Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Review of the Year (Running)

2008 was a bit of a mixed bag for me as far as the old running went. It started well with a good run at Lumphanan (and a new 10K PB) but then went downhill as I was hit by problems with gout, grump1, and panng2. I still managed a decent run at Balmoral, a PB at the Baker Hughes 10K, and an enjoyable run at the Ythan challenge, but I felt I couldn't get my speed up, and was a bit disappointed by my time at the Glen Clova Half Marathon. The year finished well enough with a good run at the Stonehaven 5K.
The other good thing that happened this year was that Vikki and I both joined the Stonehaven Running Club, and so met a whole new bunch of interesting (and fast) people, and started doing moonlit runs once a month.

About this time last year, I set myself some targets for the year. So how did I do:
  • partial success; new PBs at 10K and at 5K, but missed by a long way at the half marathon
  • sort of; the Ythan Challenge took me longer than an hour but it's not a straightforward 10K
  • not really close to 50mins
  • no hill races but I did do the Ythan which was something a bit different
  • complete success; I'm still having fun.
So, that just leaves targets for 2009. Basically, the same as 2008: a PB or two, some decent times, a 50min 10K, participation in some different events, and keep on smiling. Vikki and I are already signed up for some interesting events in 2009, so we'll hopefully have some stories to tell.

Sorry if this post is a bit dull and self-indulgent. If I don't post again before them, I hope you all have a great Hogmanay tomorrow and have a fantastic time on 2009.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Chasing Vikki

2008-12-28 Splash n Dash Xmas 5k
Despite some cold and wet weather, a decent sized field turned out for the Stonehaven 5k Beach Fun Run (or whatever it's called) with a lot of runners in fancy dress. I really like this event - the handicap system and the course mean you get a chance to say hello to everybody and it's generally a very friendly race which is good fun.
The handicap system is based on estimated finish times and it worked out that Vikki started 30s before me (and Santa), so I spent the whole race just trying to gradually close the gap so we would finish together - I didn't quite make it, finishing roughly 10-15s behind her. Vikki's time was recorded at 22:14, but they didn't manage to get my time recorded properly for some reason, so I didn't get an official time. The first video clip (in album, click on picture above) shows Vikki at about half way, and you can just see me at the end of the clip.

As part of the fun run, you bring a gift and randomly take a different one away. The second video clip in the album shows one of the gifts we took away; a colour change candle. It's ...erm.... interesting. We also got some leaf tea: unfortunately we don't have the necessary devices, but will try to get a hold of them because it smells great.

So, that's it for running this year, at least as far as events go. Time for a break. Until 2nd Januaury when it all kicks off again at Lumphanan. Hurrah!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Christmas 2008

Rather than do a web album, I decided to play around with Picasa's collage function. I probably shouldn't have bothered but the result can be seen in all it's glory by clicking on the image below, and give a little indication of our Christmas day. There are more photos on Vikki's facebook page, so you can see more there if you're that way inclined.
It was a good day. We were first woken at about 4am by Magnus having a wee cry, then at about 6am by the bigger boys wanting to show us what they'd got from Santa and open all their other presents. I decided to escape from the chaos for a bit by going for a 5 mile run with some other club members (followed by mince pies and mulled wine), and then we all decamped to the in-laws for more presents, food, and just a little, tiny, drop of alcohol. Magnus didn't seem to know what was going on most of the time (much like his father) but the older boys had a great time and were just a wee bit over-excited. They seemed to get an awful lot of stuff, far too much to tell you all about, but the surprise hit (as in, I'd never heard of it before and everybody liked playing it) was a game called blokus. After the kids went to bed, the "grown ups" embarked on a game of Trivial Pursuit. Punctuated as it was by tangential conversations, cheese and crackers, and the occasional pouring and consumption of various forms of alcohol, it failed miserably to reach a conclusion and we gave up and went to bed at about 1am.

I just want to add a very big thank you to Rosemary and Andy for hosting Christmas at our old house, to Uncle Andrew for his very enjoyable company, to all the running club members who helped to make it a memorable morning, and to Vikki and the boys for being a great family to spend Christmas with.

Thank You

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everybody!

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 24

Day 24. They said it couldn't be done. Well, they said it could be done, but probably not by that lazy sod shanksi. They also said it would be rubbish and no one would be interested. Well, they were wrong - on at least one of those counts.

Anyway, here's today's wonderful Lego gift. It's a good un, in my opinion so get clicking....

Thanks to everybody who has read the blog, clicked the pics, and commented. It's been fun - hopefully we'll be able to do something similar next year.
In the meantime, here's all the bits of this year's calendar, although somebody or something is missing. Blob points for anyone who can say who or what, and bonus points if you can tell me where he, she, or it is.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 23

Day 23. Almost there. And today's model is possibly the coolest yet. Click below to see what it is...

Monday, 22 December 2008

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 21

Day 21 and still posting. More surprisingly, you guys are still reading and commenting. Really,I can't thank you enough. As for today's little gift, I don't really know what it is - beer bottles maybe, or nuclear warheads? Whatever it is, the bad guys seem chuffed to see it. On the other hand, they might not be so pleased when they see that the diver bloke is back. However, is it just me or does he look a bit familiar?


Saturday, 20 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 20

It looks like the partying bad guys got some new equipment today. Some other sort of devilish ray gun perhaps? Also, an unexpected guest has appeared from somewhere. Click below to see who it is.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Uh-oh. We're in trouble.

In the last few days, Magnus has become independently mobile. He has learned to crawl, and nothing is safe - least of all Magnus himself. Looks like we're going to have to a lot of tidying, securing, attaching stair gates etc.

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 19

The party continues - but they forgot about the fireman who still had his radio, and has called in reinforcements...

