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31/07/2013
[17:25] I think I might have eaten slightly too much of something last night. My stomach hasn't been 100% happy all day, if I'm honest. Maybe too much protein? Or too much leftover take away spinach curry? Who knows? Either way it wasn't great. But aside from that the day has been. I spent most of the morning wandering around our new sports centre and going into all the places no-one else will get to go (including onto the roof to look at the solar panels/inverters). Pretty cool, as it goes. The afternoon's been spent in the age-old pursuit of catching up on emails and doing niggly bits of work here and there.

We've an outing in a new 4+ configuration (bucket rigged!), and with one crew change, which will be good. I should head off as the boat won't rerig itself (that would be so cool).

30/07/2013
[16:35] Pretty full weekend, as per usual. Friday night we had a moderately OK outing in the scratch 4+, after a prolonged period of fiddling with the rigging. I actually got a little frustrated with how long things were taking, in the end. Saturday we headed to St. Neots regatta with me in a semi-good mood, considering I thought we were going to get pooed on from a great height in the heats round. Arrival, rerigging, enjoying the warm summer's day. It all went smoothly enough that I felt like the day would actually be a lot of fun if I just relaxed a little and chilled out. By the time we put the boat on the water and headed to the star line the whole boat was laughing and giggling and really not taking the day all that seriously at all. What we had actually intended the whole thing to be about. We lined up with our opposing crew and were cracking jokes, laughing and generally not donning our 'race face' mentality at all. Until the go call rang out. Then, because in part of the re-rigging, and also because we were really relaxed, we had a tremendous start and held the other crew perfectly until the one bend on the course. We were on the outside and went down a length (having been a staggered length up off the start). Over the 1km course we were down a length by 600m, but even though two people in the crew didn't know the call, when the "move" call came, we wound the rate up and took back almost an entire length before losing by about 3ft on the finish. The other crew were exhausted, we were elated to have had such an enjoyable row. Po-faced Vs happy and satisfied with out fourth outing in that crew combination? I think we won hands down. The rest of the morning and some of the afternoon was spent watching more racing and sitting in the shade drinking. Then we went home. I got cleaned up, cleaned my good bike and then met one of my crew mates for a 42km cycle ride later in the afternoon. The evening looked like it could have been heading somewhere silly until Kate agreed to have drinks with me. I cycled into town, and ran into someone I'd almost been hoping I would/wouldn't see on the way. It was good that Kate was waiting. The usual awesome Kate-conversation, cocktails, and a fervent gladness I'd had some food before going out followed.

Sunday, though, was even better. After a very lazy morning Rachel arrived and the rest of the day was spend having awesome amounts of fun. So much so that I didn't get to go for a run, or go to Tesco. So in the end it 'had' to be delivery Indian food (so delicious).

Monday I had the day off, so Rachel and I went to Tesco, for a big long run, watched some television and watched the occasional cloud bursts from the safety of indoors. Not that the 14.5km run wasn't extremely warm in the sun.

This morning I seriously didn't want to get out of bed, but managed it in the end. This turned out to be a good thing as I've spent the whole day engaged in some actually really interesting, complex, and ultimately completed well work over four servers. Unless I've made some major unknowable mistakes, I think I've done a pretty great job in a very short space of time. We'll see what the developers I handed the boxes over to say tomorrow once they've had a chance to look them over.

It looks like not only are we entering a mixed 8+ for Peterborough regatta, we might also be putting in a 4+ with a slightly different (one crew change) lineup too. And it'll be bucket rigged. This'll be my first go in a bucket boat, so that should be interesting too. I'm on the erg tonight in preparation for tomorrow's outing in the 4+. I hope we get the 8+ outings sorted soon so they don't create any conflicts.

26/07/2013
[17:00] The outing was an improvement. But I still don't think we've got it goin' on, as it were. The race(s) tomorrow - unless tonight's outing is astonishingly good - are going to be hard as hell. However, I think if we relax things might be OK. Even good. We'll just have to see.

Today's morning work didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped. The part we had delivered turned out to be dead on arrival. So that's something someone else is going to have to deal with on Monday, along with a whole slew of other stuff for two of the new web team servers. No, four of the web team servers, it's just that two are getting more done to them than the other two. Anyway, that's Monday, when I'm not in work, because I'm taking the day off.

Saturday is the St. Neots regatta (probably the whole day if we make it through to the final), Sunday Rachel's coming to visit, which will be fun. I may be able to squeeze in a run on Sunday too, which will be great. And that, I think is everything. Have a great weekend, I'll see you on Tuesday.

25/07/2013
[17:40] A day where I was the only person from my team here. Actually, it seems like things went quite well considering. Almost no issues whatsoever, which was helpful. In fact everything was a pretty quiet day across the board. Even the meetings (three, count 'em!) were over in less than five minutes each. I could get used to that. Tomorrow's an earlyish start, but my part in things is pretty straightforward, so I'm not too worried.

Last night we had our first outing in the 4+. Definitely a bit of work needed to get those who weren't up on the stroke in step with how we do things now. Rerigged the boat so that I'm still at stroke as it just seemed to make sense. We even sort of have matching heights in the boat too. Although not in the conventional way. I'm 5'10", then we have 6'5", 6'4", and 5'10". So sort of working. We'll have to see how it goes tonight, and tomorrow night as to how we might do on the weekend. Hopefully better every outing.

I should head off and get some more food inside of me. It seems the more I eat right now, the hungrier I feel. And still no real weight gain. At least I'm not getting fatter either.

24/07/2013
[17:10] Gentle 10K run last night with Sarah. She still needs to take things carefully, and I'm probably running (no pun intended) a little close to maximum exercise at the moment, so it was nice to go a little more slowly than might normally be expected.

The day has been a mishmash of this and that. I've managed to get a few things done, and some email catchup as well. The work continues to be done, and the bits and bobs (such as Nessus scanning the entire network) turn up and are dealt with. I also had to head over to the other server room to help with some generator testing. Really though, there's not a lot going on this week, which is good considering that we'll be down to just me tomorrow with everyone else being on holiday. Urgh, change boards tomorrow, and having to deal with what's going on in them (and taking notes, etc.).

Anyway, rerigging the 4+ this evening so we can have our first outing before the regatta this weekend coming. I should head off and get some more food in me before that happens. I've been famished all day for some reason.

23/07/2013
[17:35] Went and did a one hour erg last night. Probably not the best idea to do it in the evening sun, but it was good to keep the ache out of my legs for another day. Went to bed and was woken at around 02:00 by thunder and lightning. Very cool. I had the windows and curtains open so it was pretty impressive. Of course, this meant I was very tired when the alarm went off for my 06:15 run, but given my running partner was already utterly soaked from getting back from her boyfriend's house we postponed the run until after work this evening.

Work today has been pretty OK. I solved a few people's problems, which is always a good feeling. Did another psychology, got paid, had a lovely lunch in town with a friend and then came back into work to catch up on a few things and generally keep cool as the weather hotted up. We like air conditioning when it's necessary to keep other things cool (computers).

Right, I should head off. Long, gentle run happening this evening and then I need to get some food in me.

22/07/2013
[16:40] That, right, was a weekend. Maybe a weekend and a half. So it started on Friday, with the final night of racing. From the off the other crew pushed hard. Extremely hard. Almost hard enough to catch us. In fact, if it hadn't been for a combination of weed on our rudder, making our likes around corners a little strange, the other cox having a terrible line anyway, and our crew just being far more awesome when it came to the final straight they might have taken their place back. As it was, once we got around the corners we pulled away and were safe. The party afterwards was pretty damned good, but I left at around 01:00 rather than do anything silly. People were starting to get drunk and I was in danger of being distracted by things. So I went home.

This did mean that on Saturday, not able to sleep in past 07:00 I was down at the boat house for about 08:00 to find it deserted, and pretty much demolished (not really, but it was in a state). I cleaned the entire building inside and out (glass all over the hardstanding, etc.) and even rescued some flowers and put them in a vase. I had some help from a few people who popped in and out, and was out of there with a job well done by around 14:00. Which was pretty good all things considered. After having gone home and showered I got a late invitation to see people for lunch, so cycled out there and had a chat while we ate. After that I decided to pop into Waterstones and read some more of a book I was in the middle of before going home, having some dinner and getting an early night.

