Twas the night before…

We are all packed up ready to make out way to the start point to be up and at it tomorrow morning. We have watched the rain come down today thankful that we did not start today and hopeful that it will have rained itself out by tomorrow morning otherwise we will be getting wet.
Update you again tomorrow from Hemel Hempstead.

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The Big Cycle 🚴

Since easter we have been busy building up our cycling stamina which has been hard but fun getting back up to speed. Due to house renovations didnt douch cycling last summer and none over the winter. My first run out I only managed average speed of 6.9mph which is way down on my previous of 11-12 mph. Now 9 weeks later I am managing am average speed of 10-11mph depending on how windy it is! I have also built up from 13- 62 miles per week although last week was a more modest 53 miles. I am definitely feeling ready for the ride to begin next Wednesday.
The first leg will be Brentford to Hemel Hempstead. Watch this space for updates

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The Big Grand Union Ride

The countdown has begun: one week to go before I begin the big ride from Brentford to Birmingham along the grand union canal

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Never use Hermes

I ordered a parcel from Monsoon which was sent for delivery with Hermes
I was really impressed with the communication and ability to track my parcel
Yesterday the tracker said my parcel was out for delivery so I was very excited to get my parcel in time for my weekend away
I checked again today toffee my parcel had been delivered to my porch
Hmm firstly I don’t have a porch and secondly I didn’t have my parcel so I contacted Hermes via live chat only to be told not there problem as it was a retail order they entered into no discussion about my parcel except torbay they couldn’t enter into a discussion for contractual reasons
After I suggested that their courier had stolen mybparcel they ended the chat!
I called Monsoon customer services who said they had received several calls today about Hermes and promptly organised my parcel to be resent by 9am tomorrow
So Hermes one less customer for you shame on you
And Monsoon well done my loyalty to you is secure

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Travelling behaviour

Today for the first time I travelled to Liverpool on a Virgin train so 2firsts for me, why I chose not to drive which is my usual mode is a story all to itself. I had booked my seat in advance in a ‘quiet space’ so I did not have screaming children mainly. I know you don’t need to say it. Moving on I had allowed loads of time as being so unused to train travel did not want to leave anything to chance running risk of missing train. That said I had plenty of time to toilet and buy a lovely lunch from M&S. Coming from the ladies room I heard a female voice calling after me, somewhat confused I stopped and turned to be met with a superbly apologetic lady maybe in her forties pointing out how visible my purse was in my bag (yes even peeing requires coinage these days). Naturally I closed my bag firmly and thanked her for her observation to which she continued to apologise profuselyfor interfering and intruding. A short while later when on train paused from my book to enjoy my lunch I noticed across the carriage a woman probably in her late fifties aggressively turning and looking at a much older lady who was talking on a mobile phone clearly trying to convey something that the person on the other end of the line was not getting. Now the aggressive woman at no time spoke to the lady although she did make comments to all the passengers around her. This left me curious about our ‘space’. when is it ok to step into others space and when is it ok for others to step into our ‘space’. I have no doubt that the elderly lady had absolutely no idea that she was doing anything wrong any more that I realised I was displaying my purse so effectively. When is it ok to let people know that they are disturbing you or worse offending you. There is a wealth of reports on how little bystanders are willing to ‘get involved’ even when they know it is very likely harm may come to someone by not getting involved. This is the legacy of the generation that focussed on self promotion at whatever cost. Food for thought. 

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Taking Liberties

How many times in your life do you pay your bills without checking them/ well for me the answer is mostly this is what happens.
For some reason i have the option of online bills for my mobile which means i do not even note the monthly bill amount until I look at my bank account which is usually only when I do my yearly accounts that I take note of the amount coming out each month. Not very efficient I know but who enjoys doing all the checking?
well I have noticed that my mobile bills have been about twice what they should have been for about the last 6 months so I thought i really need to find out why.
What I discovered is that what is termed as ‘third party services’ have been sending me text messages and charing me £1.50 for each text. i am guessing these are all the messages about betting -Panther Play – or debt management that i have been receiving of late. So do beware of these on your phone bill. I am told that your phone service provider can block some companies but not all. This shameful practice by ‘Imi Stock’ has cost me about £20 per month for the last 6 months and i am certain they are doing this to hundreds maybe even thousands of phone users.
As a resut today is a day that i want to do violence on another!
Having said that i am appalled that such enterpises can get away with such shameful behaviour.In this age of technology there needs to be some safeguards that we can put in place to protect ourselves from such unscrupulous criminals.
What are we teaching our youth about working an honest day for an honest wage when so many of them think that they can get money for nothing by scamming innocent hard working individuals. i see this as a consequnce of a society that has encouraged young people to believe that they do not need to work hard to get what they want, everything is upgradable and/or replacable and nothing is forever.
I am glad i will not be alive to see these concepts come to maturity.

