Half marathon fundraiser

I’m running the Bristol Half marathon this weekend. I’m not likely to break my personal best of 1 hour 51 minutes, to be honest I’ll be lucky to do it in under 2 hours, but I’m determined to finish!

I’m running with my work colleagues and lots of students and instructors from my Taekwondo school.

Those of us running for Taekwondo are raising money for our fund to build a community centre on donated land in a village in Ghana.

We’ve set up a blog to keep track of our fundraising efforts, which has a link to donate via Paypal:

You can find out more information about the project at the following 2 links:


Ghana PDF

If you’d like to sponsor me to run the 21km Bristol Half marathon this weekend, please get in touch with me or use the Paypal link found on the blog linked to above.

Some of the instructors are going out to Ghana over the next few weeks so they’ll be lots of progress and updates on the project going up on the Puma Ghana blog soon.

Life goes on

I have had one hell of a busy month.

I’ve moved house, from Stoke Bishop to Southmead… some might say that’s a downgrading… well you’re right. The road I’ve moved onto is not as nice as the one I’ve just left, but it’s not too bad really… just the pub is a bit noisy on saturday night.

Holly, Issy and myself are now living in a 3 bed house with lots of space for all my “junk” or “crap”, or as I like to call it, memorabilia.

The house is still full of piles of boxes, it took us about 2 weeks to move. We didn’t get the keys to our house till 3 days after the original date. Haart, our estate agent, have pretty much done everything wrong.

We signed for the house on May 12th and gave payment details for a £350 agency fee. When we went to move in on 11am Monday 18th June, the following list of problems began to arise:

Monday 18th, 10:30am : Haart call to say they haven’t collected the gas safety certificate yet, can we come in half an hour later at 11:30am.

Monday 18th, 11:30am: We arrive at Haart’s fishponds office to find out, there is no gas safety certificate, and they probably can’t get one today. Haart say “SOrry, but it’s the landlords fault not ours”.

Tuesday 19th, 4:30pm: Holly and I finally arrive at the house to sign for the contract, but on arrival we find the house is dirty, mud on the carpets, sink covered in grime, and none of the painting and decorating has been done. I get very angry and ask for a full refund.

Wednesday 20th, 11am: Holly and I sign the contract after getting a 50% refund on our agency fee. Haart say it’s the landlords fault it’s not cleaned, and they’ll do some of the painting – Holly and I start cleaning.

Wednesday 20th, 2pm: I find out that the decorators have painted the outside of the house when we asked them to paint the inside, and also the washing machine door seal has rotted and is covered in fungus.

Thursday 21st, 1:30pm: I finish painting and decorating in the house, the Latvian cleaners finish cleaning the rest of the house.

Thursday 21st, 2pm: Holly and I move in the first load of boxes…

So we didn’t start moving stuff in for 3 days. I’d taken 3 days off work so I was bloody angry at Haart for mucking us about. I spoke to a few different people from Haart and they all said sorry, but none of them admitted any fault. It wasn’t till I spoke to the manager, Simon, that he finally gave a meaningful apology by accepting the fault was theirs. He also got us a refund of 50% of the agency fee, £175.

A few days later, when we’d nearly finished moving in, Simon called again to say they’d forgotten to charge the £420 agency fee, and because of this they couldn’t pay the landlord, and couldn’t give us a refund. So they had all our deposit and all our rent, but basically refused to pay the (now angry) landlord until they had the agency fee. And instead of taking the difference on the refund, they “had” to take the full amount again before giving a refund.

The other problem, was we’d paid the VAT on the agenct fee when we paid the rent… so turns out we were due a £210 refund not £175.

So I paid it and got everyhting sorted out, and we’ve now had our refund of… £175.
They still owe us £35 pounds… plus the £25 for the skanky washing machine seal.

The moral of the story, Haart are the worst estate agents I’ve ever dealt with. Kingsley Thomas are very awful… Haart are 10 times worse. They are incompetent, unproffessional and I will be leaving them as soon as possible.

Anyway, we’re moved in now… but I’ve just got back from a weeks camping holiday… Holly and Issy are visiting Reading for the week so I’m just going to be unpacking boxes on my own for a week! But as we’ve no internet installed it’ll give me something to do at least.

In amongst all the troubles with moving, I’ve also started playing World of Warcraft… a bit late to the party, but I can see why people can get so addicted to it… I may have played a bit too much to relieve stress, instead of packing boxes and cleaning the old property. I’ve also replaced many bits of the car that have fallen off/apart this month, and been training for my next Taekwon-Do grading next week! And finally, I’ve had to recruit a replacement developer for the excellent Tom Riley, who is sadly leaving us at Comcar.

Anyways, this blog has mostly been a rant about how RUBBISH HAART ESTATE AGENTS ARE. Also, if you google them (which I should have done before I took the property with them) you will find lots of other tenants and landlords who say they are awful, they are only interested in sales. They don’t care about rented properties.


Either way, I’m going rally driving with my brother tomorrow, and next week (hopefully) I’ll be a Yellow belt, or 8th Kup, my first fully coloured belt (currently I’m yellow tag, which is still white, but with a yellow stripe on it).

I’ll be back soon with a less whiny and more interesting post, possibly with some drawings in it.

Running, Taekwondo, Ghana

Earlier this year I decided to once again to run the Bristol Half Marathon, and to motivate myself I signed up for the Bristol 10k which I recently completed with a moderately disappointing time of 1 hour 2 minutes. But I finished it and I was only just over an hour, but for the half I’d like to break my current personal best of 1 hour and 51 minutes (which I got thanks to Pros).

In January of this year I joined the Clifton and Henleaze P.U.M.A Taekwon-do club, and have got very in to martial arts again. In fact my brother Dave has also joined in, which has done so much for my motivation… we both got credits in our first grading and we’ve both learnt the next belts patterns early… but I can’t let him get ahead of me.

Anyway, the Taekwon-do club that I train with sponsor a community in Ghana and are helping to raise funds to build a school building to act as a community centre for education and also martial arts training. Some of the senior members of the school also go out and teach Taekwon-do to the community.

So what I’d like to ask all my lovely friends and family, is to sponsor me in support of the Taekwon-do schools Ghana fund. All year long the school put on various sponsorship events to help the community out in Ghana, so I figured I should pull my weight and help out to.

There are 13 members of the club running at the moment, including my instructor Miss Reeve and a variety of other hard core senior grades who are all tall and mega fit… so it’s going to be a challenge to keep up with them…

You can get more info on the cause here: http://skeater.co.uk/samples/Fundraising%20for%20Ghana.pdf

So if anyone would like to sponsor me, please get in touch. All the money raised will go directly to the community, I’ve paid my entry to the race, and I’ll probably put some money into the cause myself as well anyway.

The Bristol Half Marathon is 21km, about 13.1 miles, it’s a fairly flat half marathon that runs up the Avon Gorge, under the suspension bridge and back again, then twists through the city centre a bit : http://www.runbristol.com/HalfMarathon/106/Home.aspx