Welcome, formerly known as 'Salford Swim Swim'. This is a Manchester blog about running and swimming and random stuff. Oh and mental health, it is good to be mentally healthy. Which we of course are not.......so if you're not too then check this out.........Moodswings

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Ever Decreasing Circles

My local leisure centre has decided to trial outdoor circuit training sessions, and the first one is tonight. It is free, so naturally I’m going. I can add the money saved to all the other savings I’ve made this week by picking up bargains.

I have no idea what circuit training is. I did once ask Nikki (who is the proper runner from work who is now also doing this half marathon. I’d say “with us” but it’s more “a long way in front of us”), but I don’t think I can have listened to her answer. I remember it’s not just running round in circles, but nothing beyond that.

I’ve read somewhere that Madonna prepares for her workouts by eating jam on toast so she gets a quick sugary burst of energy and some slower burning carbs. I’ve gone a step further and had an afternoon tea, which I’m sure does the same job, but is much nicer. Madonna obviously hasn’t thought of it – perhaps I should email her?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


12K mo fo's! That's right - I am ace. First run post glasto. In fact this is the longest I have run since I was on crutches three years ago.

And it was hot.

Now I am not going to lie, my knee locked in the last km and I was kind of waddling like a ducky but I still made it.

I went a weird arse way, here's my journey.

Past the Horse and Jockey - without stopping for a drink

Down Beech road to check out the posers sat outside the bars. I later joined them.

Down to the cemetery - I decided I wanted to find Tony Wilson's grave and pay him my respects but it was a fools plan cause I had no idea where it was. So I just said hello to my nana and grandad instead.

I took this photo by mistake whilst still running, if you look carefully you can see my little varicose vein bulging. On that note I just want to thank the NHS for advising me that the massive painful one on the back of my leg was cosmetic and that there was nothing they could do. Despite correcting my mates via laser in a private clinic whilst I had to pay £450 to get rid of my fecker via a lesser means because I couldn't afford laser and mine might come back. Yeah - thanks

NHS I am sorry. I am grateful to you really for saving my Mum's life, keeping my old dad plodding along and patching up my feet and arms when I break them due to inebriation and general stupidness, instability and through sport.

How cool is this grave, I want the same one. Oscar is the best name too, rest in peace sir.

Past the war memorial

Then I went through Chorlton up to Whalley Range and back home via Longford park.

Then I drank half a bottle of wine outside a bar on Beech Road and ruined it.

Then I might have accidentally got massively drunk again last night on backpay funds and also might have by mistake eaten two chicken burgers and two lots of chips (one whilst out and one lot off the bus) but then I ran into work in the morning to make up for it. They shouldn't put lifts in mirrors cause I nearly threw up when I saw myself. And a big thank you to UoM for the freezing shower this morning.

yum - hangover lunch. I know, I disgust myself too.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

This weeks training - Glastonbury special

Training has been intense this week. Resistance training being the key, I single handedly flooded most of Somerset in order to trudge. Trudging is a tried and tested technique, it involves dragging your pissed up legs through sticky shitty mud for 8-12 hours at a time without possibility of a seat or rest. There is of course the occasional reprieve when your welly gets completely stuck and your foot comes clean out giving your trotter a few seconds of blissful airing before you drop the fecker in the mud.

Trudging does carry risks, as this next photo will demonstrate. This is me after a particularly stressful trudge from the sacred circle at 5am. Fortunately I was pretty well anaesthetised at the time.

Obviously carbohydrates are essential when in training, this weeks culinary delights have include the following.
Chow mein is my particular favourite, I feel it the more sophisticated flavour of the pot noodle series, it is after all an international dish.

Though I have been known to dabble into the occasional beef and tomato. But that just feels filthy, there is a reason why the pot noodle is known as the 'slag of snacks' and that's solely down to beef and tomato.

Then of course there is endurance training, it is important to maintain a steady level of intoxication throughout the day and night in order to be on form for some midnight shape throwing in the silent disco later.

These two are my bitches, they carry the cans, which incidentally I also use as weights. Lifting them up and down to my lips throughout the day, I am talking about the cans now not the bitches. I wouldn't lift those two up to my lips, no sir. Though I did kiss one of them once, in 1995. I was wearing black lipstick, he an undercut. I was drunk, he was drunk and never has that night been repeated.

