14.9.2017 – The Princess and the Pampered
Posted 6 Days Ago
35 years ago today, the people's princess died following a car crash in mainland Europe (she probably wasn't looking through the Rear Window at the time.)
Princess Grace, you were one of a kind.
Still, it made me ask, what is a Princess's job, and how good were Princess Grace and Princess Diana respectively at it? It seems that there are different views of what a princess actually does.
Traditional view: Have 'an Heir and a Spare'
Grace: had two daughters and a son
Diana: had two sons – William and Harry, who shared their names with Sandown's two fire engines.
Disney view: Look pretty and sell merchandise
Grace: vision of timeless classic elegance
Diana: showed the world that you can have a bad hair day all day every day and still be a princess. Despite a one-woman crusade to perpetuate the worst of 80s fashions well into the 1990s, she sold loads of wedding memorabilia and gossip magazines, and is still one of the two front page stories seen on the cover of the Daily Express.
Storybook view: Live Happily Ever After
Grace: Had a stroke while driving and died.
Diana: Had a car crash and died.
Grace: Film 'Grace of Monaco' (2014) starred Nicole Kidman. Budget $30 million, box office $26 million. Critics' view: awful.
Diana: Film 'Diana' (2013) starred Naomi Watts. Budget $15 million, box office: $21.5 million. Critics' view: awful.
UN Ambassador view: make a better place
Grace: patron of the arts, advocated breastfeeding and founded World Association of Children's Friends.
Diana: helped destigmatise, AIDS & HIV patients, her patronage and campaigning on behalf of anti-landmine charities led to the international ban on use of landmines, sold off her clothes for cancer charities (but not the ones she was wearing at the time), founded Children with Leaukemia, also heavily involved in leprosy, homelessness and mental health charities.
1.7.2017 - 20 Different Parkruns
Posted Jul 3, 2017
I've run 20 parkruns in the UK
I've run 20 different parkruns in the UK
And one in Poland too.
I'll list them all for you.
How many have you done too?
20 different courses in the UK
Which is the next one that I'll do?
10-11.6.2017 - Endure 24
Posted Jun 12, 2017
Over the weekend I took part in Endure 24, a 24-hour running festival near Reading. It's like a music festival, only instead of relaxing and listening to music, you go for a 5-mile run. I was part of an 8-person mixed team and one of us had to be running the 5-mile course at all times, from 12 noon on Saturday to 12 noon on Sunday (As long as the last lap is started before 11:59:59 it counts, anyone trying to change over at 12:00:00 is stopped). I managed to get 5x5-mile laps in and was really pleased with how it went.
Last year my times were quite erratic, ranging between 44 minutes and 1 hour 53 following injury, but this year I was aiming to do the course in roughly 50 minutes each lap and my fastest and slowest times were within 8 and a half minutes of each other.
Lap 1: 3pm – 46:31
Lap 2: 9pm – 53:37
Lap 3: 3am – 55:12 (It was pitch black and incredibly slippery as it was raining overnight)
Lap 4: 8am – 48:32
Lap 5: 11:30am – 51:51
14.5.2017 – Wight Walker
Posted May 15, 2017
This year a friend and I took part in Walk the Wight, a 26.5 very hilly mile walk across the Island from Bembridge in the East to the Needles in the West, which it claims is the biggest sponsored walk of its kind in Europe. It certainly was busy, with groups of walkers stretched and snaking all along the spine of the Island – I'm sure that the number of traffic lights on the Island must have tripled as every road the route crossed had a set of temporary traffic lights installed to aid walkers.
There were a number of walks as well as the full 26.5 mile walk, with two half-distance routes (Bembridge to Carisbrooke or Carisbroooke to the Needles), a child-friendly 4-mile walk from Freshwater to the Needles, the flat wheelchair and pushchair route (Sandown to Newport – some felt that using a mobility scooter on a sponsored walk count as cheating, but if it raises money for charity and gets people out and about, why not?) with many schools doing their own bit from walking round the school's playing field for the youngest children to full-on cross country routes.
My friend was very keen to take part as it is in aid of the Island's hospice, which is where his father died last year. He had been worried he might not be able to take part due to being quite ill at the start of the week, but aside from a few coughing fits and rest stops made the distance with only a few plasters. As the walk is along the Island's spine, it was predominantly chalk that we were walking on, which is not the kindest or most comfortable surface.
10.12.2016 – Watermark
Posted Dec 12, 2016
On Saturday 10th December the new extension to Southampton's WestQuay shopping centre was officially opened – the WestQuay Watermark.(Only about a quarter of it has actually opened). To celebrate my work choir, which I am a member of, was chosen to join other choirs to perform in the shopping centre's performance area, which is located outside between the shopping centre and the mediæval walls.
After carrying a 6-foot Christmas tree on a train (the was, of course, loose and not packed up in a box – you don't half get strange looks when you're carrying a 6-ft tree along a carriage looking for an empty seat) when I arrived in Southampton sadly the weather really was tipping it down, but as they say the show must go on. At 4:30pm we all lined up against the wall and I ended up stood in the front row, in a puddle.
As part of our performance we do a step to the right and a step to the left in time to the music, which for me meant Splash! Splash! All the way through the performance. Songs we sung were:
Get Ready – The Temptations
Beat it – Michael Jackson
Rhythm of the Night - DeBarge
Shut Up & Dance – Walk the Moon
Sunrise – Simply Red
Rule the World – Take That
Happy Xmas (War is Over)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Sadly the speakers weren't located near the performance area, which meant we couldn't actually hear the backing track to what we were singing. Hopefully we didn't sound too terrible.