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I was wondering the other day about the phrase “if you can’t bring the mountain to Mohammed…”, and in the way of today, I instantly turned to my Smartphone and Google, and it turned out I had it slightly wrong.

Apparently it was originated by Francis Bacon in 1625…

Mahomet cald the Hill to come to him. And when the Hill stood still, he was neuer a whit abashed, but said; If the Hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet wil go to the hil.

So what has this to do with anything? I was working on a project at work for which there was a strong case for considering a subscription service, because it is increasingly clear that easy physical access to goods and services is far less important than it used to be. Whatever the ‘mountain’ is, no matter how seemingly remote it is, it will come to us.

When I was young, subscriptions were all about printed material. My parents’ newspaper was delivered every day. My comics were delivered with the newspaper every week. Catalogues, holiday brochures, collectible magazines, even a Junior Encyclopaedia also gave our postman more exercise on a regular basis.

Beer52 case subscription

Now it seems you can get almost anything on subscription, and I have become quite a convert, including Beer52, Freddie’s Flowers, Harry’s Razors, The Spicery, Abel & Cole veg boxes, Tribe natural energy bars, and that’s not including our main grocery shops.

For those in the know…

I Reckon most subscriptions fit into two broad categories, which are both mainly about the subscriber’s attitude to the product. There are cognoscenti clubs, for people actively seeking out something better, exclusive, off the beaten track.

Beer52 is one of these for me, as they curate an amazing range of craft beers each month, most of which I could never find in a shop or pub, and most of which have been terrific. I only wish I could find more of them in the real world, as then I could show off my knowledge and become both more respected and more popular… 😉 joke!

Ronseal: does exactly what it says on the tin

The other type of subscription is because the subscriber has very little confidence in shopping for that sort of thing. They hate shopping, the choice is overwhelming, they don’t care enough to want to shop for the products. They like the convenience and simplicity of a scheduled home delivery, where the hassle and responsibility of choice is taken care of by the brand.

I’ve used Thread to reduce the soul-sapping experience of clothes shopping (although the service isn’t always great…), and Harry’s Razors as a plucky Challenger Brand that saves me money and hassle and isn’t the behemoth of Gillette.

Perhaps my most interesting subscription of recent times was T-Post.

Bored of plain t-shirts, wanting to avoid branded/logo-heavy shirts, I somehow stumbled across it, and it grabbed me straight away. It proclaims itself the world’s first wearable magazine. I see it more simply as an exclusive t-shirt subscription.

t-Post wearable magazine

Every 4-6 weeks they send you a new t-shirt. It has been designed exclusively for them, and they only make enough to cover their existing subscribers – so it’s hugely exclusive. It also requires bravery, as you don’t get to see the design until it arrives.

Inside the pack and printed on the inside of the t-shirt is a short essay written by the designer, that discusses the inspiration and thinking behind the design.

Clearly T-Post was originated by uber-cool hipster dudes from Scandinavia, and is ordinarily way beyond me. If it was a real shop in a real city I would be way too intimidated to go in. But I’ve loved most of their t-shirts (I have 8), and I’ve only ever seen one person actually wearing one (he was an uber-cool barman about half my age).

And the accompanying writing often works really well at enhancing my ‘enjoyment’ of the shirt. Of which, more to follow…

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Rachel and I (and the teens!) are huge fans of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film AmélieWe celebrated one of Rachel’s ‘significant’ birthdays with a trip to Paris, plotted around a pilgrimage many of the film’s iconic locations.

cafe des deux moulins amelie

Film geeks ahoy! Spot the reference…

So we were a little apprehensive to learn that this quirky, highly-stylised, highly-French magical-realist fantasy had been turned into a stage musical. A quick online search revealed a very positive review from The Guardian, but a less-than-happy story of its original US productions.

We saw the current production at the beautiful Watermill Theatre near Newbury last weekend. And within seconds of the opening number, Times are hard for dreamers, which drew directly upon the opening of the film, we knew we were in safe hands.

