Thursday, 22 May 2014

New Things..

Finding new things are just so exciting, for example this week I found out how to connect my "Spotify" via my Bluetooth to my car speakers, now to the modern hip reader this may sound like a simple task, but for me it is an epic occasion, sadly though I now know I am getting old and technology flies past my years, I am happy to own that and just get on with it!

A friend then pointed out another amazing new find, the little arrow by the fuel gauge in a car is in fact pointing at the side your fuel flap is, for years I thought this was an arrow for simple folk like myself to tell me the car was once again left empty by the wife, utter genius, I also found some money in my jeans pocket this week, finding new stuff is just great and makes me really happy!

So it's election day and I always feel privileged to have a vote in a democratic society, I always go with my wife and I always vote with pride and take the responsibility of voting very very seriously!

I used to live in a flat in central London and new neighbours arrived, they were asylum seekers from Afghanistan, (I later found this out) a man a wife and his two children, the family moved into a newly refurbished flat with all the mod cons, after a few days of moving in I noticed the man of the house lighting a fire outside for his wife to cook the family meal, was I shocked, yes, did I go up in arms about this happening in a nice street in a nice area of London, yes, but here is the but, my wife and I discussed it, and I decided to let the man know about the cooker in his flat and to start up a conversation. I never saw the fire in the front porch area again, but we had started a conversation and thus a relationship. I used to watch him every morning go out on a bicycle to collected junk to sell at a car boot sale, he would leave at the crack of dawn and return late at night his second hand wobbly bike full with anything he could sell to feed his family, I was also very proud of my front garden, (I may have mentioned in a previous blog I won a local front garden completion, probably the only award I have ever won and one I am very proud of and would tell anyone regardless of them glazing over with boredom at my utter delight) Any way one weekend I noticed his family in his overgrown front garden with kitchen spoons weeding and making good their garden, he said in broken English he was "Embarrassed at his garden making the street look bad" This man was fitting in as much as I was trying to understand him.

At Christmas and although they were Muslim, he brought round a Christmas card and when we moved he came out with his family and was visibly upset, he shook my hand tight and thanked me and my family for our kindness and he said and I quote "You are like family to us and we are so sad you now leave" I honestly felt a lump in my throat.

This family were different but actually the same as most of this country, they were kind, hard working lovely people, they were simply trying to do the best for their family and we as a nation gave them some hope and an opportunity and I learnt something new and it was as exciting as the arrow on the petrol gauge and the music that now pumps through my car speakers!

I believe this country is seriously pissed off about immigration, but I want a party open to inclusion not exclusion, I want a party brave enough to stand up and put up some boundaries not borders and walls and high fences, I certainly do not ever want a party prepared to stand in front of any camera possible and slap the many amazing cultures who live in and put into this country in the face. Its simply wrong, unacceptable and a sad day for a "United" Kingdom. We should actually feel proud that so many want to be part of our life here, not ashamed of it, a great cake is made up of many different ingredients, if it was made with the same old stuff it would be bland, tasteless and nobody would want to try it or be part of the making of it!

Try something new, try talking, listening and understanding, I did and I learnt just because someone comes from a place different to I and speaks different to I acts differently to I and does things differently to I does not EVER make them less than I.

That is the party political broadcast on behalf of the "Roycey" party to about 200 hundred of you, really, I need to get back to work or bake a cake full of so many ingredients we all get a real buzz out of it!

Thanks for reading


Thursday, 15 May 2014

"I Can!"

“I Can’t” is only one letter off “I Can!” and over the last seven days I proved that point and not to anyone else other than myself.

To make an impromptu “I Can” and then to grab a bike, a ruck sack and a map and cycle from Edinburgh to London is, reading it now and looking back, somewhat insane and slightly radical but it was not unachievable and defiantly not out of the realms of possibility and it is was, without question, one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life.

I learnt so much about myself, I learnt that when someone puts their mind to something anything, really anything is possible.

I have watched over the years huge stars take on massive challenges, David Walliams swimming the Thames and Chanel, John Bishop running rowing and cycling and a lady who truly inspires me, Davina, look like we may never see her again as she exited Lake Windermere, I now, as a result of doing something for myself, have a better understanding of what they went through, which looking at it, was a far greater challenge than I took on.

