Heil Hamstring

Wordpretzels, some of you may be aware that as well as being a runner, I am also a qualified football (soccer) referee, which means for 8 months of the year I spend my Saturday mornings and afternoons running around outside in all forms of weather being undermined, questioned and insulted by a multitude of players, their parents, managers and supporters. 

Back in December, I tried refereeing 2 youth matches in the morning followed by an adult one in the afternoon.

“Be careful. Too many matches in a day leads to injury,” warned the Referee’s Association secretary in an e-mail. What did he know? I’m an experienced runner, I’m fit and healthy. Sure enough, with 10 minutes remaining in the adults’ game, my left hamstring suddenly ‘twanged’. Not a full blown rupture, just a tweak. Having reached my 50s and having played sport all of my life, I’ve been fortunate to have never had a hamstring injury, but now it’s started. It turns out old men are quite capable of plodding around the streets for miles, but are no longer equipped to sprint, unless they undertake half an hour of warm ups. It also made me realise that I used to be built for speed; now I’m built for nothing.

Anyway, I had an enforced rest  the weather forcing games to be abandoned and my hamstring got better. I thought. Then in February, it ‘tweaked’ again, so I bought a special strapping for my thigh, which was conveniently hidden under my long referee shorts. No more trouble.

Until April, when my right hamstring ‘twanged’. On a run. Bloody brilliant. Now I had two tweaked hamstrings, with three more games of the season left, so I went to Sports Direct and bought another thigh strap and a pair of compression pants. They say exercise helps you to lose the pounds. In my case, I’d forked out approximately thirty of them.

Getting ready in the small, lonely, one person referee changing room, I looked at myself in the mirror. Thigh straps, compression pants and a hinged knee brace. My body was being held together by various pieces of lycra, velcro and metal. Now I know what Robocop must have felt like.

Fortunately, I managed to get through the match with no injuries and minimal haranguing, vowing to return home and ‘heal thyself’. Of course, I approached the most effective and reliable form of medical care and advice known to humankind, namely the internet, typing in ‘treatment for strained hamstring’. Naturally, there was a wealth of information. I noticed one website showing the best way to warm up to avoid hamstring pulls. This was it:

Version 2

Now, this may well be an effective method for preventing injury, but look at it from my point of view. I take to the field of play 10 minutes before kick off. The players are also out warming up. They would suddenly notice me, goose-stepping up and down, wearing a black shirt. I would only need to raise my right arm straight in the air to complete the impression that the impending game was being managed by a fervent neo nazi.

Then again, it may make them think twice before questioning my authority…


Posted in ageing, blog, blogging, blogs, comedy, health, humor, humour, life observations, referee, running, wordpress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

It’s Started…

Leaving the supermarket and walking to my car, I answer a call on my mobile.

“Hello? It’s Blessing. I wanted some advice on my essay,” says the voice on the other end of the line; one of my student tutors. I stuff the mobile between my ear and shoulder as I fumble for my car keys in my left hand pocket, shaking them loose and clicking the button to unlock the car.

“I have managed to finish my assignments, but think I have exceeded the word count,” Blessing explains. I load the heavy bag of shopping in the boot and shut it, walking around to the driver’s door.

“How many words are you over?” I ask, as I climb into the seat and check my right pocket. Something isn’t right.

“About three hundred and fifty,” he explains, “do I need to cut it down?”

I check my jacket pockets, more fervently than my trouser pocket, then exit the car, looking around the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat.

“Erm, no, that should be OK,” I assure Blessing, not really concentrating now. I’m hurriedly heading back to the boot, opening it and searching through the groceries as Blessing expresses his relief, in direct proportion to my panic. I’m trying to think how it’s completely disappeared, I’m usually so careful. I make my way back to the driver’s seat and pretend to listen to Blessing’s description of his assignment. Where has it gone?

“Can I ask you about my teaching assignment next week? Only I – ”

Now completely freaked, sweaty and unable to continue the conversation, I interrupt my student.

“I’m really sorry, Blessing, I have to go. I’ve lost my phone.”

Posted in age, ageing, blog, blogging, blogs, freshly pressed, humor, humour, life observations, wordpress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

1971 and all that

I was listening to Danny Baker, the broadcaster, interview his old friend David Hepworth on a podcast today. Mr Hepworth has written a book entitled ‘1971 – Never a Dull Moment’, which works on the theory that 1971 was the Anus Mirabilis of the rock album.


