The Anonymous Widower

Is It Time To Get Even? – 92 Clubs By Public Transport Alphabetically in a Calendar Month

There’s an old saying about not getting mad, but getting even.

I’ve had a basketful of bad luck over the last few years, what with losing my wife of forty years and son to cancer and then suffering a couple of strokes. So perhaps now is the time to do something to wipe the slate clean and see if I can buy off the Devil who is bugging me. I had thought about perhaps doing something like riding my bicycle to Moscow, like Carol Thatcher did, but she is a lot braver and fitter than I am.

I’d much prefer to do something to raise money that for most of the time had me sitting in a comfortable chair and that at night allowed me to sleep most nights in my own bed.

The task, if I will accept it, is to visit all the 92 Premier and Football League grounds in alphabetical order in one calendar month, using only trains, trams, buses and Shanks’s pony. I thought about adding allowing bicycles and hitch-hiking, but I’m probably not up to the former yet and nobody ever does the second these days. Taxis are definitely out, except in an emergency.

I have created a spreadsheet of all the teams and it looks like it will be possible to do it in a 31-day month.

October, this year would be a good choice as on the 1st, Aldershot, who are second alphabetically, play Accrington Stanley who are first.  So hopefully, I could visit the match and then get a lift back to Aldershot on a supporters coach, just in time to get a train back to London and do Arsenal on the way home.

On the other hand there are some interesting days, where several clubs are close to each other both in alphabetic order and geographically or easier to get between. There are.

  1. 3rd – Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool and Bolton
  2. 15th – Liverpool, Macclesfield, Manchester City, Manchester United and then on to Middlesbrough
  3. 17th – Newcastle, Northampton, Norwich, Notts County, Nottingham Forest and then on to Oldham
  4. 21st – Rotherham, Scunthorpe, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and then on to Shrewbury
  5. 23rd – Swansea, Swindon, Torquay and then back to Tottenham.

Other than the Accrington-Aldershot match, there would appear to be games on the 15th at Macclesfield, the 22nd at Stevenage and perhaps it will all end on the 29th at Yeovil.

Obviously any money I raise will go to Liverpool University to help with research into pancreatic cancer. I will be setting up a page on Just Giving soon. Hopefully there are people who might like to sponsor the odd day.

At a first glance there are a few difficult teams.

  1. Bournemouth
  2. Bradford
  3. Colchester
  4. Coventry
  5. Crawley Town
  6. Doncaster
  7. Oxford United
  8. Plymouth
  9. Port Vale
  10. Shrewsbury
  11. Stoke
  12. Swindon
  13. Torquay
  14. Yeovil

Any help on buses or walking routes for these would be appreciated.  Lifts, although I’m grateful for the thought, are not allowed.

The irony is that I don’t think this would have been possible for me, until this year, as now Marks and Spencer’s now have stagetically placed pit-stops in many stations, where I can get wholesome gluten-free sandwiches to speed me on my way.

Here is a provisional schedule.

  1. 1st – Accrington, Aldershot and Arsenal
  2. 2nd – Aston Villa, Barnet and Barnsley
  3. 3rd – Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool and Bolton
  4. 4th – Bournemouth and Bradford
  5. 5th – Brentford, Brighton, Bristol City and Bristol Rovers
  6. 6th – Burnley, Burton Albion and Bury
  7. 7th – Cardiff and Carlisle
  8. 8th – Charlton, Chelsea, Cheltenham and Chesterfield
  9. 9th – Colchester, Coventry and Crawley Town
  10. 10th – Crewe, Crystal Palace and Dagenham and Redbridge
  11. 11th – Derby, Doncaster, Everton and Exeter
  12. 12th – Fulham, Gillingham, and Hartlepool
  13. 13th – Hereford, Huddersfield and Hull
  14. 14th – Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester and Leyton Orient
  15. 15th – Liverpool, Macclesfield, Manchester City, Manchester United
  16. 16th – Middlesbrough, Millwall and Milton Keynes
  17. 17th – Morecambe and Newcastle
  18. 18th – Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham Forest and Notts County
  19. 19th – Oldham, Oxford United and Peterborough
  20. 20th – Plymouth and Port Vale
  21. 21st – Portsmouth and Preston
  22. 22nd – QPR, Reading, Rochdale and Rotherham
  23. 23rd – Scunthorpe, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Shrewsbury
  24. 24th – Southampton, Southend, Stevenage and Stoke
  25. 25th – Sunderland and Swansea
  26. 26th – Swindon, Torquay and Tottenham
  27. 27th – Tranmere, Walsall, Watford, West Brom and West Ham
  28. 28th – Wigan, AFC Wimbledon, Wolverhampton and Wycombe
  29. 29th – Yeovil

