London

Jan Portillo for RSA Trustee

I have voted for Jan Portillo to be one of the trustees at the RSA because I think she’ll do a really good job. If there are any Fellows out there who have not had the opportunity to vote, then please do so as time is getting short. Voting ends next Sunday.

Categories: blog traffic, Clare Balding, cool stuff in London, cycling, London, RSA | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grand Designs Live

New post for May Day!

Straw Works is exhibiting at Grand Designs Live from 3-11 May. We’re building a strawbale house during the exhibition. It currently look slike this….

 

 IMGP0013

A bit blurry I know but I’m doing my best!

It’s going to be beautiful and it will be for sale at the end of the Show.  Come and see us if you have time. We’re running workshops every day. We’ve also go a new van.

IMGP0007

Pretty cool eh?

Categories: cool stuff in London, Grand Designs Live 2014, insulation, London, low cost housing, natural house building, natural plasters, pioneering building, strawbale building, strawbale building courses, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eco Build

Yes,  it’s that time of year again.

Straw Works will be at Eco Build from Tues 4th -Thurs 6th March inclusive. We’ll be building a temporary strawbale building and plastering it with clay. Come and see us on stand 1660 and give us a hand … or even just have a chat.

http://www.ecobuild.co.uk/Content/Nature-and-the-Built-Environment  This is the link to the Natural Building section of the exhibition – which is of course, the most ‘eco’ part of the exhibition and the most innovative Hope to see you there. Tell your mates.

Categories: cool stuff in London, Ecobuild, insulation, London, low cost housing, natural house building, natural plasters, pioneering building, strawbale building, strawbale building courses | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prudential Ride London

This ride took place last Saturday. It was wonderful to ride alongside the Embankment and past Big Ben on roads which were free of cars. Approx 50,000 people took part. There were 3 stopping off points – Tower Hill, St Paul’s and Green Park where kids could play bike polo, cycle like mad to generate enough power to make themselves a smoothie and/or lie in the  sun and listen to some music.

A child dressed as a crocodile cycling to make a smoothie

A child dressed as a crocodile cycling to make a smoothie

For the first time Al and I got to grips with the Boris Bikes which were great until the end of the day when the booking machines began to break down – I suspect due to overuse.

I almost got a picture of Laura Trott dressed in the Wiggle Honda team strip waiting for her race, but she turned her head at the crucial moment!

A great event and perhaps shades of things to come. I hope so.

St Paul's stop off point

St Paul’s stop off point

Categories: bike safety, blog traffic, books, cool stuff in London, cycle rides, cycling, Cycling holidays, London, middle aged women getting fit, Prudential Ride London, Travel, Uncategorized, womens cycling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Triathlon Triumph!

Allan completed the London Sprint Triathlon last Saturday, 750m swim in open water followed by 20K cycling and then a 5K run, in a time of 2 hours 15 mins. Beating his expected time by 15 minutes. He’s trained so hard these past few months and it’s all been worth it.  He’s also raised £625 for the Compassionate Friends, thank you so much to everyone who donated. We had a wonderful day with fantastic support from family & friends.

On the podium

On the podium

I can’t resist putting in this pic tho’. It’s a new product (developed recently in Crawley) – the Triathlon Transition Towel  (TTT)  for those people who prefer to change their shorts to suit each activity, as opposed to those who wear all purpose tri-suits!

The Triathlon Transition Towel

The Triathlon Transition Towel

Categories: bike safety, cool stuff in London, cycling, fitness, London, running, The Compassionate Friends, triathlon, Virgin Media Sprint Triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Al’s Sprint Triathlon

My husband Allan is doing the London Sprint Triathlon on 27th July.

That’s 750m swim followed by a 20k bike ride and finishing with a 5k run. Al’s a pretty fit guy but he’s also 60 this month, so he’s been training hard for this event.  This is what he says about it:

‘I’m doing the London Triathlon in memory of my son Matt and to raise funds for The Compassionate Friends.

It’s 10 years since Matt died and we miss him every day. I think he would have approved of me doing something crazy like this, so please give a donation.

Alreet son! ‘

If you’d like to donate please go to  justgiving.com/allantriathlon

Thanks

Categories: bike safety, books, Clare Balding, cycle rides, cycling, fitness, London, loss, love, Northumberland, running, triathlon, womens cycling, Writing, writing groups & societies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Melt Yourself Down

Yet again this is not about cycling but it is something you should know about. So here goes.

The tickets were a Fathers day present and I was included.  So last Tuesday evening we went to a gig in Islington. I write the word ‘gig’ advisedly! The band playing were called, Melt Yourself Down. I can’t describe the type of music they play, best to watch this clip to get a flavour.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p019dqxl

Despite being an older person I have to say I loved it! The venue admittedly was a bit claustrophobic and I wondered if I’d be able to stay the course. But the music was so engaging and the lead singer, Kushal Gaya so absolutely mesmerising that my worries about not being able to breathe, about where  the fire exits were, about being able to leave when I wanted all paled into insignificance. If you get a chance to go & see Melt Yourself Down I’d advise you to take it.

I have to say however I was so tired yesterday that I couldn’t even be bothered to write this blog…

Categories: blog traffic, books, cool stuff in London, jazz, London, Melt Yourself Down, middle aged women & music, music, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m so excited…..

I looked at the Kindle rankings this morning and saw my book was number 14 in the Kindle travel section. There are 31,445 books in that section! How cool is that?

But then, to use a ‘Pointless’ phrase, things got even more exciting, when I checked the Kindle non-fiction rankings. There are 1,090,000 books in this section and Changing gear is number 179!!!!

This is probably too many numbers for this time in the morning, so I’m going to stop now and go to the V&A and get inspired.

Thanks to everyone who has bought/downloaded a copy of Changing Gear.

Categories: books, Bulgaria, cycling, Cycling holidays, downloading, Kindle, London, loss, love, middle aged women getting fit, Top 20 travel books on Kindle, Top 200 non-fiction books on Kindle, Travel, womens cycling, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Society of Women Writers & Journalists

The title sounds impressive eh? I’ve just been accepted as a probationary member and have the certificate to prove it with PROBATIONARY written in caps.  After 2 years my status will be reviewed..then who knows what will happen?

The definition of  probationary membership is –  ‘a women writer who has not yet achieved the status of professional writer and/or writers with serious intent to work towards that end. Evidence must be supplied to the Council by means of documentation.’

The info I’ve been sent looks interesting, there’s a mag, competitions, meetings, literary events and on production of my membership card I can get into the New Cavendish Club. How exciting is that! Perhaps I’ll even cycle there when the weather improves.

So far I’ve been too excited to read everything properly. I’ll keep you posted about the benefits of the society as I become more familiar with it. If anyone is interested in learning more, their website is: swwj.co.uk

Categories: books, cycling, London, Writing, writing groups & societies | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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