Follow the action!

For all (well, most) of the action as it happens, follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, 28 September 2007

Big Stir

This morning I opened Henbury's Macmillan 'Big Stir' coffee morning. I cut the ribbon in a dismal drizzle, but here we all are, recovering with a good cuppa coffee and a large slice of chocolate cake. Well done and thank you to the organisers - particularly Carol Lye and Cynthia Reynolds.

I think we have nearly all experienced of the work of Macmillan nurses, directly or indirectly through friends or family. They cared for my gran through her last days. And around 700 of these events were held in the South West alone, today. That's a lot of caffeine.

After I left the Henbury coffee morning I admit I dropped into Southmead hospital's Big Stir for another caffeine kick on my way to UWE Freshers Fair.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Rare steak: An endangered species?

I went for a pub meal the other day and ordered a T-Bone steak. Rare. " Can't do rare" said the man behind the bar.
" Why not?" I asked. "
" Not allowed". Said the man. " Health 'n' safety".
" But that's ridiculous!" I spluttered. " Surely I can have a rare steak if I want one? I don't like it any other way.... What about if it's not a T-Bone?" (Maybe it's the bone that's the problem, I thought.) "I'll sign a disclaimer...!" I wailed. I was getting desperate. "There's health BENEFITS to a good rare steak!" I cried...

But no. The barman said that no steak is to be served anything less than a grey-pink opaque medium, because health and safety dictate that it should be so.

If health and safety really do dictate how you have your steak cooked, you know something's going very, very wrong.

Meanwhile, on another side of town, 11-year-old tear-aways are allowed to play havoc with the law, and wreck people's property and homes without punishment, because they're too young for the police to be able to deal with them.

Where's the health and safety in that?

Rare Steak: About to get rarer?

Tuesday, 11 September 2007


Caption competition....
Anyway, enough of the whinging. I've finally reached my target for St. Peter's hospice of over £1000. Makes all the pain worthwhile. Just. Well done to everyone who ran the Bristol Half - and a particular thanks to someone called Simon who kept me going through the worst bit at around 8 miles by determinedly chatting about other, less painful, things!

Bring on the next knee-crunching challenge!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Ughh again

Did it. In 2 hours and 3 minutes. Give or take. Too tired to post much. My knees hurt. Raised just £50 short of target. Come on, retrospective sponsorship is still allowed! I'll post some photos of the pain when I'm recovered a bit.

ps. Thanks to Westbury Harriers supporters for keeping up the yelling!

Saturday, 8 September 2007


It's the night before the half marathon. I've got Ibruprofen tablets rattling around inside me to combat the inflammation in the tendons in my knees ( which blew up after an over-enthusiastic preparation run last Sunday) and, quite simply, I'm dreading it. No photos on this post, because to be honest, they wouldn't be very pretty.

If I don't post again for a while, you'll know why...

Thursday, 6 September 2007

No News is bad news

Hold onto your hats. I've got news for you. News that might change the way you think forever... are you ready? Brace yourself, new studies out today show that:

1. Lots of e-numbers make children hyperactive.

2. Lots and lots of booze when you're a teenager is no good for you and lands you in with the wrong crowd.

Phew. I know. Earth shattering isn't it? What's so amazing about the two sets of headlines today (and most of today's papers carry the additives and e-numbers story on their front page) is that surely it is common sense? Or at least if not common-sense, old news?

I remember my mum whittering on about the dangers of e-numbers ( I wasn't entirely sure what they were) when I was about ten. ( As a result, my first major act of rebellion when I went to university was to go to the newsagents and buy a large bag of bright blue penny sweets and eat them before lunch.)

Surely consuming huge amounts of alcohol when you're 13 indicates that something is not quite right at home and your mates are probably not the best influence on you, and all that home-brewed Snake-bite will inevitably do some pretty hefty liver damage?

But in an age of information over-load, it seems that we can't realise something is the truth until we have some statistics. Parents and teachers could have told you that fizzy drinks and booze is bad for kids years ago. ( I have visited a school for disengaged boys where banning fizzy drinks and giving the boys bottled water in lessons to suck on improved behaviour dramatically.) But now we need a 'report' to prove it.

Of course policy should not be decided on superstitious whim, or fashion fad. Of course in-depth reports are important. Of course policy should be based on evidence. But today's headlines are not a sign of an evidence-based society, they are a sign of a statistics-based society. ( And we all know the old adage about lies, lies and damned statistics.) This time, the statistics paint a picture of the truth. But it is truth we should have known long ago. The real news to shock you is that all this should be news at all.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


Argh! Suddenly it doesn't seem like such a good idea any more. On Sunday I'll be running the Bristol Half Marathon to raise money for St. Peter's Hospice. Please give generously - they depend entirely on donations and as I saw from my visit this morning, the work they do is invaluable for those approaching the most testing time of their life, and for their families.

Go to my 'JUST GIVING' page, and... please, just give...

Many thanks! - I'll let you know how I get on...