Rants and raves #38

**Disclaimer: I’m writing this post after spending two hours without any internet connection, not ideal when I’m meant to be working from home. Huge thanks for the heads-up Virgin Media.  As always, all rants and raves and moans and groans represent my own views. Hundreds of far less negative running blogs are available**

Happy Friday, I hope that everyone is managing to survive the warmer than average weather. I’m on annual leave from 15:00 today so I’m feeling incredibly chirpy.

Rave: Flexible working

My organisation gets criticised quite a lot, however, depending on your job role, flexible working is actively encouraged. For example, a few of my colleagues have term-time only contracts. This is clearly an amazing option if you have children, unfortunately, I’m not sure I’d be able to blag myself a term-time only contract.tc10


My new line manager supports flexible working, it’s a case of whatever works best for people. Last week, I let my line manager know that I was struggling to adapt to the not-quite-so-hot-desk policy in my new office. I’m now allowed to work from home a couple of times a week. I actually get more done when I’m not in the office as I can’t really distract myself.

 Rant: The behaviour of some people on trains

Apologies for another repeat rant but now I’m spending what feels like a large proportion of my working week on trains, I have more to rant about. I catch the 0620 train every morning because it is reasonably empty. Most of my fellow passengers are like me, half-asleep and quiet. My main issue with the 0620 train is the heating, 99.9 per cent of the time the heaters under the seats are blowing out hot air. This isn’t ideal in the summer. The trains are too old to have aircon, so it’s a matter of opening the windows and sweating it out.Train etiquette


While the morning trains are generally empty, the train back home can be a bit of a nightmare. I’ll ignore the people who sit with their feet on the opposite seat, people who leave their litter behind and people who play their music at such a volume the rest of the carriage get to ‘enjoy’ it. This is now unfortunately the norm, even the train staff don’t react to what was once classed as antisocial behaviour.

I find it harder to tolerate passengers who sit in a rush-hour train carriage smoking weed. This has happened a few times, luckily the British Transport Police tend to act when you report it. I mean, if you travel on trains it’s impossible to avoid the ‘See it. Say It. Sorted’ announcements. I’m also finding it increasingly difficult to tolerate manspreaders.Subway-Sun-NYC-1953


Earlier this month, I asked one persistent manspreader to stop invading my personal space. I’d said that I’d had enough of feeling claustrophobic, and that I was starting to feel nauseous. Mr Manspreader took offence at what I said and proceeded to move seats. I felt sorry for the Business Man he then proceeded to squeeze into a corner for two hours.

Rave: Mack Horton and Duncan Scott

I wish more athletes had the balls to stand up to drug cheats. In my opinion, once a cheat, always a cheat. I’ve no idea why convicted drugs cheats are allowed to return, they should be banned for life. The actions of Mack Horton and Duncan Scott may have landed them both in hot water with FINA but I suspect they have the support of the majority of sports fans.

Thank-you Mack Horton

Thank-you Duncan Scott

It’s good to see athletes standing up to drugs cheats 🙂

Rant: What I’m calling ‘blog plagiarism’

I can’t remember the exact expression, but I think it’s something along the lines of “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.

I’m not sure what to make of someone publishing a couple of my recent posts on this site. I mean some amazing bloggers have been targeted so I guess I should feel quite flattered but I don’t. At the end of the day it’s blatant what I’m calling blog plagiarism.

The only thing that we all have in common is that we all feature in Vuelio’s most recent top 10 UK running blogs.

Rave: Volunteering at parkrun

Another repeat rave but I’ve now volunteered at my local parkrun 10 times. I want to earn my purple parkrun t-shirt by the end of the year. A couple of weeks ago I decided to pull on my big girl pants and had a go at timekeeping. I think it must have gone reasonably well as people didn’t end up with times of 59:59.Time keeping

Dont mess this upI’ve handed out finish tokens, encouraged runners at the bottom of the ‘Hill of Doom’, have written an event report and have generally loved supporting people. I’m now enjoying volunteering more than running. Tomorrow, I’m having a go at barcode scanning. If the scanner doesn’t work – I’ve heard they aren’t great when it’s sunny – I’ll use the new parkrun App.

