No Oh Well, how to start. 2020 has been a shock…It’s the 28th of March and at this point we all know people are dying, fast and by ever increasing numbers…This virus is sneaky and very dangerous, deadly to a large number of us…The world is on lock down, every country is dealing with this in their own way…Boris Johnson is leading our country through this strange and scary time, unfortunately he has the virus now too. Let’s hope he can shake it off…Our death toll is rising quicker day by day, with the worst still to come…There’s two strains of this virus, a mild one, so they say and the harsh deadly one… It’s not an air born virus, thank god…It moves by contact and enters through our nose/eyes and mouth…We’ve taken a calmer approach to most other countries, which I personally think is the best way but only time will time… Businesses have shut down with only the NHS, frontline services ie Police, fire brigade ect…The armed forces are helping the NHS and I’m guessing the police soon too… Here’s my experience of this epidemic so far…

I don’t really listen to the radio or watch the news, well I didn’t but I do now…Don’t get me wrong I knew a virus had kicked off in China but didn’t realize how or what was happening until the week after our holiday in the lakes. Which was awesome by the way…I learned more what was happening in my local, The Cross Keys in Wansford. Which will hopefully still be able to open after things start to move again…So when I turned up to our Aspestos awareness course (armed with my bottle of full fat coke, always kept me safe when in open water) I was kind of up to date, so I thought…The instructor filled in some of the bits we didn’t know…Toilet rolls were selling out so are cleaning sanitisers and dust masks…British public was acting selfishly and this only got worse…To be honest it was embarrassing, a big proportion of people should be ashamed of themselves…Stocking up so others had nothing, mainly the elderly and further down the line NHS workers, that are working so hard…Babs is working from home and I’m still heading out to work…I work on Poultry farms, maintenance, servicing and damage repair…This is classed as essential work as it’s to help food production to keep moving… I’ll be honest and say it’s getting weird out there and I would like to be able to work from home…

So the first stage of control wasn’t clear enough for people and they acted crazy…The advise was to stay home as much as you can and only go out to shop,work and exercise. We were advised to go out and get fresh air but be thoughtful and don’t gather, keep 2 meters apart and elderly to stay home. It was mother’s Day the weekend of the 21st, Babs and I begrudgingly didn’t go to see our parents. We didn’t want to pass anything on to them. I met a friend to run around Grafham water. We kept our distance on greeting and for the whole run. Looking back now I wish we never went but we did and I was a lovely run. Most people were following the guidelines responsibly but it got difficult, man it was busy. Mainly within a mile from the carpark, the rest of the way around was fine. Looking back and after what we know, it was crazy, suicide I guess. Families walking together with their elderly parents. Having picnics with them. Even sat at the back of their cars in deck chairs, sharing food. What were they thinking? I hope they haven’t killed their parents. Time will tell. In fact the impact from that weekend is coming in the next week. Symptoms take a couple of weeks to kick in. It wasn’t only Grafham though, everywhere, people went metal for open space. Beaches, towns, parks, national parks, holiday homes. All packed…Packed!

So the roads are a lot quieter, spooky at times. People look at each with suspicion but also in a lost kind of way. At petrol stations I feel vulnerable and curious, gloves on and off, keeping 2 meters away. Everyone wants to know how each other is. Is this to see if your infected or are people generally caring? I’d like to say the later of these, as I generally ask for that reason. At work we keep our distance as much as we can. This is easy on a service as the sheds are massive. Their also sterilised and every door has a hand sanitizer. The heating is usually on to get ready for the new chicks to arrive. Usually anywhere between 28°-35°C, when the heating kicks in. Apparently the virus can not survive in temperature above 27°C for long, so that’s a bonus for us too. I’ve only been working when needed, so slightly reduced pay as I’m self-employed. I’m just happy to be able to do my bit and still bring some money in.

So the guidelines are we have to stay home unless.

We go for food shopping, as little as possible..

