Sunday, 11 January 2015

Swimathon 2015

Following gentle pressure from a number of friends (you know who you are) I have decided to take the plunge (pun intended) and enter the swimathon 2015 on April the 18th.

The swimathon is arranged to raise money for the Marie Curie organisation who provide support and care to those who are terminally ill (and as importantly their family carers who can be under significant pressure) as they did for my father and mother 20 years ago while my father was dying from cancer. This support allowed him to be able to spend much of his final months at home, as he so wanted to do, before he finally died on the 18th of April 1995, exactly 20 years ago on the day of the swimathon.

I did do this a few years ago but that was before I smashed my shoulder into many pieces and hopefully the training for this will also help with my physio for the shoulder recovery following September 2014's major operation.

I have also been persuaded in the event that I top my target of £1000 raised I will do the swim in a pink Borat mankini.

Last time when I raised over £1000 I completed the swim in a neon green thong! and if I do not raise enough this time I will promise to post the pictures so be warned.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Are we still evolving?

The recent episode of Horizon on the BBC asked the question "are we (has human beings) still evolving?". Apart from the extremely annoying habit of the presenter to seemingly deliberately confuse evolving to improve the race through natural selection with are we simply changing (for better or worse) as a race, it appeared to come to a conclusion that we are evolving to be shorter and fatter! This begs the question that are these features which will make us better adapted for the future. A question that they failed to answer however applying the logic of one of the most eminent philosophers of the 21st century, Karl Pilkington the answer is obvious and clearly yes. The world's resources in fossil fuels are running out and in particular crude oil. The lack of fuel for cars is driving us towards smaller and smaller cars therefore shorter people will be better suited to smaller cars. Also the diminishing supplies of fossil fuels will mean that we are increasingly unable to heat are homes and buildings meaning that those with increase personal insulation (fatter) will have an advantage.


Monday, 21 June 2010

Final Total - Swimathon 2010

A huge thanks to all that sponsored me. I have finally collected all the money, totaled it all up and sent it off to the organisers. I have also paid up on line the £1000 that I promised to match. The grand final total (including my donation) is £2281 which I am pretty proud of. Thanks again to all who sponsored me and helped make it happen.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Swimathon 2010 - Final Update

Well I did it. Just! After about 30 of the 100 lengths I started to get cramp in both calves. I decided to try and see if I could swim through it which I managed to do until about 70 lengths. Unfortunately at this point both legs ceased up and I was in a lot of pain. I tried swimming on my back which slowed me down considerably (and I was not fast to start with) but this only worked for a couple of lengths before both legs cease from groin to ankle. I was now in so much pain that given a blade (however blunt and rusty) I would have happily sawn off both my legs. After getting advice from the life guard on stretching and a few minutes pause (that seemed like lifetime) I managed to get the pain down to a level that I could just swim. By varying the speed I managed to just keep the legs from ceasing up (but still very painful) to complete the swim. The main think that kept me going was knowing that I could not face the taunting from the landlord of the Red Lion if I did not complete it.

Personally I blame the thong I was wearing as a part of a bet from Reading MAG for cutting off the blood to my legs. Graham who I borrowed it from is considerably slimmer than me.

For those of you now worried about the psychological damage that could have been inflicted on the children in the pool (let alone the adults) I need to point out I agreed to wear a thong for the duration of the swim if sponsorship passed £1000. I never ever agreed NOT to wear my shorts! So I managed to prevent any chance of arrest for indecent exposure by wearing the thong over my shorts!!!

Oh and the sponsorship. Well I am still collecting in the pledges made and still get some aditional sponsors but the current total looks like £1225 in sponsorship plus my match of £1000 making a grand total of £2225 raised.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Swimathon Update

Nasty shock today. Apparently attending biker rallies and drinking too much does not qualify as suitable training for a swimathon!?!?!

So after nearly 2 weeks since I last swam today I managed 1.5km in 50 minutes and now I hurt! Still a chance to sponsor me before the event at the weekend. At the moment on-line sponsorship plus old fashion paper sponsorship is currently running at around £600.

To sponsor me go to:-

For more information on the event see:-

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Swimathon 2010

I have decided to enter this event since my father was helped considerably during his last few months by the Marie Curie nurses which enable him to stay at home as long as possible. I am going to undertake the 2.5km (just over 1.5 miles).

To make things more interesting I have decided to match every £1 of sponsorship that I get (up to a maximum of £1000) so with gift aid every £1 that you give in sponsorship we will raise £2.56 for the Swimathon which means £1.792 to Maria Curie Cancer Care and £0.768 to the Swimathon Foundation.

To sponsor me go to:-

For more information on the event see:-

To come and offer me support on the day or simply to make sure that I do complete it fairly I will be at the Loddon Valley swimming pool from 3pm on Saturday 17th of April.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Alternative approach to tackling Graffiti

This morning on my walk to the station a couple of contract workmen with a van were working under the bypass bridge. As I approached I realised that they were working on the graffiti on the wall under the bridge. One guy was painting something onto the wall while another was using a jet wash on another part of the wall. From the angle that I approached in the low glancing sunlight and the effect of what he was painting on the wall as he painted over each line he caused it to be highlighted which had the visual effect of looking as if he was actually painting the graffiti on the wall. As I got closer I realised that he was painting a clear liquid (I guess some form of detergent or paint remover) over each line of the original graffiti which caused the original fading lines to be highlighted but this got me thinking.

Anybody who knows me will be aware that one of my favorite quotes is Einstein's definition of insanity which is "To repeatedly do the same thing and expect a different result". This leads me to a policy of looking at problems that seem insoluble from the point of view of looking at what has been tried already and turning it on it's head, however insane or counter intuitive that may seem, and presenting that as the only viable solution. So bearing that in mind back to the graffiti. Everything to stop/prevent graffiti seems to have worked to date and contract workmen removing the graffiti just seems to encourage the artists to return to the now clean canvas within days or hours. As a side note on my return journey a new set of graffiti had been applied to the wall. So back to the problem. What if we employed the council workmen to actually paint on the graffiti in the first place. This would make the painting of graffiti so UNCOOL that surely the kids would stop immediately in embarrassment not only that they would probably run around removing the council workers efforts. Mad on the surface but let's face it we have tried everything else and it has not worked so it might be worth a try.