The production is fantastic: the Watermill has a pretty small stage, but they managed to fill the space with beautiful and inventive design. That round window is not just for decoration, those two pianos are not just pianos, the photo booth is (you get my point).

amelie musical stage watermill theatre newbury 2019

And then there’s the cast of performers. Virtually all of them are onstage for a good deal of the production, for they not only play 2 parts each (excepting Nino and Amélie), but they are also all musicians, playing live onstage in various ensembles, accompanying the songs, providing incidental music, often playing multiple instruments through the production. To say they’re talented is an understatement.

amelie stage musical uk production 2019

Photo by Pamela Raith Photography

Audrey Brisson is fabulous in the lead role, bringing the required wide-eyed charm and innocence of Audrey Tatou’s original performance, but also a steely courage and growing confidence to Amélie as she ‘grows into’ her story.

The choreography is a seamless treat. How they coordinate many musicians, singing, playing and dancing together, so the right person/character is in the right place at the right beat in a song is sometimes breathtaking. And there are more than a few surprises and laughs in store through the production to excite even die-hard fans of the film like us.

amelie stage muscal watermill theatre 2019

Image by Pamela Raith Photography

I’ve heard film reviewers praise a film by remarking that, while they were watching it, they were already looking forward to watching it again. That’s how I felt about Amélie – the Musical. I flippin’ loved it, and I Reckon if you’re anywhere near its upcoming UK tour (and you even vaguely liked the film) you should do yourself a favour and go and see it. It’s uplifting, funny, moving, a tonic for our times.

After my piece about possibly the best introduction in pop, this is another love-letter to the music I discovered while growing up. The summer of 1978 was dominated by Grease, the movie and its soundtrack. Harking back to the 50s, it was a High School Musical to beat them all, despite the fact that its two leads were 24 and 30, and Stockard Channning was 34.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John had been Number 1 in the UK charts for 16 weeks during that summer, and even the most committed fans must have surely been tiring of the same songs and clips all over Top of the Pops.

But then there came the Boomtown Rats. When they replaced ‘Summer Nights‘ as the UK #1, they appeared on Top of The Pops, which regularly achieved more than 15m viewers per week (even the very best shows today struggle to get 10m), and held up pictures of the stars from Grease in front of their faces, and tore them up. Then Bob Geldof, the frontman and singer picks up a modified candelabra to mime the fantastic saxophone riff in the song’s introduction. Then there’s that bass line, and the way Geldof talks and sings straight to camera.

I was 9 years old, and I had never seen that before.

I Reckon that Rat Trap,  the song that first took them to #1, is a bloody masterpiece. Like Up The Junction, it tells a story, but without any of the traditional verse and chorus structure. And it’s not a pretty story.

Billy don’t like it living here in this town,
He says the traps have been sprung long before he was born
He says “hope bites the dust behind all the closed doors,
And pus and grime ooze from its scab-crusted sores”.
There’s screaming and crying in the high-rise flats,
It’s a rat trap, Billy, but you’re already caught.
You could make it if you wanna, or you need it bad enough.
You’re young and good-looking and you’re acting kind of tough…

This is really something, the song builds and builds from its explosive opening (also a contender for best introduction!), setting the scene of another Saturday night where the best thing to look forward to is the prospect of a fight. And there’s no happy ending, just Billy drunk and resigned to the trap he’s caught in, and Judy determined to leave school and work in a factory, because at least that way she might have more than 50p in her pocket.

This was not the story of the Cotswolds. And while The Boomtown Rats flirt with punk sensibilities and attitude (She’s So Modern), the middle-class musical snob in me (remember, I liked Queen and ELO) loved that they had riffs and melodies that made sense.

They were less scary than The Sex Pistols and others, who to me just seemed angry for the fun of being angry. The Boomtown Rats had a sense of humour, and they were different enough for me to get interested, and their Tonic for the Troops album is one of my favourites from that period.

boomtown rats tonic for the troops album cover

Love this album!

Rediscovering the ‘Rats and other music from my Primary School days has become a sprawling Spotify playlist. I didn’t buy or own most of these at the time, but I remember loving them, and I can sing virtually all of them right through, they’re that embedded in my psyche.

For several years I have been mentoring students from my alma materExeter University, advising them on things like CVs, interview technique, opportunities and careers in marketing, that sort of thing. In the last 18 months I’ve become increasingly aware of them talking about and asking for advice on automated online interviews.

Apparently these are the latest thing in recruitment, a filmed series of questions, generated automatically and with strict limits on how long you have to answer.

