This blog is purportedly an athletic one...about running. Of course, if you'd paid to read it you'd be taking my sorry arse to the Trading Standards authority for blatantly mis-selling you an entirely different product.
So I'm gonna mention a wee bit about running before moving on to something much more interesting...deal?
Ok....so the pair of running shoes you can see in the picture are the ones that Mrs Mac bought for me to run the Highland Fling. In 2011. By my reckoning, even though they belong to a guy whose weekly mileage is probably only just nearing that of Vanessa Feltz, these shoes have done well over 1000 miles. They've been in the washing machine a few times and they were recently the chosen footwear for a holiday in Devon so I blame them for a series of recent disastrous training runs. Of course, a broken midsole and a heavily worn heal are way ahead of a ferocious wine and kebab habit as the harbingers of poor athletic performance.
So, I bit the bullet and headed out to buy a new pair of running shoes. It just so happened that my consumerism coincided with Tim Downie's recommendation of Adidas Kanadia TR4 as quality running shoes, and get this, available in the shops for under £40.00.
Now I'm not afraid to spend a pound note.....the £1,500.00 I spent on a Masters Degree course that never saw me submit anything beyond the first assignment is testament to that, but running shoes for forty quid? All my boxes ticked.
So today I purchased said shoes and ran in them to discover that they are, indeed, very comfortable and grippy shoes. I'd even go as far as to say that 'disastrous' didn't even enter my mind. However, what did become apparent was that Adidas have done that odd thing where they've built the shoe on a last that's a size smaller. So tomorrow I'll head to the shops to buy a second pair of running shoes that are a size larger to enable the ownership of one pair of useful shoes that will have cost me a total of eighty quid.
That, Dear Reader, is enough about economics and certainly enough about running. Now today's offering becomes a lesson in cookery.
You know that stuff called corned beef that comes in a can and has unidentifiable yellow fat at its edges? Well I used to eat tons of the stuff in the army. I never really enjoyed it....it was just there....omnipresent, like Cliff fuckin' Richard. Then, after a non-enforced visit to the Emerald Isle a few years ago I made the fortunate decision to try real corned beef. Ever since then I've tried to get the superior version over here but failed.
That is until McCartney's of Moira started exporting their excellent product to the UK. However, either a second mortgage or secondary employment as a Piccadilly rent boy is a requirement to afford the stuff.
So I decided to make my own.
All you need is gunpowder, a shit-load of spices, and a gallon of water. Oh, and a really inexpensive cut of beef.
So I 'acquired' said gunpowder from a 'source'; accessed the shit load of spices in my kitchen cabinet; and bypassed my water meter to get a pot load of free H2O.
Then I wandered down the butchers to procure 5lb of brisket that had to be ordered in because 'no-body bothers with that shit.'
A day later and I'm in the butcher's with a five pound note and an expectation of a lump of meat the size of my right bicep.
What actually occurs is this:
The butcher comes out from the back of the shop with half a dead cow across his back. With a bit of subtle lighting and a decent cameraman he could have recreated a scene from a Vietnam war movie.
Then, with a twist of his shoulder, he slams this hunk of beef down on the counter and says:
'You look worried....it's OK, it's not all yours.'
Then, with a perfectly honed butcher's knife, he makes a Jack the Ripper style incision and expertly removes a sliver of fat.
'There you go....that's thirty quid.'
Being a magnanimous kind of guy, and one who's not afraid to spend a pound note, I hand over the cash and struggle out the door with a package that's so large it's likely to attract the unwanted attention of the murder squad.
I drive home and begin the process of pickling my corned beef. This involves making a gallon load of pickling liquor and then submerging the meat for a week in the fridge. Then I'll cook the meat to produce proper, Oirish corned beef. What I'll do then is prove that any idea that cheap tinned meat's inferiority is a complete myth by publicly sampling my home produced fayre here on my blog.
And as I sit here writing this this I'm seriously considering whether I need to lay out another forty quid for a pair of running shoes that fit.
The memory of the butcher's razor sharp knife is still vivid and I have this notion of overcoming the recently presented problem of a small pair of running shoes by simply asking him to remove all of my toes.