Monthly Archives: August 2011

August 2011 Round-up

Hmm, that month didn’t hang about very long. Yes, it’s time for another of the eagerly anticipated[1] monthly reports that save you from having to read the daily nonsense. Of course, you could save yourself reading this, too. Come to think of it, you probably are, so you won’t be reading this sentence. Errr, oh, never mind, let’s get on with it.


Well, last month I made a good start on trying to lose weight again. And quite remarkably, I’ve kept things going this month. Let’s look at the numbers:

August 1: 228.2 pounds (16 stone 4.2 pounds, 103.5 kg)
August 31: 223 pounds (15 stone 13 pounds, 101.2 kg)

That’s a quite reasonable loss of 5.2 pounds (2.4kg). Not as impressive as last month, but it’s still an average of more than a pound a week, which is pretty good – it’s a level of loss that’s more likely to stay off than more sudden large losses. Now I just need to keep that going for the next, err, six months or so to get to a more sensible weight…


I’ve kept to my plan of having just a sandwich for lunch, and only one of those was a footlong from Subway. No sausage rolls, and I’ve been watching what I eat in the evenings, too.


OK, out of 22 working days in August, I walked to work 14 times, which is the most I’ve managed in a very long time, and I walked home four times, which is also a major improvement. On top of that, I’ve managed 13 sessions on the exercise bike. And I’d have walked a few more times if the rain hadn’t been so annoying. That’s the most exercise I’ve done in a month since, err, well, ages.


I’ve been a bit chattier this month, and this post will bring the August total up to a perfectly respectable 72.


Quite remarkably, I did find the necessary tuits to post the Wales trip pictures, and I’ve managed another photo trip since, which means I’ve got more to sort out.

[1] Somebody may be eagerly anticipating it. I can’t imagine who, though

Weight and Stuff Report – 31 August 2011

Down a wee bit today, keeping me nicely below the psychologicackle 16 stone mark. Now only another fourteen pounds to lose to get to my next psychowossname.

As I mentioned earlier, I flew walked to work this morning, and felt sufficiently inspired to walk home, too. On the way back I took the more strenuous route via the Swing Bridge. For some reason, I’m always surprised by how bloody steep Bottle Bank is. But I made it all the way up without needing to stop and catch my breath, so the walking must be working…

Charts and things

Walking to work according to Garmin

Walking to work according to Runkeeper[1]

Walking home according to Garmin[2]

Walking home according to Runkeeper

Your picture of the day is this quite tasteful tower which stands in isolation in Middlesbrough. I’ve given it a bit of treatment…

Clock Tower

Clock Tower

[1] Complete with high-speed detour
[2] No heart rate, as I left the strap thingy off

I can fly!

Well, that’s what Runkeeper seems to be telling me. I was wondering why the voice told me I’d walked a lot further than normal this morning. It seemed odd, because I’d taken the same route as normal, and taken much the same time as normal, too. But somehow, I’d apparently gone an extra three miles. Looking at the map revealed all:



Yes, it seems that after crossing the Tyne Bridge, I swooped over the city, across the Tyne, and spent a moment in Gateshead before flying back to Mosley Street.

I’ve seen some minor oddities with the GPS on the iPhone before, but never quite as entertaining as this…

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 August 2011

Aaaaand it’s back up by that same teeny amount my weight went down yesterday. This will be one of those plateau thingies. Further reductions will follow in due course, I’m sure…

I walked to work, and the evidence is in the usual places. But I got the bus home, and I don’t plan on getting on the bike thingy tonight.

Today’s picture is another sample from the Middlesbrough trip – it’s the quite shiny Middlesbrough College.



Weight and Stuff Report – 29 August 2011

Oooh, the excitement! Down a teeny bit today.

I’ve been having a quiet day in today, what with it being a bank holiday. I did contemplate going somewhere, but I couldn’t quite decide where, so I didn’t.

What I did do was another twenty minute exercise bike session, Garmin evidence available for anyone who likes graphs.

I haven’t gathered enough tuits to sort out all the Middlesbrough pictures, but here’s one that I was inspired to take after seeing a few pictures on Flickr. Temenos is a huge sculpture by Anish Kapoor[1] and Cecil Balmond, which is the first in a series to be installed in Teesside – the Tees Valley Giants. Quite apart from being huge, it’s a sweeping, elegant, glorious piece that made me grin like a lunatic[2] when I saw it.

And not only is it a lovely thing in its own right, it also acts as a frame, allowing images like this to be created:

Temenos and Transporter

Temenos and Transporter

[1] The shape of it would suggest that he was involved to anyone who’s seen his other work – one was installed in the then empty shell of the Baltic Flour Mill before it was transformed into the Baltic gallery.
[2] Any suggestion that this is my normal state will be ignored, and you know who you are.

