Wednesday, 20 Nov 2002

LONDON, U.K.

Last night, my daughter crashed early (we were supposed to be going round to my mum’s). I had a smoke, finished off a job application to the landfill tax people (looking good about $80,000 per year for three years!), then messed around more with hard drives (they were working but are screwing up again … it’s a personal battle now!).

I called my mate Phil, who designed our award-winning website. He, aptly, lives in Silicon Valley, and has been having some time off due to having recently had twins arrive. Talk about spinning plates! This is how I feel with Re~Cycle a lot — focus needed.

One day I may get my sleep pattern in line with the rest of the U.K., though I find I work well in the evening, with no phone calls to interrupt my groove.

Here’s how our day went today:

8:30 a.m. — Up we get. Compost out, pack a little, couple of email and calls, breakfast.

9:50 — My daughter meets her mum at the bus stop, to go to hospital for a check up for an ongoing problem.

Burn CD on some of our charity info for Velo Vision, a friend’s bike magazine, with a Friday deadline.

Get my email off Soo’s (my sidekick) computer, on a floppy, as the wretched network isn’t playing the game.

10:30 — Nine-mile ride to Colchester, taking it slow as I messed my leg up recently, and my knee’s been a little weak after overdoing it a month ago, dancing and cycling. Bike across London for a meeting with a computer-shipping charity, then back again …

A funny thing happened on the way to town: My sister was coming past as I bike past. She was in her boyfriend’s car, and tried to cover her face so I didn’t see her! The reason being that said boyfriend is an arms dealer, of the international type, as well as having a chain of gun-and-tackle shops, though these are not like such shops in the U.S., thankfully! So we, the family, have not met the boyfriend, as she wants to keep him separate from us. One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Thomas, a U.K. chap similar to Michael Moore, who said, “I’ve always wanted to walk up to an arms dealer, punch him in the face, and say ‘Well if I didn’t do it, someone else would.'” That said, I’ve been a pacifist for over half my life, to the extent of breaking up a fight between strangers in Brixton Market. It helps being 6 foot 2 sometimes.

11:20 — Meet the nipper and her mum at the hospital. All’s okay, don’t need to come back.

12:20 p.m. — I take the train to London, make a couple of phone calls, and fit in a quick sleep.

I pedal across to Trafalgar Square, just time to stop at whole foods shop to buy lunch to go.

13:45 — I arrive just in time for a free workshop on legacy giving, or planned giving as it’s known in the U.S. Very informative. I’d previously known that there’s a good amount of money in it.

17:00 — The session finishes, and I talk to an Australian lass I am sitting next to, who says there is a similar group to Re~Cycle in Oz, shipping bikes to Timor. The crazy/serendipitous thing is that we got an email this morning, asking if we knew of anyone doing this in Australia.

I had a chat with Chris, the guy running the workshop who’s very keen on the whole bicycle-shipping thing!

I had supper with a couple of friends with whom I’m going into business selling NXT technology flat speakers, which are super cool.

I was blown out yet again by John Bird, the founder of the Big Issue, a magazine sold by homeless people, who’s a very busy chap. I was supposed to see him this evening, though he had to help with someone who’d been arrested. He says to call tomorrow.

22:00 – Shit, forgot the Grist diary.

The hectic pace means that I have not yet called our South African partners to find out what happened with yesterday’s meeting with the country’s Transport minister. I’ll make the calls tomorrow …