Archive for February, 2017

I Like to Ride my Bicycle

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

So, cycling, eh?

When I first knew that I was going to be working at the hospital, I realised that driving to work probably wouldn’t be sustainable: I’d been warned at the interview that new staff werent being allocated parking permits, and although I have a volunteer permit for when I’m on site as a hospital radio person, I guessed that using that regularly when attending for work would a) get me into trouble, and b) lead to me losing the permit altogether.

So I reviewed the non-car-related options: I first investigated buying a small motorbike, but when you factor in the cost of training, safety kit, regular maintenance and all the other expenses – as well as actually buying the bike – this works out to be quite an expensive option. Probably if you’re spending that money anyway because motorbiking is fun and your regular mode of transport then adding commuting is nearly a zero-cost option, but starting from scratch is expen$ive. A good chum suggested I look at an electric bike – but that too worked out pretty costly.

So I thought of buying a bike. I hadn’t ridden one at all since I stopped working in London, and it must be twenty or more years since I cycled seriously…but you don’t forget do you? It’s like…umm…riding a bike? Purple Fred (whom I love very much, and who knows me pretty well) had an even better idea:

“If you buy a bike, you’ll come up with all sorts of excuses not to ride it. If I buy you a bike for Christmas, you’ll feel obliged to ride it and get all those lovely health benefits”

So, I got a bike for Christmas, and Young Fred (I can’t call him Mini Fred now he’s taller than me) bought me lights and a waterbottle holder. I’ve now been cycling daily for just over a year, and I’ve got loads fitter, as well as losing some weight. I’ve started doing longer rides for fun, and at the end of April I’ll be doing my longest ride yet…66 miles around the Isle of Wight, raising money for Young Fred’s school trip to Vietnam.

What’s that you say? Do I have a JustGiving page where you could contribute to this most worthy of causes? Funny you should say that…

Here it is – and there’s even a picture of me in lycra

A New Thing – a.k.a. The Resurrection Shuffle

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

About a million years ago, I used to blog almost daily.

Then life became more interesting, I spent more time living life than blogging about it, and blogs reduced in frequency. Then about four years ago, 34sp – who own the server that GottleBlog lives on – wrote and told me that they were shutting me down until I’d installed an effective spam comment blocker, because GottleBlog was getting so many spam comments it was affecting their service.

And sorting THAT out went on my to-do list, and kind of stayed there.

But then last week, I was looking for some information that I knew I’d blogged about at some time. So I tried a few Google searches, thinking that even though GottleBlog was inaccessible, one of the sites that archives old websites might have mirrored it. And that’s how I discovered that at some time in the last four years, GottleBlog had once again been activated.

I’m not going to try to do a monster update: Suffice to say that PF and I got married and are happier – and more ludicrously loved-up – than ever. I changed jobs a year ago and now work for the NHS, which contributes even more to my happiness, and still do ham radio and hospital radio. I even geocache occasionally, although nowhere hear as much as I used to. And I have a new passion in the form of cycling, as a result of which I’ve finally managed to lose a sensible amount of weight.

So, GottleBlog is back. Comments will stay switched off for the time being – if you want to respond, please comment on the Facebook post which I suspect brought most of you here!