I woke up feeling pain in my heel. It took a while to work out why it hurt. I vaguely remembered hitting it on my pedal when I slipped from the clips. I got up to make tea and realised that it really was painful. I was hobbling again. I’m getting fed up with hobbling


We headed down to the beach for a morning dip, we didn’t have much time so we decided to swim to half way and back. The swim up the beach was hampered by the wind and the waves. It made for some slow but powerful swimming. All the way up I was thinking that the return journey would be like sitting in a fast-moving armchair. It wasn’t, it seemed just as hard.


We went to pre-match president’s dinner that was held in a hall next to the football ground. The meal started with a chat from the coach telling us about his thoughts for today’s match. As I’m particularly clueless about the game it didn’t really make much sense to me. It boiled down to some players are being replaced by some other players but regardless he still thought a win was possible. This essential message was couched in a plethora of clichés. After the main course we had a speech from one of the main sponsors of the club. He had just pledged a large amount of money to the club for redevelopment so the great and good of the club were being their sycophantic best to ensure that he was looked after.


I have never seen Loved One’s team win and I was starting to feel that I may be a bad omen. I’d decided that I’d give it one more go and if they lost I would not darken the doors of the football club again. Even though we had seats in the grandstand we went to the terraces to join Geoff. The match started poorly with lots of fumbled balls and missed chances. I know this as everyone in the crowd was very quick to point out each incident. Things started to go Loved One’s team’s way by half time. The crowd was happy.


We went to the mayor’s parlour for the half team break. This featured a higher class and quantity of meat pies and pastries that were washed down with bottles of free beer. The only downside was having to listen through yet more speeches praising the major sponsor for his generous donation.


Loved One’s team started to pile on the points in the second half. They weren’t given an easy ride but the goals kept coming, much to the delight of the man with the loud voice standing at the barrier. We left the match happy. I would be coming to see them play again.


We skipped the post-match nibbles and went home. The hard day of swimming and heavy weight supporting had left us tired and emotional. The sofas took the strain as we both flopped down and promptly fell asleep.


Neither of us needed anymore to eat today so we spent the evening in front of the television drinking cups of tea and waiting for a suitable time to go to bed.




I met the rest of the group at the usual meeting place and had the usual discussion over where we would go. I suggested that we should head towards the bollards as I’ve never been up that way. It is the reverse of the route we did a few weeks ago.


Half way up the climb I was wishing that I had suggested something a lot flatter. It was a long hard struggle to the top. I was also wishing that I had a better arrangement of gears, something that wouldn’t require me having to change the big rings at the front.


There was a definite high point on the ride, after that it was all downhill. I could fly down all the slopes that I’d previously struggled up and that was a joy. It was just a shame that it was over so quickly.


Loved One needed a new phone. Her current one was running out of electricity at an alarming rate and would at some point in the near future leave her stranded and out of communication with the modern world. This situation needed rectifying. Normally, I hate shopping but today I was distracted by the big screen in the corner of the shop showing wall to wall sport. I encouraged Loved One to ask as many questions as she wanted and to take all the time in the world.


Loved One had wanted to see the film for a while now. It was ostensibly a children’s film but considering it was being shown in the early evening it was more of a dating film for girls that didn’t like car chases and explosions and for their boyfriend who probably did but on this occasion were willing to compromise. I spent the whole film trying to work out which actor was voicing the main character. I had to wait until the final credits to find out if I was right. I wasn’t.


We went to a nearby Chinese restaurant after the film. Loved One had tried unsuccessfully to ween me off sweet and sour pork. I had sweet and sour pork whilst Loved one had shredded duck with seasonal vegetable. When the duck came it had more than one vegetable, we assumed that all the rest were not in season.



Despite knowing that I would be tired I had set the alarm for early o’clock so that I could go for a ride. I was rather reluctant to get out of the bed. It would have been very easy to roll over and fall back to sleep. I’d anticipated this and laid out all my cycling clothes on the floor, the bike was waiting outside and pointing in the right direction. I’d made it as easy as possible. However, the tipping point was Loved One sleepily whispering “you’ll regret it if you don’t go” before rolling over and going back to sleep.