Call me a Luddite if you will, but my first reaction to their description of these was  “What the actual ____?” I had always lived under the (mis?)apprehension that the recruitment process was

(a) a dialogue, so the company can learn about you and you can learn about the role and culture, and both sides can then make a more informed decision

(b) about people

I can understand why these practices are becoming more common, for instance

  • companies are cutting overheads, including HR departments, so their teams simply don’t have time to process and interview all the candidates for all the roles (and entry-level / internship roles are, on the face of it, the least ‘valuable’)
  • they can simplify processes and provide a ‘level playing field’, where the company can be sure ‘all the issues relevant to the role’ are covered, so all the candidates can be compared on the same criteria

But I Reckon there is something hugely flawed and distinctly insulting about these methods.

You’re hiring real people, not a checklist of skills

As the eHarmony dating site adverts have been making clear for some years now, there’s only so far an algorithm can take you.

eHarmony Dating ad Camel

Geoff and his companion are both the same age, like long walks on the beach and have been to Morocco.

If applications and even filmed automated interviews are being vetted and reviewed by  machines, there could be an industry for helping candidates optimise their forms like websites optimise their content for search engines. How many buzzwords from the job description or current marketing Hype Cycle can you get in? Synergy, collaborate, agile, influencers, AI… and can you avoid the so-called Trough of Disillusionment?!

Gartner Hype Cycle Digital marketing Advertising

 

Who do you want to hire?

There are (sadly) still countless examples of inherent biases affecting candidate selection, and I’m sure many outsourcing HR departments have used this to justify the automated processes. The algorithms are colour-blind, gender-neutral (etc).

Until they’re not. Amazon in the US had been building machine-learning systems to help screen and select candidates for a few years, until (according to Reuters and others), they were scrapped last year when

Amazon’s machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women. … Amazon’s computer models were trained to vet applicants by observing patterns in resumés submitted to the company over a 10-year period. Most came from men, a reflection of male dominance across the tech industry. … In effect, Amazon’s system taught itself that male candidates were preferable. It penalized resumés that included the word “women’s,” as in “women’s chess club captain.”

If you set benchmarks based on everyone you’ve hired before, you’ll hire more people like that, effectively replicating the human biases you’re supposedly seeking to avoid.

A false economy?

Forgive me for quoting so liberally from another outsourced article, but when it’s from the Harvard Business Review (even from 2013!) it’s probably saying something worthy of our attention…

It’s difficult to think of any decision that is more important to an organization than determining who it hires … 

A cheap approach to hiring that leads to poor hires is one of the worst decisions one could possibly make given all the possible costs associated with making a bad hire and the benefits of good hires …

Why would an employer possibly take such risks just to save a few bucks up front?  It happens when the people in charge see data on the costs of hiring but no data on the outcomes of hiring.  We manage what we can measure, and without evidence that hiring practices matter, we just squeeze the costs down.

This feels more-than-faintly hypothetical to me – I Reckon there could be an even more important unintended consequence of these practices, which is that many candidates are put off by the inhuman process, which implies that any desire you might have as a candidate to meet real people from the company is less important than the company’s desire to save money. It says (IMHO) that you’re not important enough to us to merit our valuable time, which brings me to my last point

People work with people

It’s a well-worn business cliché, but then clichés only become clichés because there’s at least a grain of truth in there. People remember how you made them feel more than they’ll ever remember every word you said.

The overwhelming feedback I’ve had from candidates (albeit a small sample of a few people) is that these experiences are stressful, almost impossible to prepare for, and leave them feeling upset and almost humiliated afterwards. There’s no interaction, no body language to pick up on, no signs that your answer is good or bad, no feedback, no connection. What a way to make a first impression with the next generation of your workforce.

There’s a strong case for automation in many parts of marketing, but I Reckon recruitment is one of the last places we should be starting. Marketing requires a degree of empathy with people who are not like you, an understanding and ability to think about other people and what motivates them, and these automated processes are just wrong.

In the words of Dr Ian Malcolm…

Jeff Goldblum Jurassic Park Dr Ian Malcolm

[they were] so preoccupied with whether or not they could
that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

I became a MAMIL in the summer of 2015, and it has been a constant source of exhilaration, camaraderie, calm, and some damn fine cake. However, during all the stuff that happened last year, I stopped riding for a while: in fact, I only rode my bike a handful of times between mid-July and March. I became anxious about riding, about even getting changed to ride. It was too windy, too cold, too wet. I told myself there were good reasons, but in fact I was scared; of being slower, less fit, less strong; of not enjoying it, of never being able to enjoy it again.