What does this mean? I can hear you ask, dear Wordpretzel. Well, David argues that 1971 was the best year ever for the rock album, when young people changed from purchasing pop singles in favour of rock albums. What’s more, 1971 may have been the year which has never been bettered for the sheer quality of music produced.

I initially thought this may be a bit of an exaggeration – surely every year has its good albums. Until they started to name some of the records released. Let’s start with, for example, Led Zeppelin IV. Led Zep were touring little clubs around the country, trying out their new material, including a rather long ditty called ‘Stairway to Heaven’.

In London, Glyn Johns, the record producer, sat in a studio in Barnes and chatted to Pete Townsend.

“Pete, tell me about Lifehouse,” he said. Pete obliged. ‘Lifehouse’ was Pete’s follow up to ‘Tommy”, and would be a multi-media rock opera, a rather complex and intense affair.

Glyn Johns contemplated Pete’s description for a moment.

“I don’t get it. The band don’t get it. Let’s just make a record,” suggested Johns.

Pete agreed, The Who recorded the songs only and released “Who’s Next”.

Oh, also in London, Pink Floyd were making ‘Meddle’. Rod Stewart had gone solo.Elton John had a hit with ‘Madman Across The Water’. Yes followed up their eponymous album with ‘Fragile’.Genesis had ‘Nursery Cryme’, the album I listened to in 1976 whilst a 17 year old catholic girl absent mindedly ran her fingers through my hair, watched curiously by her 4 younger sisters in their nan’s front room.The Rolling Stones sang ‘Brown Sugar’ from the album ‘Sticky Fingers’, which had a famous record sleeve showing the crutch of a man in jeans, with a working fly zipper…

David Bowie had travelled to the USA, where he met Iggy Pop and the Stooges and Gene Vincent. By December, he’d dyed his hair red and recorded “Hunky Dory”.

Also in America, The Doors released ‘LA Woman’ and ‘Riders on the Storm’, Marvin Gaye sang ‘What’s Going On” , Joni Mitchell created ‘Blue’ and Carole King ‘Tapestry’, also giving a ditty called ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ to James Taylor.

New bands were formed. Paul McCartney, a year on from the writ that disbanded The Beatles, released the album ‘Ram’ with his new band Wings. Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood finished with The Move and formed The Electric Light Orchestra.

On a personal note, Gilbert O’Sullivan released ‘Himself’, an album I played until I wore it out. I was 10 years old and this was a great year to discover music. ‘Have You Seen Her’ by The Chi-Lites, ‘American Pie’ by Don McClean, ‘The Theme from Shaft’ by Isaac Hayes, ‘Say You Don’t Mind’ by Colin Blunstone, ‘I’m Eighteen’ by Alice Cooper. The list goes on.

Danny Baker made two great observations.

Firstly,If you watch any TV show or film from 45 years ago, they would look dated and old. However, play any songs from the albums mentioned alone and they could have been released last week. Play ‘Changes’ or ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ and it will be as familiar to a 24 year old as it is to a 64 year old.

Secondly, that the observation that things change incredibly quickly in the modern world is something of a myth. If we turn back the clock 10 years from now to 2006, very little has changed in fashion or music, the two years are almost interchangeable. But study the decade 1961 to 1971 and the changes were seismic. From Teddy boys and rockers and mods to hippies and heads. To me, Teddy boys and rock and roll seemed ancient; I was a punk in 1976, only a decade after the summer of love.

Perhaps it’s just perception, but I don’t think so. 1971 wasn’t my generation, so I have no bias. Now I can sort of forgive all my friends who never musically moved out of the 1970s…

(check out David Hepworth’s playlist on Spotify – 1971 – Never a Dull Moment).

Posted in 1971, age, blog, blogging, blogs, comedy, comic characters, David Bowie, digital age, elton john, freshly pressed, Gilbert O'Sullivan, health, humor, humour, life observations, music, wordpress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Crunchy Rabbit Ears – Rural Spaceman’s Guide to Barcelona

I have returned refreshed from Spain after a four day excursion to Barcelona with Lady Barton St Mary, The Sexton and Pen. Lady BSM and Pen had been to Barcelona before for a middle aged hen weekend, so they had some experience of the Catalan city, claiming to remember everything about their previous visit.

Obviously, I made some notes whilst visiting Barcelona in order to take the opportunity to write a smug travel blog.

