Sunday, 29 July 2012

Red Hot Chilli Peppers

For the avoidance of doubt this post is not about an American rock band. Observant readers will of course have known this from the spelling of, "chilli." Rather it is about the fruiting vegetable.

Chilli Pepper Plant 28th July 2012

Chilli Pepper 28th July 2012

I sowed the seeds in a heated propagator on 28th February. Germination took seven days and I was able to pot on the seedlings into three inch pots after a further three weeks. When the plants had grown to approximately six inches in height I planted then out in ten inch rings sunk into the greenhouse border. The plants are now some thirty inches tall and the chillies are forming well. I have placed an inverted wigwam of short bamboo canes around each plant with twine tied around the canes at various heights so as to give support for the branches of the plants as the fruit develops. They are of course still green but I am confident that there is enough growing weather left for them to turn red. They can of course be used in the kitchen whether green or red. I have found that they freeze well so you are not faced with an usable glut.

Even within the one variety there can be a very big difference between the ,"hotness" of one chilli over another. It is the chemical compound capasaicin in the fruit which produces the heat sensation. Traditionally the Scoville Heat Scale has been used to measure the hotness of chillies. This test was developed in 1912 by a Wilbur Scoville.

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Mapping of Britain & Ireland

Map of a Nation  Rachel Hewitt - Granta Books

I like maps. I like poring over them and plotting journeys to be taken and remembering journeys made.

Rachel Hewitt's, "Map of a Nation," subtitled, "a biography of the Ordnance Survey," traces the story of the Ordnance Survey from its conception after the Jacobite uprising in Scotland until the completion of the Survey's First Series of maps in 1870. She ably describes the militaristic demands which prompted the commissioning of  an  accurate  and detailed mapping of both Britain and Ireland. When she is talking about the men who drove the Survey forward, William Roy, William Mudge and Thomas Colby, her writing reads well and one gains a strong impression of these individuals.

I had hoped that more might have been said of Colonel Colby's sojourn in Ireland  and in particular his Memoir of the City and North West Liberties of Londonderry, Parish of Templemore, but that I concede is rather parochial on my part. There are  sections of the book which I found to be somewhat tedious, particularly those dealing with the Romantic movement's attitude towards cartography.

There is no doubt that this book has been well researched. The notes and listings of works cited, taken with illustration credits extend to some one hundred and ten pages. This clearly reflects the origins of this work in the author's doctoral thesis and there for me  lies the weakness of the book. On occasions I begin to feel that I am reading an academic paper. An informative work yes but not a page turner.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Pea Green

More and more vegetables are coming, "on tap," in the garden. I have been able to pull sufficent peas for a meal, resisting the temptation to snack directly from the plant. These are a main crop pea called, "Onward". They were sown outside in the middle of April in rows on either side of the supporting wire. I have two sixteen foot rows and I would expect a crop approaching three stone in weight. Most of these will end up in the freezer.

A neighbour gave me some pea plants of a heritage variety ( I have forgotten the name) which he assured me would grow in excess of six feet in height. Despite erecting a wigwam to assist them in their himalayan endeavours they seem to have decided that base camp at three feet is as far as they are going. A tough life is that of a pea.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

On Track

Pleased with my training today. I put in what I think was my best session of a rather interrupted season. Maybe it was the presence of Jason Smyth (defending double paralympic champion and almost olympic participant) or maybe it was my younger (very much younger) training partner dragging me around the track. In any event the legs, lungs and head all seemed to work in unison .

There wasn't a great distance to be covered, but it was to be a speed session. We ran a 400m followed by a 300m, then a 200m and ended up with a 100m. Between each rep there was a 500m walk/jog recovery. I managed 60.7; 43; 27 and 13.6. Not quite the times of days of yore, but if you give them the sugar coating of Mr Grubb's Age Tables the times come down to a more satisfying 51.33; 36.13; 22.54 and 11.77. Still not in Jason's league but certainly better.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Marigold Time

23rd July 2012
Marigolds are a particularly easy annual to grow and with their plentiful flowers and long flowering season they brighten up a drab corner in the garden. If grown in a container, as here, one has to be particularly assiduous with watering. Well maybe not so careful this summer!

I have however not just grown them for their florescence. They also have their uses as a culinary herb. The petals contain calendulin and this gives a yellow tint to such things as bread and rice.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Death of a Gherkin

Gherkin -22nd July 2012
As I predicted on 6th July the gherkins and cucumbers have been growing apace. So much so that I was able to pull the first of the gherkins today.

