Archive for the ‘1PumpLane’ Category

Glorious Failure (blog post on Fetch Everyone web site)   Leave a comment

{see note after this repost of a Fetch entry I wrote … }

It was never meant to be, nor should it ever have been. Yet, there we were lining up for the start of the 30 Pack Marathon…in July…in Tucson, Arizona. Madness.

Why? Described in greater detail at my old full-time blog (Link (roll over me to see where I go)) the idea grew from a stupid suggestion meant to shut up a bunch of us that wouldn’t stop banging on about (or, indeed, banging out) Beer Miles. “A real man would do it as a whole marathon and would drink a case…no! A 30 pack!” came the wag‘s taunt and several of us thought, yeah…he’s RIGHT!

So, I arranged for a local hostelry to supply the beverage and shelter (years before the Ice Bucket Challenge, we were grateful for the buckets of ice water thrown over us every two laps by the staff who came in for the stupidity on a normally ‘closed’ day). There was a beer at the start and one every 1/29th of a full marathon thereafter (the loop through this desert neighbourhood back to the bar, The Meet Rack).

No one finished. One guy that still claims to have done also still brags about cheating and several of us making an honest go of it laughed at him as he poured out half or more of the later beverages. I was pulled by the medical team (a military town, a lot of our running group were combat nurses) in the midst of lap 24 whilst trying to crawl out of a ditch. This was the least of the indignities photographic evidence shows that I (or, anyone else that made it past the halfway point) inflicted upon themselves.

Strong coffee, fatty food, and a pool to soak in at the hotel across the road (managed by a former Rack employee, so open to us) helped with the recovery up to the point that I realised I had severely sprained my ankle during one of the many falls in the last couple of laps.

There was never a time limit set, though, and the following week –still in pain from the sprain– I returned, ordered up 7 beers, downed one, and walked back to whence I had been carried away in ignominy. From there, a slow jog around the remaining course, then the other 5 laps. The victory was sweet.

{It is the time of the Fetch Everyone advent calendar — no idea when this link will go dark, but not before Xmas 2017 — and behind each door there are running gadgets and treats that, by checking the door, you can get entered into a prize draw.  There are also ways to get extra tickets in the hat and the one for today required a 100+ word blog entry titled “Glorious Failure;”  this happened in previous years, too, and is usually the only time I use that blogspace.  So, I threw together a brief description of the 30 Pack Marathon and posted it there with more of a P.O.V. of a participant in the first one, less of the founder.  I like the way the note came together and thought, while not good it isn’t really half bad, either; so, it is copied here where I am more likely to refer back to it.  There may be more of these — depends on what Fetch comes up with.}

 

 

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TFL Run Project   20 comments

 

There was this kid I corresponded with a couple of years back that was systematically hitting the London Underground stations in date order of their opening, having a pint in a nearby pub, then describing the architecture and history of both. I was jealous of him both for having the opportunity and the imagination not to mention he’s a much better writer). You can find these and an abortive subsequent project in his blog, INNSide Track.

I have been trying to figure out how to structure my next themed runs since finishing the LOOP and the A to Z runs, respectively, in May and September. I think I’ve found my quarry in a variation on the INNSide Track theme: run to every station on the TFL system. It is impractical, in this blog, to have a pint near every station not so much for the volume (my hollow legs have been well documented) but because I have already logged so many of the potential pubs — especially in the western and northwestern parts of the system. There will be drinking, of course, but there may be whole sections of quite a few miles without pubs that haven’t already featured here in “DRUNKENBUNNY” or in the earlier “1PUMPLANE” incarnation.

Runs must stop at each station in sequence, so overlap may result in redundant visits.  For instance, if I want to get to Finchley Road from Harrow-on-the-Hill but have already done Wembley Park on the Jubilee Line, a second stop there would be required. However, Harrow-on-the-Hill to Uxbridge does the Metropolitan Line for that potential full run as well as the Piccadilly Line from Rayners Lane to Uxbridge, all in one trip.

The final limits are these have to be tube, rail, or tram stations (bus routes would be madness).  These will include all Underground, Overground, and DLR; Trams are fairly close to buses, but I will strive to do these despite the dearth of “stations” to tick off.  No timetable for completion, but as I am hoping to move to The North or The Midlands in the next year or two there is some sense of urgency.  Wish me luck.

Progress:

Bakerloo Line

Circle Line

Central Line

District Line

Docklands Light Rail

Hammersmith and City Line

Jubilee Line

Metropolitan Line

Northern Line

Overground

Piccadilly Line

Victoria Line

Completed:

London Trams

These others as segments are conquered…

TfL Rail

Waterloo & City

 

Eight full years   Leave a comment

Drunken Bunny UK

We arrived in England 8 years ago, yesterday and I started writing this blog a month later.  I’ve done this annual tribute every year since.  This one is short.  Here are the highlights:

I became a British Citizen 3 months too late to vote in the Brexit Referendum.

I ran in the Wales Marathon and stopped, en route, at some pubs (which may not surprise regular visitors to these pages).

 

london-map-2017-01-14-eight-years

 

I drank in 260 new pubs bringing the tally to 1722.  Moving house to the outskirts of London made the difference, here…before the move, the number of new pubs was 51 (in 6½ months); after the move, the virgin running territory yielded the other 209.

Drunken Bunny Liqueurs has branched out to include brewing with a mead in the works (started a month ago but not yet bottled and will need a year of rest, thereafter).  Reports on this will follow, in due time.

Year 9 is starting rainy and cold and with an 11 mile training run to steer past (or, rather, through) a pub.  Here’s to the same old stuff for another round.