We were fortunate enough to stay in one of Barcelona’s small luxury hotels – The Hotel Mirror, situated in the heart of Barcelona. This really was a treat, with its mirrors and padded walls – they must have heard about us. The whole design was Barbarella chic – a real version of those rooms of the future imagined when we were 8 years old. I half expected a visit from Captain Scarlet. Or, better still, Angel Melody or Barbarella herself.

Mirrors and a glass lift. Doubly terrifying.

Mirrors and a glass lift. Doubly terrifying.

Lady Barbarella St Mary and me waving from our bed in the Hotel Mirror.

Lady Barbarella St Mary and me waving from our bed in the Hotel Mirror.

Once settled, we ventured out into Barcelona, heading down to Passeig de Gràcia, to have a look at one of the Gaudi buildings and make sure we could find the chocolate shop so coveted by Lady BSM. Enough of both later. Being with The Sexton, it didn’t take long before we had to make a stop for food and a drink. Food was a big part of our stay in Barcelona, with several memorable experiences…

All the food we ate was very good. Our first meal, as we settled into the fact that we spoke no Spanish (or Catalan) led to a rather laboured conversation (Barcelona waiters and waitresses apologised for not speaking English very well).

The service for this meal, on a table on a busy Passeig de Gràcia, involved a waiter who had a very short attention span. You’d be half way through your order when he’d suddenly dash off to open a bottle of beer or lay another table or shout at some passers by. Which meant that our tapas only half arrived, being partly what we’d ordered, some of the adjoining table’s order and other stuff that never arrived. We tried to explain this to him, but naturally he couldn’t stay still long enough to understand, preferring to go and fold napkins or stare at the shiny cutlery. Eventually, Pen took matters into her own hands and collected her coffee and milk from the service counter. Our generous tip of 20 cents probably went unnoticed by our ADHD waiter, who by this time was trying to open a bottle of wine, lay a table and serve and take orders all at the same time.

The evening meal at Ignició, near the hotel on Carrer de Còrsega was another interesting experience. Eating late (after 10pm), we ordered starters and main course. We thought. Except that the starters arrived at the same time as the mains. But after the patatas bravas.

The waitress was a very sweet girl.

“Sorry for my English”, she explained, “we have no ensalada”, she apologised. Lady BSM told us that the Spanish regard salad as ‘poor people’s food’, so it’s not very popular amongst the Spanish in restaurants.

“You could always go to the supermacardo and get some,” I joked.

Five minutes later, a man was seeing scurrying to the kitchens with two carrier bags full of lettuce, cucumber, radishes, tomatoes and sheep’s cheese. Ten minutes later we were presented with a €17 bowl of Barcelona Supermacardo Salad.

By this time, The Sexton, Pen and Lady BSM had drunk a goldfish bowl sized glass of gin and tonic (a Barcelona speciality), so laughed it off. The Sexton studied the menu.

“Crunchy Rabbit Ears,” he read out loud. “What an earth could that be?”

Lady BSM consulted Google on her iPhone.

“It’s crunchy rabbit ears,” she explained, reading the recipe: skin ears, season with salt, pepper, deep fry. Comparable to pork scratchings apparently. The Sexton made a mental note under churros as to things he would eat on his stay in Barcelona.

Next day, a visit to Sagrada Familia, designed by Barcelona’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudí. It was magnificent; like taking the wildest dreams of a completely

Sagrada Familia. Fantastic, due to finish in 2026. That's just an estimate.

Sagrada Familia. Fantastic, due to finish in 2026. That’s just an estimate.

innovative designer and making them real. To add to the surreality, Gaudí never made any formal architectural drawings, just sketches and plaster models. What’s more, the building isn’t finished. Cranes and clattering and banging continue in this religious building, still working on Gaudí’s masterpiece. It’s not a cathedral, but a basilica. Barcelona already has a Cathedral, where the bishop has a throne (a cathedra, hence the word). Gaudí died in 1926 – run over by a tram. He was a scruffy so and so, which meant that the general public took him to be a tramp and didn’t hasten his journey to hospital, meaning that the creator of the most iconic and beautiful buildings in Barcelona died without heirs at the age of 74. Which reminded me of my mum’s advice to wear clean pants just in case I should ever be run down by a bus. I recommend the guided tour, which is why I’m now an authority on Sagrada Familia, all my information courtesy of a rather amusing and

pleasant guide, who looked like a  Catalan version of Ned Flanders from El Simpsons.

We finished the day with more god bothering and a walk around

BarcelonaCathedral,another magnificent building, built in the medieval times but with a history stretching back to the 4th century.