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 17


Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 16

This is probably the latest of the advent series posts so far. The reason being that Vikki and I have been out at the Marine with the folks from the Stonehaven Running Club. It was good fun, the company was wonderful, the food was very nice indeed, and the beer was excellent.

Meanwhile, in Lego world, the pap have turned up...

Monday, 15 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 15

Well, looks like the diver/chef team have released the fire dude. Time to get back to base....

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Friday, 12 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 12

So, advent continues as Christmas gets closer and closer and the feeling that I should be getting more ready steadily heightens. Ah well, it's the weekend so a chance to figure out what needs to be done and do some of it.

Of course, what really needs to be done is to continue with the fantastic lego advent blob so click on the pic to see what's been added today. In case you're interested, I've been experimenting with my head torch rather than using the camera's flash so I can get different light, different shadows, and even cast everything in green or red. The kids love the head torch - even Magnus likes to have a shot.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 11

Well, it ought to have been a recipe for disaster: a three course meal with a couple of glasses of wine in the early evening, followed by a moonlit run in an icy forest. Although it wasn't the best training session ever, it was good fun - everyone who turned up had a laugh, walking, sliding, and running where possible. I think I'm going to prepare for every run with huge amounts of food and wine in the future.

In the world of Lego, I was wondering where my silly little blog would turn up in a google search for "lego advent calendar blog". The answer was nowhere but try "lego advent calendar blob" and we're number 1! woot! As I was conducting this research I came across a couple of other sites that are doing quite interesting things with Lego advent calendars. Unfortunately what they are mainly doing is making me really regret not getting my act together and missing out on the Castle advent calendar. Oh well, maybe next year will have something even better. Anyway, in today's calendar, something else has turned up - I'm not entirely sure what it is yet, but I think the "chef" has some idea what to do with it.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 10

Another late post because I've been out at the local pantomime - The Ury Players production of Ali Baba - with the Beavers. It was good fun with plenty of booing and cheering - the boys all really enjoyed it, especially as most of them were up well after their bed times.

Of course, the Lego people are in involved in a drama of their own. Click below to see who's behind bars, who has control of the radio, and who has arrived on the scene. What is going on now?

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 9

Looks like things are really hotting up...

Oliver Postgate (1925 - 2008)

Today I mostly have been wearing my Clangers t-shirt in honour of Oliver Postgate, who passed away today. I absolutely loved Noggin the Nog, Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine, and most of all The Clangers when I was growing up - it was amazing to realize later that they were all created by the same person. What's more, I'm very happy to say that The Clangers have stood the test of time. I have watched Clangers DVDs recently (yes, we own one) and, in marked contrast to The Banana Splits, it remains excellent viewing today. It's also been great to see that Lachlan and Calum have enjoyed watching it too. If you're not familiar with Postgate's work, seek it out - I think you'll enjoy it.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 8

When we last checked on the Lego people, the fireman was just about to make a call on the radio, but who was he calling, and why? We may never know, because, all of a sudden....

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 7

Another busy day in the run-up to Christmas. This afternoon, Vikki and I drove over to the Tyrebagger to get a tree - in actual fact, two trees because we got her parents one as well. Here's Vikki with the trees...

...and here's the decorated tree. Actually, there are some more decorations to go, but the boys had to go to bed and we were feeling tired.

Meanwhile, in the world of Lego, another character has arrived on the scene...

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 6

The holiday season continues apace with the Arduthie School Christmas Fair this morning. It was the usual bunch of stalls and games; the boys had a good time with the Lucky Dip, the chocolate tombola (they both won something), bowling, pinball, and a chat with Santa Claus. Lachlan managed to win a pair of earrings in a raffle he didn't even enter. Anway, enough of the real world - let's see what's going on in the world of Lego...

Friday, 5 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 5

Well, it looks like party season is on us - on my way home from work I saw a man in a paper hat, another in a santa hat, several women in short skirts and inappropriate footwear, and there even seemed to be a couple of parties getting going on the train. But you don't care about any of that do you? You're just desperate to see what's happening in the world of Lego. Well, here you go....

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 4

A bit late tonight after running and then having to pick Lachlan up after he got back from the pantomime with the cubs. Robin Hood, since you ask, and yes, it was quite good, apparently. Anyway, I'm sure you're dying to know what Lego has been spewed forth from the calendar today and what, if anything, it adds to the profile we're building up of Turkeyman, so please click away.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 3

The Lego Advent Blob is turning into a raging success with at least three different people saying it should continue. That's probably the most glowing commendation for anything I've ever posted so let's keep it going with Day 3. Click below for a new picture and see what "Turkeyman" is up to now.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 2

So, two positive comments, no negative ones. The Lego Advent Blob is a clear hit, so click below for Day 2's fabulous new picture, showing what the man is doing with his turkey leg.....

Thanks for all your support, readers.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Our So Called Advent Blob - Day 1

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, although we probably shouldn't tell it that in case it has personal image problems and gets really upset.

Anyway, it's December and time for the kids (and a number of so called adults who should really have grown out of that sort of thing) to open their advent calendars and spoil their breakfast with early morning chocolate (of course, in my day, you didn't get chocolate, just a small picture of a Christmas thing, moan, grown, yawn), or to receive a small gift. This year, Lachlan and Calum have each got a nice Thornton's chocolate calendar, and they have a Lego one to share. So that you too can share in this joy, I am going to try and blog every day (it'll never last) with a picture of the calendar which you can click on to see the exciting Lego item for the day. The first day's item can be seen by clicking the picture below.

NB Vikki thinks this is a rubbish idea. Please let us know in the comments if you like it or not, so I can decide if it's worth continuing.

I tried to set up an image map but it didn't work - not sure if that's because I got the syntax wrong or if blogger doesn't like that sort of thing but I'll play around with it and see if I can do it for tomorrow.