No drinking

Superb placement of a legal notice:

Alcohol Free Zone

Alcohol Free Zone

Yes, I know they mean “no drinking on the street”, but having the sign right outside a bar has a certain incongruous charm. I particularly like the detail that there’s a board advertising special offers in the bar propped up against the post…

That’s not very nice

I had a quick look around the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art today, where I saw some work that was at least interesting, and some more that was kind of impressive but not all that interesting, but mostly I saw this sign:

Fire Exit: Staff Only

Fire Exit: Staff Only

While I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean exactly what it says, I think somebody should work on that…

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 August 2011

Update: I forgot to include the gmap-pedometer map of my walking route, which shows I did over 2.5 miles. There was more than that, but I didn’t try to record the path I took around the shops.

Down again today. I seem to be oscillating a bit at the moment. Still, never mind…

I woke up quite early this morning, and decided that as it was a moderately nice day, and the weather forecast was pretty good, that I’d do something I’ve been meaning to for ages. And so I did. I got myself to Newcastle station in time to catch the 9:45 to Middlesbrough[1], which after some shenanigans involving three trains arriving fixed together, left just a little bit late.

My main reason for going was to get some pictures of the quite marvellous Transporter Bridge, which is celebrating its centenary this year. Well, I don’t think it’s doing much celebration itself, what with being a bridge and all that, but various things are being done to mark the occasion.

I had hoped to ride across the bridge to get the full experience, but it closes on Sundays so mad people can jump off the top of it with elastic ropes tied to their legs. If I’d realised that was going on, I’d have taken a longer lens, but I think I’ve got some reasonable pictures. I took some pictures from the side, then moved around to the bridge entrance, where there seemed to be a large number of fire engines. Yes, the fire brigade were doing a rescue exercise – the bridge pontoon thingy was stopped a short distance from the shore, and two cars were stuck on it, having apparently collided. Using a really nifty hydraulic thingy, firefighters, paramedics and equipment were moved onto the platform, and a rescue was achieved. Fascinating stuff, pictures to follow, etc. The clues that this was an exercise rather than the real thing were numerous:

  1. No actual ambulances standing by, just a control vehicle
  2. Lots of senior fire and police people taking notes
  3. The cars were very old
  4. The “casualties”, quite apart from getting up and walking away after being rescued were wearing what looked suspiciously like uniform shirts.

After that, I wandered around the dock thingy and investigated a very large and quite cool bit of sculpture, a really odd-looking building under construction and a very shiny college. Then I paid a visit to MIMA, where I failed to be impressed much by the art on show, but I did see something of interest. And finally, I had a wander around the shopping area, had a coffee then got the train home.

At least one post full of pictures will follow, but for the moment, here’s a peek at the Transporter Bridge through a bit of derelict wall

Transporter Bridge

Transporter Bridge

[1] Well, it was going all the way to Whitby[2], but that’s a trip for another day.
[2] And I only saw two goth-types getting on. Must be the closed season for Dracula fans…

Doctor Who – Let’s Kill Hitler

OK, now that was serious fun. From here on, I’m really not going to attempt to summarise the stories, because with so much insane stuff going on, even a summary would end up being a mind-bogglingly long thing. What I will do is have my usual mutter about where things are going, how things are developing, and mention some of the best bits.

Like a lot of people, when I saw the title of this episode flash on the screen at the end of A Good Man Goes To War, I hooted. Then spent a fair amount of time wondering just how Steven Moffat would involve Hitler in the Doctor’s search for Melody Pond, the daughter of Amy and Rory.

Being Steven Moffat, he did it quite nicely. Hitler and the supporting Nazis are more of a distraction to the main part of the story, though Rory did get to punch the dictator and utter the magical line

Shut up, Hitler!

The main point of the episode was a quite unexpected reveal of where Melody had been before she became River Song, and how Amy and Rory hadn’t missed out on her growing up after all. It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder how much of this Steven had worked out years in advance, and how much he, well, makes up at high speed with extreme brilliance. I’m tending towards the Master[1] Plan theory, but there are always doubts…

Other high spots included the revelation that the “State of Temporal Grace” which an earlier Doctor alleged existed in the TARDIS and prevented guns from working[2] was indeed a lie. A clever lie, the Doctor insists, of course.

And then there’s the big point – how Melody Pond, conditioned from birth to kill the Doctor, changes and starts on the road to becoming the River Song the Doctor first met in that library, and how she got that nice blue spoiler-ridden diary she always carries…

And I haven’t even mentioned the transforming justice machine full of time-travelling miniaturised agents and homicidal robots. That was fun.

All in all, a great opener for the second part of the series. Lots more madness, scares and fun to come, and it’s all going to somehow lead back to the lake and that impossible astronaut.

[1] No, not him. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see him again
[2] Disproven on several occasions

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 August 2011

Bother. Back up a wee bit today, mutter, mutter. It was another wet morning, so I decided against walking to Tesco’s. But I did talk myself into twenty minutes on the exercise bike, which led to these results.

Another older picture for you today – I saw this sundial in Berwick upon Tweed a couple of years ago