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January 15, 2019

The benefits of walking and cycling

Writing about web page https://janetpaskeblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/phe-physical-activity-team-understanding-the-evidence-webinar/

I thought there might be a wider audience for this webinar from PHE’s Physical Activity Team “Cycling and walking for individual, population and health system benefits: a rapid evidence review for health and care system decision-makers.”

When? 29 Jan 1 -2 pm – registration here discussing the recent brief evidence review on walking and cycling, especially to benefit those with disabilities or long term conditions.

UK National Survey of E–bike Use and Potential Use

Writing about web page https://uwe.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/survey-of-e-bike-users-copy

Do you live in the UK, and have you ever used, or considered using, an e-bike (an electrically-assisted cycle with pedals)? If so, this survey is for you.

The research is being carried out by the University of the West of England (UWE). It is part of a wider project (REPLICATE) with local trials of e-bikes and other modes of transport in Bristol, UK, and some other cities. If you would like any more information about the project please contact: steve.melia@uwe.ac.uk or caroline.bartle@uwe.ac.uk.

E-bike sales have been growing; we certainly see more on the roads nowadays, but who is riding them, and why, or why not? Can you help us to find out? This national survey is being conducted by the University of the West of England, as part of this project. The findings will be used to write a report, and a brief summary for everyone who takes part; the
individual data will be kept confidential and will not be passed to any other party.

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Please email us if you want to know any more about the survey. Thank you for your interest.


We are interested in your responses even if you have not yet used an e-bike.

November 10, 2013

Lest we forget

In memory of my Grandfather. https://sites.google.com/site/grouphude/projects/dranouter-1942

September 10, 2013

Cycle to work day

Writing about web page https://www.cycletoworkday.org

Thousands of people across the UK have already pledged to cycle on the 12th, will you join them?

September 09, 2013

Save a cyclist

Follow-up to Sustrans Route Planning Application from Cycling to and around Warwick University

These images show the position that a cyclist needs to adopt in the central reservation to wait while turning right. Several buses travelling at <20 mph came within 10 - 30 cm of the cyclist, note the bus wheel position relative to the central markings.


Now look at the position of these cars as they negotiate the corner.


white van




Other possibilities

Follow-up to Road design standards from Cycling to and around Warwick University

This is a very simple mock-up of how one BUG member thought this junction might be improved. I still have deep reservations and doubt the road is wide enough to accommodate this (buses will not be able to negotiate bollards on a corner safely and would risk hitting pedestrians or mounting the pavement).

September 08, 2013

Road design standards

The Sustrans Route has been designed to Transport for London and Sustrans guidelines, by Jaime Uriarte, Churchman Architects:




“Right-turning cyclists are exposed to danger when turning into or out of a minor road, both on the approach and when crossing. Turning movements both into and out of the junctions in all directions must be considered, not just on designated cycle routes. If satisfactory layouts cannot be achieved then small (cycle friendly) roundabouts or, as a last resort, signals, may be appropriate.”


“Acceptable solutions may include:

Central islands on the main road to assist cyclists turning in and out of side roads (can include short offside cycle lane)

Central refuges or entry treatments on side roads.

Junction tables to slow motor vehicles

Kerb realignment and build-outs to improve visibility, reduce motor traffic speeds and prevent parking close to the junction

Separate cycle approach lanes where there are high vehicle flows


Figure 4 suggests Cycle Lanes with traffic calming (i.e. raised table) might be viable.”


“Cycle lanes as such appear to have little impact on road safety targets, but *there is clear evidence of safety benefits in continuing lanes across junctions. *“


Gives min. traffic lane widths (I think the road fails here) and cycle lane widths (1.5 m, not marked currently, but really must be).

I have proposed making Uni Road one-way to traffic north-south which would allow provision of 1.5 m cycle lanes and help with problems at the Piazza entrance onto Uni Road, but it might have to be two-way again at Car Park 7 junction.

