Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


Believe it or not, my plans for 2014 have changed yet again! This is because I cannot get a definitive answer from the Sardinia pilots about a date so I need to crack on.

This week I have had an offer to swim the Channel again, this time as part of a relay for Diabetes UK. This is exciting for me as it will give me a good Channel swim as part of a team. I am also first reserve for a round Jersey for 2014.

Last weekend Lizzie and I went to Jersey for the JLDSC dinner. It was a fantastic time and I was delighted to receive a commemorative polo shirt and plaque for my Jersey to France swim. I also caught up with Simon , Bill and mum.

I also managed to catch up with Mark Faure Walker, a Maidwell old boy who broke the record for the Jersey it France swim this year. Amazing that 2 of the 3 swimmers that completed this difficult swim this year have Maidwell Hall connections.

Off to America soon. Yippee!

Sunday, 17 November 2013


My plans for 2014 are not yet finalised as I am waiting to hear on possible dates for a Corsica to Sardinia swim. I am still looking to do the Alcatraz swim so hopefully will do both. I will keep buying the lottery tickets!

Lizzie came home today from the USA. She had a wonderful 3 weeks with Kate, Doug, Tabby and newly arrived Phoebe Joy. 7 lbs born on the 9th of November.  Just wonderful!

Swimming going well, speed work is getting easier but I am still amazed how hard it actually is. I might treat myself to a nice 3 hour swim this week.

How does Mark survive? He doesn't really rock.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


Over the last few weeks I have discovered something that my dear friends have kept from me.

I am not built for speed! OK, this is not a surprise to most of you, but it is a shock to find that 40 minutes of hard, hard swimming is so much more difficult for me than swimming in the Channel for 14 hours. Cream crackered is a polite way of describing it!

I am still planning an Alcatraz swim and have now progressed the idea of swimming from Corsica to Sardinia. Warm water has an appeal. Stay posted and I will keep you in touch.

Lizzie is still away in the US so don't forget that I am available for parties, food fights and cat sitting.

Keep on rocking me baby.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Well dear reader, I have survived my last school rugby tour to Dublin. As usual we all had a great time, boys, parents, NDO and myself. As usual, I found Guinness to be vastly over rated and over hyped.

Tomorrow I am off to The British Red Cross HQ for the launch of  the Fire and Emergency Support Vehicle followed by a presentation that I am giving on my Channel swims. Hopefully most people will stay awake.

I am right into my training now for my Alcatraz swim. This will require more speed rather than straight out endurance so my pool sessions are quite different as they are shorter and harder.

All good fun!

Great news. Planet Rock in the car! 105.2 FM. The signal around here is not great, but hey, better than Radio 2.

Sunday, 13 October 2013


I have had to adapt my swimming plans for 2014 as I can't get on a suitable tide for a round Jersey swim as the only ones that I can do in the school holidays have 2 swimmers already.
 Having had to watch the weather blow that swim out twice before, I don't want to risk having to spend another week watching the wind wreck my plans, however lovely Jersey is!

So therefore dear reader, I am looking to swim from the famous Alcatraz prison across San Francisco Bay. Hopefully with a better result than team New Zealand had recently!

This will present me with a whole new set of factors. Instead of training for a 14 hour swim. I will need to train to enable me to swim very fast (for me) across fast currents and very cold water. I am quite excited by the prospect as I have always had this swim on my wish list.

Speed training started this very morning. Cream crackered. Very hard 500 metres followed by 10  hard 100 metres and then another hard 500 metres.

My last school rugby trip to Dublin takes place this week. I may not communicate with you for a few days.

Who'd thought that rock and roll would save us all?

Thursday, 3 October 2013


Many thanks to all of you who supported my 2 Channel swims this year.

The Virgin Money page has now closed and I am delighted to announce that coupled with the Beach Party at the Hare in Loddington, I raised £4000 for the British Red Cross to go towards a new Fire and Emergency Support Vehicle.

I am now getting back into training. I am trying to swim in the river at least once a week but with school commitments, I will need to use swimming pools. I swam in Harborough last week and today. Having not swum in a pool for 4 months, I had forgotten how hot, crowded and smelly they are. Harborough is a nice pool. I just hate swimming inside.

Listening to Cold Chisel Swingshift as I write this. Star Hotel, just legendary.

Thursday, 26 September 2013


Now that I am almost over my Channel swims, I am starting to look forward to 2014.

