Monday, 25 July 2011

Cycle to enhance your career prospects

There's an interview with Ed Williams, the Chief Executive of Right Move in the business section of the Times today.

For those who haven't moved house recently, Right Move is a web site that consolidates information from Estate Agents on property for sale or rent. According to the article it is a highly successful business, and one of Britain's most popular web sites.

Ed Williams ascribes the success of his site to three principles: keeping things simple, making sure the information it provides is up to date, and hiring the right people.  To quote the article, he has a penchant for people who do sports such as cycling and rowing, where there is no downtime, rather than football or cricket.

"We look for people who stick at something, who just keep doggedly at it".

I am never going to know whether cycling would have had a positive impact on (what some laughingly describe as) my career, because I got interested too late. When cycling does come up in conversation with work colleagues we tend to talk about the destinations, and the challenges we set ourselves. I suppose that sits well with the idea of doggedly determined cycling. I tend to skip over the sheer pleasure of just pootling around by myself, enjoying the sense of freedom. Emphasising my slow pace, and anti-social approach might reveal more than I really want to, about my lack of enthusiasm for corporate culture.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

More 1/2 inch map

Thanks to my brother I now have an original Bartholomew's half-inch map of Northumberland, dating (I think) from 1957.

From that date, it doesn't show the Alnwick bypass, which was built in 1968, and it does show the Alnwick branch line, which closed in 1968. Before it closed this line operated some of the last steam-hauled passenger services under British Rail. The map also shows the Alnwick to Coldstream line, which was never very commercially successful. It would have been closed by 1957, but presumably the track was still in place.

Earlier Bartholomew's maps had covered Northumberland in two sheets. This one covers virtually the whole of Northumberland, from Berwick to the Tyne, but misses a little around Allendale in the south, and around Haltwhistle in the West.

Thursday, 7 July 2011


The quote we got for house and contents insurance is remarkably thorough. It seems to cover pretty much everything we need, including loss or damage of a bicycle worth up to £5,000. They will even pay for professional counselling under certain circumstances.

But there are some tight conditions on what they cover following a violent domestic dispute.

So I'm not going to be spending £5,000 on a new bike any time soon.