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Keeping busy

Posted by on 20/11/2013

You may be wondering what I’ve been doing with my time over the last two months since I left my job?

Well, apart from setting up and editing this website, doing all the stuff that I’ve already blogged about, mapping the cycle route, researching info about Brazil, booking my flights, buying my bike/panniers/other kit, running my mini PR campaign, speaking to letting agents about getting a tenant for my flat while I’m away, and generally keeping fit (have been seeing a physio to get my slightly dodgy left knee strengthened up), I’ve also managed to do a few other worthwhile things…

  • Last week I volunteered with Wrap Up London and spent four mornings 7-11am at London Bridge tube station promoting and then collecting coat donations for needy Londoners.  The campaign took place at 11 stations across central London with a target of collecting 10,000 coats (compared to 8,500 last year) and thanks to a lot of hard work and of course people’s generosity we smashed it and the estimated total (they’re still being sorted/counted) is nearly 14,000!!!


  • Also during last week I decided to show my solidarity to the Mo Bro’s doing Movember and got my fuzzy beard sculpted into a fine tache at the Gillette pop up barbers in Covent Garden.  I then sponsored myself £25 to unlock the Byron Burger reward and had myself a free burger 4 nights in a row, yum.  Please sponsor guys who are doing Movember properly!

2013-11-12 12.08.14

  • At the weekend I went to the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington with Denners HQ on Fri and Sat evenings to attend two events at the Explore conference.  The highlight was the world premiere of the film Into The Empty Quarter (<- check out the trailer) followed by a Q&A with the two adventurers, who are both very humble despite their amazing achievements.  It was also great hanging out in the ‘bar’ afterwards surrounded by other inspiring people stood beneath paintings of past legends such as Captain Cook and Sir Henry Morton Stanley (who also had a splendid tache) and maps from centuries ago with Australia and Western USA missing since no-one had discovered them yet!
  • Yesterday I volunteered to help out at Wembley Stadium with setting up Raise The Flag (when the crowd hold up coloured cards during the national anthem to create the Cross of St George) before the England v Germany match.  We spent all afternoon sweeping around the lower tier putting ‘clappers’ on every seat (apart from ze German section).  Was pretty hard work but great to see behind the scenes at Wembley, including Sir Geoff Hurst being filmed for tv, and meet some other England fans.  Just a shame we lost the match, but I’m still confident England will get through the group stage and second round at the World Cup!

Wembley selfie

Woy singing

  • I’m still looking for more volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months before I head to Brazil, so let me know if you have any suggestions.  One thing already sorted is that I’ll be helping Crisis at Christmas by working in their logistics hub in Bermondsey so that food and supplies get to the homeless shelters where they’re needed.

Update 26/11/13:

  • Today I cycled to Dagenham to join up with some Sustrans Active Travel Champions to help prepare for Bridging the Beam – basically a group of us hacking through long grass and brambles with shears and rakes (plus I particularly enjoyed using the scythe!) to clear the river bank prior to construction of a new pedestrian & cycle bridge early next year.  We did it now in order to discourage wildlife from nesting/hibernating in this area over the winter.

Sustrans volunteers

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