This week I booked a round Jersey swim for the last week in July. The weather prevented me starting this 44 mile swim this year, so like the Jersey/France swim, I am hoping for 3rd time lucky!

My Red Cross page disappears in a few days. Combined with the fund raising party at the Hare in Loddington you have generously contributed over £3000. Great effort, many thanks.

There is still time!

It's a long way to the top if you want to Rock and Roll. But well worth it!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


I am sorry thay my last set of words of wisdom were wiped out by me in error. This is what old age does. I am really worried about turning 40! OK, 50 then.

You will be pleased to know that I am back in the river. After a 2 week break I could not believe how cold the water was. It was like swimming in the North Sea in May. I have also had 2 pool swims. Yuk! After a wonderful summer of outdoor swimming, the smelly pool came as a bit of a shock. But hey, needs must.

I am looking at the 44 mile round Jersey swim for next year and I am also looking at Loch Ness. Monstersinc.

The Red Cross appeal has gone really well. Many thanks to all. The giving page closes shortly so get in while you can!

As the song says, God gave rock and roll to us.

Monday, 2 September 2013


Well here I am a few days after my swim across the Channel.

I am still pretty worn out after battling the conditions for 14 hours. My mouth and throat are still pretty raw after taking in so much sea water during the swim. For the whole 14 hours the waves hit my right side and as I am a right side breather, I ate half the Channel.

My neck has pretty bad chafings as I did not put enough grease on before I jumped in. Sal, my top gun crew chief was telling me that I didn't have enough on. She was dead right and I am paying for it now!

Other than that, I am in top shape! Arms and shoulders are fine so that is a blessing.

I am planning my next challenge. The 44 miles around Jersey looks like my next swim.

Once again, many thanks for your support for the British Red Cross.

There are more photos on the way!

Rock on kids.

Early morning in the Channel

Friday, 30 August 2013


Yesterday, I swam across the Channel for the 2nd time this summer.

This was a brutal swim with the waves and wind rising by the hour. In fact of the 11 swimmers who set off, 8 had abandoned by the 5 hour mark. NOT David Donald Coleman!

Battling heavy seas and a rising force 5 wind I swam on for 14 hours powering here there and everywhere as the conditions worsened. Fear not for your intrepid hero, as I did get to the French coast. I could smell the garlic. Actually that is a pretty poor use of a sterotype, what I meant was that I could see French people waving baguettes.

By now, it was getting problematical as to whether I could land as we were now being blown towards Calais and heading towards high cliffs. With the worsening conditions my pilot and crew discussed the situation with me and I agreed that it was going to be impossible to land in the wind and heavy seas.

So I got all the way across the Channel but missed out on getting my 2nd shell from a French beach!

Another time I will tell you about my chafings, swollen tongue, constricted throat and the best part of the day, throwing up gallons of sea water on the return journey to Folkestone.

I am cream crackered. Good night.

 Photos to follow.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


The wind in the English Channel is not behaving.

My pilot, Peter Reed has moved my swim to the early hours of Thursday morning to gain advantage of the lighter winds and the better tide on that day. The rest of the week looks very windy, so here's hoping!

I will be in the water from around 04 30 ish so do set your clocks and follow me on Peter's tracker:

Many thanks for the donations to the British Red Cross:
Rock on lovely people. 

Friday, 23 August 2013


Hi rock chicks.

My Dover/France swim is due to take place next Wednesday 28th August. This is of course depending on the weather and this stage it is marginal regarding the wind. Keep everything crossed.

8K in the Nene this morning. Just perfect, not a soul, just me and my creature friends. I will finish with a relaxed 6K tomorrow.

If I get away Wednesday, I will set off at 02 00 so if you want an early morning call, I'm your man. You can follow me on my pilot's tracker: Scroll down the page to the map.

The British Red Cross still needs you!

Keep the faith and keep on rocking.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


The 14 day long range weather forecast for the Channel for week beginning 26th August looks promising with light winds.

My first window looks like the morning (0100) of the 27th. Great time to start, swimming into the sunrise and all jellyfish curl up and sleep in the depths during darkness (hopeful thinking!).

Speaking of those detestable of all creatures, I have come across a product that acts as a factor 50 sunblock (hurrah, no more burnt armpits!) and a jellyfish deterrent at the same time. How fantastic is that. Unfortunately I can't test the jellyfish bit in the river unless I decide to roll in some nettles.

