Just when you thought London Midland couldn’t get any worse…



It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a one off, but the exact same thing happened about two months ago as well!

What country is this again?

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I ended up taking two weeks off from running to let the pain in my right foot settle down, and it did, but defying all explanation, in the midst of this, my left foot started displaying similar symptoms. In the space of only one week it’s progressed to cause me more pain than my right foot ever has.

This really makes absolutely no sense to me. I am sceptical that I have rapidly developed a second neuroma just from walking.


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Amazon recommendations…

I logged in to Amazon today…


The panel scrolls and has about 30 different items that are all either a pig or a David Cameron mask. I have no idea what I looked at to inspire this.

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For the past few months the running has been going OK at about 3 times/20km a week.

But now, unfortunately, the old foot pain is back presenting itself as a sometimes sharp/sometimes dull pain under my 3rd/4th toes. I am going to ice it a lot, but I’ve tried all this before. Perhaps interestingly, this time it coincides with a very ‘packed’ feeling in my forefoot, as if the whole area is swollen.

I was diagnosed by a podiatrist with a neuroma, but I’m a bit sceptical because I failed all the diagnostic tests, all the questions he asked me to isolate it to a neuroma I answered with “no”, and he then seemed to diagnose a neuroma anyway because he’d run out of other ideas. There are actually other possibilities such as bursitis and capsulitis. I am not sure what skills they teach at podiatry school, but apparently using Google isn’t one of them. The distinction necessarily matter much for conservative treatment, but it does put me off pursuing treatment which is likely to end up attacking the nerve with a needle or knife.

It’s all a bit depressing. I am worried that should it become persistent it will make life (and getting to work) very difficult.

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Sharks were jumped

There comes a time in any once great TV series when you ask yourself: Am I watching Downton Abbey or am I watching Alien.

At some point there must have been a bunch of writers sat around having a conversation like so:

“I know, let’s have Robert’s ulcer explode at the dinner table with Neville Chamberlain”
“That’s a good idea, and let’s have him vomit a bit of blood for effect”

WTF, Downton.

Although, I find this less offensive than Anna’s attack last year (which also should never have been in the programme).

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There are two ways a government can achieve a budgetary surplus.

1. You make so much money you don’t know what to do with it.
2. You intentionally avoid spending money.

The first is ok but to a certain extent this circumstance happens organically if you have a huge export surplus, like Norway, and is difficult to bring about otherwise. The second is pretty stupid to sustain because it means that you are taking money in taxes that you don’t have a productive use for, which means that you are restricting growth of the private sector by taking their money away for no good reason, and, at an individual level, it means the average person is paying more tax than they see any benefit to paying. In this case the idea that a government surplus means more money for the average person is backwards: it is the average person who pays for it!

George Osborne’s fiscal charter makes no distinction between these cases, but says that the government should always run a surplus during times of modest to good economic growth.

So, this raises the question: is George Osborne an idiot?

The answer is: No, he’s not an idiot at all, because the driving force behind his fiscal charter is not economic, it’s political. He successfully split the Labour party into two groups of people who are now at odds over this: 1) People who want to appear fiscally responsible and therefore support the bill because it sounds good to the average person on the street who wrongly thinks “surplus == more money for me”, and 2) the combined set of people who don’t think economics is very important (which might include Corbyn/McDonnell) and people who realise that aiming for a government surplus is not necessarily economically sensible and formally encoding it is silly at best.

The fact that he’s willing to use the country’s economy for something so petty as to stick one to the opposition party is pretty terrifying.

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celebrity news

Today, I saw Jay Rayner waiting for a train.

The strangest thing about this is I don’t really know who Jay Rayner is or why I know what he looks like. Apparently he’s a journalist. I just saw a massive long haired chap standing (imposingly) on the other platform and thought to myself “that’s Jay Rayner”. I googled him on my phone to make sure, and he was standing there with exactly the same expression as on his Twitter photo.

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