Monthly Archives: November 2011

November 2011 Round-up

Well, the year seems to be running out quite rapidly, and here we are at the end of November already. How did that happen? Well, however it happened, the end of a month means it’s time for one of these thingies.


I’ve been a bit up and down again this month, with a few unusually light days. The overall trend remains slowly downward, so that’ll do for now.

November 1: 219 pounds (15 stone 9 pounds, 99.3 kg)
November 30: 218 pounds (15 stone 8 pounds, 98.9 kg)

That’s a loss of 1 pound (0.5kg), which isn’t a lot, but it’ll do for the moment.


I’m still not eating too much. Good, good.


Out of 15 normal working days (holiday at the beginning of the month, a few days in London…), I walked in no less than 11 times, which is well above recent levels. I also took at total of 17 other walks, some of them quite long. Garmin Connect suggests I walked a logged total of 90 miles this month – I know at least some of that is exaggerated, so the real total is somewhere closer to 80, but that’s still quite a lot. Well done me, just need to keep that up.


It’s been a relatively quiet month again, with this report bringing the total to a fairly sensible 53.


I had some good days out during my week off, and some decent weekend walks too. Lots of pictures have been taken, and one day I may find the tuits to sort them out and present them.

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 November 2011

Bother, up a bit today, which may be related to the distinct lack of walking this week, which continued today.

Your picture for today is the island on Saltwell Park’s lake, which I’ve previously shown off covered in snow, and once hidden by mist. I don’t think I’ve ever shown it in full summer, but here’s a nicely autumnal version of it.

Autumn Island

Autumn Island

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 November 2011

Up just a teeny bit, not enough to be a source of alarm, though.

Once again, I was a bit disorganised this morning, so got the bus to work. I had my hair cut at lunchtime, so I only had a short (and not logged) walk around town. But I was persuaded to walk most of the way home[1].

Today’s picture is of a lion, to be found over a gateway on Durham Road:



[1] I was misled a bit. Never mind, etc

Total. Geek. Overload.

I mentioned the new Encyclopedia of Science Fiction when it was announced and indeed when it was unleashed, and I’ve spent some time there since then, and indeed spent some money on ebooks created by the associated Science Fiction Gateway project.

This evening, I mumbled something on Twitter about how I was wary of getting into reading the new encyclopedia, having spent a fair amount of time reading the last physical version (a large, heavy hardback) from cover to cover some years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to get a reply from whoever does the tweeting for the Encyclopedia. And then totally geekgasmed[1] to get a reply from John Clute. I have fond memories of his book reviews in the original incarnation of UK sf magazine Interzone, which quite apart from being good for one’s vocabulary, showed that it wan’t just me that understood that Terry Pratchett’s funniest material waas deadly serious. John Clute is a major part of the new, online version of the Encyclopedia, and this is as good a Good Thing as I can think of.

I may need to have a lie down now. Well, it’s just about bedtime, so that seems like a good idea…

[1] If that wasn’t a word previously, it is now. So there.

Why I still love Elvis Costello

I’ve been a fan of Elvis Costello for many years. Like the almighty Neil Young, he’s one of those artists whose work I don’t always expect to like, or even understand, but he’s produced more than enough of the Good Stuff – songs that stick in your mind, tunes that you’ll never forget, lyrics of such mind-boggling brilliance that make you feel like giving up all attempts at writing anything that you’d actually dare to show anyone. For instance, these lines from The Other Side of Summer, a sodding album track from Mighty Like a Rose.

Was it a millionaire who said “imagine no possessions”?
A poor little schoolboy who said “we don’t need no lessons”?

Nicely oblique, no names mentioned, but quite clear who he’s talking about. And there are many more examples. But today, I came across an even finer example of his work. It seems his record company are putting out a live recording in a slightly expensive package. The Man Himself is not amused by this, and suggests people should wait until next year when cheaper versions are available, assuming that they haven’t made alternative, and it is implied, but not stated, not necessarily legal arrangements already. He also suggests that there’s a nice Louis Armstrong box set that’s less exotically priced, and that contains better music.

What a hero. I’ve long respected the man, but he’s just gained several thousand extra points.

steal this record – Yellow Press – Elvis Costello

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 November 2011

Down a bit today, good stuff.

I was running late this morning, so I had to get the bus to get to work more or less on time. Bad planning, etc. And as we had something on at work, I had a very short lunch break, so I didn’t get any walking done then, either. Mutter. Must do better tomorrow.

Today’s picture is another bit of Angel of the North experimentation. You should be able to see one wing and a couple of long shadows – one of the Angel and one of some photographer bloke or other.

Angel Shadow

Angel Shadow

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 November 2011

That’s better, down a bit today.

I dithered a bit about going out today. At first, I was pretty sure that I was going somewhere, though I wasn’t at all sure where. Then I thought that maybe I wouldn’t bother. But then I convinced myself that as it was another bright sunny day, though a bit windy, that I really should make the most of it and go for a walk. After all, this time last year it was bitterly cold and everything was covered in snow that showed no inclination to disappear.

So, I headed up to Durham Road then south through Low Fell and on to the Angel of the North. It’s been a while since my last visit, and I wanted to get some different pictures. I’ve got a few interesting ones with the Angel silhouetted against the bright sky, and I may put some of these on show later, but for now here’s one I took with the Sigma fisheye lens:



After getting my pictures, I walked back up Durham Road, turning off at Joicey Road and then through Saltwell Park, where I had a stroll around the lake. It ended up being a longer walk than I expected – Garmin tells me it was well over 7 miles, which isn’t as far as I went on last weekend’s walk, but still pretty good.

Weight and Stuff Report – 26 November 2011

Back up a bit today, which is probably related to all the walking I didn’t do over the last few days. And as today was rather dull and grey, I didn’t go for any long walks as I did on the last two Saturdays. But the forecast for tomorrow is better, so I’ll try to get out and about a bit then.

On the other hand I did go up and down the back stairs quite a few times taking out rubbish and recycling. I’m sure that counts for something.

Today’s picture is of a remarkably quiet Cullercoats.

Cullercoats Bay

Cullercoats Bay

Weight and Stuff Report – 25 November 2011

Oh good, back down a bit after yesterday’s rise. No walking today, shock horror, etc.

Today’s picture is of the view south from Whitley Bay, which I’ve cropped down a bit to highlight the interesting bits. If you look at the large version, you should be able to see Marsden Rock on the left, the faint shape of Souter Lighthouse, the Tyne piers and Tynemouth Priory. It’s a little hazy, but I like the soft colours in this.

Looking south

Looking south

Billy Bragg – Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards 2011 Version

Ooooooh, nice. The perfectly wonderful Billy Bragg presents a fully updated version of a song that he’s been updating since its first release mumble years ago. The current version covers coalition capers, occupations, the internet, and quite possibly life, the universe and everything. Thanks for that, Bill.

Lyrics (not 100% the same as this live recording, but hey, it’s Billy Bragg, what did you expect?) are available on the man’s own blog: