eep! – a blog

more serious than 'eek' could ever be

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September 11, 2011

Reina Sofia – newspaper front pages from 12th September 2001, originally uploaded by rob78.

I remember very clearly the events of September 11th 2011 from my point of view. I was in work and it was a pretty quiet day. A friend of mine was unemployed at the time and therefore at home sent me a text along the lines of “Oh my God, have you seen what has happened”, so the few of us in the office that day, headed to the internet and specifically which we figured would be a good news source to start with.

If you look at CNN you’ll see that much like the familiar BBC news website it contains a multitude of stories, links, features etc. On that day however, presumably overwhelmed by traffic, the whole site had been pulled and replaced with a quickly put together page of basic code, free from any stye sheet or corporate branding said:

BREAKING NEWS: America under attack, airliner strikes World Trade Center.

Below it was a photo of the burning building


That was all there was. And even that took nearly 5 minutes to load.

So, in addition to what we were getting from the various texts and phone calls, we watched and waited as the CNN site sluggishly refreshed.

It was so far away, but it didn’t make it feel any less real, or less scary. Sad times.

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Boxing WOD

We were working in pairs; each time there is an asterisk, I was resting and/or wearing the pads while the other was punching. Onwards…

Warm up:
Seated double overhead punches 1min
Seated left/right overhead punches 1min


Left/right jabs 2min
Star jumps to tyre
20 overhead tyre presses
20 30cm hurdle jumps
20 press ups
Star jumps back to start


Left/right jabs 1min
Left/right body hooks 1min
Star jumps to tyre
20 overhead tyre presses
30 30cm hurdle jumps
25 press ups
Star jumps back to start


Left/right uppercuts 1min
Left/right body hooks 1min
Left/right jabs 1min
Star jumps to tyre
20 overhead tyre presses
40 30cm hurdle jumps
40 star jumps
25 press ups
20 burpees


Sit-up to double punch 1min
Sit-up to left/right hook 1min


Warm down and try to regain breath.

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A good swap

September 7, 2011

It was probably sometime in the year 2000 that Mark and I discovered the simple joys of going for a few drinks in Belgo's in Bristol.  They had an enviable Belgian restaurant, but downstairs, in the basement, they had an even more enviable bar, which boasted close to a hundred different types of bottled beer.

Never afraid of a bit of 'drinking adventure' Mark and I, over time, whittled down the list of beers to a select few what we particularly liked and made it our job to catch up and put a few drinks away occasionally.

As we were often there on work nights, the bar was pretty quiet and one evening, Mark had with him a copy of a CD (I've since paid for and bought an original copy before you say anything) of Richard Cheese's first album 'Lounge Against the Machine' which he had made for me.  It was (and still is) a fantastic compilation of lounge covers of rock, pre-dating the mass marketed stuff that Paul Anka did a few years later.

So as we were sat in the bar, it occurred to us that we should maybe see whether the lone barman (who we were chatting to, on and off) would be interested in hearing the 'lounge stylings' of Mr Cheese.  Turns out he did.  Quite a lot.  So much so that he offered us a couple of shots on the house in exchange for the CD after it was barely five tracks in.  The thing was with Belgo's, that they had wooden racks to put shot glasses in (the first bar I'd ever seen such things) with slots for 4, 8, 12, 16 or 32 glasses, depending on how much you wanted to spend.

Wide eyed, we watched the guy pick up the 12 rack, then put it down, before picking up the 16 and filling it for us.  A damn fine trade for a CD I reckon.

The next day at work was somewhat quieter than usual…

Mark died a year ago today. 
It still feels weird knowing one of my best mates is dead.

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IMG_3038 (Custom), originally uploaded by corin3.

I missed this at Glastonbury, attached to a tree near the meeting point.

I am so gutted.

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September 4, 2011

“Life is too short not to take a 200 mile round trip to photograph a fibreglass gorilla”

(Click the picture above to visit the whole set on flickr, as well as a little bit more explanation about the whole thing)

Sixty gorillas (plus a bonus one on a ship) sited around Bristol*. Snapped the first one last Saturday for fun as we walked past. Then another. And another. Things got out of control pretty quick. This morning I drove to Birmingham** with a fellow Gorilla-hunter for a 15 minute stop to photograph the last one…

Saturday 27th August – 5 gorillas
Sunday – 1 gorilla
Monday – no gorillas
Tuesday – 26 gorillas
Wednesday – 20 gorillas (after work!)
Thursday and Friday – no gorillas
Saturday – 7 gorillas
Sunday – final 2 gorillas

And madness aside, I haven’t had so much fun out and about in Bristol in ages. Sadly the gorillas are being auctioned off soon, but I have my name down for a ceramic miniature of one of my favourites, number 42, “Lipstick on my Gorilla”.

