Just when you thought this blog had died or that the author had died,it springs back to life.
Where have I been you ask? Well I thought I’d follow England’s chances in the Football World Cup and disappear. No, I never asked Robert Green to keep the password safe for me.
I think the real reason is that there was no good reason not to blog. Either that or because I had little to say. Now, I know that you won’t believe that I had little to say.
So what has happened since 11th June to me?
I went up to the Barnsley for a party to watch the England v USA game. Despite 2 large screen TVs, we managed to miss the England goal as one was tuned into ITV HD and we were watching an advert. The other TV had no picture as someone was fiddling with the aerial to try to get a better picture. Still we saw more of the USA goal than Robert Green did!
The next weekend, I went up to York CTC Rally with my father. It’s always a chance to stick up on cycling kit needed for the next few months. As usual I buy loads and then find that I have multiple products. I really should do a full inventory. At least I didn’t buy a new bike.
Well to bring the World Cup story up to date, I watched the England v Germany game round at my friend Greg’s house, along with a Nigerian friend of Greg. The game was painful enough to watch, without mentioning the fact that Greg’s friend’s wife was there watching the game and she is German….
July brought the World Cup final and another visit to Greg’s house to watch it and a few beers. It’s a shame that Howard Webb ( the referee) didn’t watch the game. The final like the rest of the tournament was rather disappointing and lacking in skill.
World Cup over, its back to domestic football. I went to see Newcastle v PSV in a pre season friendly. I’m not going to say the game was bad, but we left the ground at 1/2 time to go and sit in a pub under the ground instead of watching the game. The rest of the day was certainly more enjoyable than the game. The company certainly was far more attractive than the football (No Tom, I’m not talking about you!). Tom came to the game and stayed out for drinks after the game. He got the last train back to his grandparents whilst I stayed in Newcastle for the night.
At least I got into ground for that game. I came up to Newcastle for the Blackpool home game and never actually even went into the ground. In fact I watch 15 minutes on TV in a pub then found a different pub that wasn’t showing the game. It was that bad!
The major thing that has happened over the last few weeks is that a long time friend and I have finally got our acts together and have started a relationship. I have known Michelle for around 17 or more years and always fancied her, but she never seemed interested in me, probably because she was my friend’s girlfriend and then wife. Little did I know that she had similar interest in me. If only she has responded to my attempts to chat her up in The Lowther and other pubs all those years ago. We both found ourselves single this year and decided to be honest to each other about our feelings for each other in a series of phone calls. (Alcohol does have some uses!)
This has been a delicate situation as Michelle has only recently ended her marriage to a friend of mine. Fortunately Michelle and Her husband have been sensible over things and indeed he and I were out at the Newcastle v Blackpool game and had few drinks together. That shows a great degree of character on his part and I hope that things can continue in this manner.
What I haven’t mentioned yet is that Michelle lives in Newcastle I live still in London. I’m getting well acquainted with the East Coast mainline trains! Although, next time I go up to Tyneside I’m flying back to London as its cheaper than getting the train! Amazing isn’t it! It’s not actually much quicker after you allow for the check in time at the airport and the train from the airport to Central London.
Cycling wise, I’ve not done as much as I’d like to have, but I only have myself to blame. I did do the London to Southend ride again with Tom and a few others. A relatively speedy ride to Southend was followed by tea on the seafront and fish and chips before we got the train home.
I also rode up into London for the Skyride a couple of weeks ago, as well as taking part in the Redbridge Skyride. These are local cycling events where the roads are closed to all traffic except cyclists. The Central London event attracted up to 85,000 cyclists riding from Buckingham Palace through Parliament Sq, along the Embankment, passed St Paul’s Cathedral to Tower Hill and back again. There were too many people to enable sensible riding. In fact, I left early and went back on the open roads. Ironically I felt safer mixing with the motorised traffic than I did with some of the self-centred cyclists lacking in road sense. For the avoidance of doubt, I was not referring to the children, but to adults.
Tomorrow night, I’m off to watch Newcastle in the football at Chelsea in a League Cup tie. Why? I’m not really sure. I think it was because the tickets are “only” £20 whereas when we play at Chelsea in the league, its £49 for the same seat. Still, am meeting a few friends, so it should be good to have a drink and a chat with the lads.
Hopefully this blog will be regularly updated as a record of my preparation for the 2011 Police Unity Tour Ride. Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention that I have sent off my application for the 2011 ride. I have also heard from Michael who put me onto ride and from Lisa, one of the Canadian officers we met last year at the Candlelight vigil and who is going to be riding this year. A truly international event.
I’m after sponsors again. Please give generously at www.firstgiving.com/peterbennett Donations need to be made by credit card (not debit card). This seems to be because it is American site. The ride goes under the slogan “We ride for those who died”. It is a fantastic event. The camaraderie with around 1200+ riders on 3 rides converging on Washington in memory of fallen colleagues is awesome. Some of the stories are incredible. Last time for example we had a large number of Oakland officers riding and around 20+ acting as motorcycle escort riders in memory of their 4 colleagues who were killed in a single shooting incident in March 2009. Their dignity and commitment to their fellow officers was something very humbling. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7958325.stm There are so many other stories that riders have. To honour the memory of those who died in the serviced of their communities and raise funds for this cause is a privilege.