Live to Run, Run to Live

The story so far; when I was a kid I was pretty damn good at athletics but someone put paid to the enthusiasm, remember Mr Trudd?  he was the teacher who loved to batter the ‘less able.’ By the time I was eighteen I was travelling and diving with ‘The Master’ you’ll have to go back to the ‘So I Left Home’ series if you’re curious , but it was ‘he’ who got me back into running, albeit only to improve lung capacity. I nearly took it seriously again when I was thirty something, but as always the facilitation of life intervened so I was a part time lover runner (that was Stevie Wonder) Then again mid fifties the urge struck again and I developed a calf injury that has taken five years to sort. Now I am determined nothing is going to stop us now (that was Starship). AHH, but where is your inspiration you old fool, I hear you cry. It’s right here:

The British Athletic team and I was lucky enough to be there for the Championships two weeks ago. Plus I discovered the Masters it’s like the Olympics for old people, well 35+. So, what’s the plan you cry? Or, you’ve already clicked close and you are now reading a blog about how a one legged fireman saved a cat from a forest fire in Patagonia? Anyways, four months ago after ‘princess bride,’ found a physiotherapist who actually knew what he was doing I am kinda back 🙂 Capture

The result sheet is from the Park Run Site, it’s free to enter and a phenomenal idea. Now you statisticians out there must love this 🙂 but, basically from April to June I’ve increased my performance by 10% and knocked over 3.5minutes off my 5k time, which means I need to knock off a further 6 minutes as 17 minutes for a 5k is International level, but you know what? ‘If you can dream it you can do it,’ who said that? Oh! and don’t unfollow me this isn’t turning into Charlie’s running diary. Next week it’s hanging baskets and bird boxes 😉


Posted in Athletics, Blogging, Humour, Life, Lifestyle, Opinion, people, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

A Night in the Forest

Aha, you’re expecting a ‘Blair Witch Tale’ with deceased witches, selfies and gore? I wish I’d written that now, but, nope, sorry this is musical with a degree of nostalgia. We had a night in the forest last weekend Dalby Forest in fact, but it was with Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot and they aren’t scary in the least. Some performers are always reliable, you know that they’re going to give a hundred percent. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot are such performers. Remember the House Martins and Beautiful South?

Well he’s still around with three new albums under his belt and having retained that distinctive voice and of course that northern sense of humour it’s good old value for money.Real talent survives and keeps pushing the boundaries.

Apart from anything else it was a lovely way to spend an evening in the Dalby Forest and the view from hotel was picturesque 😀

Then on Sunday it was off to Scarborough. It’s amazing that Peasholm Park hasn’t changed since I was a kid. The island still has an Oriental Style first designed by Harry. W. Smith a council engineer way back in 1911, were not great lovers of change in Yorkshire. “If it’s naught broke, tha’s no need to mend yon” I would say they continue to reconstruct Naval Battles as the boats are still there complete with the ‘Explosives Store.’ I remember being so surprised as a kid when a man got out of one 🤪

I spent some great times here as a kid, exploring ‘The Monkey Walk’ which was basically a night walk through the island with a few lights and of course wrestling at the Spa, which wasn’t fixed in any shape or form. 😀 But one of my fondest memories was sneaking into a room shared by two teenage girls on holiday by themselves for the first time. We used to sit and chat away for ages until my parents dragged me away, well, I was only eight years old. How times have changed 😘

Posted in Blogging, Family, Humour, Life, nature, Opinion, people, Scarborough, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

So, How did Zak do?

You know what? It really didn’t matter, yup I know; me = Mr Competitive. He enjoyed the experience and at 16 years old and he was the only student of mine that was willing to enter, that’s what really counts. The SkillBuild Competition is a great way for young Construction people to come together and pit their skills against each other.

So Zak finished 4th, but if you take into account that all the other competitors were at least two years older than him and he’s only been in my class since September, he did really well and there is always next year. Pride doesn’t even come into it 😀

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Competition and Stats

I’m not sure if the two are related. I am definitely competitive and that is why I am at the Skill Build Competition in York College today. Although I’m not competing my Level 1 student Zak is.

The thing is, he’s very comfortable and laid back and I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof 🤪. I don’t think it’s supposed to be that way around 😀. It’s a great event as kids and seniors get to compete from all over the country and some of the skills are extraordinary. Zak has still got a few hours to go and then we have to wait for the judging. So watch this space 🙏.

