Thursday May 23, 2019
Photo Article - a Woodlarks training walk up the River Dee
Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - this is what I do when not writing or walking
Photo Article update from the Welsh Hovel - a sight to delight daughter Olaf

PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

Tom Winnifrith Bonus Bearcast: Stockopedia, Optibiotix & Optiva not trying to bribe me!

2 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42721/tom-winnifrith-bonus-bearcast-stockopedia-optibiotix-optiva-not-trying-to-bribe-me

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Transgender "genocide", IQE profits alert and Monkey facing wipeout

2 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42700/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-transgender-genocide-iqe-profits-alert-and-monkey-facing-wipeout

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Woodford and another £10m down the Proton Partners pan - a new valuation scandal

4 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42669/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-woodford-and-another-310-down-the-proton-partners-pan-a-new-valuation-scandal

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Advice for Andrew Monk on how to be a spiv

4 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42657/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-advice-for-andrew-monk-on-how-to-be-a-spiv

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: the Sheriff battles Neil Woodford at WPCT AGM

4 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42631/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-sheriff-battles-neil-woodford-at-wpct-agm

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Defrauded of £36 by Rentalcar/Europcar and fecking livid

4 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42613/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-defrauded-of-36-by-rentalcar-europcar-and-fecking-livid

Tom Winnifrith

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A question I shall put, in person, tomorrow: Dear Mr Woodford – how about you give a bit of the £37m to Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks

4 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42597/a-question-i-shall-put-in-person-tomorrow-dear-mr-woodford-how-about-you-give-a-bit-of-the-37m-to-rogue-bloggers-for-woodlarks

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: The analyst who said a corporate client was "not bust yet"

9 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42576/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-analyst-who-said-a-corporate-client-was-not-bust-yet

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith: Just ten days to go, please please please sponsor Steve, Lucian, myself and nine others for Woodlarks

9 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42572/tom-winnifrith-just-ten-days-to-go-please-please-please-sponsor-steve-lucian-myself-and-nine-others-for-woodlarks

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Oi Peterhouse you Vermin - acting for a man who jokes about my mother's suicide

10 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42559/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-oi-peterhouse-you-vermin-acting-for-a-man-who-jokes-about-my-mother-s-suicide

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article - a Woodlarks training walk up the River Dee

10 days ago

In twelve days time I will walk 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks with 11 other rogue bloggers to try to raise £40,000 for a charity that really needs that cash. So if you are yet to sponsor me please do so now HERE. Sagturday saw a training walk allowing me to explore the area around my new home, the Welsh Hovel, on the River Dee.


I started at the Hovel. It had been a cold morning so I had three layers on. And for once I did not take my rucksack so had no water with me, a schoolboy error.


The first half a mile or so was on the Welsh side of the Dee before crossing over a 13th century Bridge into England. It is on this bridge every morning and afternoon as I drop my son Joshus off at nursery (in England) or pick him up that he says “Goodbye Wales” and then a minute later “Hello England” or vice versa.


On the far side, I headed towards Chester keeping the Dee close to my left apart from in one place where there was a field full of bulls and I decided to take a rather long detour.


I walked through woods and fields on a path that seems, after a while, to be rarely used. I met few walkers and as I waded through nettles in some places I undersgtood why. Joshua would have loved the deep dark wood and would have started chattering about the Gruffalo. In one wood the smell of wild garlic was almost overpowering.


At about two and a half hours I saw a small village ahead and reckoned that I had done at least seven miles so turned and headed back the way I had come. By this time the sun was hot and I was sweating badly and feeling a tad dehydrated as my schoolboy error came back to haunt me. But my feet were fine and though a fourteen mile walk is no real test, that it was essentially so easy, is a good sign for what is to come. And the scenery was wonderful, the North really is not so grim after all.


If you are yet to donate to Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks please do so HERE







Admin

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Confessions of a non estate agent & is the Corbyn threat discounted?

10 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42535/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-confessions-of-a-non-estate-agent-is-the-corbyn-threat-discounted

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: 2 schoolboy errors of a desperate man, Mr Neil Woodford

10 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42529/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-2-schoolboy-errors-of-a-desperate-man-mr-neil-woodford

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Malcolm you misunderstand IQE

10 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42475/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-malcolm-you-misunderstand-iqe

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: If you back fraud & evil DO NOT donate to Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks & Woodford talks Brexit cock

14 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42425/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-if-you-back-fraud-evil-do-not-donate-to-rogue-bloggers-for-woodlarks-woodford-talks-brexit-cock

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast – Leon Hogan takes a Marechale bath: Rejoice! Rejoice!

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42356/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-leon-hogan-takes-a-marechale-bath-rejoice-rejoice

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: a Missing cat and an attempt to shut down this website

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42328/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-a-missing-cat-and-an-attempt-to-shut-down-this-website

Tom Winnifrith

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Watching & dissecting Carole Cadwalladr’s Brexit TED talk - how I suffer for Woodlarks

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42310/watching-dissecting-carole-cadwalladr-s-brexit-ted-talk-i-suffer-for-woodlarks

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: an endearing tale about Brokerman Dan

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42298/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-an-endearing-tale-about-brokerman-dan

Tom Winnifrith

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My body was in spasms, my teeth chattered – the least you can do is give a tenner to Woodlarks

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42272/my-body-was-in-spasms-my-teeth-chattered-the-least-you-can-do-is-give-a-tenner-to-woodlarks-readers-kindly-email-to-ask-if-despite-storm-hannah-i-completed-my-twenty-four-up-hill-down-dale-training-walk-yesterday-i-did-but-at-a-price-there-is-however-good

Tom Winnifrith

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Richard Jennings is 100% right (on this) - sack the board at Argo Blockchain at the EGM

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42273/richard-jennings-is-100-right-on-this-sack-the-board-at-argo-blockchain-at-the-egm

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith: I'm now at 15.5 of 24 miles & the weather is truly dire, enjoy my misery & sponsor a rogue blogger for Woodlarks?

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42266/tom-winnifrith-im-now-at-155-of-24-miles-the-weather-is-truly-dire-enjoy-my-misery-sponsor-a-rogue-blogger-for-woodlarks

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Greensmith dont be such a knobhead when I scoop a placing by your POS client

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42258/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-greensmith-dont-be-such-a-knobhead-when-i-scoop-a-placing-by-your-pos-client

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Psst - does anyone want to buy a bucket shop?

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42210/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-psst-does-anyone-want-to-buy-a-bucket-shop

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Naughty naughty Lord Razzall (again), another mini bond blow up and yield, reward and risk

31 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42158/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-naughty-naughty-lord-razzall-again-another-mini-bond-blow-up-and-yield-reward-and-risk

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: chatting to Nigel Wray on the crisis of capitalism & more Yourgene anger

33 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42142/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-chatting-to-nigel-wray-on-the-crisis-of-capitalism-more-yourgene-anger

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Mr Angry on the Yourgene front

33 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42125/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-mr-angry-on-the-yourgene-front

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Not grabbing Mrs Chav's Pussy and as Julie Meyer threatens myself and Nigel Wray - how I will respond

33 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42104/tom-winnifritrh-bearcast-not-grabbing-mrs-chav-s-pussy-and-as-julie-meyer-threatens-myself-and-nigel-wray-how-i-will-respond

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: I have cracking news for Concepta but still tell its CEO to go feck himself

33 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42080/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-i-have-cracking-news-for-concepta-but-still-tell-its-ceo-to-go-feck-himself

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: I'm not insensitive to lesbians but, listeners: should I grab Mrs Chav's pussy?

33 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42032/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-i-m-not-insensitive-to-lesbians-but-listeners-should-i-grab-mrs-chav-s-pussy

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: My fecking feet are killing me & will Neil Woodford's Waterloo be in Guernsey

33 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42024/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-my-fecking-feet-are-killing-me-will-neil-woodford-s-waterloo-be-in-guernsey

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - an email to my dear friend the China fraud specialist Paul Shackleton

33 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42019/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-an-email-to-my-dear-friend-the-china-fraud-specialist-paul-shackleton

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Why Julie Meyer was the odd one out & the mystery of Toople and what it did not say

42 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42000/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-why-julie-meyer-was-the-odd-one-out-the-mystery-of-toople-and-what-it-did-not-say

Tom Winnifrith

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Nine Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks update – last year we raised £26,000: in 2019, so far…

45 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41833/nine-rogue-bloggers-for-woodlarks-update-last-year-we-raised-26000-so-far

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Scoop central - the heroin dealer, the pot play & the blockchain company & Big Sofa and Levis

51 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41816/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-scoop-central-the-heroin-dealer-the-pot-play-the-blockchain-company-big-sofa-and-levis

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Some cracking news for Neil Woodford, I'm a shareholder now!

55 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41749/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-some-cracking-news-for-neil-woodford-i-m-a-shareholder-now

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Talking of Dan Levi's sweaty underpants - Mirriad has a statement

55 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41727/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-talking-of-dan-levi-s-sweaty-underpants-mirriad-has-a-statement

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Oi Neil Woodford where did £90m go in one day? And the sores on Dan Levi's bottom

55 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41707/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-oi-neil-woodford-where-did-90m-go-in-one-day-and-the-sores-on-dan-levi-s-bottom

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Minoan, be careful what you wish for

57 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41687/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-minoan-be-careful-what-you-wish-for

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: after 30 years of kissing Neil Woodford's arse Jeff Presstrip becomes the penultimate rat to abandon ship

58 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41667/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-after-30-years-of-kissing-neil-woodford-s-arse-jeff-presstrip-becomes-the-penultimate-rat-to-abandin-ship

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bonus Bearcast: Wrestling with my conscience on Yourgene, Down Syndrome and abortion

61 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41648/tom-winnifrith-bonus-bearcast-wrestling-with-my-conscience-on-yourgene-down-syndrome-and-abortion

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnfrith Bearcast: Brexit bollocks, the real threats to the economy, Crest Nicholson's dividend and Charlie & Lola

61 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41626/tom-winnfrith-bearcast-brexit-bollocks-the-real-threats-to-the-economy-crest-nicholson-s-dividend-and-charlie-lola

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - crunching the numbers after today's dire results & profits warning from IQE

62 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41607/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-crunching-the-numbers-after-today-s-dire-results-profits-warning-from-iqe

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: if you wait by the river for long enough...

64 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41587/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-if-you-wait-by-the-river-for-long-enough

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: maybe it really is time to call it a day

64 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41562/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-maybe-it-really-is-time-to-call-it-a-day

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Atlantic Capital & IQE you guys really are shysters & jokers

64 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41542/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-atlantic-capital-iqe-you-guys-really-are-shysters-jokers

Tom Winnifrith

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Woodlarks: Hey Steve thanks for the thought but did you forget something?

