Determination (Is that all you need?)

This morning I attended the Peter Pan Parkrun and seem to have a problem getting sub 23 minutes for a 5K, but that’s not a lack of determination or is it? I have felt under attack recently by the sub 23 minutes they have clamoured at me, similar to the peasants with their pitchforks outside Dr Frankenstein’s castle (remember that scene)  But this morning I found a little peace because I met Jo Pavey .

Of course you may not know who she is? Jo was the first British runner and the only track athlete to compete at five Olympic Games, but in 2014 at the age of 40 years 325 days she won the European Gold medal in the 10,000 metres (worth watching here) that was eleven months after giving birth. Now that is determination. The thing is and I mean no offence, if you saw her shopping in Lidl you wouldn’t give her a second look. She is quite small and doesn’t have the physique of an Amazon Warrior, so how does she become a world contender and European Champion? – Determination – If you really want something you will never achieve it unless you are determined. How many people think it would be nice to be able to play the guitar, then, after a few weeks realise it’s quite hard and give up? Probably millions (most homes have one along with a treadmill or exercise bike that they hang damp washing on 🙂

So, thank you Jo I will achieve that sub 23 minutes; you need a dream, you need confidence, you might need a little luck, but honestly? If you are determined and let nothing stand in your way you will succeed 🙂


Posted in Athletics, Humour, Life, Opinion, Sport, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Dreeeaam, Dream, Dream (Not The Everley Brothers :-)

Who really knows what is best for you, who is your best friend? Advice is great, but isn’t it a ‘cop out?’ If you take someone’s advice and it all goes wrong then it’s not your fault is it? How many times have you heard the statement, ‘If it wasn’t for you, him or her, I could have…….?’ My students often ask me how they should do something instead of trying to figure it out for themselves, even to the extent of asking what page something is on in a text book. I ask them if they have ever heard of an index? The anticipation of failing is much worse than actually failing, trust me, I’ve failed a lot 🙂 When I was fifteen I was told I couldn’t be a motor mechanic because I didn’t have my CSE’s so they stuck me in a factory, one year later I had an apprenticeship with a local garage.

I left my hometown at eighteen and travelled to Jersey on a one way ticket, everyone told me I would be back in a week. That was forty three years ago, I guess they are still waiting. They told me I couldn’t make a living out of DJ’ing, I did, for twelve years. My neighbour told me when I was fifty five I was too old to retrain as a teacher, I’ve been teaching for six years. So be true to yourself, do what you want to do. You know yourself better than anyone else and you are your own best friend. Stick to your guns, dream your dreams and then follow them. If you fail it won’t be anyone’s fault, not even yours, if you gave it your best shot. Dream again and again because only those who dare to dream, will ever truly, live the dream 🙂

Posted in Blogging, Freedom, Life, Opinion, people, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Was It Better Back Then?

I was doing a bit of research for this book thing and I wanted a T.V. programme from April 1974. Amazingly you can view copies of the T.V. Times from years ago. I guess if your not British or you’re not ‘old’ you haven’t a clue what I am rattling on about. It was a magazine that contained ITV programmes listings, you had to buy the Radio Times if you wanted to know what was on BBC. Bear in mind we only had three channels BBC 1 and 2 and ITV. No Freeview or Netflix back then. In fact we didn’t have a video recorder never mind Blockbusters.

T.V. TimesOn further scrutiny though I realised that on Saturday alone we had The Fabulous World of Skiing, The Saturday Morning Film, The Woody Woodpecker Show and an afternoon of Sport, complete with ‘All in Wrestling’ and the old ladies who regularly rushed to the ringside to hit Mick McManus or Steve Logan (they were the ‘Baddies’) with their handbags and all before 6pm. Choice is great but now it sometimes takes me longer to find something to watch than it does to watch it 🙂

Posted in 1970'S, Blogging, Humour, Life, Opinion, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 75 Comments

Don’t Write a Novel!

‘I know you all hate me,’ he said staring at the floor ashamedly. Now I don’t know if that is a crass line or a good line. But it was the second thing that entered my head after I pressed the ‘Add Post’ button. Why hate me? Well I haven’t posted for three weeks. Is that narcissism, vanity or a joke? Anyway; don’t write a novel. I say this because I have finished the first complete draft of ‘the novel’ after about five years of messing around with it. Someone once said that writing a book is like entering a forest. With the sunlight gleaming over the canopy and the trees softly swaying in the breeze it looks like an exciting adventure. But, having entered the forest and rejected the well trodden path of others in order to create your own path; it becomes dark and foreboding, and you often lose your way. Yup, I’m right in there with no bloody machete because the Amazon wife took it for the Ivy.

So, now I’m reading – not true – I’m devouring every novel I can lay my hands on, searching for my path, studying layouts, descriptions and dialogue. Meanwhile my novel is devouring me. When I shut my eyes the characters are there, arms folded tapping their bloody feet and scowling. Waiting for direction, slowly losing faith in my ability to project them into a world of memorable fiction. So, no, if you’re considering it, dont write a book. Unless you’re a masochist like me 😉

Posted in Blogging, Life, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

More of a ‘Hate Ivy’ Post Than a Love Gardening Post :-)

I’ve never like Ivy. when I was a kid it was always covering a city that Tarzan found. It reeked of loneliness, desecration and disappointment.

