London Marathon 2018 review and a surprise for Mrs Fay

So race morning and up a little bit earlier than planned due to nerves and walking down to the tube I bumped in the a female fellow runner so we got the tube and train together to the start in Blackheath. There was a bit of freshness in the air but the sun was up and very few clouds in the sky. By the time I arrived at the start I was hot after a few stuffy train rides and the temperatures was increasing. I put my bag in a lied down on the grass and watched some of the earlier starters head off on the big screen. The organisation was first class and free drinks available and plenty of toilets. I made it to the starting pen in plenty of time and had a chat with a fella from Bradford as we waited to be the 7th wave to start from the blue section. As my wave got ready to start the old pre race need for a wee kicked in but I had time to relieve myself and was all ready to attack the course and I eventually started 38 mins after the gun.

Due to the heat forecast I had already decided I was just going to try and enjoy the race as much as I could and not focus on time. It was very busy at the start and so this helped me keep my pace down to a level I wanted. Things were going great and the atmosphere was good as the sun must have brought out extra supporters. First sight was The Cutty Sark which and the noise if anything was too loud and a bit distracting. Mrs Fay and some family members and friends were at mile 9 and I gave them a jolly wave as things were going well. They spotted me again by accident a few miles later and next up was London Bridge. Just in front of me was a fella who got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend to rapturous applause from the crowd and fellow runners including myself clapping as we went by. 13.1 miles and half way  I was 2:23:07 and going well. Parts of the course became a bit conjested and “on top” as the crowds drew in from the side in scenes like the Tour de France going up a mountain and the noise was a bit annoying for me even though it was well intentioned support. As the miles went on I had already lost both my nipple protection due to sweat and lots of water being poured onto my top and the old joggers nipple kicked in. There were Vaseline stops so I managed to stop some of it but I had a blood covered top at the end of the race. My mate kindly text me this morning to ask how my “chippy tits” were ! Moving into the middle stages of the race there were people being treated at the side of the road with the range of problems from full on strecther jobs to people vomiting and many people stretching legs out. My first target was to get to 20 miles and review the race then. As I got to 20 miles I decided that due to the heat I would concentrate on getting the definite finish. I had deep down set a target of 5 hours but due to all the great sponsorship it was all about the finish. I walked half a mile ran half a mile from miles 21 to 23 with more walking after that and of course a decent run at the end to put on a show for the finish and I eventually finished in 05:15:13. With it being declared the warmest London Marathon at 24c in the shade temperatures on the road in the blazing sun must have been near 30c at times. So I got through the post race procedure very quickly and again the organisation was brilliant I ended up having to wait for Mrs Fay to meet me as she was stuck in the crowds.

 

With my marathon training starting back in October but turning hardcore into the new year and my life off the grog leading to a boring few months Mrs Fay has had to put up with a lot from me over these last 4 months. So 5 years ago she lost the diamond in her engagement ring. I had managed to get hold of the ring ready to pawn it for an iPhone X  but decided to get it fixed and a new diamond as a post race surprise. We met under Admiralty Arch and I asked her to take a picture of me and my medal and then said to her I have a medal for you and presented her with “new’ ring. That is possibly the most romantic thing I have done since offering to sleep on the wet patch once. She was overcome with emotion as was I when I realised how many credits that I must have in the bank now for trips away etc.

After a torturous tube journey home it was a quick chill and then a shower and time to have a few post race beers and reflect on the race. Those Desperados tasted nice and apart from the normal aches on the bottom of my feet I felt quite good. As I laid on my bed I spotted a pack of salt and vinegar walkers max in my bag and they were the tastiest crisps I have had for ages as I walks struggle to eat and get to sleep after a big race. It was 1am by the time I got asleep and I was awake for just after 7. Think I wil, be asleep in my own bed for around 8pm tonight. One last walk around North London in the morning and the train home we were back in Liverpool ready to pick the kids up from school.

Many thanks to Claire’s Aunty (Lynne) who put me up for the weekend which made things a whole lot more relaxing and less stressful. As for the race itself the organisation was first class and never seen anything like it before. The race itself trying to take the heat factor out of it I found a bit too noisy and busy both in the race and on the sides. After about the 89th time of somebody shoting down your ear come on “Billy” to their mate who is by you it became a bit annoying. Maybe on an easier race I might have bought into the support but it was relentless for 26.2 miles.  My thanks also to all the well wishes and congratulations I got across all my “socials” my stock answer yesterday was “it was like running the Cyprus marathon”

Two down and one to go with The Liverpool Marathon up next in just under 4 weeks.

So the fundraising is at £1361 funds for Millstead school and there is a bit more to add on in offline donations and this has been much much more than I expected. The link is below for any more donations as I still have one more marathon out of the three marathon challenge to do.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/faymondo

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

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The London Marathon 2018 Race week diary Weds to Sat

 


So marathon two out of the three marathon challenge and The 2018 London Marathon. Here is the diary of events.

Mad to think that summer 2017 was spent with an achilles injury and when The London Marathon ballot paper dropped I went running for the first time in ages and it was on October 11th I limped around Aigburth doing a 3 mile run. Even worse was when the post chrimbo scales of injustice weighed in at 18st 7. Jesus there was some work to be done to just even get to the start line. But I can be a determined little person (I was going to swear then) and with hard work and dedication which included most of the training period being free of white bread and alcohol (Which was if anything harder than the actual training) I made it to race week and here is how it went.

Wednesday 18th

Time to check the weather out and its looking hot with a worst case scenario of 24c and sunny. I hate running in anything over 15c and large chunks of training have been run a zero degrees with a windchill factor of about -7c !!! Hopefully things will change for the better a bit. I went out for a gentle 4.5 mile jog in 21c sunshine in Liverpool and into the breeze wasn’t too bad. Once the wind was behind you though the heat kicked in. Hopefully a psychological thing I can beat on the day but its deffo looking like a case of survival and just getting around in one piece.

