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Plane Tree fluff – hurting my eyes in London

London is full of plane trees (click for Wikipedia entry) and in spring and early summer these shed seeds with attached fibers. In a particularly heavy shedding session, such as a dry windy day, the air in the park can be filled as though with snow.

These fibers are very painful in your eyes, and make you cough uncontrollably when breathed in. Make sure you wear wrap around sunglasses, as this makes a huge difference to your comfort! Tonight I was just wearing my spectacles, and a lot of these fibers went into my eyes. Not fun!



By |June 13th, 2013|Diary|0 Comments

Cool daisy chains are cool!

Sometimes I get some delightful gifts, such as this daisy chain from a young student. That cheered up a cloudy day hugely. I did well yesterday too, with some mentos and a slice of cake. 🙂

A benefit of spending so much time outdoors is that you get to see lots of unusual bikes and skates. How lucky are these kids in this Babboe bakfiets?

By |June 9th, 2013|Diary|0 Comments

A nice sunny day in the park, topping up those tan lines…


A brilliant day in the park today. One of the problems of wearing a lot of lycra means that you get fairly significant tan lines. Etiquette demands that for skaters those tan lines should be razor sharp, so the shorts will be placed accurately back on the line after topping up with sunscreen. 🙂

My favourite sunscreen is Riemann P20 Once a Day 10 Hours Protection SPF 20 Medium 200ml, an all day protection that suits me very well in the English climate. Then a little recovery milkshake after a ride into work, and time for a selfie at the Albert Memorial with my treasured Easy Saturday Skate jersey. At the end of the day, the Salvation Army band came through, super cool!

The Easy Saturday Skate runs every Saturday morning at 10:30 at […]

By |June 8th, 2013|Diary|0 Comments

Everybody falls when skating

Yup, including me. Sooner or later, everybody falls when skating.

I’m not that bothered with a little lost skin. I was playing hockey with a bunch of friends and a push from another skater had me over. It wasn’t their fault – hockey is a contact sport after all, even relatively gentle pickup hockey in the park. Years of falling over meant that it was nothing more than a gentle roll. Eddy Matzger taught me years ago that the more you roll, the less skin you lose. That was a tip worth its weight in gold, and it meant that here I lost hardly any skin. Perhaps I’m a bad example by not wearing pads?

I must admit I’d normally want to wear shin and knee guards when playing hockey, but that’s mostly to avoid the pain of taking a stick to your shins. I’d […]

By |June 3rd, 2013|Diary|0 Comments

Drinking recovery drink, resting on a bench

Rest and recovery

I’m having a little relax on a park bench by the Albert Memorial, having just cycle commuted here. My cycle commute is fairly long, 23 miles, so I’m also drinking a little recovery drink, being a Mars milkshake in a bottle. That’s good recovery food as it has roughly three quarters fast carbohydrate and one quarter protein content.

Recovery food is very important when you’re doing a lot of exercise. It maximises the benefit you get from the training you’ve just done, and it prepares you for the next bout of exercise. Look on this as fuel for tomorrow’s cycling and skating, and for the day after also. If I miss out on recovery drink, I know that I’ll be suffering within days.

I’m about to start a skating lesson here, and will then ride home again afterwards, where I’ll have some more recovery drink, this time probably skimmed […]

By |May 26th, 2013|Diary|0 Comments