Posts Tagged ‘Saturday Afternoon’

New Saturday Routine

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Today was my first attempt at what I would like to be my new Saturday routine. I cycled out to the Assisi Animal Sanctuary, on the far side of Newtownards, walked a dog for a bit under an hour, and then cycled home again.

I went to Assisi for the first time on my birthday. I love dogs, and I loved having a dog when I was a teenager, but have to accept that my lifestyle isn’t ideal for having one – if I had a dog, they would spend a huge amount of time on their own while I’m at work, which wouldn’t be very fair. So instead I am participating in the Assisi dog-walking scheme. They have a place full of dogs that need walking, so they are keen for volunteers to come and walk them, on a Tuesday or Thursday evening, or Saturday or Sunday during the day. I walked a dog for the first time last Saturday, when I took Jacko out. Today I was out with Sox.

There’s a nice walk through the Whitespots Country Park, which is an old lead mine works just off the dual carriageway, and fortunately the dogs are well used to walking alongside the traffic. It’s probably good exercise for my ankle, as it’s got quite rough paths with a lot of ups and downs through the hills. And there are plenty of things for the dogs to sniff, so they love it.

The only problem with the whole idea is cycling to and from Newtownards, where the hilliness of the ride makes up for the fact that it’s not very far.
On the way out, you have to get up the hill at Dundonald, which is quite hard going. But on the way back, the hill out of Newtownards is murder. Not helped by the fact I was riding my mountain bike rather than my road bike. Nor by by wind which was not at my back. And definitely not helped by the fact that I had already cycled 20 miles, and walked 2!

But I hope I can make it work, at least while the weather is good, as it’s a nice way of combining a ride with doing something useful!


Monday, June 18th, 2012

I had an unexpected pleasure on Saturday, of going to the Grand Opera House in the afternoon to see Gilbert and Sullivans’ Ruddigore. I know! Opera on a Saturday afternoon! What kind of crazy person does that! Well, me apparently. And maybe a hundred other people – I wasn’t there on my own.

I’d seen a few posters around town for this, and after enjoying a Gilbert and Sullivan opera last year I thought I should look into it. But I am disorganised clown, and I didn’t. Then a friend raved about it in work on Friday after seeing it the previous evening. I assumed I had missed my chance, but he pointed out that there was a Saturday afternoon matinee. So with his glowing recommendation, off I went.

The seats in Opera House remain as uncomfortable as I remember. But I really enjoyed my afternoon nonetheless. The spoiler-light summary of the story would be that Rose and Robin find their romance complicated greatly by the fact that he is the rightful Baron of Ruddigore, a title which comes with a curse that he must commit a crime every day or die horribly, by the fact that his friend Richard must always follow his heart wherever it may lead him, and by the fact that Rose must at all times behave properly according to her book of etiquette.

The play opens in the style of a silent film to provide some background, which is very nicely done. The curtain then opens to Rose being awoken by the local girls, all dressed as bridesmaids. As she is the prettiest girl in town, no-one will propose to them until she marries, and so they are all getting increasingly exasperated by her choosiness, and very keen for her to marry as soon as possible. It’s a lovely opening, well sung, with a large cast of bridesmaids, nicely choreographed, and with all the wit we expect from Gilbert and Sullivan.

Ruddigore is not apparently among the most loved of Gilbert and Sullivan’s works, and I freely admit I had never heard of it and recognised none of the songs. But it was exactly what I had expected and hoped for – the tunes are catchy, the lyrics are witty, and there were plenty of laughs. The staging was very good, with the ghostly Ruddigores emerging from their portraits very well, and generally high production values (as I guess they say in these situations). The little orchestra were very good once the clarinet player had sorted out his squeaky reed in the first couple of numbers, and never overpowered the singers.

One song had a surprising update to include crimes such as phone hacking, expenses fiddling, and Greek debts which was marvellous and completely unexpected. But highlight for me had to be the playing of the baron as the classic pantomime villain, with black moustache, top hat, and black cape which was swished and swirled around at every opportunity.

A great afternoon, and not bad value at £20 for a long and lavish show. I loved it, and will definitely seek out more Gilbert and Sullivan.

A Saturday cycle

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

I went out on my bike today.
Since the not-entirely-excellent Marie Curie cycle ride (here and here) a few weeks ago, I’ve been looking a bit lustfully at new road bikes. So today I decided to prove to myself that here’s nothing wrong with my current bike. So I pumped the tyres up (which helped it a lot – amazing the difference it made), charged up my ipod, and headed out down Cycle Route 9 towards Lisburn.
I’d planned to go further than I’ve gone before, and do the whole thing non-stop, but I failed. I made it 20 miles out, to Maze, and was doing well coming back, but it was warm, and I was thirsty, so I gave in at Shaw’s Bridge and stopped at an ide-cream van to buy a drink. But I missed and bought a 99 instead. The 5 minutes that took to eat made a big difference, and I made it home successfully from there.
So yes, I can cycle 40 miles on my bike heavy mountain bike. But not without getting slower and slower, or stopping for a break at some point.
So that road bike is still tempting…

Run, Forrest, Run!

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Went out for another run today, determined not to overdo it this time. Ran just over 3 miles, to the office and back. After 5 minutes, discovered that my legs still aren’t quite right from last week, as my calves got sore.

But this week’s lessons are:

  • My old headphones stay in my ears better. Even more so if I put the cable under my T-shirt to stop it flapping about.
  • The second best song was Walls come tumbling down by the Style Council. Yes, I know it’s all a bit eighties, and yes I know that the line about “dangling jobs like a donkey’s carrot” works rally badly, but the song was just the right speed for running, and has a nice positive message about people power.
  • I managed to run just over 3 miles in just over 30 minutes (though I did have a break when I called in at a friend’s house), which is just kind of speed I was hoping for.

So it remains to be seen how sore my legs are tomorrow.

Keep on running

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I agreed to do the Lisburn 10k Road Race in June to help Acts Ministries, without a massive amount of thought as to whether I’d actually be able to run that far. So today I decided to see how my running is.

I have no idea how far I went, but I did manage to run for a solid hour, with only 2 actual stops (to tie my laces), and a handful of slowdowns (avoiding traffic, going up and down steps). I’m pretty pleased with myself, though obviously now I can barely walk.

Some conclusions:

  • I need some headphones that stay in my ear a bit better. The one for my left ear keeps falling out.
  • Rehab by Amy Winehouse is the best running tune that came up on my ipod. I think it’s a great song anyway, as it sounds like a lost Northern Soul classic, but it’s also just the right speed for me to run to, and a bright, upbeat tune.
  • Going to the gym must be doing me some good, as I’ve probably never run as far as that in my life.
  • But I think I maybe need to investigate those stretching exercises that proper runners do, to see how that helps.
  • I’m going to have to do some work on my stylesheet again to fix the formatting of my bulletted list. I’m not sure why these have all got a blob and a little arrow (on this machine anyway).

If you want to support the Little Hearts orphanage yourself, surf on over to One Million Faces and add your mug shot for a pound.

And yes, for the technology fans among you, this post was written on frodo.