Unfortunately I must however report that it is now no more. A sharp kitchen knife sliced it lengthwise with swift and exact strokes. There was no fightback, just passive resignation. The crisp remains of this once glorious fruit were then deposited between two welcoming slices of lightly buttered bread. Two further deft cuts and the sandwich was ready to be consumed. It was and I am sated. A dry white wine followed.

Garden Edge

Better than before

I have been rather remiss at tidying the lawn edges over the past few summers. Paths were shrinking. Urgent action was necessary and yesterday turned out to be the day that the notion of carrying out the necessary remedial work became reality. 

A search in the tack room unearthed my trusty builder's line which I laid out as tautly as possible. Placing a plank on the inner side of the line I then moved along the verge with the edger, cutting away at the recalcitrant growth and finally removing it with the aid of my graip. Definitely one of those gardening jobs where you see immediate results.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Lordly Fig

Ficus carica 20th July 2012
My fig tree - very small fig tree - was purchased at Glenarm Castle in the spring of 2011. Unfortunately the variety was not shown on the label. The gardeners there had rooted several cuttings taken from the fig trees growing in the walled garden. Six small figs developed last summer. These are now beginning to hang down but they are not fully ripe as yet. Next year's crop is forming well and provided  I don't manage to kill the plant in the interim there should be a tripling of fruit numbers.

For the moment I am growing the tree  in the greenhouse but eventually I will plant it out against the garden wall and fan train it. The work involved in constructing a planting pit to restrain root growth is slightly daunting. The theory behind the planting pit is that the tree will then put more effort into producing fruit rather than leafy growth. It is quite strange that you never see a fig tree in flower. The flowers are contained within what becomes the fruit.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Bradley Romps Home in Antrim

Conor Bradley -143

Despite yesterday's breezy conditions the large crowd at the Antrim Forum were entertained with an evening of high class athletics at the Brian Downing Memorial International Meet. In the men's 800m  A race Abdulrahman Musaeb of Quatar broke the tape in 1.47.45, ( a new track record), ahead of Mohamed Ahmed of Egypt 1.47.97, with Sale Harriers' Niall Brooks taking third place on the podium. The Quatarian kept close order to the pacemaker over the first lap and maintained his momentum to the finish line. In the B 800 North West interest was provided by Pajo Hamilton. The City of Derry Athlete ran a fast finishing 1.54.53, coming home third behind Lagan Valley's Patrick Monaghan (1.54.02) and Mark Hoy of Finn Valley (1.54.22).

In the men's 1500m pre-race favourite Dave Proctor of Sale Harriers took on the pace from the gun. Coached by Norman Poole this sub four minute miler has pb's of 1.48.96 for 800m and 3.41.5 for the metric mile. This pedigree did not however pose any fears for City of Derry's Conor Bradley who tracked Proctor from the off. A worried backward glance from Proctor in the home straight was all the encouragement that Bradley needed as he started his charge for the line. Proctor was unable to respond to Bradley's acceleration and the Derry athlete crossed the line in 3.51.02 with the Sale runner timed at  3.51.73. This was a perfectly executed race by the maturing Bradley who will continue his season at the Morton Mile Meeting in Dublin next Wednesday.

In the men's 3000m Ayanteh Souileman  from Djbouti proved to be too strong for the rest of the field and finished some twenty seven seconds in front of the second placed runner in a time of 8.17.29. City of Derry's J P Williamson came home fourth in 8.48.92 with club mate Richard Johnson crossing the line in 9.05.72. Letterkenny's Pauric McKinney (m 45) looked tired as he crossed the line in what for him will be a disappointing 9.22.94 (8th).

Other City of Derry runners to catch the eye during the course of the evening included Amy Jackson who took control of the under 17 Girls 800m from the off and finished with a time of 2.18.54. Her team mate Amy McDaid came home fourth in the same race whilst her training partner Tamara Boyle ran 61.94 (5th place) in the Women's 400m which was won by Kineke Alexander of St Vincent & Grenadines in 54.32. Diarmaid Doherty ran 2.11.82 in the u17 men's 800 to give him a well earned third place.