64 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41540/woodlarks-hey-steve-thanks-for-the-thought-but-did-you-forget-something

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - 19 miles in the mud and dog pooh

67 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41535/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-19-miles-in-the-mud-and-dog-pooh

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo article - I've never seen this beastie in the wild before today

67 days ago

Today, I went on my latest training walk ahead of the 33 mile Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks Trek in May. BTW, if you have not yet sponsored me do so HERE. Anyhow, on today's 19 miler I was at about the five mile mark passing under the road bridge over the Avon just shy of Hanham Weir, when I spotted a small furry creature by the path.

It was desperately trying to dig a hole in the earth. I do not know if it succeeded because as it dug I had to head up the path to ask some walkers who were heading towards the bridge if they would put their dog on a leash to save the mole. Until this day I have never seen a mole in the wild before. One more thing off my bucket list I guess.

Admin

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Which is most fecked - MotifBio, RedT or Inspirit?

68 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41526/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-which-is-most-fecked-motifbio-redt-or-inspirit

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Totally & Condor balance sheets under extreme scrutiny

69 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41502/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-totally-condor-balance-sheets-under-extreme-scrutiny

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: If you take tips from BB morons you deserve all you get

70 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41479/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-if-you-take-tips-from-bb-morons-you-deserve-all-you-get

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Do 13 year old mothers today still use Mothercare?

71 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41465/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-do-13-year-old-mothers-today-still-use-mothercare

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - it is all about earnings visibility

72 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41442/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-it-is-all-about-earnings-visibility

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Why Hargreaves Lansdown CAN'T tell its clients to dump Neil Woodford and why the yield on EIF is set to crash

73 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41425/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-why-hargreaves-lansdown-can-t-tell-its-clients-to-dump-neil-woodford-and-why-the-yield-on-eif-is-set-to-crash

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: The tide is going out so is Avril Palmer-Baunack wearing a swimsuit at all?

74 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41413/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-tide-is-going-out-so-is-avril-palmer-baunack-wearing-a-swimsuit-at-all

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bonus Bearcast: from a failed fund manager to a failing one (Neil Woodford) - about those %s and the FCA

76 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41407/tom-winnifrith-bonus-bearcast-from-a-failed-fund-manager-to-a-failing-one-neil-woodford-about-those-s-and-the-fca

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: happy International Women's Day with Myra Hindley

76 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41405/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-happy-international-women-s-day-with-myra-hindley

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: 17 million F*ck Offs

77 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41364/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-17-million-fck-offs

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Mirriad needs to fess up, Debenhams does not discount what lies ahead

79 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41346/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-mirriad-needs-to-fess-up-debenhams-does-not-discount-what-lies-ahead

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bonus Bearcast: WH Ireland is a shit-show (as predicted) but this is an industry in crisis

79 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41343/tom-winnifrith-bonus-bearcast-wh-ireland-is-a-shit-show-as-predicted-but-this-is-an-industry-in-crisis

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article: Woodlarks Training Walk Number two - part 4, through the mud to the finish

80 days ago

Having got my sums wrong (again), I was delighted when, at last, the viaduct which takes the Bitton railway over the river Avon, came into sight. I was still six minutes ahead of the schedule I had set myself and so, if my new sums were right, would reach the finishing line, the pub at Hanham Weir, shortly before the Mrs and Joshua arrived at two thirty. So I walked down from the railway line towards the path by the river. Uh Oh...thick squelchy mud, I couldn'r go over it, I could go round it I had to go through it. Squelch, squerch, Apologies to the Bear Hunt for that.

The first photo is of looking up at the viaduct. The second is of the Fry's chocolate factory at Keynsham and the last is of the pub, the finishing line. What I had not calculated for was the mud which was everywhere. Twice I almost slipped and fell into it, somehow rebalancing and avoiding a wet bottom. But it was a sapping last few miles and I was jolly glad to reach the finishing line about ten minutes after the arrival of the Mrs.

My trousers were caked with mud as were my boots. as i opened my kagool the wind blew onto a sweatshirt soaked in sweat and suddenly I felt very cold. Heading out in that weather when I had a chest cold already was not the smartest move but I am determined that this year, on May 25, I will not hold Lucian, Dan and the other merry band of rogue bloggers back as we walk 33 miles for Woodlarks. So I am training very seriously indeed.

Woodlarks needs your support. I was not the only rogue blogger out walking this weekend. Please make a donation HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: I'm a professional cynic but my heart's not in it, for today at least

80 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41322/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-i-m-a-professional-cynic-but-my-hearts-not-in-it-for-today-at-least

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article: Woodlarks Training Walk Number two - part 3 on to Bitton

80 days ago

Refreshed by a cup of warm tea and a slice of banana bread at Lucian's breakfast cafe, the half way point of my 16 mile training walk, as I gear up for the 33 mile rogue bloggers for Woodlarks trek on May 25, I strode on, along the line of the old Bristol Bath railway line towards Bitton.

It is an easy, almost flat, stretch and though I felt a bit miffed as two ladies, who must have been well into their sixties, caught up with, and then quickly overtook. me, I continued, mentally trying to work out at what time I would reach my next landmark.

It is about a mile before Bitton that you actually start walking alongside rail tracks.

The main depot of this small private railway is at Bitton. Most of its services are diesel trains from the British Rail era of the sixties and seventies but some weekends it also runs steam trains. As you can see below, it being winter there were no trains running. 

At this point, I calculated that I was only about half a mile from leaving the old railway and heading down to the fields and along the Avon and back towards Bristol.  This thought cheered me greatly as, by now, the wind was fairly ferocious and it was starting to rain pretty heavily. Being alongside the line on top of a steep embankment I was fully exposed to the elements.

Naturally I had got my sums completely wrong.

If you enjoy the thought of my suffering or perhaps if you consider how last year Woodlarks scraped by on £115,000 with the rogue bloggers raising £32,000 of that, why not make a donation to this year's event HERE

 

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article: Woodlarks Training Walk Number 2 - the half way point reached - banana bread is my reward

80 days ago

Thanks to a little confusion on my part, which resulted in me wandering around the area close to Temple Meads for an extra half mile, the half way point on my second training walk for the 33 mile rogue bloggers for Woodlarks trek in May, was what I know as Lucian's breakfast joint.

When Mr Miers and I did a training walk last year along this route, the sun was shining and the cafe at Walmley Junction in the old railway station was packed. Indeed when I trained by walking the Bristol Bath railway path last summer, it was always swarming with other walkers, dogs and cyclists. With the wind blowing hard and the rain pelting down, my walk yesterday was a rather more solitary affair.

You may say that the cycle path is quite easy going but for the first few miles it is steadily uphill, albeit on a gentle slope and depressingly after about five miles you are still in Bristol. But eventually you cross over the ring road and break out into open countryside before heading into Walmley where the cafe was deserted but, to my surprise, open. A warm cup of tea, some banana bread and a chance to use the facilities was my reward as I contemplated the miles that lay ahead.

I cannot say that I was really enjoying the walk, given the weather, but train I must as the 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks are unforgiving and May 25 looms ever closer on the horizon. I think we may now have a 9th and possibly up to 11 rogue bloggers pledged to do all 33 miles. I know I was not the only one training yesterday. We are raising money for an outstanding cause so please take two minutes to read why we walk and make a donation HERE

Admin

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Woodlarks Training walk Number 2 - 16 miles in rain wind and mud - Part 1

80 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41299/woodlarks-training-walk-number-2-16-miles-in-rain-wind-and-mud-part-1

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo article: pancake day comes two days early

80 days ago

I was chatting to the guys at my local Italian greasy spoon the other day and they 'fessed up that they buy ready made pancake mix. Just how pathetic is that? It takes ten minutes to whip up some batter, just how lazy have we all become?

The Mrs phoned me as I was doing my Woodlarks training walk to say that she and Joshua had been to church and that he had greatly enjoyed seeing pancakes flipped and then eating them and so could I make some more that evening? Given that she has a new job in the Grim North so is not here during the week, it was resolved that we would indeed celebrate Shrove Tuesday two days early.

The first one did not work out so well. I was a bit out of practice on the flipping and screwed up. So Joshua had that one - with some spare minced beef. Using up leftovers before lent we really were getting into the spirit. Thereafter my flipping scored perfect sixes and the one below was served with honey for the Mrs as we watched Endeavour post Joshua bed-time. 

Rather losing the Lent spirit, the Mrs suggests we should have pancake day more often than just once a year.

Admin

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast Exclusive: twit James Hurley of The Times demands an apology for calling out his false claim - he can stick it where the sun don't shine

80 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41302/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-exclusive-twit-james-hurley-of-the-times-demands-an-apology-for-calling-out-his-false-claim-he-can-stick-it-where-the-sun-don-t-shine

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Neil Woodford fools the morons on the deadwood press (again) and Malcolm's worst article yet

82 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41290/tom-winnifrith-b-earcast-neil-woodford-fools-the-morons-on-the-deadwood-press-again-and-malcolm-s-worst-article-yet

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Susan Searle of WPCT J'accuse & Great Scott: Revolution Bars is enough to turn a man to drink

82 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41282/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-susan-searle-of-wpct-j-accuse-great-scott-revolution-bars-is-enough-to-turn-a-man-to-drink

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bonus Bearcast - today's shocking news from Neil Woodford keeps the FCA at bay ...for a while

83 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41273/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-today-s-shocking-news-from-neil-woodford-keeps-the-fca-at-bay-for-a-while

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: the FCA must be having kittens over Neil Woodford, if it was anyone else it would have moved in by now

83 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41261/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-fca-must-be-having-kittens-over-neil-woodford-if-it-was-anyone-else-it-would-have-moved-in-by-now

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bonus Bearcast: An official statement re Cheryl Cole and "imminent" action

84 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41233/tom-winnifrith-bonus-bearcast-an-official-statement-re-cheryl-cole-and-imminent-action

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Liars, damned liars and AIM CEOs

84 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41235/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-liars-damned-liars-and-aim-ceos

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Sitting here thinking about the fraudster Rob Terry of Quindell infamy

87 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41195/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-sitting-here-thinking-about-the-fraudster-rob-terry-of-quindell-infamy

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article: My first training walk for Woodlarks 2019 - Part 3: the second half

88 days ago

On May 25 I shall again join the rogue bloggers (now a band of 8) walking 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks to raise money for this amazing charity. Serious training started today with a 12 mile walk from my front door to the Swan at Swineford with a slight detour to the cashpoint machine in my local high street. Evidence of the second half of that trek is below.

You left me just after the half way mark at Hanhan Weir.  From there the track headed through fields alongside the River Avon up to Keynsham and it was not really muddy at all and utterly nettle free. It was a breeze.  The lock at Keynsham is, I think, the deepest of this entire waterway but I did not tarry as the Mrs had called to say that Joshua was recovering from his earlier temperature and that they would join me at my journey's end.

Thus I headed on past Keynsham, stopping briefly to admire a fisherman land a young pike as you can see below. By two thirty the Swan at Swineford came into sight.  My feet and legs really don't feel bad at all and i am pretty sure that I could have done twenty miles or more without struggling which, with three months to the big walk, is good news indeed. Next weekend I must seek out a fifteen or sixteen mile route to tackle.

