could link to automatically and broaden my exposure to other blogs.  This would help me read from a wider pool of writers, but also send my links to other people.  The sad truth though, is that Arkayne doesn’t seem to have enough members who like what I like.  I’m going to stick with it though, for a while at least, to see if I get any interesting new knowledge or visitors.

Can any of you recommend plugins or tools that will be handy?


From Monday the 23rd November until Friday 18th December 2009, fourteen chaps at work have agreed to grow moustaches in aid of The Prostate Cancer Charity.  Prostate cancer is a serious issue and affects thousands of men every year.

Over the next month, we will be looking like a set of 70’s throwbacks and itching constantly in the name of fun and fundraising… So if you see us about, don’t cross the street or make 118 jokes, we’re actually being great blokes!

Our earlier efforts at Utility Masters Conference, April 2009

Our earlier (shop bought) efforts at Utility Masters Conference, April 2009

I’m aiming for a full Hulk Hogan, but we’ll see how the growth turns out before I make the final choice on style…..

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