I have located the DFT Design Manual which must have some force and Vol 6 Sect 3 Part 5TA 90/05 states in 3.6:

“Any crossing of a trafficked road should be located such that drivers of vehicles have full visibility of NMUs wishing to use the crossing point. Desirable minimum SSD to TD 9 (DMRB 6.1.1) should be available for drivers on the highway approaching an NMU crossing point. “

Leaving aside the fact the road is not wide enough to accomodate two cars and a cyclist, never mind a bus on that bend, the lines of sight are obstructed by mature trees to the left and there is no visibility of approaching traffic for a cyclist until they are about 10 metres or so from the proposed junction.

Sustrans Route Planning Application

Writing about web page http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=747767

Planning application and documents here:


Architects drawings are here:


Please note the drawings of the right hand turn at Sports Centre corner are inaccurate in the dimensions of the traffic lanes, yet these have been interpreted literally in the version on the ground.

Bike route wrongsThis is where the road markings (as painted on Friday 6 September 2013) place a cyclist turning right. Whilst observing traffic on this corner (buses, taxis and cars) the cyclist looked extremely vulnerable and within touching distance of buses. Before cyclist took up this position we observed that 9 out of 10 vehicles cornering here cut across the white hatching markings on this bend.

September 07, 2013

Making it happen!

Follow-up to Developing effective alternatives to car commuting from Cycling to and around Warwick University

Some previous posts to the BUG blog are a great place to start for inspiration on how to continue attracting more people if you have little experience of cycling.


There some very positive suggestions that make it clear the biggest impediment to people not getting the car day after day is largely about perceptions, not civil engineering projects How do recent developments at Warwick fit into the big picture locally and nationally?

Sustrans Route and Cycle Coventry

Writing about web page http://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/200123/cycling/1798/cycle_coventry

Sustrans and Cycle Coventry have received significant funding to improve cycling provision in all sorts so ways around the City and Campus.

Additions to Sustrans Route 52 are under construction on campus and there are plans for extending the route to Canley and the A45 crossing at Canley Ford.

I will try and post more here as the details emerge – I do not currently have maps of what is being proposed and implemented.


Is only partially correct and the maps at


conflict with what I have seen elsewhere.

June 12, 2012

Just getting round…

Writing about web page http://www.fredwhittonchallenge.org.uk/


OK so I love my cycling, it has to sneak into the schedule between a few other things ;-) but it hurts my legs much less than running :-) One of the best motivations for getting out there is to see new places with great views. So when following the lovely Leon conquering 10in10 FWs last yearI *may* of got the idea that it would be great to have a go at *one* of those :)

...of course in May last year I had no experience of cycling in the lakes :-O So initially the FW idea stayed quietly inside my head... then in June during the most fabulous Dave A BG weekend :) when I *may* have gently twisted someones arm to head north for weekend support crew ;) we didn't quite have space in the car for my bike :-O however a most lovely Fetchie (who I'd never even met before) lent me a rather shiney bike *squeeeeee* on which I rode a mini-tour of lakes seeing lovely new places, Honister Pass *ouch* and a bit of a BG round :) :) :) *heart* FETCH for making such a fabulous get together possible :) :) :) :) :) xx

Roll forwards to August... holibobs avec Alix & Dave :) knew I was *never* going to keep up on running pace :p and sometimes 3 is a crowd ;) so I had my truck so the road bike could play too :) explored Newlands Valley, raced Lakeland Tri and the highlight was a guided mini-tour of North Lakes avec eL Bee! finishing over Newlands Pass :) :) :) So FW attempt began to get chatted about and decision made that if I got a place ;) I *would* get myself fit enough to get round :-O

Of course ideally training would have been to plan (A) multiple trips up north with careful reconnaissance checking out all the passes - passing as much attention to the descents as the accents *pause for reality check* never able to invest that sort of traveling time/time away from home so onto plan (B) start building climbing miles during January Lanza trip, build up weights sessions, build up the ride times and throw in a couple of local 75 mile Sportives, the ones with hills in...

