Author Archives: Phill

Sodding Diabetes

I don’t blog about my diabetes much. It’s as much part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth; washing my hair; making bad jokes.

This morning, however, before trudging into the snow to defrost the car and get to work I failed to notice that my phial of daytime insulin (Novorapid) was almost empty.

As a result, I’ve just had 4 units of Novorapid instead of the usual 14 I take to counteract the sugars my body will make from my lunch. I’m only a little bloke but I metabolise fast so I’m lucky enough to be able to eat like it’s going out of fashion.

But … today, I’ll be getting through to teatime with only one slice of bread, some (carbohydrate-free) cheese and ham and nowt else inside me. The rest of my scrummy goodies will be going back home uneaten.

Within an hour my stomach will feel like my throat’s been cut.

Bloody Diabetes, grrrrr.

On 4 Units Of Insulin? Nope!

Curse you, diabetes! 🙁

Knypersley Pool Walk

On New Year’s Eve 2009 (is that really only 7 days ago?) we drove down to my brother’s and spent the afternoon walking around Knypersley Pool.

The Pool was designed by Thomas Telford and opened in 1827. Now it’s owned by British Waterways and used as an angling lake.  It’s also a haven for people from South Cheshire and North Staffordshire in need of a stroll.  My brother and I both consider angling to be a way of wasting an afternoon, so we took the families for a walk on the paths that surround the reservoir.

It was a very frosty day so we wrapped up well before setting off.  The cold weather made for some excellent photo-opportunities and I’d recommend taking a camera of you’re thinking of spending some time there.  I’d also implore you to take a flask and something to nibble on: there was no evidence of any refreshments available when we went, although I’m told that on better days it’s possible to find something to eat and drink.

As you can see, I attempted to make my own piece of Land Art in the style of Richard Shilling – do you think it worked?

If you fancy a pleasant afternoon strolling around a beautiful reservoir that’s less than an hour’s drive from Manchester, I can highly recommend this place.  But cyclists beware, bikes aren’t allowed on the paths.  I found the cycling ban baffling at first, but thinking about it: I assume that it’s at the behest of the anglers who have made it possible to keep this place open to the public.

Tell ‘em Phill sent you.  I’ve attached the map so you can zoom out and find it.

View Knypersley Pool in a larger map

Bikes For Girlies – A Review

Before Christmas I posted an article about Bikes For Girlies, in which I highlighted the two machines that I’d asked Santa to sort out for our ladies. Well, here’s the verdict:

Happy Christmas Customers!

Happy Christmas Customers!


Both bikes arrived flat-packed, which is sometimes a cause for consternation. No need to worry though: both were very easy to put together.  The Bumper Sparkle is the most complicated of the pair, with extra girly attachments like a storage box over the back wheel; bag on the handlebars; mudguards and so on.  Even so, it was road-ready in about 45 minutes.

The Falcon Cherry as an altogether simpler proposition.  Stripped down and designed to look fast & mean, this one was all sorted in  easily less than half an hour.

Don’t think that you get the tools you need though: you don’t.  You’ll need a couple of screwdrivers; pliers and an adjustable spanner; allen key and a little bit of grunt to assemble these bikes and to make final adjustments to the brakes etc.  If you already have a bike and some tools, you won’t need anything new.


One reader expressed a concern over the weight of these steelies.  But I’m glad to say that the absence of suspension (unneccessary on bikes so small?) makes them both very manageable.  I dont expect any issues loading them both onto our Witter cycle carrier – along with our other 3 steeds – when the weather improves.


Both of these 18″ wheeled bikes are strong, well-built units, which I expect to see the girls through the 2 years or so that they’ll fit them.  Then, as I usually do, I’ll wash them and donate them to some other child to spread the joy – it’s like my own personal FreeCycle scheme and I love to see the face of a local bikeless kid light up, moments before their first serious crash sends them crying and running for home! 🙂


At less than £200 for the pair, delivered from in Pemberton, I’m very happy with my choice.  The girls are too.  I used these people after a colleague recommended them, and I’d happily add to his praise.

Tell ’em Phill sent you.

Book Review: This Mitchell & Webb Book

This Christmas I was on the Good List again (don’t ask me how) and one of the gifts Santa Brought me was This Mitchell & Webb Book.

This Mitchell & Webb Book

This Mitchell & Webb Book

It’s a heavy tome and I was expecting it to provide accompaniment to my private times (ahem, I keep my books in the en-suite smallest room) for a few weeks. Here’s my first and biggest problem with the book… after a few interesting and funny pages, the book descends into an over-designed, overly-padded comedy book.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love comedy. I also love pictures and appreciate good design. I even love comic strip-type work and in my younger days I dabbled with it myself.  If anyone has a copy of my old student mag, it’s probably worth … oooh, several pennies now.

 But… when I’m presented with a hardcover book I expect it to last me more than 6 days of visits to the loo.  This book has some really funny comedy moments including the poster above, which made me chuckle for hours – I’m thinking of putting it on the notice board at work.  However, the last book I found so disjointed was something to do with The Young Ones when I was about 14.

Mitchell & Webb are funny. I love their radio stuff; their TV work’s entertaining and even their appearances on umpteen panel shows are amusing enough – I just feel that this book was thrown together under a contractual agreement involving a decent advance payment and a tight deadline to make sure it was ready in time for the pre-Christmas market.

Saying that, it’s not bad. Borrow a copy from a friend. Borrow mine if you want. It’s good enough for me to tell you that I want it back, but not so good that I’d demand that you buy your own. You can though, here:

Tell ‘em Phill sent you.

p.s. you can follow David Mitchell on twitter: @RealDMitchell – and read more from both of the chaps on MySpace.

Because You Have Lived.

To laugh often and much.
To win the respect of intelligent people, and
the affection of children.

To earn the appreciation of honest critics.
To appreciate beauty.
To find the best in others.

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
or a garden patch.

To know even one life has breathed easier because you
have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

God Bless x x

The announcement and chosen reading, Ecclesiastes 3

This self-indulgent post isn’t typical of my input, but it’s necessary and it’s heartfelt. God Bless x x x

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