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Who foots the bill?

Have you heard the one about the large corporation that is finally taking some social resposnbility and paying for its employees to get a college education? This is something that I have said for a long time that if companies want its employees educated to a specific academic level or in a specific subject then the company should pay for that as it is the company that will benefit from that education. So for me this is excellent news and hopefully a new precedent for other companies to follow. The news is full of stories about the cost of education and whether or not it is beneficial to the individual to have further education;the claim being that a degree means that over your life time you will on average earn £200000 more in your lifetime than your less educated counterparts. Sounds good until you work out that this works out around £52 per month which would not even cover your repayment costs of what you owe for that education. So when the news reports that universities are struggling financially and that more than half may close I think maybe that is a good thing. In recent years the value of a degree has diminished due to the saturation of educational centres being upgraded and degrees covering everything from footbal to pop culture. Further education needs to be targeted for future careers and the corporations that benefit from the individuals that are so educated need to pay for the priviledge.
So I would say well done to the this major corporation that has taken this bold step to pay for its employees to get a college education; I guess thats where all that unpaid tax money will be going as the company in question is Starbucks!

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Back on 2 Wheels

The sun has come out the rain has gone and it is starting to feel a lot like Spring. This also means that cycling is back firmly on the agenda. I have continued to cycle throughout the winter although not as often but now have begun to get back into the routine i had last summer. I have been thinking about what charity to cycle for this year and thought about doing the Thames Bridge Cycle Challenge. This week hearing about Malcolm Young of AC/DC having had a stroke pushed me to decide to commit as this challenge is raising awareness and funds for The Stroke Association.
Once again my husband Stuart and sons Sean and Alex are going to join in and the 4 of us will be riding for The Stroke Association. And once again we are asking for your support.
Ifyou would like to help us raise awareness and funds for this very deserving charity, then please visit our just giving page:

Thank you for your support

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2nd event

The second of three events took place at The Red Lion in Henley the rain definitely conspired against us although it did not deter everyone so in spite of the rain we had a trickle (excuse pun) of people coming through the door for a wide range of expertise available. Next event 20th February. At Sonning golf club see you there

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Twins and relational style

One of the areas that i work is as a consultant for TAMBA which is the charity for twins and multiple births. In this role i offer advice and guidance over the phone to parents usually who re experiencing worries or concerns about their children who are multiples. This week i spoke to a lady who is the mother of 5-year-old boy/girl twins where the boy seems to be struggling to socialise at school and having angry outbursts. The teacher has told the mother that her child hs low self esteem and is clearly very unhappy. the mother did not agree with this assessment, despite this her instant reaction was to assume she had missed something with her son. She wondered with the teacher what contribution her son being a twin made to the situation, to which the teacher assured her that being a twin had absolutely nothing to do with the issue.
The key ares we considered were:
* the absolute relevance of her son being a twin
* her knowing her son better than anyone
* her sons relational style
* understanding the process involved in raising a child’s sense of worth
* helping a child to work out the ‘rules’ and how to manage when other children do not follow these rules.
It never ceases to amaze me the number of teachers who appear not to understand very much about children’s developmental processes or even actually like children very much. Of all professions teacher seem able to render perfectly capable adults, self doubting, uncertain, apparently incapable in a few seconds of being critical of their child. Teacher training needs to incorporate learning how to talk to parents.
I was also quite shocked to hear that a teacher could say that how a twin child socialises has nothing to do with him being a twin. How can it not? This teacher clearly does not understand that the blue print for a twins relational style is the relationship that he/she has with the co twin. So for this little boy his sister being easy-going and generally co-operative with him even when he behaved badly was his experience of relating. So when he was at school and the other children did not respond in a similar way to his sister, he did not know how to deal with that. this was an issue of social skills input not one of low self-esteem and overall unhappiness.
It saddens me that there are so many people in positions of power and authority that use their position to undermine the confidence of other parents particularly in the absence of any real knowledge or understanding.

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