Full Results may be found at:

Antrim Forum 18 th July 2012

Tall Runners

Runner Beans 18th July 2012

The winter of 2010-11 killed off a large clump of bamboo in the garden. Unfortunate though this was, it did provide me with several dozen ten feet tall bamboo stakes. It was this that gave me the impetus to grow runner beans this year. The last time I grew them was in 1968. Well if I am honest it would be more accurate to say that I helped grow them that year. There was certainly an element of adult supervision.

The seeds were sown indoors in individual two and a half inch pots on 28th April. Using the bamboos I created two foot diameter wigwam structures with five poles around the circumference and a central pole. Willow whips wrapped around the wigwams at various heights gave structural and additional climbing support. The young bean plants were planted out, two at the base of each of the outer bamboos, at the beginning of June.

 As can be seen from the photograph the plants are now almost at the top of the bamboos,so it will not be too long before I will have to nip out the growing tips to prevent the plants becoming top heavy. With present weather conditions I don't expect that I will have to provide extra water to help swell the bean pods. One benefit of our glorious summer!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Craigavon Bridge - Happy Birthday

Commemorative Programme for official
opening of Craigavon Bridge

Today marks the seventy ninth anniversary of the official opening of the Craigavon Bridge by Sir Percy Walter Greenaway the Lord Mayor of London. The bridge is named after the Right Hon. The Viscount Craigavon the then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. As with its predecessor, the Carlisle Bridge, the lower deck of the new bridge was constructed for railway traffic and had timber decking.

The opening ceremony appears to have been a very grandiose affair. A total of thirty three official cars were at the front of the procession and they were followed by three State Coaches. In the last of these was Sir Walter Greenaway accompanied by his wife, the Lady Mayoress, and attended by The Sword Bearer and The Common Cryer and Sergeant-at-Arms. The Procession assembled in Ebrington Military Barracks and proceeded to the new bridge via Limavady Road, Clooney Terrace and Spencer Road. On arrival  a  guard of honour provided by the 2nd Batt. The Leicestershire Regiment was inspected by the Lord Mayor. The naming and official opening occurred at 11.15 immediately after a commemorative golden dagger had been presented to him.

Following the opening ceremony the procession proceeded to the Diamond where it was met by a Guard of Honour of the British Legion and the Band of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. A wreath was laid at the war memorial by Sir Walter. From the Diamond the procession progressed to the Guilhall where a further Guard of Honour was inspected. Those taking part in the State Procession then moved to the Council Chamber where the Freedom of The City was bestowed upon the Lord Mayor. A celebratory luncheon followed. The festivities continued with a garden party at Brooke Park hosted by Sir Dudley and Lady McCorkell, Mayor and Mayoress of Londonderry. The day concluded with Sir Percy Greenaway and his wife, accompanied by the Sheriffs, leaving Waterside Railway Station by special train.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Potato Fest

Sharpe's Express 16th July 2012
I dug my first top of potatoes of the year a week ago, but they were rather small for cropping. Yesterday I tried another top. The week of extra growth has made a big difference and I can now safely delete potatoes from the weekly shopping list. I have always grown Sharpe's Express as my first early. It was the variety that my grandparents grew and I have followed suit.

In common with most if not all earlies they are not big yielders, but their taste in conjunction with their blemish free and thin skin more than makes up for this. The variety is reported to have a low resistance to blight on both foliage and tubers, but this is not something that I have experienced. They were planted on 16th March.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Brian Downing Memorial International

Wednesday evening  will see a high quality athletics meeting at Antrim Forum with the running of the Brian Downing Memorial International. The event is being organised by Athletics NI of which Brian was a past President, in conjunction with Lagan Valley Athletics Club. Brian was the Chairman of Lagan Valley up until his death in July of last year.

The Antrim Forum track is where athletes from Egypt, Kuwait. Sudan and Qatar are having a training camp as they fine tune their training for the Olympics. This event will provide them with what is likely to be their last opportunity to judge race fitness and for local athletes there is the opportunity of high class competition right on their doorstep. North west athletes who have confirmed their entry include City of Derry's Conor Bradley (1500m), Pajo Hamilton  (800m), Amy McDaid (800m), Amy Jackson (800m) and  J. P. Williamson(3000m)  and Letterkenny's Pauric McKinney (3000m). All of these athletes will be aiming for personal bests.