“What about the stats,” I hear you cry? Ah, yes, I’m not particularly competitive with my stats, but it’s lovely to see them rising and today I reached 1000 followers so thank you, lovely people for following me and I love you all (a bit dramatic, but it is me 🤪)

Posted in Blogging, Carpentry, Education, Life, Opinion, people, York | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

The School Bully and Why I didn’t Run

This is a true story but the names have been changed if you recognise yourself then it’s probably you 🙂 Every school has a bully, ours was called Mr Trudd he was around forty five, we were twelve-years-old. He had a size ten plimsoll, we had our backsides. This was the 70’s so it was OK to beat us or cane us, it kept us in line 🙂


This wasn’t the problem, we were from a Bradford council estate so we spent a fair bit of time beating each other. No, the problem was his intolerance of the weak and the ‘different.’ He was our P.E teacher and my personal battle began on a sunny afternoon in the Gym. Mr Trudd loved circuit training and there appeared to be a hold up at the rope climbing exercise. I took a wander over and there was George, he was a rotund kid who obviously had some form of affliction, I mean this wasn’t overeating he was literally round. Mr Trudd was beating him with a wooden wedge because George wouldn’t climb the rope, as if he could, I mean he could hardly get out of a chair. But, he was holding up the circuit (a ‘Mr Trudd’ mortal sin). There was something about this poor little fat kid with red face, red eyes and tears streaming down his face that made Jack very angry, remember Jack 🙂

I have no idea what was in my head at the time, but I said. “I’ll climb it Sir, he’s holding up the line!” Trudd turned, George ran off and I climbed. When I got to the top I pulled myself over the beam and shouted down that I was stuck. OMG! Two hold ups in a matter of minutes. Trudds head became quite red and he began to shout.                                             “What do you mean your stuck, lad?”                                                                                                “Don’t know Sir, I’m stuck.”                                                                                                              “Un-bloody-stick yourself and get down here!”                                                                         “Can’t Sir, I’m stuck.” This continued for about five minutes until he sent his star climber to help me down. Trudd had a quandary, he couldn’t beat me as it appeared to be some sort of emergency, so he announced the emergency was over and we resumed.

Now this episode gave me ideas. It wasn’t a conscious thing it was done on impulse, but I began to wage a war of non-conformity. Mr Trudd was like the P.E teacher in ‘Kes.’ but with an evil streak. When we played cricket in the school yard I hit the ball over the wall, a crime that got you sent off, but held up the game. In circuit training the line was held up constantly due to my mishaps 🙂 I got stuck on the bar, I fell off the horse, I tripped when we ran up and down the hall bringing everyone down  behind me and on the high jump after knocking off the bar I lay motionless until Mr Trudd helped me to my feet. George had become insignificant 🙂 Then I made a fatal error, I was by far the best distance runner in the class. One day as I entered the home straight a hundred yards in front of everyone else and Trudd shouting encouragement I slowed down to cross the finish line 5th or 6th. That was too obvious; that deserved a beating 🙂 I began to think that maybe I couldn’t win so I told my Dad about his treatment of us all and he promptly wrote to the Headmaster, who showed the letter to Trudd. The next P.E lesson Trudd hauled me out in front of the class and said that I wouldn’t be doing P.E anymore until he had a letter of apology from my Dad. So that was the end of my athletic career.

But, in spite of Mr Trudd I came back eventually 🙂

Posted in 1970'S, Athletics, Education, Humour, Life, Opinion, people, Running | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Fun in Zakynthos, That’d be Greece :-)

Did I mention I was off to Greece? Well it is half term and you wouldn’t teach if it wasn’t for the holidays. The last time I went on holiday I met the girls; do you remember the lovely dancers in Cyprus, Lisa, Laura, Emily and Kizzy?

Well, so far no dancers, but as you would expect the people, the weather and the food are wonderful. The first few days were extremely quiet as the hotel had opened the day we arrived for the season. Somewhat like ‘The Shining’ except the staff weren’t dead and there was no blood running down the walls 🙂

I love the Greek philosophy, the layback style. I was sitting on my balcony when I heard the cock crow, it was 7pm 🙂 On the second day I toddle down to reception where I receive a huge smile from the young lady. “Kalimera,” she says.

“Hello,” I say. “My shower only spurts forward and last night I lost an eye.” (It was a posh shower with jets everywhere) ” Maybe it is supposed to be like that?”

She smiles again. ” Maybe it is; this is Greece anything is possible.”

There were sheep or goats (yup  charlie-countryboy should know the difference) outside my balcony, a Mini Golf outside the hotel with a Statue of Liberty? and some stairs the Health and Safety Executive would possibly frown upon.

The early mornings were fantastic with deserted streets, but there is always a cat, a scooter and a wheelie bin in Greece 🙂 and beaches.

C’mon, you know I’m not a travel blog. I just write tosh most of the time 🙂 There is always the Greek dancing which a lot of people enjoyed and there was Karaoke, now I am a music lover as you well know, so I will spare you the rant, but if I ever get to meet the person that invented Karaoke I would not be responsible for my actions grrrr.

So all in all a good break and ready for the final four weeks of term before I wave some of my students off into the world of work, haha they’ve no idea what’s in store for  them during the next fifty years.  But I can survive on the early morning memories until then 🙂

Posted in Blogging, Greece, Humour, Life, Lifestyle, Opinion, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

An Early Start in Zakynthos

The weather is just beautiful out here in Greece at the moment, I thought I would share the sunrise with you all 😎

Posted in Blogging, Greece, Life, nature, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

My Very Own Language

As a toddler I had no need for the English language. I had my very own way of expressing myself. My sisters could translate some of it by using pictures. I would say something and they would get out various  books and when I spoke they pointed to things until I nodded.