Winter miles…

Instead, I devoted myself to the gym, riding the upright indoor bike to at least try and stay fit, get endorphins coursing through my system, feel like I’m doing something. And slowly it became true that winter miles (even in the gym) might make for summer smiles.

Back in the Saddle

I started riding again in March, after what seemed like an interminable winter. The predictably unpredictable Spring weather continued through April even into June, as I rode through freezing hail at Lacock, through a cloudburst up from Wotton under Edge so intense I could barely see the road in front of me. On the other hand, I rode over the old Severn Bridge to Chepstow in glorious sunshine. I pushed myself into tackling new hills; Cowcombe, Hyde, Horsley and Frocester were all achievements I couldn’t have imagined last Christmas.

Severn Bridge Chepstow

All this was gearing up to a charity fundraising challenge I had set myself. In his last weeks Dad was cared for by the fabulous team at the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice near Cheltenham.

And in the end, thanks to my wonderful network of friends, family and indeed a few strangers too, I’ve raised more than £1,500 (plus £320 GiftAid) for the Hospice. This is so much more than I had originally hoped for. Thankyou all.

#Ride4Ryder (Sunday 24th June, 129km, 1,453m)

This was the main target of my training, a long ride of 80 miles that included some daunting Cotswold hills. The day was hot, comfortably over 80º, and I was definitely apprehensive. But my buddy Miles proved the quiet voice of determination and resolve that helped us both get around.  He’d never ridden 70 miles, let alone 80, so for quite a while he was in uncharted territory. Being (even) heavier than me, he was also less tempted to be aggressive on the climbs, and I can only thank him for that.

‘Easy Chris’ … ‘Steady Chris’ … ‘See you at the top’

Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice cycling sportive 2018 route

I think this is called back-loaded…

Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice Ride 4 Ryder Sportive 2018

I love cycling alone, but I love it more with a mate.

Tale of the Century (Sunday 29th July, 169km, 1,056m)

Miles and I had meant to ride 100 miles last year, but somehow it never happened, so I had always targeted this date as it would have been Dad’s 80th Birthday. The 5 weeks between the Sportive and the end of July had been virtually unbroken sunshine and heatwave. Except that final weekend, when it poured with rain and the wind blew at 20-30mph for much of the 7 hours we spent in the saddle. Miles and I set out in heavy rain, and rode through countless fords flooding Cotswold lanes, avoided fallen tree branches, and ploughed through gusty headwinds for most of the journey home.

Tetbury Oxford Century 100 miles

I focused my charity efforts on these two rides that both had strong connections to my Dad, but it turned out there were two other significant days out that made this summer even more special for me as a MAMIL.

Giro di Garda (Tuesday 21st August, 67km, 1,313m)

Lake Garda Bardolino Cycle 50 miles We spent an idyllic week in Bardolino on Lake Garda in August, and I had planned this route for a day’s bike hire. These are the foothills in the area but they’re many times higher and longer than anything in the Cotswolds, albeit not quite so steep. I was more than nervous as I set out along the beautiful lake shore. After an hour riding it was more than 90º, which was actually more of a problem than the hills. But the views and the downhills were spectacular, and I enjoyed a fabulous lunch of polenta with porcini at the top of the second climb.

 

Misty Mountains (Sunday 10th September, 74km, 1,470m)

Welsh Mountain cycle bwlch rhigos

A friend recommended riding the Bwlch and Rhigos climbs in South Wales as they are longer and steadier than many English hills. The weather was not good: started greay and misty, became downright foggy at the first summit of the Bwlch, and at the foot of the Rhigos it started pouring with rain. 4 miles and a few hundred metres climbed and it was still pouring. As I started descending into the wind I could barely see for water on my glasses and the road was a series of rivers. By the time I got back to the Bwlch summit it had mercifully stopped, but now the visibility was down to less than 25m. Descending was actually terrifying for a few miles.