Thursday 19th

A final 4 miles in the heat and that’s it the next run will be 26.2 miles around London. So having got the train to London and landed at my Aunty in laws I treated myself to a can of lager in the stifling heat of the big smoke. Sleeping in a strange bed and it being warm (still around 19c) I could have almost have been on holiday apart from the fact I wasn’t bright red in bits, pissed and just gone to bed after a Jamon Ruffles crisp butty. Bad news for race day and an email was received saying that Sunday could be the hottest London Marathon on record at 23c or more. Just what I need.

Friday 20th

So I headed off on the Underground which the nerd in me has a fascination with and I even bought a book a few years ago on the history of The London Underground. It was a glorious day of sunshine in London and the London Tube “Betty Swollcks” alert was at danger level. I was soon at the massive London Excel centre and had my race number and other important bits in hand. I had a little mooch around the expo and was offered a flyer from “The Ibiza Marathon” imagine trying to do that after the night I had at Space last September !!! With spare time on my hands I decided to have a random day out in London. First up was the Emirates Airline cable car with a cracking view over the river and armed with my Oyster Card London was indeed my Oyster. The cable car landed me by The Millenium Dome aka O2 I had a little mooch around there and decided that as I was in Greenwich that the geography nerd in me would find the Greenwich Meridian Line. So I hopped on the 188 bus and went for it.

 

So after some mad London Traffic I reached Greenwich Park in the lovely sunshine and headed up to The Royal Observatory and nerd heaven with a picture of me straddling the Greenwich Meridian and a museum packed with clocks and measuring equipment with some astronomy thrown in as well. Being up on a hill there was. Cracking view back over The City Of London. Venturing through Greenwich Market on the way to the tube I decided to head home handy and miss the rush hour. The heat is intense and thankfully it’s going to be a bit cooler for race day but whilst at the Expo earlier I was thinking about buying a vest but them remembered that I hadn’t shaved my back for months and would resemble something like the missing link or  Chewbakka so swerved that idea. One last reminder as I walked to the tube and a warning sign for Sunday’s race. Just can’t get away from the damn thing. Back at base camp and time to chill. I was dying to get out in the sunshine but can’t risk any hint of sunburn with race day approaching.

So after tea I headed out to see Tottenham Hotspur’s new ground that is being built and a lovely balmy evening walk through Tottenham. There was so much going on in the streets of Tottenham. There was a buzz to the area with many shops and corners a hive of activity. Like a super duper version of Lodge Lane but on speed. It seemed very exciting from an outsiders point of view. I tried hard not to stick out like a tourist. It was certainly a different world than the shops in Aigburth Vale. Mad how many many pockets of London have their own individual buzz to them. As for the stadium it looks massive and the area around it will change. Not necessarily for the better with gentrification and locals getting pushed out. Walking up Tottenham High Street I felt like I was in my very own “Bitter Sweet Symphony” video. Coming back through two of Tottenham’s parks you could see some real London nor far from the new stadium. I wonder if in 10 years it will have survived.

Forgive me father I have sinned. Well it was still 20c and I could not resist two Rekorderlig Ciders sitting outside watching the sun set over London. Not exactly the correct way to hydrate for the warmest London Marthon ever but it was a lovely relaxing couple of hours and I was in bed for 10pm with a pint of water. Two more sleeps. Gulp !

Saturday 21st

So I decided to give the Liverpool game a miss and head into Camden. The main road wasn’t up to much but Camden Market exceeded my expectations. I suppose the lovely sunny weather gave it a better vibe and it was an real test not to sit off and have a refreshing cider. But I stuck to my hydration tactic and water was the drink of the day. The market has lots of little nooks and crannies to discover including a few record stalls. If food is your thing then some of the food stalls looked great and there was one shop called “Cyberdog” it sold loads of clubbing gear and lots of quirky T-shirts and I will deffo be heading back there before Glastonbury 2019. There were bouncing choons playing and somebody stealing my 1994 Club 051 moves as seen below

Get on this shop in #Camden #cyberdog

A post shared by Neil Fay (@faymondo) on

 

I will deffo return to Camden with Mrs Fay who missed out as I met her at Euston station after my half day out and now back at the in laws having more water and loading up on spaghetti hoops. The Aunty in law and the rest of the gang are on the grog and Tom is even taking the piss being on Desperados. So water and bed for 9 and the big one awaits. Wish me luck. I might need it in the forecast heat.

 

So lets not forget the cause that I am running for.

The original target is to run The London Marathon on Sunday April 22nd and running to raise monies for Millstead School

The challenge then grew out of control to 3 marathons in 7 weeks. With Manchester in the bag and Liverpool to finish off.

Lois has cerebral palsy which effects all four limbs. She is unable to walk or support herself and her ability to communicate is limited. Millstead School aims to provide the very best learning and development opportunities for children like Lois who have severe learning and mobility difficulties. From the initial target of £500 things have gone off the scale. So much love and thanks your way.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/faymondo

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

 

 

 

15th April once again a TWAT of a day

Different year, same blog (ish)

So the 15th of April comes around yet again and its a day I dont look forward to. 15/04/1989 and its now 29 years since Liverpool fans went to Hillsborough for a F.A.Cup semi final and 96 of them died. I didnt go the match that day but had friends who did and I still remember making the phone calls that evening wondering what I would do if I heard any bad news. All my close friends made it back. There was however one lad who I played football with who did not. His name was Philip Hammond. He was only 14 and I has played in teams with him from Sudley juniors through to APH. He was a good player, that good that he was in the year below us but often played with my year. Hid dad Philip Hammond Senior has been a tireless campaigner for justice for those fans. It’s nice to see Calderstones school name their sports hall after Phil and I have had a bit of contact with his younger brother Graeme on Twitter and had the odd pint with him My thoughts are with him and his family and the other families today. What a shocking waste of a life and as I get older both as a person and a parent I can feel the pain that the families have suffered both of the tragedy and the 29 year fight for justice. But sadly still many people need educating about the facts of Hillsborough and even though the inquest in Warrington provided the truth which some people still choose to ignore the families of the 96 are still waiting for justice.  Just remember don’t buy the sun.

boycott_the_sun

As if by some cruel twist of fate 15/04/2006 came around and after battling cancer for the best part of 10 years my mum finally died after some time in a hospice. She was brave to the end and went through so much in those 10 years and I grab the positives that she seen me get married, and have our eldest Elizabeth. I can’t quite believe it is now 12 years since that day forever etched in my mind. It pains me that she never got to see Charlotte. Time does heal things a bit but certain dates stick out. I often think what she would have made of the kids growing up (So fast) and its heartbreaking that every body has missed out, the kids, me and my mum. Both my daughters have Lillian as a middle name after my mum so they will always remember nana. In 2012 we had another daughter born in early April called Holly who never got to see nana and also my mums mum is no longer here as well and Holly has her name Eillen (poor girl) as a middle name. Added to the misery is that my dad has now joined the great Fay/Roper party in the sky. Nobody prepares you for losing a parent and when the second one bites the dust it made me re-evaluate my life, a process which is still happening. No longer anybody to look up to and ask questions. All of a sudden you become technically an orphan. I had been giving Thatcher stick in an old blog but her daughter hit the nail on the head by saying “It is a deeply sad and rather thought-provoking landmark in life.” Talking about losing a second parent. Now I am leader of the pack with a massive hole in the family make up. Just a short blog today to remember my mum and those footy fans who went to see a match but never returned.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

Half & Half footy scarves nah make me a third/third/third one !

So with marathon number one out of the way this week has been about recovery and by Wednesday I had stopped walking like John Wayne. It was back to pounding the streets on Wednesday and a run today as well. Just the Tunnel 10k on Sunday and two light jogs Tues/Weds and its all eyes to The London Marathon but more of that next weekend. Whilst in town on Monday I walked past one of the stalls. You know the ones that sell all kinds and those infamous half and half football scarves. Who in the right mind would want one of those. Imagine cruising the streets in your half and half Liverpool/ManUtd scarf. You would end up getting twatted by both sets of fans. But this week there is a new scarf on the scene. Yep your one and only “The National” scarf. Now admittedly the weather so far has been shite and a few of the ladies today might have needed a few scarves handy to keep the chill out but why would you want a ” The National” scarf. Lets suppose your crazy enough to want one. First option is the colour. Now I have no idea why “The National” scarf is yellow and green. This would pose problems when requesting your half and half scarf with Norwich City. Now that you have settled on the yellow and green colours what would you possibly want on your “The National” scarf. I know lets bang the names of a few of the famous fences on it as well. What more could you want ? There you will be head held high singing “We love The Grand National we do ohhhhhh Grand National we love you” scarf proudly lifted above your head and as many are held on the kop it would have to be back to front or upside down just to complete your idiotic look. Thinking about this scarf venture I believe the market stalls have missed a trick here. They could have rush produced individual scarfs for each horse name with the jockeys colours on along with the jockey and trainers name. Aghhhhhhh the OCD in me is kicking in. It could also have the form of the horse on and the number. Possibly the weight as well and why not the age and Timeform rating. Stop it stop it. We could even go all retro and have some past winners such as a Red Rum scarf. Right I am off to apply for Dragons Den and I have the ace card up my sleeve and for one day only you could have a limited edition third/third/third scarf as tomorrow we see Liverpool play Bournemouth and its The Grand National. Plumbing new depth in the world of scarves. Tom Baker eat your heart out.

With the outrageous price increase in FIFA world cup Russia 2018 panini stickers up from 50p a pack to 80p a pack it was a sad day the other day when I decided that I would not be collecting this year meaning my run of completing full albums from World Cup 2010 to Euro 2016 would come to an end. It worked out with extra stickers this year that to complete the album by normal methods would cost you 9.601 Billion Dollars which funny enough is the Gross Domestic product of Chad who failed to qualify for Russia 2018. Anyways group on had a deal for a box of 100 for £65 and I was back in the game. Gone of the days when I would collect Footy 81 stickers at just 5p a pack and the free market would declare that the Liverpool badge was worth at least 20 normal stickers or 10 stickers a can of Top Deck Lime & Lemonade and a Wham Bar. My eldest daughter (13) who started collecting was forced to collect in 2010 still wants to collect them as does my youngest daughter (6) but sadly middle daughter (10) has no interest and would rather make slime ??? So if anybody fancies hitting me up for some swaps please do so as I already have Andreas Bjelland and Viktor Vasin on swap. Got, got, need.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

The Greater Manchester Marathon 2018 Review (1 down 2 to go)

So with Moses being the kind friend who volunteered giving up his Sunday lie in (Thanks to my other mates who said they would as well and a bit later sending that email reply Moe and you would have got away with it) we headed off to the start line of The 2018 greater Manchester Marathon. I had decided to do the marathon as my last long run for my training for The London marathon.  Better pounding the streets of Manchester with a crowd than another soulless run around Liverpool. After a personal best (PB) in The Liverpool Half Marathon a few weeks ago training along with weight loss could not have gone any better. So this meant that The London Marathon challenge had grown out of control and ended up being a three marathons in seven weeks challenge with Liverpool tagged on after London.

I arrived on enemy territory well in time avoiding the chaos of my previous Greater Manchester Marathon in 2016 and I arrived in kit so was all ready to start and took in a few sites by the start line as part of a warm up walk. Before I knew it there was just time for a pre race wee in the bushes a wee that you never need but to get that last dribble out makes getting to the start line in perfect condition a great feeling. That along with a cool and misty Manchester sky with the lightest of winds meant that running conditions were also prefect.

So this year (Last marathon was Manchester 2016) I was armed with a GPS running watch to help pace myself and todays aim was to run a decent half marathon then plod onto 22 miles which I knew I could do having nailed that in training in Liverpool on Good Friday and then see how many more miles I could eeek out after that having in my two previous marathon attempts never ran one without stopping. So the first few miles around Trafford went well and  made sure I didn’t start too fast looking at my watch. Running through Sale, Timperley and the half way point in Altrincham. Things were going great and I done 10k in 01:00:10 and the half marathon was done in 02:08:16. I must say the people of Greater Manchester really get into this marathon with loads of people en route cheering you on and some people making a day of it outside there houses giving out water and sweets. The people of Liverpool could take note of this and it really does help especially on those last few miles. I spotted Frank Sidebottom en route and also ran over The River Mersey at one point. Being a scouser in Manchester I had to represent and had this on my running cap.

So I eased down straight away at 13 miles ready for the second half of the slog. Around 16 miles there were a few people walking but I had done 22 in training and I was going to do more than that at the minimum despite the temptation to stop. Around 21 miles things were getting tough and mile times now around 11 min miles. At 22 I said “Right this is the furtherst I have ever run lets get to 23” at 23 miles I said “Just 3 miles and that is it” and ploughed on and my estimated time was going to be under 4 hours 30. I actually upped my pace for the last two miles. I wouldn’t quite call it a kick for home but mile 26 was run at 10:20 and with large crowds cheering me on I raised my arms as I crossed the line in 04:27:18 a PB beating 04:48:41 from 2016 at Manchester. Wow I had gone under 4 hours 30 and also ran a whole marathon without stopping.

The hardest part about the race was stopping as I hobbled through the post race area and put my medal on. As I walked under the stand at Old Trafford Cricket Ground it reminded me of why I actually done a marathon which was when my dad was 40 he was 20 stone in February 1985 and said he would do The Liverpool Marathon that September. After we had picked ourselves up of the floor from laughter we went about our daily business. Come September he was 13 stone something and completed his first marathon. I always remember him saying to me “Thats it son when you are 40 its your turn” to a 13 year old boy this was in the space age future time range. Sadly my dad died in 2012 and never got to see me doing his marathon challenge as a 40 year old but I did. Walking under the stand at Old Trafford reminded me of the times we used to go on the ale to watch England play cricket there. I was now physically and emotionally drained and on the verge of a tear or two along with a wobbling lip ha ha but pulled myself together to met the family who had come to see me finish. I am sure you will be proud of my running achievements and todays time dad and I will have a Desperados tonight watching the golf which was another thing we watched together back in the day though you would mock my Desperados as being “lemonade”

So the inspiration of this marathon challenge was to raise money for Millstead School as friends of mine have a daughter with Cerebral Palsy. As mentioned its grown out of all proportion from just a London marathon challenge to now three marathons in seven weeks. My original target of £500 was passed and I kid you not as I was writing this blog the new target of £1000 has been reached. I am truly overwhelmed by this as a person who has no workplace etc its an amazing effort from you all. From Friends and Family to random followers on my Liverpool Weather Facebook and Twitter accounts to friends of friends I cant thank you enough. Link to my fundraising page below.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/faymondo

So the next two marathons I am going to run a bit slower and enjoy. London should be good fun (As fun as 26.2 miles can be) and rather than having an eye on the watch trying to shave a couple of minutes off a daft PB I am going to take the London and Liverpool races in and enjoy. Having now ran a marathon without stopping and also going under 4 hours 30 I only have one ambition left in running. That is to fit comfortably into an XL t-shirt you get after you finish a race. The Manchester one below is the least snuggest yet but as you might see in the picture I think there is a reason my tops are tight. Not a bad run for a 16st piearse. Who knows I might even get to 15st something by the end of it all ? Now I have some energy back let the post race sausage roll and Desperados festival begin.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

BTR 2018 Liverpool Half Marathon Review

So Saturday evening and I went through my pre race routine including making sure my nipple plasters were out. I could not even be bothered to have some pre race spaghetti hoops and instead went for hotdogs for tea ! The kids were packed off to bed early as Mrs Fay was out on the ale again. I think she is making up for my lack of drinking. It is day 81/108 no ale and yes I am now admitting to counting every second. I was tucked up in bed for 10pm and asleep not long after. Nice to be going asleep not waking up to the now traditional long Sunday run which was 21 miles last week. This sunday was a nice not so gentle half marathon as I was going for a personal best (PB) I would already be an hour down from the clocks going forward and I was crossing my fingers that when Mrs Fay fell in that (A) She wouldn’t wake me up and (B) She wouldn’t want any hows yer father as that is strictly off limits on the night before a race and come to think of it has been off limits since the birth of our third daughter ha ha. But surprise surprise she did wake me up but I went into “statue”mode and avoided the above (B) So my alarm went at 7.30 and it was a beautiful morning for a run and with a slight headwind along the waterfront for the last 4 plus miles home to keep me cool it was almost perfect running conditions. I decided to get the first train from Aigburth into town and play Merseyrail Russian Roulette but the train turned up on time and after a short walk and change into my gear I was at the start line in plenty of time.

So as you can see I plonked myself down by the 1 hour 50 marker. As the start pen filled up it soon became clear that I was surrounded by some very athletic looking people also targeting 1 hour 50 and soon the official race 1 hour 50 pace makers appeared. The plan was to see how I got on for a sub 1:50 but the main aim was for a PB which stood at 01:53:19 in 2016. So we counted down from 10. I say we but I didnt as by my own admission I am a miserable runner. Having weaned myself off earphones whilst running I still prefer to run alone and in my zone. It was soon clear that the 01:50 pace maker was going to be a happy clappy affair. Great for most people but not for Meldrew Fay so I tucked in just behind and has a quick chat to a fella who was after 01:50. It soon became clear going up the only big hill that keeping up with 01:50 was going to be a struggle so I let them go ahead a bit knowing I had 3 mins to lose from them and still get a PB. So into Sefton Park and I was starting to catch up the 01:50 or “one fiddy”crew and things were going OK. But as quick as I caught them up they extended their lead again. Over half way and down into Otterspool I prepared myself for the mental slog that is the 4 mile plus home stretch. One year this was into winds of 40mph and driving rain this year it was sunny and a slight breeze so I thought fuck it enjoy the last bit and a PB would be on. I got to 10 miles and soon realised my GPS watch was a bit out and that I was running a bit better than I thought. It was at this point my marathon training come into its own and I thought I have got this in me lets up the pace. So off I went to attack the course. One mile to go and I could see the 01:50 pacer coming close to me. Negotiating the cobbles by The Albert Dock I kicked for home like Steve Ovett (Who wants to be Seb Coe !!!) I left the 01:50 pacer for dead and belted around the home corners in front of the crowd like a knob head but this would be my one shot at a time like this as I will never be fitter or slimmer again in my life. Pulling all kinds of mad faces I crossed the line and the official time was 01:46:40. Wow I was more than chuffed with that. I got my bling and then achieved my biggest achievement in running yet. The XL top that you get for finishing actually fitted me for there first time after a race ever since I started running in 2011. From my first Liverpool Half Marathon in 2013 completed in 02:15:12 as a near 18 stone pie arse the 16 stone 2018 pie arse light version of me had now chalked off nearly 30 mins from that time.

 

On checking the full results I even managed to nab the position as top Fay from my non relations. My final position of 1197 means any Olympic dreams are over but now its all eyes to the London Marathon on April 22nd with two more long runs to nail before that and I am gonna finish my season with the Liverpool Marathon. So Mrs Fay picked me up at the finish and she wasn’t too bad after her night out. She told me she was telling her taxi driver on the way home about me running  for a the charity and reason I picked that charity (Millstead School) and as she went to pay he said “Knock £4 of the fare love and donate it to your fellas cause” which I duly have. That brings it perfectly around to the charity plug and the page link is below if you can spare the minimum £2 donation they all add up and I am closing in on my trader of £1000.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/faymondo

Normally I would now be cracking a beer open but I am an athlete (No honestly I am) I am resisting the very large temptation this first summertimes evening of the year. Instead I will walk the dogs and have an early night and one last look at the new medal on my wall and I will get sent an extra medal for a PB next week. Wish me luck on these last two long runs and then a wind down to London itself. More boring running blogs to come but rest assured my life will be back with me soon along with the demon grog and my “fat” pants are handily placed on top of the wardrobe to bang back on after the summer BBQ season.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

My debut on Capital FM Liverpool

So no blogs for some time now this is because my life has become one long training run. After a few days off back on the grog in February to go to Berlin the London Marathon training has intensified and I have become an alcohol free hermit. Today is day 79/108 with no ale, not that I am counting and the London Marathon is less than a month away. Early last Sunday morning I headed off in sub zero temperatures with snow flurries and a bitter easterly wind that made it feel like -4c and I was praying to the lord I had remembered my nipple plasters to avoid the excruciating pain that is joggers nipple which is only just below a footy in the bollocks and manflu on the male scale of pain. Over 3 and a half hours later and with a head feeling like I had permanent “ice cream” head I was home and 21 miles were in the bank after an interesting random run up through Netherley out into the sticks and using the force I ended up in Hale for the slog home. Touch wood marathon training is going great and ahead of schedule and I have managed to drop two stone in weight since January and now my posh scales when I step on them no longer say “One at a time” but “Good morning fat bastard” That brings me to this weekend and a rest week in training and The Liverpool Half Marathon (Get on me doing half marathons on a rest week) I tweeted that I was going to go shit or bust for a PB (1 hours 50) and this was picked up by Capital FM Liverpool who wanted to do an interview about The Liverpool Half Marathon. Being a social media whore having been on Radio City as my alter ego jarg Twitter weatherman @liverpoolweath and often used by The Liverpool Echo online for weather purposes I thought it would be a laugh to go on Capital FM Liverpool and it would impress my three daughters as the stations demographic is more aimed at them. So I spoke to my agent and committed to a pre record only as I didn’t want to go live and get stitched up as a tit (Not that hard to achieve) As it happens the pre record was “as live” sadly I didn’t manage to get an audio of it but the segment consisted of the gang (I think thats what all the cool kids call the breakfast presenting team) asking me to rate various half marathon chants for me out of 10. So I went along with it and voted the piss take one with high vote. So around 7.50 this morning I made my debut on Capital FM Liverpool. I am that old that when I were a lad Capital was called Crash FM but I digress. So Mrs Fay and my three daughters huddled around the radio they listen to my interview whilst I listened in from another room. Once finished I came into the kitchen and offered some autographs for the kids and was prepared to pose for some selfies. With an early finish in work next up this morning was to take Mrs Fay on a 6 mile run in another guise of mine AKA The 16 stone personal trainer as heard on Liverpools hit radio station Capital FM. So like all famous celebrities that go on health kicks my agent is still in negotiation to release The Faymondo Fitness DVD but the cover is already designed and it would have been rude not to use a before and after picture to show the results of my hard work since January 1st with no ale, limited white bread and lots and lots of running. I can confirm that I will be appearing at Sayers on Allerton Road at 1pm on Saturday followed by an appearance at Greggs in Liverpool Central 2.30pm and The Original Lobster Pot at 4pm and will be happy to sign sausage roll bags and pose for pictures.

 

Like all good celebs I don’t like to mention my charidee work but I am running for Millstead school as friends of mine have a daughter with cerebral palsy and am on the way to my revised (Upwards thanks to massive generosity) total of £1000

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/faymondo

Right back to normality and the radio is dialled back into Radio 4 as its time for The Shipping Forecast.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

 

 

Prisoner Cell Block H Episodes 1 – 692

He Used To Give Me Roses
I Wish He Could Again
But That Was On The Outside
And Things Were Different Then

So went the end tune of Prisoner Cell Block H. I first stumbled over Prisoner Cell Block H in the mid 1980’s when it was shown late at night on Granada TV.  As  teenage boy I think the lure of Chrissie Latham’s legs drew me in. Part of the skill in watching Prisoner was actually finding when it was on. Tucked away late at night and often post midnight it would sometimes go missing for weeks as Granada had two weeks coverage of The Lada Classic snooker or some other event. Later memories of Prisoner are when I lived with my nan and I would come home half sozzled from the boozer with some chips for us and she would make the bread and butter and we would both settle down to watch it. I am sure she was much happier with me making her watch this than taking the only TV in the house over early on a Sunday afternoon to watch some Football Italia. The run on Granda ended in the mid 90’s and I actually missed the last episode though did know what happened.

So 27th February 1979 (I was 5) and Prisoner premiered in Australia (Named Prisoner Cell Block H in the UK) it ran for 8 series (I dont do seasons) and there were 692 episodes made. Often remembered for its shaky walls and bad acting it became a cult classic over in the UK in the 1990’s. It has even spawned a modern remake called Wentworth which is now going into its 6th series. Deffo couldn’t watch that with my nan as I wouldn’t know where to look when the racey lesbian scenes came on. Well I tell a lie because I would obviously be looking at the television.

Fast forward to around Christmas 2015 and I discovered that all 692 episodes had been uploaded to Youtube. Queue the opening credits and mugshots of the current inmates and an opening scene of an outdoor location shot of Finders Street Railway station in Melbourne and so the marathon begins. Originally only given 16 episodes Prisoner was soon extended but eventually was give parole in July 1986 with time for the writers to give it the ending it deserved. The prison itself was channel 10 studios in Melbourne and most of the action surrounded “Cell block H”

I thought I had seen quite a lot of Prisoner but I knew I had not seen any of the early episodes and jumped into it during its first vintage era with Bea, Doreen and Lizzie alongside the bad “screw” Vera “Vinegar tits” Bennett so it was nice to see how it all started. As I reached through the episodes it soon became clear that I actually had not seen many of the episodes and the old trick of time when you are a child seeming like ages but in fact only a short time. Episodes ending on cliffhangers.  A writer friend of mine said to my missus once if a programme ends and you want to find out what happened straight away then its doing its job and Prisoner certainly had many of these with just banging on my iPad to watch an episode turning into a 3 to 4 episode session. Being an old sentimental fool the era mentioned above took me back to being a child and with the aid of modern technology you come across wonders like below and Prisoner in Concert.

TV gold ??? As you would expect with 692 episodes there were peaks and troughs in the series but I battled though with some great cliffhangers like the tunnel escape, a great period with Jock Stewart and Judy Bryant and some belter characters and obviously some that got right on your tits. So as the bad screw Vinegar Tits left it was time to enter Joan Ferguson AKA The Freak who made Vinegar tits look like a saint.

Prisoners cult status in the 1990’s over here lead to stage shows, books and even the theme tune “On The Inside” by Lynne Hamilton reaching number 3 in the singles charts in 1989 (I remember taping it off the charts) As top dogs of the prison came and went only Mrs Morris (Mrs Jackson) lasted the full 692 and apparently one prison inmate extra as well.

So fast forward to me coming home from Berlin the other week and feeling worse for wear I ended up having a mini Prisoner Marathon over that weekend and eventually getting to Episode 692 just over two years after I had started it.

***** 30 year old Spoiler Alert *****

I knew that the last episode was the final defeat of Joan “The Freak” Ferguson and the death of the terminally ill top dog lured her into a trap and picking up some money from a robbery. So Ferguson was now on solitary confinement and a prisoner was brought in to pass The Freak her food. What I wasn’t expecting was the terminally ill top dog Rita Conners was in fact still alive and they had all be in on it to get The Freak. I was very surprised that after 692 episodes it still had a twist I was not aware of. We never did find out if Rita survived or what happened to The Freak and after 692 episodes the closing theme tune played for a last time.

On The Inside The Sun Still Shines
And The Rain Falls Down
But The Sun And Rain Are Prisoners Too
When Morning Comes Around

So at 45 mins an episode 31140 mins or 519 hours or 21.625 days what was I going to to with the gap in my life. Well its back to the new version of Prisoner called Wentworth and all 5 series of that are on Amazon Prime. When I am on my last legs I will think bloody hell can I have them 21.625 days I watched Prisoner Cell Block H back please lord, god or whoever was my maker (Mum & Dad)

So it was a “ripper” rekindling childhood memories watching Prisoner and “Fair Dinkum” to me for doing all 692 episodes. Judging by the comments on the you tube videos people go back and watch them all again and again but once is enough for any sane man and some might call me insane for watching 1 episode never mind 692. No more spotting people who went on to be in Neighbours or Home and Away no more he used to give me roses. It’s all over “You Beauty”

 

So for the record

Fave Character : Lizzie Birdsworth

Fave Top Dog : Myra Desmond

Fave Prison Officer : Jim Fletcher

Best Other character : Inspector Grace

Best Storyline : Believe it or not too many to mention !!

Best Scene : Final Episode Rita giving The Freak her food

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

 

The 2017 Faymondo Music Awards (Say no to The Brits)

So back when I was first getting into music and thought the Brit Awards were cool, well they were to a 14 year old me. I decided to note down my own awards inside a maths exercise book I had robbed from school. Those small squares on the page kept my writing just that little bit tidier. With that act the Faymondo Music Awards were conceived. They were never going to be cool as a 14 year old picking his fave albums and artists from the limited amount of albums bought with pocket money and prezzies for birthday and chrimbo. Growing up the winners would be no cooler. But here we are this year celebrating the 30th year of the Faymondo Music Awards. 30 years on I couldn’t give a toss if my winners aren’t cool. Just my opinion on the big world of music out there. How much has changed over the 30 years in the “music biz” since the start of the awards but for me musically I am buying more music than I ever have due to my vinyl addiction and listening to a whole lot more variety thanks to the world of Spotify.