Rant: Twitter

I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but I’m not a fan of the ‘new’ Twitter. The expression if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it springs to mind.

Rave: TK Maxx yellow sticker sale

Running tops for £4? Yes please. Running shorts for £5? Yes please. It’s that time of the year again, TK Maxx are currently running their yellow sticker sale. I didn’t know this was a thing until earlier this year when I found loads of running bargains.

Apparently, a couple of times a year, items with red clearance sale stickers on them are given yellow stickers. Anything with a yellow sticker will be marked down until it is 20p, the lowest mark down amount. A lady in my local TK Maxx said the yellow sticker sale ends next weekend. I may pop in after parkrun.

Rave: Trying new things

Since leaving Wallingford, I’ve been trying to step outside of my huge comfort zone on a more regular basis. On Monday, I met up with my running buddy Ellen and we attended a running club organised by a local Pilates studio. The idea was to complete a 30 minute run followed by a 30 minute Pilates session described as benefiting runners.PilatesThe reality was a hilly 30 minute run in Sutton Park at a far faster pace than I’m used to. I swear that my eyeballs were sweating after the run. The 30 minute Pilates session turned out to be a 30 minute torture session with foam rollers. I discovered that I’m possibly the least flexible person in Sutton Coldfield, that I’m unfit, that I have no core strength and that I need to find myself a beginners’ Pilates class. The research is ongoing.

Rave: St Ives Harbour webcam

And finally, as I’m feeling generous a sort of bonus rave. Finances and circumstances – I’m skint, single and all my friends are having family holidays this year – mean that the nearest I’ll be getting to a holiday this summer is a couple of days in Wallingford-on-Thames next week. I’ve shared this website before, but I love this webcam which lets me sort of pretend I’m in St Ives.St Ives Harbour webcamAspects Holidays now have webcams at a range of seaside locations including Bude, St Michael’s Mount and Mevagissey.

If you’ve reached the end of this selection of rants and raves, then a massive “thank-you”. I hope that you think my rants were reasonable. As always, I do feel much better now that I’ve shared my grumbles with you.

Does your organisation allow you to work from home? I would like to hope that a lot of organisations allow their staff to occasionally work from home. I get that this only really works if you have an office-based role!

Have you ever attended a class that wasn’t quite what you were expecting? The content of the Pilates class most definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.


6 thoughts on “Rants and raves #38

  1. Anna Smith-James (@AnnaTheApple88) says:

    I used to be able to work from home in my old company but now I can’t (or at least people don’t really). But I don’t mind because it’s literally 15 mins from where I live (whereas my last job w as an hour). Plus I really like the people I work with (and the fact my boyfriend works here too haha), which helps!
    Well done for the Pilates class! I used to do reformer pilates with the weird machine thing and I loved it. It was so hard tho! And expensive…


    • Emma says:

      I think working from home really does depend on the office and managers. I rarely worked from home when I was based in the Wallingford office as I didn’t have a laptop. I also liked the people I worked with and would rather be in the office. I remember feeling gutted when the office closed early due to a water supply issue. I had a piece of work I needed to complete but couldn’t because I had no way of working outside of the office. Now that I have a longer commute, a work laptop and I’m not part of the same team as most of the people in the office, I love working from home.
      I think I saw some of those weird machine things; they looked like torture devices. I think I may have damaged my right foot during the Pilates class, it hasn’t felt ‘right’ since Monday.


  2. AJ says:

    I keep hoping that one day I’ll be able to just Skype my students but I don’t see it happening anytime soon which means I have to show up to work each day.
    No holiday for me either this summer- unless you count visiting my parents


    • Emma says:

      I kind of feel that my company has to offer quite a few flexible working type perks as the pay is far lower than what the private sector offers.
      Yes, old trains without aircon isn’t ideal when it’s 30+ outside. We can open the windows which is quite unusual, unfortunately the windows are so small it makes very little difference.


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