One daily outdoor exercise. This must be done solo or with a house member, keeping a 2 meter distance from others if you pass them.

Going to and from work if this can’t be done at home and is classed as key work.

And to pick up medication.

So they’ll be more restrictions as we go but this is where we’re at now. I’ve been running with Jackson before work, then Babs walks him later. On the days we’re both home, we all run together. I’ve been in the garden so the boy gets to run around there all afternoon. We’re all starting to miss company of friends and family already. This is gonna be a long summer.

31st of March

I’m feeling the heavy cloud of my depression, my anxiety levels seem high today. My heart is pounding while I write, my mind is frantic. I’m feeling like many others must be…Lost…Worried about the unknown… Worried about friends and family… Worried about the future… I feel helpless and vulnerable… Also I’m tired…

I’m classed as a key worker as I mentioned but starting to feel the pressure of this. With constant staring from people and looks of false assumptions. All praise and admiration goes to the NHS and emergancy services, which it definitely should, not only now but always. Food stores, lorry drivers, delivery drivers and the volunteers but no mention of the maintenance people. Without the maintenance of these buildings, the food would not come. I don’t want praise but it would be nice to be acknowledged, as I’d rather be at home now and claiming 80% of my wages. Same as many others I’m guessing. Shop keepers don’t get trained to deal with the mental stress of being on the front line either or the impact of people acting irrationality with them. On a positive note though, taking time to write my thoughts down has calmed my anxiety and my thoughts are now getting clearer…. I’m concerned about Babs as her anxiety is showing and I’m trying my best to do as much as possible. I need to be strong and calm for her…..

While writing I got this alert pop up. A reminder photo of this day 2 years ago…

Different times, free to roam and without a care in the world. These times will come back, we have to believe that.

Update… The black dog towered over me today, I wasn’t in a great mindset when writing earlier. I see a message on Facebook and a friend put a nice message about mental health. He said that he was there if anybody was struggling in this crazy time… Well I was, I was in control but was having a lot of negative thoughts. I can usually shake it off myself but can take anywhere from a couple of days to weeks. I took a chance and messaged him, just to let him know I was struggling. Nothing to worry about I say but just wanted to tell someone. Even before he replied, which he did a bit after, I felt better. Just knowing that he knew and thinking what he’d say, snapped me out of it. Took a little while and a cup of tea but I’m definitely thinking with a clearer, less fuzzy mind now. Thanks Tony your an absolute legend mate.

My mum’s birthday tomorrow, would love to have a cup of tea with her but that’ll have to wait X x.

3rd of April 2020.

19:17 and I’m sat in our garden with JB, drinking some of the red stuff while both watching two pigeons play around, mating I’d guess.

Doesn’t get more relaxing than this, after another calm but kind of crazy day at work. Roads are quieter, people are acting strange in their own version of social distancing, not speaking or acknowledging, wearing strange face coverings, hiding behind things and some like me trying to act as normal as possible.

I had the whole chicken farm to myself today. Nice but also a bit spooky. Grabbed essential bits from the small Sainsbury’s in Woodhall Spa. Yeah I know I said I’m not using supermarkets but needs must. Plus it had the smallest que in the village. One in, one out and tape on the ground to que at 2 meters apart. Everyone was mindful inside and if I’m honest I like it. I hate busy shops and ignorant people, so this works great for me.

Friday is fish and chips night in our village. You put in your order earlier in the day, then get your allocated time to fetch it from the mobile chippy. Babs fetched it and said they managed it brilliantly and everyone followed the procedure. So after eating them ( bloody good) I’m sat here writing this, listening to all the different birds ( not just the pigeons ) settling down for the night. These moments are precious and all around us. Normally we’re too busy to take them in…

I guess a monk somewhere once said ” a glass too full will spill on the move ” let that sink in.

18th April 2020

I’ve been gagging to update for few days now but believe it or not, I’ve been too busy… Had two 14 hour days Wednesday and Thursday, this includes the return trip both days of 330+ miles to Ingleton and back. This is one of the farms we look after in the Yorkshire Dale’s. If you look closely you can see two of the famous three peaks Ingleborough and Whernside from the farm.

Also you can see how beautiful the weather is and was both days. Torture! Complete and utter torture, it couldn’t be anymore perfect for running in this beautiful place… I actually took my kit the second day but bottled going for a run, didn’t want to get told off. Plus I was knackered… On a plus side the A1 was amazing, so quite and the journey went so easy…

On Wednesday I came home to this 😎

I know I know, I can’t use it at the moment with the water sports restrictions but it’ll be there after this. Spotted it on Groupon, absolute bargain at £209 all in 👊Boom! I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to get it for a while but well done to us Key workers hey?

So it was announced that the measures we’re following will go on for at least another 3 weeks. This is a good call, I’m liking the fact the exercise is allowed and adviced. A lot of people are taking advantage of this, families, people who always keep fit, some that used to be fit and people that haven’t ever exercised. So definitely a good thing for the health of the nation. As you can see I’m still working and it’s still weird. Totally got blanked in a co-op in Yorkshire, outsiders aren’t welcome. Oh unless your NHS 👏. So every Thurs at 8pm people all over the country have been applauding the NHS. Our street always has a good response and what I read on Facebook, so do streets everywhere else. Let’s hope that the NHS still gets the respect, appreciation and people not using it when not needed, once this is over.

So the problem I come to realise is that I’ve planned all these jobs to do while in lockdown. Or mainly if I have to stop working, to keep me busy and sane. I’m trying to do them while still working 😳 I’m knackered ha ha. Although it’s good to keep busy I’ve been overstretching slightly. I have eased off now, so back on track. I’ve still been aiming to keep my 30-40 miles a week up too, just incase my ultra in June goes ahead. I don’t think it will but it’s keeping me focused and on it 👌.

So how am I doing? I hear you ask, well… I’m ok myself, still worried about Babs but I’ve got my eye on her. I’ve had a few ups and downs but no more than usual. I’ve actually realised I’m a fairly antisocial social butterfly… What I mean is I enjoy the banter and being around friend’s but most of the time I’m happy in my own company… I don’t like being around people I don’t know and I hate crowds. So the social distancing thing is great on the strangers bit… Hopefully people will respect the space of others when this is over.

I’ve also been shown through this once again that I know some great and caring people too, I’m very lucky. Various people checking in on me through message and phonecall. You know who you are and I thank you. I had a nice message from a friend about a running group she started with work colleagues. To keep in touch while their furloughed, nice pics of runs and upbeat comments and motivational quotes. Some she uses from my blogs which she says helped inspire her. This never gets boring for me and it’s not because I think I’m great or special. I just feel proud that by just writing what I think and do and by being totally honest, has brought so many people to running and mindfulness. I’ve not added her name but this was my reply, I don’t know why but when I wrote it I thought I’d add it in.

Hi … thanks for this message. It warms my heart knowing my random and constant thoughts has helped inspire you and others so much. Your group sounds great and exactly what running should be about. I’m actually still working but only when needed, so 3-5 days a week. I’m off today and about to walk the boy. I walk him in trainers which gives me the option to add a run in too. I can go with feel then and what kind of mood he’s in too. The strange thing about my blog is that….It inspires me too. Is that weird? Also every message and comment I’ve received still blows my mind. I think this epidemic has a similar effect on how we think and act. Mindful running gives us time to reflect and enjoy the things we have and not the things we want.

So here’s the magic, are you ready…

So my inspiration inspired to send me a message and that message inspired me… I had the need to go out and walk/run the boy barefoot. An hour or so of walking barefoot around the woods and by the river, totally relaxing, completely bonkers, very connecting and mindfully cleansing…

Monday the 20th of April

I’m a fucking Timebomb! Went to bed angry and woke up even angrier this morning. I feel ready to do damage!!!

Fed up with people, ignorant, judgemental, boring, lazy, self absorbed, uneducated on life people!!!

21st of April…

Today started like most others. Woke aching, thinking run or walk. A walk this morning, I felt pretty knackered and wanted to ride later. Another beautiful morning with the boy ( Babs has gone running ) a lovely crisp clear morning. Birds chirping and sun was gleaming… Today feels good.

Decided to jog a bit and the boy was in a playful mood which made it fun. Nice and steady as had my work clothes on and a big jacket. Walk a bit and jog a bit, taking it all in. Put him on the lead and jogged through Yarwell. We pass Babs going the opposite way, as we head back home on the little path along the road. Then a car slowed and I hear a familiar voice, I turn and see Gasman. Now the weird thing is I haven’t seen any mates for weeks, so felt a bit dazed and caught me by suprise. It was very uplifting and we spoke while he drove and I jogged with JB by my side. It made me realise how we sometimes take people and friendship for granted and I’ll definitely be grabbing time with friends with both hands

25th of April.

So after working a 6 day week and spending the rest of today in the garden, I can safely say I’ve adjusted into this new way of life. Like I said before it’s not too dissimilar to normal for me. I do feel mentally adjusted and coping good.

A few things I want to mention today. First an old friend of mine Callum Johnson, has been doing some crazy challenges every Wednesday. It’s to raise money for the NHS. Ryan Richardson started it and Callum and a few other sporting stars and us normal folk have been joining in…

He did a Swift 100 mile ride with loads of people joining in. A one hour burpee challenge, Nutter! A 5km tractor tyre flipping thing, again, Nutter! Next week he’s doing 20 minutes battle ropes
56 mile wattbike and 13 and a half mile straight rowing machine. So here’s a link to sponsor if you haven’t already done.

Yesterday evening I did the 21 press-ups he challenged me to do. Did it with the pick nick table on my back, don’t ask… Then donated a fiver. The total is well over £20,000 now, amazing achievement Ryan…

I’ve also started a little game with a few like minded cycling mates, I’ve called it Chase the Beagle. It’s a bit of fun but we’re all slightly competitive, so will see what happens ha ha.

2nd of May

My old mate Lee drew this pic for me. I’ll be honest it brought me to tears, in a good way, slightly overwhelmed I think. Plus some how all the emotions that was hidden deep down from that day, just came out. I ran over 100 miles in a day!!!

18th of May

It’s been a few weeks since my last update. After a few changes on the leaderboard, I’m on top and king of the Chase the Beagle. Gasman took a big lead which was hard to beat, Deano had a good go too. I had to get up before 5am for a clear run though 😉.

I’m used to the new norm now, time is flying by. Seeing posts of people doing long walks, long bike rides, social distancing meeting with friends and also the struggles of self schooling, self insulation, people loosing friends and family. For me life has just gone on, I’m still working (not totally full time) busy on the house, busy keeping fit, walking the boy, keeping Babs happy. I feel like I have less time than before but in the same sense, more time doing things.

So last Friday was VE day… I had my first proper meet up with friends, yes friends. Not all at once but slightly naughty I guess.

First I rode my bike over to Polebrooke to drop something off to Stefan. Admiring the decorations people had set up and watched them set tables up for there street distancing party. I got to Stefan’s about ten to eleven, he and Lorna were just heading out for a ride, after the 2 minute silence at 11am that is. So a nice little catch up and I left to ride to Aston, this is my second meet up place. Pilch and Vincenza was there waiting on the grass, I dinged my bell and sat on the grass near them. We sat in silence for the 2 minutes, then chatted in the beaming sunlight. Was so nice to see them, it’s been way too long. Could have sat chatting for hours but we head to go, we got up and left. I did cycle with them to Barnwell were we said our goodbyes, promising to meet again soon. I was gonna head straight home, then I turned left to pass Rich and Emma’s. Emma was out front putting bunting up and Rich was out back. Ended up spending an hour chatting with a beer. What a fantastic day, proved how relevant seeing people and in person is so important.