It would be hoped that the organisers are able to make this an annual event in the athletics calendar.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Britain on a Bike

One Man and His Bike by Mike Carter - Ebury Press

John O'Groats is named after a Dutchman by the name of Jan de Groot who established a ferry to Orkney in 1496. This is one of the little nuggets of information  with which Guardian journalist Mike Carter regales us in his recounting of his ante-clockwise bicycle ride around the coast of Britain. There is a bit of the midlife crisis in this book. Pedalling away on his trusty Ridgeback Carter tells us that he is trying to get away from the economic gloom and the crime headlines.

Although he provides us with descriptions of the pain and effort of his cycling exploits, this is really a story of the people he meets along the way. People such as  Jack Kendal the seventy four year old cyclist from Stoke-on-Trent who is also cycling around Britain having agreed with his daughter not to go back cycling to South America or Alaska and Stevie the ferryman plying his trade back and forth across the three hundred metres of the Kingsbury Estuary. They are characters, nice people ,interesting people and it is through them and many others that he highlights the diversity of the countryside through which he is passing.

Carter may not be the Bradley Wiggins of writers but this is a solid performance from a domestique. A book that engages one's mental gears but is not too taxing.

Tomato Time

"Moneymaker" 13th July 2012

Last year, following the advice proffered by Alan Titchmarsh, I decided to plant my vine tomatoes closer than the recommended fifteen to eighteen inches . I placed them some 12 inches apart. This enabled me to have three plants across the width of the greenhouse border. The tighter planting scheme did not cause any reduction in the yield per plant which remained at some 7lbs.

With last year's experience behind me I have adopted the same approach this year. Since the first trusses have set I have been feeding the plants. They are now over five feet tall and the early trusses are filling out well. At present rates of growth I would expect that within another fortnight I will be obliged to nip out the growing points to prevent them hitting the greenhouse roof. That should give me six trusses per plant. With the lack of sunshine I think it may well be August before the first tomatoes are ready.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Still on Track

A week may be a long time in politics but it is a tiring time in athletics. No niggles, strains or pulls in the past week though - result! I feel I am getting some sharpness back. Since last Tuesday I have slotted in the following sessions:-

 4th  July     - 6 miles steady run
 5th  July     - 15 min warm up; drills; 6 x 150m with pick up at 80m; 10
                     min cool down.
 6th  July     -  20 min on rowing machine  @ 2.30 per 500m; 8 x (10 x
                     35kg) benchpress
 7th  July     -  20 mins warm up; 15 x min on/min off ; 10 mins warm
 8th  July     -  20 mins warm up/easy; 12 x min on/off; 15 min warm
 9th  July     -  7.2 miles. First half at 7.45 pace; second half 6:50 pace
10th July     -  12 mins warm up; drills; 8 x 300m (52s) - 90 s static
                      recovery; 10 min warm down
11th July     -  6.5 miles steady
12th July     -  20 mins warm up; core exercises; drills; shuttle runs; 10
                      min warm down.

Today is a rest day in preparation for a hard track session on Saturday.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Churches in Ireland

As I drive around Ireland, both north and south, I am struck by the number of victorian and earlier Church of Ireland churches  there still are. They add so much to the architectural landscape, albeit that many are beginning to show the ravages of time and lack of money.  The memorials on their walls oft give a fascinating insight into a world where elder sons of the local gentry joined the army and younger sons entered the Church.

When on the 1st day of January 1871 the Irish Church Act of 1869 came into force and disestablished the Church of Ireland all  of the Church's property vested in the Commissioners of Church Temporalities in Ireland. Subsequently on Friday 21st day of February 1871 the Commissioners vested the churches and their sites in the Representative Church Body. This remains the case. The schedule to this vesting order lists a total of 1,628 Churches. The Diocese of Armagh had the greatest number (110) with the Diocese of Kilmacduagh coming in last with 5.

It would I think be interesting to visit all the sites and see just how many have survived the intervening one hundred and forty one years with their  population movements and increasing secularity.

