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I need to go back there.

Originally posted on Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don't forget to breathe:

The laws of the Jungle are tough ~ Kill or be killed.

AMAZON GREEN TOURS and I, invite you on a wild journey…

…deep into The Amazon  Jungle and into the hearts of native people, who are the true owners and protectors of this wilderness…

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So, where was I? Oh yes, I was [in a perverse way] about to declare my undying love for my new Ford Granada Scorpio! Thinking back, I wish I had taken / kept photographs of her. She was indeed a thing of beauty (in an ugly sort of way being based as it was on an enlarged Sierra) with all sorts of of added extras such as electric seat adjust (up, down, forward, backwards and even tilt). Even the back seats had electric recliners! Ah, I do miss her. Mind you, I miss the XR4 as well, She just went like S@*t off a shovel. :-) Maybe I’ll tell about the time when the police in their XR4x4 stopped my in my XR4 and then spent half an hour comparing notes on our cars; or even the time I forced a Police Volvo off the road. The Police and I seemed to be common acquaintances :-( but I never got into trouble(!) thank goodness. :-) These are all true by the way…. But things were about to change………

Back to the story.

Scorpio and I (I just realised, Scorpio is also my star-sign!) continued along the M4, A419, A417 (eventually reaching the Air Balloon Pub roundabout before dropping down into Gloucester and eventually my place of learning for the next 5-days.

My first day in class was a relatively painless one spent mainly getting to know each other, working out who was going to be the swot at the front and who was going to be disruptive one at the back. I was neither: I just sat an acceptable distance away where I could observe both teacher and students. Now, if I remember rightly, this was the course (I went on many in the 90’s) for Operational Supervisors, of which I had been one for some time! and this course was going to involve much role-play. Good-oh, I like role play.

Come the end of the first day, we all checked into our rooms, tidied ourselves up and arranged to meet down in the bar for drinks and dinner. The dinner was secondary, the drinks were primary. That first night was a late night and the following morning was an early morning with an early breakfast of pain-killers and of course a fry-up. And then, much coffee consumed, we all headed back to class.

Day 2 was to be Principles of Supervision, it was also to be the day my spinning head was to spin more than it’s ever spun before: During the mid-morning coffee break, I was passed a message to call my wife urgently, like now. Now all us men know that when your wife says now, she really does mean now, so I had my coffee, a sticky bun, another coffee then I went back to the class acknowledging that I must phone her at lunchtime, which of course I did.

The Awakening

“Where are you” comes the demanding question over the phone: “I’m in Gloucester of course, on a course, why”.  ‘Well”, she says, the Police came around this morning to arrest you” my head reeled then my head laughed. “oh really, what have I done then?” I asked. “I don’t know” she said, “But they need to talk to you about an incident that took place on the M4, a very serious incident” – “Cripes” I thought, “What have I done?” I ask myself. “You [must] phone Newbury Police Station as soon as you can”. This last sentence was delivered with such insistence and urgency that I knew instinctively that I must phone the Newbury Police Station as soon as I can. So I did, there and then.

Just What Did I Do?

I phoned the Newbury Police Station, introduced myself and asked why they wanted to talk to me so urgently and why they had felt the need to attack my home so early that very morning. Naturally, they wouldn’t say. All they would say is that they wanted to speak to me with regard to a very serious incident that took place yesterday morning from which my car was seen leaving rather quickly. They asked if I could come to the station right away. Naturally, I said NO. I was on a course all week and wasn’t expected to finish before Friday Lunchtime. I could if they really insisted on it, call in on Friday on the way home. There was a long pause, and then some muttering, then they came back and said ok. But if I failed to arrive, they would arrest me and bring me in.

So, The Police want to speak me urgently about a Very Serious Incident (from which I had made a quick getaway in my Scorpio), so serious that they sent cars and vans to arrest me, but settled for me phoning them. As soon as I phoned them, half a day later, they wanted to me to come to the station immediately, but they settled for four-days later on Friday.  Whatever it was I’d done, it was clearly very bad but not too bad, so clearly I hadn’t killed anybody. I reached back into my memory banks. I tried to retrace my journey to Gloucester. Had I run any red lights? None that I knew of. Had I seen any accidents around or behind me (that I might have caused)? None that I knew of. Had I felt any untoward bumps, such as running somebody over? None that I knew off, though the Scorpio was a pretty solid car, so I was left with nagging doubts on that one. I could think of nothing else. That must be it, I thought, I’ve knocked somebody over. But, having, subsequently, checked over my car, I could find no such evidence. All I could do was finish the course and head home, via Newbury Police Station, which was, as luck would have it, en-route. Tales of role play can wait for another day.

The Arrest!

I walk into the Police Station and introduced myself. They thanked me for calling in, all very politely and asked me to accompany one of the officers to an interview room. It was here that I found out the extent of my supposed wrong-doing. It would appear that at the time I was in Membury Services, an Asian family had been mocked, ridiculed and then attacked leaving one of the family in need of medical attention. The perpetrators of this incident were two men, one of which matched my description, who was also described as wearing a blue and white jumper. Shortly after the event, a witness noted that my car left the services extremely quickly as if trying to get away from something. This was why why they wanted to speak to me. But, they did give me a let out clause. As already mentioned, the perpetrator who matched my description was wearing a blue and white jumper. If they could search my luggage and found no such garment then it was likely that the meeting would be brought to a swift conclusion. I gave them my keys, with a sudden realisation that in amongst all my, now smelly, clothes was indeed a blue and white jumper. Somehow, I knew I wasn’t going home early.

Predictably, the office came back and with a stern face revealed the jumper. That was that, I was immediately arrested in connection with an assault on an Asian Family and possible ABH or even GBH against the family member requiring medical attention.

The Interview

Following my arrest, I was allowed to make the one customary phone call, to my wife. I told her I had been charged with GBH: the snotty desk sergeant quickly corrected me to say that I had only been arrested, not charged. “I couldn’t give a f@*k” I said, ‘It’s all the same to me”. Actually, they are very different but having never been in such a situation before I felt pretty frightened, so arrested or charged made no difference to me. I was looking at time behind bars, and I didn’t like it.

Following my ‘arrest’ and ‘phone call’ I was taken into a proper interview room with recording equipment and everything. The officer then started to question me. Why was I at Membury Services? Why did I leave so quickly? who was my Accomplice?  Why did I take so long to come to the station? What is my problem with Asians? How many more of those cigarettes are you going to smoke? (as many as I feel like, I replied, with venom). And so the questions went on. “you know, he said, “if you told us who you accomplice was, it make things easier for you”. I racked my brains. Why was I racking my brains. I had no accomplice. But still I racked my brains. Jesus, I think to myself, maybe I did do it but I’m damned if I remember it. The questions continued: What is my job? Who do I work for? What was my car like, it sounds very nice? What are my hobbies? They were trying to be nice and buddy up but I knew their game. They weren’t getting me that easy. My answer with monosyllabic, although there were a few, actually a lot, of expletives. Try as they might however, I couldn’t give them what they wanted. I explained my rapid departure, hence their interest in my ‘nice’ car. I explained how a large number of my work colleagues were Asian. I explained how I didn’t even see or hear of the event until this day. I explained what a bunch of twerps they were. Actually, I didn’t use the word Twerps, but you get the gist.


Eventually after 4-hours and 20 Benson and Hedges, they conceded that were going to get nothing from me that evening and they had no substantial evidence with which to detain me any longer. So with that they were to let me go, but on bail. I was to return to Newbury Police Station at a date & time to be advised for further questioning and to attend an identity parade which would be attended by the five family members, one at a time. I was put on notice that if I failed to return, I would be arrested and brought back and it wouldn’t look good for my defence.

I walked out of the Police Station into a now cold, dark, misty night with my luggage, minus my blue and white jumper, clutching copies of my arrest papers and climbed into my nice Ford Granada Scorpio. I sat there bemused and dazed, and even frightened. I fired up the V6, put on the heater, switched on the heated seat, open up another pack of Benson and Hedges and drew on the first fag, finishing it in almost one draw. I sat, gathered my thoughts, composed myself, lit up a second fag, and eased the car out of the station car park and set course for home.

Come back next week for part 3…..The Identity Farce Parade



Facebook Compromised

Posted: July 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

Please note that some person, I have other names for such person, has compromised my facebook account. Unless future updates are via this route, please treat them with suspicion.

I may close the account.

Clearly, the World Cup isn’t over. They haven’t even finished the first round, but England is already out of the tournament with one more [seemingly pointless] game to play. As I understand it, this is the first time England has been knocked out of the World Cup this early since 1958 (ish). As always, the media big up (to excess) the chances of our national team getting through to the semi-final or even the final and maybe, just maybe, winning the tournament. Once again, the media, having placed all the players at the top of the highest pillar they can find will no doubt be looking to knock them off. So, why are we, England, out of the World Cup so early? Is because the team were rubbish? is it because individual players were rubbish? No: quite simply, it’s because the other players, on the occasion were better. That’s the way it is and we should deal with it.