But eventually I reached the valley and the a gentle 10-mile drop back to Bridgend. This was proper fun. Fast roads, the growing pride in having scaled those peaks in genuinely awful weather, the adrenalin of it all.

Bwlch viewpoint wales

The Bwlch summit: a classic Welsh mountain vista

Rhigos wales mountain viewpoint

Views from the Rhigos not improved by pouring rain

The Velominati Rules are almost infamous among MAMILs. But I’m especially drawn to #9, which definitely applied to my best rides. I’m looking forward to more.

If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

Mad Men is one of my favourite TV series, documenting the good/bad old days on Madison Avenue through the 1960s from JFK to **SPOILER ALERT** Coca-Cola teaching the world to sing.

What it also documents is how many ad agencies in the 1960s were kept afloat by Big Tobacco. Don Draper’s agency is frequently over a barrel to the whims of its Lucky Strike clients, and not just by advertising their cigarettes despite the growing health evidence against them. But all that advertising clearly worked, for a while. Almost everyone in the ad agency and their social milieu smoked, a lot, at work and at home, in the bar and in the car.

Who could blame them, when doctors smoked Camel, cowboys smoked Marlboro and your favourite actors sent cartons of Chesterfield as Christmas presents?

doctors camel smoking advert

Cherish your T-Zone. That’s what will go first…

Ronal Reagan Chesterfield cigarette advert

Because cancer is forever, not just for Christmas

With hindsight, it’s almost terrifying how long it took to establish restrictions on the marketing of cigarettes. The first UK study linking smoking and lung cancer was published in 1954, but a TV ban took a further 11 years to take effect, and health warnings on packs another 6 years. 47 years later, it’s still pretty easy to buy ‘death-sticks’. Apparently the Government needs the tax revenue.

Our generation’s tobacco?

More than 10 years ago, Nicholas Carr was already discussing the impact of the worldwide web on human brains in his tremendous book, The Shallows. The immediate access to knowledge about anything and everything, at a moment’s notice, was already starting to shape the way our brain’s memory and attention systems worked. And this was years before the smartphone really put such astonishing power in the palm of our hand.

And so ad spends have morphed out of tobacco into technology; Amazon, Apple, Samsung, Google, Facebook and more. Celebrities talk to their devices instead of gift us cigarettes.

samuel l jackson siri apple iphone advert

In 20 years time, will we look back on this and shudder?

Last week Apple released iOS12, its latest operating system, with a new Screentime feature prominent in its announcements. In short, this is a tool to help users measure and restrict the time they spend on their phones. Apple has included a self-regulating device in its newest products, because it feels it should help people use them less.

I might be wrong, but I Reckon this is Apple getting ahead of the game. Rather than wait years for clinical evidence that excessive mobile phone / social media use can have damaging consequences, they are trying to beat the slow-moving regulators to the punch.

Before the smartphone became ubiquitous my older child (now 16) was bullied through their mobile phone. More recently, our younger child (12) experienced spiteful classmates setting up closed chat groups that excluded her, and created a ‘fake’ avatar account to anonymize herself.

My own experience is that keeping up with constant updates on Twitter can become all-consuming, and often a source of anxiety as the sound of these channels is increasingly angry, extreme and even sinister. They’re an always-on way to remind yourself how shit the world can be. Or they’re packed with irrelevant trivia that dissolves brain cells.

I’m not saying phones are like cigarettes; they don’t kill you if used properly. But I’ve already set Screentime to help me reduce my ‘just having a quick look at…’ time, and I will be encouraging my family to do the same. Right now it’s mid-afternoon and I’ve not opened Facebook or Twitter yet, which (sadly) is saying something.

Maybe I’ll start talking to people more, or writing, or reading, or just doing nothing. Because doing nothing can be better than doing something.

It’s not hard to feel a bit shit about stuff sometimes; Trump, Brexit, school bullies, Mrs Brown’s Boys. So with a beaming glow in my heart I’m delighted to express my undimmed faith in the power of people to be amazing, and to do amazing things for other people.

You’re my inspiration…

20 years ago I ran the London Marathon to support Macmillan Cancer Relief, whose wonderful nurses had helped my Mum during her treatment and recovery from breast cancer.
Last month, my cycling buddy Miles and I rode the 30th edition of the Ride 4 Ryder cycling sportive; 80 miles through the Northern Cotswold Hills to support the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice on the edge of Cheltenham.

