Revising the bucket list

Revising the bucket list

This post is for my own benefit – you’re welcome to read it but I’m posting it here to make it more real for me.

I love holidays. I haven’t had enough of them in the last couple of years… partly through having a RIDICULOUS number of weddings + wedding related things to go to in the last couple of years… anyway… I just got back from a great little break to Lanzarote with 2 friends where I spent some of the time surfing, volcano exploring, eating great food and pondering my life to-do list.

The list has been a bit neglected recently, time for a refresh!

So, I sat in the sun and rewrote it.. my first decision being that it will only ever have 10 things on it maximum. This seems like a good round number to me.

I started by thinking about and writing down some of the things I’d like to change/improve and experience – this mission statement of sorts was in 3 parts: health, wealth and happiness.

It’s a very personal list, that I made SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-specific). From this and a few extras I wrote my to-do / bucket list:

  1. Go into space & experience weightlessness
  2. Own a campervan
  3. Travel more (inc. the pyramids, Machu Pichu, Paris, New York, Area 51…)
  4. Reach the BSA Silver level 1 in surfing
  5. Buy a second property
  6. Get married – any single Zooey Deschanel-a-likes out there? get in touch! 🙂
  7. Finish and publish the YRNB book
  8. Cycle John O’Groats to Lands End
  9. Complete the 3 peaks challenge
  10. Be a world record holder
I also then wrote one specific action for each of these to do by June, to make sure I get cracking.
Game on!!

Do you have a bucket list?

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I don’t want to die – the numbers

Yesterday’s blog post went kind of crazy, and with interest from some journalists, I wanted to be really sure that my numbers were 100% accurate including all the possible data I could find.

Important note: both posts relate to casualty rate, which are accidents and injuries not fatalities.

Using 2004-2011 data Bournemouth is actually second to Portsmouth

Using 2005-2010 data Bournemouth is number one

…I leave it up to you if that makes the story any less important…


Method used:

1) Find as many years of raw data as I could to supplement the 2011 numbers I found yesterday, ignoring the council figures shown in the diagram

2) Sort all areas by pedal cycle casualty rates per 100,000

3) Score each area as per their position from 1 to 10, with anything greater scoring 10

4) Combine those scores to give a ranking

Here is the revised league of shame, using the full 2004-2011 data set:

  1. Portsmouth
  2. Bournemouth
  3. Kingston upon Hul
  4. York
  5. Peterborough
  6. Bristol
  7. Brighton & Hove
  8. Manchester
  9. Poole
  10. Reading


I found two inaccuracies in the Bournemouth Council table, compared to the National Statistics data: In 2004 Bournemouth ranked 4th not 7th and in 2010 4th not 5th.

Data sets:

If you really want the raw data sets to do your own number crunching:

All raw data exports (zip)

Casualty rates per 100,000 raw data (xls)

Final crunched version of the numbers (xls)

Thanks to the National Archives and

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I don’t want to die

I don’t want to die

“…Bournemouth has the highest death rate of cyclists outside of London…”

Ummm… say, what?? 

Did I hear that right? 

Yes, apparently I did.

You see, last week I was invited to attend the Bournemouth Cycle Forum and this little point had casually been dropped into the conversation during the evening.

Now, I was quite surprised to hear this.

Important note: both posts relate to casualty rate, which are accidents and injuries not fatalities.

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My experience of moving banks

My experience of moving banks

Tweeted about this a few times and people have asked lots of questions…  so a blog post is born!

With a saving account at Barclays and a current account with HSBC, recent banking scandals/rate fixing/money laundering had really made me keen to move banks.

I spent a bit of time reading sites like Move Your Money UK (very good) and deciding where I wanted to go,  in the end it mostly came down to the Ethical Consumer banking configurator-thingy which allows you to say which values are important to you and suggests an appropriate place for your dosh.

After some more reading/faffing/pondering I settled on Nationwide for my current account for two reasons:

  • The main one – they scored well on the index with my chosen values
  • The added bonus – they employ quite a few of my friends in Bournemouth – I know it sounds silly, but if I’m going to move banks it’s definitely an added bonus that in some small way it helps keep my friends in jobs!

So, bye bye HSBC + Barclays – hello Nationwide + Credit Union*!

*For my savings, I’m going to go for a local credit union – I’m still researching them at the moment, when I’ve decided I’ll write a follow up post I promise!

Closing my Barclay’s savings account was surprisingly quick and easy, they didn’t offer any resistance (I’d expected a “Are you sure we can’t…” or something!) and was all over in about 5 minutes.  I got the feeling, it was quite a common occurrence at Barclays at the moment.

Opening and moving to Nationwide…

I tried to do it online, but the site had an error – as I was heading to Barclays anyway (having found my passport) I thought I’d do it in person.

The lady who served me was very good, it didn’t take very long and they promised to take care of it all for me (transferring direct debits etc) – the only exceptions were that I’d need to update my paypal bank account details, inform my lodger and my employer.

That was it.

My advice:

  1. Do it. It’s easier/quicker than I expected.
  2. Do it. It felt good to have some (small) element of control over these banks.
  3. Take your last 3 months worth of statements with you and they’ll match credit limits/overdrafts limits.
  4. Do it. If we all moved bank accounts it’d have more effect than voting, whinging, writing to our MPs or anything else we could do short of some sort of full on anti-bank revolution!
  5. Do it. The total time it’s taken has been at most an hour (once I decided on which bank).

If you have any questions/comments please share them below – I’d love to hear about others moving their money!

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