Friday, April 27, 2007


It won't surprise any cyclist to learn that a bike is stolen every 71 seconds.

My regular cycling routes -- central London, Richmond, Kingston and Twickenham -- are among the hot spots.

Unusually, Tory MP Boris Johnson had the right idea when he called for sharia law for bicycle thieves.

Alternatively, councils should be lobbied to use some of the millions they're making from parking tickets to provide secure cycle storage.
Wherever you look at the moment there seem to be amputees breaking sporting records.

There's Oscar Pistorius, of course, who has become the first amputee to break 11 seconds for the 100m.

Kelly Bruno has broken 14 hours in her first Ironman competition -- and now has her eye on the Kona Ironman.

And last Sunday Richard Whitehead completed the London Marathon in under 4 hours.

All three put me to shame.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's a Big Week at Hughes Towers.

There comes a time in every man's life when he has to forsake the breast and the bottle and grow up a little.

For me, that moment has yet to come.

For William Robert, however, it's time to get weaning.

Some babies may find weaning difficult, but not the Bobster. He'd probably chew a chunk out of your arm if you gave him half a chance.

And so -- filmed entirely in Spoon-O-Vision -- I give you Billy's Adventures In Solids.

And so farewell, Heather Mills, who has been booted off Dancing with the Stars in the sixth week.

Still, her departure gives me a chance to highlight this fine piece of journalism once again.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Times reports on strategies suggested by a psychologist to beat commuter stress, such as singing to yourself, chewing gum or praying.

But there's a far more effective to overcome rush hour hell.

Ditch that stinking, overcrowded, sweaty tube carriage altogether and cycle to work instead.
Never mind Heather Mills in Dancing with the Stars, artist Lisa Bufano has got some real crazy amputee shit going on.

Visit her personal website here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My boss Jon Williams explains how you can spread the word about Alan Johnston.

In this multi-channel digital age there's a channel for just about everyone -- winelovers, golfers, people living on the Isle of Wight....and babies.

William's become hooked on Sky channel 626 -- home of Baby TV.

Watching it is the most surreal experience -- chilled out visuals for the under 3s, 24 hours a day. It seems to work like infant crack, turning the most fractious tot into a blissed out bundle of love -- especially just before bedtime.

Naturally, I only allow Billy to watch TV in small doses -- 12 hours at a stretch is my absolute maximum.
The Israeli press have picked up on the absurb NUJ boycott -- but British hacks working in Israel are suitably dismissive.

Over at the Times, Michael Gove is cancelling his NUJ subscription because of the Israel row.

The Foreign Office also thinks it's bonkers.

The NUJ has, once again, misjudged the mood of the rank and file over this one.

Monday, April 16, 2007

There's a deeply sombre mood in the newsroom today.

We've got no further information on Alan Johnston other than the details we've been reporting.

We're all just desperately hoping the claim he's been killed proves to be untrue.
There's a deeply sombre mood in the newsroom today.

We've got no further information on Alan Johnston other than the details we've been reporting.

We're all just desperately hoping the claim he's been killed proves to be untrue.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Further justification that my decision to leave the NUJ was the right one.

Regardless of the rights or wrongs of last year's war in Lebanon, how can British journalists working in Israel possibly be regarded as neutral observers when the organisation supposedly representing them votes in favour of a boycott on Israeli goods.

The Israeli press will have a field day.

The Guardian's Stephen Brook, blogging from the NUJ conference, is spot on:

"Once again the NUJ has made a fool of itself with the worst kind of display of right-on, sanctimonious posturing. I'm sure that the Knesset will be quaking in its boots.

"It's not what I joined the NUJ for. I didn't vote against the motion as I am not a delegate at these proceedings, but a working journalist. But I am comforted by two thoughts. Firstly, that the vast majority of NUJ members (some 39,000) would not support the motion, as opposed to the 66 that did. Secondly, that the motion will have zero effect, apart from some isolated sentiments of "we showed 'em" around the bar of the Birmingham Holiday Inn tonight.

Why can't NUJ delegates get passionate about something that is really important to journalists..."

A few more offerings from the Alan Johnston campaign.

Pictures of the billboards featuring Alan which have been erected in central London are here and here and above is a GIF which can be attached to e-mails and websites to draw attention to his situation.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


To the Foreign Press Association in London this morning to produce coverage of the press conference held by the family of our friend and colleague, Alan Johnston.

Alan was abducted in Gaza exactly a month ago and a series of events were held in the UK and the Middle East today to highlight his plight and try to put pressure on those holding him.

Large billboards have been erected in central London locations to remind the public at large of his situation.

It was a day of many moving moments.

In an unprecedented move, the BBC, Sky, CNN and Al Jazeera came together to broadcast a special programme for Alan.

It's a sign of how far the broadcast industry has come in recent years on issues of journalist safety that for a short time we were all able to put aside competitive rivalries and speak with one voice.

As I know from personal experience, when one of our number is killed, injured or taken hostage in the line of duty there's a collective sense of "there but for the grace of God go I...." What has happened to Alan could have happened to any of us -- and it affects us deeply.

But the most moving part of the day was undoubtedly the letter read by Alan's father Graham, addressing both his son and those who are holding him.

We can only hope that wherever he is, Alan was watching or listening.

I've uploaded Mr Johnston's statement onto You Tube and I urge you to watch it, and to spare a thought for Alan.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I've fixed the broken links to the blog archives.

Now every post -- from the heady pre-war, two-legged days of February 2003 to the present day -- can be accessed from the front page.

Watch out for 7/7 survivor and double amputee Gill Hicks on a media outlet near you.

She's doing the rounds promoting her new book One Unknown, an account of her journey of recovery.

It's strange to think that while I was rushing towards Tavistock Square on my bike on 7/7, providing some of the first reports from the scene, Gill Hicks was fighting for her life.

Gill is also an ambassador for the charity Peace Direct.

Watch her moving promo video for the organisation below.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Today marks the catchily-named International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

For anyone living in Chicago, an exhibition of photos by my chum Sean Sutton at the Chicago Cultural Centre's Michigan Avenue Galleries.

Monday, April 02, 2007

My name is among several hundred friends and colleagues who are calling for the immediate release of Alan Johnston in an advert in the Guardian.

Download the advert here.

It's a poignant day for the ad to be published.

It's four years to the day since I lost my leg to an Iraqi landmine and Kaveh Golestan lost his life.

I make a point of treating the anniversary as a cause of celebration. Despite the tragedy, I'm still here.

This year I've got more reason than ever to celebrate. Not only am I here but little William Robert is too.