January 2018 updates

On the last day of every year I write down my New Year’s Resolutions.  The list is usually quite long.  Most of them are quite vague – such as “be happy”, “be content”, but some are more direct.

 “Make more videos” – although still slightly vague – the fact is, more than 0 is 1, so I will now make a YouTube video now and tick one off that long list.  This video is simply about what I got up to January.  Last year I was very good with posting blog updates – something that I want to continue to do this year.  It feels like a public diary entry and I like it.  So I thought it would be logical to combine the blog and the vlog and voila.

 Also, whilst the New Year’s Resolutions are being mentioned, another was “to stop dithering and just do”.  The act of just making a vlog and blog is ticking another off my list.

The month of January feels like it has lasted a while.  But at the same time I cannot believe that 1/12 of the 2018 has already gone.  A few years ago I decided to get a wall planner.  It’s a visual reminder just how quickly time slips.

 Some years are different but January is usually a quiet month for me.   It is the month of cold and generally miserable weather.  Rainy and windy.  And the nights draw in way too quickly.

However, this year I did get up to a few things:

My first event of the year was a cycle, of course!  I cycled 30 miles.  It was a good for my body fitness but also my mental fitness.  I felt quite refreshed.

On the 7th January, I went down to stay the night in London.  The hotel was amazing.  I’ve stayed there before.  Located next to the British Library, and therefore a stone’s throw from St. Pancras, its location is so handy.  The view from my window was brilliant.  I could see St. Paul’s.  Looking down, I could see a busy cycle lane.  Dreamy.

I went down predominantly to take part in the “No trousers on the tube” event.  This was my 3rd year doing it.  I just enjoy putting a smile on other people’s faces.  Last year I appeared on the websites of a different of different newspapers and were in some newspaper videos.  This year.  Nothing.  The next day I found a Mobike and cycled to St. Paul’s.

When I got back that evening I sat and watched The Undateables.

Of course I knew that I was going to appear on one of the episodes but I had hardly told anyone.  The date had happened many months before it aired.  In my head I built up this picture that I could have said something that, combined with bad editing, would have made me look terrible.  I hoped if I brushed it under the carpet, no one would really notice.  Ohhh they did notice.  Very well.  I assumed that no one sits down to watch the telly.  It’s all on demand and people’s viewing habits are fluid.  Ohh no.  I was wrong.  I twitter and facebook lit up and I was recognised at work and elsewhere.  So that was that.  I made my television debut.  I had a great time with Sam, also my name, which could have caused confusion.

Sam had mild Aspergers.  When told that was why he deemed himself Undateable, I said that as no reason to put off going on a date.  He was lovely!  But we had no common ground at all.

During this month I went out with Mum for lunch with Mum and caught the bus a few times and I pottered about and cycled about.

Every single January, seemingly without fail, I get a cold.  It wasn’t too bad but it felt like razor blades in my throat and lasted forever!  As well as work, the rest of my time was occupied with Netflix – really got into Plebs – the ITV series, and I did spend  quite a lot of time reading.

Towards the end of the month, the Shoesmith family went to see Mamma Mia at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton.  It was such a good show!  I loved it.  So feel good.

Then on the 28th January, I went down to London with Seb.  We stayed in the Sofitel St. James.  How the other half live!  Seb and I met at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and listened to some of the speakers for a while.  We then had some food and went to check in.

The main reason we went down was to see a live show of “Reasons to be Cheerful” by Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd.

 Guests were Ruby Wax, George Ezra, Ayesha Hazarika and Professor Simon Wessely.  The topic was mental health.  The show was great.  The speakers were passionate and very knowledgeable.  But possibly the topic was a bit too heavy.  Afterwards we went out to bars in Soho.

The next day we arose, slightly late, but headed to the Royal Courts of Justice.  We sat and listened to a case.  I think we should have arrived a few hours earlier and planned the day as most of the cases seemed to have petered out.  I think I brought the topic up of seeing a debate at the House of Commons up, and Seb immediately said he would LOVE to do it.  I am sure it was me.  Anyway, we cycled to the Houses of Parliament, went through security, through Westminster Hall  and sat watching a debate.

Almost inevitably, it moved on to talking about leaving the European Union.  After a while we went to the House of Lords – and shock, they were discussing something about leaving the European Union and its impact on the environment.

We ate, went back to the hotel to get our bags and I sneakily ordered a taxi.  But not any old taxi.  A bicycle taxi!  I read about PedalMe a few days before and downloaded the app and set it up waiting.  I told Seb, with a few minutes to go, that we were getting a taxi and it was a bicycle and he couldn’t do anything but jump aboard.  We were taken to Victoria Coach Station where I said goodbye to  Seb and then I got the taxi up to St. Pancras.

By chance, my taxi driver was the founder of the app, Benjamin Knowles.  It gave me a wonderful opportunity to find out about the company.  It sounded wonderful.  I expect it to grow as the weather gets better.  It was so simple and easy to order the taxi, and it is a truly great mode of transport.  There’s no exhaust pollution, it doesn’t get stuck in endless traffic jams, it’s reasonably priced and it was fun.  I liked it and will be using it again.

Whilst on the topic of cycling again, of course, my total cycling recorded for the month was 118.95 miles.  Not 120 miles or something even.  Ahhh.  It quickly tots up.  Before I checked my Garmin, I was estimating it was around 70 miles.  I had a stress-free month of cycling.  Most people were considerate, safe and paid attention.  There were the odd ones who didn’t and I gestured to just move back in and wait until there was a gap in front.  This driver suffered from MGIF – must get in front mentality.

So that was my January.  Thanks for watching.  See you soon.  X

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