Running through London

Firstly guys, I would like to say “Hello, I’m back”. I haven’t blogged for over a month. Work has been manic and so I haven’t had a moment to think.

At the end of September I flew over to London to take part in the first ever ‘Big Gay 10k’ run. I was very excited about doing the run. It was my first ever run. I was going to crawl and possibly die in a gutter do my best and try to get a good time.

For those who had read more on my Just Giving charity site would have known that I had been training to run since the beginning of July. Fun, fun, fun…

Well – 400 people took part in the 10km run in London. Some were runners, some were walkers and the rest were mincers!

The route was fantastic! Here are some photos from the fantastic day. (I’m in the blue vest, my fiancé is in bright yellow). Our super friends Sue and Caroline came to support us.

The fantastic route with London’s finest landmarks all the way around.

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The race was started by Cheryl Baker, in pink in the photos (from Bucks Fizz, the 1980s pop group who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981). I even met her and had a post-run-sweaty photo together. Once the race was started, Bas and I were off like a shot. My music was playing and I was high on adrenaline. I wanted to get a good time. So far my best time had been 10km in 52 minutes (I was averaging 55 mins).

We kept up with the front group and split from the main ‘pack’. The streets of London were packed. As we all reached the Embankment, where the London Eye stands we had to wriggle and jump in and out of the tourists. As it was the first Big Gay 10k in London the organisers had been unable to clear roads or pavements, meaning for us that we had to contend with human-obstacles. They must have wondered what was happening…

Halfway through the race I realised that I was well over my usual pace. I got ahead of Bas who probably got caught in the crowds. Bas caught up with me at about 7 or 8km into the run. That was when we came face-to-face with the photographers. (Time to look as though I was loving it…).

At 8km I hit the wall. Not literally – a wall of pain. I really didn’t know if my body would get to the 10km finish line. Bas was brilliant and ran along side me the rest of the way. The last bridge was the last hurdle. I said to Bas “I don’t want to go uphill anymore”. He replied that we were there.

We had made it.

We came 28th and 29th (seconds divided us). 29th!!!! From 400!!!!!

Stunned. You can see my time below. Just under 51 minutes. It probably took me those 41 seconds to stop my timer.

You can see how much money I was lucky enough to raise for a great charity in London! Brilliant supporters – thank you!

Proof on my time! I am still in shock that I managed it.

The breakdown of the route.

The amount I raised for ‘London Friend’.

London 2012: The Announcement

I get tingly arms every time I think about the moment that London were announced the host city for the 30th Olympic Games.

I remember being at work (way back in 2005) and refreshing the page on the internet to see the announcement come through LIVE.

Would it be London?

Could London possibly beat the favourite, Paris?

Here’s a video of Trafalgar Square in London. You can feel the tension as the crowd nervously await the news…

What a moment!!!

Tonight all eyes will be on London as they open the games with a huge ceremony in the Olympic Stadium. Tonight I will be more than ever to be British. Here’s to a fantastic games. Good luck to all taking part.

Murray Mania!

He’s done it!

An emotional semi final victory for Murray

He’s made it to the Wimbledon Final.

The British fans have waited 74 years for this momentous day when finally a male Brit (and yes, I acknowledge that he is a Scot and a Brit) makes it to the last match.

The crowd cheer on the local hero – It’s almost as though he’s won the whole thing.

Can Murray win on Sunday?

I hope so.

The match against Tsonga was a thriller today. Murray started fighting for his final place right at the start! He broke Tsonga early and looked to take it in three straight sets. Tsonga wasn’t going to go down with a battle…

I never thought I would see the final section of the draw look this good! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!! He meets Roger Federer next – it’s not going to be easy.

from Wikipedia

The 2012 Champion? – We will soon see….

There are some signs that he could be heading for victory:

  • Fred Perry turned 25 in the May that he won Wimbledon. Murray has just turned 25 (this May).
  • In 1977, Virginia Wade was the last British women to win Wimbledon… It was also a Jubilee year for Queen Elizabeth II – just like 2012.
  • I have a feeling – and that’s good enough for me.

I have everything crossed for Andy Murray!

Go win it!

You may also enjoy reading these posts:

Shock at Wimbledon 2012 – the one where Nadal got knocked out by Rosol.

Is it time to ban Serena from Grand Slams? – the one where Serena lost her temper at the 2011 US Open Final.