Plan B got me strong, I worked mentally on known unknowns but felt massive *wibble* about the unknown unknows :-O

Part One

Fred Whitton Challenge dibbersSo, Saturday 12th arrives and after a clear trip up M6 with fair weather I drop into the massive bike warehouse at Staveley to purchase a new set of brake blocks, can't think why that seemed like a good idea ;) was also hoping to get a new pair of overshoes but in common with many bike shops they had a surplus of L, XL & XXL only :( Still I got to look at lots of shiney bikes :) and take deep breaths to stem the crackling nervous excitement :-O before jumping back in truck for short hop to Coniston. Car park and Coniston was heaving but I managed to squeeze the truck in and headed straight to registration... through a door into dark narrow corridor with single line of tables crammed in... no-one at first table, a bunch of envelops and people at second table so I stopped just past there to get my ID checked... remained completely oblivious to the fact that Lorna had been sat at the envelops table :-O whilst I visibly shook signing my life away ;) bit of nervous bantering with fellow competitors and I quickly found myself tagged with my dibber and proud owner of FW cycling top - despite serious concerns over the possible bad omens of getting one *before* completing :-O Back outside in sun I take a few deep breaths thinking about how best to contact Leon & Lorna only to find Leon is chatting with a small crowd just ahead of me and that I had just managed to wander obliviously past Lorna *amazing what nervous excitement will do to you* the power of the company of lovely people soon started to ease my jangling nerves, I was introduced to lots more lovely people, too many to name check even if I could remember all the names ;) Lunch eaten and much banter later, including me trying to soak up as much detail as possible about the bits of the course I'd never ridden *most of it* and I found myself in convoy heading for Aspatria on a lovely clear evening where I *may* have spent more time admiring the scenery than concentrating on the road ;-) Some people are both lovely to know and live in lovely places :) :) :) :) :) Big big hugs for taking such good care of one nervous wreck!

Part Two

"The Fred Whitton Challenge is a 112 mile ultra hilly (mountainous!) challenge ride over all the famous Lake District passes in a single day ride."

Fred Whitton Challenge Route

Up early and back down the road we arrived at rush hour ;) ...but there was no rushing to be done, exept maybe to get to the loos :-O The ride starts and finishes at the Sports Centre at Coniston and with the times recorded via the dibber system. After dibbing the dibber at about 07:30 hrs, I roll through muddy field onto lane past the head of Coniston water and straight onto the first climb of the day, up Hawkshead Hill. Not a hard climb but on cool legs it's a great way to wake up and get in the mood :) After just 2.2 miles it's down a winding descent where El Bee! went past with words of encouragement :) and I saw TiT runner Toks leaving Brathay :) Give way and un-clip at left turn onto the B5285 (5.2 miles) only for car to change mind and give way to me *sigh* :p Uneventful through Clappersgate to Ambleside, the traffic lights, towards Windermere even changed to green for me :) but then (8.7 miles) left up the very steep Holbeck Lane climb to Troutbeck. This is where I met the first of the grunting mamil packs - oh the ways I amuse myself when cycling solo ;) Then onto first BIG climb of the day, up Kirkstone pass. Uneventful apart from dropping chain with over-enthusiastic cog change around Troutbeck *muppet* which actually gave me change to remove padded gloves and replace with mits - hot work this climbing :) views were stunning and soaked in at leasuire (454m, 14.7 miles covered).

"Being the highest pass, there’s a long and steep descent, so take care."

They're not kidding, solo this would have been awesomely fast :) as was I clocked over 37 mph and was pushed a wee bit from comfort zone when one of those overtaking me on the winding bits nearly went head on into an oncoming car and finding that my adjustments to fit new brake pads had slipped tension on front brakes :-O Apart from those little episodes it was an exhilirating decent :) and that topped by my first accent of Kirkstone had me banking a little confidence :) Patterdale and Glenridding were welcome familiar territory as a tail wind assisted me down the shores of Ullswater to the climb up to Matterdale End (343m) easy climb with a winding fast decent, no real call for brakes ;) until reaching main A66 to Keswick.

