Category Archives: Angry

Day 19 and 20

  • Total Distance – 137km

Well, I ran both days. Odd distances I can’t quite remember (almost 7km and almost 8km I think). I forgot to blog yesterday because I got attacked and rendered unconscious by some very strong cider.

The leg was sore both days (and is bloody agony at the moment), so clearly I haven’t shrugged off whatever the injury is. The pain only seems to kick in past about the 4km mark, so I might just have to accept a few more days of rather crap distances.

As I was rather disenchanted by everything and had nothing in the fridge for tea I went to get a kebab. I was proud to see that my local kebab shop has reached the final round of the national kebab championships (Outside London category) and had a congratulatory letter from the local MP on the wall. There is a strange mixture of pride and self-revulsion when your local kebab shop is in the running to be the best in the UK. I feel conflicted emotions.

I also feel sick after the kebab, and like every time I eat one swear I’ll never eat one again. This time I really mean it.

Day 7 – Week 1 done

  • Distance – 10km
  • Total Distance – 50km

Well, that’s Day 7. Hard to be all that jovial after the rather grim events in Paris today – so I’ll keep this short. Slightly longer today – a lovely 10km run through the wind and rain, along the beach, up a hill, around the town and back along the beach again. My feet are taking a beating, with bloody toenails and searing pain along the bottom, but that normally clears up in a few days. I was talking on Facebook again today about ultra marathons., I have run an ultra distance a couple of times (just over 60km) when training for an 80k (which didn’t happen due to an organisational cock up). I swore the training burden was too high and I’d never get myself back to that point again – but it’s a lingering ambition. I think to make it happen I’d need to agree to do it with someone else – that would provide the impetus to train (and the motivation on the day to finish) – but I don’t think it’s a 2015 target. Perhaps next year….

Sigh. Anyway – I’m fairly depressed with the world in general. So that’s that for now….

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What a hellish week that was. It all kicked off with a well intentioned run last Saturday (er… the last but one Saturday) where I was aiming for around 20-25km. It was hot, and from the off I didn’t feel entirely good about the endeavour. After labouring to 15km I stopped in a village about 10km from home and felt so dizzy and sick I had to compose myself for a good 10 minutes before I could move on. It was now blazingly hot and I think I had dehydrated pretty spectacularly. This is never usually an issue (I’m not a big drinker when I run), but as the week progressed I think it was fairly clear I had a lurgi of some sort (which I didn’t know at the time) so perhaps this contributed in some way….

Having no money and there not being any shops open anyway as it was midday (yay, go France!), I decided to jog/trot/walk 5km to a village I knew of that had a water fountain in its graveyard. This short hop was utter hell. It seemed to go on forever. By the time I got there and crouched in a dark corner next to a gravestone swigging water out of the communal watering can I knew I was having a bad day. The 5km back to the house was also pretty bad, even though I walked it, but at least I wasn’t thirsty. It was comfortably, by some margin, the worst running experience I’ve ever had, and I took it quite hard.

Well, after that the rest of the week was pretty terrible too. My asthma was awful, keeping me awake at night and I felt sick, weary, dizzy and generally off colour. I managed to rouse myself slightly for my running club’s six monthly VMA (Vitesse Maximum Aerobic) test. This involves running around a track, going faster and faster until you collapse – which sounds less fun than it actually is. I put in a reasonable performance, but the rest of the week was a series of laboured 5 and 10k runs I hated. My bad right leg was also playing up, which was making me extra miserable. To top it all off, on the last run of the week I realised I’d forgotten to charge the GPS which switched off mid-run – this corrupted the data sitting on the watch I hadn’t uploaded and I lost days worth of cycling and running info as I had to hard reset it after it recharged.

I tell you, on Friday of last week I was about ready to chuck the whole lot in and choose a new hobby.

