In The Summertime

Yes folks, summer officially started at 1am this morning. The clocks went forward as I hope you all remembered. Come on, who is going to admit forgetting  the clocks had gone forward?

We have the obligatory drought orders coming into force on 5th April for large parts of South East England and elsewhere. No using hosepipes to wash cars, water the lawns etc. For some strange reason, the area of London/Essex I am in manages to avoid the hosepipe ban despite people all round only a couple of miles or less away having the ban. So, for those in the hosepipe ban areas, I will post pictures of me hosing down the patio, watering the lawn and washing the car etc. Winking smile. I jest of course, but it does raise the question as to why an island that gets plenty of rainfall is facing drought induced water restrictions? The Canary Islands and Cyprus to name just a couple of places manage with less rainfall and hotter temperatures than in the UK.

Anglian Water
Hosepipe Ban from 5th April 2012

Cambridge Water Co
Officially ‘Drought Area’

Cholderton & Dist.
Published draft Drought Plan

Essex & Suffolk Water
No Drought order

Officially ‘Drought Area’

Portsmouth Water
Officially ‘Drought Area’

Severn Trent Water
Published Drought Plan

Southern Water
Hosepipe Ban from 5th April 2012

South East Water
Hosepipe Ban from 5th April 2012

Sutton & East Surrey
Hosepipe Ban from 5th April 2012

Thames Water
Hosepipe Ban from 5th April 2012

United Utilities Water
Published Drought Plan

Veolia Water Central
Hosepipe Ban from 5th April 2012

Veolia Water East
Hosepipe Ban from 5th April 2012

Wessex Water
Officially ‘Drought Area’

The reason for this is because those places have had the foresight to build desalination plants to use that abundant water supply from the sea. In Britain, we have ignored this potential problem for so long and only have one such plant, newly opened in Beckton, East London. Why have we not built more or at least started to plan for building more. We have had enough warnings about global warming for some time and should have taken steps to prepare for this problem. Wonder what our politicians have to say about this.

This weekend being the start of summertime also saw me wearing shorts and short sleeved top when cycling on both Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday, I did 20 miles at Redbridge Cycle Centre (aka Hog Hill) during the Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club morning session. I could have ridden more, but its always nice to have a natter as well. I’ve not been to the club very often this year as I’ve often been up in Newcastle seeing Michelle.

Today (Sunday), I went for a 30 miles ride out into the Essex lanes. Its the first time I’ve ridden this route in a long time. Its one Tom and I used to ride when he used to come down for the weekend. I was a little bit worried as I have not done the ride for a long time and have put weight on since then. However, I managed to complete the ride with no problems, and indeed did it without a stop.

Being able to ride this weekend did however have a big downside as it meant I was in London and not seeing Michelle. Sadly, owing to work issues, I was not able to book train tickets early enough to get cheap fares to go up to Newcastle. What is even worse is that it was Michelle’s birthday last week and I’ve not seen her. Circumstances have conspired against us, but it does not stop me feeling bad for not being there for her. Sorry Michelle. Crying face

In addition to my 50 miles over the weekend, I have managed to do another 210 miles cycling to and from work over the last week. The beautiful mornings have inspired me to get up early and roughly double my commute. The 210 miles on Mon – Fri is better when you take into account that on Wednesday & Thursday I got the train home  (taking my bike on the train) as I had gone out after work for drinks and meals both nights.

I’ve now done 1300 miles in 12 weeks, so am above the target I set at the start of the year of 100 miles per week. I have a number of days next  month when I won’t be able to cycle, so I can’t ease up if I want to hit my target.




This is displayed at Newcastle Central Station. Not sure what the point is of approaching platform staff to check  if the train that has left was the one you wanted to get. Call me stupid, but it is probably better to ask BEFORE the train has left.



In Wallsend, they are advertising a Nearly New Baby Sale. Anyone want to buy a 2nd hand baby? It seems the sale of children is not limited to babies.


St James (formerly known at Sports Direct.Com) at their Team Valley Store in Gateshead appear to be selling Juniors at the bargain price of 2 for £14.


Ladies here is a carpet fitter for you. Get laid professionally and it comes with a guarantee!



Finally, Tesco at Kings Cross appears to have a new line – frozen crisps. Have any of you tried them yet?


About spen666

I'm a 40 something football fan and cyclist. I've been a football fanatic most of my life and have completed the 92 football league & premier league grounds Added to this numerous non league grounds, a number abroad and you start to get the picture. I took up cycling in around 2000. Although my father was a former World Vets Champion, I got into cycling accompanying my son to ride in London. This was followed by my commuting to work each day into Central London. Then doing some Sunday rides, then some audax events ( and then a week's cycling holiday in France with a friend. From there, I got more and more into cycling and in 2009 completed LEJoG and in 2010 rode in the USA with the Police Unity Tour. I completed blogs for those events at and Feel free to read them and learn more about me. I live alone which suits me as it gives me time at weekends to pursue my interests of cycling and football. (Well what did you expect me to say? That I'm sad at being single?) I'm currently looking for my next challenge. Any suggestions gratefully received.
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2 Responses to In The Summertime

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ha ha
    Those pictures have made my day!!

  2. dougeharper says:

    Sorry, that was from me

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