So on Sunday Boris announced a slight ease up on the lockdown.

– unlimited time and amount of exercise, plus traveling to do it excepted.

– time to get back to work if you can do so inside the gov regulations.

To be honest I can’t remember the rest as these two affect me the most. Buzzing as no more suspicious looks when driving to work…

Oh yeah talking about Buzzing, I saved a Buzzard…

That’s a story I like to tell in person, one of the great experiences of my life.

Also Wednesday after work I finally got to test my inflatable SUP out on the river. Was great to see people out swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and just chilling by and on the water. All done safely and respectfully of others. People were chatty too which generally awesome. Once I got moving though I was with nature.

30th of May

Feeling low today, agitated, unsettled, lost and fed up… I’m missing social interaction now, mainly with friends. I’ve had a few close encounters which has actually made it worse. Seeing mates has made me realise how much I’ve missed them. I’ve been so busy with work and house renovations, that I’ve kept my head low and got on…

So first I’ve been riding with friends on Swift ( a virtual cycling/running app, more like a game I suppose ). We can virtually ride together and using the Discord app we can all chat too. It’s actually been good fun, a bit trying at times but I think I’ve finally got things set up sweet now.

Second… Big Phil came over to see us, this was brilliant. Didn’t really have a plan or know how it’d go, we the distance thing. Was great to see him although a bit weird having no contact. It’s a bit like a game of tiggy but everyone is potentially it and also trying not to be tigged. We had a nice catch up in the back garden then we went for a ride. Phil on his Ebike and me on my cyclo-cross, bare in mind I’d done a 4 hour Swift ride with some of the Gorillas before this 😳. I showed him around my Chase the Beagle segment. It was nice to ride it kind of leisurely and take it all in. It’s a great route even if I do say so myself. We got back and Babs made us a lovely roasted vegetables tea, swilled down with a nice cold beer.

Thirdly… The following day was the third day of the annual TOTE ride. A 3 day brutal 100+ miles a day tour of the east 😎. This year was different. I missed the Saturday game and did some of the Sunday Swift ride. Monday was a self navigating ride taking in all of the hill climbs the Gasman said to be included. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do them all as Kyron was at ours plastering. This was great as the sun was out and I love hills. Also it was always inevitable that I’d meet one of the others at some point. Which I did in this order.

Tom at the top of Rockingham hill.

Jason at the top Cottingham hill plus then came Shad and Dunc, followed by Jeff. A bit of a gathering so only a short catch up.

Gasman up Neville Holt, then Graham and his daughter passed us.

Jeff again at the t-junction near Stockerston.

Martin J on the road back to Kings Cliffe.

Was great to see everyone and have a nice catch up with them.

Fourth… I got to run up Whernside 🏃. I know it’s not a meeting with friends thing but was a bit of normality. Back in the hills. Was working near Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dale’s. So went for a run after work. Pulled into a parking spot near the Ribblehead viaduct.

It felt so good to feel my heart pounding and legs throbbing, as I pushed hard along the 4 mile climb to the top. Had it all to myself apart from a couple at the top, I could only hear them. Just look at this…

Stunning 😍

The only thing that ruined it was the plain ignorance of some pillock who decided he didn’t want his cheap walking shoes anymore. Just left them on the glass along with a poo bag (full) near them. Pissed me right off this did.


I did pick them up and take them to a bin…

So why do I feel so low? I don’t know, tired maybe. Maybe having my adrenaline fix, smashing it down Whernside has made me need more, I don’t know. All I do know is, I’ve bought a load of ale and I ain’t affraid to drink it .

11th of June.

Social distancing has been getting closer. Some people more than others plus the government guidance has eased week by week to slowly get things moving. The new update is social bubbles… Isolated people can go to families houses and vice versa. We can meet in up to groups of 6 outside and in gardens.