* The term ‘Bristol’ is used pretty loosely here
** See what I mean?

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Sunday Running Club

August 31, 2011

Went out with the newly kicked off BMF Bristol monthly running club on Sunday morning. Our task was good old interval training.

Some people hate it, but I (strangely) quite like it.

We had "about a kilometre" marked out, for 5 intervals with 90s rest in between. After a gentle warm up lap we got on the case and my times were:



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Box Jump 1m27cm

August 24, 2011

Look what Omar did!
(I love the elated sounds from the onlookers too)

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BMF birthday

August 21, 2011

* self-indulgent blog entry warning *

Today marks one year since I signed up for British Military Fitness and I can't believe how quickly time has passed since this tentative post after my first session.

Since then I don't think I have blogged specifically about BMF a great deal, so at a year on, it's probably time for a round up:
  • 365 days
  • 114 sessions of BMF
Resulting in:
  • Dropping from 13 stone (82.5kg/182lb) to 11 st 3 (71kg/157lb)
  • Running two 10k races (47:14 and 46:00)
  • Reducing my body-fat from 25% to 20%
  • Including the two races above, I've ran 135km, which I certainly couldn't do a year ago
  • Moving from the beginners group, into the intermediates and finally into the top group
This doesn't really tell the whole story though, as 
  • I've made some amazing friends through BMF…
  • …which has helped my social life in Bristol no end
  • I'm feeling more confident in myself as a result of being fitter and healthier
  • I know I can still be better and improve more
If you'd have asked me a year ago how long I thought I'd stick at BMF I would have probably given a "for a long as I do" type response, as by the time I got to the first session, I had already made my mind up that I was going to do it, enjoy it and stick at it, but none the less, I am still surprised that it's a year on and I feel like I have come a long, long way in that time.

So yeah. That's what I've been up to. I bloody love it.


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Today is my BMF birthday – I've been there for a whole year.


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why I hate the gym

August 15, 2011

Tonight I did the thing I have always said I would never do: I joined a gym.

I'd always been concerned they were places full of "you'll never be as good as me" types looking down their noses at us lesser mortals. 

Firstly, the reason behind this seemingly mad decision.

I've been doing a lot of cardio for nearly the last year, mainly in the form of 110+ hours of BMF, but also supplemented with over 100km of running in between.  It has done me a huge amount of good, I am fitter, stronger and leaner than I ever have been, but I've seemingly reached a bit of a plateau whereby my strength is what is letting me down now.

So with that backdrop, I've taken on a personal trainer to sort me out with some training using free weights so that I can beef up my core strength. And obviously that means either buying a shed load of weights, and finding a shed to store them in; or joining the gym and using theirs.

Tonight was my gym induction with a couple of others, so that I am ready to go and kick arse after my first session with Andy the PT next weekend. You join us as we enter the main room:

Trainer: Ok, so we have three areas; free weights, cardio and resistance.
Us: Ok
Trainer: So here are the cardio machines – you've all used them before?
Me: Er, no.
Trainer: (looks shocked) Really?
Me: Yes.
Trainer: (hesitates) Ok then, (invites girl newbie onto treadmill) so you can hit the quick start button and then adjust the speed, or there are these other modes you can use… (gesticulates at the buttons) [Here endeth the treadmill lesson]

We move off the treadmill.

Trainer: (waves arm) Ok the bikes, cross trainer and rowing machine are all the same in terms of operation. Well the rowers are different, but don't worry about that.

We then get a quick tour of the resistance machines (which was fine in fairness) and then finally the free weights (hurrah!).

Trainer: So here are the free weights, up to 10kg on this rack, above 10kg over there, barbells there and other weights over there. Make sure you put them back when you're finished.

Me: Oh.

There you go. I've been a member of the gym for almost 15 minutes and the first person I have dealt with was definitely suffering from dodgeball syndrome. Can't wait for Andy to get my programme sorted out, so I can do my own training without having to deal with the "you'll never be as good as us" brigade.  Maybe I was expecting too much, but really, she didn't need to turn her nose up when I said I had never used any cardio machines before…

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