As I start to crank up the training, I ask you to consider making a small donation to Woodlarks and supporting all eight rogue bloggers (I am not the only one training this weekend) HERE 

Admin

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: No! Neil Woodford, this is not a fix and Malcolm Stacey ignores Anna Soubry's arse

88 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41164/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-no-neil-woodford-this-is-not-a-fix-and-malcolm-stacey-ignores-anna-soubry-s-arse

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo article: my first training walk for Woodlarks Part 2 - now half way

89 days ago

On May 25 I shall again join the rogue bloggers ( now at 8) walking 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks to raise money for this amazing charity. Serious training started today with a 12 mile walk from my front door to the Swan at Swineford with a slight detour to the cashpoint machine in my local high street.

I am now just over half way and have stopped for a coffee break. From memory we have a short break at c8 miles on the real walk so this is not unfair. Below you can see, firstly, where I hit the river Avon. And then the Weir at Hanham where I am now. Actually the weir is almost invisible, the Avon is swollen by rain and the water is high. 

I can tell I need to crank up the training but must now crack on as the path up to Keynsham, my next stop, gets more overgrown and muddy. As you think of me pushing on in the mud and nettles, I ask you to consider making a small donation to Woodlarks and supporting all eight rogue bloggers (I am not the only one training this weekend) HERE 

Admin

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My first training walk for Woodlarks of 2019 - off to Swineford, donate today! Part 1

89 days ago

You know what fun I have with training walks. Getting wet. Getting lost. Scrambling up nettle infested steep hills as a result of getting lost. It is all part of the build up to May 25 and the 33 mile Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks Charity walk. Today is the first serious training walk: 12 miles from my front door to a pub in Swineford. I shall carry a camera, my laptop and a phone so will post photos along the way…

The first stretch to Hanham lock is not that tough, paths most of the way although the last mile of that six miles is rather muddy. From memory, the path after that deteriorates badly as I track the river Avon.

The idea is to meet the Mrs and Joshua for lunch but the little fellow is running a bit of a temperature so I might just wan der part of the way back from the Swan at Swineford and call a cab or maybe I shall just call it a day at the Swan. I will see how I feel.

I shall post photos all day over on www.TomWinnifrith.com and I hope that with eight rogue bloggers now signed up for this year’s event in May you might think of me striding through the nettles and make a donation HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: this podcast really is an aphrodisiac according to 1 listener (at least)

89 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41150/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-this-podcast-really-is-an-aphrodisiac-according-to-1-listener-at-least

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: CyanConnode - did it deceive and Malcolm bonkers on bankers

126 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/40512/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-cyanconnode-did-it-deceive-and-malcolm-bonkers-on-bankerss

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - 6 New Year's Resolutions

143 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/40187/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-6-new-year-s-resolutions

Tom Winnifrith

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Are you free on May 25? Fancy a stroll for Woodlarks? Or can you spare a few quid?

152 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/40025/are-you-free-on-may-25-fancy-a-stroll-for-woodlarks-or-can-you-spare-a-few-quid

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article: The Woodlarks Christmas Grotto which ShareProphets readers Funded yet again

153 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/40048/photo-article-the-woodlarks-christmas-grotto-which-shareprophets-readers-funded-yet-again

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: From 5.30 tonight think of me dear listeners as I undergo sheer torture

154 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/40028/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-from-530-tonight-think-of-me-dear-listeners-as-i-undergo-sheer-torture

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Are they all stark raving mad?

156 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/39981/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-are-they-all-stark-raving-mad

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - who to blame for one of the worst IPOs of 2017 - Footasylum, and where next?

219 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/38857/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-who-to-blame-for-one-of-the-worst-ipos-of-2017-footasylum-and-where-next

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: A German Deal for Purplebricks - the land of milk & Hun-ny?

220 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/38839/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-a-german-deal-for-purplebricks-the-land-of-milk-hun-ny

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article: Woodlarks Christmas Grotto appeal from Tom Winnifrith

220 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/38810/photo-article-woodlarks-christmas-grotto-appeal-from-tom-winnifrith

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: In defence of Luke Johnson as he's mauled by a degenerate & ignorant Press

220 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/38812/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-in-defence-of-luke-johnson-as-he-s-mauled-by-a-degenerate-ignorant-press

Tom Winnifrith

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Fitness Regime derailed by Coach Brian Basham but basically on track

226 days ago

You may remember that my coach for my Woodlarks walk was 75 year old Fleet Street legend Brian Basham who himself completed the London marathon last year. My coach was in town yesterday and we met up for lunch. Uh Oh!

Both as a journalist and a PR man, Basham was at the top of his game. His contacts are just amazing. And as such he is an entertaining chap and we talked happily in central Bristol. But being old style Fleet Street it was over wine and then brandy. This is one reason that I do not go to London as there are others, like Brian, who can lead me astray. I remember my days of old style Fleet Street excess all too well but am too old, and too diabetic, to allow myself to go back.

These days I am imbibing well under five units a week. This week’s ration and some was consumed over lunch. I made it home and after a long shower was able to walk to pick up Joshua from nursery but there was no question of trying to go to the gym. I shall make amends today because I have stuck, fairly strictly, to my new regime of working out every other day.  Either it is 30 minutes on the treadmill or the same time on the exercise bike doing 10 or 11 miles.

I cannot say that I am losing much weight and I need to up my game for Brian has agreed to join me on the Woodlarks walk next year, May 25 2019.  That makes five confirmed for the full 33 miles (myself, Dan Levi, Lucian Miers, Andrew Bell and coach Basham) with one other – who is even older than Brian – joining us for the last six. And others, including Andrew Monk, are considering it. Should you wish to join us just drop me an email.

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - at absolutely every level Big Dave Lenigas talks bollocks on Twitter

275 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37851/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-at-absolutely-every-level-big-dave-lenigas-talks-bollocks-on-twitter

Tom Winnifrith

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One final Horse Hill to Woodlarks Rogue Bloggers photo - the finishing line

296 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37454/one-final-horse-hill-to-woodlarks-rogue-bloggers-photo-the-finishing-line

Tom Winnifrith

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Gaudy Night looms – it sounds like murder

296 days ago

There is no actual murder in the Dorothy L Sayers novel, Gaudy Night. But as my old Oxford college prepares to throw a Gaudy, a black tie reunion dinner, for folks in my year and the two around it, the book springs to mind. It is, I think, now in Greece so perhaps a summer re-read is due. I am not saying that I would like to see any of my peers murdered, not even conspiracy obsessed loon Carole Cadwalladr.  It is just that I have no desire to see them – and I’d bet a fiver that the feeling is mutual.

I was not even aware that such an event was planned until one of the few folks who I would like to see, hugely successful banker turned businessman M, emailed to ask if I was going.  I am afraid that he must think I am miserable old coot as there was not a second of doubt in my mind. I’d rather eat my own toes.

As a sanity check, I asked the only peer with whom I am in communication most days, E, whether she was going. She too had only been made aware by a friend but had reacted exactly as had I. I sense that since neither E or I are hugely rich or famous our old college makes no great attempt to ensure our attendance and that will not change.

As you get older, your college tries to arrange more Gaudies just to remind those who are making their will to remember the old place. My college need not bother, it will not get a cent. Oxford colleges are rolling in dosh and are thus among the least deserving causes going. If they had the backbone to tell the Government to stop interfering in academic life and to go private in order to preserve their independence, they would not need to wait for my death for my support. But they have no spine, no balls.  They deserve not a penny.

There is a reason that I am not in touch with folk from my old college. I have no interest in their company and I am sure that the feeling is mutual. I used to try to feign interest and attended the odd gathering where everyone affected modesty as they talked up their achievements. I am sure that it makes a lot of folks happy and others can also remember what Bruce Springsteen describes as the "glory days." If it makes them happy, I am happy for them but it holds no appeal for me.

Why on earth would I take a day out from spending time with my family or working on the Hovel, or on RogueBloggers4Woodlarks 2019 or writing something that gives me pleasure to share mediocre wine with folks who, if they were honest about it, are as bored by me as I am by them?

However, it is a reminder that I’d like to catch up with M and E and I should move from chatting electronically to actually make the effort to catch up for a meal and to put the world to rights. That is two more resolutions for the next 12 months.

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: David Lenigas needs to sort out his story on twitter - was he a UKOG placing insider or not?

297 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37445/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-david-lenigas-needs-to-sort-out-his-story-on-twitter-was-he-a-ukog-placing-insider-or-not

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo article: Horse Hill to Woodlarks: Brokerman Dan in underwear and the final stretch

298 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37426/photo-article-horse-hill-to-woodlarks-brokerman-dan-in-underwear-and-the-final-stretch

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast special with Brokerman Dan and Lucian Miers

299 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37411/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-special-with-brokerman-dan-and-lucian-miers

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article: 4 Rogue Share Bloggers walk from Horse Hill to Woodlarks - No 1

299 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37412/photo-article-4-rogue-share-bloggers-walk-from-horse-hill-to-woodlarks-no-1

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - a 5th rogue blogger joins us on the road to Woodlarks, you will NEVER guess who

300 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37403/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-a-5th-rogue-blogger-joins-us-on-the-road-to-woodlarks-you-will-never-guess-who

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo article - are you as tight-fisted and mean as a London tourist?

300 days ago

 Pizza Hardman Darren Atwater, says that until last week it was happening, on average, 12 times a day. Tourists would wander past his, most excellent, Wedge Issue pizza joint on the Clerkenwell Road and just walk in asking if they could use its loos for free. Of course cleaning the bogs, providing loo paper etc means such a service is a cost for Darren with no revenue associated. So he put sign below up, with a jar with some coins in it behind....

Surely a few coppers to a great charity like Woodlarls in return for using the loos is not too much to ask? Apparently it is. Most tourists apparently see the sign and now walk on. Tight fisted bastards. 

I am sure you are not as mean as the tourist vermin are you? Tomorrow i will walk 33 miles in the burning heat across Surrey to raise money for Woodlarks. We have already raised almost £24,000. Our target is £25,000.

Please donate whatever you can HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - get your wallet out to see Brokerman Dan in his undies and...Vin is back!

301 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37384/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-get-your-wallet-out-to-see-brokerman-dan-in-his-undies-andvin-is-back

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: C'mon Dave Lenigas tell your UKOG twitter trolls that attacking a charity for the disabled is disgusting

301 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37366/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-c-mon-dave-lenigas-tell-your-ukog-twitter-trolls-that-attacking-a-charity-for-the-disabled-is-disgusting

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Podcast: Why I walk for Woodlarks, how I got involved and why it matters so much

302 days ago

On Saturday I shall try to walk 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks with Brokerman Dan and Lucian Miers, my fellow rogue bloggers. In this podcast I explain why I got involved so many years ago, what Woodlarks does and why all of you should donate to this great charity HERE. Please take 12 minutes out to listen and then make a donation.