Maggy came to ours after work and we had a nice run, with Jackson. So nice to chat and catch up almost like normal. I organized my first Swift meet up last night with some of the Gorillas. Chatting via Discord, with the banter and competitiveness if almost felt like we were riding together.

Work is still not 100% wasn’t much on last week, so I stayed home and worked on the bathroom. Two or three more days and I’ll have it about finished I reckon. Really pleased with it so far though.

So the main thing on the news is Black Lives Matter protests. This flared up after George Floyd was murdered by an American copper, while being filmed by others. Now my personal opinion is – would I stand and film a man die, someone I know? Or would I be putting myself on the line to stop it happening? This cop should be trialled for murder 100%. Should racism be involved? I don’t think it needs to be but that’s just me. If we can’t rise above and learn from the past rather than blame it, how can we ever move forward and be united?

June the 17th

Can you believe it’s the longest day on Saturday?! This year is flying by so fast. We’ve been living in Wansford for over 6 months and still loving it, maybe a little more each week.

Maggy and Patrick stopped by for a run with me and JB after work yesterday. Great to see then both again and the 6 and a half miles flew by. Plenty of chat and Jackson steals the show as always.

Patrick put his hand out to greet me and after slight hesitation, I grabbed it and shook. Who would of thought a hand shake can mean so much…

Justin D has a arranged a Sunday runday this weekend, so will be looking forward to that and to see who else comes.

Also had another brilliantly beautiful paddle down the Nene. Starting at Wansford bridge and heading 5 miles downstream to Alwalton lock. Babs and JB were waiting when I arrived, tried to get the boy to swim to me but not this time. Had some amazing views of wildlife, weirs, people walking/swimming/chilling and fishing too. Passing little happy river communities, living the basic life, looks amazing. But for me, the moment of wow was when I got buzzed by a Heron. It flew right up to me and turned back and away, massive and stunning…

July the 6th my birthday…

Well well well 2 years ago today i was in the French Alps, with great friends in a beautiful chalet. I was missing Babs and JB though. Today I woke at home in my own bed with my wife. I lay there looking out the window, the sky is blue and the clouds are flowing through it. A Red Kite calls, it then swooped into view, close enough to see all it’s beauty. It did this 4 or 5 times, what a perfect start to the day and my 42nd year alive. Last year I went to the Peaks to do a run.

This is exactly what I’m doing today 😂 only this time Babs and JB are coming. Their running around the reservoir and I’ve got 22 mile run up and down the hills.

The rules have eased since I wrote last. Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and shops are now able to open. With restrictions in place and guidelines to stick too. We booked in at the Paper Mills for food with Maggy and Patrick. The set up was great and didn’t feel weird or too difficult. The food was amazing, company was too and the beer and wine flowed way too easy. Me and Babs went over the Cross Keys after, my memory is cloudy from here 🤦🏼‍♂️.

December the 16th.

A long long time since I’ve updated…

We’ve been pretty much the same. Had a month lock down. Babs and a few others ran everyday, I failed. We stopped drinking but failed after 3 and a half weeks but I managed to complete my not shaving or cuting my hair month ha ha.


Well I say it’s the same, it’s not! The country has gone conspiracy mad. I don’t need to tell you. You were there and if you weren’t and your reading this in the future, then you’ll already have read about them or watched them on documentarys or even from the safety of your cocoon, in your virtual world. Because if we listen to science and follow their theory’s and equations, then who knows? maybe the Matrix was bang on the money?

How’s my mental health?

