Last week Rishi Sunak flew on a private jet to Leeds and back. He also did a quick trip to Scotland for lunch meeting with Nicola Sturgeon using the same method of transport. The taxpayer picked the tab for these two trips.
Those that know me will know that I am a soccer nut and love following not only my team (Bristol Rovers), but the game in general. In the days before smart phones there were only a few ways that you could find out how your team had got on on that particular Saturday, unless you were actually at the match.
When I was teacher training in Leeds I would often walk into town and pick up a Sheffield Star Green Un at the Central Station. The last of these match day results newspapers has ceased trading of this season. The Portsmouth Sports Mail “Pink ‘un” is no more.
Another way of finding out how your team had got on was to listen to the results on the radio at 5pm.
The Tour of Britain has been Live on TV this past week and yesterday there was a magic moment during the Stage to Edinburgh.
You get the odd nutcase in the big Grand Tours of France and Spain who run along side the competitors shouting encouragement they grind up a mountain.
A local lad, Xander Graham, kept pace with the leading group of riders for a fair way along the route by cycling on the pavement. His efforts were rewarded by race rider Pascal Eenkhoorn with a water bottle.
Mario Cipollini is a blast from the past. Bike Heroes #5 and #6 are more personal additions to the list. These last two inductees have with no links to competitive cycling. Nevertheless the latest bike hero is a true competitor. An olympic champion no less.
Beth Shriever take a bow – you are (BMX) bike hero #7.
Let’s face it. BMX racing is more fun to watch than archery.
BMX racing is more accessible to young people who want to try it out than Equestrian sports.
Despite a funding cut from UkSport and a double leg break in the lead up to the games, Beth Shriever won an Olympic gold in Tokyo after a thrilling final race. Her gold medal represents a better return for team GB than the entire rowing squad can muster.
This girl is a new sensation, yet she humbly points out that it was an achievement just to get to Tokyo in the first place.
Beth has had to self finance her training and travel to events through a crowdfunding website and working as a teaching assistant in a primary school for 2 days a week.
The post race interview says so much. Mark Cavendish is lost for words after his 31st win at the Tour de France.
The legend lives on.
And two days later Tour de France stage win #32 is chalked up. Again the break away is foiled and the sprinters battle out the finish. The man in green wins with apparent ease.
It looks like he is in love with cycling again and his smile says that all is well with the World.
This is a rider who is still winning stages of the World’s greatest 3 week cycle race at the age of 36. This is unprecedented. This simply should not be happening.
The next hurdle to over come is the Alps. Mountain stages just need to be completed within certain time limits, if he gives up or does not get to the finish line his Tour is over. With the help of his team mates he survives.
Back on the flat Cavendish is in his element. Stage 10 is a textbook finish. His team mates work together and go flat out to deliver the man in green almost to the finish line. Cavendish does the rest, making it look so easy. Win #33 is reached – just one away from the all time record.
This is getting tougher – but there is no stopping the Manx Missile. A hot day in the South of France is where he draws level with Eddy Merckx.
I had forgotten all about this prank. Seeing the daffodils emerging again this spring brought back the memory of a well planned stroke pulled by a fellow reprobate at the West London Comprehensive.
His task was to teach Coordinates. Using a grid marked out as below, the point A on the grid has the coordinates (-2,3) for example.
The Maths department was in the main school building, on the floor above the reception area and Head’s Office.
Classrooms in the “maths corridor” looked out over the driveway into the school. There was a great view of the main school gates and a neat and tidily kept lawn, which lead to the reception area.
Deciding to break with convention and jazz up the lesson the teacher used the lawn at the front of the school as the class grid. He had pre-marked out the grid lines with pegs and garden string. Daffodil bulbs were used to mark the coordinates.
A list of coordinates was given to his class and it did not take long for the group of students to go outside and plot the points by burying a bulb in the correct location.
The bulbs took till the spring to sprout and reveal the pattern that they made. The view at ground level of the flowers appeared random. It was only when you looked from the classroom that the crude, cartoon like, diagram of the male anatomy became clearer.
This trait is when someone raises the pitch of their voice at the end of sentences as if they were questions, but in fact they are not. “Uptalk” is common amongst Australian and American accents and seems to prevail amongst younger people.
I understand that languages evolve, but listening to someone constantly use an upward inflection to finish every sentence makes the speaker appear whiny and insecure.