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Hell's teeth Lucian says it is actually 33 miles! IQE - I smell panic & Rangers' Dave King Court date

302 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37346/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-hell-s-teeth-lucian-says-it-is-actually-33-miles-iqe-i-smell-panic-rangers-dave-king-court-date

Tom Winnifrith

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My penultimate appeal for your cash – five days to the Woodlarks walk, more than £15,000 now raised – we want & Woodlarks wants and needs twenty!

304 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37315/my-penultimate-appeal-for-you-cash-six-days-to-the-woodlarks-walk-more-than-15000-now-raised-we-want-woodlarks-wants-and-needs-twenty

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: I shall make this simple - how close to insolvency is Cabot & are its ex CEO and FD insider dealers?

304 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37321/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-i-shall-make-this-simple-how-close-to-insolvency-is-cabot-are-its-ex-ceo-and-fd-insider-dealers

Tom Winnifrith

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Getting half lost in the Somerset hills – my last big training walk before the monster on Saturday

304 days ago

On Saturday myself, Brokerman Dan and Lucian Miers, aka the rogue bloggers, will walk 32 miles from the infamous Horse Hill “Gatwick Gusher” oil well to Woodlarks, aiming to raise £20,000 for that amazing charity. Reminder – Woodlarks needs that cash to up its income from just £126,500 last year, to close its deficit and keep doing its amazing work providing holidays for handicapped folks who would otherwise get none.  Yesterday was my last long training walk…

So far we have raised heading towards £15,000 – so we are three quarters of the way there. If you have not donated please do so now HERE

I set off at 5.30 AM from the start of the Bristol bath railway cycle path and in the early morning I made cracking progress. The track passes by a couple of rough looking estates and from one tower block I could hear neighbours having a rather heated exchange and threatening each other. That spurred me to walk a bit faster and I did have a few questions as to whether I should really have departed that early?

As some consolation the early hour meant that I saw both a fox on its own and a mother playing with two cubs. Growing up in the country I know that foxes are smelly , evil, murdering vermin but these urban specimens and their cubs did look rather sweet. Fear not I am not going soft, it is just that I was not “carrying” – I do know that the only good fox is a dead one.

As the light improved the foxes disappeared and were replaced by lycra clad cyclists and fat dogs being walked by even fatter owners. I made cracking progress and before 7.30 was at the converted station turned café where, when Lucian and I had walked this path, we had stopped so that he could have a bacon butty and a fag at 10 AM. Enjoying my first nutri-bar and drink I felt smug and ahead of schedule and was almost tempted to call Lucian and rose him from his slumber by telling him. Instead I pressed on and before eight thirty was at the steam railway station of Bitton for another drink and the rest of the first nutri-bar. Eight and a half miles in three hours – not too bad – with two short breaks.

Before ten I had turned off the path having done c11 miles and was on what was termed the Avon cycle-way to Chew in the Somerset hills. This was meant to be eleven miles too. But the signing was just utterly dreadful and as far as I can see the walk was entirely on roads.  Within three miles I had lost the signs, if indeed they exist, and was just navigating village to village by instinct.

At three miles I saw a sign to Chewton. Rather foolishly I hope that the Chews were like Midsomer so that Chewton would be near Chew Magna or Chew lake.  A chap said I was about eight miles from the lake. Great. I strode off fortified by another bit of nutri bar and more fluids, confident that I would beat the Mrs to our lunchtime booking at “Salt & Malt” by a good whack.  Hmmm.

Two miles after Chewton came a village called something like Susan Dando where I asked about the lake which I was expecting to be just five and a bit miles away. “It’s a long way, at least ten miles” said a lady as she laughed. It was getting very hot and sunny and I was not laughing. The roads were up and down, rather too m any hills for my liking but I strode on, village to village.

The countryside was gorgeous. As my second and final nutri-bar disappeared I picked a few blackberries for comfort and by eleven thirty reached a roundabout which “I knew” was very close to the lake, the turning was just around the corner and in that vein I drank my last water. Natch, the lake was still miles away but I just kept walking and about 400 yards from the lake the Mrs and Joshua pulled up beside m e and gave me a lift for the final stretch.

Bar a bit of dehydration I was fine. Yes. My feet hurt but I coped with the hills fine and know I could easily have done another five or ten miles without collapsing. A few years ago when I was a twenty a day man my lungs would have been burning after just a few miles but today, even on the worst of hills, I am never breathless I might pant a bit as I hit the peak but that is it.

After that walk with Lucian a few weeks ago I was stiff as a board and headed pretty much to bed as soon as I could. Yesterday was just a normal day. Yes I hobbled a bit as my body stiffened up but I made supper, and worked a bit and just got on with it.

So I shall do two more short five mile walks on Tuesday and Thursday with Joshua and then it is the big one. I feel as ready as I will ever be.

To those who have already sponsored the rogue bloggers I say “thank you”. You are giving money to an amazing charity in Woodlarks. To those who have yet to donate I ask you please do so now HERE

 

 

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast- is this ex Jim Mellon stock the biggest joke valuation going?

304 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37298/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-is-this-ex-jim-mellon-stock-the-biggest-joke-valuation-going

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - The £172k court case Safestyle is keeping quiet about & why Chris Bailey's City pal is wrong

307 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37240/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-172k-court-case-safestyle-is-keeping-quiet-about-why-chris-bailey-s-city-pal-is-wrong

Tom Winnifrith

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A third rogue blogger joins the 32 mile Woodlarks Charity walk – now get donating!

309 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37211/a-third-rogue-blogger-joins-the-32-mile-woodlarks-charity-walk-now-get-donating

Tom Winnifrith

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Walking through the burning Greek Sun - not plain sailing

313 days ago

My 32 mile walk for Woodlarks with my fellow rogue blogger, Brokerman Dan, is now just two weeks away and I am conscious that most of my training has been on the flat. What better way to prepare for the Surrey hills than to walk up a Greek mountain in the burning summer heat? And so at 8.30 AM off I set....

The first 5-6 miles were along the mountain road up to Kambos. I kid you not, it is uphill all the way. Having started at c10 feet above sea level I reckon that by the time I left this road I was at least 750 feet above sea level, plausibly quite a bit more.  The views down to the gulf of Kalamata were spectacular but that was of little consolation. It was a slog. 

Now and again, as I passed a blackberry bush where the berries are now starting to ripen I would pick a berry and think of Joshua. On the way home from his nursery we pass an enormous blackberry bush and while English berries are still green I know they will ripen. At that point Joshua will gorge himself at the bush and we will take more home for supper.

I had been dreading this climb, worrying that I would just find it too tough and be forced back but, although I am still a bit too fat, I seem to be surprisingly fit and by the time the Mrs called me and i stopped for a water and a protein bar break the village of Kouris was in sight.  Greece being Greece it remained in sight as the road looped and looped again but before I knew it I was at the turn which saw me heading downhill to Megali Mantineia.

This village is prettier than my own, Kambos, and is also far closer to the sea. And it was made famous by "Things Can Only get Feta" and so it has a genteel feel of Northern European money that Kambos lacks. There is a lovely taverna with views out to the sea where the Mrs and I have eaten as we explored this region. I rather wished she was there and called her to say as much as I stopped for a coffee, for lots of water and to top up my water bottles. I chatted to my father and to his delightfully right wing, Trump loving carer Emma and headed onwards, always downwards to the sea.

As the sea started got closer I left the Greece of old stone houses and entered the Greece I'd rather not think about. there was "Harmony Village" a half finished development of four or five fake stone houses to contemplate. The weeds at Harmony grow long and a sign outside "For sale, investment opportunity" will, I suspect, be there for many years. Worse still are the houses thrown up during the "good years" when cheap money was being thrown at Greece by the EU. A ghastly concrete mansion painted bright pink with its own private modern church was the low-point.

At this point readers may wish to avoid the next two paragraphs.  As I headed on to the sea with what the maps describe as the "rema mili" (the dry river which nearer Kambos is the murder gorge) to my left, my problems started. I have a stomach bug which can cause an urgent need to visit a lavatory. it is  minor affliction which will, I am sure, go away soon, but at this point it struck.  I tried to suck it in,  I thought of how Paddy Leigh Fermor and Bruce Chatwin would have done a walk like mine in the mountains of the Mani, before an alcohol and nicotine fuelled lunch, and then done another walk afterwards.  Somehow I reached the sea.

By now I was really struggling but somehow made it to the next village and to a taverna into which I rushed, found a loo and sat there letting everything go and sweating buckets.  After that I felt I deserved another coffee. Frankly i deserved a medal as well. My body was empty and I headed back to Kalamata, stopping now and again to drink water or pour it over my head to cool down. It was with some relief that I made it back to my hotel where, after a quick shower, I feel utterly refreshed.

Could I have done another circuit? The answer is almost certainly "yes." My feet are fine, my legs are okay but in this heat I would have been a wretched specimen by the end of hit. As i write the temperature is well into the mid thirties.

Assuming I shake this bug, I'd like to do one more big walk before heading back to the UK - taking the mountain road another three or four miles onto  just before Kambos before heading downhill to the sea and back home. I shall try to fit that walk around the arrival of the van from Bristol

To all those thousands of poltroons who keep posting on Bulletin Boards or tweeting how much they hate me, surely today's suffering has brought a smile to your face? So for making you happy - and promising to do so again in a couple of days, how about you make a small donation to a great cause, Woodlarks, HERE

 

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Its not that I don't believe Rob Proctor means what he says, but...

313 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37163/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-its-not-that-i-don-t-believe-rob-proctor-means-what-he-says-but

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Evil makes £25k betting AGAINST England, Telit - the numbers don't stack up

313 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37150/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-evil-makes-25k-betting-against-england-telit-the-numbers-don-t-stack-up

Tom Winnifrith

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Sweating for Woodlarks – Mad Dogs and all that, strolling in Greece

315 days ago

I have not kept up to date with my training for about a week and am conscious that my 32 mile charity walk for Woodlarks is now not that far away – July 28. I meant to have a quick six mile practice stroll along the coastal road out of Kalamata yesterday afternoon but IT snags caused a postponement. And so I headed off at noon today in the mid-day sun. I think it was about 34 degrees.

The road is not as flat as you might imagine, it bends inland and uphill, for reasons I can’t quite explain, more than once. But in terms of legs and feet I was fine. I arrived back in just under two hours with my shirt soaked in sweat and with sweat dripping off my nose. I smelled bad and the world is a better place for me having had a shower but overall it was a doddle.

Tomorrow will be less easy. The road forks just past the hotel where I am staying. Today I took the right fork to the sea. Tomorrow I head straight on up the hill. And boy is it a hill. Essentially I just keep heading up and up for what, I calculate to be five and a half miles. At which point I take a left towards the village of Megali Mantineia – the place where the authors of “Things can only get Feta” stayed and caused something of a stink with their book. There I shall allow myself a bit of a break before continuing down to the coastal road at Akrogiala before heading back into Kalamata. I reckon that all in all it is about 12-14 miles.

My belief is that the hard yards are those up to the Kouris turning for Megali Mantineia. That is the uphill section. If I can make that without collapsing the rest will be much less painful. Fingers crossed.