Thankfully Sunday and Monday of this week have been much better. I did a perky 5k yesterday which I was expecting to be awful, but turned out to be OK, and a decent 10k tonight that felt pretty good – it was a hilly course and I didn’t get much lung or leg gyp. I also feel almost back to normal and my breathing seems to have settled down, so that’s good. Asthma really sucks. I notice one of the kids now has a cold, so I imagine I had something nasty but without the usual sneezing and coughing. So yeah, hideous week all told.

In brighter news – I finally assembled the elliptical trainer I bought the other week at the supermarket (it took hours and hours thanks to the terrible instructions). I haven’t used it in earnest yet, but it looks like a promising way of supplementing my training with a bit of lower impact endurance building. It also means I can train and work my way through the backlog of DVDs and TV shows I’ve never got round to watching. Yay!

So, not a very amusing update, but it’ll take a while for my humour glands to refill….

Clunky Cakey

Running. Another 10km. Still in eighth. Two people starting to breathe down my neck. Desperate to reach the end now.

Not much of note happened today.

I did finally book the car in to have an annoying clunk looked at. We’ve already spent about 500 euros at one garage to eliminate the clunk and after fitting new shock absorbers, exhaust lugs and tightening various bits of the car’s underside it still clunks. It’s the sort of clunk the carefree part of your brain says “oh, it’s only a clunk, I’m sure it’s nothing” and the rational part goes “THE BOTTOM OF THE CAR IS GOING TO FALL OFF AND YOU’RE GOING TO DIE”.

The clunking, to date, has been just the perfect amplitude to sit neatly between my two brain halves – noisy enough to worry about, but not noisy enough to do anything about. The impetus to visit a garage was finally there when we realised our badly adjusted headlights were not only blinding oncoming traffic but probably passing aircraft too. In fact, when I saw that ferry had crashed in Italy because the captain started steering all over the place I felt a twinge of guilt we might have had something to do with it.

I was quite proud that I managed to talk to a dungaree wearing French mechanic in detail about our car problems this morning. As a man there’s always a fear when talking to a “trade” that you’re going to come off as a bit of a tit. Most men overcompensate for this by suddenly becoming a cockney wideboy “yeah, it’s makin’ a noise, but I like stripped the accumulator off the bezelflaps, and had a poke abaaahht mate, but I don’t have the time really, too busy shaggin’ me missus and going to the dogs innit’?” but most trade people can spot this posturing a mile off. I was fortunate I didn’t have to go through this male-on-male ritual, because I kept forgetting the French words for shock absorbers and headlights and just sort of ended up pointed at things and whining “it’s not working, fix iiiit“. Since moving to France I have become slightly more mechanically minded, but I’m battling against genetics and a middle class upbringing which has left me lacking the confidence to get really stuck in on an engine or a car in general. Dad – thanks for the appreciation of modern jazz, but WHAT THE HELL DOES A ALTERNATOR DO?

Our car is awful, mind you. It’s a Korean MPV which they don’t sell in the UK. It rolls and wallows on its suspension like a birthing humpback whale. It is uncomfortable to drive, it only has 5 gears (so sounds like a drag racer when you push it to motorway speeds) and it has the fuel economy of a combine harvester. We tend to call it “The Souris” (The Mouse) because everything inside the car is so badly put together whenever the car jiggles it sounds like there’s a flock of mice having an orgy in the footwells. It’s also my fault we bought it. We’d spent ages looking for a French car, and after so many bitter, bitter disappointments I just snapped and decided to get it. Remember when your mum took you round shoe shops when you were little and her patience finally evaporated after entering the eighth shop? Remember when she’d shout “WE’RE BUYING THIS PAIR OF SHOES. I DON’T CARE IF THEY FIT OR IF YOU BLOODY LIKE THEM OR NOT”? Yeah, I’d reached that stage. Car fatigue.

After yesterday’s mini-rant about positive people I realised I’d forgot to mention their number one irritating trait.

Bringing cakes into an office to share around.



