Category Archives: Tat

Another Life To Live Before You Die.

You’ve Got Another Life To Live

Somebody very close to me said something amazing over the weekend. It went a little bit like this:
“So, you’re about 40 now. So you have ANOTHER LIFE to live now before you die”.

Think about that for a minute. If you’re fortyish now, you should have another life to live before you die.

Another Life To Live Before You Die.

Another Life To Live Before You Die.

Let’s not talk about mortality, that’s not what this article is about. Of course you might fall under a bus tomorrow, or you might succumb to one of the many things that are out to get you. Let’s just assume that isn’t going to happen and that you’ll live to your allotted years.

What this means is that you owe it to yourself to live your life. I know people my age who have fought to get to where they are now, and are acting like it’s the beginning of the end. Slowing down. Watching their kids grow up and wondering what to do when they leave home. There’s a certain sadness about the future, a fear of the unknown. I’ve read that family breakdowns are very common once the kids have flown the nest and I’m not at all surprised. Family life is hard, it’s challenging and it takes a lot of effort. When the family dynamic changes most people will find that difficult.

So be ready. Be ready to live your Another Life. Make plans.

Adapt those plans: they’re YOUR plans.

Include the people you love the most, if you can. They’re the ones who really matter.

There’s a saying: “You only have one life. Live it.” Well, maybe at my age, I think it’s best to think that actually, we have two. I hope that your first life has been full of amazing memories.

Now make sure you live the second one, too.

Changes Afoot…

Keeping Up With Life

In an obvious “New Year, New Focus” type move, I’ve put some thought into how this website and blog has been used recently. It’s definitely a personal labour of love and a place to share my experiences. It’s also a staging post for the #12×100 Monthly Cycling Challenge. Those things are not in dispute.

But, recently I’ve been putting a lot more time into my Photography work. As a result, I’m rejigging the site to reflect this change. When you land on the main site, you’ll see the Photography page first from now on. Over time, the layout will change to a more “galleryesque” (that’s a real word: I invented it) view to showcase some of the things I’ve been doing.

You might also notice that I’m asking for enquiries about Photographic work. I’m serious: if you want photos taken, I just might be your man. I’m very reasonable and sometimes quite talented. Other people have said so.

So stick with me. I’m not going to force my photography down your throat. That would be uncomfortable and time-consuming for us both. Many things around here will stay the same. Cycling, camping, the outdoors, gadgets and diabetes will all still be discussed here. Hopefully the imagery will add to the site, not take away from it.

If you’re curious, have a quick look at my images on Flickr or 500px. Let me know what you think of them. Indeed, let me know how they could be better! Every day’s a school day.


Tell ’em Phill sent you 🙂

How To Engage People In Social Media Conversations

Seriously? Phill’s Giving Social Media Success Advice?

If you know me, you’ll know that I don’t take myself too seriously. I don’t take you too seriously either.

Get over it. I have. 🙂

So, How Do You Engage People In Social Media Conversations?

I’ve spent a few years growing up with social media. Facebook (shouty), Twitter (likened to a pub full of people, mostly interesting, some bonkers, some fake and you can easily drift around between conversations or just stand and watch), Google Plus (my favourite) and I’ve dabbled with a few of the others.

My experience, gained through the last few years of targeted, not-so-targeted and utterly random sharing of ideas, tells me what engages people more than anything else… so I’m going to give you the benefit of my experience. If you want to truly generate meaningful exchanges of invaluable information, maybe you’d better try another channel. If, however, you simply want to get people to respond to your thoughts, here’s what’s generated the best conversations for me:

 1. Biscuits.

Every time. Mention that you’re having a biscuit. Better still. Take a photo of it. BOOM! Responses. I’m telling you. Every time. Meaningful? Arguably not. Insightful? Not unless you’re a biscuit preference researcher. Fun? Yeah man.

Mmmmm Jammy Teacake

Mmmmm Jammy Teacake

Apparently a jammy teacake is 3 WeightWatchers points. Yes? And?

 2. Tattoos.

I’m not into tattoos. Saying this online almost always starts a discussion. Go figure. No, YOU go figure. I don’t care. But sometimes the discussions are pretty interesting.

3. Draw a picture of someone falling over / off a bike.

No really. I did this because I was having a sandwich, it was raining and I really needed a break from just looking at a computer screen. Then of course I posted it to a couple of social media sites. People LOVED it! Well, a bit.

