SAVE the BBC

My silence on Social Media about political issues is slowly coming to an end and I’m cranking up the volume. For some months now I’ve been getting tired of the barrage of topics that people are taking  issue with and then re-posting or adding their un educational response.

I say un educational as I mean a lot of people jump on the headline and don’t bother to read into the story. Take fox-hunting – the bill was to bring the English law in line with the Scottish while I’m not for fox-hunting the act that was to be discussed wasn’t not to start allowing dogs to tear foxes apart as many FB campaigners would have you believe with their cute fox picture. I have many foxes in my back garden and they are anything but cute looking.  Take the constant campaigns  with the NHS and education and other topics. Yes the NHS need saving but at what cost… Should it continue to pay for everything, it never use to and was never designed for that purpose (It was a right to free health care) hence why we now have different trusts offering different care and drugs. I personally see no harm in having GPs like Dentists where we contribute, our society is all about those who can afford should pay well why don’t we.

Anyway those are different debates for different days. The main topic is the BBC. There has been talk about the Government and the BBC. I’m not sure of the In’s and Outs and here I am jumping on the band wagon without all the facts, but if the BBC was to go or have to change to just educate then that would be wrong. What is even worse is the objection by people on the fact they have to pay the BBC £160 a year for services they claim they don’t use. Meanwhile they will pay Virgin or SKY £40 a month for half the content. I don’t mean  what is broadcast I mean the value of the quality.

People know I am a big Radio 4 fan and love the comedy, I also love BBC4 and its educational shows, BBC with the news, and BBC2 with it comedy and social look on life, Radio 2 for Music, Radio 3 for.. whatever Radio 3 does. Now all that for £160 a year, that’s a bargain but wait you can watch it again, listen to it again get a great News website which also acts as a good source to gather information and research and then their twitter pages that keeps you up to date well now this is getting even better value. But wait there is more… You mean they contribute to Chanel 4; but C4 is commercial it funds itself doesn’t it like ITV, but ITV receives money from the BBC and what is that for… Oh for regional news and so does region radio stations. So let’s get this correct. Apart from region BBC stations the BBC also contributes to the cost of commercial region radio station and news programs on TV.

Yes that £160 goes a long way, but in no way does it fund the entire BBC – in fact the BBC does have a commercial arm – So why don’t they use that to run it and not send people to court for failure to pay the licence fee.Well they use that £160 to make shows like Eastenders, Faulty Towers, Dr Who which they then sell and pump the money back in to make the News, Question Time. Lets not forget the BBC is our national Broadcaster. They have a responsibility to broadcast the subjects that the Nation should have a right to view. Like Politics, opening of Parliament, Horse Guard Parade. Which Commercial operation is going to show that – The BBC should own the rights to Nation interests like World Cup, Olympics, The Ashes, Queens Birthday, Remembrance Sunday – and with the many they do but thanks to the money stealing prick of an Australian who out bids the BBC the national Broadcaster looses the rights to broadcast events that as a nation we should have the right to watch.

I will admit. The BBC needs to tighten their belts, I wouldn’t say they need to stop with the glamour shows and leave those to Commercial Telly as after all the founding Father of the Beeb said it was to Educate, Inform and Entertain. Anyone who thinks the BBC is a rip off or should change then I challenge you to not watch it or use the website or Iplayer or not listen to the radio or watch Chanel 4 or even use super fast broadband as the BBC funds that as well, as well as Freeview.

Yes the BBC needs to change but let them decide how. For now the BBC is the best Broadcaster there is and I know when I went to New Zealand I missed it a lot. But thanks to the Internet I was able to catch up with the Radio and the news and most of NZ TV was basically the BBC. The BBC world wide over is known for it quality and the institution it is. How many other Broadcasters have that much weight behind them… Other famous networks are famous for other reason like Fox, CNN.  Yes there should be an argument that people don’t watch it Live so don’t pay but use the catch up services but again different argument. The point remains, the BBC is a national treasure and without it the UK media would be a very different kettle of fish and its a world I don’t want to live in or even contemplate. So next time you complain about the Beeb just take a look at the work it does and where the funding goes and you tell me you could live without or you’d be happy to say goodbye to much of its entertainment.