This hospice is the only facility in Gloucestershire that provides 24/7 in-patient care, as well as day services and Hospice at Home care. It’s estimated that as many as 4,000 people in Gloucestershire are in need of hospice care, while Leckhampton Court has just 16 in-patient beds. Helping people to have a good, dignified death takes medical expertise, round-the-clock care and huge amounts of compassion and empathy. And all that takes money; in this case £10,000 per day.

Leckhampton Court only receives 32% of its funding from the Government; the rest has to comes from donations, which is why we chose to ride to raise money for the hospice and its team who cared for Miles’ Father-in-Law and my Dad, both of whom spent their last days receiving peerless, compassionate, dignified care.

Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice Ride 4 Ryder Sportive 2018

Of course this is the start, we’ve not seen the hills yet…

Winter miles make for Summer smiles…

For 5 months up to March I didn’t ride my bike at all on the road – as previous readers might know it’s been a funny old year. I spent many hours over the winter doing strength intervals to simulate hill climbs, cadence drills, sprints and ‘just f***ing pedal HARD’ sessions to drive away the demons and the doubt.

But slowly I rediscovered this hobby I’ve loved so much over the past 3 years. I’ve ridden over 1,000 miles since then and am as fit as I’ve been in ages. I’ve ridden in freezing hail and gale-force winds, in torrential rain and 85° heat.

And it seems to have paid off in that I feel I can ride faster than before with a lower heart rate, that I can get up hills I wouldn’t have dared attempt, and I have become much better at knowing how hard to ride, how much to eat and generally how to reach the end of a ride tired, but not broken.

Setback

A few weeks before the sportive I was cycling into work in Bristol, a 30-mile commute I tackle only occasionally. It was a lovely day and I had made really good time. The last few miles are on a shared cycle / foot path and it’s always busy in the mornings. I was cycling quickly but with care when from a side lane I hadn’t even seen came a cyclist I didn’t even see until we collided. A schoolboy (aged 11-12?) had come out of the lane and not stopped until he hit my front wheel. 5 seconds earlier or later and it would have been a near-miss. One second earlier and I would have smacked into him and it would have been worse for both of us.

The short version is that he was unhurt but his front wheel was knackered. I had a sore hip and elbow for a few days, but needed a new helmet and spent over £200 getting my bike repaired.

Ride 4 Ryder #30

This wasn’t my longest day on the bike, but it was the hilliest, and most of the climbing came in the last 1/3 of the distance.

Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice cycling sportive 2018 route

I think is called back-loaded…

The first 40km were simply lovely, through beautiful villages on great roads and a great warm-up for what was to come. The first serious climb was Dover’s Hill, a very steep but mercifully not-too-long brute that, had I driven up it beforehand, I would have sworn I’d never be able to complete. On this and the longer Saintbury Hill at 85km I helped myself to keep turning the pedals by remembering and thanking out loud the people who have sponsored me. Your donations really did help me get over those hills. Thank you.

The last 45km were fantastic for Cotswold scenery, but relentlessly unforgiving. But we battled on and were thrilled to arrive at the Hospice with only a few km to ride.

Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice Ride4Ryder Sportive 2018

Not bad for 75 miles…

The volunteer marshals and all the teams helping on the day were fabulous, positive and encouraging, a tribute to the Hospice and its ethos. It was something to see the building where my Dad spent his last weeks after nearly a year since my last visit. But I couldn’t feel anything but gratitude and pride that I have had the privilege and fortune to ride my bike to raise money for this hospice.

Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice Ride4Ryder Cycling sportive 2018

The 1st floor windows behind me were Dad’s room.

So thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far; the total is slightly under £1,200, far more than I had originally hoped for. But, to be honest, I’m hoping now for more.

This coming Sunday 29th July would have been my Dad’s 80th Birthday. Miles and I have long talked about riding 100 miles as a target, so to commemorate Dad’s birthday and complete a double-ride, we’re riding from Tetbury to Oxford and back – actually 105 miles by my route, and we would love to raise some more funds for Sue Ryder.

So if you had considered it, or even if you hadn’t, or even if you’ve already donated, how about a little more?!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chrismoodyforleckhamptoncourt

Thank you very much. I’ll let you know how we get on…