As ever if you enjoy the thought of my suffering, as I know many folks will, or if you want to help a genuinely good cause, Woodlarks, then how about sponsoring me for a tenner HERE?

Tom Winnifrith

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RogueBloggers4Woodlarks in Manchester Slums caption Contest Result

315 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37096/roguebloggers4woodlarks-in-manchester-slums-caption-contest-result

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Breaking news on the MySquar fraudsters

315 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37104/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-breaking-news-on-the-mysquar-fraudsters

Tom Winnifrith

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Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks visit Manchester slums - caption contest (deadline midnight)

316 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37051/rogue-bloggers-for-woodlarks-visit-manchester-slums-caption-contest

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Putting on a smart shirt as the van speeds away

318 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37055/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-putting-a-smart-shirt-on-as-the-van-speeds-away

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - in defence of KPMG (well sort of)

319 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37034/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-in-defence-of-kpmg-well-sort-of

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel (including Daily Mail journalists)

319 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37028/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-patriotism-is-the-last-refuge-of-the-scoundrel-including-daily-mail-journalists

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: from (Audio) Boom to Bust by Q1 next year? And the mystery Optibiotix bull unmasked

319 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/37021/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-from-audio-boom-to-bust-by-q1-next-year-and-the-mystery-optibiotix-bull-unmasked

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: time for Cabot, Fishing Republic & Frontera to 'fess up!

319 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36977/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-time-for-cabot-fishing-republic-frontera-to-fess-up

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Supplying the IDF means Versarien can do no wrong in my view but...

325 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36934/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-supplying-the-idf-means-versarien-can-do-no-wrong-in-my-view-but

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: after 27 fecking miles in the sun I must have sun stroke - defending a PR firm ( St Brides) & also Jim Mellon

325 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36914/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-after-27-fecking-miles-in-the-sun-i-must-have-sun-stroke-defending-a-pr-firm-st-brides-also-jim-mellon

Tom Winnifrith

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27 miles in up to 31 degree heat – yesterday’s practice trek for Woodlarks.

325 days ago

It is now less than four weeks until myself and Brokerman Dan try to walk from Horse Hill to Woodlarks to raise money for this charity which I have backed for 16 years and which does amazing work as you can see HERE.  Dan is far fitter than I am and sent late night texts on Friday saying that he had  managed a 21 mile walk but was a wreck and needed a lighter rucksack. I know it is hot up in Manchester what with all those fires on the Moors but I think he is kidding me. It is all psychology. My plan was to do 26 miles on Sunday.

I set an alarm for 4.30 AM and hoped to be walking by 5.15. But the bed was jolly comfortable and when I did rouse myself I looked on my computer to approve Sunday articles for ShareProphets. I procrastinated but, looking at the donations page HERE, I was struck by how generous so many folks had been and determined not to let them down I called a cab. At 6.23 AM I started walking on the Bristol Bath Railway walk – along the old line – from its start near Temple Meads in the City Centre.

It was the route I had taken a week earlier with my friend Lucian Miers but with no-one to talk to as a distraction and almost no cyclo-nazis to dodge I made cracking time. By just after eight I had managed seven miles in record speed and despite being on a gradual climb and I was at the (not yet open) cafe where eight days earlier Lucian and I had stopped for a a 10.30 AM break and, in his case, a bacon sarnie and a fag.

My rucksack was heavier than last week, containing my laptop in case I fancied a spot of blogging, some bread and two litres of water. It was time for my first drink. Despite being double socked my left foot had started to rub and that pain grew as I headed on past Bitton where steam trains were running on the private railway, something Joshua would have loved.  I crossed the Avon three times and by 11 AM had reached almost thirteen and a half miles. My foot was hurting and I fear – wrongly as it turned out – that a blister would result. It was – according to my phone 30 degrees and I was my backpack grew steadily lighter as I took on fluids.

I really did think, several times as I headed back from near bath towards Bristol, that I might call the Mrs and get a lift home but I just set myself a target of the next stop to reconsider.  It was hard going and my pace slowed such that I was frequently overtaken by 70 year old joggers and three year olds on cycles. But slowly I retraced my route. The three bridges over the Avon, the start of the steam railway tracks, Bitton, the end of the railway tracks and then Lucian’s cafe.

At that point, still seven miles out I did feel a bit feint. As a diabetic I should have hat my testing kit but did not but just to be sure I bought a sugary snack and a coke and refiled one of my two empty water bottles. Like an idiot I then left that full bottle at the cafe; something I realised only as I finished the coke, five miles away from the line. But the snack gave me a whole new lease of life, the pace picked up and the last few miles were, very gently, downhill.  I raced ahead and despite missing water in the last stretch finished the course in nine hours and thirty one minutes. If I add in 400 yards at the start from where V cars dropped me off at the wrong place, two detours to answer a call of nature and a wander around Bitton station looking at the trains, I managed, near as damn it, 27 miles.

I could have gone on. I am in no doubt that, given another two hours, I could have made it to 32 miles. But there was no need, doing a marathon in this heat was good enough. By the time the taxi dropped me off at home I was stiff as a board and last night I slept like a log. But today? I am fully recovered. I could walk again but shall not as 75 year old coach Brian Basham says I must rest my muscles.  None the less my recovery times are improving as e very week goes by. So my next session is a short mid week walk, six miles on Tuesday, most of it gradient work at the gym.

I cannot help but feel a bit smug. Two weeks ago I struggled badly to do 15 miles. Last week I struggled to do 24. This week 27 was less of a struggle. Slowly but surely I am getting there. But gosh it is painful. The determination is partly one of pride but also not to let down all those folks who have sponsored myself and Dan. We have now raised £9,849.16 ( or £11,740.21 with gift aid) which will make a massive difference to a charity which had an income last year of just £126,000 and does truly amazing work.

If you have sponsored us already we both thank you. If not please would you donate now. Just a tenner from everyone who reads this piece would get us well over our £20,000 target so please take a few minutes and donate now HERE.

PS. Completing this trek and managing type 2 diabetes shows that it can be done and makes me all the more angry when folks like Diane Abbott use the condition as an excuse for their manifest failings.

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Radio 4 misguided, ShareSoc Pompous & wrong, Amigo revolting

327 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36903/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-radio-4-misguided-sharesoc-pompous-wrong-amigo-revolting

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: happy birthday Olaf although I know you will not be listening

328 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36895/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-happy-birthday-olaf-although-i-know-you-will-not-be-listening

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - talking to one of the 3 X's for almost an hour

328 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36876/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-talking-to-one-of-the-3-x-s-for-almost-an-hour

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Sorry I made a mistake yesterday

330 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36847/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-sorry-i-made-a-mistake-yesterday

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: what is loathsome ex Tory MP Tony "Fatso" Baldry of 3DM infamy really saying

331 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36826/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-what-is-loathsome-ex-tory-mp-tony-fatso-baldry-of-3dm-infamy-really-saying

Tom Winnifrith

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19 Mile Training walk for Woodlarks, another disaster: poor Lucian Miers

333 days ago

In the build up to my 32 mile charity walk for Woodlarks on July 28, I planned to build on last week’s 15 miler stroll with 19 miles and it all started so well. My pal Lucian Miers drove over from Winchester first thing and at 8 AM we started walking from just near Bristol Temple Meads. According to my calculations the Bath Bristol Railway path was 13 miles and Bath to the Hop Pole Inn on the other side was 6 miles largely along the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Things started well. We talked about a wide range of things including the retirement of Lucian from squash aged 56. He had drawn a woman called Beverley aged 76 in the local ladder and felt that surely he could get a much needed confidence boosting win. Beverley pitched up and was, in fact, a chap. But still Lucian reckoned that the 20 year age gap would be enough. The match lasted less than 30 minutes with a predictable result. Lucian has retired. We laughed and chatted.

We made good time and allowed ourselves a stop after about eight miles for a cup of tea. Lucian had a bacon bun and I removed some insoles I had bought to avoid blisters but which were causing me real pain. I don’t think I really recovered from that pain. But we cracked on reaching Bath after about five hours. 13 miles had somehow become fifteen according to the signposts and Lucian’s GPS tracker.

We headed through the back streets of Bath and by the time we were on the Canal we were somehow at seventeen. My water was running out, my feet were hurting, Lucian says his back was hurting and his GPS said we had another seven miles to go.

The Mrs and Lucian’s god son Joshua waited patiently for us. We finally arrived two hours behind schedule. 19 miles had become 24 and for the last few  miles we were struggling, myself more than Lucian. There was some amazing Victorian architecture along the way, notably a wonderful aqueduct and as or nature we caught full sight of what was, I think, a carp. As we peered at it we caught our breath.

At the Hop Tree Inn I collapsed on the grass. Joshua helped me remove my boots and socks, I could hardly move. I feel eve r more stiff. But I made it. If I can do 24 miles and struggle this week, next weekend I target 26 and struggling less.  That 32 miles is in reach.

Poor Lucian did not sign up for 24 miles of pain and he now drives back to Winchester and must be I agony. For me bed beckons. As you contemplate our pain please consider the video below, the great cause that is Woodlarks. Consider our pain again and please donate a tenner here.

Admin

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: the fraudster's best friend in journalism, Ben Harrington, does his master's bidding again

335 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36775/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-fraudster-s-best-friend-in-journalism-ben-harrington-does-his-master-s-bidding-again

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: naughty, naughty Jim Mellon, I WAS watching at no-one is watching O'clock

335 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36752/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-naughty-naughty-jim-mellon-i-was-watching-at-no-one-is-watching-o-clock

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Time to be nice to Paul Scott but John Meyer needs to listen hard about MySquar & get off his arse

337 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36729/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-time-to-be-nice-to-paul-scott-but-john-meyer-needs-to-listen-hard-about-mysquar-get-off-his-arse

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Despite being a staunch feminist, I reckon the birds who run FootAsylum must be fired NOW!

337 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36707/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-despite-being-a-feminist-i-reckon-the-birds-who-run-footasylum-must-be-fired-now

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: So just why were Bush & Morgan fired by Cabot? I think I have the answer to that $16.5m question!

339 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36682/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-so-just-why-were-bush-morgan-fired-by-cabot-i-think-i-have-the-answer-to-that-165m-question

Tom Winnifrith

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Sunday's 14 mile training walk for Woodlarks goes horribly wrong ( but extra long)

339 days ago

It started well. I had planned a route from the Conham River Car Park on the outskirts of Bristol, along the Avon to Bath. The signs said it was 14 miles. What could be more pleasant?

The first two and a half miles, to the Chequers Pub at Hanham Lock is my normal training base for my five miles during the week walks. The path is clearly defined and even at 8.30 you meet a constant stream of joggers (often shapely lycra clad young ladies), cyclists (invariably lycra clad men who could do with losing a few pounds) and stacks of folks walking their dogs. There is a rather glamorous older lady on a horse who I meet now and again.

