Saturday, March 06, 2010

It's catching up!

I took a lay off after May Hill. The Diary says I did 6 miles.


Where would I be without Mega bus? I took the train up to Birmingham with the G, which is always a pleasure, and a half full coach up to Leeds.

I was hoping to buy a new pair of fell trainers during my trip to Bradford and the gig at the 1in12 was just an excuse to visit the shoe shop. Unfortunately by the time the trip came around I didn’t have the spare cash, and I had to content myself with a pair of gloves. These are as good under MTB gloves as they are for running and I can heartily recommend 1000 Mile wind locker gloves.

I'd planned get the train to Hebden Bridge and go for a run up to Stoodley Pike the next day. That couldn't happen without running shoes. I'd also planned to take a look at the Calder Valley Challenge route which looks like a cracking run.

I met my friend Jayne in the shoe shop and browsed the large selection of fell and trail shoes. I tried a couple of brands that I thought I wanted at the time - Wave Harrier, Roclite - to get a fix on the sizing and we left. We went back to her icy Co-op to drop my bag and catch up. She wasn’t going to be around for the weekend - business to attend to in Nottingham - but we'd arranged to go for beer and curry that night. A couple of friends joined us and off we went to

“The Sweet Centre at Lumb Lane in Bradford [which] acted both as a cafĂ© and a social centre for the men working the night shift in textile mills in the city. It is an example of a business starting in the early days of an evolving community which has continued to be successful.”

Just down the lane, a quiet pub called Haighy's does a pint of mild for £1.50. It's barely drinkable but I did my best. Tonight the pool table was pushed to the wall and half of Bradford was in to watch the rugby on the big screen.


Jayne was up early to catch her train. I read for a while before getting out of my pit to go back down town. They have a bargain rail at Sports shoes Unlimited and I felt sure I’d find something. And I did – a Puma Wind Stopper half zip jacket. £15 reduced from somewhere near £80 – ah, the added benefits of a small frame and a low BMI. Never mind freezing in 5deg weather, or a painful death in the desert. They had two of these jackets. I should have snapped them both up.

Later on I caught up with my friends and we took a trip out to Sowerby Bridge.

I had been saving my booze credits since the May Hill Massacre for a binge at the 1 in 12 Club. I discovered the Timothy Taylor lager and my wish was fulfilled.

Four bands played– Ergot, from Leeds, Tree of Sores, also from Leeds, old men of Kent called Left for Dead and the incomparable La Fraction, from France.

I have fallen into the habit of taking in a few songs by support bands and then hitting the bar or hanging out in the street socialising. I must be a little cynical these days.

The two Leeds bands left me cold and I’ve seen Left For Dead several times. There isn’t a lot to be said about the style of music they play that hasn’t been said better elsewhere. La Fraction, conversely, tore the roof off off the building and rearranged the seating. They don’t play highly original music either, though the vocals are unique, but it is 110% authentic and that is certainly the difference between them and the support bands (L F D not withstanding). Proving once again that passion and integrity trump musicality and pretence. It was nice to be up front, taking pictures and dancing with old friends and young punks alike.

A friend went to see La Fraction a few weeks later at the Kopi in Berlin and he told me that the place was on fire. I can only imagine that life for the members and crew of La Fraction is full of fine revelry.

(how 'bout a) Sundae

My friends vanished at the end of the gig so I made my way back to The Hive alone, to freeze on Jayne's sofa. I slept until 11am, which I find really odd, as I'm an early riser, and I woke up shivering. I'd only brought a fleecy sleeping bag liner as I wanted to travel light but I feel the cold so much these days. I need to remember that. I woke up reasonably hangover free though.

Once again I met my friends over the breakfast table and after packing up got a free trip over to Leeds on a disabled access +1 card, which I spent talking about travelling, climbing and the 3 Peaks Yacht Race with Titch. And admiring his large face Watch for the visually impaired!

Mega bus, Karl Marx, a little snooze. Birmingham 'hove' into view. Train to F. Street and home in time to develop a fully fledged cold, which put the kibosh on that weeks training.


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