So being the 30th anniversary I had big plans for a celebration of my fave music of the last 30 years. My event had to be held on the same night as the Brits but have no worries of artists not being there to pick up an award and instead a pre-recorded face time message because Ed Sheeran wont be getting a look in. He’s not even best ginger artists of 2017 that award goes to local talent Ali Ingle. So with the mini sausage rolls ordered from Iceland and unlimited amounts of Skol on offer (I have a budget you know but Desperados in the VIP section) I had even pushed the boat out and bought a job lot of party poppers and silly string and the icing on the cake some gold envelopes. Sadly the invitations never went out as I recoiled in horror as my venue of The Aigburth Peoples Hall was busy on Wednesday 21st February 2018 as their darts B-Team had a home match against Mossley Hill Legion B-Team. So instead winners are to be announced below as I type this and can hear the real Brit Awards from the front room watched by my daughters. We could only imagine what my awards might have been like (Insert images going wavy and the non reality of what the night would have been like)

First up best newcomer and to present the best newcomer award is Geoffrey Hayes from rainbow. So having solo albums out previously and teaming up to perform live and now getting better known for the legendary “house gigs” (Must sort my own out) the winner of best newcomer 2017 is Henry Priestman & Les Glover who released “Six of one & half a dozen of the other”

Next up best female and another icon from my past to present the trophy. Ladies and Gentlemen Mr Jan Molby and the winner for the record 9th time Sheryl Crow and a track from her 2017 album “Be Myself”.

Just an update sausage rolls half gone but still loads of Skol left ?? Next up and best male. Here to present the award all the way from Australia is Val Lehman AKA Bea Smith from Prisoner Cell Block H. And the winner is Nasher aka Brian Nash and his album 432-1 : Open the vein

So just two awards to go and these must be the big ones as there is a runner up section ?? Here to present firstly runner up in best group 2017 is the cast from Auf Wiedersehen Pet. First up and runner up with their “Every Valley” album Public Service Broadcasting.

And so onto the winner and a fine return to form with ‘Automaton” best group 2017 is Jamiroquai

*** Note at this point a pissed up Jay Kay (I knew free Skol was a bad idea) has a pop at the Auf Pet boys and Jimmy Nail twats him !!!

**** Second note if there was a remix of the year the Purple Disco Machine remix of “Cloud 9” is great.

So it’s the big one and the 30th Faymondo Music Awards best album of 2017. If you could put any paper plates in the bin bag coming around that would be great and also for some reason there is still loads of Skol left ??

Here to present the award is a member of a band I only got into very very late but am a proud owner of their vinyl box set of 5 studio albums its Mick Jones from The Clash.

Runner up was “Automaton” by Jamiroquai. Sadly Jay Kay cant be here as he is currently in Garston Walk in Centre and was kindly escorted there by Dennis from The Auf Pet Boys.

And so the winner of the 30th Faymondo Music Awards album of the year (Party poppers and silly string ready) and an album I have hammered but like all music I love I can now pin point an exact place and time. I was coming home from a Deacon Blue gig in Edinburgh in July feeling a lot worse for wear after a double night out for my wedding anniversary. How could I numb the pain of the journey home on the train as after an hour I was starting to sweat ale out. I put this album on and spent the next hour soaking up the lyrics looking out at Englands green and pleasant land. The album had me at the first track “Salt In Our Veins” through to the bashing of Gideon Osborne in “Prostitues and Cocaine” the brilliant takedown of Katie’s Price and Hopkins in “Katies” and finally the retro fest of “Just Sounds Like Noise” the winner is Nasher with “432-1 : Open the vein”

Well thats it folks. I am off to what could only be described as possibly the best pint ever with Nasher and Mick Jones and it would be rude not to invite Messrs Priestman and Glover along as well. Might as well go the old Aigburth Arms and Steves chippy on the way home. Just hope they dont laugh too much at the previous 30 years winners !!! Heres to another 30 years and to the grand old age of 74 !!

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

For the record the shortlist

Little Fictions Elbow
Automaton Jamiroquai
Live At The Glasgow Barrowlands Deacon Blue
Backlash Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Be Myself Sheryl Crow
Life Love Flesh Blood Imelda May
Every Valley Public Service Broadcasting
Six of one & Half a dozen of the other Henry Priestman & Les Glover
Short Stories Vol 1 Ricky Ross
Sings & Strings The Christians
432-1 : Open The Vein Nasher
Who Built The Moon Noel Gallagher & High Flying Birds
The Massive Gong The Destroyers
Crooked Calypso Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott
Migration Blues Eric Bibb
As You Were Liam Gallagher

And to laugh at the all time winners list.

