A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Reflections and Resolutions

Posted by Alan on January 1, 2012

Goodbye 2011, hello world 2012 style. Reflecting, I am sad to see the back of 2011 – it’s been a hell of a year.


In January, I took Ruth to her first Whisky Squad where she promptly won a quarter bottle of the most expensive we’re ever likely to own (at least this decade). There was the first few miles of crazy walking – to the pub of course

February was no less frantic, with a further 30 miles walked and a failed attempt at monopolising the Boris Bike scheme.

In March the proper crazy walking was done. If nothing else it proves I am stubborn enough to make something happens when I need to as well as raising £410 for Lymphoedema Support Network. With that out of the way, the next challenge to prepare for was to Coast to Coast cycle ride (I had signed up for at a beer festival, obviously) with a training run taking in the Woolwich Free Ferry.

By April with coast to coast fast approaching I hadn’t quite grasped how hard coast to coast might be at my level of fitness, instead choosing to enjoy a beer festival in Walthamstow, spending most of the night chatting with a band called Eastroad. However I did fit in a trip to Cornwall, cycling the Camel trail (post TBC!), cycling down England’s longest continuous gradient and up to Crystal Palace. Ruth and I also snuck in a trip to Paris and using the Paris Bikes.

May saw further cycle trips, including scaring the crap out of Dave P by struggling along a circuit in the East Midlands. It didn’t help both myself and my childhood era mountain bike were lard buckets. Still, I made it and then to Southend (35 miles) the following weekend.

In early June I realised I wouldn’t have my new bike in time for coast to coast and switched to riding Ruth’s lovely drop frame girly bike. Much lighter, I made it over three quarters of the way to Brighton (58mi of 75 mi). Coast to Coast finally came and I made it all the way with around 20 metres of pushing – to let a van past! 200 miles in 5 days and very enjoyable.

With that over, July saw the fitness freak go back in his box with a lot of enjoyable time spent with friends as well as my new bike.

August brought a small return to the fitness freak as Ruth and I took to the Monsal Trail (post TBC) as part of our journey north. Luckily we weren’t affected by the riots though I had travelled past Reeves furniture shop just a few hours before the horrific TV pictures. I joined the BCS YPG’s congress for the last time, in Oxford and led some discussion on how the society should serve it’s members plus CAMRA’s annual Great British Beer Festival.

In September we went to two lovely weddings (on consecutive weekends no less) and participated in Skyride London.

October was relatively calm, with the main highlight being the Oxenhope beer festival.

November saw us hosting various friends for London trips and for the first time in years I had a naked chin, ready for Movember. £220 later and the beard returned.

December was mostly about Pigs Ear (the Hackney Beer festival) where I worked many hours, behind bars, lifting bars and many other things. (There may have been some drinking involved as well!). But it was also about leaving dos, as with the ‘change programme’ at work coming to a close many of my friends and colleagues were moving on. Finally there was Christmas, even including 6½ miles of cycling which does seem to the overriding theme of this post!


Not many, but I do like lists. Quite a lot. So here goes:

  1. Weight (the obvious one), first back the right side of 80kgs and then down to 75kgs where I will be firmly in the normal BMI range.
  2. Walthamstow – do more things in E17. There are far too many things to do on my doorstep that I’ve ignored for too long.
  3. Dry school nights (for (at least January) – to be honest probably the reason for #1 is needed. Too many leaving dos!
  4. Sarf Laandan – not to be frightened by the river or the lack of tubes and have a look at more of ‘the other side’
  5. and probably the most important one…take Ruth to the cinema. At least once.

2012 promises to be a pretty exciting year – with the Olympics happening in London as well as me ‘getting old’ (my Young Persons Railcard finally runs out in August) there’s plenty to be getting on with.

Rock on.


One Response to “Reflections and Resolutions”

  1. […] year I finished with some very simple resolutions which I have stuck to reasonably […]

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