Province of Armagh


Armagh                                                                                   110
Clogher                                                                                     78
Meath                                                                                      107
Derry                                                                                         81
Raphoe                                                                                     42
Down                                                                                        51
Connor                                                                                     85
Dromore and Exempt Jurisdiction of
                 Newry and Mourne                                              35
Kilmore                                                                                    62
Elphin                                                                                      43
Ardagh                                                                                    39
Tuam                                                                                       66
Killala                                                                                      21
Achonry                                                                                 12

Province of Dublin

Dublin                                                                                     78
Glandelagh                                                                             48
Kildare                                                                                    39
Ossory                                                                                   55
Ferns                                                                                      63
Leighlin                                                                                  55
Cashel                                                                                    32
Emly                                                                                       19
Waterford                                                                               9
Lismore                                                                                  38
Cork                                                                                       74
Cloyne                                                                                   77
Ross                                                                                       27
Killaloe                                                                                  66
Kilfenora                                                                                 6
Clonfert                                                                                 14
KIlmacduagh                                                                         5
Limerick                                                                                 49
Ardfert and Aghadoe                                                         47

Monday, 9 July 2012

Summer Tease

Teasle (Dipsacus fullonum )
9th July 2012

Last year I planted several teasels throughout the garden. They were quite easy to grow from seed  and were well established before the onset of winter. As biennials they will flower and seed this year. Very much a statement plant in the border they will grow to be as much as six feet in height.

At the moment the entire plants are a lush green colour but it is when they die and dry out to their desciccated brown colour that they are perhaps more recognisable. In the past the dried seed heads were used in the textile industry to raise the nap of newly woven cloth. Hopefully the seed heads will attract goldfinches to the garden in the autumn and early winter.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Borage and Pimm's

Borago Officinalis -8th July 2012

Now that Murray has failed to meet the hopes of the British tennis public - again -, perhaps it is time to dash out to the garden to find something to garnish a stiff pimm's. One must keep one's spirits up somehow.

Two years ago I decided to sow and grow on a few borage plants. They did well - perhaps too well . They have turned feral and their self seeding now results in plants popping up all over the garden. Most of them appear in rather inappropriate places and I am forced to rip them up, but I do allow a few to grow to maturity. The young leaves add a certain zest to a summer salad. The flowers attract a great number of bees and are  a pleasureable addition to a refreshing Pimm's. Chin chin!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Chelsea Out-Pensioners in Northern Ireland

Letter to the Manager, Belfast
Banking Company  5th Nov. 1844

We are all familiar with the picture of the Chelsea Pensioner in his, and very recently her, red tunic. Certainly in the past when all soldiers' pensions were administered by the Royal Hospital  these individuals should, strictly speaking, have been  referred to as In- Pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The vast majority of pensioned soldiers were not housed in the Hospital. These latter individuals were called Out-Pensioners.

To the left is a copy of a stampless entire dated 5th November 1844  from the Provincial Bank of Ireland, Ballymena  to the manager of the Ballymoney branch of the Belfast Banking Company, who at that time was a gentleman by the name of James Thompson. It appraises the manager that the Staff Officer for the district comprising Ballymoney would be calling with a draft for encashment so that he might pay the District's Out-Pensioners of Chelsea Hospital. This Staff Officer went by the name and style of Lieutenant John Moore Tittle. These pensions were paid to the pensioners on a monthly basis.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The March of the Triffids

This warm humid weather is definitely helping plant growth, most especially that of the cucumber and gherkin plants in the greenhouse. Each day brings an extra two to three inches of height and I can see that they have the ability to take over their habitation. They are certainly gross feeders. The fruit are beginning to swell so it won't be too long before the first cucumber sandwich of the year.

Despite their resemblance to Wyndham's triffids I have always found cucumbers very satisfying plants to grow. I suppose it is their speed of growth and their productivity. Twenty pounds of fruit per plant is easily achievable from the three cucumber plants (variety: Telegraph) which I have growing. The gherkins (variety: Cetriolo) won't produce the same weight of fruit but the numbers of fruit will be much greater.

The Union Hall, Londonderry

The Union Hall  at the bottom of Shipquay Street will be remembered by many. The building remains but it is  now some thirty years since the hall finally closed and the trustees sold the premises.

Whilst the document pictured opposite is described as a Trust Deed it  also comprises a conveyance to the original trustees. The recitals indicate that the building was constructed by James McCorkell of 2 Queen Street Londonderry some time between 1879 and 1886. As to the the site's prior history the assurance tells us that by 1860 there was a building on it called the King's Stores and that it was occupied by a firm called Henderson & Company as a , " wholesale and retail provision and grocery warehouse." At the time of the Trust Deed the ground floor of the then building was occupied by the City Cafe save for, " three offices or shops" fronting Magazine Street. Ultimately the City Cafe would occupy the entire ground floor of the building.

