It’s been a week since my last post. Thought I should update...so here I am. Competed in the Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday. It went as well as expected, in that due to the amount of running I do generally, it was a piece of piss. My time was around 1hr 28mins, which isn’t a pb (that’s 1hr 26mins which I attained at Sturminster Newton a few months ago), but to be honest, Bristol isn’t really the kind of ½ marathon you can realistically expect to get a personal best time at, simply because of the massive number of people taking part. There were about 14,000 competitors this year, and even though I started in the first wave, the mass of people all trying to run down relatively narrow roads lead to a lot of congestion. The crowd thins out about halfway round the course as people begin to tire, but by then the impact from the slow pace of the first half of the race has taken a good bite out of your overall time. It was a good event though, and just as well run (no pun intended) as last year, so maximum kudos to the organisers, the marshalls, and the army cadets manning the water/energy gel stations. Not that I used them – the last thing I wanted was water after suddenly needing a massive piss about a quarter of the way into the race. I held it for the remainder of the course and just made a beeline for the portable bogs after I crossed the finish line. I think my overall placing was 417th, which when you consider that there were over 14,000 runners taking part, isn’t a bad result.
After the race, I took a stroll around Bristol city centre with my significant other. I do really like Bristol, actually. It’s not as big as Manchester or Birmingham, but it still has a proper ‘big city’ atmosphere. There are various districts with a distinct feel, there are loads of shops, bars, impressive historical buildings...it’s just a great city to visit and I’m a bit annoyed that I didn’t explore it more thoroughly when I lived there for a few weeks at the beginning of this year. I say ‘a few weeks,’ but it was more like two months, and during that time, I lived in possibly the grottiest house share I have ever had. It was in a district called Brentry on the outskirts of Bristol, right near the Cribbs Causeway M5 junction, so it was handy for shopping and getting on the motorway...but pretty dire for everything else. The house was this big old mansion type place that had been converted into flats, I and I rented a tiny room on the ground floor. I knew it was only temporary, but the meagre amount of time I spent there was pretty shit for two reasons – the house itself, and the housemates.
The room, as I mentioned, was fucking tiny. There was mold on the wall below a window that wouldn’t shut properly, so there was a constant cold breeze blowing in to accompany the incessant noise of a dog barking in a nearby garden. There was one toilet/bathroom that was shared by the four of us, but it was a game of chance actually being able to get in there seeing as one of the housemates insisted on taking hour-long baths (how fucking inconsiderate), whilst another had her lesbian partner staying over almost constantly. I had no problem with this, but it kind of grated when I wanted a shower or needed to take a shit and couldn't because a person who wasn’t even paying rent was using the toilet. indeed, I often had to use mother natures own water closet for a piss...but never dropped the kids off outside - that would've been a little too uncouth, even for a morally redundant urchin like me. On the subject of bodily functions, though, on one occasion there were drips of blood all over the bathroom floor. I was a little confused by this...until I saw the tampon packets in the bin and clicked. I almost gagged – and that happened on several occasions (the dripping of period blood all over the communal bathroom floor - not the gagging).
There was constant noise from the flat above (seriously, it sounded like they were moving a safe around...every night of the week) and the kitchen was a mess constantly, no matter how much I attempted to clean it. I even cleaned out the disgusting fridge...only to find it filthy again a week later. So in sum, it was a shit place to live, and the area itself was pretty crap – I had the petrol stolen out of my newly acquired CBF 250 after about two weeks of ownership. That isn’t to say I dislike Bristol – I fucking love the place. Clifton in particular holds a place in my heart as it’s just a cool area...but Brentry? No.
But back to the point – I was walking around Bristol city centre and I spotted this red carpet with velvet barrier things around it, you know – like what they have at film premieres and shit. I went up to the girl manning it and she said it was a competition to win £50,000. All you had to do was approach the safe at the end of the red carpet and put in a random 6 digit number. Guess correct and walk away with the cash. I slowly punched in my date of birth with baited breath...and was confronted with the message that my combination was wrong. Dammit! On leaving the red carpet, another promoter asked if I’d like to enter some other competition and thrust an entry card under my nose. To be honest, I wasn’t even listening to her as I filled out the form – I was paying more attention to my girlfriend’s attempt to open the safe (which also ended in failure). I completed the card, and went on my way, not even knowing what I’d just entered.