I got to the meeting point to find that I was the first there. As the minutes passed I started to become concerned that I would be the only one there. Gary arrived just before I started to make plans. Gary is not a slow rider so any chances of a gentle ride were dashed. In the end it was a nice ride. We both pushed each other to go a little harder that we would have done alone. As Gary commented in the café at the end: “That was a solid ride”


I’ve finally finished the sanding on the bamboo bike frame. I took great delight in putting the sandpaper and electric sander away. There are still a few lumps and bumps but I feel that they add an air of being homemade to the frame. The next part is to paint the lugs. I’d bought some bright yellow paint last week that the man in the shop assured me would cover anything. Before I started the painting, I masked off the bamboo with sticky tape and newspaper whilst listening to a story telling podcast. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Once all the wood was covered I carefully coated the lugs in the viscous yellow paint. Once done I stood back to admire my work. It would need another coat.


I attempted to prepare a simple meal of chicken Cordon bure (prepared in the shop) and salad. What I should have done was put the Chicken Cordon Blue in the oven, instead I attempted to cook them in the frying pan. The result was a rather too crispy outer in some places and and uncooked outer in others.


We were both tired so our exciting evening of eating and watching the telly didn’t last too long



Waking up this morning seemed to be more difficult than usual. This was probably due to yesterday’s cycling. I tried to convince myself that it was weakness due to the massive weight loss I’d achieved but there was no evidence to support this.


I checked my weight and was quite pleased that it had reduced by over a kilo since the last time. There were lots of reasons for this and very few of them were to do with my new diet plan


I was going to go for a run on Tuesday but that didn’t happen. I was determined to go for a short run today. I’d decided that I would abandon the run/walk regime in favour of a very slow run. I find walking whilst wearing running gear a little odd. I started slowly and the old familiar pains appeared in my achillies. I kept going knowing that it was going to be a very short run. I got home feeling reasonable and did my usual stretching routine. There was very little pain that reduced to nothing in a few minutes. I didn’t take this as a sign that I should start full on marathon training.


I weighed myself after my shower to find that the run had resulted in a four-hundred gram weight loss or the equivalent of a cup of tea. I immediately made a cup of tea to restore the situation.


After a morning of doing dull things and avoiding other dull things the desire to sleep came over me very suddenly. I laid on the sofa, closed my eyes and fast forwarded through time.


I was a little puzzled as to why I’d been asleep for absolutely no time at all. It slowly dawned on me that the clock had stopped. I was convinced that I wound it up on Tuesday but I was clearly deluded.


I prepared a very simple pasta sauce for tea this evening. It was onions, basil and garlic combined with a tin of chopped tomatoes and some tomato puree. Loved One was greeted by the aroma as she arrived home from work and instantly started salivating. We had it with penne pasta and a generous helping of parmesan cheese.


We went to a gig this evening. I wasn’t overly impressed by the support act. She played the guitar like a lead singer and that seemed to detract from her singing. In fact, the only song I really liked had a barbershop backing track. In between the songs she gave a bit of chat about where she was when she wrote the songs, I wasn’t really that interested in that and after a while it became a little tedious.


We got tickets for this concert as I misheard John as Tom. I knew a few of John’s songs but not as many as Tom’s. The performance was alright and a whole lot better that the support act. For reasons that I didn’t understand the band left the drummer on stage to do a drum solo. In my opinion no one needs to suffer a long drum solo, I’ve even met drummers who agree with this opinion. We left as the band left the stage, there might have been encores but we had had enough.


It had been a long day, all I wanted to do was go to bed when we got home. So that is exactly what I did, waking only to go to the toilet.



I could tell by the collection of people at the meeting point that today’s ride would be a little gentler than usual and this was a good thing.


We were greeted with a fantastic scene as we turned along the coast. The pink sky was being reflected to give the sea a lovely hue of pink. I wished that I had brought my camera along with me.