"Take care on this road, which has fast moving traffic, but thankfully for most of the way there’s a ‘1m strip’ on the left that gives you a bit more room."

Thanks to excellent amounts of information extracted during pre-challenge banter I was prepared for this stretch, ideally sitting on the back wheel of a suitably sized and paced chap would have sheltered me all the way down to Keswick :) no such luck :( being mentally prepared to working into a head wind was a *good thing* and something I've had a lot of practice at in Lanza, shame it's a bit colder in Lakes :p after a few futile attempts to jump on back of passing groups I settled down (almost literally to top bar) and pedaled on....

Part Three

Keswick was a welcome shelter from the wind and I also made a pit stop to borrow a pair of hands to help me readjust the front brakes :-O I *knew* what to expect from the next decent ;) brakes can be useful :p Loved the familiar pootle down to Seatoller :) only slight spoiler was the ambulance blaring past :-O

"Seatoller is literally at the bottom of Honister pass, and it starts ultra steep!"

Having climbed this once before I was ready with the tactics and stuck to my game plan :) despite carnage all around :-O bikes weaving everywhere, the odd car and a few walking their bikes :-O "!!

"Get ready with the brakes as soon as you reach the top (356m), since the descent immediately starts very steeply, the surface is slippy when wet, badly corrugated in places, and there’s a narrow chicane over a bridge part way down."

Just as useful to know this decent :) managed to pass a few groups on the accent, pass one very nervous bloke on first 25% drop and then get a fairly clear run down to Buttermere valley wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :) just one numpty driver failing to negotiate a head to head with oncoming car by lake *sigh* had to unclip and wait whilst they faffed :( Reached Youth Hostel just before Buttermere village (52 miles) with bikes everywhere and seemingly everyone else stopping, decided to top up water and make use of limited toilets, too limited, long wait :( *note for future* stop elsewhere ;-) Met a couple of ladies in que who were very nervous about making Whinlatter cut off, one looked beat already and admitted to walking up Honister :( tried to make encouraging noises and was quietly furious when the male companion of the very tired lady started hassling her to get a move on :( *insert bad word of choice here* 200m beyond hostel and immediately steeply uphill onto the climb up Newlands Pass. Middle part isn’t too bad and there was a slight tail wind :) still hard work and as I went last both ladies from loo que it became obvious why they had worried about cut off :( I squeaked encouraging noises and pedaled onwards and upwards. A kind chap overtaking me then pointed out i had another sprocket left *I knew that* and also knew about the very steep final stretch to the top (333m) :) The correspondingly steep sudden drop down the start of the descent would have been all the more fabulous had it been clear of traffic *sigh* Still once past a nervous little collection of bikes (not with it enough to call a group) and a serious numpty in a car I was free to enjoy the decent to the base of Whinlatter :) wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Whinlatter truned out to be an easy steady climb, but a very long one and the summit was the first checkpoint, so in with the dibber :) :) :) :) :)

A gaggle of teenage MTBs joined me for early part of Whinlatter decent, helpfully slowing me up and splattering me with mud :p T'was mostly straight and fast after that until some tight bends down over a bridge before turn to Lorton. This was a lovely meandering stretch and a chance to exchange a few words and smiles with other riders :) :) :) Scale Hill ( steep short descent) to Loweswater started to show that thee were some very tired legs out there, that was followed by climb up to Fangs Brow, where I continued to pass blokes whilst soft pedalling up hills - great for banking confidence ;) Lamplugh village, Croasdale to Ennerdale Bridge (77.3 miles) with easy pedaling and stunning views all around :)

