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New Headphones

Sport Posted on Mon, December 29, 2014 22:25:48

You know you are a runner when you get numerous gifts for Christmas that are running related. Not only did I get a new hat and a new armband, but I was also fortunate enough to get some of these bad boys:
They are Sony Walkman 4GB Waterproof MP3 Player headphones. The main feature that appealed to me was that they were waterproof as I have ruined so many headphones in the past due to sweat getting into the headphones.

The other great feature is that they are an MP3 so you do not need to plug them into your phone, iPod etc. It used to really annoy me when I was running and the wires would flap around. I also found that the headphone connection to my iPhone was becoming temperamental due to overuse so I wanted to move away from using it. I had already invested in a Garmin so I didn’t have to use my phone as a GPS tracker, these headphones now solve the music issue.

As this is an MP3 you can simply drag and drop your music onto the icon and it will download into your headphones. As all the controls are on the ear piece, it takes a short while to get used to where the buttons are located. It is all very straightforward, the volume control is on the left ear piece and the play/pause, skip buttons are on the right ear piece. Simples!

I tested my Sony headphones out the other day and I have to say I was really impressed with them. Some of the reviews that I had read stated the volume was too quiet, however I found them to be loud enough. I tested out the numerous earbuds that are supplied and found those that suited my ears. After running 10km the headphones were still comfortable and they did not slip or fall out once. The key test will be to try them out when it is raining to see how they perform.

Here is a photo from my early morning run around Windsor Great Park. The clear sunny skies are misleading as it was freezing.

Where has the last year gone

Life Posted on Mon, December 29, 2014 06:24:27

I was rather shocked to see my last post was back in May, last year! How much has happened since then?

We went on a holiday to Scotland in Aug 13 and had a fantastic time driving around the highlands. We set off from London and stopped off in the Lake District for a day before continuing on to Scotland. We toured around the country visiting places such as Stirling, Inverness, Durness, Ullapool, Gairloch and Kinlochleven to mention a few. We drove back to London from Kinlockleven in one stint rather than stopping over in the Lakes again.

The biggest news was that I found out in June 13, which maybe the reason for the lack of posts thereafter, was that I was going to be a father! The little fellow was born in March weighing an eye watering 9lbs 12oz! The last 9 months have literally flown by in quite a haze.

Deacon started his swimming lessons on the 17 May and he took to it, well like a duck to water! Not bad considering he is only 9 weeks old. We thought he would enjoy swimming as he loved being in the bath.

We took Deacon on his first holiday on 20 May, to a hotel/spa in Cornwall. We only spent a few days down there but it was good to get away from home for a few days. Deacon made it into the Swimming pool everyday to keep up with his swimming lessons. We went to Lands End (you have to when in Cornwall) and we also went to the Eden Project. I really enjoyed walking around the bio dome’s. We also had visits to Charlestown and Fowey and for some reason couldn’t find a single place to get Fish and Chips! In the end we stopped at a seafood restaurant, but we had to eat separately as Deacon was not happy and wanted to be held. Eating alone, the joys of parenthood.

On the way home from Cornwall we stopped at Stonehenge. The setup of the place had completely changed since I was last here. There was now a visitors centre and the main road was not only closed, but completely gone. No wonder the traffic on the A303 is so bad now.

The beginning of Aug was not fun, not sleeping, drooling and rosy cheeks. It turns out Deacon’s first tooth was coming through!

On 13 Aug we took Deacon on his first flight, to Portugal. I could not believe how much luggage we need to take with us now.

Thankfully we flew BA and they allow you to take your pram and car seat and not include them in your baggage allowance. Always tense time as you never know how they are going to react. We could not have asked for better. We gave him his bottle just as we were about to take off, as drinking his bottle would help equalise his ears. He then fell asleep and didn’t wake again until 30 mins before we landed. He was exactly the same on the way back. The people sat next to us on both flights both commented on how good he was. Were we just lucky?

Portugal was really good and we stayed at a very good hotel in Paco de Acros just outside Lisbon. We alternated days between the pool and travelling to different places such as Lisbon, Estoril, Belem and Cascais. We both really enjoyed Cascais and went there on the train a couple of times. One thing about Lisbon is that it is not very pram friendly. Cobbled streets, narrow pavements and hundreds of steps! Given how hot it was I was not sweating much after pushing Deacon up the hill to the Castle.

When we came back from Portugal we had to start the weening process. For some reason, misconceived or otherwise, we thought Deacon would be eager to move onto solids. How wrong we were. The first few days involved scrunched up faces and much crying, with tears. However, after a week he started to get used to it.

I applied for a promotion at work and found out that I had been successful in Nov 13. My last day in work in my old job was 8 Aug and the day before was my final function. It was a good way to leave as I had organised a Sports Reception and we held it on the Terrace Pavilion in the Palace of Westminster. Nice of the Boss to recognise me in his speech. After a very busy 3 years I was fortunate enough to have 4 weeks off before starting my 11 week promotional course. Had great fun on the course and made some good friends.

We have moved house and now living in Windsor. Loving the new job and now trying to get used to the area. Trying to find some cool running routes. I think we were slightly spoiled when we lived in Kingston as we had the Thames, Richmond Park and Hampton Court right on our door step.

Deacon has just enjoyed his first Christmas, all the more enjoyable because his grandparents came down to spend it with him as well. How many presents can someone so young possible get? We have to hide half his toys in his toy box now otherwise he is slightly overwhelmed and doesn’t know what to play with.

I have been writing this since the early hours as someone decided they wanted to get up at 4am this morning. He has a cough and a cold but we think he may be teething again and his 9th tooth maybe trying to come through. That would be good going as he is still only 9 months old.

Week long Bank Holiday

Life Posted on Wed, May 29, 2013 18:06:57

After a hectic start to the year I managed to get a belated Easter break and took last week off work. It was all very strange having not very much to do all day, but I still found myself waking up early most days rather annoyingly. For the first few days I did some house chores and went for a couple of long runs, which was probably too much because I picked up a calf strain and didn’t run again for the rest of the week.

It was great to watch sport on the TV as it is very rare that I get to watch the cycling, so for 3 days I watched the Giro. What a fantastic result by Mark Cavendish to win the points table and pick up the converted Red Jersey after winning the last stage and claiming 5 stage wins in total. I have no doubt that the Manx Missile will go down in history as the greatest ever sprinter, overtaking his idol Eddie Merckx. The Tour is next and I am sure he will add to his tally of 23 stage wins in that. What will be interesting is to see if Wiggins has recovered from his chest infection and who will go for the GC for SKY, Wiggo or Froome Dog?

Anyway after that sporting excitement my Bank Holiday weekend was spent in Newquay with friends, where I had enormous fun learning to surf the waves. Needless to say I was too enthusiastic and after nearly 3 hours of constant paddling, standing, falling and then swimming back out again, my arms were next to useless and I had a bruised chin and ribs. I did come away with a great wet suit tan though!

So, it is now back to London and it comes as no surprise to see it raining. Sadly my birthday didn’t fall very well this year as it was my first day back in work. I was running a breakfast meeting the following day so I didn’t finish until late preparing for that. C’est le vie.

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