Independent State of Run Dem Crew

2016-01-19 19.21.39

Now that we’re two Tuesdays into the 2016 edition of Run Dem Crew, I’m pleased to say  the new independence of the crew is a very good thing indeed. We’re no longer tied to one brand, which means we can work with a range of partners, and in week 1, Charlie Dark’s diplomatic yet candid speech explaining the reasons for this transition made sure everyone was on the same page. It was humbling to hear of the personal sacrifices that have been made to ensure the crew continues to flourish and we are very grateful. Charlie gave all present a clear understanding of the foundations of the crew movement and its subsequent development, including the highs of the first Bridge the Gaps and the low points when the movement has been divided or split. I’m not going to go into details out of respect for all concerned, but I feel excited to be part of this movement and confident that Run Dem Crew is moving forward with integrity and vision. Read More

Ain’t No Crew Like Run Dem Crew

Run Dem Tee

Wherever I lay my tee-shirt, that’s my home. That’s been the situation for Run Dem Crew recently, but this week we’ve heard that a new location for our Tuesday sessions has been found, and normal service will resume on January 12th. Whoop, whoop!

That didn’t stop Dan Maskit, affectionately known as Run Dem Bear, from organising one of several unofficial runs last night. After a Christmas break we were all missing our running family and it was great to meet up with some of the crew again and share stories of our Christmas and New Year exploits. We are a community and home or no home, we will make sure we meet up and support each other. Read More

First Footing

First Footing Selfie 2

In Scottish and Northern English folklore, the first-foot is the first person to enter a home on New Year’s Day, and a bringer of good fortune for the coming year. Sarah Waite, of Run Dem Crew, arranged a First Footing run on New Year’s Day last year, a leisurely 8K or so from Shoreditch down to the River Thames and back. Having missed out the first time round, I was really glad to take part in the second edition this year. Read More

2015 Retrospective

Thoreau

Well, that was an emotional year. One of great challenge, great change and much progress. I fell off the blogging radar for much of the second half of the year due to the difficulty I was having in coming to terms with the death of my former student, Bryony Bonekyn. This led me to evaluate what was going on in my life and led me to the conclusion it was time to quit my job of over 14 years and spend 2016 doing more of what makes me happy. You’ve got one life. Thoreau summed it up perfectly, so I’m going into the woods in 2016, metaphorically and perhaps literally. Wish me luck! Read More

And so, I take my leave…

 

2015-12-18 19.28.06

A leaving gift from a cherished friend and colleague.

Yesterday, I left Park View, the school in Tottenham where I’ve worked for the past 14.5 years. At the end of each term, once the students have gone home, the staff gather to eat a farewell meal together and to say goodbye to colleagues that are leaving. I was lucky enough to have four of my former students come to say goodbye, and was the recipient of some beautiful farewell speeches on my behalf. Some of my friends have asked to see the speech I gave at the end of the event, so here it is… Read More

The Chelsea Macbeth

I’m teaching Macbeth to Year 9 this term. We were exploring the Captain’s speech, which describes the brute power of Macbeth, and I suggested that Macbeth is like Chelsea’s Diego Costa, who had been instrumental in Chelsea’s victory over Arsenal last weekend. A number of the boys got it completely with that analogy, so I started exploring it further. This is just a bit of fun, and I don’t want anyone to take it seriously in any way, but here’s the Chelsea Macbeth…

Jose Mourinho is King Duncan, presiding over the Champions of England.

Jose-Mourinho--chelsea Read More

Has Running in London Caused me to Develop Asthma?

Brown Inhaler

Over the past 18 months I have developed exercise-induced asthma. Are there others who have developed this condition since running regularly around London or other cities? It took me a long time to recognise my symptoms, so I wanted to share my experience and ask if others have had similar experiences.

April 2014. I was running along Embankment with Run Dem Crew Elites. I’d been speedy as ever over the first ten minutes of our run but along our favourite stretch for suicide pace I just couldn’t seem to move as fast as usual. I was wheezing, and it felt like I was running through toffee. I’d had an emotional day and put it down to that, not expecting to give it another thought. Read More