Cold Fell climb was familiar territory from Dave A BG weekend :) although it was less windy that say ;) straight and steady to begin with, but then a steep windy bit over a cattle grid, followed by a final steady pull up to the top of the moor (290m, Swarth Fell). Now windy would probably be a slight understatement here... it was blowing an absolute gale!!!! So exposed up on the top it was harder getting over the moor than it was making the initial climb up there :-O The return of hedgerows and the hairpin bends not long before Calder Bridge were welcome shelter before arriving at the second checkpoint and the second feed station (86.8 miles). Dibber dibbed on arrival :) *what a relief* there was absolute carnage all around :-O first challenge was to find a spare inch of space to lay bike... then into village hall toilets, no ques, and time to sit and eat/drink.

Sooooooooooooooo tried, the slog over the moors had taken it's toll :( legs had started to cramp slightly over Cold Fell but not so much over Swarth Fell... however first point of confidence knock for day :( and less that 6 days since a major cramping episode in hamstrings I was quick to shift to conservative mental strategies... this was the home straight :) I *would* be getting home :) I had no reason to risk any do it or die trying heroics on the final climbs :) *tension ebbs and shoulders relax* Get some hot tea inside me, some nectar stuff, boost bar and more hula hoops :) pick up lovely text of support from Alix :) and I'm ready :) OK ready as I was ever going to be :p quick loo trip and peak at "warm room" aka place when grown men have become like baked spuds wrapped in foil aka place of carnage :-O

Part Four

Fred Whitton GradientBit of main A595 coast road followed by left turn down to Gosforth. Somewhere back off main road along the winding stretch I spotted a familiar bike (Ali) parked at a public convenience, after copious tea and liquids at Calder bridge this final wee stop was too good to ride past ;) Irton Pike seemed like a mere blip with a nice fast twisty decent, confidence kick :) ...you know I can't even remember if the wee stop was before or after this lol Can remember passing King George the Fourth pub (95.8 miles), where you turn left up Eskdale, as I *may* have had beer on the mind :) I was possibly trying to distract my mind from Hard Knot pass :-O

"Hardknott is the daddy of them all, and you’ll know as soon as you start it, since it immediately kicks up viciously when you pass the telephone box at the bottom. This first ultra steep bit climbs over a cattle grid (tricky, need to sit down as you cross it, to avoid wheel spin) and lots of riders have to get off and walk at this point."

By this point I had done a deal with my head and tried body. My legs felt OK apart from the occasional cramp twinges ;) it was my arms that appeared to be weakening, probably from holding the bike up against the howling gales :-O I made the early steep turns and then chose a hairpin in which to unclip... unclip FAIL eeeeek! made it up another hairpin to discover that it was my lack of confidence in unclipping in possible cramp situation that was winning over my leg strength for climbing lol sense of humor and myself still intact :) :) :) tip toeing up in bike shoes actually harder that riding the damn thing so quickly back on pedals for easy middle bit :) passed a seasoned looking old chap and casually asked if it kicked up again? the dead pan facial expression and dry "a bit" response spoke volumes ;) I mentally prepared myself... started the steep bit with as much of a *pedal dancing* approach as I could muster until my arms sagged before my legs complained WTF!? played safe again although I'm sure my legs would have preferred to stay in the pedals rather than tip toe up 1 in 3 of rough tarmac :-O Summit-ed and survived :) :) :) Just the small matter of descending...

"Be warned - the descent down Hardknott is very VERY steep with extremely tight bends, the road surface isn’t good, and it requires extreme care. Whatever you do don’t let your speed build up, or you’ll be straight off the road and down the hillside, and we don’t want to have to call out the ambulance to pick up the pieces."