The reason for the early night was the 10K road running race in the morning. To get there was a 15 mile cycle, which I really enjoyed and got the muscles warmed up and the blood flowing. The race itself was held under a cloudy sky and with the weather significantly cooler than it had been for the previous few days, which was brilliant. I hadn't aimed to push too hard, but I think I ended up getting a PB, which was brilliant. Even if I got a stitch in the last 2K for the first time in maybe a decade of being stitch-free. It definitely had an effect on my run into the finish. Still, pleasing otherwise I think! The cycle home was with a female triathlete who was in the mood for sprintervals on the bike, so I did that all the way back. That was... fun. I did get half a calf's worth of cramp just before I got home. But a Nuun tablet seemed to fix that fairly quickly. That and lunch. After a shower, lunch and a film I found I was full of energy, so headed down to the boat house to do a weights and core session, assuming no-one else would be stupid enough to be there on a sunny Sunday afternoon. There were eight other people doing things. They all cleared off fairly quickly to do other things, but many came back to order in Mexican food (I crossed a line off my bucket list by getting two burritos in one sitting) and watch a film, which was a brilliant way to end the day. All but two of us left before the end of the film due to tiredness, but I think that was OK.

Today has been quiet, work-wise. Nothing really to report to be honest. Life outside of work is far more interesting, and at the moment that's saying something seeing as there's nothing really going on right now. On the up side I am getting to work through my inbox of personal emails a bit between work requirements. I'll head down to the boat house for a gentle erg this evening, then pick up "important post" from my old house (probably not for me), and go home for a nice steak and chips (also vegetables).

19/07/2013
[16:45] Day three of racing and we definitely did a whole lot better than yesterday. While we were in no danger of being caught, we also didn't make as much progress as we might have liked on catching the boat ahead. Tonight, of course, will be a whole new thing. I think the way we approached last night was a hell of a lot better, and it showed in every aspect of our rowing. We just have to do the same, or better, tonight!

Work? Something meaty, finally. Setting up some Apache/MySQL servers to do master/master replication and other funkyish things. Also lots of email coglomeration, and even a sign up for another psychology study next Tuesday to earn a bit more pocket money. Add that to the few pounds I get every time I do a panel survey online and I seem to be making a little bit here and there every few weeks, which is nice.

So tonight is the last day of racing, followed by a monster party which I do not intend to stay to the end of. That way I'll not have a messed up sleep cycle for tomorrow, when I need to get a few things done (and also will keep distractions to a minimum). That then feeds forward into Sunday when I have to be up early to cycle 15K to do a 10K road race (running), and then cycle back again. Here's hoping the weather is as nice as it is now, only perhaps a little less hot! And then that'll be the weekend over and I'll be back at work. Time files when you're having fun.

18/07/2013
[17:15] Day two of racing and it was a close run thing. We nearly got caught in exactly the same place as we won yesterday. Only some extraordinary rowing stopped that. Hopefully this evening we'll do a better job and perhaps stand a chance of catching someone else, rather than being someone's target.

I've been in and out of town twice today getting network and power things sorted. Happily I managed to get things fixed both times, which was quite satisfying. Hopefully this made my line management feel a bit happier about what I'm doing at the moment as, other than this network stuff, things for me to do are a little slim on the ground.

Still, it does mean I get to catch up on work (and social) email and think about tonight's race. Maybe I'll get home and to bed (via Skype) a little sooner than last night...

17/07/2013
[16:15] Yay! We won! Well, in as much as you can 'win' in these races. It was a hard row. And it's only going to be harder tonight, I think. We're going to be faced with an angry crew who're determined to get their own back for last night.

Luckily, I went to bed late and got up early this morning, so I'm feeling all kinds of great... Actually, I'm not doing too badly, given the early start to do big important networking things in town at 07:00 this morning. Having done that does mean I get to go home as soon as I've done this entry though, which is nice.

Other than the networking work this morning everything else has been small things and general maintenance. We're all about rowing (again) this week, sorry!

16/07/2013
[17:10] Spent the whole morning in town doing network things. The whole afternoon catching up on emails. Last night doing a final outing before the first race tonight.

What else? Resolution still in effect, although tonoght is sort of the first real test. Also, have to have dinner as soon as I get home. Early morning start tomorrow to do lots of very important network things.

Sorry for the staccato entry, I'm in a rush. Something better tomorrow, I hope.