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Down One Place at Number 2 (The Running Charts)

A Non-mover at #10 its the 5K a distance for anyone quick or slow.

Number 9 isn’t going anywhere its 10 Miles for when you want to let of steam but don’t have another 3 miles in the legs

Straight in at 8 its the 7 to 8 Miles – long enough to be tempo and not burn out, or useful if you want to extend that 10K if you have the energy or used as a long slow run with sections of speed.

Number 7 moves down five place partly because I’ve not done it for a while it’s the Marathon. A great distance and the training is the best bit.

Meaning number 6 has also slipped its the Half -or 13.1 miles, long enough to feel like you’ve ran and a distance you can keep the speed up.

So number five is Fartlek yet again not done this for a long time since I like to do it on a treadmill along with…

Non mover at number four Hill Sessions. Find a hill and run up and down, also great as you can mix up your routes with hills

Still clinging on at Number three where its been for 6 months is the 10K a distance that I can do at anytime at any speed – also my first major run.

Meaning number 2 has dropped from the top spot its Listening to Music. It somehow puts your mind of the task in question, but listen to the wrong tune and it throws your run out.

So back at number 1 is Just Running Yeah with no music or no set goal just a run and see where it takes you, add some hills if you wish, cut it short or extend it – but with no music allow your body to guide you.

Yes people last week I spoke about running with music again, this week I am still running with tunes, but todays run was so up and down with pace, what should have been enjoyable turned into a chore until I ripped out the headphones and just enjoyed the run for what it was.

The jury is still out on running with music as I feel that without it today the I’d have thrown in the towel after three miles. I am sure I will keep you informed.

Returning to my Roots.

This blog and let’s be honest has grown and travelled in several directions, a little like my running and that is where this blog was born. For some reason I felt that the internet needed another blog written by some one who wasn’t very good at writing telling the world about his exploits in the hope to one day cross a finish line in a 10K race allowing people a key hole look into the highs and lows of my 10K training and my discovery of running.

Well, to save you the hassle and bother of trawling through the archives I can confirm now that I did cross the finish line and my addiction to running was born. I carried on telling tales of my training, my injuries and of my running adventures and soon the blog snowballed into tales of work, dreams, walking and anything I felt there was to moan about.

Today I return to write about my running experiences. Its been almost a year since my last event and that happened to be in New Zealand. I have yet to get back into a full training session as work (What little there is) and my cycling has got in the way. Plus I have not felt I can enter… But now I am determined to train for a half and to get out there and start running regularly, however for some reason I have started to listen to music on my runs again and I feel this has been what was missing.

I always use to listen to music on runs, it would help me set my pace and some of my Personal Records have been thanks to my playlist, slow medium tempo songs to start me off which slowly build to faster dance or faster tempos – and using the same playlist for each race I would often race myself – I have to get to Stereophonic’s by mile 2 or I must have crossed the line before James comes on.

Now like most people I stopped listening to music because of the races I ran, many were on country roads or smaller events that were run on open roads as it wasn’t worth the cost or hassle to close roads so for safety headphones were banned. One of those very races was the Snowdon Marathon and so I started to train with no music to get use to it and you know what? I found I liked it. Didn’t at first, but I grew to enjoy it, being able to hear your surrounding and your body I found my running improved. I found I enjoyed running a lot more. I enjoyed races a lot more. I enjoyed not having that distraction of music and trying to fumble to skip a track or turn the volume up and off course hitting the accelerator because the beats were at 5 minute pacing.

But for some reason I decided the other night to slip on some headphones and listen to music on my 5K and while it was no quick run (one of my slowest as it was 25 minutes) it felt quick, the music distracted my mind from saying “you’re tired” “This hill is too steep” “Turn left it’ll take us home quicker” instead my head was telling me to turn right as they liked this one . So I tried it again today with a 10K and the same result. The music lifted me it carried me along.

While it was not super fast as I was still listening to my body in terms of pace, the music helped me to keep going and to zone off and be in the moment. Not sure how long it will last as when I ran with no music I felt in the moment but just recently running the same routes with the same scenery and not being able to push myself with times or distance as left me feeling deflated and adding music as some what for now   added a new sparkle into my running.

