>Its The End of The World As We Know it

>Well, that title may be a bit of an overstatement, but the big boss left his post today as HM Chief Inspector. He was the person who set up the Inspectorate and when it becsame independent of the CPS 10 years ago, he was the first Chief Inspector and it has been his baby since then. With my line manager (one of 2 Deputy Chief Inspectors), having retired last week, it really is the end of an era at HMCPSI. at work.

We had a farewell drink tonight for the Chief Inspector. It is always nice to have a few minutes away from work to socialise with colleagues. It was low key as requested by the leaver.

The new Chief Inspector will not be at the office until 12th April, so wse will have to wait to see how things change. A potentially exciting time ahead, but almost certainly one that will involve lots of change. Will it be for good or bad – only time will tell.

Well, I was in Crawley last night, so only a one way bike ride today. The bloody weather-British Summer time? Somebody better tell the weather machine about that- its freezing, windy & wet.

From the start of next week, I am going to extend my commuting – weather permitting to get some more miles in towards the trip to the US. Its only just over 4 weeks til I go. EEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK – Scary isn’t it

>Happy Birthday

>Happy Birthday

Born on this day

1674 Jethro Tull
1853 Vincent Van Gogh
1930 Rolf Harris
1937 Warren Beatty
1940 Astrid Gilberto
1945 Eric Clapton
1949 Sue Book
1968 Celine Dion

Oh, and one other person

General Events

1842 The first surgical operation using an anaesthetic was performed by Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson, Georgia to remove a cyst from the neck of James Venable.

1858 Pencils with attached erasers were first patented by Hyman Lipman of Philadelphia, USA.

1867 America bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. The 375 million-acre territory worked out at less than 2 cents an acre.

1978 The Conservative Party called in the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi to give their image and that of new leader Margaret Thatcher a face-lift.

1979 Airey Neave, a British politician, is killed by a car bomb as he exits the Palace of Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army claims responsibility.

1989 British Airways launched an investigation into how a Boeing 747 had been travelling back and forth across the Atlantic for 3 months carrying a stick of gelignite which police had forgotten to remove after a training exercise.

>I Don’t Like Mondays

>Well certainly not true about Monday 29th March 2010. It was a great day for me- not cycling related. Indeed, I’ve not been near my bike. I was on a course instead of work today. I was doing the first day of a two day MS Access course – learning me how to use the database software. Monday evening I went to the Royal Albert Hall to see The Specials in concert in aid of the TEENAGE CANCER TRUST. They were absolutely fabulous.

For 90 minutes or so, it was 1981 again, the beer belly was smaller, there was a message to Rudy. It was all too much too young. It was a master class from a great band. Even Terry Hall managed to make light of his miserable nature. Could the night get better? It certainly could…..

The Play List

One of the group I was with happened to be a Nottingham Forest fan. He seemed to stop smiling when I showed him the text that said Shola Ameobi had scored for the Toon in the big game tonight. The lack of smiles on his face was only matched by the smile on my face when I got texts from Tom, John and Peter telling me Jose Enrique had made it two nil to the Toon.

The result means that if Newcastle win on Saturday and Nottingham Forest lose at Bristol City, we will be promoted back to the Premiership. Get that champagne on ice – if not Saturday, then surely at home to Sheffield United on Monday.

What a fantastic day

Oh and just to make it an even better day, my boss gave me $100 towards the sponsorship target and others at work contributed another $50 this weekend. Thanks to you all – I’m getting nearer that target.

>The Things We Do For Love

>Another week over, now only 37 days till I set off for the USA. Its getting scary how close the ride is and how little riding I’m doing. Am I going to be fit enough? I’m not to worried about that, but am more worried about my knee as that seems to be hurting a little the last couple of days. I’m not going to let that stop me if I can do anything about it. I’ve got my anti-inflamatories to take with me if I need them.

Thursday at work saw the end of an era. My line manager retired and had a leaving do last night. There was a very touching and heart felt thank you speech from the Attorney General (see the circles I mix in?). There were also some of the senior members of the CPS and a number of past and present members of HMCPSI staff. It was good to catch up albeit briefly with former colleagues and current colleagues from our York office.

I’ve still not got a lot of work on at present and indeed have been doing work for inspections I’m not involved with just for something to do. At least it helps others out. That will all change soon though as I’m due to start the preparatory work for a forthcoming inspection- about time.

Today I spent several hours trying to find a birthday present. I know what I wanted, but it took 8 shops before I found one who had the item in stock! About 4 – 5 hours and numerous miles driven to find the item. It did mean that I missed Critical Mass tonight as I was too late to go there after getting the present. The things we do for love ( or to keep the peace – you choose).