Joy of joys, I saw a Kingfisher for the first time in the wild. What a glorious sight as it took flight. I rather assumed that the whole walk would be like this. It was not.

Shortly after Hanham the path rather disappeared and I found myself walking through fields. Sometimes patterns in the grass suggested there was a path somewhere, often there were no patterns. At the edge of each field a metal kissing gate gave me renewed hope that I was on the right track.

I ploughed on, making reasonable time but at the village of Swineford the track stopped altogether and I found myself staring at a road and a not yet open pub, the Swan. I could see no sign so wandered along the road towards Bath for a third of a mile and finding nothing wandered back again. I met a man and asked directions. I retraced my steps heading back along the road towards Bath as instructed. After about a mile there was a footpath market down towards the river.

I took the path but by the time I got to the village of Kelston I had my hands above my head as I pushed through deep nettles. I do not wish to sound like some angry townie rambler but, well, I was an angry townie rambler at that point. Cut back your fecking nettles Kelston. Wandering through Kelston I met other walkers: a young man who, like me. had a back pack and who overtook me and than raced on ahead and then four folks who looked to be about sixty who I overtook! Hooray. That was a first and I had nine miles under my belt already at that point. I paced on, conscious that the skies were darkening.

It was at this point that not looking in more detail at the route proved my downfall, for I should have crossed the river. I did not. As I continued, I noticed that the paths had disappeared altogether, that there were no walkers and that I was walking through fields packed with cows who seemed not entirely familiar with ramblers. The terrain got tougher and tougher. There were no paths. No kissing gates just rusty old farmers gates to mount but I convinced myself that keeping the river to my right would get me to Bath.

Eventually I reached a field with only one exit. I had to jump a stream, clamber over an old rusty gate that cannot have been used in decades and I found myself in field with grass up to my chest. As I wandered through it, I saw big red signs at the end “Private land No Entrance, Ramblers and working Class People will be shot!”. Okay I made the last bit up but I recognised the game was up and seeing an exit at the top of the field I started to climb a track that cannot be used more than once a month.

It was a hard old, very steep, climb of 400 yards or so which left me breathless but at the end I was at a road and I headed right towards Bath. The views overlooking the river valley far below were spectacular and pretty soon I reached the outskirts of Bath. I walked almost to the Centre where the Mrs met me with her motor.

Thanks to getting lost twice and my unusual route I easily managed fifteen miles. I really did worry at one stage that I was completely lost and that there would be no way out other than swimming the river. I have no blisters to report which is good. I know that as an ex smoker a few years ago I’d have been gasping for breath but my lungs seemed fine. In that department I could carry on all day. My feet and legs were fine at the end and I am fairly confident that I could have carried on at my 3mph pace for another couple of hours or so, without collapsing but by the time I got home they were sore and seizing up. So all the articles I planned as I marched past the cows must be postponed. It was straight to bed where I slept like a log.

On balance, I have learned a valuable lesson about reading maps more carefully but I take heart from my stamina and so plan a 20 mile walk this weekend coming up.

This is all in preparation for my 32 mile walk on July 28 with fellow financial journalist Brokerman Dan who, I suspect, is already doing twenty mile walks without breaking a sweat. He is a smug bastard! So far we have raised £7,639.16 ( or just over £9,000 with gift aid). As you laugh at the idea of me scrambling up a steep slopes through grass tall enough to get me panicking about snakes; as you consider the pain of my legs stiffening yesterday and ponder me staring carefully at each cow I approached to make sure that it was not a bull, I am sure you can donate a tenner to a great cause. Please do so HERE.

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - I said he was mad, I was wrong

341 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36642/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-i-said-he-was-mad-i-was-wrong

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - the stench of Gavin Burnell of Globo infamy and the curse of bucket shop Belliss

343 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36619/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-stench-of-gavin-burnell-of-globo-infamy-and-the-curse-of-bucket-shop-belliss

Tom Winnifrith

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Walking, walking, walking – update on my training for Woodlarks, another day of humiliation

345 days ago

I see that  Brokerman Dan, who will be walking 32 miles for Woodlarks with me on July 28, has tweeted about completing a 15 mile training walk. In the smug looking selfie that accompanied the tweet the old bastard looks fresh as a daisy, as if he had just strolled to and from the local corner store. If only it were that way for me.

On Saturday or Sunday I shall be doing my weekend long walk. Last Saturday I managed ten miles. The target this weekend is 12-14 miles along the River Avon starting at bath and heading West. Do I stop at the Chequers pub ( 11.5 miles) or can I make it to the Conham River car park (14 miles) and get the Mrs to take me back to the pub by car? Decisions, decisions.

Pro tem it is back to five miles every other day – my weekday training. Yesterday saw me do just over 3.5 miles in an hour on a constant uphill gradient of between 4 and 7 ( whatever that means) at the local gym run by Perry the Tory here in Brislington, Bristol. The body builders who are the gym’s other clients did not giggle but at the end I was sweaty and smelly but not actually that breathless and easily able to walk straight to Joshua’s nursery and wheel him home. That involves a couple of steep hills as well so a  good five miles in all and lots of hill work.

I worry that the Woodlarks walk has a lot of hills along the way.

I am not sure that the girls who look after Joshua at his nursery were that impressed by his sweaty and smelly dad. I tried to mumble something about training and a 32 mile walk but decided quickly that the best thing to do was to get him out of there as soon as possible with a promise that we could go visit the snakes and rabbits at Pets at Home over the way.

Today is a day off although I shall do the one and a half mile walk to pick Joshua up just to keep my hand in so to speak. Instead I have sent a few emails to encourage folks to make their donations.  After about three weeks of fund raising Dan and I have raised £5718.16 ( with gift aid that is £6,815.210). That is 28% of our £20,000 (without gift aid) target so not bad.

But most of you reading this article have  not yet pledged. To those that have I am grateful and will not let you – or myself – down. To those that have not, I am sure that you can spare a tenner. Go on, think of me trying to explain away how smelly I was to Joshua’s carers, think of the muscle men laughing at me, think of my humiliation, laugh and donate a tenner HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: think of me with those muscular body builders laughing at me

346 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36552/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-think-of-me-with-those-muscular-body-builders-laughing-at-me

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Almost feeling sorry for Lyin' Steve Sanderson at UK Oil & Gas - placing at as low as 0.5p?

347 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36521/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-almost-feeling-sorry-for-lyin-steve-sanderson-at-uk-oil-gas-placing-at-as-low-as-05p

Tom Winnifrith

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My 7.5 mile training walk for Woodlarks today became a 10 mile shocker - blame cousin Johnny

348 days ago

My Woodlarks charity walk training plan for today was simple. My training path is the 2.5 miles path along the River Avon between Conham Hill car park and the Chequer's pub. It is a splendid walk which on Tuesday I did alone both ways (5 miles) and on Thursday I also did both ways but with Joshua in his buggy. Joshua and I saw ducks, swans, a train on the hill, all sorts of boats, a heron, blossom, a horse, it was great fun. 

Today I planned the five mile round circuit at which point cousin Johnny, a godfather to Joshua, would join us for a walk to the pub so leaving me having done a straight 7.5 miles. But Johnny arrived in his car and thus post lunch we had to walk another 2.5 miles back to that car so he could speed back to our house to dump it before heading off to the airport. Being a junior doctor he has vast amounts of time and money for endless holidays.

So thanks to Johnny my training walk today totalled 10 miles which is a bit more than i was expecting. I am feeling rather stiff. But with 49 days left to the 32 mile walk for Woodlarks I am feeling more confident about my ability to complete that trek on the day. 

Brokerman Dan and I have now raised 28% of our £20,000 target for this great charity in just over a fortnight. If you have donated already I say thanks. If not think of my aching feet tonight and, I am sure you can spare a tenner to donate HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Pre-placing bullshit from Sound, Feedback and UK Oil & Gas

349 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36480/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-pre-placing-bullshit-from-sound-feedback-and-uk-oil-gas

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: I would rather do PR for Satan than for Julie Meyer said the PR man, it would be an easier sell

350 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36461/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-i-would-rather-do-pr-for-satan-than-for-julie-meyer-said-the-pr-man-it-would-be-an-easier-sell

Tom Winnifrith

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My first training walk for Woodlarks completed - don't laugh 5 miles is okay says Brian

352 days ago

In just under two months I shall be doing a 30 mile walk for the excellent Woodlarks Charity with my friend the blogger and former bank robber Brokerman Dan. Dan is rather fitter than I am and keeps tweeting messages about how he is just popping out for a quick 10 mile training yomp. I do not know if he is just trying to spook me or if he is serious but I have a horrible feeling that it is the latter.

Anyhow I did my first training walk just now. Don't laugh. Five miles. My advisor is the veteran hack turned PR guru Brian Basham who aged 74 years and nine months completed this year's London Marathon and so knows what he is talking about. Brian advises starting modestly - which I am. But building up steadily so that by two weeks before the big walk I am doing 20 miles with comfort. I must only do walks once every two days and my big one should be a weekend stroll.

So far so good. It was glorious to walk alongside the Avon just now. Dan may laugh at my pitifully modest start but I was comfortable with it and maintained a steady 3 miles an hour pace with ease.

I shall do the same again, but pushing Joshua as a bonus, on Thursday before finding a 7.5 mile walk to do on Saturday.
So far Dan and I have raised more than £5,000. Our target is £20,000 which will make a massive difference to a small and unfashionable charity. I am sure you can spare a tenner, please to donate HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Pantheon Resources the lesson in executive greed & value destruction is not over

354 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36395/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-pantheon-resources-the-lesson-in-executive-greed-value-destruction-is-not-over

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - it has been six bloody hard years

355 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36388/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-it-has-been-six-bloody-hard-years

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - surely you want Brokerman Dan in his underpants all over the internet?

355 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36378/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-surely-you-want-brokerman-dan-in-his-underpants-all-over-the-internet

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Okay I look a bit of a prat but Optibiotix buy case stronger than ever

355 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36328/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-okay-i-look-a-bit-of-a-prat-but-optibiotix-buy-case-stronger-than-ever

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - my heart goes out to Zac "the knife" Phillips at SP Angel - you poor bastard

358 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36308/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-my-heart-goes-out-to-zac-the-knife-phillips-at-sp-angel-you-poor-bastard

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Julian Richer you are whistling on Phil Green and tax & will Italy bring down the Euro? It should!

359 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36288/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-julian-richer-you-are-whistling-on-phil-green-and-tax-will-italy-bring-down-the-euro-it-should

Tom Winnifrith

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The hypocrites celebrate referenda, the Irish celebrate murder

360 days ago

On Friday, the Irish voted to legalize abortion at up to 12 weeks. It is now Sunday and the BBC - my only English language TV here in Greece - is still covering this story with a manic obsession. "What a modern nation Ireland has become: a gay PM, abortion on demand, the Church in tatters, cue picture of joyous crowds." Okay, it does not mention its joy at the collapse of the Irish church but it makes its views clear with pictures of nuns scuttling away from polling stations looking miserable.