I used to ask a related question when I was interviewing people (“do you bring cakes into the office for your fellow co-workers to enjoy?“) and if anyone answered yes then things went like Hans Gruber’s death scene in Die Hard (youtube it). You should never, ever, bring cakes into an office. There’s no excuse for it. If your pessimistic co-workers wanted a cake, they’d have got a cake. Bringing a cake into an office for someone else is like a cry for help. It’s needy. It’s clingy. It’s expressing a desperate desire to be loved. It’s not spreading positivity, it spreads resentment. It says “I’ve got the salary/time to waste on buying cakes for you people, LOVE ME, LOVE ME”. It really makes me angry. When people used to bring cakes into my office I’d barge to the front then deliberately, and very slowly, lick each cake and put them back on the tray. It’s the only way to teach positive people their behaviour is unacceptable.

Thinking about it, I might have a “things I hate about positive people” paragraph every day on the blog.

Tomorrow – the evil bastards who arrange office birthday cards.

God vs. Dawkins, Optimism vs. Pessimism, Sheep vs. Elbow

You know when you’re making a new enclosure for some sheep and one of the ungrateful bastards head-butts you in the elbow when you’re kneeling down and fixing the last bit of fencing?

Well, if you don’t know how this (admittedly niche) event feels, then believe me it feels rather painful. Normally I’m pretty adept at avoiding the sheep, but I got complacent as he was the other side of a fence. A wire mesh fence doesn’t really absorb a sheep collision though – so lesson learned. Thankfully, while I also have a knackered back I don’t think it’ll stop me running, as long as I keep it bent (the arm obv.) What a January this has been. I swear to God it would be quicker to list the parts of my body that are still working 100% rather than the faulty bits. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a bad run of luck. I’m starting to think I’m developing Münchhausen Syndrome and I’m subconsciously hurting myself to get attention. So keep reading the blog, otherwise god knows what’s going to happen.

Talking of Janathon (another 10k today) I think I’m going to have to accept that 8th place may be my finishing position in the leaderboard. There are a couple of strong challengers from behind, but the leading pack is starting to draw away from me, and I’m not sure I’ve got the willpower to close them down. I think I’ve got just enough willpower to stay ahead of the people behind. So I’m exhibiting a sort of average amount of willpower overall.

What has bugged me slightly today is my lack of talent. Now I’ll clarify this slightly – I’m not saying there aren’t things I’m fairly good at, and there are plenty I’m awful at, but what really annoys me is the way I haven’t been given a prestigious talent. For example, I can just about play the guitar, but why am I not gifted at playing the guitar? I can run, but I’m not a gifted runner. Why? I’m fairly intelligent, but not especially so. WHY? It seems unfair that some people are gifted exceptional talents and I’m not. How unfair that someone genuinely gifted can wake up and go “oh, I’ll just write a sonata before breakfast” or something while I just wander about bleary eyed, scratching my crotch and trying to find a bowl for my Wheetos. It’s not fair is it?

It can’t be graft that cuts down this advantage, as I’ve met plenty of people who have worked really hard at improving a skill and are still utterly crap at whatever it is they’ve chosen to do. Some people are just born gifted. I’ll give you another example. I’m crap at maths. Not so crap that people would point and laugh at me in the street because I was trying to eat a calculator, but bad enough that anything involving algebra brings me out in a cold sweat. I can’t do it. But I toiled and toiled and managed to get a B in GSCE maths. A joke, of course. I could as much describe a quadratic equation to you now as I could go surfboarding on a cheesecake. That’s GCSEs for you. But even so I toiled and learned by rote and managed to scrape through. But there were people in that class who were “gifted” at mathematics. For whom a quadratic equation was as complicated as a performing a bowel movement. How must it feel to wander into a classroom and feel the thrill that you’re going to understand it all because you’re a smartarse? Brilliant, that’s how.

So, so unfair.

I don’t have a single natural talent like this. It’s hard not to be bitter. I’d take anything. Incredible, uncanny ability to name a cheese by smell alone? Photographic memory for telephone area codes in the Sudan? I’d take anything. But I was given NOTHING. I don’t care whether you believe in genetics or religion, I’ve been screwed over by Dawkins or God. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe every person has a prestigious talent, they just need to uncover it somehow. Maybe one day I’ll pick up a vaulting pole and find I’m Olympic standard. But I don’t buy it. I just think some people are damn lucky and I’m irritated about it.