The next few days will be different but busy. Tomorrow, I’m at the cycling club in the morning http://www.lvycc.co.uk and then off to Crawley till Sunday night. Then Monday and Tuesday during the day I’m on a computer course – learning how to use Access databases. Monday night brings a trip to the Royal Albert Hall to see the Specials- can’t wait for it. Then on Tuesday night, I’m winging it over to Crawley as its Michelle’s birthday.

Wednesday brings a normal-ish day, although I will be travelling via Crawley to work. Thursday is of course Maundy Thursday and a 1/2 day leave for us civil servants.

Easter Saturday – with a lot of luch could be a huge party in Peterborough, but its unlikely to be that day unless the Gods smile on us.

Finally, to end on a sad note. I should have been in Bermuda now instead of typing this, but the BA strike put paid to that prospect – for now!

>Money Money Money

>Well, its getting closer to the date I’m due to travel to the USA.

The theme of the last few days is money, money money.

I’ve had a few more donations via the website or in person (and paid them into the fund myself). More donations would be appreciated though. So if you haven’t given or know anyone who may be able to make a donation, then please help out.

At the end of the ride, I will have about 1 – 1/2 days in Washington DC and need a hotel for the night. I’ve been trying to price a cheap hotel there. I think I’d have more chance of finding a generous Scotsman. The cheapest I’ve come across so far is £109 per night and that’s 26 miles out of town near the airport. Thanks for finding that Michelle! I’ve got to do some digging to find something a bit cheaper. £109 is a lot for a bed for one night. Perhaps I’ll ask Barack if he’s got a spare bed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Anyone know of a cheap place to stay in Washington?

>Born to Run

>After my post that was less than generous to the seven who winged their way to Lands End from John o Groats, I must give praise to this man

Running 43 marathons in 51 days and covering 1160 miles is a most fantastic achievement. That is truly something to respect.

Well done Mr Izzard. If you can do that, then I can’t even consider not doing 360 miles in 4 days in May. You are an inspiration.

>Little Britain

>Just a quickie today (as the actress said to the bishop)

As I’m typing this, I’m watching “The Million Pound Bike Ride” about Fearne Cotton, Miranda Hart, Russell Howard, Patrick Kielty, Davina McCall, Jimmy Carr and David Walliams cycling John o Groats to Lands End to raise funds for Sport Relief. Good on them for raising money for charity BUT if they don’t stop bleating about how hard it is, I’m going to throw the laptop through the TV.

I mean, they are only riding about 26 miles a day each in a relay. They are not carrying their own luggage, they have got a luxury bus and outriders etc following them. Its not hard to ride 26 miles a day. I do at least 25 miles a day and then do a full days work (or am at work) on top of this. I also carry all my kit for work, change of clothing etc. On Monday, I did 30 miles before work, and 30 miles after work.

Starting off on my SOLO LEJoG

These bloody celebrities don’t know what a hard day’s cycling is. Gethin Butler did LEJoG solo in 48 hours, non stop. These lot took 82 hours riding in a relay of six riders.

Am I unfair on them? I think not. They raised a huge amount of money and deserve credit for that. However, its not hard to do 30 miles a day. Its not as hard as they make out. They also have someone pacing them as they ride. A luxury I only had for 3 days when my father joined me. His pace making included taking a detour from my planned route to find the toughest hill on the whole ride.

With my Father at Carnforth – A Brief Encounter

John o Groats- A Personal Challenge Achieved

Well I’ve managed another 2 days leisurely commuting, but carrying a considerable extra weight. My mother, brother and sister have been down in London the last two days, so I have met them in Central London for tea each night. This has necessitated me locking my bike up in the street, so I had to take 3 heavy duty locks to secure my bike. This is on top of my usual clothing, tools etc. It was good to see them. They have gone off to a show tonight (Sister Act). They never invited me- but that’s probably because “It’s only Peter”; isn’t that right Jacqui?

I’ve now only got 44 days to go before my flight to the USA. Its scary how little time there is left.

BTW Greg, if you are reading this, you need to get some miles in if we are to do LEJoG this summer. Time is running out for you to get your training in.

finally to show, i’m not just a grumpy git, here is the link to the sport relief website but instead of donoting to those wimps, go to and donate to my sponsored bike ride.

>New York

>Well, time has flown again and I still have not made another post in less than a week.

Since I last posted, I have made some progress in planning my travel to the USA. I have my ESTA authorisation to travel now. A relatively painless online process. Clearly my name is not on the USA no fly list. Who said “Not yet”?

I have decided to fly out to the USA on Sunday 2nd May on the 2025 Virgin flight out of Heathrow to arrive in Newark at 2310 ESB time. This means that on the Sunday, I will be travelling to Heathrow directly from the QPR v Newcastle game when hopefully we will be lifting the league championship trophy. A busy day!

