Posts filed under ‘Week 07’

02/11/08 [49]: choc fudge cake

% swum:    
% days:    
totals: 49 days, 864 lengths, 552 lengths to go, £366.00 sponsorship

This entry really ought to be titled “feeling guilty” because today was the third day in a row that I have not swum, which is only the second time in seven weeks that I have missed more than a couple of days in succession. However, right at this moment I don’t feel guilty because I am stuffed full with chocolate fudge cake and also, I have to confess, a fairly large slice of chocolate cheesecake (yes, that’s right, I do like chocolate). At times like this there are more important things to think about than feeling guilty for not having swum…

Anyway, with seven weeks now gone and five to go I am 61% of the way through the challenge in terms of distance covered. This week has been a good week for sponsorship after I made a bit of a push at work, with my total raised to date now pushing towards the £400 mark (and not a penny of it in an Icelandic Bank either). There is more good news too (I think) – yesterday, having temporarily fixed a leaking cistern in our house I thought it would be wise to check for myself whether our new water meter is spinning continuously as the world’s water supply leaks away underneath our back yard and was delighted to find that it isn’t. There’s absolutely no background flow, so there’s no leak after all. We just need to get this verified by someone official now before we can properly relax about this.

Despite three days off, the timswim worm is still climbing nicely although I am now only a couple of days ahead of the average required schedule. A good swim tomorrow morning should get things properly back on track.

November 2, 2008 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

30/10/08 [46]: horrible song alert

% swum:    
% days:    
totals: 46 days, 864 lengths, 552 lengths to go, £333.00 sponsorship

42 lengths this morning. While I was swimming I decided that today’s entry would be based around how much quicker I am swimming now than at the start of the challenge, but on the journey home something happened which has intervened with my original plan – speed can wait until some other day.

After my water leak rant yesterday I don’t want to get a reputation for being negative, but I feel compelled by my sense of public duty to use today’s blog to issue a very serious warning. Driving back from the pool I was listening to Gordon Sparks’s Plymouth Breakfast Show on Radio Devon. This featured the first broadcast of a newly produced song, one that I strongly urge you to avoid at all costs. For some unknown reason, a local musician has teamed up with Cornish “Celebrity Chef” Rick Stein to produce a song all about Stein’s dog Chalkie. The production features a local (Cornish) brass band, the Padstow children’s choir and Rick Stein “singing” some of the verses. Now I guess that this is all quite commendable really, local children, local musicians and I assume it must be raising money for charity. Those of you of similar vintage to me (or older) will doubtless remember some other pretty naff songs that made it big in the 1970s, so this isn’t a new phenomenon. For example, one odd song that immediately comes to mind was the song about the painter R.S. Lowry with, if memory serves me correctly, “The St Winnifred’s Girls Choir” (or was that a different song?), but the thing is that that song, like some of the other odd songs of the age, was actually quite good – as evidenced by the fact that I can still remember it (own up – you can too)…. “He painted match-stalk men and match-stalk cats and dogs…”.

Anyway, sadly, Rick Stein’s song about Chalkie isn’t good – it doesn’t have memorable lyrics, the tune isn’t catchy and Rick Stein simply cannot sing. The whole experience of hearing the song is unpleasant and if the idea is to raise money for charity then the best bet will be to play it a few times and then threaten to play it more unless people donate pots of money. It’s that bad. Strangely, apparently Terry Wogan and Steve Wright have both been desperate to play it on their radio programmes but have not yet been able to get a copy (it doesn’t come out until mid-November), so it really does seem as if we could all be in for some auditory trouble in the run-up to Christmas. Put simply, Rick Stein’s “Chalkie’s Song” – absolutely horrible – avoid it at all costs if you have any care whatsoever for your personal well-being… you have been warned.

October 30, 2008 at 1:09 pm 1 comment

28/10/08 [44]: why I hate water

% swum:    
% days:    
totals: 44 days, 822 lengths, 594 lengths to go, £208.00 sponsorship

Today I have decided that I hate water. This has nothing at all to do with all the swimming I am doing – this morning I broke my session record with a 44 length stint in the pool – rather it is to do with domestic water supply. For some time now we have been thinking of having a water meter installed. Living in the south west of England we get completely ripped off for our water use (over £1000 per annum for water and sewerage charges) but talking with colleagues it became clear that we would almost certainly make significant savings if we switched to a metered supply. (As an aside, if you try to work out the amount you will pay using the water company’s guide it’s really hard to tell if it is more economical to be on a meter. I guess that this makes sense in that although they might want to be seen to be doing the right thing and be promoting water meters, if those on metered supplies actually pay less then it is not in the water company’s interest to make it too obvious that there are financial savings to be made by customers… we shall see). Anyway, this morning the water meter was fitted and we were then immediately hit by the news that we have a leak somewhere between the meter and our internal stop-cock and that because this is on our property we have to arrange for it to be found and repaired. So far nobody has given any indication of cost, but the words “you”, “are” and “insured” have been mentioned far too many times for my liking (but not in that order and with an added question mark). Actually I think we do have some insurance cover for this but it seems to em inevitable that we’ll end up having to pay the bulk of the cost and that this cost is going to be significant. That’s why I hate water – I hate it because it’s a fluid, because fluids flow and because if there is a hole in the pipe containing the fluid then the fluid flows out of the pipe – horrible, inconsiderate stuff. 😥

October 28, 2008 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

27/10/08 [43]: clocks gone back

% swum:    
% days:    
totals: 43 days, 778 lengths, 638 lengths to go, £208.00 sponsorship

British Summer Time ended yesterday and the clocks went back one hour so it was odd getting up this morning and finding that it was light again, just like at the start of the challenge. The effect was helped by it being a clear morning. Something I have noticed is that there is far more use of the American term “daylight-saving time”. When I was growing up this phrase was unheard of, but now it seems to be everywhere, I guess driven by the US-domination of the internet and computer software.

Anyway, I completed my usual 32 lengths in a fairly crowded pool and as with yesterday’s swim I was able to really pull back the water at the end of my arm stroke to good effect. I am now completing a length in under 20 strokes and 32 lengths is taking me around 30-35 minutes (including rests) rather than the 45+ minutes it took me six weeks ago.

October 27, 2008 at 11:12 am Leave a comment


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