15/07/2013
[13:45] The weekend was hot. Damned hot. Excellently so, in fact. Saturday morning was rowing, which went quite well. Saturday afternoon was spent on the river in a different manner with friends. Although I did head off at around 17:00 so I could get indoors. I didn't bother with much sun cream, so thought it would be a good idea to limit my exposure. I think Saturday night is when Kate and I went out for drinks in town because the evening was too lovely to be indoors for.

Sunday was again about rowing, and then some video analysis during which time I discovered that I'm putting my blade in a little bit later than most other people. Not so brilliant when you're in the stroke seat. So that's something I need to work on tonight and try and keep a handle on for the remainder of this week at the very least. The rest of Sunday was spent going to Tesco and then sitting on my sofa and reading a book. Nothing else. It was brilliant. I did have a few qualms about not being out enjoying the summer sun, but you know what? Sometimes it's just better to kick back and relax. Also, it kept me out of mischief, which I'm very capable of getting into if I don't keep a tight rein on myself. Speaking of which, I have again made a resolution/vow to generally Do Better in certain areas of my life starting this morning. Hopefully I will.

I had wanted to go to the boat house this morning to do an erg/watt bike session but I had to be in town patching in new offices and other things like that. So while it was still an early morning, it wasn't one with much exercise in it. I've eaten masses today in an effort to start having a bit more energy for this week's rowing schedule of races. We'll see how that goes as right now all I feel is really, really stuffed.

As I was in early this morning I'm heading off into town to rack up a switch and a UPS and then I'm out of here! Until tomorrow, at least. Tonight is our last outing before we start racing tomorrow. Hopefully I'll fix my late catch issue.

12/07/2013
[17:10] I spent most of this morning standing around waiting for someone from the network group we're about to be amalgamated with to meet me so we could go over fibre routes in town. That didn't happen. I went to work and spent a little while doing useful things and then headed off for a psychology study thing which earned me some money for what turned out to only be ten minutes of sitting down and looking at things. This gave me a bit of time to have tea with a friend before I went back into town to do the network work I thought I would be doing this morning. That achieved I came back into work and have spent what remained of the day doing email things and stuff.

Last night I did a 5K run. It went quite well all things considered. I came in the top 20 by a few places, and got a reasonable time, considering the terrain, my lack of training, and the heat. I think I might have just avoided getting achilles tendenitis in my right leg again, although I do have that odd pain in my right bum cheek again. Maybe I need to start rollering it, or sitting on a tennis ball. Anyway, rowing tonight, with what I hope will be the full crew for next week's four days of races on the river. I guess we'll see how that goes.

Plenty of rowing in the mornings over the weekend. Potentially going to a barbeque on Saturday afternoon, and I have no idea what I'll be doing with Sunday afternoon at all.

11/07/2013
[17:30] So a few of us turned up to rerig our boat last night at the boat house. Turns out it hadn't left Henley yet. So, that was a wasted trip. Although I did fix W1's rudder, and then get conviced to do a sneaky 30 minute erg with a few other from the crew. Dinner with Kate afterwards was nice, and we got to talk about what's going on in our lives and generally catch up. A definite winner there.

Work today has been kind of a non-event again. Tomorrow's going to be a lot more interesting as I'm starting off in town doing fibre chasing, then going to do a psychology study over lunch, then a short afternoon of work before an evening outing. At least, that's how things are supposed to pan out. We'll see how things go down. As for the rest of today, I'm off home shortly, then to do a 5K race (running) then home again to relax and generally see if I can get a handle on things that've been waving around in the air for a while now (like the washing up, house work, etc.).

10/07/2013
[17:40] Mostly not much happened today. Honestly. Other than getting in late because of Reasons, the rest of the day basically wasn't about much of anything other than me cycling into town to do some networking stuff, and then failing to go for a 10K jog at lunch time.

Really, that was it.

Rachel goes to Kenya this evening, and I get to rerig our boat (finally) and then have dinner with Kate. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

09/07/2013
[17:30] Got up early this morning and cycled the 5K course for the race I'll be doing on Thursday evening. It's going to be quite interesting. Pretty narrow in places, and on basically every kind of terrain possible over the length of it. Last night I did a 30 minute erg at the boat house. It was hot. I mean really, really hot. I managed it, though. Tonight I may not do anything at all! Which feels quite weird. I may have to do some kind of thing or risk going nuts. Maybe a watt bike thing.

