Monthly Archives: July 2010

London to Land’s End – day 5

So, I made it…! Penzance at last 🙂

Well, I wanted to go on to Land’s End, but I knew that Angie was going to arrive in Penzance on a train at 3pm, and I only got here at about 1pm. It would be a stretch to go on to Land’s End and get back again before 3pm so I decided to stay at Penzance and complete the final stretch of the journey sometime over the weekend.

At least I can finally relax now…!

London to Land’s End – day 4

I got a good sleep in Exeter and headed out feeling fine. It was a much longer ride today, but skirting around Dartmoor and then down to Bodmin, it was just really pleasant… except where the road became more like a motorway than a small country road.

A30 near Bodmin

That’s what the A30 looks like down near Bodmin. It’s not too bad to ride on, but the cars really go fast… When I was approaching Exeter I left the A30 for about 10 miles before getting to the city centre, so I could shadow the main road on some small country roads. That was nice, but it took me a lot longer, so I didn’t do that again today.

Fortunately, the place I was staying looked nice – the St Benet’s Abbey at Lanivet, just outside Bodmin…. a 15th century house with really nice gardens.

St Benet's Abbey, Cornwall

London to Land’s End – day 3

I had a lot of sleep last night, but the run to Exeter was packed full of hills. The area around Yarcombe was particularly bad, with one hill stretching off into the distance for miles… I passed by a pub and an old bloke outside said to me “that hill goes all the way to the top there…”, gesturing far into the distance.

It didn’t make much sense, other than meaning the hill was going to go on for a long time… At least the ride was shorter today and I managed to get some time to take a walk around Exeter once I arrived…

Yarcombe, Devon

London to Land’s End day 2

I made the mistake of heading into Winchester last night and enjoying a few pints in a pub packed full of locals. I wasn’t drunk, but it meant I stayed up later than I should have done given that I was going to cycle to Yeovil in Somerset today.

I felt tired and exhausted too quickly – no matter how much Lucozade I drank… more sleep needed tonight.

I did get to Yeovil in the end, but instead of taking the entire morning, it took me most of the day. At one point I got off my bike and lay in a field this afternoon and had some sleep… so it was a long time, but I was resting half the time!

Field near Henstridge

Anyway, I made it to Yeovil and I can thoroughly recommend the Yew Tree Inn. Nice staff – guy behind the bar is from Winchester and couldn’t believe I cycled here! Good food as well. But tonight is an early night…

Yew Tree Inn, Yeovil

London to Land’s End day 1

I started on my cycle ride from London to Land’s End this morning.

To summarise, the A30 road begins in west London – near Heathrow airport so it’s not a million miles from where I live now in Ealing. I grew up by the A30 at Blackwater in Hampshire, and I just noticed that it runs all the way to Land’s End in Cornwall, over 500km away, so I thought, why not cycle the whole way? Here is a video of me at the start of the ride – apart from the ride I had to do to get from Ealing to the start of the A30!

So I started and ended up staying near Winchester on Monday. You can see a video here…

View from the A30

Please buy my Muswell Hill house

Who wants to buy a house in Muswell Hill?

How about my one?

There is no onward chain because I just got divorced from my ex-wife and so we are just selling up and splitting the proceeds. It’s in an amazing location. Have a look at the satellite view here. Right next door to Coldfall wood (one of the few remaining ancient woods in London), and the largest cemetery in London – which is also a huge nature reserve. Plus a huge park with football fields, a play area, and other facilities.

Oh, and the house is in the catchment area of two of the best state schools in London, Coldfall primary and Fortismere secondary.

Surely someone wants to take it off my hands…?

Barrenger Road in Muswell Hill

NOA Resignation

I just quit as a director of the National Outsourcing Association.

I was co-opted onto the board in 2005 when I was director of technology research at the Commonwealth Business Council, then I subsequently won two three-year main board elections, so it was a fair chunk of time on the board – plus I had worked with the board prior to ever being a director. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go on this board, and in the support team that runs all the admin.

But for the past year, the atmosphere has changed somewhat inside the NOA. It is a not-for-profit trade association and therefore I feel the main priorities should be:

  • to have a strong voice for the collective industry – representing the members, especially to the media by commenting on current affairs
  • to produce good independent research that could not be produced from a single company alone
  • to facilitate great networking events where peers can meet and share information

I don’t feel that we have been doing a very good job on any of these measures. I won’t betray any trust about why I think this way, that would clearly be a blog post too far, but I think it is important to acknowledge that my frustration in trying to steer the organisation down the path above – for the good of the industry – has boiled over and it’s best if I apply my knowledge, skills, and social capital elsewhere.

Good luck to the good ship NOA, I’m sailing off into the sunset.

NOA image on floor