Wonderful morning in the Nene this morning. My Heron has become tame and we are now on first names. It lets me swim past within 2 metres and will now sit and watch me rather than fly off. Today I stopped and watched a Kingfisher. Are they the most colourful British bird?

Here is my article in the H20 Open Water magazine if you missed it.

Many thanks for your support of the British Red Cross. Keep it coming!
Listening to the great new song by Airbourne. "No one fits me better than you". Classic rock

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


Hi rock gods.

 I have written an article about my Jersey to France swim for H20, the fantastic open water swimming magazine.

If you would like to read this please click on:

Thanks for your support for The British Red Cross. Please contribute as this is a wonderful cause.
Great swim in the Nene this morning. 2 hours of perfect bliss!

Rock lives in this house.

Sunday, 4 August 2013


After the euphoria of my 4 minute visit to French France, I am now preparing for my next visit.

I am swimming from Dover on the tide starting the 26th of August which means that my first window will be at 01 00 on the morning of the 27th.

I am now back in the river with a vengeance racking up the Ks. I am averaging 8000 metres per swim. This week I have been swimming from Wadenhoe, a fantastic location as there are long, deep, wide stretches to swim through open countryside.

Many thanks for your support for the British Red Cross. Don't stop now!

Rock, the music of life.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


On the way to the start. Pensive!                       Download DSCF2110.JPG (1750.3 KB)

Starting beach, La Coupe Jersey.                        Download DSCF2113.JPG (1682.5 KB)

French France, here I come baby.                      Download DSCF2117.JPG (1667.0 KB)

Counting the strokes to the next feed!           Download DSCF2127.JPG (1764.5 KB)

9 hours in. Wind against tide. How much fun can a man have?        Download DSCF2143.JPG (1735.1 KB)

See last blog for the glorious site on the beach in France.

Don't forget the British Red Cross, many thanks.

Don't rock without the roll.

Monday, 29 July 2013


Here I am after managing to avoid the adoring French crowds that came to meet me as I landed on their shore.

Thanks to Alice Harvey for jumping in and taking this photo with her snazzy water proof camera.

Don't forget the British Red Cross. Many thanks.

Saturday, 27 July 2013


I don't want to bore you all too much, but I am going to anyway!

07 12  set off from La Coupe, Jersey

16C   water temperature at the start

18C  water temperature after 4 hours swimming

19C  water temperature over the shell beds off the French coast

28C  air temperature at midday

3     Jelly fish spotted

0    Jelly fish stings! Hurrah, a miracle

0   swear words or shouted abuse at the crew, another miracle

10  quarters of peanut butter sandwiches eaten on route to France

8   bottles of carbo and gel drinks guzzled whilst trying to tread water. I will never master this!

1   right armpit sunburnt! Very weird and painful!

16 30  feet leave the water and step onto land in France

4   minutes on French sand as we needed to get the boat away from the shore and the waves

9 hours 18 minutes  total swim time

56  oldest swimmer to ever complete this swim.

21  21st swimmer ever to complete this swim

1   first New Zealander to complete this swim.

4  days rest and back into the Nene.

28k  swum in 4 swims this week. Bring on Dover to France in August

Don't forget the British Red Cross. Thanks again.

The heart of rock and roll is still beating

Saturday, 20 July 2013


My pilot sent this to JLDSC members. Hope you like it! His spellings, not mine!

