My Mum had a clear out (Part 2)

It is finally here. No longer will you have to sit huddled in front of the screen eagerly clicking refresh. No longer will you have to stare at your Twitter timeline hoping for the update. No longer will you have sleepless nights. After the first episode just a few days ago, Part 2 of 'My Mum had a clear out' is here…

Just to recap my Mum gave me a load of stuff that she had collected over the years. There was a lot more but Mum had done a cull of items over the last couple of years. What we have left is a collection of 'stuff' that makes for interesting reading: school reports, school projects, old certificates, drawings and various other bits and pieces.

Being a teacher I was looking forward to seeing my old school reports. I've written a fair few about various 'little darlings' I have taught so was interested in what my teachers said about me. Below is just a flavour of what a 'fabulous' pupil I was.

First year primary school…class 1L….July 1978…..I think it works out year 3….

“Philip is making good progresscommunicates well….his written work is beautifully presented….interesting and imaginative….tries hard.” The phrase, “written work is beautifully presented” made me smile because my handwriting is pretty atrocious. But my favourite part has to be this….

...enjoys learning new things...

Second year primary…class 2TW…July 1979….year 4…

“Philip is a very competent reader….methodical….natural aptitude…good positive attitude to school…very helpful in the class.” It all seems to be going very well so far.

Third year primary…class 6W…July 1980….year 5…

“Philip has made progress but not as much as I had hoped for….lack of concentration…easily distracted and readily talks for the remainder of the lesson…lacks imagination.” I think this teacher may have got me confused with someone else! Although I particularly like the following phrase…. wouldn't hurt to use a few adjectives...

Final year in primary…class 8B…July 1981….year 6….

Class 8B, Mrs Bickers, she is the only teacher I remember from primary school and from what I actually remember she was nice, so expecting a good report. “Philip has continued to make progress…his written work has maturedspeaks wellpleasant responsible boy….I have enjoyed teaching him.” Glad to see I finished my primary education on a high. Although it is interesting that the head made a comment on the report, “He is still rather shy and quiet, I hope he will grow in confidence next year.”

What is also interesting is that there is not a level or grade in sight in any of the primary school reports. But as enter the world of secondary education that is all about to change. And in a cliffhanger style you will have to wait for the next part of 'My Mum had a clear out'…..



Long Slow Run….

With the prospect of completing 20 miles and 200 obstacles less than a month away I decided that I needed to get some miles under my belt. So this morning I ran 16.3 miles. It was a lovely morning. I was even feeling strong up to about 14 miles but the last couple were a struggle. A simple stile at mile 15 felt like a mountain and even kerbs were requiring a big effort. Not sure how I'm going to cope with 200 obstacles.

But I'm glad I've completed a nice long run. Plan is to complete 18 or so miles next weekend, with a few days at the gym in between.


My Mum had a clear out (Part 1)

Recently my Mum told me she was having a clear out and she had lots of stuff from when I was younger: old school reports, stuff I'd made and some Charlton bits and pieces. So it wasn't unexpected when I arrived at mum's the other day for her to hand me some 'stuff'. Loads of old school reports as well as 'projects' I'd done and some examples of my handiwork. But also some Charlton stuff.

I've been a Charlton Athletic fan for as long as I can remember. In the very distant past I remember my Dad taking me to watch Millwall – that was his team – but for me it was always Charlton. The scarf and hat have seen a fair few matches. When I was a 'cool' teenager I don't think the bobble hat would have seen the light of day too often, although today it is the height of fashion. During the 70s and 80s the scarf was a must wear. Everyone had one on. I'm not sure if the scarf is held as dear in today's 'must have a replica top' world. I was forever thankful of the scarf. The times when I was proud to show my colours: the 5-0 mauling of the mighty Manchester City in 1986 – how times have changed – it was the only match where I can ever remember singing 'we want six'. Or the times when it was used to hide my face: an apathetic performance against Cambridge United – they were then bottom of the league – resulting in a heavy 'home' defeat. I even remember a phase when I wore it tied around my wrist in a 'Showaddywaddy style'.

I think this may have been the first 'official' Charlton top I was given – although I'm not sure it was 'official' or even if such a thing as an 'official' kit existed. It may have just been purchased down the market, or from the club shop, but for me it didn't matter. It was Charlton. But as you can see I wore it out….

They say what goes around comes around. Never is that more true than in fashion. At school the lads all have these retro bags, and they don't believe that I once had a bag like that, and that I was actually 'cool'. Enough said….

Coming soon: My Mum had a clear out (Part 2) including old school reports and lots more.


One month to go….

That can't be right! Can it? This time next month I will be going to bed safe in the knowledge that in the morning I will be participating in the Rat Race Dirty Weekend in Stamford. Just to confirm it is not some sort of mass sordid swingers weekend or a weekend trapping rats or even a sensible run in the country. It is in fact the “largest assault course on Earth”. 20 miles. 200 obstacles.


I'll be the first to admit that the training is not going amazingly well. I ran a half-marathon a few weeks ago, and done plenty of 30 min runs around the woods. I even joined a gym in an attempt to shake up the training a bit. But 200 obstacles!? So on the run home from the gym today I took the opportunity to attempt the mother of all obstacles….

As I approached the pipe that spanned the treacherous fast flowing dyke I was feeling somewhat apprehensive, I was sweating more than the 15min hill reps I'd just completed at the gym and even more than Ted Striker….

I was getting closer and closer. My heartbeat was increasing. In my head I was trying to work out what to do if I fell in. The walk home covered from head to foot in scummy, manky dyke water was not worth thinking about. I'd decided that if I did loss my balance I would dive to safety into the nettles, the idea of being covered in nettle rash must outweigh the risk of botulism. So, a plan was in place, if it came to it I would dive to safety…

I went for it…..

Suffice to say: I survived. I'm ready!



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