I got home and put some flour, water and yeast into the bread maker. I was having another attempt at a sweet loaf to make up for the disaster that I made yesterday. I then ate the rest of yesterdays loaf to ensure that it was out of the way. I felt that the amount of exercise I would be doing this morning justified two slices of mediocre sweet fruit bread.


I took Gracie the trike on our almost regular Wednesday slow ride. Today’s route took us along some cycle paths that I’d not been on before. This is why I go on these rides, to discover new places. We turned round at the airport and headed home. There was an option to stop at a café but I didn’t stop as I wasn’t sure of the way back to town.


I arrived home before lunchtime and felt hungry. This wasn’t helped by the lovely smell of fresh bread that permeated throughout the house. I tried to be strong and had a cup of tea. I was still hungry so I tried having another cup of tea and distracting myself by doing some busy work. That worked.


My distraction techniques worked so well that I didn’t have lunch until nearly two o’clock. This was probably a good thing as there wasn’t much in the house to eat.


I did the final bit of sanding on the bamboo frame this afternoon. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough. I decided that I don’t need any more dust in my life.


Loved One prepared from salmon for dinner, I had already prepared the salad. It all made for a very nice meal. I still felt a little hollow after the meal so I assumed that the six-step diet plan was working.


I needed to go to bed tonight. I was tired. I put it down to either the cycling or weakness from the lack of food. It was more likely to be the cycling.



I stood on the scales today and they told me something that I knew but didn’t want to admit to. I was far too heavy. I’d traversed a significant numerical boundary and that made it all the worse. I needed to do something about it.


I have decided to implement a diet, it has quite a simple concept at its heart: eat less. I know I eat a lot and that despite the exercise I’m not losing any weight. In my simple way I feel that this is probably due to my body storing the excess as fat. Everything I’ve read about diets (and that is far too much) all points to the simple yet difficult strategy of not eating quite so much


I’ve devised a plan, it might work:

  1. Breakfast is one meal between when I get up and about eleven o’clock, brunch is not a thing and light snacks are no longer part of my morning foraging
  2. Lunch is a light meal after midday, it shouldn’t involve chocolate but it can involve bread and salad. Lunch time ends at two in the afternoon
  3. Tea is a small something between four and six, it should be very small and can be ignored
  4. Dinner is an evening meal with one course, it should contain lots of vegetables and be eaten from a small plate
  5. Beer is a treat for Friday and Saturday nights.
  6. When in doubt drink tea, if I’m fed up with tea, drink water.


Owning to my own stupidity and trying to be too clever for my own good I managed to lose some of my diary to the digital ether. I was not happy about this. I spent a long time trying and failing to get the text back but it wasn’t going to happen.


I had a few things that I didn’t want to do today so I put them off by cleaning the floors, dusting the skirting board, polishing the wooden furniture, ironing and generally being very domestic.


I couldn’t stretch out the domesticity to cover the whole day so I had to resort to doing the Admin that I’d been avoiding. As usual it took less time that the immense amount of procrastination that had proceeded it.


I decided to have a go at making a sweet bread in the bread maker this afternoon. The result was edible but it wasn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing. This might be my first failure.


Loved One was late home from work tonight and as a consequence I was more than ready for dinner. I was determined to keep to my plan on day one and this meant waiting so that we can sit down to dinner together. I prepared a salad and we shared a rather large schnitzel between us. I tried to convince myself that it was a satisfying and filling meal. It was only one of the two, I felt a little hollow.


Neither of us were full of enthusiasm to make the most of the evening so we watched television until it was just before an acceptable time to go to bed.



We were woken by the sound of a plastic bag being pushed about under the bed. It contains some pastry things that we had left out to thaw. The cats had turned the I digital pastries into a large lump of dough that contained the odd bit of meat. We couldn’t take that to loved one’s sister this afternoon.


Owning to forgetting various item and having to return to the house twice to pick them up we arrived at the beach almost on time. None of us felt like doing anything to strenuous today so we opted for the shortest acceptable swim. I checked at the back and enjoyed the slight swell. As the swim went into felt the urge. This was worrying as there was nowhere to satisfy the urge.


