Bamboozled

So the Wattmeister and his clan have resided in the Towers for nearly eighteen years. In that time, they have had no trouble with their water supply.

One dark night in the middle of October 2016, Thames Water operatives on a clandestine mission to root out water wastage, determined that there was a leak between the fortified NW side of the residence and the water meter which is situated in the street.

They could fix it for free….thank you and hooray!

Over the course of two or three days, seven….I shall repeat that….seven teams visited the property in order to facilitate the repair.

Team 1. They dug up the side passage and replaced the lead pipe with a plastic version. When they departed, the water seemed to be OK.

Team 2. They came along to fill in the holes on the property….and did a great job.

Team 3.  They collected the protective barriers on the property.

Team 4. They filled in the hole in the street.

Team 5. They collected the protective barriers on the street.

Team 6. They checked that the holes had been filled up to standard.

Team 7. They checked that the checkers had done their job properly.

The next day ….well, you’ve guessed it…there’s not much in the way of water.

Team 8. They came to tell us that it’s all our fault and that we need a plumber.

EIGHTEEN YEARS without a water problem…..and now it’s fixed!

 

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Pre-inauguration Survival Checklist

It takes on to know one….so the saying goes. To wit The Wattmeister is convinced that Donald Trump is a nutcase (there are more out than in). Therefore, on the day before the syrup’s* inauguration, and in the event that his fishy finger slips on the dreaded red button, it is imperative to have a cyclist’s survival plan.

  1. Recommission the old steel bike. It will not melt as quickly as carbon. Make sure it has been serviced and fitted with as many water bottle carriers as possible.
  2. Stockpile energy gels, dried figs and soft toilet paper…(Wattmeister Law of Discharge….the more figs, the more toilet paper).
  3. Do not forget basic kit such as power meter, heart rate monitor and cadence sensor.
  4. Fully charge all GPS tracking devices and fit front hub dynamo in order to load up to Strava for as long as possible. (for those of you who have not yet embraced Strava….do it now…like Trump, the future is ORANGE).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .strava                 trump
  5. Brush your teeth.                                                                                                                                      *syrup of figs = wig.

 

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Scientific Visualisation

The most fierce competition within the ranks of Muswell Hill Peloton is Saturday morning’s over 50s sprint in Regents Park.

No quarter is given nor asked for by the super-veterans as they battle for weekly bragging rights in a vain attempt to ward off the advance of middle age and the approach of old age.

With the help of his 40 year old Monopoly kit, The Wattmeister has created a little visualisation exercise to help him maximise his chances of success.

Here follows a photographic sequence using the well known pieces to illustrate the winning process.

Photo number one. The dog represents Pistol Pete; the thimble is Wizard; the ship is Killer; the racing car is Big Mig; the top hat is Doc; the flat iron is Iron Mike; the boot is Long Tom and the prancing horse is The Wattmeister.

Pistol has stolen a march at Physician’s corner.

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In photo number 2, you can clearly see that Killer, Iron Mike and Long Tom appear to be boxed in as Wizard moves up on the outside to deliver his power punch, closely slipstreamed by Big Mig and Doc. All the while, The Wattmeister is demonstrating a distinct lack of aerodynamic nous.

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Photo number 3 is taken an hypothetical 250 metres from the finish line. Pistol is clearly flagging as the group close up on the outside. Doc has sprinted into a cul de sac, while Iron Mike has seen the dangers of being on the inside and chooses a better option on the wheel of Big Mig and Killer.

Note how The Wattmeister  sits in patiently and prepares to deliver the coup de grace.

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The final photo shows the inevitable outcome of the sprint. The Wattmeister has outpowered his aging rivals with a burst of power which would be the envy of men half, even a quarter of his age.

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One thing is for sure, once his rivals see how successful this experiment has been, they will all be using it.

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Vernacular from the Betting Ring

Before The Wattmeister was mopping up the Muswell Hill Peloton over 50s ‘B’ team sprint in Regents Park, he spoke the language of the racecourse. Here is a small example of the lingo used by bookmakers and their staff regarding numbers and amounts……also sometimes used to relay the odds of the dogs and horses….although the odds have a different argot.

One pound……………a ‘quid’ or a ‘nicker’.

Two…………………….a ‘bottle’ (most often used as two hundred).. or a ‘bice’.

Three…………………..a ‘carpet’

Four…………………….a ‘rouf’ (pronounced ‘rofe’).

Five……………………..a ‘ching’ or a ‘hand’, or a ‘jacksie’ (fiver)

Six……………………….’half a stretch’ or ‘ex’.

Seven……………………a ‘neves’, (pronounced ‘nevis’).