Then there is the hill training, here's me walking down a hill. Inevitably I had to walk up it again but don't feel to sad for me cause that tent you see has more cans in it. They also sell blue WKD - immense.

What was that I hear you say? It doesnt look steep - check this out. That wasn't even the worst bit either!

This was my least favourite hill, ask my hips what they thought of this hill and they will tell you to F.O.A.D.

This hill, i ran up this hill because I was about to piss myself (literally - I wasn't laughing). Right at the top behind those flags, that's where i ran to in a desperate bid to relieve myself before pulp did their secret gig. Secret that wasn't so secret clearly because 30,000 turned up and ruined my date with Jarvis and forced me to run up this big hill to wee.

Then I ran here (see more running) to listen to this. Now this was damn epic, on a scale of immenseness that I cannot begin to describe. I then did some more training via the medium of dance. Check this out, I was one of these people going bonkers - more calories burnt.

So as you can see, it was a productive few days. A boot camp of sorts. This time I managed not to wee on myself, end up on crutches, lose my mind or my phone - for a change.

Peace out x

p.s. Kath - in your last post you reference your jumper. That is not the worst offender in that photo, what is that hat?!?!?!?!?!? Novelty festival hats make me sick.

Monday, 27 June 2011

More Tea, Vicar?

Today's run took me along the Bolton/Bury Canal, or what's left of it. I think this may be a run I repeat, as the thing about towpaths is they are very flat.

The only problem was there were no shops at any point on the run so what's the point in that?

My latest raison d'etre is afternoon tea, which is a delightful meal which should happen every day regardless of what else is going on. I'm starting to realise that part of the thing with alcohol for me was the rituals that go along with it. Relaxation could only start when the wine made that noise that wine makes as it comes out of a bottle. Wine is aesthetically pleasing, appealing to all the senses in a way that a can of strong supermarket lager would not have been. Other drinks were for other occasions - today with all its sun, for example was a perfect G and T day.

So I seem to be trying to replace all that with other things - real coffee from my magic coffee maker in the morning (the water starts at the bottom, and then turns into coffee, by magic, in the top); afternoon tea in the, well, afternoon; the bottle of alcohol-free lager the second the kids go to bed.

And the thing about a new hobby is you need to make sure you've got all the right stuff. So I rescued some china teacups, saucers and plates from my parents' loft. And now the search for the perfect teapot is on. Stuck between a Bodum one (which would mean using real tea, and being able to stop it brewing just at the optimum point) and finding a vintage flowery china one (not Cath Kidston. I should like her stuff, but I just really, really don't). Or, more likely, both. I've already spent ages going round charity shops looking for milk jugs and sugar bowls. The fact that I take neither milk nor sugar is obviously irrelevant.

I did find this teapot. It is in the V and A Museum and is apparently based on a pig's skull. I defy anyone to look at it and not think mirkin.

Time for another recipe.

Cook some pasta. 

Put a smoked salmon fillet and some pepper strips and halved chestnut mushrooms onto the George Foreman.

When the salmon's cooked and the veg is chargrilled (burnt) drain the pasta and stir it together with some pesto and the veg. Any pesto will do, but I recommend whichever one Home Bargains is currently selling cheap.

Serve with a mug of tea. Any mug will do; it does not have to be as pretentious as this one.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Mud, Sweat and Culture

Blimey - the pressure's on to post something cos Sam's away enjoying herself at Glastonbury. Not sure I've got much to tell you at the mo, so here's a few pics to remind you that I was young, ginger and at Glastonbury myself once upon a time. 

There really isn't an excuse for that jumper, I know that.

So I bobbed down to London last weekend to see Chekhov's "Seagull" with Gabriel Hunter, Geraldine Thingymajig, not Somerville the other Ginger Geraldine, it'll come to me in the middle of the night, and Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger) at the Arcola. It was dead good and I recommend you go to see it. 

While I was there I had a spot of a jog round Regent's Park.

The place was full of proper runners, all wearing knackered shorts and faded running event T shirts. I looked like someone who was trying to look like they knew what they were doing solely by buying up Sports Direct's supply of tight lycra. Odd that.

And I have another recipe for you - it is even more exotic than the last one.

Cut up some Mozarella and a tomato. Put on a panini roll. Garnish with basil.

Stick in George Foreman grill for a bit. Push the boat out and serve with rocket and coleslaw.

And yes, it is another panini recipe. They make a change from pizza.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Glasto awaits

Yo dudes,

must sign off for a week because I am away down to Glastonbury for some mud pie fun. I didn't run this week. The knee and hip have been very whingy.