Shock at Wimbledon 2012

The Wimbledon Championships are a sporting highlight of the year. Each year I tune in hopeful to see Andy Murray, the British number 1 make it to the final. This year, though I was more surprised by a match that I watched featuring Rafael Nadal and Lukáš Rosol.

Who is Lukáš Rosol

Exactly what I was thinking before I saw his amazing match on Thursday evening.

Rosol, from the Czech Republic blew Nadal out of the water with his thrilling tennis skills and ultimate composure. Nadal didn’t know what was happening. I don’t think I have seen a ‘newcomer’ play with such conviction in a long time (if ever). Rosol started a little nervous – and not surprising when playing one of the tennis greats. But, the first set went to a tie-break, and a close one too… Nadal won it, but was to be shocked when Rosol went on to take the 2nd and 3rd sets.

Shock!

Nadal fought back in the fourth and won it relatively easily. It was going to go to go the distance. A fifth set loomed. Surely, Nadal had it in the bag…

Rosol broke Nadal and kept up the big hits. Ace after ace and such precision! I was in awe! I couldn’t believe how accurate and how well he played. Lukáš Rosol had the look of a winner in his eyes. You could how much he really wanted the win.

Nadal out.

Rosol had done the unthinkable – and won!

Who would have predicted that the World number 100 could knock out Nadal? Not me. But I am pleased. I like the underdog to do well – but I also like Nadal out of the way – as Murray would have faced him in the semi-finals.

Image from Clive Rose/Getty Images

Here’s Rosol after his historical victory.

Below is the score line.

Via Wikipedia

What will happen next?

How far will Rosol get in the championships?

Will he go head-to-head with Murray?

Will Scotland leave the UK?

Tensions between Scotland and London have been hotting up over recent months. The question about whether Scotland should split from the rest of the United Kingdom is not a new one. It’s also not a question which can go unanswered for much longer.

Personally, I think it’s a good thing that the question of independence be put to the people who will be affected. I would however prefer for Scotland to remain as part of the UK. I don’t see many benefits for an independent Scotland or a smaller UK within Europe with the current economic troubles.

I saw this referendum voting slip. Of course, it’s just for fun, but I do like it.

On a serious note, there have been strong debates over what the question will be. Will it be a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to independence or will there be a compromise; a semi-independence. I hope not. I think it should be ‘in’ or ‘out’. Too much hangs on it.

What will happen to the rest of the United Kingdom without Scotland? Will it still be called the UK? Some say yes, some say it cannot. What will happen to the Union Flag? The blue (from the St Andrew’s flag) will disappear…

Will Scotland enter the Euro? Will Wales and Northern Ireland also seek independence?

Countries dividing is nothing new in Europe. It wasn’t that long since Yugoslavia split into other countries (Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, etc) and that Czechoslovakia split into Czech Republic and Slovakia. It just feels weird that this time it could be my own country, the UK, splitting up.

The future of the UK looks set to be interesting over the next couple of years.

What do you think should and could happen?

It’s getting a bit crowded

When I woke up this morning I thought it was just another normal day.

I got dressed and ready for my first day back at work. I’ve just enjoyed a week holiday (yay).

In no time at all it was time to go. I stepped outside…

My my – hello busy world.

7 billion people in the world?

I thought the roads looked a little busy…

On a serious note though… With a world population like that, how are we all going to fit on Earth? This planet is only so big.

The rate at which the human race is multiplying is quite scary. Look at the projections below.

Europe’s Problems: The Simple Explanation

It’s all gone wrong in Europe! Bail out – bail out.

Sometimes living in Europe can feel a little ‘titanic-ish’. Yup – this place hit an iceberg – and that iceberg is called Greece!

Greece is dragging us all down.

Latest news – a bailout of about 1 TRILLION! Hmmmm, nice one. That’s me on bread and water for the next hundred years!

The prime ministers, chancellors etc etc are all throwing their toys out of their prams too. The international meetings must be fascinating for those proverbial ‘flies-on-the-walls’. Cameron and Sarkozy have been arguing about who should be in the meeting…. Oh, the old battle between France and the United Kingdom.

It’s all old as time.

Don't you wag that French finger at my Prime Minister... Not that Cameron seems to care.

If you’re interested in a more ‘high-brow’ view on the latest economy news from Europe, but still something easy-to-understand then I’d recommend reading this Q&A site.

But, the best thing that I’ve seen – and it really sums up the state of Europe right now – is this.

Merkel has to look after Sarkozy - again!