Today at lunch I was attempting to change the pin on a Barclays Visa (unsuccessfully) and as guy in front of me left and I stepped up the ATM the machine it issues me with around two hundred pounds in COLD HARD CASH CASH!

Naturally I grabbed the money and tracked down the guy who had just gone into the bank. He took the money without saying a word so I hope I got the right person.

My thoughts

If I got the wrong person he is now telling his mates that he went to the bank and as he left a complete stranger gave him ?200!

When did cash machines start issuing cash AFTER the card had been returned? I thought that had stopped years ago because people were much more likely to leave without their card than without their cash.

Cam completed the London Marathon

I am not sure how I have lived in London for over 10 years and have never taken any notice of the London Marathon. This year a good friend ran so we were forced to sit up and take notice. It was an awesome day that was well worth getting off the couch for :)

One of the things that really impressed me is the large number of people who run in costume. Some do it because it is fun but I suspect most do it as part of their sponsorship arrangements. Like the guy dressed as Borat in the photo below.

Borat runs the London Marathon

Through the miracle of public transport we managed to see Cam in three different places during the run, at the Cutty Sark, Canark Wharf and finally at Tower Hill. Every time we saw him we yelled and screamed support and offered beer.

Cam at The Tower of London - looking strong at mile 22

One of the other things that really surprised me was that a lot of runners put their names on the front of their shirts and a lot of spectators yelled support to runner they didn’t know if they though they looked like they needed a boost. That was something that was very cool about the marathon, how people reached out to complete strangers when they were really suffering.

Cam finished his first marathon without stopping to walk once in 4 hours and 13 minutes and he raised ?3600 for prostate cancer. An awesome effort.

Cunning Torch Organisers

This is one of the buses in the Olympic Torch procession through London. The were very clever by choosing to play very loud music to drown out the booing and chanting by the protesters. To distract us further the next vehicle to pass was full of dancing girls!

Protests at the Olympic torch run in London

Rachel and I went down to Russell Square to see the Olympic Torch march and associated protests. Hundreds of protesters turned up to make their voices heard.

The police line near Russell Square

Naturally the police were out in force to make sure the torch reached it’s goal and to stop any trouble.

Large numbers of police surrounded the torch at every stage of the run

What really surprised me was the large number of pro-Chinese people there.

China had loads of supporters too

Many of the China supporters were very vocal and more than happy to argue their case. Their arguments came down to a few main points:

  • Sport and politics should be separate
  • Tibetans kill Chinese people you can see it on Youtube
  • You haven’t been to China so you can’t have an opinion

These seriously were the points made by many seemingly educated young Chinese men and women as a justification for the recent violent actions of the Chinese government. The irony of engaging in vigorous debate to support a regime that violently suppresses all dissenting views was lost on them.

Personally I think we are all lucky to be living in a country where people can have a vigorous and heated debate on the side of the road.

This is my favourite photo of the day. It makes me wonder if the huge number of police present are part of the Chinese dream.

Share the dream indeed

It’s going to be an interesting year for all involved and sadly I don’t think we have seen the end of the blood.

Hi mum I’m on TV!!!

Mark Sainsbury and random Kiwis outside Buckingham Palace

Today I made and appearance on Close Up (click this to see the video while it is up) an evening current affairs show in NZ.

Yesterday Cam sent around an email asking if anyone was willing to get up at 6am to head down to Buckingham Palace to participate in a news show about Sir Edmund Hillary. I was the only one dumb enough to do it and was dutifully up at 6am and on my bike 5 minutes later. When we go there it turned out to be a piece about an English guy and a Kiwi girl who dated 27 years ago and are now getting back together. It was kinda sweet and at the same time kinda weird and I got the feeling they were a bit nuts.

My guess is that Mark Sainsbury (the TV presenter with the pink tie and huge soup strainer in the middle) got permission to head to London for the Sir Edmund Hillary memorial yesterday and they decided to make the most of the air fares by getting him to do some Kiwi interest stories for the rest of the week.

If this is Wednesday’s story I think it is going to be a slow news week indeed.

That being said though we met some nice people (of course they were nice they were Kiwis!) and had a few laughs.

