Christmas this year was at home – and very enjoyable. (My) Mum came over on Christmas eve and had the pleasure of watching her grand daughter open her cringigly large pile of presents. The weather wasn’t brilliant but we managed to get out for a half hour walk, too.
Listen to a great rendition of Tchaicovsky’s Nutcracker Suite performed entirely on bicycle parts.
Those clever little devils.
Another lovely homely weekend. On Saturday I went to do a (semi-fun) charity Madison Cyclocross in Manchester. The ‘Madison’ bit means that riders race in teams of two and ‘tag’ each other, taking it in turns to do a (5 or 6 minute) lap. I had a good laugh and it’s the antidote to the seriousness of the national trophy cyclocross series.Sunday was a great day for lazing about really – did a few jobs about the house and got in some Xmas shopping in the morning. Had a lovely walk to the park, and a big stew at the end of the day. Purfick.
Some people are just born to sing…. and others just enjoy it anyway.
Lily’s rendition of Jingle Bells
Listen here >> Jingle Bells
Lovely day last Saturday – always nice at this time of year to spend a day just being around at the weekend because I tend to be racing on a Sunday in the Autumn and early winter.Ã‚Â Lily, Katie and I just did a few jobs around the house, including getting the Christmas tree up and decorated.Ã‚Â It’s a drawn out festive season when you have little children, but it helps grown ups to get excited.
Follow the link to see some pics of Lily helping to get the tree up, and some snaps of her Preschool nativity play, at which Lily was angelic.Ã‚Â Almost literally.
Finally things started to come together in a National Trophy race for me this year.Ã‚Â Whilst 27th probably doesn’t sound altogether impressive, it signalled that I’ve started to shake off the demons that have delivered me to three dreadful rides in the premier UK cyclocross series.
It was a superb course – the hardest I think I’ve ridden for a few years – with slippy corners leading into rutted muddy bogs and some classic off-camber twists and turns made nigh on impossible by the thick mud.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â I was just in a much better frame of mind than i have been for most of this season’s races and i didn’t panic when I fell three times on the first chaotic lap, fighting for places in a packed, panicking string of riders.
What capped it was that Rob Jebb, my Wheelbase team mate, won ‘our’ first ever National Trophy race, on a course that was suited to the stronger riders.
Race report and photos here.
James Spitznagel enjoyed my latest experimental track ‘HB01’ so much that they remixed it!
It’s a pretty experimental bit of music to begin with but James has taken it to another level. Now it ebbs and flows, and drifts in and out like some tidal whalesong. I’m truly flattered and it whips the pants off the rushed original.
Listen to it here.
The term “travelling salesman” takes on a new meaning when you consider the tale of Peter Gilbert, a gentleman from the United States, who has just clocked up a million miles in his Saab over 17 years.
He drove the car seven days a week, racking up the miles as his work took him through rural Wisconsin.
“When I hit 600,000 miles, the car still wasn’t burning oil,” Gilbert said. “That’s when I thought it could go a million miles.”
But Wisconsin’s harsh winters took a toll on the car. Its sporty exterior still looks good, but road salt has rusted its frame. Gilbert realized it might no longer be safe if he hit another deer or had a serious accident.
“There was no point in driving the car any longer,” he said. “Even though it might have gone another million miles.”
… that Mr Kirkup told the band to play.
December 6th, 1987 could well have been one of the big defining moments for the UK music industry, but it turned out to be just the day when The Doofers, undoubtedly the biggest thing in the Sedbergh School music scene that year, travelled to the Lindens studio in Rosgill, pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
We were so green, but just full of youthful confidence, and recorded two songs (pretty much live, with singing over-dubbed after). The recording sounds very dated now, as does most stuff from 1987, but I’m just so glad we did it. What a day to remember. We were glowing when we got back witht the tape to play our friends.
More Than You Ask For (MP3, 3.3mb) was my favourite of the time because it was a bit more up my rocky street, but Happiness (MP3 2.2mb) stands the test of time as the stronger song.
Santa is a scary fellow indeed and no wonder – he’s got a big beard, you can’t see his face, he wears some very dodgy gear and on top of this, your parents tell you that he knows when you’ve been good or bad.
Click on the picture to see some classic photos of children who are clearly terrified.
Our lovely friends Andrew and Denise Have added the 6lb Kitty May Hughes to their family. After a far from ideal pregnancy, we’re just chuffed to bits at the safe arrival of this little sister for Will.
It’s not all good news though. She’s half Welsh and early signs are that she may be partially ginger. Will have to report back on that one.
According to the fantastic Baby Name Voyager, the name was fairly but not hugely popular up until the 1970s, but it’s not in the top 1,000 names now. That’s a plus really, it’s a lovely name but it’s not too obscure or frumpy.