Meanwhile back in the UK the same folks who reckon that the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit did not really understand the issue and should have left it to the politicians and experts, cheer on the result. What a great thing this referendum was, prattle Owen Jones and the rest of the metropolitan elite. More hypocrisy for tea Gina Miller?

The campaign wsas deceitful. Those who supported abortion talked again and again of sad cases where women were carrying a foetus that would not survive birth or one created as a result of rape or incest. It is hard not to accept that such women should have a right to a termination.

Occasionally some campaigners strayed off line and mentioned a foetus that we knew would be handicapped or have Down's Syndrome. Surely they argued a woman carrying such a foetus has a right to an abortion. Really? Are they saying that the life of someone with a handicap or with Downs' is worth less than the life of a healthy human? The Nazis took a similar line. I challenge anyone holding that view to walk with me to Woodlarks on July 28 and to tell the campers there that their life is worth less than yours or mine, that they have fewer rights, including the right to life, than you or I.

The reality is that the vast majority of the 3,000 Irish women travelling to the UK for abortions each year and the many more who will now have abortions in Eire will be killing healthy babies created as a result of consensual sex. By using extreme cases the YES campaign have persuaded Ireland that it will allow thousands of such babies to be murdered every year.

Abortion in Ireland will like abortion in England , it will now be just another form of birth control, largely for those who could not be bothered to use other forms. Yes a woman should have a right to control her body but that right does not trump the right to life of another living being. The reality that those crowds of young folk and feminists celebrating in Dublin this weekend choose to ignore, is that they are celebrating the right to murder a living being because it is an inconvenience, it would change the lifestyle of the mother.

The law in Ireland was inhumane in that it denied abortions where there was a compelling moral case, for instance where the baby could not survive. I, or rather an ex-wife, have been in that position. I feel that our conscience is clear. But the laws that will now be introduced are nothing other than the legalisation of murder. I suppose we are meant to regard this as progress. My uber liberal daughter Olaf will call me a dinosaur but I do not see this as progress in any way shape or form. And Olaf, I do have a right to a view even though I am a man. Half those babies who will now be legally murdered would have been male. All would have been humans.

This article first appeared in my weekly Tomograph Newsletter. To have that mailed to you at no charge register HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - the difference between private company and PLC account preparing - profit is a matter of opinion!

361 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36276/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-difference-between-private-company-and-plc-account-preparing-profit-is-a-matter-of-opinion

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - it is Ouzo O'Clock! Folli Follie suspended

362 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36254/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-it-is-ouzoo-clock-folli-follie-suspended

Tom Winnifrith

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A Letter to Julie Meyer - how do you fancy a long walk with a convicted felon?

362 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36239/a-letter-to-julie-meyer-how-do-you-fancy-a-long-walk-with-a-convicted-felon

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - the good news is that another trove of Julie Meyer documents has arrived at Winnileaks

364 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36209/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-good-news-is-that-another-trove-of-julie-meyer-has-arrived-at-winnileaks

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Reflections on a dying industry. My own!

365 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/36145/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-reflections-on-a-dying-industry-my-own

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith: Will you Support my daughter Olaf as she swims 5 kilometres up the river Dart

382 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/35868/tom-winnifrith-will-you-support-my-daughter-olaf-as-she-swims-5-kilometres-up-the-river-dart

Tom Winnifrith

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UK Investor Show 2018 Video: Nigel Wray & Woodlarks

383 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/35833/uk-investor-show-2018-video-opening-shot-lucy-nigel-wray-johnny-hon-me-champagne-and-a-sword

Tom Winnifrith

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David Scott's Guide to giving to charities in a tax efficient manner

452 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/34553/david-scott-s-guide-to-giving-to-charities-in-a-tax-efficient-manner

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith video - 2 share tips & some great scenery at the Greek Hovel

534 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/33079/tom-winnifrith-video-2-share-tips-some-great-scenery-at-the-greek-hovel

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Christmas share tips, free booze, mince pies, 4 companies - December 4

550 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/32772/tom-winnifrith-christmas-share-tips-free-booze-mince-pies-4-companies-december-4

Tom Winnifrith

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Don't Give to #ChildreninNeed - give it to a real charity instead

552 days ago

The loathsome, state funded, fake news producing, BBC will tonight tell you that “all your donation will go to Children in Need.” They will not tell you that "all your donations go to children in need." Do you get the difference? It is c£8 million quid of difference.

According to the June 2015 accounts, spending by Children In Need was more than £62 million but included £4.7 million costs of generating funds, £2.5 million grant-making and policy and £400,000 governance. Just under £55 million went out in grants. An awful lot of the 96 full time staff are earning more than £100,000 a year and all of them are very well paid.

Call me a hypocrite but at my son's nursery the staff have this week been raising money for Children in Need. After paying steep fees it is a bit rich asking for us to dip our hands in our pockets again but there was real moral pressure as they encouraged us to buy tea cakes and as they dressed up in animal costumes pedalling away on an exercise bike. So I gave a couple of quid.

I gave far more to Woodlarks which is not a fashionable charity so does not get a cent from Children in Need even though it helps children who being hugely disables really are in need. And I have asked others to donate too.

The celebs on the BBC tonight who boost their careers with a spot of charity virtue signalling are one reason I find the whole spectacle of Children in Need so nauseating. But it is the fact that so much of the cash given goes to Children in Need not children in need that really makes me angry. If you really want to help Children in Need this Christmas support the Woodlarks grotto campaign where we have raised almost 80% of our £2,500 target since Tuesday, by making a small pledge which will change someone's Christmas HERE.

Tom Winnifrith

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Christmas Appeal - the Woodlarks Christmas Grotto

556 days ago

This is the time olf year when I ask you to consider making a small donation to ensure that folks far less fortunate than we all are enjoy some real joy this Christmas. Woodlarks is a charity with whom I have worked for years. It provides a one-off service: full holiday acccomodation for those so severely disabled that they would otherwise not get such a break.

Each Christmas our hero Nick Richards and his team assemble a magical Christmas spectacle at the Woiodlarks campsite as you can see from photos of my 2016 visit HERE. And they seek to give gifts to more than 100 kids at the grotto.

But this is not a fashionable charity drowning in cash so it needs your help. Will you make a small donation HERE

Mining entrepreneur Paul Johnson has started the ball rolling with £250 after the Gruffalo in Shetlandese podcast appea HERE - all support is much appreciatedl

Tom Winnifrith

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Podcast: Tom Winnifrith reads The Gruffalo in Shetlandese for Woodlarks

649 days ago

Anyone with kids will know the classic tale The Gruffalo. One godfather of my baby son Joshua recently worked in the Shetland Islands so gave him a copy of the book in Shetlandese. I was reading that to Joshua, the other day, when a mining fellow called Paul Johnson rang and Paul said that if I recorded a podcast of the Gruffalo in Shetlandese then he would donate £100 to my favourite charity Woodlarks, which I have been supporting for more than a decade and a half. I know that I will sound like a total prat and my apologies go out to Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and to the entire population of the Shetland Isles but it is for a good cause. If you appreciate this exercise in self-humiliation and wish to make a small donation to a good cause go to the Woodlarks website HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo article: Visiting Woodlarks seeing where readers money is transforming lives

902 days ago

On my way to Heathrow I stopped off at the Woodlarks campsite in Surrey a place where I have had an involvement since the birth of my daughter Olaf almost sixteen years ago, as I explained HERE. This site provides holidays for folks who are severely disabled and who would otherwise not get any sort of break. It is not a fashionable charity but it is one I have supported financially and which readers have supported over many years. To all those who have donated both to the Christmas festivities for 181 kids and also to the ongoing work here is the proof that your cash has made a difference.

I was greeted by the man behind it all, superhero Nick Richards. Nick had been working hard with two volunteer lads who are themselves chaps with special needs but who have laboured away to create something special this Christmas.

The tracks you see here will soon have a sleigh on it in which Santa will arrive.

At two or three places throughout the site sheds have been transformed into magical grottos where Santa will hand out gifts. What will arrive today in time for next week are massive snow machines to ensure that this is really a magical Christmas experience.

What you cannot see in that photo above is Nick lying on the ground pulling strings to make those figures rotate and move.

As we wandered through the camp and the woods around it we came upon the swimming pool. The building you see is a specially constructed changing room allowing campers to change before being hoisted into the very well heated pool in special lifts. For many of the campers this is the only place they ever get to swim. There won't be swimming next week but next summer the pool will be buzzing and much of the work on the pool was funded by readers of my scribblings.

Next week Nick and his team will bring real joy to kids who lead difficult lives. Thank you to all who donated to make next week special.

But Woodlarks is an all year round centre of happiness. If you have a few quid spare this Christmas and can donate that to a great cause you can do so HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admin

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Proud Dad - Daughter "Olaf" wins academic scholarship

902 days ago

Those who have been reading my scribblings for long enough will remember that my daughter was born weighing just 1lb 4oz at 26 weeks. that was almost sixteen years ago. It was three months before UCH said that it was "when" she came home not "if" and even then we were warned there could be all sorts of problems.

We were told that there was a good chance she might develop Cerebral Palsy. it was at that point that the amazing Nick Richards of Woodlarks got in touch and our association has continued to this day.

Olaf, as I have been calling her since her early years, has grown up in a way that would make any father proud. she goes to a posh girls school in North London, paid for by her rich City lawyer mum Big Nose and is a star. And so last night I got a breathless call "Daddy I have won an academic scholarship for the sixth form." In a hothouse school that is quite some feat. It means 10% off the fees, not that Big Nose needs the cash, and Olaf's name on a board.

She may be a bit of a cottage burning Welsh nationalist - I blame Big Nose - but in all other respects, bar her support for Crooked Hillary, she has her head screwed on the right way.

My father says he won a scholarship too. I think Big Nose claims the same. So that leaves me as the odd one out but, as I always am, very proud none the less. And though I may not have a scholarship I still have my uses when it comes to assisting with history essays.

PS. If I believed in the honours system which I do not as it is utterly corrupt and I am a Republican anyway, I would nominate Nick Richards for a gong as I know of no-one more deserving. Maybe Big Nose will donate the 10% savings to Woodlarks? 

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Is Mosman Oil & Gas the worst run shitty little AIM oil company?

903 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/25600/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-is-mosman-oil-gas-the-worst-run-shitty-little-aim-oil-company

Tom Winnifrith

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READ THIS NOW: Give Woodlarks a few quid today to transform someone's Christmas

945 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/24518/read-this-now-give-woodlarks-a-few-quid-today-to-transform-someone-s-christmas

Tom Winnifrith

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Nominate your NINE stockmarket villains or buffoons of the past 12 months – its for UK Investor Show

1526 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/11130/nominate-your-nine-stockmarket-villains-or-buffoons-of-the-past-12-months-its-for-uk-investor-show

Tom Winnifrith

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Tangiers Petroleum – An Apology from me, Questions and Condemnation

1826 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/5612/tangiers-petroleum-an-apology-from-me-questions-and-condemnation

Tom Winnifrith

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Can you spare £5 a month for Woodlarks – YES you can!

