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Archive for September, 2010

A lollipop man without a lollipop, is just a man

STOP!

On the Rednal Road by West Heath hospital there’s a lollipop man. A wizened, grumpy old sod who looks like Albert Steptoe. He wears a fluorescent yellow jacket and cap, both of which are at least two sizes too large for him. Almost every day as I approach he makes me stop to allow various mothers and kids to cross. I know he waits for me. I can see it in his eyes, shining red from beneath the peak of his cap. Waits until he sees me coming, then shoves out his stick.

At least he used to.

For some reason a pedestrian crossing was recently installed at his point of responsibility. Maybe it was just too dangerous when he wasn’t on duty. At school time he’s still there, though. They’ve just taken away his stick. Now he only has to press the button and wait for the lights to change, whereupon he escorts people across the road, with everyone concerned clearly feeling a bit daft.

I can understand that perhaps they don’t want to make the guy redundant. Not yet, anyway. And maybe they never will: there are loads of people in our neck of the woods who can’t operate a pedestrian crossing properly. Despite his miserable demeanour and quite obvious grudge against me and my 1998 Nissan Almera, I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for this bloke, in his oversized coat. I suspect that he may eventually be forced to retire due to RSI of the right index finger as a result of repeatedly pushing that button. No doubt suing Birmingham City Council for thousands.

My sympathy is only tempered by the fact that even without his stick, he still waits until he sees me coming to press his button. He’s just had to hone his timing a little.

MacRide Completed!

Yesterday I took part in MacRide 2010, a 25-mile charity ride for MacMillan Cancer Support around Stratford upon Avon. I completed the course in 1hr 53mins. Overall I think I raised around £300.

The weather was perfect, and I almost got lost only twice, which is pretty good for me.

If you’ve already made a donation via one of the websites or direct to me, thanks very much. If you’ve pledged money but have yet to send it, please do so as soon as possible so it can be passed on to the charity.

A map and stats (link on the left of the page) for my ride can be found here.

One week to MacRide

OK! Just one week to go until I take part in MacRide 2010 in Stratford upon Avon – a 25-mile ride to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Support.

If you’ve donated already, thank you very much – I’ve already exceeded my target of £250. If you haven’t donated but would like to support this cause please visit my JustGiving page: remember, it doesn’t have to be a lot – every penny helps!

I’ll post again after completing my ride next week.

Thanks!

Martin

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