Another thing that irritated me recently was a couple of other Janathon blogs talking about how certain people exude positive energy and others are black holes of depression and despair. There was some guff about how certain people are victims because of their lack of an optimistic world view and others are victors. Or something. I’m paraphrasing. I can’t remember. As someone not disposed to be cheery and who has a firmly pessimistic view of life I wanted to stand up for the under-appreciated negative thinkers out there.  It’s all very well thinking positive, but if you think positive you can’t help but get kicked in the teeth. Nearly every overly positive person I’ve ever met in my life has had a remarkably low threshold for getting weepy, teary and depressed.

If you go through life pushing yourself to be better and trying to bring joy to those around you, inevitably you’re going to fail. That’s because people like me exist, and when we see cheery people like you coming our way we get annoyed and mark you out as someone who needs their day ruining. As pessimists we are flexible and willing to become even more miserable just to stop the optimists spoiling our world with their rainbows, flowers and dancing unicorns. Pessimism is just common sense, because ultimately the ratio of good people to arsebags on this planet is astronomically big. A healthy defence of expecting the worst and preparing for it is the only way to proceed.

If you accept the world is fundamentally terrible and full of terrible people then it actually becomes a lot more enjoyable living in it.

I say victims of the world unite! Negative thinkers, to arms! Pessimists, take aim!

We march at dawn!

Nah, can’t be bothered.

Punching Zeus in the face, a new carpet and a plea to stop the onions

Another 10km.

Lets discuss something a little leftfield.

There’s a popular videogame series called God of War. In this series you play a character called Kratos, an antihero who exists in the world of Greek Mythology (and I’m not talking about their structured European debt repayment plan…. oh ho! political humour!). Summarising the plot – essentially a few quite bad things happen to Kratos, then some more bad things happen, then he basically murders his own wife and child by accident, then a few more bad things happen and then he goes on a murderous killing spree where he finishes off pretty much every mythical creature and greek god you can think of, usually in very creative and violent ways. There are no periods of light relief in the God of War games – Kratos is angry pretty much all the way through. He occasionally has sex in the games, but it’s normally angry sex. Considering each game lasts about 15-20 hours and there are 5 of them, that’s hell of a lot of anger and to be honest I find the games to be fatiguing and rather depressing. You might be asking how this relates to Janathon (I am as well…) but I think it illustrates the importance of tonality in life. Light and shade. What Janathon has taught me is 23 consecutive days of running isn’t all that fun. Like Kratos, I’m existing in a world where there is no light to counteract the shade. I enjoy running, but doing it every day has started to wear a bit thin. I’m not angry enough yet to punch a greek god in the face, but I’m getting there.

Still, not long to go now.

On the theme of anger, I tell you what’s got me REALLY angry today. I read the lottery win story of the latest pair of wet blankets (see above) who won 41 million quid on the euro lottery. Apart from the guy having the worst double chin I’ve ever seen on a thin person (and punching above his weight with his wife, he probably has a GREAT SENSE OF HUMOUR) it was the fact that when presented with the money their ambition stretched to buying a new carpet. I’m sorry, but stories like this make my blood boil. People who say (and read this in a thick Yorkshire accent) “Aye, we’ve won 80 million on ‘tut lottery, but I’ll be going back to me job at the bog roll factory tomorrow, and we’ll be stayin’ in our terraced ‘ouse” or similar should have the money forcibly taken off them. Then burnt in front of their eyes.

If someone asked me what I was going to do with 41 million quid and the best I could come up with was “a new carpet” I’d be ashamed of myself. ASHAMED.