The next morning came with far better visual conditions as we took New Zealander David Coleman out after a two year wait of being blown out on Round Jersey swims, he'd plumped for a Jersey to France outing. The day started well with 'Charlie' ran Sea Swimmer 2 aground at the start point, giving both David and Mick a chance to sample the sea temperature up to their O levels as they returned the good ship to a floating position and we set off. we could see France from the start today, which promised much. David left the Jersey shore at some speed as he strongly pulled his way to France. Once more initial conditions were perfect, a flat sea with no wind at all to worry the ensigns. Today we had had Alice Harvey aboard to look after David's dietary requirements. Alice a veteran of Round Island, Jersey to France, Channel relays and Derwent Water is a vastly experienced crew member and did a superb job looking after her 'client'. David swam well enjoying his experience. Water temperature was recorded at 17C and David looked very comfortable as he moved forward at a good pace. Strong sunlight again gave Mick and I a track to follow although we were now conversant with the on-board nav aids which of course include the ships radio set on Radio 2, much to young Alice's disapproval, although I did catch her doing 'the onboard wiggle' to a less aged track. An uneventful first few hours saw David working his way across the globe. The French coast came and went in fog banks, however undisturbed we all ploughed on even taking turns to sun ourselves out on deck. Sea temperature was still rising at the halfway stage we recorded 18C, Alice was pleased with David's progress and recorded his stroke rate at a powerful 59. David made a magnanimous gesture in bequeathing his entire stock of mini Jaffa cakes to the crew which earned him much praise. As if we needed it! Again as the Ecrehouse sailed by and we hit the wall, In terms of a change in conditions as a placid sea began to build. However the worse the sea conditions and wind strength only made David more resolute and determined. It was becoming impossible to keep the escort boat in a nice friendly position alongside as we had previously achieved. Sometimes fifty to eighty yards ahead David rode the waves in great style without a moan or whinge, instead a big grin, he was obviously enjoying himself out there. In condition in which I've seen better swimmers think twice about staying the course, he applied himself to the task ahead. He was still making good progress towards the beach but wind and tide was driving us north of our 'aim point'. Sea temperature was recorded now at 19C and Alice had spotted one jellie fish, some way down. David latter confirmed a sighting of three so not really enough to bother anyone. Alice joined David in amongst the waves for twenty minutes and together they ploughed on. Eventually we lined the boat up for a finish again north of 'the house' but who carers. David had become the first New Zealander and we believe the oldest to conquer La Manche Two in a time of nine hours eighteen. A very gutsy swim by a very fit and determined swimmer, thoroughly deserving his success.

Don't forget the British Red Cross. Continued thanks to those who have contributed.

Back to normal. Rocking at full speed.

Photos still to follow but as there are no kids about it may take a day or 2!

Thursday, 18 July 2013


I went to French France yesterday for 4 minutes.

 It took me 9 hours and 18 minutes to get there!

Really tough swim, wind against tide for the last 3 hours. Now the oldest and first Kiwi to have ever have done this.

Full report and photos on my return.

The Red Cross need your support: Many thanks to those who have donated.

I will rock a little more stiffly today!

Sunday, 14 July 2013


Good news. The weather looks fine and dandy for my Jersey to France swim on Wednesday.

I can't wait as I am like a coiled spring and more than ready to go. As I don't own a new fangled internet magic phone, I will have to rely on the kind B and B owners to allow me to update the site, so I will bring you the news as I can.

If you are sad and have plenty of time on your hand, you can follow my progress across the channel on some sort of space thing. Here is the link.

Many thanks for your support for the British Red Cross. Here is that link:

Don't forget that God gave rock and roll to you. 

Friday, 12 July 2013


Welcome to listeners of the Bernie Keith show on BBC Radio Northampton. Bernie is somewhat of a legend so what a privilage it was to be on his show!

The weather is looking good for next week so it looks like I will set off for France on either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the best day for the tide. Everything crossed!

Here is the British Red Cross link. Many thanks for your support.
Rock on kids.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


Things are looking good for next week as the weather forecast is showing light winds and perfect swimming conditions.

There is a relay to go before me so hopefully they will get away early in the week and I can follow mid week.

See you in France baby!

The Red Cross still needs you.
Rock, the music of life.

Friday, 5 July 2013


It is lovely to see the sun and to feel the water temperature slowly rising. The Nene at Tansor is glorious at the moment, lovely temperature and crystal clear.

Although the weather in Jersey is lovely, the wind is not yet behaving and force 4 and above is forecast for every day next week. Hopefully by the following week they will have abated so I can get my swim away.

Keep everything crossed!

The Red Cross still needs you. Many thanks to the people that have generously donated.

Who would have thought after all , that rock and roll will save us all.

Sunday, 30 June 2013


After the stormy weather last weekend, it is teeth grinding to see perfect calm and warm weather this weekend. Hey ho, such is the trevails of open water swimming. In fact the wind speed topped 50 knots last weekend, much worse than forecasted.

I have rescheduled the Jersey swim for the week of July 15 to 20. It will be a different tide so I will be swimming Jersey to France, which to be honest is my number one choice.

My Dover/France swim is at the end of August so a rare, if not first, opportunity to swim the channel from 2 different places in the same calendar year.

The British Red Cross still needs you help. Please be generous.

Pop is dead. Rock lives.