1891 days ago

The only charity I support (it is a long story) is Woodlarks. It is an amazing organisation which provides severely handicapped folks with probably their only opportunity to enjoy a holiday each year. This is not a fluffy kitten fashionable charity. Keeping it going is hard work and the team at Woodlarks are all total heroes. 

Now I ask can you spare £5 a month? Or even £10 a month?  I shall keep asking until I find enough people who say yes. Woodlarks has a special swimming pool for its campers which needs to be very well heated and that costs money. £15,000 a year.

And so it has launched an appeal asking those who can afford £5 a month or even £10 a month to make out a standing order to keep the pool heated and going.

I will kick this off with a £10 a month pledge. If 124 others make the same pledge then I shall stop banging on about this. Until then, I shall not let up.

Please help, this is not a fashionable charity or one with celebs backing it. If you can spare £5 or even £10 a month make the Woodlarks pledge now.

You can download a form here

Tom Winnifrith

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My Christmas ETX Spreadbetting Challenge with Steve Moore – Trade 6 (Range Resources)

1991 days ago

Do I think Range Resources (RRL) is overvalued ? Yes. Where are the shares going short term? I am not sure. 

Not only are the markets in a fizzy mood making any short dangerous but from what I gather the company might just announce that it is ready to expand its Trinidad operations thanks to a new loan facility and/or it might actually sell its US assets. Either could see the shares spike short term.

Both are ifs not whens and I would certainly not regard this stock as cheap. But I am ahead on this short trade and so why not bank a gain. I am buying back Range to close at 1.356 and so have netted a massive profit of £2.32 on this trade. 

That will assist me slight in my little pre-Christmas contest with Steve Moore. Whoever makes the most/loses the least will not send a cheque for £50 to Woodlarks. Any profits either of us make will also go to Woodlarks.

If you want to trade small caps like Range most spreadbetting firms won’t let you do it. ETX will. That is why we have partnered up with them.

If you open an account with them before Friday you will get a free £500 to trade with. You can open that account HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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The First Trade in my Christmas ETX SpreadBet Challenge – buy @UK

2005 days ago

Well here goes…I have never done a spread bet in my life until just now. I am challenging Steve Moore to a trading challenge to run until Christmas. And I am now underway.

We have both opened accounts with ETX and been given £50 to trade small cap shares. If we were to trade Forex or indices we could get another £450 free. This is not a special deal for us you too can get your free trades with ETX starting right now.

All you need to do to trade is to open an account which you can do in minutes – CLICK HERE

My first trade ( using my free £50) was to buy @UK (ATUK) at just over 55p with a 48p stop loss. The Closet Chartist says that the stock is heading to 80p, I like the management – having backed them at c5p a few years ago – and I hope this is a winner.

Any profits that I make on my Christmas trading challenge will go to the Woodlarks charity.

You can start spreadbetting small caps with ETX right now HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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Open your spreadbetting account with our partner ETX ( as I have done) and get up to £500 free – offer ends November 30th

2012 days ago

We are approached by all sorts of spread-betting firms to partner up with them. After one not so great experience I am very picky about who we deal with. And so I am delighted to say that we have kissed the frogs and without reservation teamed up with ETX.

I have opened an account ( for a Christmas trading challenge with Steve Moore) and you too can do so here

Shareprophets will earn a small percentage of the spread each time you deal with an ETX account opened here so I hope that you do open such an account.

It was pretty much the same deal on offer across the board so why did we pick ETX?

1. They will allow you to spreadbet all the normal bets ( indices, forex, blue-chips, commodities) but almost uniquely they will also allow you to place a bet ( long or short) on small caps with a market cap of as little as £10 million. So you can short like Evil in a way you could not before but also place leveraged buy bets on the long tack.


2. ETX is a long established and pukkha firm which won’t be disappearing overnight like some newbies in this market. They are good guys.

3. You get a bonus of up to £500 for just opening an account. Can’t say fairer than that.

I will start my Christmas trading challenge with Steve (any profits we make on that will go to the Woodlarks charity) next week.  Spreadbetting is not suitable for everyone, your leverage means that losses are in theory unlimited.

But if you fancy a free bonus for signing up and want to spreadbet small caps I hope that you open an account HERE

Remember the deadline to open is November 30th so you should open the account as soon as possible if you want the special bonus of up to £500.

  

Tom Winnifrith

Tom Winnifrith

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Teaming up with Spreadbetter ETX & I open my account for a Christmas challenge

2025 days ago

We are approached by all sorts of spread-betting firms to partner up with them. After one not so great experience I am very picky about who we deal with. And so I am delighted to say that we have kissed the frogs and without reservation teamed up with ETX.

I have opened an account ( for a Christmas trading challenge with Steve Moore) and you too can do so here


Shareprophets will earn a small percentage of the spread each time you deal with an ETX account opened here so I hope that you do open such an account.

It was pretty much the same deal on offer across the board so why did we pick ETX?

1. They will allow you to spreadbet all the normal bets ( indices, forex, blue-chips, commodities) but almost uniquely they will also allow you to place a bet ( long or short) on small caps with a market cap of as little as £10 million. So you can short like Evil in a way you could not before but also0 place leveraged buy bets on the long tack.

2. ETX is a long established and pukkha firm which won’t be disappearing overnight like some newbies in this market. They are good guys.

3. You get a bonus of up to £500 for just opening an account. Can’t say fairer than that.

I will start my Christmas trading challenge with Steve (any profits we make on that will go to the Woodlarks charity) next week.  Spreadbetting is not suitable for everyone, your leverage means that losses are in theory unlimited.

But if you fancy a free bonus for signing up and want to spreadbet small caps I hope that you open an account HERE


  

Tom Winnifrith

Tom Winnifrith

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Another letter to Sefton boss Jim Ellerton with 5 more questions

2202 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/analysis/319/another-letter-to-sefton-boss-jim-ellerton-with-a-5-more-questions

Tom Winnifrith

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5 Pointers to Planning to grow your business in 2013 - No Innovation wanted

2345 days ago

http://tinyurl.com/cwcyfxr

Tom Winnifrith

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Olivia is 11 – A very Proud father writes..

2519 days ago

This is my personal blog and so if only one person reads this article (that being Olivia) I care little. But my daughter is 11 today, I am miles and miles away and I am terribly proud of her. She was a “miracle baby” in that she survived at all and although divorce has limited my contact with her there is not a day that goes by when I do not think of her, revel in her achievements and look forward to the next gripping instalment of her life.

Olaf was born a year into the life of t1ps.com. Her mother (big nose) and I had already lost one child at 26 weeks as a result of the same complications that caused little Olivia to be delivered early at UCL eleven years ago today. She weighed just 1 llb 4 oz and it was a couple of months before the doctors talked of when she went home rather than if. Her first three months were spent at UCH in various fish tank devices wired up to all sorts of complex instruments. Every day her mother and I would, either alone or together, spend hours with her, after a while being able to allow her tiny hand to grasp a finger and after a couple of months to hold and feed her. Her tiny clothes were taken from toys – I gave her an Ireland jumper I had stolen from a small teddy bear which she wore for many weeks. I sang to her and talked to her but despite my singing she pulled through – what a battler she was. And still is.

The doctors warned us that there was a high chance of complications, notably of her having cerebral palsy. But, to date, there has been nothing too serious. Whether that was the prayers of my father’s church, the care of the team at UCH or good luck I care not. Olaf is okay. But she might not have been and to this day I have done what I could for Woodlarks, a charity – - see my other interests at the top of this blog – for those less fortunate than my daughter. To have been thrown together by Olivia’s birth with the amazing people at Woodlarks, has been a secondary blessing and privilege for me.

And now she is eleven. In September she leaves the Village School in Hampstead which has done her proud ( a big thank you to Mrs Prior and Miss Gay, the successive head teachers) and heads off to South Hampstead. Olaf had a choice of good schools to go to but the headmistress at SH told her that she could have time off to train to swim the English channel and so could do no wrong. My daughter is now a faster swimmer than both myself and, more impressively, Big Nose who is a bit of a health freak. Despite being short, as she always will be, she throws herself enthusiastically into netball, hockey, and touch rugby, whatever. Rugby is her one weakness, she has chosen to support Wales (Big Nose being Welsh) rather than Ireland but even this gives me some joy. A) It is not England. And b) when Ireland loses to Wales my father and I now have the consolation of saying to each other “at least Olivia will be happy.”

I shall miss Olivia’s next stage performance. Drama has been a passion of hers for as long as I can remember. Her first role ( a strawberry in the Hungry Caterpillar aged 2) was a triumph. Her last role was as Malvolio in 12th Night. Before that she was a terrifying Queen of Hearst in Alice in Wonderland. In a couple of weeks she will be the Countess in the Sound of Music – the biggest role in the play not to involve singing. When we met up on Tuesday for a chocolate pizza (sorry Big Nose, when I said we had salad I was lying, but it was all my idea) I was told that Count von Trapp was in trouble for not learning all her lines. “Have you learned your lines?” “Of course I have Daddy”. I bet she learned them weeks ago and she will be word perfect. The DVD will be out by late July and I cannot wait.

Academically Olivia has always excelled and is already winning prizes for her poetry and short stories – she was a published author at 10, something even her grandfather (my father) could not match. She is very bookish and on her 6th birthday asked to be given “books of a factual nature.” And that has always been the way since. And so I know that today she will start reading a present from my father (David Starkey on Elizabeth 1st) and I know that my presents ( four history books) will be devoured. But it is not the fact that she is very clever, sporty or dramatically talented which shines out. Nor her funny little phrases (Daddy is that woman employed as part of a policy of multi-cultural diversity? That was at 6) that make me so proud. It is just her inherent good nature. Olivia is always polite, thoughtful, helpful, considerate and empathetic. Heaven knows where she gets it from – it must have skipped a generation with myself and Big Nose and be some sort of throwback.

Of course this may all change. The teenage years lie ahead. She tells me that she will not be interested in boys for at least two years. Well that suits me fine. For at least two years. She takes a dim view of smoking, excessive drinking and gluttony. Again that is all fine although it gets me the odd dark look. We now find ourselves having adult conversations be it her doubts about the best treatment for acne ( Toothpaste – a hint from Elle Macpherson which I swear by); same sex marriages ( we are both relaxed on the issue); a two state solution in Israel ( I fear her mind was poisoned along the way by an Arabist but I hope I have put her straight), Austrian economics, global warming ( again, her mind had been poisoned but I think some balance has now been provided) or the latest novel she is reading. It will be an adult book, her Harry Potter phase ended at least three years ago. It seems an eon ago that we used to read Fix It Duck together after the two of us had enjoyed a supper of pasta Bolognese. I suppose it must have been nine years ago. I have no idea what Olaf will be like or doing in nine years time but I am sure that it will be amazing.

Happy Birthday Olaf. Do not let Big Nose eat all of the chocolate cake.

Tom Winnifrith

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