The following day, we ventured back to Casa Batlló – tickets purchased in advance, like Sagrada Familia (a necessity) to gaze once more on Gaudí’s genius. This was definitely a tour of oceanic designs, with whale bones and fish scales being suggested in every room. The building is bright and bold and, well, gaudy… is that where the word comes from?

My attempt at artistic photography. Casa Battlo's attic.

My attempt at artistic photography. Casa Battlo’s attic.

Nearing the end of the tour, a loud young Spanish girl beckoned Lady BSM and tried to shove her out onto a balcony one hundred feet above the thronging crowds in the street below. Lady BSM was having none of it, so I obliged.

“Camera! Take Photo! Smile!” bellowed the girl, shoving Lady BSM behind me. We complied before shelling out €12 for the result.

On Saturday, we took a trip to Parc Guell – a bus ride from downtown Barca, and home to more Gaudí designs. However, the queue was long and we couldn’t get in for several hours, so we strolled around the free park, looking at the flowers and listening to the musicians that were dotted around the pathways. The Sexton, a fan of digging and plants, was in his element.

Parc Guell. Antoni Gaudi. Yes, him again.

Parc Guell. Antoni Gaudi. Yes, him again.

We followed this with an open top bus tour around the city, something I would advise doing in any major city – it’s the best way to see it all.

That evening, we met Jez, cousin of Lady BSM and son of Uncle Robin, the wayward brother of The Marquis of Prestberries, with his partner Sophie, both residents of Barcelona.

“We have no stress at all here,” Jez explained, to an open mouthed foursome from England. Lucky people. He headed off early to see El Classico on TV, taking place up the road in Camp Nou, the biggest local derby match in Spain – Barcelona versus Real Madrid. The bars were full and vibrant, everybody keen to see the match. Barcelona lost, but there were no overturned cars, burning shops or mass brawls.

Sunday, we took the Metro to the beach, although we had been using The Metro all the time, despite my initial reticence (Lady BSM reminded me of this on several occasions. The Metro is the best and cheapest way to travel – you can buy a T10 ticket for €9.95 – it gives you ten trips around zone 1 of Barcelona (you never have to leave zone 1). The system is easy to use (easier than the London Underground), clean and efficient. The taxis are also reasonable, but any nervous passengers like Pen find it difficult to endure the Barcelona taxi drivers’ methods of traversing the city.

By this time, the weather had improved; we’d endured some awful weather relative to Barcelona, with lots of rain and wind. I’d tried taking a  run from the hotel, but what with the torrential rain and our city centre location, it was akin to trying to run around Oxford Street, even at 7.30 am. No doubt, nearer to the beach, running would have been a more pleasant option.

After a leisurely lunch, staring at the phenomenally expensive yachts moored in the quay, we made our way back to the chocolate shop to buy several boxes of Amatller chocolate covered almonds, which Lady BSM instructed me to place in my hand luggage.

We returned to Hotel Mirror, collected our cases and climbed into the taxi taking us to the airport. Lady Barton St Mary, last to arrive at the vehicle and therefore condemned to my usual front seat place, gave me a withering look.

The Sexton looked wistfully out of the window as we passed Ignició restaurant, Pen clutching his arm in a nervous, vice-like grip.

“I never got to eat any churros,” he mused, “or crunchy rabbit ears.”


Posted in Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, blog, blogging, blogs, food, freshly pressed, Holidays, humor, humour, Lady Barton St Mary, language, travel, travelogue, Uncategorized, wordpress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wardrobe Malfunction

Wordpretzels, I’m off to Barcelona with Lady Barton St Mary and accompanied by The Sexton and Pen.

“What are you packing?” asked Lady BSM.

I considered for a while, making a mental list of what was required.

“Hmm. We’re staying for three nights, the temperature will be a comfortable 19 degrees, so perhaps warm enough for short sleeves; although a jacket or jumper may be required as evening draws in. I’ll also need to take dress shoes and perhaps my linen suit for the evening, which I can alternate with another jacket and smart trousers for when we visit these rather lovely restaurants you’ve told me about. I’ll probably need my Harrington jacket in case it gets chilly during the day. Some trainers and espadrilles, a couple of pairs of shorts, a few pairs of socks and five or six pairs of underpants. I’ll also need to take my running kit – somebody has told me that there are some wonderful running routes in Barcelona – so my running shoes, a couple of running tops, shorts, sweatbands, socks and my knee brace. I can’t run without that. Also, best take your Kindle for reading, plus some notebooks and pens to jot stuff down. Do you think it’s worth taking a bluetooth speaker or can we plug our phones into a music centre at the hotel? Oh! Yes! A charger for the Kindle, my iPhone, my running watch and your iPad. Then I’ll need shampoo, shower gel, shaving gear, after shave, hair product, moisturiser, my electric toothbrush, erm… How many dress shirts do you think I’ll need? What about an extra linen suit?”

