What is Green?

I was just reading a post on the Best Western blog site about being green in hotels.

In actual fact I was looking for this post which features a mate’s dog: http://www.bestwestern.co.uk/blog/uncategorized/lifes-a-beach-if-youre-a-dog, but I was drawn to the green post.

It set me off thinning whether a hotel can ever hope to be truly green. After all they have to wash everything that is touched by a guest when that guest leaves, whether the person has used it or not, and whether they have slept in the sheets, dried in the towel, or whatever once, or just a few times. Even my mum who is obsessed with household cleanliness only washes our bedding every week.

Then there’s the fact that the rooms are heated whether there is someone in them or not (and in the case of the Travelodge that I most often stay in when I’m out and about, whenever you get there the lights are on in the rooms too.

All that said that is not a reason why hotels should give up trying.

Even if stuff like excessive washing is inevitable, cutting down makes an improvement. Turning lights off is the easiest thing to do. And maybe just accept that guests will arrive to a cold room – if the heating system is good it won’t take long to get something up to temperature anyway.

Green cars are an interesting topic too – I think I’ll save them for another day. It’s a whole subject and worth consideration and study.

Travelling light

Travelling should be fun, something to look forward to and relish in the act. There’s an old adage that I can’t remember about the journey being as important as getting there.

But the trouble is that reality just doesn’t deliver.

The travel experience has been getting worse since falling prices democratised travel in the eighties.

Suddenly it wasn’t just the well off driving places, flying places, catching the train, suddenly everyone wanted a bit of the action, even if they were just off to Benidorm.

The roads became more clogged. Trains crammed more people into the same space, took away the dining car with freshly cooked great food, and replaced it with microwaved everything, burger? – in the microwave, bacon sandwich? – in the microwave. The coffee has in general got better, but that’s about the only thing that has.

And while flying is probably cheaper in real money now than it has ever been, it was once an experience to be looked forward to, now, unless you can afford to fly with Emirates or one of the other upmarket airlines, then you are just another member of the human cattle.

So it’s a relief that there’s something that takes some of the pain from travelling, even if you are taking the cheapest option.

Sendmybag.com is an app controlled service that sorts out one of the worse bits of travel for me – getting my bag to my destination, without me having to touch it from the moment that it’s collected from my home, to the moment it is delivered to my destination.

For me this means that I have to carry on my jacket, my Wallpaper Magazine, and my iPad.

That’s travelling light! And even the shockers like Ryan Air are tolerable if you can pull that off – though you may need your Bose noise reduction headphones to block out a few of those accents around you!

A Guest Blog – from Dad!

What’s all this blogging stuff about then?

The boy asked me to write about what I thought of the Tour coming to Yorkshire.

It were rest bloody gradely! That’s what I think.

Even though I have loved Le Tour since I first started cycling with the school club in my early teens, the only time I have seen it live was long before that when it came to Plymouth in 1974. I was ten at the time, so I don’t remember too much, but I do remember my old man moaning about the British authorities who apparently treated all the cyclists as we do suspected terrorists these days, subjecting them to stupid amount of checks even though they were all well know.

My cycling hero Eddy Merckx won that year, it might even have been his fifth and so final victory, I can’t actually remember. Until I looked for that link I didn’t even realise he had a site – I’m going to read it now.

The event coming to Yorkshire was a great spectacle, as a Red Rose I find that hard to say, but blow me, it was amazing. The helicopter coverage showed the county off to its very best and will do the north a lot of favours for tourism for the next few years. It will have helped the growing interest in British cycling too.

We stood at the roadside for nearly three hours, and that was a bit boring, despite the fun antics of the motor bike police and the caravan (which was nothing like as good as I was hoping for). But despite that, when those bikes went through at nearly forty miles an hour it was so thrilling. We ere at a double roundabout on a dual carriageway and the guys split around the roundabout like mercury, coming together beautifully on the other side and heading up the hill towards the finish in Harrogate and Cav’s disastrous fall. I like the guy, he takes risks, big risks, from watching it he over did it yesterday, and he probably deserves a reprimand, but I loved it all the same.