Two of the nicest people we met were an English girl and a Kiwi guy who are married couple with two children together who have been together for 5 years. They recently applied for the husband to get a UK visa and UK Home Office said they were faking their marriage to get him a visa and the kids were just part of their elaborate plan. They have no right to appeal. That should have been the news story!

My flatmate found a wallet

My flatmate manages a Hotel Chocolat on Kensington High Street and today one of his staff found a wallet. Before he could have a look at it the store radio that links all of the other stores in the high street and the police that another wallet had been found. And another. And another …

The wallets had been deliberately dropped by guerrilla marketers promoting a new TV programme Dirty Sexy Money. An interesting idea but probably not too successful unless loads of idiots blog about it.

Wallet found in Kensington

Protest outside the Chinese embassy in London

Twice a day I ride past the Chinese embassy in London. It isn’t well marked so you would never know it was there if it weren’t for the permanent peaceful protest by supporters of Falun Gong. They are ticked off that their government imprisons them and sells their internal organs before they have finished using them. The other give away is the cop with a machine gun across the road.

Tonight the usual one or two man protest was slightly larger as about a hundred people turned up to protest the deaths of a number of protesters in Tibet. Naturally there was a much larger number of police with automatic weapons. The good news is that we live in a democracy where civil rights are protected by the law and the police don’t gun people down in the street who disagree with the government.

Protest outside Chinese Embassy London

Cyclists not seeing car door opened = Ouch!

When I ride through the city I give parked cars a wide berth because you never know when someone will open a door or someone will walk out. This morning I saw a stark reminder of why caution is the best policy.

While I was riding to work around Regents Park I saw a cyclist on the other side of the side of the road passing a parked car when the driver of the parked car opened the door without looking and knock the cyclist off his bike. From where I was it looked like the rider hit the door with his thigh and not his hand/handle bars. Luckily he wasn’t riding too fast but it still looked very painful.

I also found out today that the Transport for London website suggests that cyclists should look out for car doors being opened into your path. They should also suggest that cyclist should have reflexes of a cobra and the ability to read minds of other road users who don’t think looking is important.

  • Black cabs swerving to the kerb to pick up/drop off passengers
  • Pedestrians stepping out into the road without looking (and most of us do it on occasion)
  • Passengers hopping off or on Routemaster buses without looking
  • Vehicles turning left across you – even more serious if it is a bus or truck
  • Car doors being opened into your path
  • Vehicle creepage at junctions
  • Delivery vehicles parked in cycle lanes
  • Drivers failing to indicate properly leaving everyone guessing
  • Vehicles doing impromptu U-turns.

A worthy cause for a good friend

My mate Cameron is running the London marathon to raise money for a prostate cancer charity and has asked me to post his donations email on my blog. Here goes …

As some of you may be aware already I am running the London Marathon on the 13th of April in aid of The Prostate Cancer Charity.

The Prostate Cancer Charity was set up in 1996. In its relatively short life, the Charity has played a key role in raising both public awareness of the disease and political debate about services and support. Over recent years they have invested nearly ?5 million in vital medical research and supported thousands of men and their families.

Prostate Cancer is the most prominent cancer among men and the UK survival rate is only 44.3%. Every year in the UK nearly 35,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed.

On April 11th 1998 my Grandad passed away after a long battle with Prostate Cancer. It is almost 10 years to the day that I will run the Flora London Marathon.

On January 21st 2008 my Uncle passed away in Bristol after suffering from Prostate Cancer as well.

It is in memory of both of them that I am running the London Marathon. Hopefully, with your help I can raise some much needed funds for research and at the same time raise awareness for a disease that most men just don’t want to talk about.

I have made a pledge to The Prostate Cancer Charity to raise ?2000 to help them out. In return for this they have awarded me a Golden Bond place in the London Marathon. I will be running 26 miles/42 km on Sunday 13th April 2008.

It does not matter how much you donate, just that you do because every pound will be put to good use.

Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor me: The Prostate Cancer Charity will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.

So please sponsor me now.

Please feel free to forward this on to anyone you want to! The more that know about this the better.

Thank you so much for your support, it really does mean a lot to me.

Cam tries to put a wristband on his huge head

Cam is hard working, honest and funny as f*ck so he will do almost anything for a donation to this worthy cause. Feel free to let your evil side run amok and really test his commitment.