Thursday, 20 June 2013


As predicted, my Jersey swim has fallen foul of the weather and will not take place this weekend. The forecast is for heavy duty winds so she no go bro.

Don't despair dear reader as I have moved the swim to the week beginning 15 July.
Hopefully by then summer will have started!

Don't forget this suffering is all for a good cause. The British Red Cross needs you.
Please donate at:

Don't worry, the heart of rock and roll still's beating

Monday, 17 June 2013


It seems incredible that the weekend has arrived for my swim around the island of Jersey.

Guess what? The weather forecast is for Force 4 winds and above. That is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad news as the swim can't take place in anything above Force 3. There are many safety reasons for this as I have to consider not only my own safety but the safety and comfprt of everyone on the pilot and support boat.
Unless the forecast radically changes it ain't gonna happen this week baby! Good ol' British Summer.

So what to do? I am already looking at other dates in July but I need to be mindful of my Channel swim in August and not get too close to that as it is impossible to do 2 huge back to back swims. If I can't fit a date in, as these are booked up years in advance, I will look at dates for next year.

All disappointing BUT I still have my Channel swim to come for this year so all to play for. I will keep you in the loop.

The British Red Cross still needs YOUR help. PLease donate at:

Keep rocking. I will be!

Sunday, 9 June 2013


You will be very pleased to know dear readers that Lizzie and I ventured over to Aldeburgh for the day so that I could have a splash in the wonderful blue, warm, clear and calm North Sea.

Except it was anything but! The northerly wind was howling at its cold best, the waves were 6 foot plus going north to south along the beach, the water had the visibility of exactly 1/2 an arm distance (yes I did measure it!) and the water was a balmy 11C.

Not surprisingly I swam from the north to the south and I loved it as I was swimming at an olympic swimmer's speed. It was cold but once you get over the first 10 minutes you are fine as everything is numb. Poor Lizzie who was crewing for me on the beach was frit ( local dialect, look it up) to death as one minute I was 10 feet above her and the next minute I had disappeared under giant waves. She wanted me to bale out and come ashore as she was really worried about my safety. I thought that she was being friendly and waving at me. Polite bloke that I am, I waved back.

2 weeks now to Jersey. The long range forecast is terrible for that weekend, but here's hoping.

Many thanks to the people that continue to support the British Red Cross. You can donate at:

Pop is dead. Rock lives

Thursday, 30 May 2013


I often get asked how I swim in water that is only 8C. Well dear readers, many people swim in water that is much colder, but let me give you an idea of how YOU can experience this wonderful feeling.

First, fill you bath up with cold water. You will need to throw in 3 or 4 bags of ice as your tap water is probably about 11 or 12C. Then, turn on a cold fan to replicate the northly wind and then finally turn on the cold shower to produce cold rain. You are now ready, jump in. Enjoy!

These are exactly the conditions that I experienced this week in Aldeburgh. The North Sea was at its best. Cold, lumpy and cloudy. Not to mention a cold wind and rain! It has to be done as Jersey looms. My pilot is worried about the water temperatures over there but I don't have any flexability regarding dates so I will press on.

Lizzie and I had a great time in Aldeburgh. It is one of our favourite places. We met a lovely family at Ocean House. Ed Hodge (Edward according to mother!), Caroline, Rosie, Murray ( great name for a bloke) and mum Sarah. They had lived in Jersey and it was amazing that we knew people in common.

I will tell you about my flight in the Russian Yak once I get the pictures loaded and my insides become untwisted.

Continued thanks for the people that have logged on and donated to the British Red Cross. YOU can do so at:

The Heart of Rock and Roll is still beating.

Monday, 27 May 2013


Let's face it. I hate losing to those stripy people from up north. So you can imagine my misery on Saturday after the Premiership rugby final.

In fact it was a totally frustrating day all round. Having to go to school in the morning was an impediment as we left too late to avoid the traffic that just choked the whole of Twickenham. Over 80,000 people coming from the East Midlands all arrived at the same point. Every roundabout was solid with nowhere to go in any direction. London. You can keep it.

Lizzie and I took Phillipa Cox and her sister George so we had entertaining company. Shame about the plastic pom getting sent off. Shame about the prices at the ground. Shame about the result.

Anyway onto happy thoughts. I am having the thrill of my life today as I am having a flight in a WWII warbird, a Russian Yak. Can't wait.

Half term this week so plenty of cold water coming up. The sea is only 11C at the moment. Seriously cold but it has to be done as Jersey is looming.