Now there is a point where tiredness leads me to being even more *muppet* :p I would strongly advise that when starting a VERY steep decent you more your hands from the hoods to the drops ;) the brakes are much easier to control from that angle ;) ;) :p the brakes were on a lot because I was following down a group of about 12 other riders. The bonus side to this was that they had done this decent before so I watched and learned :) Wrynose pass was much steadier and I kept it going until the short very steep final kick to the top (393m) :) it was very tempting to go for the *do it or die trying* bit but sensible hat stayed firmly on :)

Another *interesting* decent into stunning valley :) wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Was now starting to buzz and Little Langdale valley seemed a joy with the blips of kick ups and bit back to A593 barely noticed :) :) :) :) :) Fabulous wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee down to last T junction :) Pair of riders overtook me just before T so followed them down to finish and managed to see funny side when they stopped on the line and virtually blocked me from getting through! Squeaked through a gap in the corner and dibbed dibber a final time :) :) :) :) :)

Finished! *grin*

THANK YOU Leon & Lorna for a fabulous weekend :)

Congratulations to anyone managing to wade through that head dump of waffle!

February 10, 2012

Cities fit for Cycling

Writing about web page http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/contact/

This looks a very worthwhile campaign being run by The Times newspaper.

The Times Cities fit for cycling

December 01, 2011

Christmas gift ideas

Whispers.... minutes are ticking down for the year and we've reached December.... it must be nearly Christmas *boing* :) I can tell because the lovely family want me to produce a Christmas wish list... well they probably used the term "ideas for presents" but thought that was left wide open for creative interpretation ;-)

Bike lights

bike lights

Hump backpack cover

Humpback cover

Sealskinz socks


X Socks

X socks

Swim suit

Swim suit

Triathlon gear

ladies tri suit

iPhone 4S



Samsung Galaxy SII

Galaxy S2

Bike shoes

Bike shoes

A Life Without Limits

Chrissie Wellington

iPad 2

iPad 2

Muppet Christmas Carol night

Muppet Christmas Carol

Helmet Cam

Head cam

Weekend away with family

Nose clip

nose clip

Waterproofs for all weather


Single Malt



Wood burning stove

Wood burning stove

Winter wanderings around Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Keep

Lock laces

Lock laces

Pics to PC & SD

Pics to SD

Yummy foodie stuff from Kendalls


Snow Jacket

Snow jacket

Track pump

Track pump

Night out at comedy/music gig with friends

Run in snow with Coffee Shop crew followed by pub lunch warmed by open fire

open fireOpen fire

Trip with training buddies to Club La Santa

Digital SLR Camera

Digital SLR camera

MTB Tyres

MTB tyres

Spinster t-shirt

Spinster t-shirt

Eye wear

eye wear

Picture frames

photo frames

Night out at cinema with friends

Moleskine for my non-digital notes


Arm warmers

Arm warmers

Coffee morning with friends

It's a bit of a work in progess but I'm sure it will be fun updating it!

November 11, 2011

Lest we forget

October 25, 2011

News for cyclists

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/environment/transport/cycling

Cycle registration: free ‘D’ locks
Staff and students who register their bicycle during November can get one of a limited number of free ‘D’ locks to secure their bicycle. Constable Mick Parkes, the campus police officer, will be available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in November from 12-1pm outside the library to register bicycles.
See http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/news/intnews2/dlocks_nov11

Resurfacing: 24 October to 1 November
There will be a series of resurfacing-related works on campus from Monday 24 October to Wednesday 2 November. The works will affect the cycle path connecting main campus and Gibbet Hill, Health Centre Road and the Sports Centre car park (8a).
See http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/news/intnews2/resurfacing_oct-2011

October 09, 2011

MOOC month one

Writing about web page http://change.mooc.ca/

So #change11 MOOC is now entering week five and as expected it's been tough to set aside as much time as I would have liked so really feeling no more than a lightweight engagement. However, MOOCs let you adapt your learning around the time that you have so I'm not too worried about this. This week I've also got the focus of a face to face meeting with colleagues from around the institution who share an interest in discussing MOOC topics, really looking forward to this!

September 25, 2011


Writing about web page http://change.mooc.ca/index.html

Whilst I'm wrestling with the question "why have I signed up for another MOOC?" I guess readers of this blog are more likely to be a few steps back asking "MOOC? WTF?" don't worry readers Dave Cormier has put together a video just for you...