It wasn’t just Tarzan; as the excitement built and all those adventurers set out for the City of Gold you just knew that when the bearers ran off into the jungle there was going to be Ivy somewhere. From Clint Walker, to Rambo and the Rock none of them ever had a good time in a jungle.

But then of course as a teenager my Death Star of an Ivy arrived in Coronation Street. Ivy Tilsley, played by Lynne Perrie. She must have been a terrific actress because I detested her.

Can you imagine my horror when we moved here eighteen months ago to be surrounded by Ivy. OMG (yes I caught a snippet of Love Island). The worst of it was on the garage wall. Luckily for me I married, as you know a princess, but also a machete wielding Amazon. No I didn’t buy her on Amazon! Oh, follow the link if you don’t know what an Amazon is 🙂


Can you see it all? I used wake up with nightmares. Imagine what could be hiding in there. You see when I was a kid they left my bedroom door open and from my bed I could see the airing cupboard and I swear there was a Sioux Indian with a tomahawk, waiting to jump out as soon as I went to sleep. Anyways back to the plot. The Amazon took her machete and cut it all back for me. She bought some bird boxes and made some hanging baskets, then ‘man take over.’ I was becoming concerned that she had forgotten which one of us is Tarzan and not being very good at ‘making fire,’ I swung down complete with the hammer drill, tape measure and loin cloth, so now we have this, everyone say awww 🙂





Posted in Blogging, DIY, Gardening, Humour, Life, Opinion, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

I Don’t Think I’m a Feminist

Well not in a literal sense and there are so many variations today I think it’s probably best left to the women as I wouldn’t want to encroach, it’s laughable in one way that women create a movement to give them independence from males within a male dominated society and men want to join in, hmmm? Yesterday there was a landmark occurrence that may have gone unnoticed? The British Athletics governing body has selected more women than men to represent us at the European Athletic Championships for the first time in history. Let me take you back fifty one years to 1967. A young woman named K.V. Switzer entered the Boston Marathon, nothing wrong with that I hear you cry. Well actually there was; you see, it was for men only, as women were considered too fragile to run a marathon, yeah? Tell that to the Kenyans and Ethiopians lol. She entered under the name K.V. Switzer so no one noticed until race day. An official then tried to oust her from the race and failed.

Boston My but how far have you come, ladies. So, I might not be a feminist, but God bless you all 🙂

Running Girls

Posted in Athletics, Freedom, History, Life, Opinion, people, Running, Sport, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Hemingway’s Birthday (More Than Just a Writer?)

I can be a bit of a sucker for ‘stars’ probably because I grew up watching the likes of Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton and Steve McQueen. Their lives off stage were as interesting as the characters they portrayed, so it’s not surprising that when it came to authors ‘Papa’ would captivate me. If you are readers and what blogger isn’t? Then I don’t need to rant about his books, you know who he is.


Go back over a hundred years to WW1 and Ernest was a young, bored volunteer ambulance driver for the Red Cross in Italy, so he offered to deliver chocolates and cigarettes to the front line. While chatting with some soldiers a mortar explosion left him with 237 shrapnel fragments in his leg, he then carried a seriously injured soldier to safety whilst under machine gun fire and was shot in the knee. The Italians awarded him the Silver Star for valour. The stone was set 🙂


He was a hard drinker and maybe that contributed to his list of misdemeanours, but during his life he managed to pull a skylight down upon his head, break his leg in a car accident and shoot himself in the legs trying to kill a shark. He was badly burned helping to fight a bushfire, he survived two plane crashes (one of which supposedly killed him) emerging with first degree burns, internal bleeding, ruptured kidney, ruptured spleen, ruptured liver, a crushed vertebra and a fractured skull. He was by no means safe from disease and he survived anthrax, malaria, pneumonia, dysentery, skin cancer, hepatitis, anemia, diabetes and high blood pressure.


In WW2 he converted his boat the ‘Pilar’ to a Nazi submarine detector and embarked upon a search and destroy mission that lasted a year. He then joined the allied forces in Europe as a war correspondent and having disregarded his non-combatant attire (in violation of the Geneva Convention Guidelines for the press), formed a small unit of  resistance fighters assumed the title of Colonel and liberated the Paris Ritz. Upon entry he greeted his old friend the barman and ordered 73 Dry Martinis 🙂 An investigation afterwards accused him of assuming the title of Colonel and storing arms in his room. To which Hemingway replied that it was a nickname given to him by the men and as for the arms he said he was just looking after them. Several friends gave character references and he was not only cleared but awarded the Bronze Star for bravery.


Ernest Hemingway was not always a gentleman, he was not always a good husband and certainly not always a good father, but most of his books came from his experiences so, like the man or not, he was a helluva writer and a helluva a man. So Happy Birthday ‘Papa.’ I, for one, will be raising a glass to you tonight. 🙂

Posted in Blogging, Books, Hemingway, History, Life, Opinion, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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 , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 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 , , , , , , , , , | 9 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 😀

Posted in Blogging, Carpentry, Education, Further Education, Life, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments