Back in the Saddle.

It has been 6 weeks since Lands End. And for at least 4 of those I have been desperate to get out on my bike. But between weekends busier than the M25 at rush hour and the need to remind my son who his Daddy is, I have been suffering from bike-drought!

I was determined to get out this weekend, but when yesterday turned out to be a complete ‘nothing’ day (you could do nothing with it – sunny, then torrential rain, then sunny, then torrential rain again in patterns of about 30 minutes each – so whatever you wanted to do, you’d have got very unpleasently wet!) I thought that this weekend might be a complete write-off. Fortunately today was not so. It was actually a great day. Lots of sun. It tried to rain a couple of times, but after all of the effort on the previous day, gave up after the odd feeble attempt!

So I managed to don the lycra (surprisingly, after a month of being a beer monster and eating like a pregnant bird it still fits!) and plant my bottom firmly onto the Brooks! Immediately that I set off I knew that I felt good. So I quickly altered the planned 30 mile flat route for a 50 miler with some lovely hills! Without panniers it was like riding pegasus on speed! I flew around, loving every pedal-turn. I dispatched the 50 in about 3 1/2 hours, although later in the ride I noticed that I was slower – due largely to the fact that I had taken no sustinance. I was packing just a bottle of water. As my son says to me when he wants me to carry him on my shoulders – I had ‘run out of food’!!!

But so what? I have done the jog2le ride now. Why bother? Why do I care about getting back on my bike?

Well, to be honest, the main thing is that I enjoy it. It was a pleasure doing the jog2le ride. It was fun doing the training. It was (and is) great having that smug feeling. And it is brilliant having that healthy feeling. The feeling that you can do anything that you want. I know that I am not going to win the Olympic 100m, but as long as I can rise to any challenge that I set myself, I am content. And as I always knew that I would, I have an embryo of an idea for another challenge next year (or maybe the year after). In fact I have a couple of ideas. The only problem is that neither of these is an idea which I could roll out to all of the guys. They would be ‘solo’. So I need to give things a little more thought.

For now at least I am content that I can just get out. Me and Mr Trek. And punch out a quick 50 with no real effort. Of course winter is coming, with it’s customary orgy of gluttony and sloth sandwiched between bouts of atrocious weather. So I don’t know how quickly things will deteriorate, but with a big effort I might just be able to emerge in January or February with some remains of stamina and fitness, ready to build back up to whatever 2012 has in store!!!?



The below statistics are those as recorded by my Boardman bike computer (digital wireless system designed specifically for my bike).

919.15 total miles cycled
81 hours 15 minutes total ride time
39.5 mph maximum speed reached
11.3 mph average speed
55 average rpm
39,065 accumulated altitude gain
1,354 maximum altitude obtained




Almost from the moment we got off our bikes on Tuesday at Lands End I have been asked “What next?”

For now I am not concerning myself with the next challenge (and I know myself well enough to know that there will be one – I just don’t know what it is yet!) Instead I will have a few weeks devoted to things other than training for something. That is not to say that I won’t be back on my bike any time soon. I will. I have decided that I really quite enjoy the effort of turning pedals and getting from A to B under your own steam. I intend to treat myself to my 30 mile flat training route around the back roads of West Lancashire and Southport before too long – without panniers! It is a nice route and it will be good just to enjoy the ride without being conscious of the fact that I am training for something.

One other curious thing that I have noticed, particularly over the last couple of weeks, is just how attached you become to your bike! When you are a kid and you have a bike it represents your freedom, the ability to get away from your home and your parents on your own. To be with your friends and to visit places without reliance on transport from others. And for that reason you become fond of your bike and very attached to it. I remember my first (non-stabiliser) bike. I gave it a name and was very upset when I outgrew it. The upset was lessened significantly by the nice shiny new bike waiting to take it’s place, but you get what I mean!!? Over the last couple of weeks my trusty Trek hybrid has been like a good friend. Not only has it supported my 15 stone bulk in relative comfort for over 900 miles, it has done so without any complaint at all! Unusually none of us on this ride suffered any type of mechanical failure whatsoever. Not even a puncture. Nothing! Which is pretty remarkable. It makes me feel that I should say “thank you” to my bike! And in truth I am grateful to it for being able to take everything that I have thrown at it over the last two weeks. It has been regularly soaked, baked in hot sun (albeit very infrequently!) and even dropped (by Vince!) It has ridden up some incredible hills and down some terrifying ones too! And it has suffered abuse from some truly shocking roads!!! All without a single problem.

Thank you, Trek!

So today I gave my bike a good clean! It was the sort of clean that I felt it deserved. It took me a good hour or so. My wife said that if I cleaned it any more she would start calling me ‘Vince’ (since anyone who knows Vince will appreciate that he would actually LICK his bike clean if he thought that it would get more dirt off!!!) I already know that like mine, Vince’s bike will be back in his garage, gleaming, as I type this! If I am being honest, I have a sneaking suspicion that Carl’s bike will not get as good treatment and it is more likely that there will be a dirty, unloved but well ridden Boardman hybrid on eBay sometime soon….!!!


Goal achieved

The realisation of what exactly I have achieved has only really started to set in during the last day or two. When we set off on this journey from John O Groats I was not entirely sure  I would reach Lands End on two wheels. I was satisfied that I had done sufficient training and was therefore fit enough to turn the pedals that would lead to the completion of  the necessary miles. What I did not know was the level of fatigue I would suffer and the powers of recovery my body would have given my MS.

Once we left our stop over at Ian’s abode I was sure I would reach the end. However, a couple of days later I spent one evening throwing up (alot) and losing whatever remained in my stomach through the other end (explosively runny). Whether this this was due to exhaustion or caused by something I either ate or drank I will probably never know. It did mean, however, that the next day I simply felt terrible and had no energy what-so-ever. Despite a lie-in and a late start I struggled to reach 6 mph on a relatively flat bit of track running alongside an abandoned railway line. The path soon turned into a mountain bikers dream but for us on thin racing tyres it became a goodly challenge just to remain upright and not fall off. How I managed to ride 35 miles that day I still find hard to believe. Vince and Ian were desparate for me to cycle another 10 or 15 miles but I simply did not have it in me and made my thoughts known. Therefore we stopped at Liskeard. The boys thought I could have managed the extra miles and would have done so if a dear ones life depended on it. The 35 miles we did complete that day was accomplished in over 6 hours – it does not take a genius to figure out that was an exceedingly low number of miles per hour. The boys may well have been fresh and eager to push on given only 75 miles remained until Lands End but although my mind was willing the body said an emphatic ‘NO’.

I will not recount the lovely meal we ate at a fantastic restaurant we found in Liskeard as I believe Ian intends to blog about it. Nor will I describe the  numerous and at times emotionally charged conversations we had concerning my intention to take two days to complete the remaining 75 miles. 06:00 the following day found me out of bed and by 06:30 we all left the B&B on two wheels.

I do not recall much of the final days ride apart from the last 15 miles or so. Before I left the B&B that morning I had been to the toilet 3 times. Although I did not feel sick my stomach was bloated and suffering from cramps. Diahorrea was to be the order of the day. I could rate every rest stop between Liskeard and Lands End together with a small lay by where it became necessary to make an emergency squat. Marks out of 10 could be given for cleanliness, quality of toilet paper, hand washing facilities, etc, etc.

The only reason I made it to the end in one further day was because Ian agreed to change the route so that we used the dreaded A30. This is the major road used by all and sundry to cross Cornwall and Devon and the road we had so far avoided at all costs. Everyone uses it including heavy articulate trucks and what appeared to be the entire caravan population. Although the traffic was heavy and constant and passing you at 70 miles an hour the tarmac was a dream to cycle on. In addition the road either went between the hills or elongated their steepness making it much easier to ride up the hills we came across and then you benefitted from a much longer down the other side. Unless you actually cycle through Cornwall I do not think you can fully appreciate just how hilly the place is. One hill simply follows another. There does not appear to be any flat bits. You either go up or you go down. Ian would have preferred to use any road other than the A30 but this would have added extra miles and would have included even more hills and steeper hills to be navigated.

Given my stomach cramps and the number of times I had needed to stop to allow the constant diahorrea to escape my body the glimpse of our final destination as we crested the summit of the final hill was bliss. The sun was shinning and you could see the last 2 miles to the end was mainly down hill. Crossing the line marked on the path that signalled the end of our journey was a moment of utter unabashed joy. Quickly followed by a mad dash to the nearby toilet.

There subsequently followed the final ride down to the sign where everyone has their picture taken – some entronpeneaur having bought the land figuring correctly that he could merrily make his fortune from charging people to have their photograph taken. In addition we were welcomed by the cheers of congratulations from our respective wags and other kind hearted tourists (a couple of which actually made generous donations to our chosen charities). If only the girls could have remembered to remove the champagne bottles that had been cooling in the fridge back at the cottage we had rented for the week and bring them with them. Oh well !!


Day 11 – Liskeard to Lands End

After our atrocious mileage on day 10 it would be necessary for Carl to really put in a massive effort if we were to stand any chance at all of finishing today.

At his lowest point the previous day Carl had basically told Vince and I to leave him, so that he could take two days to finish the remaining 70 miles as he said that he simply did not have 70 miles in him. In a restaurant that night we all had a serious discussion about the options. Vince and I had tried everything that we could think of on day 10 to get 50 miles out of Carl, as I knew that if we could get him close enough then however bad he was feeling we could all finish on the Tuesday as planned. When we only managed 35 miles it was looking increasingly unlikely. Carl’s wife telephoned me and pleaded with me not to leave Carl. Fortunately we were sat in a restaurant and so with Carl being able to hear every word I unloaded all of my disappointment, frustration and annoyance as well as vocalising my belief that if Carl could muster up the will to start the ride the following morning he would finish it. I had, after all, been here before with Carl when we did the back to back Isle of Wight ride several months earlier. Then Carl has ‘quit’ at the end of the first night, only to be persuaded to start the following morning and to go on to finish the ride in reverse much faster than he had done it the previous day! So with a three-way ‘pincer’ movement applied to Carl, and after a lot of persuasion, cajoling and some ‘give’ with regard to the departure time, Carl agreed to start with us in the morning and to see how far he could get.

Exactly three minutes after the agreed wake-up time, at 6.03am the following morning Vince arrived at the door of my room, dressed and ready! He informed me that he was going to suggest something that I wouldn’t like. He suggested that we take the much more direct A30 route (despite all of the reports that this is like a ‘road of death’ for cyclists!) A route that we had been determined to avoid. Vince just ‘felt’ that it would be quicker, less hilly and would enable us to have the best chance of finishing. I had reached the same conclusion, albeit with a much more scientific approach. After spending half the night plotting alternative routes it was clear that the A30 would be about three miles shorter, but more importantly it would reduce the vertical climbing by almost 25% from the route we had originally planned! That would make it much more achievable for Carl. So it was agreed. We would change the route and take the A30, against my better judgment.

After a very light breakfast (Vince was eager to get going, and Carl was still feeling ‘delicate’) we set off. Carl was complaining of stomach ache from the off. We took the A38 out of Liskeard towards Bodmin, a road that started life as a dual carriageway (but this early it was very quiet) and then reduced to a single lane as the traffic increased. Surprisingly we were flying along at an alarming pace, despite hills and traffic we were averaging over 13½ miles an hour! The speed was only reduced by Carl’s need for a visit to the toilet – a theme which would continue and even intensify in the coming miles!

At this stage, even allowing for Carl’s calls of nature and his obvious discomfort I was certain that we would make the end by early afternoon.

At Bodmin we turned onto the A30. The progress that we made along this road was startling! Whether it was the road surface (which was good), the more consistent gradients which made climbs easier or the adrenaline produced by the fear of death, we were flying along! Despite being a dual carriageway and despite the volume of traffic we powered through the miles, although several times we had to leave the A30 for unplanned toilet stops! It was a difficult dilemma: We knew that we needed to keep feeding Carl in order to keep his energy levels up, but we also knew that everything we were putting into him was being ‘turned around’ pretty quickly and was going to mean another stop within a short space of time! But the energy was necessary. In the course of the rest of the day Carl was going to visit pretty much every public and serviced convenience between Bodmin and Lands End!

The road builders who had constructed the A30 had made a good job of ironing out many of the hills. The road still went over them, so the amount of up and down was still significant, but the hills were not the short steep hills that we had been used to from the previous couple of days. They were long, sustained climbs at a less steep incline. This made things easier for Carl, who in spite of his perpetual ‘discomfort’ was coping with these much better than he coped with most hills on the trip.

I would ordinarily try to describe some of the many unusual things that we saw or that happened to us in the course of the miles that we travelled. Unfortunately for the final day the cycling was some of the most dull and disinteresting of my entire life! Other than the constant feeling that just behind you, driving way too fast up the inside lane was the Grim Reaper, laughing hysterically behind the wheel of his Nissan Micra or his white van (take your pick – they both drive as bad!) there was nothing at all interesting about the fifty plus miles of the A30. The boredom was only punctuated by the frequent stops to either wait for Carl to climb the last hill or to wait for Carl as he answered an incessant number of calls from Nature!

Eventually the road became a single carriageway, although my initial delight at being off the two lane quasi-motorway was short lived as I realised that we were now on a single lane quasi-motorway, and that the Grim Reaper wouldn’t even have to make an obvious effort! But the further we got towards Lands End the lighter the traffic would become until eventually we reached Penzance, the last big town before the end! After stopping for what we believed was the final ‘rest stop’ from Carl (although we were later to discover that there was an encounter with a bush between Penzance and Lands End!) we continued on the last 10 miles of our epic journey. Now we were prepared for the fact that Cornwall is hilly. But we did not expect some of the worst hills to come in the very last 10 miles of the trip. I had been tweeted to advise me to same some energy for Penzance but thought that the author was merely pulling my leg being so close to the end. But alas, no. The hills out of Penzance are real grinders. And because you are so close to the end each time you get to the top you think that it must be downhill from here, only to find a bit of down and another gruntingly difficult up. What mountaineers call ‘false summits’. And there were at least half a dozen in that last ten miles!

Eventually though, from a vantage point at the top of a hill, I was able to see sea to my left, sea to my right, and sea in front! And more importantly I could see the village of Sennen, the southernmost outpost of civilization in mainland Britain, a mile away from the theme park of Lands End! After waiting for Carl one last time (while he communed with the aforementioned bush!) we set off down the last road, sloping downhill to Lands End!

Crossing through into the car park we were greeted by the attendant. “End to enders?” he asked.
“Yep”, Vince and I replied. Carl just grunted!
“Well done chaps”, the attendant said, and waved us through! And we freewheeled down the last 100 yards to the faded line on the tarmac with “Start / Finish” painted on it. As we crossed that we looked around for our waiting WAGs. They were not there! We dismounted, Carl almost fell into first mine, then Vince’s arms and grunted “Thank you, mate” to each of us. Then he said “I need the toilet!” and promptly dropped his bike and ran into the main park area! It was the fastest that I had seen him move throughout the whole trip!!!

Our WAGs were waiting for us by the famous signpost, figuring that our journey would rightly end there. After a number of increasingly irate calls during which we tried to explain that we were missing a member of our trio Carl eventually rejoined us for the last 30m around the corner to the signpost, and our adoring followers! Not before Tom Stringer (the solo end-to-ender we had met in Glasgow, met again on the road from Strathaven, left at Carlisle and had been following on Twitter since) had crossed the line, only about five or ten minutes behind us! It was an impressive effort from Tom, particularly that he had been a full day behind us when we reached Okehampton! He looked like shit though, and had apparently grabbed three hours sleep under a bridge the previous night so keen was he to try to catch up with us!

After the obligatory photos (we unloaded the last £16.50 of the kitty into the official photographer – although the guy here was much happier, and more friendly than his unbelievably miserable counterpart who we had left 11 days prior, he was also much more commercially switched on, refusing to allow the signpost to be used for your own photos unless you first pay for the official one!

After all of the happy snapping it was time to retire to the land of beer and food for a few welcome days off! We had rented a house about a mile away, so Vince and I thought it would be a fitting end to the trip to cycle to the house. After all, it was only another mile!
“Bugger that!” said Carl, who promptly put his bike into one of the cars and got a lift!


Finished! Mission Completed!


Finally finished! Thanks to everyone for their support and good wishes. Watch this space as I will fill in the blog gaps and post a load more photos of the trip. Off for some champagne, beer and a hangover (tomorrow)!


The Last Day? (Part 1)

We set off early (pre 7am) to try to avoid some of the worst of the traffic as overnight both Vince and I had come to the same conclusion – that we would save some miles and some hills by taking the dreaded A30!


Day 9 – Nailsea to Okehampton

After our epic finish yesterday we woke in our hotel at 7.00am. We had allowed ourselves the luxury of a small lie-in, bearing in mind that we didn’t have breakfast available at our accommodation. On and a half hours of faffing later we were on the road. And the road was wet. And pretty soon after setting off, so were we! The forecast was pretty grim. (Of course, they always get it wrong, don’t they? – In actual fact other than the famous Michael Fish hurricane faux pas of 1987 I cannot recall any other time that they got the forecast wrong by understating the crappiness of the weather. Normally when they say it will be fine they get it wrong, but when they predict crap weather they are usually right!)

Although we were staying just outside Nailsea, a small town south-west of Bristol, we were still a bit too close to Bristol for my liking and I felt there was a real risk that one wrong turn and we would be sucked back into the place. So with the aid of Google maps I plotted us a course through the Bristol Maze which finally brought us out onto the A38 – our road away from Bristol and towards Land’s End!

When we finally hit the A38 I let out a loud ‘whoop’ of delight. And shortly after that Vince stopped by the side of the road, staring intently at a sign, pointing and drooling – he had found a Premier Inn offering an all-you-can-eat breakfast for £7.99!!! We were on the road away from Bristol. We had turned ‘the corner’. We had earned this!

After a bowl of fruit salad, a yoghurt, some cereal, a croissant, 3 sausages, 2 rashers of bacon, some beans, a slice of toast and 4 crumpets I decided that I had had enough! Vince and Carl were the same. And the manager of the restaurant breathed a large sign or relief as we paid our bill and left!

We headed along the A38 through Bridgewater and then Taunton (a town that I haven’t visited for about 20 years) I always thought of Taunton as a really civilised little place, and it still gives that appearance. But when you see a place from a bicycle you often see a different side too. That is because most towns these days have built cycle paths which keep you away from the traffic (a good thing) but which all too often take you through the ‘less desirable’ areas of a town (not such a good thing if you don’t want your bike taken and exchanged for class A drugs by a gang of spotty chavs!). Taunton was no exception. The cycle lane through the town centre took us past an art gallery (a badly graffittied underpass) lots of members of the mother’s guild (teenagers with prams) and an aromatherapy class (a couple of youths smoking pot)!!! Very civilised. And thankfully not a policeman in sight!

Once out of Taunton we headed for Tiverton (and Devon, our penultimate county, although I am aware just how big Devon is! And how reputedly hilly!) Thus far the road had been relatively flat and we were beginning to wonder if all of the reports of the hills in this part of the world were just tall tales!

From the A38 we followed the map and the road signs towards Tiverton onto the A361. I knew this was a mistake almost immediately when the two lanes coming off the roundabout onto the A361 didn’t merge together immediately, and the sign that proudly announced the A361 as the “North Devon Link Road”! Oh dear! We had stumbled upon a dual carriageway by-pass taking what must have been all of the traffic in the world around North Devon! And at an alarming rate. Now I always thought that the Scots were hard. And I did not think that there could be a worse road for cyclists that the A82. I had been wrong. The A82 was a walk in the park compared to the North Devon Link Road! At least in Scotland they give you a cycle path (albeit unusable). In North Devon you get the gutter or the main carriageway. I chose the gutter! All too often when you find yourself on the wrong road you find that you can’t get off for several miles. This was no exception. Seven miles later, and after considering whether a will by email, text or tweet would or would not be legally valid, and after getting completely drenched in a thunderstorm we managed to get off at the first junction, which coincidently was the road into Tiverton. Cold and wet we commented that we would stop for a coffee somewhere, and then as if by magic a pair of golden arches appeared! I normally hate the place with a passion, but I could have hugged and kissed that freaky clown at that point!

Rejuvenated and refreshed by some junk food and a large cappuccino we set off again. Our plan was to follow the road through Tiverton for another 30 miles or so and to stop for the night in Okehampton, on the edge of Dartmoor. Originally we had harboured a plan to cross Dartmoor, but the reappearance of the little arrows on Vince’s Ye Olde Mape of Britagne had put paid to that idea swiftly and decisively! Within seconds of getting back outside McDonalds we were cold again and we were anxious to get going to warm up. By the time I got to Tiverton centre I was shivering. The town was dead. It was 4pm and the only person we saw was a guy waiting at a pelican crossing. As we approached the lights changed so we stopped and waited for him to cross. Once he got past us Vince said “Go on” and being at the front, and there not being a queue of people waiting to cross the road I obliged. It was now that I was to feel the long arm of the law enforcers of North Devon as from behind me sidled up a police car! The car pulled alongside me matching my speed (I was still cycling), the window wound down, and the driver, a police woman, said “You need to obey the law and the rules of the road. And that means waiting for the light to turn green. Do you understand?”
“OK” I said, simply, and with that she closed the window and drove off!

I could start a rant at this point about how the police should have been catching real criminals (like those ‘hoods’ in Taunton smoking drugs – but that is a different county so would be met with the “Not our patch” excuse) but I won’t. Well, not directly! What struck me as most odd and annoying about this was the fact that in a deserted town, with no people around, there was a police car in the first place (Note to the criminal fraternity of North Devon: Avoid Tiverton, it is massively over policed. Pick on somewhere less well covered, like Taunton!) There I am, cold, shivering like a shitting dog, crossing an arbitrary line perfectly safely and with no risk to anyone and the police see fit to comment. But not only that, I am sure that it is a pretty unsafe (and quite possibly illegal!) thing to do to pull alongside a moving cyclist, wind your window down and have a conversation whilst still moving! It is one rule for them and one for me, eh!??

So having avoided a custodial sentence we cycled away from Tiverton as fast as possible! Unfortunately this was not to be too fast, as no sooner were we out of the town that the hills really started! From then on it was up, down, up, down, rising to a good 800+ feet overlooking just about everything! But even when you are going down you are stopped in your tracks by yet another hill going up! Hadn’t the Devonian road builders of ancient times cottoned onto the concept of contouring around a hill? Christ the Scots knew how to do that centuries ago! But not the ancient people of North Devon. Brute force and ignorance for them!

The hills were never ending, and really took their toll on Carl. As a result we finished at almost 9pm in the twilight, and Carl went straight to bed. No food, utterly spent! To make matters worse he had a terrible nights sleep, was sick with exhaustion and isn’t in a great state this morning!

As I type this (and I am trying to upload something so I will add more stuff to this and to the previous posts (there is more to tell, but no time to do it!) Vince and I are trying to work out the best way to get Carl to Truro and our last stop before the finish tomorrow. Carl will cycle it, I know this, but I suspect today will be very difficult for him. There is no way of avoiding the hills and with him feeling like crap it will be a big effort from him. Keep following the tweets throughout the day to check progress…!

They always say that you should finish on a cliffhanger……….!!!
(I will post photos later as the wifi in the B&B is down, so once again I am posting from my phone! It is a hard life!)


The Nightmare of Bristol

Apologies folks for the brief post from my phone. Yesterday was an epic day, in many senses of the word! We cycles through Shropshire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and Avon. We crossed the Severn Bridge and The Avonmouth Bridge and the promptly got lost trying to find our way around Bristol!

We finished our day in the dark, after finally managing to find somewhere to stay. They had stopped serving food but kindly made baguettes for us, so we managed to eat something.

Off this morning to navigate (something we are clearly not very good at!) our way down towards Dartmoor…. !!!

I will post properly later (unless eaten by a beast on the moor or we get lost again and finish up back at JOG!!!


Have You Missed Me…?

Apologies to those of you that are hanging on my every word (probably only my Mum!) that I have not been around for the last couple of days. I do have a couple of very good excuses – if anyone wants to hear them…?

  • Day 6 – Penrith to Preston: We stayed at my house at the end of day 6, and so it was a welcome opportunity to spend time with my wife and son, give the bikes a good clean and service and have a good nights sleep each in our own bed. I didn’t want to start a blog at midnight, although when I woke up at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep I could perhaps have taken that opportunity!

    In place of me you got a delightful guest blog from Vince!

  • Day 7 – Preston to Craven Arms: We had a long day in the saddle, arriving at Craven Arms at 7.30pm. Whilst shovelling down some food we were advised by one of our WAGs that the website had been hacked by some scrote. Sure enough, all of our hard work was gone, replaced by a gordy backdrop advising us that our domain had been taken over by hackers!!! Now come on… this is a website run by four numpties (or rather the site is run by one numpty with three mates) and is about a bike ride. It isn’t bloody MI6 or anything! In hacking terms it is probably like stealing an old lady’s purse from her lap while she is asleep, after seeing her take a ton of sleeping pills! And then finding that all there is in it is a mouldy old photo of a bloke on a penny-farthing! Anyway, everything is now back up and we are good to go again! I should assure everyone that the site domain and the Virgin Money Giving page are two different things. The VMG page is totally separate and was not hacked in any way. The link on our page is to the VMG server where our homepage is hosted so there is no risk to that and donations are and remain secure.

    At the end of day 7 Carl was under instructions to blog from his wife and therefore being a dutiful husband did as he was told!

So I apologise to everyone for the short intermission. I hope that the posts from Vince and Carl kept you up to date and entertained! A full service from me will resume shortly!

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