I’m still not 100% sold if I am a runner with or without music… But these last two runs have been very enjoyable with some musical accompaniment.

When did it Happen!?

I’m going to come out and say it. Whats so bloody special about Fathers Day and when did it get blown out of perspective. In my lifetime, Mothering Sunday has always been quite a big deal kind off up there with Birthdays and Christmas. A day (although I don’t) to celebrate and treat your mum. Fathers day has always seemed to be a cheap add on, a day dedicated to them so they don’t feel left out.

But as I scan my Facebook and Twitter Feeds, I find they are flooded with pictures of my friends dads and messages saying what a top bloke they are or were. What I fail to understand is why and how as it become a big occasion… It seems to be as big if not bigger than Mothering Sunday.

I once again have refused to spend the £2 on a card to say ‘Thanks Dad’ I have even failed to wish him a ‘Happy Fathers Day’ and because of that I have been shunned. Really! Why? Why suddenly do we have this big expectation of this non event? Why do we put so much (Money) effort and time into these pointless days and at the end of it what does a Hallmark card and a new golf ball or some gardening tools actually say. Call me cynical but it is all about money, every shop pushing adverts and promotions with gift sets and even if it’s not wrapped up in a box with “dad” packaging then supermarkets have got posters above the Scotch, Whiskey, Ale or razors informing of what a great gift they would make. Here dad, thanks for being there for me have a Bic.

Oh well rant over.

No News is Good News

No News is good News… Well I can tell you that it isn’t. What it is my friends is bloody annoying. No news often means a prolonged agonising wait to find out that you have failed or that maybe theres yet another sift to go through.

I’m sorry! Pardon! You’re lost? Oh… Right, I see… Maybe I should start from the beginning. Twenty Five days from today I would have been back on these shores for a year, a whole year since I came back from New Zealand – I should point out I was forced to return as my visa had expired and I didn’t want to risk deportation and ruin any chances of returning to that magical place I called home for a while. Never the less I landed in England with two objectives. The first was to get back to New Zealand and the way to do this was through a Bunac Visa, the second was to find a new career and get the god damn hell out of theatre.

Well the Bunac ship sailed and I wasn’t on it, the getting out of theatre is still very much work in progress but I think I may be there. I started applying for signalman roles with Network Rail and anyone in the railway will tell you recruitment like the trains take a long time, and the responses again like the trains are heavy delayed. After a year I have final landed a role (fingers crossed) This process for the role began 5 months ago (Along with other tests and assessments I’ve been invited to over 7 months)  and I still have not yet got the confirmation letter  although I was told by the line manager I was successful and he was sending relevant paper work to HR.

So as the saying goes, No News etc well, I can tell you handing in an application to have no news for two months and then an email to say its been moved on to the first test and then nothing for a moon cycle to be told you were successful but wait there’s another assessment and so it goes on starts to get you down. My good friend Kat has been there with the struggle and the process and when I got the call to say you’re in I think she may have been more relieved than I, partly as she won’t be receiving anymore ‘Whats happening’ ‘Why they not get in touch’ ‘My job profile status has changed, what you think it means’ messages, but also she understands what this means for me. However now I am back to waiting on HR… this time I know I have the job but need to receive the ‘Job Offer letter and pack’ and until I have that in my hand I am once again in limbo.

I’m like an animal, I can smell the blood of the kill I know it is close but it’s just out of reach. The exit from theatre is right in front of me yet I do not have the key to unlock it.  Believe me when I say posts on forums tell tales of people applying to putting on uniform taking over a year. So the wait is no way near over, the finish line is in sight… Just… it just happens to be obscured by several more obstacles, but as I look behind and see the ones I’ve already conquered the ones to come seem easy in comparison.

So now I move from checking my emails every day and job profile on the career site to waiting for the postman to bring that news, that Network Rail letter that contains my job offer and when it comes I’ll hold it high resembling Charlie and the Golden Ticket, for it will be my ticket out of a career I’ve fallen out of love with and onto something new and exciting with real career prospects.

So while No News is certainly not bad news, it is not good in any respect, just painful.