I’ve just booked my flights as I’ve been typing this. Selected my seats and ordered my on board meals. Just car parking to arrange now. I’m driving to Heathrow on Sunday morning- leaving luggage at left luggage and parking the car, then going to football. After game, I will come back, collect luggage, drop it off at check in and hit the bar again. Just got to sort out the car parking now!

Am still hoping that another trip before then may come off. It was dead in the water on Monday, but God moves in mysterious ways and it may be back on. Finger’s crossed.

Right, cycling news- I’ve actually managed a couple of longer rides in last week. On Wednesday a few of us from work went for a drink and a curry in Brick lane. The others were suited and booted, with me in lycra. Yes, I cycled to pub and home from Brick Lane. I was determined not to miss out on cycling.

On Thursday, I cycled to / from work as usual and then after that, I cycled 2/3rd of way back to work to attend a cycling club committee meeting.So managed 40 miles on the day.

The weekend brought me travelling round – Home – Crawley on Friday night and back on Saturday morning for the cycling club and the Orient game on Saturday afternoon. Then back to Crawley until Monday morning.

Monday brought me cycling from Crawley to Westminster and back again, a total of 60 miles for the day. It was my longest ride since last summer. A long day, but I loved it. Can’t wait to repeat it again. I eventually drove home from Crawley late on Monday night- tired, but very happy. I think I will be cycling to/ from Crawley again on a work day. I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend.

I’ve had a few more donations in today towards my sponsorship target. Thanks to all those who have donated.

I’ve also ordered and paid for my cycling kit for the ride. All riders have to wear the Police Unity Tour kit

Work wise, the last 48 hours have been interesting as we published our report on CPS London and it has hit the major press and lots of local press as well as the BBC. The reports are written in “civil service speak” but despite this are still very critical of CPS London- and rightly so. The reports are available online at http://www.hmcpsi.co.uk if you are interested. I have to confess the reports are rather uninteresting reading. The executive summaries are just about readable.

>Home Newcastle

>Well, its a while since my last post. Its been a busy few days.
On Saturday 27th Feb, I managed to show my face at the cycling club in the morning, attend the Orient Swindon game in the afternoon and then meet Michelle on Saturday evening to go to see 12th Night by the RSC in Central London. I have to say it was fantastic- thanks for taking me Michelle. When Can we go again?

Sunday brought a much more leisurely day. A chance to chill and enjoy good company – and a day off the bike! In fact, I didn’t ride my bike on Monday or Tuesday either! Not a good week for mileage.

I only rode on Wednesday and Thursday, but it was good to get some miles in at a decent pace. Wednesday however brought an incident when I was yards from home. The council are fitting speed humps in the streets round where I live. Their contractors managed to dig 2 channels, some 12-18inches wide and 1 inch deep across the whole width of the road.Then then went home for the night, leaving the holes they had created unmarked and lethal to cyclists and bike wheels. The council and the contractors will be getting the bill for my new front wheel! The roads are bad enough with potholes after the winter weather without the council creating more!

At the end of the week, I took the decision not to sit the New York Bar Exams this summer. I was supposed to receive the course material in January for exams in July. The material has still not been supplied and I will simply not have the time to study for this properly between now and July. I will look to do this again next year when hopefully I will have more time to devote to studying.

Friday brought me travelling up to the North East for the weekend. It was a time to catch up with old friends and revisit memories from the past. Thanks must go to those who fed and accommodated me on Friday – Michelle and Richard. The curry was great Michelle – I’ll be back for more. Also thanks to Kev for putting me up on Saturday.

I went to my first home Newcastle match on a Saturday for 10 years when they beat Barnsley 6-1. I spent the hours before the match and immediately afterwards with friend from Barnsley. Shame the hospitality I could offer them is not so generous as that which they offer me whenever I go to Barnsley. Its ironic that the course of the game was changed by the referee- especially the only referee I rate alongside a certain resident of Barnsley for controversial refereeing decisions.At least Barnsley’s finest is a real gentleman and a pleasure to chat with – as long as he isn’t still trying to convince me he was right those 27 years ago!

Sunday brought me playing the dutiful son and popping in to see mummy & daddy for Sunday lunch. I hope they noticed that I:
a) never brought and washing to be done and
b) never raided the food cupboards to stock up my house.

I then had the long drive back to London, made worse by the seemingly constant roadworks and speed limits all the way from Durham to London. Those yellow boxes on posts seem to flash a lot as my car passed them – are they meant to do that?

Right, what does the next week hold in store…..?Well hopefully I might be able to finalise details of a little spring break. Watch the next post for details if the trip comes off – I just hope you like Barry Manilow