So now we have that bit out the way, why do I choose to MOOC?

Simply put, because it suits the way I like to learn and it's FREE.

MOOC "students" are introduced to course facilitatorsand an outline schedulesplit into one week segments. "Students" then choose how they interact with helpful guidelinesreplacing rules and regulations.

My personal challenge for #change11 MOOC is to share more, not just via online networks but through face to face meetings with interested colleagues at University of Warwick.

Watch this space!

August 19, 2011

Barbarella RIP

Follow-up to Heart melting moments from Cath's Blog

Barbarella c.1990

Barbarella (Born May 1980, Died August 2011)

My lovely superstar Barbarella had a really really long life and was still leading a happy active life in her superb retirement home right up to the weekend before she passed away. Although, obviously, very sad I've also been reflecting on how simply amazing she was.

When horse hunting way back in the mid 1980's I'd been searching around the midlands area and found nowt (within budget) that I would consider buying. So when I heard about a youngster, spotted at a HIS sale but returned home after failing to make reserve, in desperation I talked my parents into a rather long drive to Devon! Barbarella looked not so much her almost five years but rather more like a three year old... however for all the "rough around the edges" stuff her kind willing nature shone through and the rest is history!

Barbarella c.1988

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Clive Milkins and all the team at South Bucks RDA for providing the most perfect "retirement" home for her. She was clearly very happy, well cared for and kept active through her twilight years in the most perfect way.

May 30, 2011

One month on…

Writing about web page http://purposed.org.uk/

Coming away from Sheffield I found my headed circling, swimming with ideas and enriched by listening to other peoples perspectives. But, apart from extending the twitter aspect of my PLN, what next?

Action One

Keep in touch with event participants via facebook group and twitter

Action Two

Create space for discussion and debate inviting participation from wide range of people from all walks of life. I've selected one of my sporting online communities to spark a debate :o)

Action Three

Closer to home I've had some really useful discussions with my nephew, who it would be fair to say was not a fan of formal education. He is however really getting into work life and has an interesting perspective now that he sits alongside graduates on management training courses. Nephew is interested in sharing his experiences at any future #purposed events.

Action Four

Purposed posters are on the office door and book available for loan.

In summary, I like to ask why, what, how, when, where questions and think this campaign has potential ;-)

May 15, 2011

Circus 157 Prologue

Family, each of us grow up supported by a collective of people who we discover along the way may or may not be directly related to us. In my world direct blood relations exist in low numbers... but lucky for me they are all amazing :o)

Going back a generation, as a child my fabulous grandparents, Dad's parents, had a massive positive impact on my life and twenty years on from their death I still miss them :(

Mum's parent's were absent from my life and figured very little in Mum's life...

I'm not sure at which point the small child that was me figured out that the older generation on Mum's side were Grandparents rather than parents to Mum. My sister and I always knew them as Nan & Pop rather than Grandma & Grandpa, but then using different names saved confusion, didn't it?

Curiosity is something I'm not short of... so I hope I wasn't too persistent in my childish "why?" type questions because the facts were a little low on the ground. In brief Mum was born during WWII. Her father, a spitfire pilot, went missing and was presumed dead months before she was born. Some time after the war Mum's Mum remarried and emigrated leaving Mum to be brought up by her Grandparents.

This sort of sets the scene for September 2010, inspired by watching BBC history programmes with extended narratives on WWII spitfire pilots, I sat with my laptop and started to frame searches based on the few known facts available on the life of my long lost grandfather.

Name: Karel Pavlik

Nationality: Czech

Occupation: Spitfire Pilot, Czech free airforce attached somehow to RAF and based in Essex early 1942, missing presumed dead spring 1942.

Not much to go on... but the web is a powerful thing if you know how to go about searching!

At school, my history teachers knew nothing of Czech pilots in RAF, leaving me disillusioned, I dropped history at earliest possibility. Hopefully teachers in this digital age have a broader knowledge of WWIIcombatants!?