Many thanks to the people that have generosly supported my Red Cross appeal. You can donate here: 

Red Hot Chillies Califorinication on Planet Rock as I sit here writing this. Rock on!

Saturday, 18 May 2013


Privyet to all my Russian friends who continue to follow me in record numbers. No, I won't defect as your winters are too cold and your summers are too hot. I will gladly look at your photos.

I have had a big 9 days spending over 20 hours in the water. I have increased my pace to 3.33kph, up from 3.15 earlier in the year. The water temperatures continue to worry everyone. My Jersey pilot informs me that the water is still only 11C which is way down on normal. Come on the sun!

Thank you for your support for the British Red Cross in Northamptonshire. The Beach Party raised over £1000, with another £1000 pounds pledged in sponsorship. We need over £30,000 so please be generous!

Please click on the link to donate.

Who would have thought that Rock and Roll could save us all.

Friday, 10 May 2013


The Beach Party at The Hare was fantastic. Many thanks for all your support and sponsorship.
For photos please click here!!AJjoi44G_CbSxfY

Please continue to support the British Red Cross in Northamptonshire by donating on the site below.

I got the sea temperatures from Jersey today. 10.5C. Hurrah. Hopefully by June the 22nd it will get warmer. I was off to the North Sea on Sunday to have a dip. Water there 8.7C. Sadly I can't make it as I am needed here. Phew!

Training continues to go well with plenty of Ks again this week. I have my wonderful MP3 player back so rock is back baby!

Saturday, 4 May 2013


My Just Giving page for my Jersey and Channel swims is up and running. Please support a most worthy cause.

Click on this and you are in!

Big day at the Hare tomorrow as it is Beach Party Day. Man y thanks to all who have supported me so far and have purchased tickets. Report to follow

Sunday, 28 April 2013


I had my medical for my swims this week. The urine sample proved to be a big problem!

As I am advancing in years I tend to forget things and on Tuesday my sample was due at the medical centre.
Well dear reader, I got up and did what a man needs to do. It was only after I had finished that I remembered that I had to fill the little bottle. Do you think I could. I was dry as a urinal in a convent.
8 litres of water later I managed to produce a pathetic dribble. Fortunately this was enough to be tested. Needless to say that I couldn't stop for the rest of the day.

Interestingly (well to me anyway) I had a medical on exactly the same day last year and I am 4 kgs lighter this year. All my vitals were also much better. If I get any fitter I will have to inform the authorities.

Another good week on the training front. I have done 417,000 metres already this year, all at a much faster pace than last year's swims.

One week to go before the BEACH BBQ. This will be a great event. Get your tickets from the HARE at LODDINGTON or contact me.

There is a great rock song. Cold as Ice. This describes the water at the moment. Brings tears to your eyes.

Keep the faith.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Photo Shoot

This photo was taken at St Andrews and shows the old vehicle that will be replaced with funds raised by my 2 swims and other activites undertaken by many people this year.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The week that was!

Well, I am safely back in town from the USA. We had a great time with Doug, Kate and Tabby and I got 11 days of superb swimming in.

I flew back overnight on the night before my birthday. Quite surreal really. When did my birthday actually start? US time, BST, or did I celebrate the day on NZ time as theoretically my birthday should be on the day before in the northern hemisphere. ( work it out if you find this comment strange). Anyway, I was so tired I virtually forgot that it was my birthday!

On Thursday I was at ST. Andrews (see my blog a few weeks ago for information)  where I participated in a health forum and had some photos taken with the current Red Cross support vehicle. My Jersey and Channel swims are to raise funds to purchase a new purpose built vehicle to replace the present one which is getting long in the tooth.

Looking forward to the 5th of MAY and the BEACH PARTY. Do come if you can, especially all you Russian girls who regularly view this site!

The Heart of Rock and Roll is still beating.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

USA again!

Well, here I am once again in the home of the brave and land of the free.

Lizzie and I are having are great time with Doug, Kate and Tabitha.  The Easter egg hunt was a hoot although I was devastated to find out that I couldn't take part. Fun is wasted on children.

I have had some great swims. I won't harp on how good the pools are over here, but they are! It is such a pleasure to swim for 2 hours in a public pool and never have to share a lane.

The BEACH BBQ on the 5th of MAY is shaping up well as there will be not 1, but 2 bands on the day.    Tickets from the HARE or contact me.