Lady BSM tilted her head to one side, considering her reply.

“It’s hand luggage only.”


Posted in blog, blogging, blogs, clothes, freshly pressed, Holidays, humor, humour, Lady Barton St Mary, life observations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Interview with an Spaceman – Easter Special

I awoke with a start. It was half light and quiet. I could hear the blood pulsing through my head whoosh, whoosh, whoosh … and a subtle rustle at the end of the bed, the feeling of weight by my feet. How did the cat get in at this ti-

There was a figure sitting there, the silhouette of a conical head, long spindly arms, large, almond eyes. No pupils, just dark, pointed ovals. I was frozen.

“Morning,” said the figure, “no need to be alarmed. You’re perfectly safe, although, to ensure you didn’t panic, I’ve administered a small dose of anaesthetic to prevent you from moving. You’re unable to speak, but, as you will discover, you can answer my questions quite simply by telepathic means. Just as I am communicating with you now. Is there a fault with that human? It’s making a dreadful noise,” it said, extending a long, slender finger at Lady Barton St Mary. The digit glowed red, then green, merging into purple, just beneath the scaly skin, like oil on a lake.

“Erm… no, she’s sleeping. That’s called snoring,” I explained.

“Gna!” the creature explained, its eyes widening slightly, its own version of showing humour, I surmised. There was a slight pause as it continued to observe Lady BSM, before turning its attention back to me.

His body glowed with a pleasing blue, like rock pools on a sunny day in Cornwall.

“There is something we need to know about your …people.”

“Yes? What is it? It doesn’t involve probes, does it?”

“What? No. No probes. It appears that many humans have deserted their work posts for something called Easter. What is Easter?”

I considered for a moment.

“It’s a religious celebration,” I tell it.

“What is that?” the eyes turned a shade of green, as did its skin.

“Well, it’s a celebration involving something called God,” I explained.

“What is God?”

“Well, that would be a super being that created life and lived somewhere else, like, in the sky.”

“I am God?”

“No, not exactly. although some people might think you are. Have you heard of David Icke?”


“Never mind. Anyway, there’s a religion called Paganism, which celebrated the death of winter and the rebirth of spring. There would be lots of dancing and drinking and sex and music. A bit like Glastonbury. There may have been a bit of sacrifice thrown in as well. You know, goats, pigs, sheep.”

My friend was turning a rather weird shade of yellow.

“Fascinating. And these Pagans call it Easter?”

“No. No, not pagans. Now there are humans called Christians, they’ve sort of cornered the market in Easter celebrations.”

“What is Easter then?”

“Well, it’s about the story of a man called Jesus, who was the son of God…”

“Pagan Jesus?”

“No, forget Pagans, not a Pagan God, another God. Jesus’s dad.”

My interviewer turned a confused shade of taupe. Mentally, I caught his eye.

“It may be best if you just hear me out,” I said gently. He made jazz hands, which was slightly puzzling until I realised it was his way of agreeing. I took a deep breath and started again.

“So, in this story, Jesus is born from a woman after God plants him inside her. He grows up to become a prophet in Roman times, but he’s a bit more than that. He’s a bit of a dissident, a rebel, a character the Romans think is threatening their authority with his seditious behaviour. So, he’s arrested and sentenced to death…”

“What a terrible story,” said my new bed mate.

“Yes. Awful. They crucify him on a cross, which was how they used to kill people in those days.”

“Urgh. Deplorable,” he said, drumming his fingers on his elongated head, making a pulsating rhythm – Thrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuummmmmmmmmm….. 

I managed to gather my thoughts and continue.

“Ah, but,” I said, mentally wagging a finger, “that’s not the end. He’s put in a tomb; after a few days, the tomb is found open and Jesus is reported to be alive.”

He considered a moment.

“So now Jamus is a zombie,” it said.

“Jesus. No. He’s… well I suppose technically … how do you know what a zombie is?”

