Several times in recent days I’ve heard media debates about “British values”, with no-one really able to come up with a ready definition of what these may be. Recent World Cup coverage has featured some really good examples. The pivotal incident in Germany’s 4-0 defeat of Portugal came when Thomas Muller collapsed as if he’d been pole-axed when Pepe waved an arm in his face. Continue reading
The growing number of UKIP voters are often casually dismissed as racists or xenophobes. Many are simply resisting the sovereignty over this country of a federal Europe that is largely the creation of a Franco-German axis. How ironic that the fuss over UKIP’s recent election successes has been played out while we commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
If government ministers are trying to figure out where to make more public spending cuts, they could apparently do worse than start with the Cabinet Office. Surely it can be no part of its function to commission and publish a “how to” on organising and running voluntary and community events? This guide is nothing more than the wheel re-invented, and I’m willing to bet it didn’t come cheap. Continue reading
I enjoyed reading this article about the decline of religion and the rise of the ‘nones’, which I thought was very sensible. However, much as I like to hear that religiosity is declining in the Western world there are a couple of things that worry me, both of which are related. Continue reading
Many thanks to all who supported me in this endeavour. My fundraising page will remain open for a while yet, so if you feel moved to contribute, do please go ahead!
My main mission, of course, was to raise funds for the Cardiomyopathy Association (CMA) and I’m happy to say that the running total (including Gift Aid) stands at £626, with a trickle of donations still coming in. Continue reading
This item, about the participation of Jo Rowsell MBE (world record holder and Team GB Olympic Gold medallist) puts me firmly in my place. She’s never ridden as far as 100 miles before, but expects to do it in five hours. I’ll be amazed if she doesn’t. My target is a rather more stately eight hours…
Meanwhile, I rather hope I can steam past Boris. All you can say about his effort is “Chapeaux!”
This Sunday’s Wiggle Super Series sportive, the Magnificat, starts from Newbury racecourse and is the last organised ride I’ll be doing before the big one in August. While the 81-mile standard course is still roughly twenty short of the August event, I believe it is quite hilly so it should be very good preparation. I’m now lighter than I’ve ever been since I was at school, so I should be able to get up and over the hills without too much trouble. The route is a southerly loop, which comes down through Hurstbourne Tarrant, Weyhill and Stockbridge to Winchester and so it will feel a bit weird turning round and heading all the way back up to Newbury via Whitchurch and Kingsclere, instead of heading on home. I hope the northerly wind has dropped by then anyway.
This Saturday’s Wiggle Super Series event, The Long One, starts from Fontwell Racecourse. The course has just been published and my reading of the map is that those – like me – doing the 81-mile Standard course will only get one feed station. The 46-mile Short route won’t get one at all (although those doing the Epic 124-miles will get three). Most unusual – it’s certainly going to feel like a long ride, especially as the profile looks like this:
At least the last five miles are mostly downhill!
[Post event note: thankfully, the organisers turned out to have entered one of the feed-station locations incorrectly on the map so all went well in the end.]
Yesterday, I received the result of my recent cardiac MRI. It seems that little has changed since the last one in 2008, and that’s a great relief. If it had shown increased scarring (fibrosis) then that would have suggested that my fitness regime was only succeeding at the expense of damaging my heart muscle. Continue reading
Two sportives in eight days wouldn’t be my normal schedule, but the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive was rained off back in April and rescheduled for 1st June. I was already booked on the Wiggle Bournemouth event the following Sunday, 9th June, hence the mileage overload. Continue reading
In a large branch of a major store chain the other day, I handed over a 10% discount voucher. The cashier didn’t know how to handle it and called the floor manager, a young man in his late twenties. To my astonishment, he had to go and find a calculator. Why did we bother moving to decimal currency? Continue reading
Not unnaturally, the CMA wanted to be sure that I was OK to do the Ride London 100 given that I’m not only one of their supporters but also a cardiomyopathy patient. Continue reading
At the age of 42, a company in the US for which I was doing some work decided to take out Key Man Insurance on my life. Part of the application routine in the US is an EKG (ECG to us in the UK) and I remember a paramedic coming to the office near DC and fixing electrodes to my chest while I lay on the boardroom table. Continue reading
This is my first post about my involvement in the biggest UK cycling event this year. Whether you like cycling or not, you’d have to have been living on another planet to have missed the resurgence of British cycling last year, with Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and gold at the Olympics, and all the other British successes of Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Mark Cavendish and a host of others. Continue reading
We’re all well used to being told that we can’t do this or that because it would contravene Health & Safety. This little story that was picked up as a footnote in the national press shows that Data Protection is hot on its heels as a standard trump card to end any debate with those in petty authority. Continue reading
I know that assistance dogs can be trained to a very high standard, but I never knew they’d come this far…
This weekend I enjoyed the opportunity to see my team without having to make a 350-mile round trip, especially as they dumped Pompey out of the FA Cup in the first round!
Favourite song of the afternoon (apart from two celebratory renditions of The Wheelbarrow Song of course)? Answer – to the tune of Yellow Submarine – “We’re all sitting in a future block of flats, a future block of flats” etc.
The only downer was drawing Rotherham in the second round :-(