Saturday, March 15, 2003

I really think it is listening to Groove Armada that had brought on this feeling about Horwich. Ah, 'Take me to the river' first heard in March 1999. Yhose far-off idyllic days, when I was the project manager of I-R, and my career looked rosy, and it seemed that I would go on for ever earing bigger and bigger pay rises, from 31K to 34K, then ever upwards ! The first stop was the tax demand of �550 to be paid within 2 weeks or else ! Next was the realisation that in spite of an extra �3000 a year, I was earning hardly any more ! So on to 2000 and the fun in Milan, another check was the awful Italian project, the, oh well. Its history now. I felt last year, and even in 2001 to some extent I was clinging onto the job. When I got the new car in May I felt a little better, as surely this meant some trust in the future ? But no, no new systems, no big sales and the big deals we looked to get didn't happen, so when we were sold it was a shock but no surprise. Redundancies were more of a shock, but this last week was worse. There is a 'software factory' set up in Barcelona to do the work, so what of us ? Well, two of us, myself and Liam. In January 1999 before the final split between Qad/Largotim/TRW there were 10 of us !
Oh well, more booze. did a hard session last night, 10 sets of 4 minutes with a 1 min rest, was doing almost 4 mins at 160 HR ! Just did a steady 2 hours at level 1/2 (less than 130 )Difficult to keep it low !
Unusually I'm posting on a Saturday. I just can't get over the fact I'm not working in Horwich any longer. strange but true. A lot of my life and experiences of the past four years are tied up with the North West. Realising that my time there was done was awful, and I still cling on to a shrinking hope that I may return. But as it seems the IT centre is moving to Dublin there is even less chance of that. The feeling I felt on leving I-R was odd, just like I had been kicked out of somewhere I am employed at. The way things are at Qad that will probably happen all too soon. But that won't be as bad as leaving HI-R in Horwich, strange ! I really must get a grip on myself, or move up there.

Friday, March 14, 2003

And last night I didn't train, planning to do it tonight. Mainly because of the mince and spaghetti I ate !
Well, here I am in the Merry Hill office, with less people surrounding me than I expected. So we are down by 2 people. Sally, well a shame but there we go. Steve, he says he already has an interview lined up. The word is that the company is setting up a software factory in Barcelona to cover the work we do. Or rather used to do. Once upon a time. Oh well, I had better keep my eye on what is out there.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Heard a little while back from Mo that Sally, Steve S and Ian H. are getting made redundant today. Yet another blow. This is getting bad, are the company just not planning to continue with doing custom software ? It certainly looks that way. We shall have to see.
Yesterdays turbo session in my kitchen was a dead loss. I started warming up in a nice low gear and found it very hard to push round and started sweating copiously too soon. My resting HR was 52 earlier in the day, which is a little elevated. So I am obviously not recovered from the Tuesday session. This is bad, probably last weeks illness has slowed my recovery and I will have to take care not to overcook it. The plan was 1 min in 3rd from top, 1 in 2nd 1 in top gear, but after a 10 min warm up I just couldn't get the revs up in big gears so went lower and lower, eventually doing a half-hearted 9 sets in 53x18, 17 & 16. It just felt wrong. I'm off to measure my resting hr now.... and it is 52.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