Well, dear readers, must fly as we are all off to the petting zoo this afternoon. It is a beautiful sunny day although the wind is a little cool but nothing like the UK at the moment. 21C in a few days. Ha Ha.

There is a lady who is sure all that glitters is gold.

Thursday, 21 March 2013


I have had trouble getting my words of wisdom up as the blog had gone wobbly!

Good news, I'm back. It is still amazing for me to see how many people read my wisdom. 2016 people have visited  the site this year. Thank you for your support.

Tickets for the RED CROSS BEACH BBQ on SUNDAY 5th MAY are now available. Contact me or the HARE at LODDINGTON.

This will be a hoot. Be there if you can.

 Training has gone slowly this week as lot of school stuff on. I broke up for Easter today so plenty of big swims coming up here and in the US. Ideally I want to get outside as the Jersey swim is looming. Poxy snow is forecast again this weekend and the river is too high and fast to jump in yet.

Must dash, holiday to attend to!

For those about to rock, I salute you.

Monday, 11 March 2013


I am very pleased to announce that the RED CROSS fund raising party on SUNDAY 5TH OF MAY will have a BEACH PARTY THEME!


This will take place at the HARE in Loddington from 3pm to 6 pm. I love a good beach!

There will be a fantastic PORK ROAST and a BARBIE and MUSIC. I have held a few Beach Parties. My most famous one was one Boxing Day when I had a NZ Christmas Beach Party. Everyone had to wear shorts. Everyone did and it was -7! We have had snow today so hopefully the weather will clear up by May! Jersey has has had snow and blizzards today so that will help the water temperature!

If you are interested in the party please contact me.

Another good training week last week. I have now passed 250,000 metres for the year, well ahead of the comparable time last year. A new record this year perhaps?

Rock on kids.

Saturday, 2 March 2013


I am delighted to announce that St Andrew's Healthcare will be supporting me on my 2013 swims around Jersey and across the Channel.

St Andrew’s Healthcare is a unique national charity delivering better care, better outcomes and better lives for people with mental ill-health, developmental disability or brain injury. As part of their 175th anniversary celebration and to mark their success, St Andrew’s wants to give something back to other charities. So during 2013, St Andrew’s will be helping its staff and patients at their Northampton site to raise money for the British Red Cross: Northamptonshire President’s Appeal. As part of this wider campaign, they have also agreed to sponsor me in my training and swimming throughout this year.

St Andrew’s Healthcare is the UK’s largest mental healthcare charity, the UK’s only charitable teaching hospital and the country’s largest charitable provider of services to the NHS.  This year, St Andrew’s will be marking its 175th anniversary as pioneers and leaders of an established and experienced not for profit provider.  As part of this celebration and the desire to support other charities helping vulnerable people, staff and patients at St Andrew’s Northampton will be supporting the British Red Cross: Northamptonshire President’s Appeal.  The appeal will help to purchase a specially adapted vehicle costing around £34,000, and will provide emotional and practical support to people in Northamptonshire who suffer damage to their homes following a fire, flood or a similar incident.

Throughout the course of the year, St Andrew’s Northampton staff and patients will undertake a range of fundraising activities, starting with the charity’s directors and staff undertaking a 418 ft Ultimate Abseil on 27 April.  In addition, there will be sporting challenges, bake sales and various other activities that staff and patients want to do to support this worthy cause.

It’s great for me to have the opportunity to come into contact with patients and staff at St Andrew’s Northampton, and have a sponsor who knows the value of being a charity too.

Did you know?
St Andrew’s and the Red Cross have a common aim to support vulnerable people, but another strong connection is Northamptonshire.  St Andrew’s Healthcare was founded in Northampton in 1838, whilst the founder of the British Red Cross Society, Robert James Loyd-Lindsay, had strong links with the county as he married the daughter of Lord Overstone, a former Baron of Northamptonshire.

I have had another good training week. This month I will be focusing on a lot of speed work in the pool before venturing back out into the cold.

Rock on!

Friday, 22 February 2013


This is an early warning about a party!

As you are probably aware, I am swimming this year for the Red Cross here in Northamptonshire to raise funds for a new support vehicle and for community based First Aid courses. I am very pleased to bring you the news that there will be a party and fund raising event at The Hare in Loddington on the afternoon of Sunday 5th May.