My point here is you do not have to be a star, you do not have to be a celebrity, you do not have to be in the public eye to be someone or do something out of the box, I am not and I just did. The beauty of twitter and Facebook is you can lead from the front with only a handful of followers or FB friends and prove that you can do something that others think you will never do or complete, you can start the ball rolling of change and maybe, just maybe, get others doing a similar thing. Stephen proved this point and got my ball rolling!

I shall be forever grateful to Stephen, a young man facing the greatest fear of all, faced it head on and refused to be defined by it and that in my book is nothing less than a hero. I had never met him or spoken to him but I found myself being inspired to do something as a result of his message and that suddenly made Twitter and Facebook a good thing. My only regret is I never got the opportunity to thank him for inspiring me although I thank him now in my quiet time.

I hear so often on TV, radio and social media people moaning and complaining, constantly asking what others can do for them, how others are messing with their lives, how others don’t understand, I hear people abuse others from a place of jealousy and attack those who are making a difference and that is so sad. I have been guilty of this, we all have, we are human, but I learnt over the past seven days, it is I who can only take responsibility for self. I urge you to try doing something for yourself by yourself and I categorically promise you the results are life changing. We live in such an “I want” society, trying turning it around and asking “What can I give” Stop for just a second and ask what can I put back in rather than take back out!

I hit some really low points on my ride, too many too mention, but it was at these points that I found an inner strength and determination to win my day, it was then as I faced failure and defeat that I found a resolve to fight to go forward, it was then I began to grow, it was then I found parts of me I did not know existed and it was then I found a new Ian, a new way and a new part of life I knew not existed and a new inner strength.

I was alone, scared, exhausted and often deflated, I cried, laughed, grunted, groaned, sang, whistled and loathred the wind and the rain but as I reached the end point at the conclusion of the day I felt a huge elation and an overwhelming sense of achievement and I got to share it with me, just me and that was the greatest feeling ever. I did something for me and during that process I got to freely give back to another, it was the perfect week.

Lead not follow, step out of the box, stand up and be counted and try something new, different and exciting! Be positive and never doubt yourself, there are plenty of people who will do that for you, prove them wrong, prove yourself wrong and go make a difference to you and most importantly someone else.

As Rhianna says “Shine bright like a diamond” grow from within and stare at yourself in the mirror and say “I Can” then push out your chest, smile big and shout from the top of your voice “I just did!”

RIP Stephen Sutton.


Friday, 2 May 2014

"Its Time.....To Face....The Saddle!

"To give freely of  yourself to help another is to help yourself as much"
A little over a year ago I couldn’t ever imagine doing anything that counted as “Achievable” Today however I am alive enough to do something slightly random, The random is of course to cycle for 7 days, I had no plan, but now I do, well kind of, I have a bike and a map and some hotel rooms thanks to Hilton, a new helmet and some inner-tubes, although I have not a bloody clue how to change a tyre!

Today I've got spirit, drive, determination, a goal to reach and a life adventure to experience, oh, and a sense of humour which I kinda guess is essential and will come in very handy! 
So on Tuesday morning (After an overnight train journey to Scotland) I will put on my clip on shoes into my special pedals (This will take a few attempts, a wobble and a couple of swear words)) And begin my journey to London from Edinburgh Castle, a city that is very special to me.
I have been called mad, insane and stupid, honestly, I tend to agree, at least I'm not dull! 
I am about to keep my end of the deal after asking you to give, if you haven't already it would be fantastic if you could.
Please donate if you can by texting “Stephen” to 70500 to donate a simple £5!
Please visit Stephens “Just giving Page”
And if you are wondering why you should give,please take some time to watch this!

Thank you Stephen for inspiring me, I truly hope it helps your fundraising just a little. 

The Ride….
Day One Tuesday May 6th – Edinburgh – Carlisle
Day Two Wednesday May 7th Carlisle – Lancaster
Day Three Thursday May 8th – Lancaster – Liverpool
Day Four Friday May 9th – Liverpool – Birmingham
Day Five Saturday May 10th – Birmingham – Oxford
Day Six Sunday May 11th – Oxford – Wembley
Day Seven Monday May 12th – Wembley – Home