#36 Watch - but don't join in - the competition for the Peter Pan cup

>> Monday, 28 December 2009

Every Christmas morning since 1864 some foolhardy souls have been taking the plunge into the Serpentine Lake in the middle of Hyde Park. I have had a couple of swims in the Serpentine in the middle of summer in a full westsuit so can apprecaite taking the plunge in late December is a challenge.

The race for the Peter Pan cup began sharply at 9am with approximately 60 competitor led out to the pontoon by a sole bag piper to take part in the handicap race. In order to be eligible for the swim you must have endured all of the races in the winter series. A sizeable crowd was gathered on the banks of the roughly 50 metres course to join in the fun.

Swimmers were treated to a whiskey and coke upon exciting the chilly waters as well as a long walk back to the change rooms in their swimmers with lots of rugged up onlookers...

Still trying to decide if I am silly enough to try and take part next year??
Although offically it is ticked off the list.


Running on Ice

>> Thursday, 24 December 2009

Is it daft that the only motivation I have had to run this week is so that one day I can tell the grandkids I remember when I had to run three miles through the snow just to get to work...


I heart Tesco Man

>> Wednesday, 23 December 2009

It was catastrophic news that almost meant the cancellation of Christmas. Last night Tesco man was unable to battle his way through the ice and snow to deliver our mince pies and Christmas ham. Due to the number of orders in the lead up to xmas day, Tesco man advised he was unable to reschedule our order...

The world of online grocery ordering was opened to me by a close friend a couple of years ago. At first I was reluctant. I liked wandering around the store picking out goodies. Ordering online was foreign and strange!

But then Tesco man arrived right on time as requested carrying my grocery order right into kitchen. No queues, no check out, no heavy bags & no long walk home from the store. My life changed. Simple. Easy. Tesco Man coming to visit was the highlight of the week!

In store Christmas food shopping this evening was chaos. Long queues, grumpy check out chicks and a long walk home in the cold pouring rain with heavy bags.

Please come back to me Tesco Man!


Underground Rebel Bingo

>> Saturday, 19 December 2009

In a secret location in the middle of a cold and blustery night with fresh snow on the ground people huddled at a Christmas Card Sale in Angel! Admitedly it was too late to make the Royal Mail post for Christmas and once everyone was in the doors were locked and the real reason emerged that everyone was braving the cold to partake in our secret love of underground bingo!

Bingo is a game of chance played with randomly drawn numbers which players match against numbers on their cards. The game concludes when the first person to achieve a specified pattern from the drawn numbers and shouts 'Bingo!'

In Rebel bingo the winner must rush to the stage through the packed crowd of revellers to DJ tunes to hug the host who annouces the numbers to erotic undertones to claim their prize. All claims are verified by an Amy Winehouse wannabe assistant with false claims mocked and booed from the stage.

A very funny and entertaining night out.


#? Let it snow Let it snow Let it snow

>> Wednesday, 16 December 2009

A sprinkle of snow starting falling from the sky this morning in central London. As people realised, excitement and child like glee swept through the office like a mexican wave. Adults stood glued to the windows watching the flakes tumble down over Regent Street. Unfortunately the light dusting was not enough to settle on the roads and only a few parked cars managed to collect about 1cm before the snow turned into light rain.

Unfortunately it is not on the list but experiencing snow in the capital must.
Earlier this year I managed navigate my way through the 15 odd centimetres that brought most of London grinding to a halt into Piccadilly Circus. It was amazing to be standing in one of the most hectic parts of town with nobody around watching the snow fall.

Weather forecasters are predicting more snow is on the way. I for one am dreaming of a White Christmas!


#16 Get your hands on the latest Apple gadget

>> Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Apple store in London is a Mecca to all things Mac! Today I made the short wander from our offices overlooking Regent Street to invest in an Apple gadget. Now I have always been a bit scared of Apple and Mac, ever since as a kid growing up when my family had a second hand Mac IIE with huge brown box, its luminous green screen and strange data processing noises. I had stayed away. The Apple store with its cool crowd, genius bars and lack of kiosks also meant Apple and I were not compatible.

However the noughties has been the decade of Apple - with the release of the iPod in October 2001 and the iPhone in June 2007 - Apple has conquered the world and the last few years have slowly been sucking me in. I can clearly remember sitting on the waterfront in Chicago in 2005 and watching everybody who ran past being plugged into an iPod.

So I have come to the conclusion that running and an iPod make sense. Kill the boredom be inspired to run faster and stronger! Furthermore Nike have brought out a Nike + shoe which includes a sensor and an attachment that plugs into a nano or syncs with you iPhone. The device calculates how far you have run, how many calories you have burnt and lets you upload all your information onto a tailored website that lets you track your progress. Training for the marathon this toy was simply too good not to have!!

Now I have bought one from battle the xmas crowds at the Apple store and ticked another item off the 1000 things to do list, I just wish I could get the sensor to stay in my asics shoe when running and can figure out to get rid of the connected message on girlfriend's nano when it is clearly no longer connected to the Dell computer...

I had planned on the female trainer's voice on Nike+ and I becoming good friends.
I'll keep you posted.


#217 & #224 Ice Skate Outdoors...

>> Saturday, 5 December 2009

Celebrating its tenth year in the grand 18th century courtyard at Somerset House is the outdoor ice skating rink. It is the original and probably still the best and where the outdoor skating craze in London started.

For the last decade it has been a sure-fire Christmas hit - erect an ice rink in front of an iconic building and wait for masses of people to form excited queues to be rammed onto a small square slab of ice. Admittedly we did book our session in mid September. http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/ice_rink/default.asp

There are a plethora of options around London including the Natural History Museum which I visited last year. Unfortunately Kew Gardens will not stage ice skating this Christmas because of declining ticket sales and the new proposed rink at Wembley Stadium has been put on ice.

On Thursday night a group from work wandered down to the Strand for some ice filled fun. As the Swiss Miss commented it would make a great first date!

I think I have come to the conculsion that 45 minutes a year is about my tolerance level for ice skating as a sport! Nevertheless the atmosphere, setting and mulled wine definitely puts you in the christmas spirit.


World of Pain

>> Thursday, 3 December 2009

My second run of the campaign from home to work this morning. Thighs were in a world of pain but powered through past the wallabies, emus and what sounded like a grumpy gorilla in London Zoo.

7.5km was hard work. I wonder how my legs will go ice skating tonight at Somerset House!


#493 Run the London Marathon

>> Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Run Fat Boy Run!

Maybe this obsession to complete a Thousand Things in London is starting to go a touch too far... I mean can I seriously run 44km on April 25th 2010?? My training regime started in earnest yesterday with a 5km run with Nike Town Runners around Regent's Park.

Only time will tell. Stay tuned for status updates as I train through the dark, cold and increasingly rainy London winter.



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