I believed it’s up and down but if I’m honest possibly down more than up. Definitely in fact. I feel numb and everything seems very pointless. I’m so glad I have Babs, Jackson and some great friends…

I’ve been thinking about mental health alot and unfortunately it’s talked about so much but most who talk it don’t understand. So I’ll try to explain. Posting on social media about help lines and companies to call is kind and may help a few, so not knocking them. The people that are really struggling will not do this off there own backs. We are tired, lonely, feel stupid and angry, ashamed, confused. Who will understand if we don’t and we can’t say what’s wrong. That’s the issue, there is rarely a reason and this makes us angry. We know there’s people worse off, this angers us more. We know we need to keep our chin up, we tell ourselves this everyday. We know we need to get out and do something but sometimes our minds take over. Have you ever had a dream where you can’t move? Or can’t run, it’s as if your running through treacle? When the black dog, cloud, fog or whatever is smothering us, our thoughts attack us and make us feel like this. We don’t like ourselves we learn to tolerate us. Happiness comes from other peoples happiness. We very rarely feel proud, pleased or think highly of ourselves and it doesn’t matter how hard we try. I’m lucky as I’ve realised this and by helping others and making them laugh and achieve helps me feel good. So don’t say keep your chin up , or I’m here if you need me, or you’ve got nothing to be down about. Although you are trying to help, you definitely are not. It’s a lot easier than that…

Now listen this could save someone you love. Did you hear me? I said listen! We give clues out loud when you play them back there so clear, all the signs are too. We’re always trying to talk but it’s slightly hidden, as we feel shy, stupid and ashamed. Be a friend not a counsellor, don’t say your here, be there. Think of all them nice things you’ll be writing on Facebook when it’s too late. Now go tell that person while their alive for god’s sake. That’s all, if we make you happy then we’re happy, simple 👌For me running helps and spending time outdoors, sometimes alone but with friends and family too. When Babs or others get me outside it brings me round, they know this. Sometimes a leader is needed and not a shoulder. All very deep I know but needed to get that off my chest with Xmas creeping up, a tough time for many. I feel normal again now, it’s crazy that I find writing such a release and my new medication.

February 5th 2021

It’s been a while… Christmas has been and gone and so has 2020…New year same shit though…

So, first Christmas. Apart from not seeing any family, we had a lovely Xmas, chilled, no pressure, no schedule, lay ins, long walks, no driving loved it. Sounds a bit like being furloughed you say? Well I wouldn’t know but it was bliss for me. Because of the situation I got to have over 2 weeks at home, more of that please…

So still in lock down in principle, not on the roads or local parks, both busy as hell. But still in lock down with kids missing out on school, collage and uni. Pubs, restaurants, a lot of shops and small businesses closed and struggling. With the hope of the 22nd of this month to bring some positive news. Everyone is getting bored of it now and I know on paper it’s not as bad as going to war but it’s starting to really show on people now. I’d personally rather get on with things and see what happens that way. We’re all gonna die some day, let’s not die hiding from a virus…

So I’ve pulled myself out of another WhatsApp group, lost my head at friends again. After looking back and reflecting on it, virtual reality isn’t for me. I don’t like not having proper interaction, facial expression, laughter. This is not real 🤣 lol, ha ha, it just isn’t… sometimes being on your own with your own thoughts is better than feeling alone in a crowed chat group. I can honestly say ignorance is bliss and socialising is in person not on a phone or app. A phone call is different as it’s a 2 way conversation, so I’m not poo pooing keeping in contact but the busy group chats are not for me…

So apart from Babs and JB what’s been keeping me sane? Off road biking, either on my cyclocross or single speed. This is on Saturday mornings with various mates and running on Sundays with Maggy. The weather has definitely tested our toughness over the last couple of months especially on the bikes. Had some big days, wet, muddy, cold, freezing winds, flooded roads and trails. Running has been muddy but a lot easier to keep warm. These are the only real exercise days I’ve been doing, apart from the a occasional Zwift ride (an indoor cycling app) and walking the boy. We all talk about future challenges and trips, we all smile and get excited but deep down thinking is this year gonna be a right off? Who knows…

Oh Major Tom passed this week R.I.P. you definitely did yourself, your family and your country very proud.

So where are we at with the virus?