To be continued...

April 30, 2011

Purpos/ed Summit for Instigators – 30 April 2011

Writing about web page http://purposed.org.uk/events/purposed-psi-1/

Debate: What is the purpose of education?Love an event that kicks off with Monty Python, provides free cake and has sufficient draw to pull 50 delegates indoors on a sunny Saturday afternoon! :o)

What is Purpos/ed?

Purpos/ed is a non-partisan platform for discussion and debate about the purpose(s) of education.

Purpos/ed kick started a debate in February 2011 that started with campaigns including encouraging people to contribute 500 words(February/March 2011) on their own blogs and these make excellent reading. People were then further encouraged to use quotes from the 500 word contributions 3×5 Flickr quotation mashups(April 2011).

The event of 30 April 2011 brought together people from across the country to discuss, debate and present their views on the purpose of education and ideas for moving the debate forwards and outwards. There was a strong feeling amongst some that this had to be beyond the boundaries of formal education.

Purpos/ed Summit for Instigators - 30 April 2011

So what next?

Well that is really over to all you people out there. This debate is open to all and has a serious need to hear more voices from all backgrounds.

What do YOU think the purpose of education is?

February 28, 2011

February and something is…

Writing about web page http://purposed.org.uk/2011/02/lets-get-this-party-started/

...well it seems a debate is about to kick off!

What’s the purpose of education?

Wordle: Purpos/ed

Introductory blog post from Prof. Keri Facer of Manchester Metropolitan University (and formerly of Futurelab)

In the hope that these ideas might be achieved, I’d like to suggest some questions that contributors to the site could explore:

  1. What is your vision for the good society? 
  2. What is the part that education can play in achieving that and what is the part that others need to play? Who are these others? What is/what should be their relationship to education? 
  3. What are the building blocks we have in our schools and universities already that could move them towards that role?
  4. What are the building blocks outside formal education? 
  5. What are the impediments to change and what causes them? And are there good reasons for these?
  6. What can I see of merit in the ideas of those who disagree with me? 
  7. Do the ideas I suggest draw on the expertise and insight of others?
  8. Do the ideas I suggest offer enough benefit to outweight the disruption that they would cause in their realisation? how would we get there?

Really looking forward to watching this space... hope to get brave and dive in for a bit of active participation... call for action!

January 31, 2011

January kick start

Writing about web page http://www.clublasanta.co.uk/

The snow seemed to never want to go, hands felt like they were iced to the handlebars for days on end (that despite 3 pairs of gloves!) really did feel more than ready for two weeks of sunny Lanza :o) ...even if my bike legs were not quite as willing! :S

Anyhow after a bit of persuasion the bike legs kicked in and with fabulous company provided by buddies from Warwick Uni Triathlon & Road Cycling Club managed to clock up quite a few miles including a couple of trips up to Rio, over Haria & winding back up Tabayesco, *phew* hello legs! Awesome to be able to swim under the sun in 50m pool that was not a chemical soup :p and run/walk routes provide their own mini adventures too :o)

Back to work with no time to ease in... flying start to the year!

November 29, 2010

Week forty seven

Writing about web page http://vimeo.com/16917950

Stunning Aurora Borealis time-lapse (it's HD so watch full-screen!)

Aurora Borealis timelapse HD - Tromsø 2010 from Tor Even Mathisen on Vimeo.

November 02, 2010

Connect2 Kenilworth to be completed

Writing about web page http://goo.gl/fb/P2iQV

Petition seems to have made an impact :)

The Connect2 Kenilworth scheme, the joint project between Warwickshire County Council and Sustrans, is to be completed as planned, including the pedestrian and cycling bridge over the A429 Coventry Road.

Cllr John Whitehouse, chair of the Connect2 Kenilworth Steering Group, said:

the recent mass petition to WCC demonstrated the strength of on-going public support.