The assurance to the Trustees states that they are to hold the premises, " upon and for the trusts intents and purposes hereinafter declared." Those aims or objects of the trust are set out in clause 1 of the Deed. They might be summarised as being of a Christian, evangelical, philanthropic and improving nature with a strong Protestant overlay. It is stated that the Buildings and Furniture shall be used for the following purposes:
  1. A Central place of meeting where Evangelistic work of a united or undenominational character which shall strengthen and benefit all Protestant Denominations, which agree with the basis of doctrine hereinafter mentioned, while specifically favouring none can be carried on by the united efforts of Protestant Evangelical Christians of various denominations, holding and professing the doctrines as set forth in Clause II.
  2. A central united Christian Association to be conducted so as to meet as far as the trustees in their judgment shall consider practicable the spiritual intellectual and physical wants of young men in the City of Londonderry, by affording them suitable accommodation for Bible classes, prayer meetings, member's meetings, religious, literary and social intercourse, libraries, reading rooms, refreshment rooms, gymnasium, lavatories and other conveniences, and for the general purposes of a Young Men's Christian Association
  3. A central united Christian Association of a like character for the purposes of a Young Women's Christian Association
  4. A centre for all religious but undenominational work in the City of Londonderry, and a recognized rallying point for similar work throughout Ireland.
  5. A daily or other prayer meeting or prayer meetings at such times and periods as the trustees shall from time to time determine upon.
  6. A Hall or place of meeting where the trustees may hold and conduct or arrange for special Evangelistic services, Temperance meetings, and annual or periodical Christian conventions or other such like meetings as may be considered desirable.
  7. For religious work amongst the sailors in the port of Londonderry, and the soldiers in the garrison.
  8. For meetings for benevolent, moral and religious purposes, including Missionary Societies Meetings, Band of Hope Meetings, Tract Depository and Sabbath School conventions, meetings for the Suppression of Vice, Midnight meetings, Prison Gate Missions, Philanthropic, Scientific and such other meetings as the Trustees may approve of.
  9. For the occasional holding at the discretion of the trustees and for such time as said trustees may think fit, of the the ordinary services of any Protestant Evangelical Christian Church or Denomination, whose Doctrines shall be in harmony and not inconsistent with the Basis of Doctrine hereinafter set forth.
  10. For meetings for feeding destitute poor in connection with religious work, and mother's meetings and all similar Christian work.
  11. Or for all or any such other purpose or purposes of a like or kindred nature as shall from time to time be approved of and sanctioned by the trustees for the time being, but not for any Political, Sectarian or party purposes, subject nevertheless to the provisions and declarations contained in the following clauses hereinafter inserted .....
There were seven original trustees. Hugh Lyle of Larchmount, Londonderry represented the Church of Ireland, Alexander McVicker of Londonderry, draper, represented the Irish Presbyterian Church, Charles Gordon of Londonderry, Delph and China Merchant represented the Methodist Body,Thomas C Campbell and David Campbell both of Ballinagard represented the Irish Congregational Body, Robert Mills of Londonderry, Rope and Sail Maker was nominated by the aforesaid James McCorkell and David Crawford of Waterside Londonderry is stated as representing other Protestant Sects such as Baptists, Members of the Society of Friends, Open and Close Plymouth Brethren and the Salvation Army.

One of the requirements to be an original trustee or a new trustee was that the individual should be a , "consistent total abstainer from all intoxicating drinks."

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Back on Track

There is no doubt that the older one is the longer it takes to recover from athletics induced injuries. Thankfully my hip flexor strain appears to have finally resolved itself and I was able to take to the track yesterday and indulge in what could not really be called speed work, but was at least better than the slow shambling jog of the past four weeks. A modest 6 x 300m with two minute walking recovery between was the menu for the day, with each effort in 50s. Not as sharp as I would like, but acceptable after the forced layoff. Hopefully I now remain injury free and manage to get to the starting line, (and the finishing line!) of a few Masters races before the season ends.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Grosvenor Shirts

When reading  the Daily Telegraph magazine at the weekend I was pleased to see the name of one of our few remaining shirt factories appearing on the "Men's notebook" page.

Grosvenor Shirts was established in 1999 and operates out of a portion of what was for many years the premises of H G Porter Limited at 9 Derry Road, Strabane. David Nicholls of the aforesaid magazine appears to be particularly taken with their silk ties although I would view that their strength lies with their shirts of which I am the proud possessor of two. I also have one of their rather smart waistcoats which I purchased at the suggestion of their Mr Karl Dunkley.