Previous recaps:
Year 7
Year 6 (but more info in the end of the Daily Tipple series and the Year of Fish and Chips)
Year 5
Year 4
Year 3
Year 2
Year 1

passport-and-mojito-mixings

Anything interesting happen in the news, yesterday? #USElection2016   4 comments

Everyone was so happy at Cambridge my second day at work. It was 20 January 2009 and, late in the afternoon, most of the Chemistry Department retired to the commissary to watch Obama’s inauguration. My boss said I seemed a bit subdued and I told him that, yeah, this was wonderful but that it wouldn’t last and that was why I was abandoning my US citizenship.  I’ve taken a lot of mockery about that these last several years.

I hate being right.  But, this wasn’t a new prediction — I saw all of this clearly more than 40 years ago during the Bicentennial festivities.

 

landslide-victory-for-glenmorangie

 

This bottle of malt that lives in my desk taunts me. If I start drinking before the day is over, I may never stop again.  RIP, America…it was occasionally a noble experiment.

You stupid, stupid motherfuckers.  You talk all that shit about needing your guns to protect you from tyranny, all that braggadocio about patriotism.  Here’s your chance, you big bunch of pussies.

British Citizenship (or, No Direction Home)   10 comments

citizenship-pic-2crop

 

“Fare thee well, gone away
There’s nothing left to say….”
Body of an American by the Pogues

The Body — and, of course, the accent — are the only things that are still American as I am now registered to vote in England and awaiting my British passport.  It has been arduous at times to get to this day and worth every greyed and shed hair and spent shilling (just look back at the posts on the Britishness exam and the application for Indefinite Leave To Remain to see what I mean).  If you want to know about the weird Citizenship Ceremony (at which photography is a strictly controlled franchise so no pictures here), I’ll tell you all about it when next we meet…just remind me.

I received the paperwork inviting me to swear fealty to Her Majesty‘s realm precisely 40 years, 1 month, and 21 days after I made this decision in the throes of my very first acid trip.  I have a crystalline memory of that day and how it led me to this one.

It was the 4th of July 1976 (not only Independence Day but the Bicentennial!) and I was about 8 hours into the ride on some Felix the Cat blotter, watching dusk encroach over a golf course fairway at Griffin (GA) City Park with the town hospital’s lights becoming noticeable on the hill opposite; the absolute ugliness of my native land, its ghastly inhabitants, and what passes there for culture made all too apparent — too concise and too clear — over the course of the day.  I concluded there-and-then that — not only did I want to be, but — I had the wherewithal to become a citizen of another country.

Since that moment, I’ve worked on this considering — and putting a bit of effort into — Canada, Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, and Ireland as potential refuges; but, my new land is the one that made me feel the most welcome or, to be absolutely honest about it, the LEAST unwelcome.  And, so it came to pass that, earlier today, I became a Brit.

No longer need the Indefinite Leave To Remain card, so off it goes to the Home Office

No longer need the Indefinite Leave To Remain card, so off it goes to the Home Office

.

Afterwards, we stopped for beverages in the Three Tuns on the way to the Tube.  Disappointingly, they have no jukebox — modern ones are connected to the Interwebs offering unlimited possibilities — so my playlist would have to wait until the champagne at the house.  What I had in mind was the aforementioned Pogues, Billy Bragg’s “A New England” and some Dylan because, during The Ceremony, Bob’s 1966 audience banter popped into my head: the bit just after the “Judas!” heckle at the Manchester Free Trade Hall.  Not the part where he drawls, “I don’t believe you…you’re a liar,” but right after that (and just before he and the Hawks cracked into “Like a Rolling Stone”) when he says to the Band:

“Play it fucking loud”

 

 

 

“The Slug and Whip-It” is the new house bar   2 comments

Slug and Whip-It Ruislip sign hanging

It was the Public Bar of the Drunken Bunny in Swindon but the new digs means that, as we start preparing the bar for the Autumn Drinking Season, we are also going with a new name.  This time, it is

The Slug and Whip-It

because that’s the primary debris I see on the walk to the Underground station every morning.  Garden parasites and hippy crack, literally, but I also like the puns: a ‘slug‘ as a unit of alcoholic measure and the iconic working class dog.

Posted September 1, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in 1PumpLane, Booze, Drugs, Made Me Laugh

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Life in Metroland   4 comments

Ruislip Gardens tube stop

 

We’ve been in Ruislip a week, now, and it seems a good fit so far.  Largely, this is due to Jackie’s commute shrinking from 2 hours (or more) each way to 35 minutes door-to-door while mine diminished from over 1:30 most trips to just under an hour (although the walk home is a half mile farther than was the one in Swindon).  Also, it is exciting to have new territory to explore and (as regular browsers of this blog might already have noted) new pubs to tick off my list.

One other bonus: there’s a poetry connection courtesy my favourite of the UK Poets Laureate…John Betjeman (whose plaque-marked locales I have chased down and whose poetry I have misquoted ever since I moved to England) actually included the new buurt in his poem Middlesex, one of the Metroland trilogy of poems:

Gaily into Ruislip Gardens
Runs the red electric train,
With a thousand Ta’s and Pardon’s
Daintily alights Elaine;
Hurries down the concrete station
With a frown of concentration,
Out into the outskirt’s edges
Where a few surviving hedges
Keep alive our lost Elysium – rural Middlesex again.

There’s more… look it up.  But, better than that: read it aloud.  It has approximately the same meter as “The Raven,” by Edgar Allen Poe.  “Rural Middlesex again,” so close in beat to “Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.'” Splendid.