Work-wise it was all about building new workstations for people and doing all kinds of post-installation configuring. Then a pop out to the other server room, and then, well, lots and lots of catchup with email. I'm down to only five emails which really need replies to now, which is brilliant. So to celebrate I'm going to leave work now.

08/07/2013
[15:45] Hello there, and a belated welcome to July. It has been a busy week and a day since I last wrote anything here. Things started with Friday's qualifying race for Henley Royal Regatta. Which we powered through to qualify in what I'm certain was the high end of the 12 boats which made it through to the regatta proper. We found out even before we'd gotten changed out of our rowing kit, which was nice. We drove home again in high spirits, having left the boat and blades in Henley in the boat tent. Saturday, Sunday and Monday outings were done in various other boats in our fleet (rigged bow side so I could stroke after Saturday's semi-abortive outing), and were nice, collected affairs which put us in a good mood for the racing ahead. We travelled to Henley again on Tuesday afternoon and were last off the water in the evening after an acclimatisation row for our cox (who hadn't coxed us for the the qualifying race). Tuesday night was spent in a Travelodge in Reading, before we all packed up again and headed back to Henley in the morning. With our race not until early afternoon we had time to take in Henley, get some proper breakfast and gird ourselves for the ordeal ahead. Once we got on the water I felt like all of my nervousness went away. We lined up with our opposition and suddenly the race was off. We held them for pretty much 1800m of the just over 2km course, but in the end the fact that they were on average 2st 4lb heavier per seat than us (and at this level of rowing, very little of that is fat) meant that they were just stronger than us. We lost by just about 1 boat length. This was, frankly, far far better than anyone had been expecting. We were the underdogs and we were expected to lose 'easily' (anything over four lengths or so). They came and found us in the boat tent afterwards and let us know just how hard it'd been to beat us. We did ourselves proud, in my opinion. We packed up the boat ready for being transported back on the weekend (just gone, hope it's back!) and spent the rest of the day watching the remaining races before driving home.

I made a real effort to take Thursday off, and indeed, even went to London to see Rachel. This resulted in pizza, Top Gear and even some port. Which was very nice. Friday I decided that exercise was required, so went for a nice long run in the sun, then sat on the watt bike at the boat house and pedalled 40+km in an hour, whilest watching the sun set. Which was great.

Sadly, pretty much everyone went to Henley to watch the racing over the weekend, so I spent most of the day on my own, which for some reason I wasn't ready for. I did parkrun in the morning and got a fairly OK time, considering I haven't run competitively in months (and hadn't done parkrun since the start of December last year), but then ended up getting lightly burnt on a green in town while finishing a book. Some aimless cycling around after that took me to Cormac's where I ended up sharing an impromptu barbeque with him and Karen and watching a film before going home. I should have done much more with Sunday morning that I did. Getting up late was actually harder than I thought it would be, but I managed it. Tesco shopping came next. I could have gone out in the sun, but figured the previous day's exposure was enough for a day or two. Rachel turned up in the afternoon, which was lovely. We watched the tennis, went for a nice run in the late evening sun, had some dinner, and even saw something of a film before the heat of the day had me yawning and closing my eyes for extended-length blinks.

Happily, today I feel pretty awake, which is nice. I'm a little worried that I may have re-exacerbated a groin strain, or even have the beginnings of sciatica/high hamstring tendenitis or something like that. I'll have to see. I'm going to jump on the watt bike again this evening rather than go for a run to give my body a bit more time to recover. Then try a gentle 6km run over lunchtime tomorrow. I've a 5km race on Thursday (not parkrun), so that will be a good time to evaluate things. Speaking of which, I'll be up nice and early tomorrow morning to go and look at the course with another competitor (or two, maybe) so that it's not a complete surprise on the day.

I think that's everything, to be honest. Qualifers, racing at actual Henley Royal Regatta, some other stuff. Yeah, think so. It's Monday now, which I seem to be handling fairly well, my outing this evening has been cancelled (hence the alternative exercise), and the sun is shining. As things go, thus far the day is progressing fairly well.