"You twisted my melon man" !
Which is what happened to parts of my body during something given the happy title of 'active stretching' after a training session with the club back in the dark days of February.
Active stretching, the victim lies on his back, the torturer pull a leg up straight and pushes it towards the victims chest and the victim pushes against the stretch, relax, and repeat. Continue repeating until madness sets in, then repeat for leg number 2.
Next the victim lies on his stomach, a leg is bent at the knee and the victim pushes against the torturer. Then relax and continue. There must be some reason for this, the coach did say but the whole point escapes me. It isn't painful, but certainly feels horrible.
I suppose it fits in with the 'no pain no gain' theory. As in the turbo session we did yesterday evening. Warm up, 3 minutes 100 rpm 53x18, 3 in 53x17, 3 in 53x16, 3 in 53x15 and 3 in 53x14. 2 minutes steady, 15 seconds flat-out sprint, 45 secs easy, 30 secs sprint, 30 easy, 45 sprint, 15 easy 60 secs sprint, 1 minute easy, 1 min sprint, 15 easy, 45 sprint, 30 easy, 30 sprint, 45 easy, 15 sprint, all in 53x14. This is 'ladder sprints' so says our coach. OK it hurt, then we did 1 min of sit-ups, 1 min crunches, 1 min oblique curls, 1 min dorsal raise, 1 min rest, 1 min going back over the stupid things we just did. Then the same turbo stuff, again, for goodness sake. I was knackered.
Fun ? mid-life crisis ? If it is a mid-life crisis I really should just buy a big motorbike (I've been tempted) and have an affair (ooh er, as if). Not slog myself on the bike.
I notice I seem less philosophical about my life than at this time last year, less able to look on my life and think. Is this because the realities of life are harsher, job insecurity, the looming war, the economic crisis, the fact I'm not sitting comfortably in Horwich ?
I heard on Friday the IT people were told their jobs would cease to exist over the next 12-18 months. Well thats a nice thing, after the long hours and time away from families some of those people put in, usually for free. Yes, for free !
The weekend I worked in Italy I got myself �1000 plus overtime, while those I-R guys were doing it for free. Mind you, leaving home at 0430 Monday moring to get the flight to Milan, arriving back in Manchester at 19.00 on Thursday then staying over or driving home to be back in Horwich for the Friday. That was tough but didn't really feel it at the time, except for the time I was ill.
Hello bloggity blog land. Just read this on Dan Walters' Blog, and its all about JLo and her crap song;
But it should be fuck off, not f*** off. This tune irritated me so much I usually turned it off when it seeped itself through the speakers into my ears. As I often do with much of the moronic babblings of Rado 1 djs and the glutinous trash they play. To such an extent I tuned in to Radio 2 this morning for the usual move along the car park that extends from the M40 to this industrial estate where I am. Much better standard of babbling djs on Radio 2.
Now thank you Mr. Walters I can't get that Jenny from the Block tune out of my head.
So its just over a year ago I did my first blog and where am I ?
A pile of mid-life crisis unsure of my future, now Q is my employer, almost as hopeless as TRW but with the added uncertainty of continual cost-cutting. Which was nice to know they have just employed a shiny new highly-paid UK HR director. So the ratio of mangers to workers is being kept high, we can never have sufficient managers I say.
But back to the assesment, H is head over heels in love with me making me lead a double life, a Manchester life and a Midland life. She has plans, but I am not sure if I want to be part of that, a sort of idyllic slippers-by-the-fireside lovey-doveyness in a cottage. Ugh, no. I'm not keen on that comfortabel idea, not yet. So long as I can turn a pedal in anger I'll keep to the bike. I'm not done yet, luck and health being witj me I want to do some great things before I really am too old for racing. I have a mind to go for the track and pursuiting. I'll give it a try this year then we'll see how far I can go. I doubt I can get anywhere at UK level on the road.
I am almost happy spending 4 hors slogging in rain and cold and shit, rather than kicking my heels in the warm ! Which is odd, OK in a youngster anxious for glory enduring all that crap seems worthwhile, but for a 46 years-old creaky bloke it is a little odd, to say the least. Is it ? Looking at people of my age running to seed, maybe not. Look at MD one of my erstwhile boozing buddies from the Dudly days, serious heart attack in his early 50s and now off work for many months. So could that have been me if I had continued living as I did in 2000, heavy nights in hotel bars, an almost daily intake of burgers and other junk, no exercise. So that, at least is a positive point.
But what of my life ? Well I know as much as anyone, we can only hope to plan as I just don't know.
Wednesday. Ooh, this is becoming a weekl;y occurance.
So, what did I do ? Thursday, er, went to Leamington & worked. Friday into the office for a meeting, a little bit nervy as rumors were there are jobs being cut. But no, not yet. Went and bought some brake blocks from Decathlon in Merry Hill, big sports super-store. Crap really. The store not the brake blocks.
Saturday tried a little spin out round the back of Bromsgrove, went OK but took it steady. Sundau met the lads, left early at Binton and rode steadily home with the wind on my back through Bidford, Dunnington, Astwood Bank and Tardebigge. Usual rush to collect Dad for dinner.
Monday went and got new tyres then a slow meander up to Ilam, over to Hartington & Buxton, Glossop and Horwich. Got a new CD-DVD & a USB card for the pc. And some crisps & wine from Asda and pigged out on a double bacon and cheeseburger from Burger King. Into the Swallowfield for a shower and off to pick up H. Back and a good evening including the usual latish (01.00) in the bar. Didn't drink as much as last time. Checking out the bill was �60. Which is reasonable, I estimate I spent �15 - �20 on drink. Took H home then off down the M6, but oh no, traffic slower, and stopped so came off an J11 and attempted the cross-country through Aldridge, A5, A38, M42 but it took 1.5 hours so arrived in Leamington at 12.00. Which was too late. Got the document printing after a struggle. Home and to Primrose Hill for a fun turbo/abdominals session.