Going the Distance

So where has this come from…

Well the other week my mate and I embarked on a 100 mile ride, one of only two for me and for both of us the first for a considerable time out of the saddle. Around the 70-80 mile mark as our legs were on fire and our hearts were about to give up on the final hill a little thought popped into my head.

“If our fitness levels were that of Olympic or professional athletes then what discipline do you think you would do?”

What I meant by this is that if our fitness and ability were the top notch and were good enough to be representing Great Britain, as in it takes me and my mate 6 hours to do 100 miles, or riding on the flat at an average speed of 21 mph then in this scenario those times and speeds would be considered the doings of athletes, not just your average 30 somethings dressing in lycra putting the worlds to rights on a Sunday jolly. So basically if our times and speeds were the benchmark then what areas would we compete in. My mate is all about speed and trying like so many to get the KOM (King of the Mountain) on Strava for his segments on the ride home, for me its about distance. I love a quick 5K, but I prefer a nice long hours run.

Now by no means are my mate and I ever going to be considered professional athletes, I have dreamt of beating Mo Faharh in a race, but in this world I have created then the World Record for the 10,000 would be 39:56 something very close to my own PB. But in this world our times and ability are that of elites and we’re about to be called up to represent Team GB.

So what did we decided? Well for me its all about the distance, at 80 miles even tho I wanted to throw in the towel and just phone a taxi my body still had enough petrol in the tank to get me home, all I had to do was switch of my brain… Your body can do fantastic achievements and can survive and power through, your brain however wants to protect you and prevent damage or injury so starts to lecture you until you stop. through my three marathons and training for them, even my 10K’s where I went out way to fast in 25 degree heat I have learnt to push through and complete my goal.

So for me it would be endurance, long distance. I’m quick, but I’m talking quick for like 300-400 meters on the bike, and even with my running I prefer the longer routes, the longer races. I love the Half Marathon, its long enough to feel I have done something but yet I can run it quick enough to push myself. I love my long runs, 8, 10, 12 miles just running where my feet take me.

So if we did live in my world where slightly beer gutted men who ate pizza before and after a race were representing us in the Brazilian Olympics, then I’d be lining up for the Marathon start line hoping to take the WR of 3:22:34 while my mate will be in the team time trail on the bike.

Limbo

Get a job!

While no one has said that to me apart from a friend, I am still surprised that my parents are not chanting those very words outside my door at 8am. It has now been well over a six months and while I know I want out of the theatre industry and have almost completed that move by turning down work and people getting the hint not to phone any more the true fact remains that I do not have a career or a role to jump into.

I have a dream of working for Air Traffic Control. Almost succeeded apart from the final online test. The Rails, Airside, Teaching, The Outdoors.

Now I am trying, I’ve sent out my C.V and have applied for several positions but the way I see it is simple, why get a filler job. A job like bar work or supermarket work when it’s not what I want to do. I don’t after all want to be stuck there as that’s not my career and at the moment I am living on ‘Mum and Dad’. If I wanted to work as a check out person or store manager then sure that would be the answer. But the other fact is why start a job when I might have to write a letter to the manager to say I’m leaving as I need to start training for a new job.

I should also make clear that unlike my sister who is paying or contributing has not left home and is quite a bit older than I. Also my brother returned from Uni and lived in the house for a good number of months if not years. I went to uni and found my independence and only returned after the plane touched down back in Manchester, so as a spoilt younger child I am now using my unspent time at the nest up now.

Those jobs I speak off have a very long recruitment process. Some have been going on for four weeks now and I have completed the online tests and am waiting to hear if they want me to interview, all I can do is keep applying for other roles and other jobs in the area I want to work every one of them with this prolonged recruitment process. So while I sit at home, bored, being fed and watered I’m stuck in Limbo. Do I go out a get a part-time role only to give it up after a week, or maybe get promoted after a month to full-time hours and slowly stop applying for these other roles as I get stuck in a dead-end job (dead-end for me).

So as I write this I have just received two emails to say I am through to the next round and they’ll  be in touch shortly, Shortly was how long they would be in contact last time and that happened to be four weeks ago.

Oh well could be worse. I could be stuck in purgatory