September 3, 2011 Posted by | Health, Travel | , , , , , | 32 Comments

The Seventy-Free Goes Seventy-Pay

Transport for London will see an increase in revenue today, as the seventy-three bus goes non-bendy.  I have sat in the back of these buses and seen that so many of the passengers don’t touch in.

A New 73 Bus

However, now the bus is a proper double-decker, they’ll have to pay.

I travelled on one to the Angel today and it was a bit crowded.  But then last week on a bendy, it wouldn’t have been exactly empty.  It’s just a very busy bus route.

When I rode the 73, I was able to take this picture of a bendy bus causing a traffic jam.

A Bendy Bus Causing a Jam

Try takimg a picture like this from a bendy!

September 3, 2011 Posted by | Travel | | Leave a comment

A Series of Strange E-Mails

I have received several e-mails like this today.

A quick one time public service announcement about Lung cancer (no further emails will be sent).

Lung cancer is the cancer responsible for the most deaths in both men and women. Over 85% of lung cancers are related to smoking. More than half of the people who are newly diagnosed with lung cancer are former smokers.

Women are also affected greatly by breast and colorectal cancers. Reduce your risk of cancers by not smoking, eating a healthy diet, using sunscreen and getting regular cancer screenings. Take care.

This one had a title of “Info concerning maintaining fitness”.

They don’t appear to be promoting a web site, selling anything or even have any links to other sites.  And even the information is sensible.

But why?

All I can think of is that someone is testing some new e-mail software.

September 3, 2011 Posted by | Computing, Health | , | Leave a comment

Two Pieces from the Zopa Newsletter

The monthly Zopa newsletter is always worth a read.  There are some older ones here.

Two pieces from the current August one, I received yesterday are worthy of note.

This is the first.

And fresh off the press today, there is an interesting column in today’s Evening Standard, which states that (and we quote) “maybe a banker-free future will be with us sooner than we think”

I’ve been saying that about banks for a long time. Alternative methods will keep cropping up for their key services. On Tuesday, I went into Nationwide at Islington to use their cash machine and comfy chairs and the place had all the excitement of a morgue.

The second piece is about the people who work for Zopa.

Last but not least, we are very excited in the office as we launch NEED:LESS, our new fundraiser, and we’d love you to join us on our mission! Starting on Friday, 9th September, the Zopa team will be living on just £5 a day, for a week. This will have to cover all food, fun and extras, while the remaining amount that we would normally spend will be donated to DEC in support of the East Africa crisis.

How many of the fat cat bankers would know how to live on five pounds a day? Five pounds a minute perhaps!

September 3, 2011 Posted by | Finance, World | , , | Leave a comment

Zopa’s New Login

Zopa has changed it’s login screen and as would be expected from a company which is based on innovative software, it has created one of the simplest and secure login systems that I have seen.

You login initially with a standard user name and password. You can check either or both of two boxes.

  1. Remember the user name on this computer.
  2. Show the characters I’ve typed into the password.

Many systems like eBay use the first, but few use the second, which is important to me, as my left hand is a bit wayward with the shift key.

They then ask you one of three check questions, such as where you were born.  This question has always been case insensitive, which is the way it should be. If it’s not, you then might have to write it down, which of course breaks the security.

I can truthfully say though that I’ve never had any problems with logging in to Zopa. Or any security issues either.

September 3, 2011 Posted by | Finance | , | 1 Comment