Have a nice dry week watching the highlights on the telly x x x x

photo source here

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Good Practice for Mental Health Services

1. Once you have established a rapport by asking the person’s name, ask whether they are disabled under the Equality Act.  This will not be a difficult question for them to answer. People will completely understand what you mean, and besides everybody jumps at the opportunity to get classed as being disabled.

2. All people with mental health difficulties love being asked questions. It is therefore important to do as much of this as possible. Assess them yourself, and refer them to anyone else you can think of who may also be able to assess them. It’s best if you all ask the same questions, but don’t share the answers.

3. Make accessing support into a sort of obstacle course. Approaching a mental health service in the first place was plain sailing, and people with mental health difficulties love making phonecalls, and dealing with correspondence.  It gives them a reason to get out of bed in the morning. A tried and tested approach is to ask them lots of questions when they ring you, then tell them you’ll send them a letter asking them to ring you again to make an appointment. Do this regardless of whether you have any intention of sending the letter.

4. Ensure that they need to reapply for support frequently. Make renewal applications as complex as the initial one, regardless of whether the support is the same as it has always been. 

5. Remember that the receptionist’s job is to ensure that nobody can make an appointment.

6. Discharge people on a whim. They will love restarting the whole process. This way they get the pleasure of navigating the appointment and assessment system again, which is bound to keep anybody’s spirits up. 

Many thanks to Access to Work and Bolton Primary Care Mental Health Service for their assistance in compiling this list. Moodswings have a lot to learn.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fathers Day

This week has been super busy, I have been pretty optimistic about completing all of these runs and then loads of stuff happened. Like University Open Days and swimming lessons and cute little cousins and their cute little mates staying over and then the fella's dad staying over.

So not only did I do my friday 8km run, I eat pizza and curry and then chinese take away yesterday - it was fathers day and my dad likes chinese curry a lot.

So the plan was to make up the missed 8km run today which is supposed to be my rest day because I would be missing at least another 2 runs when I go glastonbury on thursday. I'll be making them up the following week.

It's all gone to shit now because I am hurt.

It started like this, I got up yesterday with a red wine headache cause big Bob (the misters dad) had been buying me red wine at the curry the night before. I then fed the lads a full english - yes, I had one myself in anticipation of my forthcoming 12km run.

Big Bob looks like since he grew an epic white beard

If you don't know who Michael Mcdonald is then watch this, probably one of the best movie scenes ever.

Then I went to Thelwall to my mum and dads and I took my running gear cause I wanted a change of scenery. So my paps drove me to Dunham Massey which was about 5 miles away so I could run down the trans pennine path back to thelwall.

It was proper nice, check it out.

and the best bit was the old man got on his push bike and came and met me at Lymm and rode alongside me for an epic 7km. So that was rocking and the best way to spend a fathers day.

When we getting to the end of the trail my f****&%^$ ipod switched itself off so I knew I had done at least 8.5km but I dont know how long it had been off for. Then my hip started to ache and by the last 1km my knee was smarting too.

I didnt do 12km in the end, I thought I had but when I plotted it on mapmyrun it came out at 11km (see below). What a shitter.

Me and the paps and ma then had a special chinese banquet thingy and I went home leaving him to watch the golf. Last I saw he was getting very excited cause some irish man child was 15 under par.

I now CANNOT walk down stairs because of my knee, I haven't tried up stairs yet.

I dont know what to do now. Do I cancel tonights (top up) run and rest, I am also scared I cant make Tues and Weds runs now which mean I will be a whopping 5 runs behind by the time I come back from Glasto.

decisions, decisions.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Beware of balls

Now what I don't like about this sign is the responsibility placed on the pedestrian. Like if they hit you with a 'winged' golf ball then it's your fault because you didn't read the sign.

Surely the sign should be facing the golf course and say something like this...

"Be aware of pedestrians on footpath minding their own business"
"Don't aim at the humans"
"If you're a shit shot, get out of here"

Just a thought!

Anyway, I am smug cause I ran 8.5k super fast last night just like my plan told me to. Though the plan didn't also say I would be walking like a bare back horserider the next day.

I am sat at work with a hot water bottle on my hip.

Check these little guys out below, I don't know if they are swans or big ducks. Maybe they are Swucks. Anyway they had lots and lots of babies. Well cute.

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