“I interviewed another being about the pictures we received in our craft called ‘The Walking Dead’. Now most of my crew refuse to work until they’ve watched all 94 episodes.”

I stared wonderingly at it.


“I’m no expert, but in the stories, it gets a bit patchy. One version has him being seen by Roman soldiers and his friend Mary and her friend Mary that nobody knew. In another, he meets up with his pals and has a blow out meal to prove he isn’t a zombie. I mean dead. In yet another, although being killed and put in a tomb, he manages to wander around for another 40 days before ascending to a place called heaven.”

“How is this a religion?”

“Well lots of people wrote about it a couple of hundred years later, making a religion called Christianity. The followers of Christianity wear a cross as a religious symbol.”

“Why a cross?”

“It’s what was used to kill him.”

My interrogator pondered, a swirling pink and purple.

“ So, Easter was invented by a zombie death cult who show their allegiance by wearing an instrument of torture around their neck?”

I thought for a moment.

“I think you may be being a little disingenuous,” I suggested, “anyway, it’s a story that’s been repeated in other civilisations; ancient Greece, Egypt, pretty much the same – immaculate conception, sacrifice and resurrection. Nothing new.”

“ So all humans follow this religion?”

“Not at all. There are many popular religions: one about a man who flies on a winged horse to meet God on a mountain; then there’s another one that thinks that we have been seeded by visitors from outer space (I study his big eyes carefully for a reaction) and yet another that is all about yourself and what you want – very popular with people in Hollywood.”

It studies me silently for a few moments.

“So, what God do you follow?”

“I’m an atheist. Which means I don’t think such a thing exists.”

“What about – aliens?” it teases, his enormous eyes glittering, his body glowing red and purple.

“Due to the unimaginable size of the universe, it is pretty much a certainty that another civilisation exactly the same as ours exists somewhere. But, using the same mathematical logic, it would be virtually impossible for us to find such a planet. Like finding one grain of sand on all the beaches in all of the world.”

Another pause, more glittering eyes, tidal waves of indigo and mauve cascading down his torso.

“In that case, how am I here?”

“Good point,” I whisper, as the alarm brings me round for Easter Sunday.

Rob and Jesus

Posted in Atheist, blog, blogging, comedy, comic characters, Easter, freshly pressed, humor, humour, The Walking Dead, wordpress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Healthy Thought

Yesterday evening I made a vegetarian version of shepherd’s pie, using carrots, lentils and sweet potato. Lady Barton St Mary and I decided to take the opportunity to eat more vegetarian meals whilst Master Johnny is away from home, travelling around Australia. He’s confident about flying to the other side of the world, but terrified of peas. My motivation for cooking such a meal was partly influenced by Scott Jurek’s book, Eat and Run.

Scott Jurek. Champion. Vegan. Nutcase. You decide.

Scott Jurek. Champion. Vegan. Nutcase. You decide.

For those of you that don’t know, Scott Jurek is a champion ultra marathon runner, somebody who runs in races in excess of 100 miles. Scott also happens to be a vegan; in-between his stories of mind over matter, vomiting, dehydration, exhaustion and pain he gives some very tasty looking vegan recipes.

Of course, being a runner myself, I thought that giving meat a miss once or twice a week would be a good thing. As Scott points out, humans should eat meat occasionally and have a mainly plant diet, as they would do in a natural environment.

Additionally, I have been alcohol free in 2016, for various reasons I may save for a very smug blog in the future, so this healthy option seemed to be a natural progression.

Lady BSM arrived home a few minutes before I removed my shepherd’s pie from the oven.

As you know, she is heavily influenced by ‘Master Chef’. Very often she will walk into the kitchen with her arms behind her back, lifting pan lids, peering into the pan, raising her beautiful eyebrows and say, “Cooking ‘as never bin so ‘ard” in an estuary accent that betrays her usual received pronunciation.

I placed the piping hot dish on the dining table. It looked great. I could tell Lady BSM was impressed, giving me an approving nod.

Served with broccoli. And love.

Served with broccoli.
And love.

Heck, it was tasty as well. My pie was a success.

Lady BSM chewed thoughtfully on her second helping.

“So, you’re not drinking, I’m hardly drinking and now we’re eating vegetarian food”, she commented.

She paused briefly, sipping her water.

“If we keep this up, we’ll have to find some new friends…”


Follow the recipe here:



Posted in BBC Good Food, Eat and Run, freshly pressed, health, humor, humour, life observations, running, Scott Jurek, wordpress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments