Message for Daren


Dai and I set the world to rights today with a bottle of Merlot over lunch and a relaxed stroll along Brighton seafront on a gloriously sunny day. 

If anyone is wondering why the English have a reputation for talking about the weather, last week was gorgeous, there were floods on Saturday, two inches of snow on Sunday and we were back supping Earl Grey tea in a beach cafe today… go figure.

Readers of Daren’s blog will be familiar with the way that he taunts us with pictures of glamorous beaches and idyllic sunsets, so back at ya Daren!

The Kingdom

We caught up with Dai in Brighton for coffee and conversation about the latest technological developments in education, before heading off to Brighton Marina for supper and a film.  The marina is excellent at the moment… it seems to have progressed in waves, getting quite depressingly tired between moments of excellence, but right now there are a more than 20 capacious places to eat, a stack of shops, a David Lloyd gym, a casino… the list goes on.  Oh, and a cinema, of course.

Oh my, WHAT a film!

The Kingdom, directed by Peter Berg and starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner, is based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after a terrorist bomb shakes a compound for western workers.  With it’s complex post-911 / east-west / inter-cultural tensions and stunning performances from the cast, the action is relentless and the plot gritty and scarily believable.  Overall, it’s a very thought-provoking film and left us slightly dazed!  Five stars!

Intolerant behaviour

Dai joined me for a really lovely run this morning, during which we apparently talked a load of rubbish… I thought it was quite a profound conversation but Dai is an intellectual so it probably just sounded like idle chitchat to him. 

We pretty much duplicated my run from last week, but the superior technology of his Garmen confirmed that it was 7.26 miles in 1 hour 10 minutes and that our best pace was 5 minutes 57 seconds per mile… which can only have been the ten yard sprint down the hill at the end, otherwise the run would only have taken us 43 minutes!  Statistics huh?! 

Although the Garmen is pretty advanced, I would be interested to pit it against Kim at some point, who runs at exactly 6 miles an hour.  She doesn’t come in a shock resistant case, but she has many more appealing features (many!), particularly as you don’t have to carry her around on your wrist.  Alas, she doesn’t much care for idle chitchat so runs on her own, which makes it more difficult to gauge distances. 

Which is why I have to make uneducated guesses as to the distances I’m running and how long it’s likely to take.  Dai was surprisingly intolerant of this approach to estimation… as an educationalist and teacher of CDT he is used to working within very fine tolerances indeed.  Give or take four miles did not impress him at all.  Oh no sir!

Breakfast did though!  Daren introduced me to Mooch76 and it’s fair to say that I have been more impressed with each of my, um, three visits now.  Part of the reason is professional admiration, as this little cafe-bar encompasses many of the aspects of customer focus and service that I hold dear.  The rest just has to do with the great standard of the food and the deliciousness of the coffee!  Dai had the small, healthy option (aka big bertha breakfast), I had the ultra healthy option (small bertha’) and Kim the vegetarian delight (wails ‘they didn’t give me any bacon’)  Duh!

Tenuous segway to short verse that I particularly like from Roger McGough which goes something like this (apologies, Roger, if it’s not quite right!)

‘There are fascists in the park pretending to be humanitarians, like cannibals on a health kick eating only vegetarians.’

Veggie steak, anyone, or do you have a fool intolerance?

wow it was tough…

… to decide whether to go running today.  Neither Dai nor I felt at all like running.  It was periodically chucking it down with rain outside.  Dai’s kit was in his car and mine still dirty from my last run. 

How about a cup of coffee?