Eight…………………… a ‘T…H’  (as in Tea Haitch).

Nine……………………..’Enin’ (pronounced ‘eeenin’).

Ten……………………….a Cock & Hen or a cockle.

Eleven……………………’Elef’.

Twelve……………………should be a ‘stretch’ but rarely heard as such.

Twenty……………………a ‘score’ or an ‘apple’… (apple core rhyming slang for score).

Twenty five………………A pony , a macca or a maccaroni.

Thirty three……………..’Double carpet’.

Fifty……………………….a ‘nifty’ or ‘bullseye’.

One hundred…………….a ‘ton’, a ‘oner’ (pronounced ‘wunner’).

Two hundred…………….a ‘bottle’.

Five hundred…………….a ‘monkey’.

One thousand……………a ‘grand’, or its rhyming slang, a ‘bag of sand’.

Nowadays however, The Wattmeister is ‘borassic lint’, which is rhyming slang for ‘skint’.

Happy New Year to all.

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Seasonal Greetings

Wishing all my readers a healthy and happy 2017.

“Make watts not war”

XXX

 

 

 

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Cookie Story

This homily appeared in The Wattmeister’s inbox, courtesy of Lucy. The great cyclist loves a cookie (except those which customise web pages).

There are three men sitting at a table.  The man in the middle is a very, very rich man.  The man on the left is having great difficulty in making ends meet and the man on the right is an immigrant.

 On the table, there are 10 cookies.  The very, very rich man suddenly stands up and takes nine of the cookies and puts them in his pocket.  As he turns to leave, he says to the man who is only just making ends meet:

 Watch out, that immigrant is after your cookie!”

Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and their ilk, seem to have persuaded too many people – who are often struggling to make ends meet – that immigrants are the root of their problem.  We know that it is the man who has pinched all the cookies that is the real problem.

 

 

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Christmas Lunch

The traditional gathering of the Wattmeister clan on Christmas Day is no different to that of millions of households across the world. Every member of the family will contribute to the festivities. The Wattmeisterin has agreed to be Ms.of Ceremonies and football obsessed daughter, Wattmeisterling Numero Uno is in charge of skills and header practice.

This year’s Wattmenu has been inspired by a tweet from the Culture Media and Sport Committee regarding a package delivered to Sir Bradley Wiggins after the Dauphine Liberé 2012.

The theme is …………………Say Goodbye to Asthma in 2017.

Starter………                            Brown paper thin strips of kale infused with Fluimucil.

Main course…………              Smiley-faced lentil and feta salad injected with Triamcinolone.

Dessert…………                       Transparent syllabub.

This meal will be accompanied by unlimited top-ups of Salbutamol Sangria.

After the feast, and a break of an hour or so, the younger members (those under the age of 90), plan to take some exercise by way of 10 x Swains Lane hill climbing reps, (expect some very good times!). We will then adjourn to the living room for an evening of lavish live entertainment as follows:

London-Edinburgh-London 2005 (aka as Cycling in the Rain)…The Musical: Starring: The Wattmeister as Gene Kelly, The Wattmeisterin as Debbie Reynolds and Slayer as The Rain.

GranFondo StelvioSantini 2013…(aka The Italian Job). The Wattmeister as Michael Caine, BigMig as Noel Coward and Pistol Pete as Benny Hill.  This re-enactment includes a classic bike chase with The Wattmeister riding three unicycles simultaneously….Triamcinolone is THAT good!

The Wattmutt has offered to do the washing up…..again!

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to one and all.

Remember….MAKE WATTS NOT WAR in 2017.

Spread the Love, The Washedupmeister

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Richness Recipe

Starter:

Open a very fine restaurant.

Employ great chefs.

Employ well trained restaurant staff.

Charge lots of spondulicks for the grub.

Main Course:

Be a ‘hands on’ boss…but…

fail to notice how hard the staff  work, (easily done)…..

and….’like to control everything’ (but not their wages….oh!… AND their wages…silly me).

Desserts (‘stressed’ backwards).

Inadvertently pay less than the minimum wage.

Keep the service charge as an ‘intangible’ benefit tax.

BECOME RICH-(ER)

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Five Easy Fixes

When cycling, especially over long distances, mechanical misfortune can strike at any time. It is always good to be prepared, but of course it is just not possible to be prepared for all eventualities.

Here are five of The Wattmeister’s favourite (patented) fixes for those rare occurrences that require more than just a spare tube or a puncture patch.