BEST ALBUM WINNER

BEST ALBUM RUNNER UP

1988

Raintown-DEACON BLUE

The christians-THE CHRISTIANS

1989

When the world knows your name-DEACON BLUE

Checkmate-ROGER CHRISTIAN

1990

Colour-THE CHRISTIANS

In the blood-LONDONBEAT

1991

Fellow hoodlems-DEACON BLUE

Seal-SEAL

1992

Happy in hell-THE CHRISTIANS

Volume 3 just right-SOUL II SOUL

1993

Whatever you say,say nothing-DEACON BLUE

Happy in hell-THE CHRISTIANS

1994

Our town-DEACON BLUE

Very-PET SHOP BOYS

1995

Tuesday night music club-SHERYL CROW

Seal (2) – SEAL

1996

Sheryl crow-SHERYL CROW

Whats the story morning glory-OASIS

1997

Time for change-SOUL II SOUL

Your cool mystery-GARRY CHRISTIAN

1998

The globe sessions-SHERYL CROW

5-LENNY KRAVITZ

1999

On how life is-MACY GRAY

Beacoup fish-UNDERWORLD

2000

Sunset over london-JOOLS HOLLAND R/B’S ORCHESTRA

The marshall mathers lp-EMINEM

2001

Homesick- DEACON BLUE

Loco-FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS

2002

The Eminem Show-EMINEM

Roland Gift-ROLAND GIFT

2003

Don’t give up on me-SOLOMON BURKE

Prodigal Sons-THE CHRISTIANS

2004

How does it feel-GARRY CHRISTIAN

Feels like Home-NORAH JONES

2005

Wildflower-SHERYL CROW

Make do with what you got-SOLOMON BURKE

2006

Fundamental-PET SHOP BOYS

Nashville-SOLOMON BURKE

2007

Dog House Music-SEASICK STEVE

Overtones-JUST JACK

2008

Chronicles Of A Modern Life-HENRY PRIESTMAN

I Started Out With Nothing And Still Got Most Of It Left-SEASICK STEVE

2009

Yes – PET SHOP BOYS

All Night Cinema – JUST JACK

2010

Bittersweet Batch- JESSE DEE

Tell Em What Your Name Is- BLACK JOE LEWIS AND THE HONEYBEARS

2011

Build A Rocket Boys-ELBOW

London Afrobeat Collective – LAC

2012

Ill Manors -PLAN B

The Lumineers -THE LUMINEERS

2013

Electric – Pet Shop Boys

Random Access Memories –Daft Punk

2014

Tea Street Band – TEA STREET BAND

The Last Mad Surge Of Youth – HENRY PRIESTMAN

2015

Darling Arithmetic – VILLAGERS

Favourite Worry – THE MILK

2016

Summer 08 – METRONOMY

Cleopatra – THE LUMINEERS

2017

432-1 : Open The Vein – NASHER

Automaton – JAMIROQUAI

BEST GROUP WINNER

BEST GROUP RUNNER UP

1988

THE CHRISTIANS

DEACON BLUE

1989

FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS

DEACON BLUE

1990

THE CHRISTIANS

LONDONBEAT

1991

BLACK

DEACON BLUE

1992

SOUL II SOUL

EN VOGUE

1993

THE CHRISTIANS

DEACON BLUE

1994

DEACON BLUE

PET SHOP BOYS

1995

SOUL II SOUL

M PEOPLE

1996

OASIS

PET SHOP BOYS

1997

SOUL II SOUL

JAMIROQUAI

1998

FUN LOVIN CRIMINALS

OASIS

1999

JAMIROQUAI

UNDERWORLD

2000

JOOLS HOLLAND & RHYTHM/BLUES ORCHESTRA

THE CHRISTIANS

2001

DEACON BLUE

DAFT PUNK

2002

OASIS

UNDERWORLD

2003

THE CHRISTIANS

FUN LOVIN CRIMINALS

2004

JOOLS HOLLAND & RHYTHM/BLUES ORCHESTRA

THE PRODIGY

2005

JAMIROQUAI

FUN LOVIN CRIMINALS

2006

PET SHOP BOYS

TRANSIT KINGS

2007

PINK MARTINI

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS

2008

OASIS

JEGSY DODD AND THE ORIGINAL SINNERS

2009

PET SHOP BOYS

MCINTOSH ROSS

2010

MASSIVE ATTACK

FAITHLESS

2011

ELBOW

LONDON AFROBEAT COLLECTIVE   

2012

DEACON BLUE

DJANGO DJANGO

2013

DAFT PUNK

PET SHOP BOYS

2014

TEA STREET BAND

METRONOMY

2015

VILLAGERS

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING

2016

METRONOMY

PET SHOP BOYS

2017

JAMIROQUAI

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING

BEST MALE

BEST FEMALE

1988

MICHEAL JACKSON

YAZZ

1989

ROGER CHRISTIAN

MADONNA

1990

ROGER CHRISTIAN

N/A

1991

SEAL

MADONNA

1992

MICHEAL JACKSON

MADONNA

1993

TERENCE TRENT D’ARBY

MADONNA

1994

TERENCE TRENT D’ARBY

N/A

1995

SEAL

SHERYL CROW

1996

RICKY ROSS

SHERYL CROW

1997

GARRY CHRISTIAN

SHERYL CROW

1998

LENNY KRAVITZ

SHERYL CROW

1999

JOSE PADILLA

MACY GRAY

2000

EMINEM

MADONNA

2001

N/A

MACY GRAY

2002

EMINEM

SHERYL CROW

2003

SOLOMON BURKE

NORAH JONES

2004

GARRY CHRISTIAN

NORAH JONES

2005

SOLOMON BURKE

SHERYL CROW

2006

SOLOMON BURKE

N/A

2007

SEASICK STEVE

NORAH JONES

2008

HENRY PRIESTMAN

SHERYL CROW

2009

JUST JACK

IMELDA MAY

2010

SOLOMON BURKE

SHERYL CROW

2011

NOEL GALLAGHER & HIGH FLYING BIRDS

BEVERLEY KNIGHT

2012

BILL FAY

NORAH JONES

2013

CHARLES BRADLEY

N/A

2014

HENRY PRIESTMAN

IMELDA MAY

2015

NOEL GALLAGHER & HIGH FLYING BIRDS

ROSIN MURPHY

2016

DAVID BOWIE

NORAH JONES

2017

NASHER

SHERYL CROW

BEST NEWCOMER TO ME

1988

DEACON BLUE

1989

SOUL II SOUL

1990

LONDONBEAT

1991

THE FARM

1992

EN VOUGE

1993

STEREO MC’S

1994

THE GRID

1995

SHERYL CROW

1996

RICKY ROSS

1997

FINLAY QUAYE

1998

KAREN RAMIREZ

1999

JOSE PADILLA

2000

EMINEM

2001

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

2002

ROLAND GIFT

2003

SOLOMON BURKE (NEW TO ME)

2004

DR JOHN (NEW TO ME)

2005

JOHN LEGEND

2006

JEGSY DODD

2007

SEASICK STEVE

2008

ROISIN MURPHY

2009

IMELDA MAY

2010

JESSE DEE

2011

LONDON AFROBEAT COLLECTIVE

2012

THE DESTROYERS

2013

VILLAGERS

2014

TEA STREET BAND

2015

THE MILK

2016

SMOOTH & TURRELL

2017

HENRY PRIESTMAN & LES GLOVER

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