We didn’t take any pics, but we were just beyond this point…

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Thanks Lee – I hope this fits the bill for you.

Dad.

Tour de France in Ripon

Yesterday was a day of waiting, long, long waiting, but then with a sudden brilliant burst of excitement, and enough group adrenalin to carry everyone through the rest of the day.

We had a good night over in Boroughbridge, dad’s mate has a great manager at the hotel called Emma who looked after us really well while we told stories and drank too much nondescript Euro lager.

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We even brought a curry in as that was what dad most wanted to eat. The deal was that it had to be taken around the back to the kitchen, and then served as if it had been cooked there. I thought that that was a dodgy strategy as it smelled delicious, and anyone else who wanted one on the strength of seeing ours would have been disappointed, but no one seemed to care, perhaps that’s just the laid back way of life in Yorkshire.

Then yesterday morning it was sunny and warm, already everyone was happy.

We parked just opposite the race course where we had had our meeting yesterday and walked into Ripon. Good move on Dad’s part as everything was closed off after there. In the main square it was busy even at 10.00 in the morning and people were sitting around watching a Red Bull film on the huge screen they had rigged up there, waiting for the big event to start.

Somehow or other we managed to miss the actual start, which was just plain stupid and driven by the thought that it would be a good opportunity to get a quick beer in the Royal Oak, but the we saw loads of action after that.

The atmosphere was great in Ripon, and loads of people had cycled there to watch it and that made it seem a bigger event.

When the rider came past it was over in a flash, but it was so exciting to see nearly two hundred of them whoosh by at 40 miles an hour or so.

The memory will be with me for a long time, I didn’t take any pictures though. Sorry about that.

Heading north for Le Grand Depart

It’s not often that I look forward to doing stuff with Dad.

Twelve months ago we were in a bad state between us, and I can see now that I was causing them problems, mum being upset because I upset him, and upset because he upset me. She is the strong link as she’s my rock and probably his too.

We have made an effort, it would have been easy to have written “we have made more of an effort”, in fact I did that at first, but fact is I was finding reasons to antagonise him, and looking back I don’t blame him for being pissed off at me all the time. Things started to get better when I did some work for him. Probably because the clients I was driving around took a liking to me and he started to see that I could be an asset.

Anyway, all that I hope is water under some proverbial old person’s bridge as we are getting on better these days, and sometimes well.

All that good stuff aside, I was still surprised and quite delighted when he suggested that we go up to see the tour on the first stage. It isn’t just about family relations, dad has to go and see Stuart, one of his clients and he’s based in Ripon, but he has decided to make the meeting on Friday. We’ll stay over in Boroughbridge where another client of dad’s has a hotel.

The most important bit though is the race. We might head out to Buttertubs, but that will probably be super crowded. So we may head for Harrogate instead.

Thanks to “Carter’s Country” for this lovely image of Buttertubs – imaging this with cyclists and people swarming all over it!

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No matter where we go I shall be in the deli later telling Diane of our big plan, I hope she likes cycling, after all she’s French, she must do.

Diane

Diane serves in the French deli around the corner.

Diane is a dancer.

Diane is about five foot nine.

Just tall enough to stand out as tall, but not so much so that she towers above everyone.

Diane wheres flats (as she calls them), little pumps as I call them.

Diane wheres skirts, almost all the time, in fact I don’t remember seeing her in jeans or trousers.

Diane smiles at me and says my name in a way that makes me melt.

Diane has probably barely noticed me, beyond remembering my name.

Diane has captured my sad and purposeless heart.

Oh Diane, I don’t really eat all those croissants!

I don’t really drink Badoit over priced water.

I don’t really have a clue about pate, cognac, macaroons or chilli relish.

Diane, I just come in to say hello to you.

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