  1. Coarse nose hair, or the finer ear variety mashed into a paste with spittle or/and bogey is a very satisfying way to spend a few minutes in preparing a quick setting adhesive for just about anything. Please don’t enjoy the addictive experience too much.
  2. If the pawl spring on your freehub body breaks, (apologies for being technical), resulting in lack of rear wheel drive, it is quite a simple trick to replace using the metal wire from a dental brace.
  3. In the event of a fire igniting on your bicycle, please do not attempt to extinguish it using energy drink from a bidon, or even a bidet if you have one handy. This will only intensify the inferno.  No, the best method to douse the flames is to smother them with hundreds of the new rubbery £5 notes ….and cry.
  4. It is not a bad idea to wear an underwired bra at all times….men included (it’s rather good fun to be honest). The reason for this is that in the event of spoke breakage, the wire can be used to fashion a makeshift replacement in order to ‘true’ the wheel.
  5. Finally, always remember to take a pump and spare inner tubes. Even if you can’t fix the problem yourself, a Wattmeister might come trundling past and offer to help you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Spread the love
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Tankmobile…The Modern Chariot

From the Latin Carrus comes cart, chariot, car and  carriage.

In the olden days, chariots were driven by warriors in battle, they were used for racing and hunting. Carts belonged to peasants and merchants, they were used as a means of transporting agricultural produce and good destined for the market.  Latterly, carriages became popular with landed gentry so that they could travel without mixing with the hoi polloi, in fact if the plebs insisted in getting in their way, then they squished and squashed them without a backward glance. Class warfare in simple terms.

Nowadays, if you ride a bike on the public roads, you are a modern day pleb whether the bike costs 10 grand or 10 bob. The latest incarnation of the chariot has taken over….the ubiquitous four wheel drive TANKMOBILE in all its various guises.

Some of the most popular:

The Range Rover, which ranges effortlessly from shopping mall to shopping mall, its driver simultaneously texting and trying to peer over the steering wheel whilst speeding into blinding sunlight, oblivious to the poor cyclist hemmed into the curb.

The Land Rover Discovery, designed to seek out double yellow lines and blind corners on which to park in order to offload children and dogs, unaware of the mounting gridlock this causes.

The Land Rover Defender, designed to defend urban spaces from the bloody hoi polloi who deign to take up a miniscule ribbon of their tarmac.

The peasant Wattmeister sees this madness. The tankmobiles leave him trailing in their wake, bobbing like a coracle on the ocean after a near miss with the Ark Royal.

But, driverless cars are coming. Maybe everyone will become a peasant.

 

 

 

 

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The Price of Kale

One of the reasons that The Wattmeister has managed stay near the top of the Strava leaderboards (age related) is because, apart from his weakness for jam doughnuts, he watches what he eats. Food which is high in vitamin and mineral content is said to add approximately 15 watts to the sprint of an average 58 year old athlete.

One such source of nourishment is the mighty kale which is best steamed to preserve the good bits.

Back in the early 1980s when The young Wattmeister was courting his beloved Wattmeisterin, she taught him to prepare a traditional dutch meal called Boerenkoolstamppot, a robust delicacy consisting of mashed potato, chopped up kale liberally laced with mustard….if times were good, it might include some diced bacon, and served with a Rookwurst, a sausage that looks like a section of mountain bike tyre but tastes like a section of road bike tyre.

Therefore, kale is always on the shopping list….and by the way, it blends very well into a smoothie.

Well, for the past few years, The Wattmeister has been purchasing his kale from Sainsbury’s in Muswell Hill….the cost: £1 for 200 grams.

Last week, after a sock autographing session in Clayhall, in a moment of weakness, he popped into Tesco’s to buy some doughnuts and discovered that in that store £1 buys 500 grams of kale.

Now then, as the world heats up and lurches to the right, and Brexit will cost a trillion more than we supposed, this is the most minor of blips. However, ever the champion of price differentials, The Wattmeister took Sainsbury’s to task via email and social media.

He posed the question: Why is kale 2 and a half times more expensive in Muswell Hill than in Clayhall?

It seems to have bamboozled the Customer Service department at Sainsbury’s. Their reply quoted packaging costs, display costs, transport costs, sourcing integrity, environmental policies, competitive pricing (hah!) and how they look forward to fleecing The Wattmeister of his meagre pension in store.

From now on, The Wattmeister will be imposing a kale embargo on Sainsbury’s.

 

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A Special Auction

Big opportunity for someone.
Up for auction.
Original Paris-Brest-Paris jersey from 2003 as worn by The Wattmeister.
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Only used for 1223 kms or 89 hours and 40 minutes.
Auction to take place in The Wattmeister’s cellar.
Tickets ONLY £50.
Q & A session in Mastermind format….specialist subject: Paris-Brest-Paris, the first kilometre.
(Hopefully this will develop into a series…like The Fugitive).
All proceeds to help the unemployed and the unemployable.
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