The one shining light of course, at least from my perspective, is the imminent arrival of the Tour De France, starting, once more, in England: The last time was London 2007. This time, it starts (The Grand Départe) from Leeds in Yorkshire and over three days will make its way to London via Harrogate, York, Sheffield and Cambridge. From there it will return to its Mother Country to follow a clockwise route around France before finishing in Paris.

Some say, and I am one such person, that Cycling, and in particular, the Grand Tours, has to be one of the, if not ‘The’, toughest sporting event out there. Day in, day out, each rider cycles 100+ kilometres for up to 3-weeks, including some of the toughest climbs in the Alps and the Pyrenees.

With Bradley Wiggins wining the Tour de France in 2012 and and Chris Froome winning the same in 2103, and not forgetting of course Mark Cavendish winning the Green Jersey in 2011, even winning the final stage, in Paris, over 4-consecutive year, we can proudly say that we are a force to reckon with in the world of cycling. And, at last, the media are now giving increasing air time / page space to the sport. This is great stuff for me.

For those that don’t know, I love cycling. I was even lucky enough to have been part of the Paris to Hayling Cycle ride that clashed with the Tour in Rouen and was even luckier to be in the same hotel as Team Mapei and Deutsche Telekom in 2002. I’ve had my own cycling epics such as two 1000 mile rides: Bilbao to home via Paris, and Montpellier to home, again, via Paris (the latter being just 5-months after coming off my bike and breaking my arm, dislocating my shoulder and splitting my knee down to the cap). I’ve cycle the Pyrenees, I’ve cycled the Ventoux. I’ve had more bikes than I should probably admit, I’ve wrecked many as well. So yes, I do love cycling but right now, I’m sad :-(

Sad #1

My health is preventing me from cycling (lungs 47% effective) and me fear is that it will stop me altogether and as I’m writing this, the sun is suing and there’s hardly a breath of wind and I have a Giant, A De Rosa and a Colnago desperate to be ridden but my lungs won’t allow me and I fear that soon they will prevent me altogether. So, to stave off  such a happening, I’ve set myself two personal challenges.

  1. to cycle from Ligueil (south of the Loire Valley) to home, in September, and for as many after as possible,  and;
  2. to do the London to Brighton bike ride in 2015, at least.

Sad #2

With the increasing level of interest being levelled at our cyclist, I’m concerned that they [the media] will start to do what they already do to footballers and tennis players, to our riders: that is to build them up, place them on a plinth only to knock knock down again, almost with glee, if they fail to meet the expectations of said press.

Britain has the most amazing cyclists at the moment and with every reason to believe that more are on their way. You only have to drive out in the evenings and at weekends to see the increasing number of young cyclist, male and female, that are out there and enjoying the freedom that cycling brings and hopefully, laying the foundations for a glittering cycling career.

So, my hope for the future is that the media support our athletes, even footballers, not just in our hopes for their success but also in those inevitable times when perhaps they aren’t quite as successful as we’d hoped.

I hope for success in the Tour. It would be great to win another jersey. I hope I continue to cycle. And I hope the media contain themselves. But most of all, I hope I prove I can still cycle so that I can get a Colnago C60, a fitting tribute to my 60th year. Equally, I hope on hope that somebody is able to offer me, to buy of course, a Colnago Spider PRAL Frame / bike, purleeeeeeease.

Go Podge, Go

1614 to go

Colnago C60

Posted: May 25, 2014 in Cycling, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I have always maintained that sometime during 2014, Ernesto Colnago would make me a happy man and announce a new bike for my 60th Year. Well, guess what, Mr Colnago and co didn’t let me down. Their latest thoroughbred from the Colnago Stable is the Colnago C60. I do believe that the C stands for Codge (my alter ego*) and of course 60 stands for my age.

Anybody looking at me new Colnago C60 will recognise immediately that this is a bike of beauty:made by the most talented craftsmen & craftswomen in the cycling industry . This bike is built to deliver on its promise. Its promise is to take the rider to the highest high, to glide across all but the roughest of terrains, to accelerate with ease, to corner as if on rails. This latest addition to the Colnago collection  has to be the crème de la crème.

So, what of the new C60 aka Codge @ 60? The most striking and welcome change is the return to the use of star shaped tubing so analogous to the Colnago I love and, similar to my old trusty Colnago Geo Dream; otherwise know as my Bling Bike.

Also, anybody looking at my new Colnago C60 will also be somebody from the future as I haven’t yet got one :-(, but be assured, I will. Until then, I’ll have to make do with Geo. :-)

By the way, I’m still looking for an old Colnago Spider Web Frame:

Go Podge, Go

1641 to go…

* My alter Ego’s: – Podge, the Fat One – Codge, the Old One.