This is the Sunday before the May Day holiday. Details to follow. Unfortunately for me, the Monday is a normal school day for me in the boarding school world. Lucky I have (nearly) stopped drinking!

As it has been half term, I have had a massive training week and will reach close to 50,000 metres by Sunday. That has meant over 15 hours in the water over 5 swims. Nuts.

It is still amazing to see where people read this from around the world. A lot from Eastern Europe. I was told it is stunningly gorgeous women looking for a husband. Sorry, I am too tired.

Rock. Turn it up!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Kia Ora Bro!

I spoke to my brother Peter in Auckland this morning. They are having a great summer, we are having a rubbish winter. Discuss.

My training is really going well. I am getting in around 25,000 metres a week at the moment, averaging 5000 metres a swim. I have already covered 145,000 metres this year. I am working hard to improve my stroke ( no, the swimming one) and feel that I am swimming in a more efficient style. I will have a big week this week as we are on half term. Lizzie was on half term last week and spent the time with Kate, Doug and Tabby in Virginia. She is back to work straight off the plane. She may be grumpy this week children.

I can't believe how good my new swimming MP3 player is. I had one of the original Speedo Aquabeat and this new generation is just so, so much better. Out of interest I have loaded up tracks from 100 rock guitar heroes CD. Now dear reader this is weird. Right in the middle of Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton, Chris Rea etc comes "Do you like Pinna Colada?" How does that happen? I also have New Zealand Classics, The Guess Who live, Peter Gabriel live, Mumford and Sons and Seth Lakeman. I am going to load more this weekend although there aren't any kids from school to help me so it could end in tears.

My first swim of the season around Jersey is looming, only 3 and a half months away. I can't wait.

The heart of rock and roll is still beating.

Saturday, 26 January 2013


As you may be aware, I hate snow. I can't imagine why people would want to go away and have a holiday in it. Hopefully it will go away today.

Training is really going well. Last January I covered just over 60,000 metres, already I have done 85,000 with 4 big swims planned before the end of the month. I am focusing on much longer swims at the moment, minimum 5,000 metres. I will do more speed work in February although I am doing 3.27 kilometres per hour compared to 2.99 this time last year. Interestingly (well to me anyway) that I have already spent the equivalent of one whole day in the pool having swum for 24 hours 26 minutes thus far! My pool hours have been transformed by my new Merlin MP3 player. WOW, rock and roll as I swim baby. I can highly recommend it ( any sponsorship gratefully accepted Mr. Merlin ) as it is far better quality than my old one. Thank you Santa!

With round Jersey and the Channel this year, I am looking at 2014 swims. Europe to Africa or Ireland to Scotland are possibilities. These are already pretty well booked. Mad people.

Swam to Sweet Home Alabama this morning. Legend.

Monday, 14 January 2013

A New Year Begins

Hope you have all made your New Year resolutions and are sticking to them. Once again I have promised not to go out with super models. It has worked for me every year of my life so far!

I have had a very busy start to the year as I have had a busy time visiting the USA, Suffolk and Cornwall. I managed to get some big swims in and now that I am back to work at school, I have upped the intensity of my training. With Jersey and the Channel looming I am swimming longer for each session. Last week I got 10 hours in the pool covering over 30K. It won't always be like that with work commitments but I should get in at least 4 good swims a week.

Snow today. I hate it.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Year That Was

Manahau to all.

2012 has gone and with it many hours in the water for yours truly. In fact 342 of them to be exact, plus 25 minutes! That equates to over 14 full days of swimming.

Lizzie and I spent Christmas in the USA with Kate, Doug and Tabitha so as well as having a wonderful time, I managed to get plenty of swimming in. I won't bore you again about how wonderful their facilities are, suffice to say that it is a pleasure to be able to swim in your own lane in a dedicated swimming pool and not fight for space with head up breaststrokers or kids playing tag and getting in your face. Is it any wonder that the US win the most swimming medals?

After passing the magic million metres on the 12th of December, I added another 53,000 to finish with a total of 1053 Kilometres for the year. There is a purpose for this dear reader as I am swimming around Jersey on the 22nd June and across the Channel at the end of August. These are 2 tough, long swims to do within weeks of each other, so the hours I have trained in the last 12 months have given me a solid base of fitness for the coming year.

I started the year with a 6000 metre swim this morning so here I go again!

Mumford and Sons Live at the Red Rocks. Check it out!

Setting off. 7am. Only 13 and a half hours to go!