Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Hope and Glory in a Nutshell

Oh right, that's the festival that was on this weekend. I love bands from 12 years ago! Was it good?
What happened?
How long have you got? For the majority of people, the festival was a nightmare. It was that unsafe that the organiser cancelled the second day and people are fuming.
Unsafe? Where was it being held? Speke?
No actually it was being held in the gardens of St George's Hall. They cordoned off the whole park along with the road alongside the World Museum. Apparently the whole thing was a bottleneck and some magical bridges weren't built on time that would have allieveated and solved all of the worlds problems.
Hey! I'm the one who tells the jokes. You stick to the facts rather than make up stories. 
Ok. After the event was cancelled, the event organiser went on a rant concerning stolen pints of milk, sandwiches, Vodka and Apple Macs.
What did I just just say about joking around? 
This isn't a joke https://www.facebook.com/HopeAndGloryFestival/posts/263516580803940
Oh dear god! Who is this man?
His name is Lee O'Hanlon. He runs a festival company called Tiny Cow which is connected to Hope and Glory when it suits him but not at all connected when the shit hit the fan. He's essentially the public face of this calamity.
Has he apologised?
That's a tricky question. He...
No it's not that hard. Has he apologised for cancelling a music festival that he organised?
This interview held last night may explain his general attitude towards apologies. https://youtu.be/brOtgrYOHS0
Oh for the love of all that is holy. This man sounds like he's the one who stole the Vodka. 
Which is surprising as his personality on Twitter is very different.

This is hilarious! It sounds like a 12 year old got hold of the account. 
Lee O'Hanlon said on Monday that a 'junior member' was in charge of the Twitter feed during the weekend and has now been relieved of the task.
And do the great British public believe such tosh? 
No. As you can see, the 'humour' during the weekend and Monday night is very similar.
Maybe the junior member was actually Lee with a few brewskis in his tum.
You said it not me. Lee could have you done for Libel.
No. This isn't me talking. It's a ermmm (scrambles round desk). It's a junior quiche. I have now taken over this blog as of 10.38am this morning. 
Nice one quiche!
So what's happening in regards to refunds?
Didn't you read the statement or listen to the interview.
Yeah but he went on about sandwiches for a few hours and I got bored. 
Basically news is starting to filter out concerning refund information but we'll believe it when it actually happens.
Did you get a comment from Lee for this article?
Sandwiches, sandwiches, milk, bridges!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Sands of Lost Time

Mark Spitz once said "if you fail to prepare, you're prepared to fail." My first instinct when reading that quote is to find Mark Spitz and give him a slap for being cocky, smart and successful but he's right because he's cocky, smart and successful.
As I wandered past a depressing Pontins migrant camp which once used to be entertaining the nations families, all I saw was stag and hen parties arriving for a long weekend of drinking and debauchery. They may have saw me and imagined that I was judging them by my slow walk and squinty eyes and I was...on the inside. On the outside, I looked that way only because of the nightmare I had just gone through on what was supposed to be a return to form 20 mile run and what will now be transcribed into this blog.
I had recently found the nerdy magic of Strava routes, for those not in the know, you can make your own running route on the popular app and the app tells you the best route to take to get there. Rather than my usual 10 miles one way and turn around to go back routine, I wanted a change and that change was mistake no.1 (Don't run into the unknown when there's a lot at stake). The stake is that I have my second ever marathon in 3 weeks and this was to be my final long run. I routed a plan to take me to nearby coastal town Southport. I knew I could get there easily by road but I needed more distance so I routed coastal paths and dirt roads. The problem came when the route planning came to Ainsdale. Two thirds into the route is a complex array of forestry and sand duneyness. The route showed a trail going though and along it so my fear of trapsing through sand was eased by my confidence in the app. Mistake no.2 - Don't believe in magic roads in between sand dunes.

So yesterday I began my 20 mile run. Through litherland, into Waterloo, Crosby, and Freshfield. All was fine, I was Facebooking, taking pictures, speed wasn't an issue just the distance. I got a slight discomfort on my foot so I pulled out a plaster, I thought I was the tits. I was prepared for anything. I passed a military base, well it looked like one but maybe it's just an elaborate military base showroom. I then start to find problems...

The route wanted me to cut through a golf course using a public path but I could see a better clearer route but a few heavies (rail workers) wouldn't let me go onto it so I U-turned and went through the golf course and into the forest. The trails were confusing and mucky. I mean, there was like old branches and grass and shrubs, like proper ewww and I looked at my map to see that it was proving tough to predict where to go. I stayed the course and eventually my actual feet met the route the app wanted me to take and so began the entry into the desert that would be my tomb...

The forest gave way to Fury Road and I was Mad Max. The trail was not as I had hoped a asphalt covered delight but instead was a 2 foot wide gully with weeds and nature partially blocking its intended path. My legs started to feel the thorns and prickles, the sand reached areas on my body that I didn't know exist. Middle aged ramblers passed me as if that this was their Mecca and I was a stubborn tourist attempting the impossible. My energy began to wane and the sand captured my feet but also my hopes of 20 miles. I stopped.

I walked, I worried, I looked for a way out. I could go backwards and run back. After all, I was barely half way through the run so logic dictates I could run home and do 20 miles. But to be honest, that thought didn't cross my mind. I had said I wanted to get to Southport and anything less was a failure. But I kept on walking and the further I walked the more I journeyed into the middle of the dunes. A man passed me along the trail which in itself isn't news except that he was wearing speedos...just speedos. He smiled as if I was the stupid one wearing human clothes and he waddled along out of sight. I began to worry. My battery was low (damn you Facebook live from 1 hour ago when I was happy), my drink had become dreg-city and i was still only halfway though the obstacle. I knew at this point my efforts were dead. Mentally, I have a hard time running if I have stopped at some point which is why nearly all my runs don't include walk intervals. This was the mother of intervals and the mission changed from Southport to simply getting out and telling my story. 
I recorded more video which was shoddy and cut out between signal loss but really i did it to make myself feel better and to distract me. It was whilst recording this that I saw the roof of a house, I was finally coming to the end. I left the dunes and stupidly imagined that I could continue my run. I ran 100 metres and gave up.
Around the corner I heard shouting and thug like behaviour. There was a line of cars with scallies enjoying the May sunshine with beers and music. A police car arrived no doubt to put an end to this Britain First nonsense but the car rolled into the next road and I ran again to cover up my weakness and project strength, after all, this seemed to be a place where the law has no control. I made it to a nearby train station and hopped on. On the journey home I could see glimpses of the route I had took, I saw the military showroom, the dunes and the forest. I also saw the trail where I had aimed to get to. There was runners and walkers galore on it, bypassing the forest and dunes in delight. They clearly knew how to use it effectively and I had not. 
I got home and showered off my disgusting body and the creatures I had adopted on it. I had ran 11 miles before I got in trouble, hardly 20. It was a harsh lesson but despite it all, one that I'm glad I was present for.

Adam Yates

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Merseyrail Track Renewal in a Nutshell

Not exactly the sexiest title to a blog is it? Where's the back button?

There's nothing sexy about this experience.

What's happening then?

Basically, the rail loop system in Liverpool and Birkenhead is ancient and needs a major work so the powers that be have decided to repair it without the hassle of being run over by a train every 4 minutes so that portion of the route is effectively closed.

Sounds sensible. I heard about this massive pothole in Japan or some shit in the middle of a busy road that just appeared from nowhere and 3 days later it was fixed. I assume this will only take a week or so? It is the 21st century after all

It's gonna take 6 months. 

That is disgraceful! I can't stand this bureaucratic nonsense anymore. This is all the European Union's fault. I hate those guys. I say we hold a referendum to get away from their grubby little rules and be a nation once more.

That already happened. The country is divided, tensions run high and women with expensive handbags are now in charge of our money. Things are becoming more expensive. Cars, electricity, beer...

I say we hold a referendum to get back into the European Union. I love those guys! 

So anyway...it will take six months overall. Some weeks we have to take buses over the Mersey and then catch a train. It's a real hoot.

What's Merseyrail doing to ease this tremendous burden whilst also making the track safer so you don't die in a fiery death under a river?

They lay on occasional snacks such as water and apples.

Sounds like horse food to me. Anything that humans eat like bacon butties or cookies?

Yes but I was off that day. 

Sad times. Maybe they don't like you.

Maybe they don't. I do tweet the company when things get out of control.

Oh. You're one of them.

I have a right to free speech and to voice my opinions.

When they wrote those laws I doubt it was to troll rail companies about the lack of unsmoked bacon rashers on a bap.

Are you on my side or not?

I'm on whatever side the bacon is on.

From next month replacement buses only operate only at weekends and the train starts and stops at James St.

James Street? Is that the station where all those tourists get off to visit a spoon that John Lennon may or may not have touched?

Yeah it's a real dive. That will be the scenario until May when phase three comes into play.

Phase three? As in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Hulk smash replacement track?

The word 'Phase' was around before superheroes.

If you say so.