I got back to the club rooms and went straight to the loo. The relief was almost instant. Then I found quite how incompatible toilet paper and a wet body is.


We went to a different cafe for breakfast and to meet some friends. The man behind the counter seemed intent on trying to break into our conversation. This was really annoying. At one point he asked if I could speak German. I’ve no idea why. When I answered in German he just gave me the look of non-comprehension. This didn’t stop him trying to break into the conversation a little later on. I made a mental note to never go there again.


We went to the football this afternoon, Loved One had bought a yearly membership so that she could follow her favourite team in relative comfort and without having to find change behind the sofa to pay for the entrance fee.


The members are treated to a half time snack; however, you have to be quick as the supporters are like a flock of locust once the meat pies are put out. Loved One knew the form and made sure that we were well placed for a mouthful of pie. I washed it down with a few free beers


I have never seen Loved One’s team win and today was no exception. I’m beginning to think that I may be a bad omen for the team.


We went to Loved One’s sister’s house for a small party. There were a few people there that I knew but conversation wasn’t easy. I hid behind piles of burnt meal and plenty of salad and listened to the conversations.


I was glad to get home, I was tired, very tired. I needed sleep. I went to bed.



We both woke early but it seemed late because the clocks had changed. It felt like we were having a lie in and that is always a good thing.


We met the others on the beach for the usual Sunday swim. I went with the group that were swimming between the jetties whilst loved one opted for the shorter swim. In contrast to Friday the sea was almost flat and that made the swimming a lot easier.I still managed to veer to the left and move slowly out into the open ocean. I was ribbed mercilessly about this on the walk back.


We dropped in on some friends on the way home to deliver chocolate. We were shown their pet stick insect. It had grown massively since the last time we had seen it. It now looked more like a dead leaf than the tiny twig it had been before.


After a flying visit to the garden centre we spent the afternoon in the garden just pottering about. All kinds of little jobs got done which will hopefully result in a wonderful display of colour in a few months’ time.


We shared a large chicken schnitzel between us for dinner tonight and had it with things that we found in the fridge. We are getting quite low on fresh produce and the things we do have are starting to show their age. They needed using now or throwing away. I dislike throwing things away,


Another long day of doing very little caught up with us so we went to bed ridiculously early.



I told loved one that I was going to make tea in my underpants. She was curious about how I intended to stir the tea and just how I would stop it running down my legs.


We had breakfast on the veranda and before we knew it lunch time had arrived. Watching the world go by from the comfort of a chair on a veranda is very time consuming.


We had to head back to the city this afternoon even though both of us felt that the countryside needed a lot more looking at. There appeared to be a squadron of people out on the roads whose only purpose was to get in our way.


We helped out at a sausage sizzle this afternoon to raise funds for the swim club. It was mid-afternoon and not many people were interested in a sausage in a slice of bread. This made helping out easy but not necessarily profitable.


We were both tired when we got home. It had been a surprisingly tiring day.


I prepared our last meal from the delivery. It was a Portuguese chicken concoction. It was quick to make and very tasty. I may have put too many chilli flakes in it.


I went round most the clocks and moved them to tomorrows time. This made it seem very early but we went to bed anyway. Sometimes an early night is inevitable.



I joined the tri club for an early morning swim between the jetties. I was the only one not wearing a wetsuit, this was not surprising. The water was pleasantly lumpy and made the swim exhilarating rather than challenging. I’d assumed that most of them would be a lot faster than me but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was closer to the front than the back.


We all met in the coffee shop afterwards for hot drinks, pastries, chocolate and a discussion on the taste of various bodies of water round the city.


We paid a flying visit to the house to pick up a freshly baked loaf and our bags before leaping into the car and heading south to visit friends


Our friends are surrounded by sheep and know them all by name. Each of their sheep has its own backstory, habits and idiosyncrasies. Sheep are very bazaar.


The morning caught up with me and I had to lie down. Getting up earlier than normal and swimming made a two-hour dent in my afternoon


We had dinner on the veranda whilst watching the sunset and the sheep endlessly mow the paddock. It was a very pleasant way to spend an evening.