An example; I once informed them that there was,”A howashay bin da cowashay”. After pointing in several books and my tantrums (they weren’t very good at it) we took a walk around the farm until they finally understood. “There was an elephant in the cowshed”. I was the only one who could see said elephant and much had to be taken on trust. 🙂

One day an electrician came to do some work and so I assisted him, fresh meat 🙂 I chatted away to him and filled him in on all the farm gossip, probably about animals or what my imaginary friends and I had been doing and I most likely told him about the elephant in the cowshed incident. Upon leaving he posed a question to my mother.

“Nice kid, when’s he going back?”

“Back where?” asked mum

“To France, he is French isn’t he?”

“No! He’s my son.” Picking up on my mum’s tone the electrician probably decided not to pursue the conversation and left.

Let me set the scene a three year old boy on a farm all day by himself (and you thought Forest Gump was strange) Your parents are in their forties and you have two older sisters. One of them relishes pinning you to the floor and licking your face or tickling you until you pee your pants. The other one listens to Rock’n’Roll, jives with you and tells you that Elvis is really God.


Your role model is a pretend friend called Johnny (cool name) and you have a pretend girlfriend called June (birthday month). You also have a horse called Red (no idea). June is quite lovely but always being kidnapped by red indians  Native Americans who tie her to a tree. Most of your day is spent sneaking into the enemy camp and releasing June, getting nettled, tying dock leaves to your legs (eases the sting) and inventing things that don’t work. The Native Americans only speak Sioux or Crow, June and Johnny only speak via you; whereas you, at three-year-old don’t have anyone to talk to.

And they wonder why I had my own language.

Posted in Blogging, Humour, Life, Opinion, people, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Me, America and all that TV stuff.

Something I did 6 years ago, I thought it was still relevant and I kinda liked it 🙂

Charliecountryboy's Blog

I remember many years ago, 1963 to be exact, I loved America. The Lucy Show, Cheyenne, Rawhide, Flicka and Rin Tin Tin.

The Kennedy’s were politically irrelevant to a child growing up in the 60’s, but I knew something was going on. The truth is that JFK was a much more enigmatic, exciting figure than Harold Wilson.

Even the places sounded magical, Arizona, Colorado, Tucson, the Rockies and Texas. Frank Sinatra sang to me, James Stewart made me want to be good, Steve McQueen made me want to be bad and Bob Hope made me laugh.

People say things are different now but are they? Will kids today feel the same way about TV programmes, films and actors when they are old and grumpy as I do?  Will the memory of Friends mean the same to them, as the memory of The Lucy Show does to me? Is George Clooney…

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Me, Jack and Hugh (Yin and Yang?)

And you thought there was just ‘lil, ol’ me.’ It’s funny but I only became aware of these guys about 20 years ago. You see, Hugh is the nice guy, (sunny side) he was a nice kid and when we were growing up on the farm he had total control.

Then, when I was 10 years-old we moved to Bradford and having  had the s*** kicked out of us for the first three months someone else had to take control, enter Jack (shady side). He’s not evil, but he didn’t believe in forever or that everyone has a good side or that disputes can be settled calmly and without confrontation. In fact he would provoke confrontation and then fight his way out of it, because he believed that his way was the only way and if you didn’t agree then you must be an asshole.

Trust me he takes a lot of controlling and when he gets out of control we are lost and Hugh and I have been lost many times.  Hugh is in a constant struggle with Jack because he looks for the good in everyone, as a peacemaker he doesn’t believe in confrontation. Hugh falls in love and Jack will try and destroy it. Hugh got a good job and Jack would quit for some hair brained scheme. Hugh wants to be happy and settled. Jack wanted chaos, crisis and adventure, he thrives on it. Hugh enjoys a glass of wine or a beer, Jack wants the whole bottle or the whole pack and whereas Hugh likes an early night Jack never sleeps.

Then seventeen years ago something unexpected occurred  Jack fell in love with, who is now deemed as, the ‘Princess.’ Hugh thought that we were being a little too spontaneous. Hugh had chosen the three previous Mrs CCB’s and he blamed Jack for their downfall. Hugh was also suspicious, this one wasn’t really a ‘Jack’ type. She was sensible and lovely and Jack liked dangerous and provocative.

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Regardless of Hugh, the relationship blossomed in Spain for a while. Hugh constantly stated his reservations, he didn’t think Jack was good enough, so Jack buried Hugh in the sand and that’s where we left him. He eventually made his way home and now cautiously feels that Jack has settled down and he can take a rest. I feel they have both matured and seem to amble along quite well these days, but in all honesty I believe they are a little afraid of the ‘Princess’

P.S Thank you all for your best wishes for today’s Beverley 10k, but the guy who promised to transfer his place over to me (I missed the original deadline) failed to do it. Jack wanted to find him and kick the s***  out of him, but Hugh explained that there will always be other races. Hmmmmmm!!

Posted in Blogging, Freedom, Humour, Life, Lifestyle, Opinion, people, Realationships, Yin and Yang | Tagged , , , , , | 31 Comments