I've Got This!

I’ve Got This!

I’m probably going to actually get a T-Shirt of my drawing made. Then I’ll post a picture of the T-Shirt to a couple of social media sites. Madness.

4. Take photos of bees having sex.

Not mine. But I saw it work for someone else. Apparently they don’t actually have sex, only the Queens procreate in the hive, but I bet they do it for fun and what the Queen doesn’t know won’t hurt her, am I right? I mean, who wants to collect pollen all day every day? Jees. Lighten up, bees. Live a little.

What Can You Do With This Amazing New Knowledge?

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for the silver bullet of social media success, you’ve come to the wrong place. I guess the main benefit you could draw from this article is the news that most people I connect with seem to use social media to provoke an interest in things which are a bit odd.

Scanning for news and views is great, but if you’re looking for responses, post something unusual which will make people stop and think, or else provoke a reaction with an opinion. Don’t forget though: people will dump you if you’re an idiot. I know I will. If you want to be liked, be likable.

So, give it a go. Tell ’em Phill sent you 🙂

The Bike Leasing Company

Why Should Anyone Invest In Somebody Else’s Bike Business?

That’s a good question.

To put money into anyone else’s idea, you first have to know what good is going to come of it – for you, not just for the business.

Sure, the business gets access to funds to help it grow, but what’s in it for the investor?

To put it bluntly, a successful small business is more likely to be bought up by a major player in the market. Successful niche companies have a habit of being bought by bigger companies, looking to increase their loyal customer base and share in the some of the good feeling that a great smaller business generates. The bigger business can usually offer customers a wider range of great products too, so everyone wins.

The best bit is that the bigger business, the one doing the buying, usually pays good money for the great smaller business which has grown through your investment…. So you make a profit, in return for helping the small business to become so attractive.

Crowd Funding? What’s That?

Crowd Funding is an awesome idea which probably wouldn’t have worked before the internet. It’s a way of making it possible for small investors to contribute to big plans. By reducing the costs of organising funding and increasing the ability of normal people to see where their investment will go, crowd funding allows people like you and me to share in the growth of great businesses.

The Bike Leasing Company

The Bike Leasing Company on

I got my bike from The Bike Leasing Company about 12 months ago. I should really publish a “year long review” piece here, but for now I’ll just say that the experience was painless and I got a lot of bike for not a lot of money. The Bike Leasing Company is now set for growth but needs investment, so they’ve turned to CrowdCube to see if the internet can make it happen.

On the right hand side of this page is a widget showing how the appeal is going, and by clicking the “Help Fund This Pitch” button you can see what freebies you get for your investment straight away – and don’t we all like something for nothing? But don’t forget, your investment isn’t only for a free t-shirt, or a free lease of a totally cool new bike…

It might help to get a lot more people riding cool bikes. It might also make you a handsome profit.

Tell the bank manager Phill sent you 😉

Wheels For Wellbeing – Need Your Support.

Last week, I helped a very good friend and had a great time at The Cycle Show, at the NEC in Birmingham.

Of course, there were lots of shiny bikes and bikey gadgets around and it was an absolute pleasure to be there, but one organisation made an impression on us, so I’m asking you (yes, you) to spend a few seconds giving them a little help.

Wheels For Wellbeing‘s simple strapline is “supporting disabled people to cycle” and that’s exactly what they do.

Wheels For Wellbeing - They need your vote.


Their manager Isabelle’s smiling face was all over the show throughout the four-day duration, chatting to all the exhibitors and most of the visitors. Her tireless enthusiasm is infectious and she’s doing a grand job with her team, helping people of all abilities to ride bikes…. Bikes, handbikes, electric bikes, assisted wheelchairs… whatever it takes to get people out in the fresh air enjoying cycling.

Wheels For Wellbeing have reached the final stage in the Best Sports Project category for National Lottery Good Causes, and you should vote for them. Just click the link on this page, pop your email address in the form and bask in the glory of a job well done.

They will win £2,000 in funding if they win the vote. More importantly, it will give them much-needed exposure and a platform to publicise inclusive cycling, not just in London where they’re based, but with a knock-on effect for similar organisations everywhere.

It’s that simple. Do it now.

Thanks. 🙂

To see more general information about Wheels For Wellbeing, visit their main site here.

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