What an utter, tragic, lack of imagination. Why play the lottery if the extent of your dreams ends at the purchase of a new carpet? By the time the journalists reached me I’d be sprawled on the bonnet of a Ferrari, drunk, covered in chocolate sauce, half-naked, arranging a hitman to take out the editor of the Daily Mail. A bloody carpet? Sweet jesus. My partner (she has asked me to confirm that while I use the terms girlfriend/wife/partner/other-half interchangeably she is only one person, and I’m not sleeping with half of the local village) has always been a bit in the carpet-camp, though I’m sure if we actually won 41 million quid she’d think of something better than flooring to spend it on.

Now, to be fair, Mr Chins does mention the fact he wants to buy a box at Old Trafford to watch Man U play. That sounds a bit more reasonable right? NO. This is just a dull male version of a new carpet. Utter imagination failure. Buy a box so you can watch some football? BORING. Come on. 41 million. Buy a bloody lower division football team and manage it. Start your own football team. Pay to have your own blimp hovering over Old Trafford. A BLIMP MADE OF GOLD. ANYTHING. Come on, 41 million quid and this is the best you can do? So dull. You should be able to indicate when you purchase your lottery tickets whether or not you have an imagination, and if not you should have to relinquish at least 50% of your winnings to me. Like the People’s Lottery, only the “People” means ME.

I know people deliver the “carpet” line because they feel guilty. Too guilty to admit that what they really want to do is run around to their neighbours and scream “I don’t have to live next to you bastards any more, I’m rich, rich RIIIIIICH! Wha’ha ha ha ha ha!” But it doesn’t fool anyone. It’s the sort of twee, annoying thing people think other people want to hear. Well, I don’t want to hear it. I want you to tell me when you’re buying your private jet and moving to Dubai. When you’re going into work and finally head-butting that work colleague who’s made your life a misery for 8 years. When you’re going to buy a suit made out of mermaid hair just because you bloody can.

Deep breath.

I really don’t know why it irritated me so much in this case. It might be his chin. I’m not sure. After how much those bad ears annoyed me on Sherlock the other night I think I’m developing a phobia of proportionally challenged faces.

I don’t want to keep going for another 87 paragraphs, but here’s a list of 5 more things people do that annoy me:

1) People who stop and talk in the aisle in supermarkets when the shop is really busy. An obvious one to start, but quite frankly this drives me insane, especially when the person tuts and sighs when you ask them to move. I swear the next time this happens I’m just going to plough through the roadblock like an episode of Police Camera Action.

2) People who only eat half an Easter Egg and save the rest until the next day. Or indeed the sort of person who opens a Selection Box at Christmas and only eats one bar of chocolate in it, per day, so that it lasts about a month. I classify people who do this as mentally abnormal, and if I was in a position of power anyone demonstrating this behaviour would be forced to undergo electro-shock therapy until it was rectified. If you have chocolate the only thing that should stop you from eating it is a legitimate medical condition or the fact you’re too nauseous to continue stuffing it in your mouth.

3) People who put chocolate in the fridge. Utterly wrong. If you do this you should be ashamed of yourself. As ashamed as if you’d wanted to buy a carpet after winning 41 million quid.

4) People who put onions on pizza. I know a lot of people do this, but it doesn’t make it right. Onions are fine in many things, but they shouldn’t go on pizzas. A pizza is essentially a slab to deliver as much meat and cheese into your mouth per bite as possible. Vegetables get in the way of this, onions doubly so. They also taste nasty. A hot onion lying in tomato sauce and covered with cheese is a nasty onion. You might think you like onions on your pizza, but I implore you to really think about whether you do. Once you’ve realised you don’t like onions on your pizza then stop immediately, and then try to convert your friends. Assuming exponential growth I’m hoping for an onion free pizza society by 2018.

5) People (men) who tuck their top (be it shirt or T-shirt) into their trousers in a non-work situation. I don’t care how good you think your body is, you look like a twat. No item of clothing should ever be tucked into your trousers at any time, unless you’re in a suit.

I could go on, but if you do any of the above 5 things then we’re not going to be friends. In fact, we’ll be quite the opposite. My wife-partner-girlfriend used to do three of them, but I think I’ve cured her of two, and I’m still working on the onions.

Until tomorrow!