Well this last week, I’ve had more communication from people than for a long time.
Where do I start? Well, I received communications in the form of cards in celebration of my 21st birthday! Did I say 21st, I meant to say XX birthday.
I met someone today who recognised my Police Unity Tour cycling kit. He was a fellow cyclist and had been in Washington DC on 12th May this year and seen us arrive at the NLEOM. He said the people he had been chatting to from the ride were great blokes. So, I’m assuming he never met me there.
Then I received an email from my boss congratulating me on my ride and the amount of money I had raised. As you will recall, I never spoke to him for more than 3 months after he took over last year, so it is something of note to get an email of this nature.
Then of course, the usual letters from people who think I should pay their bills. Don’t they know I have an aversion to paying bills. I wonder if I can claim it is against my human rights to expect me to pay bills? It seems everything else is against someone’s human rights these days.
This last weekend, I went to Newcastle and have to say it was the wettest weekend in a drought I have spent. The only time the sun shined was on Monday morning as Michelle drove me back to the station. Is the weather trying to tell me something? On Saturday, I did force Michelle to see my old school.
Even though I am biased, I have to say that it is a rather pretty looking school and occupies a fantastic location.
The death of Brian Haw was announced this weekend. Brian who? I hear you say. Most people may not recognise the name, but will recall him as the peace protestor who camped outside Parliament since 2001 in protest at the war in Iraq. I had the fortune me meet him on a number of occasions, usually when taking part in the Critical Mass bike ride. He was a strange bloke and could easily be regarded as an oddball. However, he was a man who had convictions and who prepared to live for those convictions. To live in a tent for 10 years in Parliament Square despite the weather and attempts by police and Westminster council to remove him shows some great determination. It is a shame that we do not have more people who are prepared to stand up for what they believe in. This country would be infinitely better if those MPs and Lords based opposite his protest location had even a fraction of the strength of conviction that Brian Haw had.
The death of Brian Haw was reported in this way in the British Media
You will note that I have mentioned my work much in recent posts. This is merely because there is nothing much exciting happening at work lately. A report I was working on jointly with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) last year was finally published last week. The report was on the use of out of court disposals and was entitled Exercising Discretion: The Gateway to Justice. The fieldwork was done last summer but various reasons saw the publication delayed.
At present, I am doing some scoping work on a couple of potential inspections for the future which will also be joint work with HMIC. It is always interesting to work with other agencies and see how their approach to criminal justice differs from our Inspectorate’s approach.
I have to report that my cycling is going far better than I realised. According to my GPS device, I rode 8265 miles home from work in around 1hour 26 minutes on Monday night and at an average speed in excess of 5000mph. So much for Gethin Butler cycling Lands End to John O’Groats in 44 hours. I did it nearly 10 times in less than 90 minutes.
How did I manage this? Well clearly my GPS suffered some form of abnormality. Somewhere around the Stratford area on my way home there must have been some electrical interference. I know the GPs recorded ok until I got near Stratford and it recorded fine the last 5 miles home from Stratford. Also, when I got home and tried to use my mobile phone, it was turned off and the battery had been completely drained. The phone had been fully charged before I set off on my ride home from work. I have no idea what caused these incidents. The weather was very wet, but the phone was in a dry waterproof bag and also there was no thunderstorm. Any ideas what happened?