A Bag of Nerves To…

This time last year I was trying to see and spend as much time with family, friends and Manchester. My thoughts were ‘what happens if I hate it, I’ve sold everything to fund this trip and I’ll look a fool if I’m back in two weeks’ as nervous as I felt even with the reassurance from my mate in the back of my mind something was telling me that I’d be home sick and would not enjoy the year.

I had plans, everyone has plans. Those plans however have not turned out. The biggest plan has failed, I know this as in a week I’m returning from NZ to the UK, but unlike a year ago my mind isn’t nervous or scared it’s just, just unenthusiastic about the prospect. Sure I get to
see people but I’m back in the UK.

The truth is while I didn’t work for DOC or live in the hills partly as I allowed Wellington to trap me in its ‘Coolest little capital hub’. The truth is this is home, this is my city, and I think I was also suppose to stay here. Before I left it was on the list of possible place I’d lay down my bag and sleep. I feel that when I return to Manchester I will feel like a stranger, as I walk round my home country I will feel like a traveller.

Someone one said that you change once you travel, and only travellers know this, you have a different look on life, and to be honest the kiwi one rules. I always said, even thou nervous about the adventure that I’d like to live and stay in NZ and as I browse the shops for those gifts and pack my bag I know that I was right.

It’s not that I’m scared of my return, sure I’m worried or refusing to think about my job prospects, living arrangements and money its more the fact I don’t want to go back so I’m not allowing myself to think about it. Don’t get me wrong I’m excited about having that English pint next to a fire in a wood panelled pub in the heart of an English village with my best mate, seeing my nephew and my mum, but I’m not looking forward to reverting back to the British lifestyle, nipping to the corner shop rather than the dairy, ordering a pint rather than a handle, replacing pound for dollar and having to do the conversion the other way, going to a supermarket to buy everything instead of the liquor store for my drink and having to drive to the coast or mountains rather than taking a walk down the road. Wellies not gumboots, flip flops not jandles, mate not bro the list of culture change goes on.

Yes a year ago to day I was nervous as I was going into the unknown, now I’m scared and upset.

If someone at five thirty came on that plane to tell me I could stay then in all honesty I think I’d get off.

It’s funny how a year changes your view.

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My Party!

Did I mention I was off to New Zealand later in the year. I didn’t? Are you sure? Something like that I would think it unlikely I’d keep that news to myself. Well in case you hadn’t seen the tweets counting down the days, or the Facebook status’ that express my desire to get on the plane before the end of June then I’m off to New Zealand.

Now to celebrate this fact I need to see people before I go, and due to the nature of the job being friends with people for a considerable amount of time, I have friends dotted all over the country. So with no work till I leave I am using this time to see them all as I know they all won’t and can’t come to what ever I do for my leaving party. The trouble with this is that it seems everyone is free the same weekend and all want a piece of me.

Leaving that matter to one side, this post is about my top leaving party ideas and is in no way a suggestion or hint to friends and family to take up the slack and organise it on my behalf.

Now I don’t want to do a drinking session. It will be fun, but then where’s the difference between a birthday, christmas or a normal night out. I want something I will remember and enjoy and not wake up the next day trying to work out what has happened.

So at Number One it’s a weekend away. Now I know this excludes a lot of people and only the best of the best will be able to come, unless we hire out all the cottages or caravan park. This weekend away fits into several ideas. We could do a canal holiday, something I have always wanted to do and never got round to it, or a camping holiday, a holiday cottage, both in Wales and both involving Snowdon.

The other idea which will be more likely and is more of a possibility is that of a pub crawl, but one that see’s me going to all the bars I have drunk in while in Manchester. This may seem like a lot, but it’s not. It would mean starting in Northenden, then going to West and East Didsbury, before hitting Withington and Fallowfiled and then to Oxford Road, Denasgate, Northern Quarter and the general city. I imagine many have changed hands or even names and I would only include those I spent any real-time in. This would have to be a full on day or weekend affair as the amount of travelling will surly interrupt the very purpose of what we were try to achieve.

Apart that, I have very little ambition to get any of this organised and no doubt Ill be slipping away under the cover of darkness without really saying goodbye to anyone. The leaving doo that will probably take place will include a lot of drinks and hopefully those few people who mean most to me.

Leaving Party

I have already touched on this briefly, but as I look at pictures on Pinterest I find myself thinking that I need to go to Wales again.

We all know I love the place. But how cool would a weekend away in a cottage with just the couple of best mates that I have. Drinking, walking and talking. Exploring all the North West Castles for one last time.

At the moment it is a dream and will stay as such as they will all have excuses as to why they couldn’t possibly attend. Some with good reason others because they can’t take time out.

While I’m missing people now (not seen some for months)… I think it is good practice for when I do leave. After all I won’t be seeing these people for a year and who knows I might not even chat or talk to them again. For me this trip is a big deal… bigger than getting married, having a child. I want my friends to be there for me. This is only going to happen the once and while I am doing this for myself, I still need the comfort of my mates.

But it would be nice to have one last good bye…just in case I didn’t see them again. But maybe that’s just me… Maybe I know I won’t be seeing these people again. They may well be under the impression that in a years time we will be drinking again in the local (not that we have local). However anything can happen in a year.

It would be good to do a proper leaving party… and maybe my friends have it under control but I do fear that I may end up exiting quietly only to log on to Facebook in NZ to find messages of ‘Have you gone? We didn’t get to say goodbye’

The real question is should I bother to organise my own party. I suggested this to a friend, who said ‘You can’t do that!’ a couple of weeks later he sent a text asking what I wanted to do? To me that was as good as organising it…

If I am honest, then I don’t want a fuss. I want those who are close to me, and spend as much time as possible with them… Doing the things we have done together like drinking, walking, camping, cycling all just for one last time. If we really get to it, then there is only a handful of people I would like to attend, and I can count them off on one hand.

Off course I wouldn’t object to a big piss up as well, in a bar with everyone who I know.

Man Walks into a Bar

That man is me. I have walked into many a bar and as I walked the city streets the other night coming back from doing some shopping I passed several bars. Some new that I have never been in, some that I still frequent and many that I sadly no longer visit either because they have gone down hill or the times and fashion have moved on.

This got me thinking. When I leave I will probably have a leaving do. What would be better than having it themed around all the bars and pubs I have drank in while in Manchester? Now it’s not going to be that bigger of a pub crawl but it will be an interesting look at my drinking habits from being a student to now. Starting in the clubs, and then the trendy bars before moving to the bars and pubs that only serve real ale for real men.

Here’s to 2013 – My kind of Resolution

Well my glass is half full.

As I watch ‘Come Dine With Me’ in the dark looking out over North Manchester being lit by the dim glow of the moon wrapped in cloud I drink to 2012 and think this will be my last drink, this will be my last midnight feast of Pizza. Yes as off 1st January the sweet taste of cider, wine and ale will not pass my mouth nor will the pile of cheese or bread that I force down. this is not a New Years pact with myself but just a way of training. My running training has always needed improvement and the fuel I decide to power my running is one of the major factors of improvement.

So as the clock strikes I will end my drinking binge and say goodbye to one my vices. Along with waving or controlling my twitter antics, 2013 will see me having a clear lack of presence on the social media scene as Facebook has already had the boot.

Training hard is the key, eating healthy and cross training to make me a mean, clean running machine will be my goal. That and trying to get to New Zealand.

Happy New Year.

My Two Vices

Yes I have two and so what! At least I can admit that I have vices. No guesses for what they might be but thinking about it one of them rarely gets mentioned in this blog so we may be here for some time if you all start to guess. We will definitely be here for a long time if you all start to guess by leaving your said guesses in the comments box and need to wait for me to read your guesses and then write a reply or another post to say you have guessed correctly or incorrectly depending on what your guess may have been. So after all that I might as well just say.

Running and Drink. They are my two vices both can be good for you but equally they can also be self destructive. Running because too much can cause injury and other prolong issues to the body and Drink…Well we all remember our science books don’t we. Now the trouble with these two vices is they can not be done together which is good, but one can certainly be done after the other, but then not followed by the first.

It’s while I was thinking about this and thinking that one will have to go that I met a friend and on the way back from her house purchased myself a bottle of wine. So after a good 9 mile run today I have turned to my other vice ruling out any chance of any descent running or training tomorrow which will make me sad that I have not fulfilled my drug addiction of running so that will result in go to the drink.

Why does drink have to taste so good.

Getting Back into It!

So I did the Marathon, I rested for 13 days then ran a 10K rested and a week later did another 10K, then another then rested for a week and then ran another 1oK  and then a ten miler. Within all this I was seeing my physio to work on my biomechanics and core strength and stability (another blog) and my legs were so tired and tight after each race, partly because I was going for it like the clappers, were talking below 7 minute miles and for me that is quick. So it was after the Llandudno 10 mile that I decided that enough was enough and I would hang up my trainers.

This was a good idea for two reasons. The first my legs did not want to move and the second I was working in Birmingham and then in the Lakes so did not really have time to run. So I rested for two weeks, and they say that your fitness does not disappear that quickly but I would like to disagree.

Now maybe your fitness does not drop just after two weeks of no action, and maybe it doesn’t but it certainly does if you spend those two weeks putting on almost a stone through drink and eating crap which is what I did. So when I returned to running on Monday as lets face it I have another marathon to train for so really need to start. The short run of 5k was tough, very tough and it wasn’t even a fast run. The one tonight of 6 miles was a little easier once I got back into my stride, but it took the first 2 miles to run through the niggles and loosen up the legs.

So for the next couple of weeks before I start my training I need to get back into tho running lark, training myself to run and run through the pain (unless it’s an injury). The hardest part of both runs was to control my speed, as I could not run at marathon pace or even half marathon pace my body and legs are so use to running a fast 10K that is still what they want.

So here we go, two weeks of some practice runs to get back into it, and then some long hard training runs for the hardest marathon in the Britain. The Snowdonia Marathon.