Bikes = Smiles

There is an advert that used to be on TV where a guy gets up and goes down a giant water slide every day to get to work and other people join him like it is a normal but fun way to commute every morning.

That is how I feel about riding a motorbike into work. Even better when I have Guns N Roses’ Appetite for Destruction blaring in my ears. One twist of the wrist and I pass 10 cars, Porsches, Jaguars, Range Rover Sports, what’s the point in looking fast and having big engines if you are stuck in traffic? I can feel their eyes burning into my back as I pass and I think to myself ‘why don’t more people do this?’ 

I know the police call bikers ‘organ donors’ and the risks are greater than in a car. BUT, the experience riding a bike is soooo good and providing you don’t take silly risks and assume every car may do something stupid, you’ll be ok. 

It makes getting to work and heading home later a roller coaster ride every day. It never fails to put a smile on my face. I am hooked on speed, I can’t help it and to be getting a ‘hit’ every week day is brilliant.

So if you drive cars and have been mulling over learning to ride a bike –  DO IT! You wont regret it.

This blog is for UNICEF. Thanks for reading. 

Inappropriate wedding music

My apologies I have missed two blog posts. I have been otherwise engaged with a job application and the subject of today’s blog, wedding music.

My wonderful dad is getting married this valentine’s day to a lady I have called Stepmum for years as they have been together for years and it was easier to assume marriage and call her my stepmum. So my Dad decided to make an honest woman of her (finally) and after proposing to her on the beach at Galway Bay, Ireland (he got down on one knee bless him), they made plans for the big wedding. My three year old son will be page boy, my daughter a bridesmaid and my husband the best man.

So while my husband plans his speech, I ticked off one big thing my dad had tasked me with – uploading the music to my phone for the ceremony.

My Dad is a big tease. He has teased me all my life. In fact, he has gone out of his way to make me squirm and wind me up (I take this as an endearing quality of his). For example, when I was 6 I had to perform a prominent role in a school play. He made sure he got a front row seat and then proceeded to pull faces at me through the entire performance to put me off my lines.

So, when he assigned me the task of downloading the music, I was extremely tempted to come up with an alternative playlist. In fact if my husband hadnt stopped me, I probably would have done.

I was particularly keen on interrupting Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, used at the Royal Wedding with Guns N Roses’ ‘U could be mine’. Heavy metal guitar followed by the lines, ‘I’m a cold heartbreaker, fit to burn and I’ll rip your heart in two and I’ll leave you lying on the bed’. ….Great way to start married life..

I’ll think it….but I won’t do it…..promise…..but if someone donates money to Unicef, I can be convinced…

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Finding the source of inspiration

Tonight I am mourning the end of the 2013 British Bake Off and elated that Frances won. My friend who is built like a brick shit house and works for public order in the Met in Brixton, said that he and his fellow coppers have been hooked on the series and at every break they are discussing who made the best pie or cake – brilliant! As a result my colossal friend makes a mean cheesecake.

Nothing compares to seeing how the professionals do it, admiring their talent and attempting to emulate them. When I was a groom for a pro dressage rider, I learnt more about riding style and position just by being on the ground watching the pros work their horses in every morning. The brain absorbs what it sees and then holds that vision as an example to follow.

That is why You Tube is such a good tool. My daughter was practicing her guitar earlier going through 3 notes over and over again. The sound was improving but I felt she needed a glimpse of what could be achieved to keep her motivated. So I brought up acoustic versions of Hotel California by The Eagles, Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses, My Little Empire by Manic Street Preachers and Rope by Foo Fighters. I asked her if she just wanted to watch the guitar intros but pretty soon she was hooked. More importantly it showed that an amazing guitar riff on an electrical guitar can sound just as good acoustically and is achievable.

Likewise budding race drivers benefit from watching the on-board cameras of the F1 greats, noting how smooth their driving style is to get maximum results.

So if there is something you want to master, check out how the pros do it.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. I would love it if a fellow blogger could sponsor me.

Thanks for reading.

Riding the past

This morning I unwittingly gave way on the road to a friend I haven’t seen since I was 16. She was coming out of the petrol garage and I was in the queue of traffic coming past. I stopped to let her past and she had to wait before coming out because of the traffic coming from the other direction. This gave me time to study her face to confirm my initial reaction, “I know that person”. Seeing her instantly brought back memories of long hacks in the countryside wearing our Guns N Roses t-shirts, black jodhpurs and swigging cans of cider because we could get away with it when away from the parents. We weren’t the posh type of horse-riders, to us they were the animal equivalent of motorbikes giving us freedom to explore and get away from the control of adults. But we loved the ponies we rode and enjoyed pampering them and doing their stables just s much as riding them.

My passion for horses as never diminished s the years have gone by, neither has my enjoyment of G N R tracks. Seeing her again after all these years reminded me of my “coming of age” and how long ago that was. I wasn’t sure whether she recognised me and as I drove off I found myself wondering what she is doing now. She looked to me like she was still involved with horses. I believe it is possible for a person to look horsey and she certainly did.

As I carried on driving to work, I drove past the remains of my old school, which has now been torn down to the ground to make way for new houses.

I got the weird feeling that time had suddenly passed by yet in my head it was only a year ago that I was at school and messing around with horses and music in my spare time.

I hope to bump into my old friend again to reminisce but I wonder whether that is such a good idea – some things are best preserved as memories,

I am blogging every day for Unicef and eagerly await another donation from a kind blogger – go to my page on Unicef’s site if you can support the campaign.

Thanks for reading.

Coming of Age music in the nineties

Just watching T in the Park and The Killers with adoring teens gazing up at the stage, no doubt feeling anything is possible flanked by friends, music and alcohol. It doesn’t matter who you are and where you come from everyone has a song that they link with ‘coming of age’.

For me, a teen in the nineties, there are many contenders. Guns n Roses was certainly an influence in my younger teens, particularly ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’; ‘November Rain’ and ‘Paradise City’. Manic Street Preachers and ‘My Little Empire’ (I am drawn by good guitar intros); (I’ve had to interrupt this list in disbelief that The Killers are doing a version of Tiffany’s ‘I think we’re alone now’ – I am confused that the crowd know the lyrics…has this been re-released? It was Number One when I was 8…..)

Anyway, back to the list. The Bluetones, Blur (not as keen on Oasis); Alanis Morisette; Roni Size;Armand Van Helden; Tina Moore (Never Gonna Let You Go) …mixing up musical genres quite a lot here. I liked Rock music AND Garage. Nirvana is of course there, so is Greenday and Foo Fighters. I also liked Courtney Love’s Hole Album and ‘Doll Parts’. Travis has got to be there and some Metallica. The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Jamiroquai are all in the top 5.

But If I had to be pick just one to sum up my feelings at the peak of my teens it has to be Skunk Anansie and Hedonism..‘Just because you feel good doesn’t make you right’ genius lyrics.

I am blogging every day for Unicef. Check out my page on Unicef’s site to find out my fundraising goal.

Thanks for reading.