It’s been busy over the last couple of months. Been on the attack. In my opinion it’s at the stage now the government expected and made us believe it was at back in March time last year. Although strangely enough the Nightingale hospitals that were build and ready for then aren’t being used (all the equipment has been sold or moving) Guess what? The NHS has been overrun and full to the brim. Who know that was coming? We all did! That’s what they kept saying. Second wave. It was always coming but get this although the hospitals are full, the Nightingales are empty… unfortunately in my opinion and always seems to happen, greed, politics, power has got in the way of common sense yet again. Destined to crush,destroy and consume. We are the virus…

3rd of March 2021

So much to say but struggling to make time to write them down lately. I’m also struggling to absorb the political and media’s views and objectives. I think this so called pandemic is the biggest robbery on record… not only the money but also the time, lives, belief, trust and faith that’s been taking away with a kind of ease. Boris has given us a schedule back to the new normal so at least that’s got everyone’s inner hope for normality to return. What’s the point? It feels like we live in a false reality to me, always controlled by money and dreams. We was all happy with the thought of doing nothing and spending time with loved ones but that need for more soon took over. We will ever be happy? Why do we need so much? Nothing else on the planet needs more than it has. We must be cursed.

23rd of May 2021

A week again since my last update…I’ve just read over my last 2 updates and wow… Negatron or what?

So what’s happening in your head Stephen? (I hear you ask) well not a lot really. In fact that’s a lie, loads going on. Lock down is easing, back inside pubs, can meet up with family and friends in a more socially acceptable manner. We’ve been back pub riding, well running and off road biking for me. Ran to the pub twice and back again once, the other time a few of us did and off option. It rained, we got wet and very cold at the pub but great fun and company.

Babs has been having a tough time with her parents but that’s not for me to talk about but she’s carrying a load and i try to help where I can.

So I took the day off Friday to head to the Peak District, met up with the legend that is Big Phil. I parked up at the Ladybower Inn, got ready well! if I’m honest I actually had a lay down on my bed for half hour. It’s good to chill ha ha. Then I headed out, up behind the pub along a trail I know well. It takes me up to the top of Whinstone Lee Tor, where head north along the Derwent Edge. Over Hurkling stones, Wheel stone, White Tor, Dovestone Tor, Back Tor and finally Lost lad. This is where I start my boggy, slippy, fun descent down to the reservoir. But as I’m approaching the Wheel stones, rain hammering down now, I see a figure. It’s the first person I’ve seen. It’s only Big Phil out testing his new water proofs out. As I only had my shorts and a thin jacket it was only a quick chat, then off we go in separate directions to meet back at the pub for beers. It rained even harder from this point and I get cold, so decided against heading up again from the reservoir and opted to head back through the shelter of the trees at water level.

In the pub that evening was fantastic, plenty of good ale, a good ol catch up and to top it off. We had a couple good random chats with an older couple and a bloke with his son, oh and their dog.

Hang I’ve forgot to mention! I’ve had my first vaccination. I wished I hadn’t though…Haven’t been right since…My breathing isn’t 100% and I feel tired quicker. Also my shoulder has been in bits. This may also be slightly to do with my new hobby, that’s another story.

Sometimes you have to go down to go up.
Bleak on top.
On my way down, rain has stopped.
Big Phil

2nd of August 2021

2 months have passed since my last update, I guess I’ve settled into the new normal. This is the new worth now, some things better and some things not. Mostly on the up I think.

I’m sat in my hotel room after a tough day in the Dales on the Tom Pidcock Grand Fondo ride. Out on the bike with some great mates.

I’m currently changing my work lifestyle balance by finding my own work again, working less hours and making time for myself. To spend with my wife, Jackson, my friends and my hobbies.

October 27th 2021

Time to publish this, as I think we’re in the new normal.

Everything I wrote was in the moment and honest to my thoughts and beliefs, in that time. This is me…

I’ve just read it through and it’s made me realise how much I need to write. For myself mainly but if you find what a think helpful or interesting then that’s a Brucie bonus.

Be kind

Be thoughtful

Be strong

Be you 🤝 ❤️

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