What I learned about working in an office from Line of Duty

So who caught the finale of Line of Duty on Thursday? What a ride! Two compelling interview scenes (accompanied by much shouting at the TV from MrM and me), before a brilliant text that culminates in an hilarious chase scene through central Belfast and the death of the Caddy.

My nerves have been completely shred, but I’m even contemplating watching it all again as there are unanswered questions. Who killed the Caddy? Why did the driver of the Range Rover drive around in circles? Is it possible to keep running after you’ve been knocked down?  Why is Neil Morrissey mowing a lawn that has clearly just been done?

I also realised that I still have a soft spot for the brilliant Adrian Dunbar, long after seeing him in one of the most underrated films ever; Hear my Song.


But for a home-based worker like me, the episode provided a fabulous guide on how to navigate the tricky task of working in an office. Here are some of the top tips I learned in the 90-minute finale:

  1. Never trust a colleague

Office politics eh? There’s always someone who will try to play you off against the MD, show you up in front of your colleagues, email you to tell you that one of your documents needs to be in a 12 point font size instead of 11, or steal your car and frame you for murder. The Caddy’s machinations have rumbled on undetected for five episodes, before he talked himself into a dead end and sent a pre-prepared text message. Which leads me onto..

2. “Urgent exit required”

This is actually trending on Twitter at  the moment and I have saved this into the drafts folder on my phone just in case our next team meeting overruns.  However, had I been the Caddy, under pressure, I would probably would have sent it to my mum by accident, instead of “ride”, “removal” and “talk”.

3. Drink lots of water

It’s easy to forget to stay hydrated in a busy air-conditioned environment, but Line of Duty had plenty of reminders to drink water. Each interview scene contained much water sipping – not only is it good for your health, it’s a good way of giving yourself thinking time when you’re about to lay the clues down to suggest that one of your colleagues is corrupt.

4. Hanging on the side of a lorry

Next time I’m late for work, I will seriously consider hanging off the side of a lorry. None of the public seemed terribly surprised to see an armed police officer hitching a ride this way, and it  is almost as fast as running.

5. WHOM!

Correcting someone’s grammar in the middle of a heated row needn’t be contained within my head anymore thanks to the frighteningly slick Gill Bigelow.  Earlier this week, a colleague phoned me to berate me about some figures and continually repeated the words: “amount of people”; “amount of children” “amount of adults” until I could take it no more and childishly shouted “NUMBER, NUMBER, NUMBER” down the phone. Gill pulled this off in a much more ladylike way, correcting Kate Fleming’s “who” to a “whom”. Even when you’re facing losing your job or possible arrest, never forget the principles of basic grammar.

6. How to multitask

Lastly, when small son was a baby, I didn’t have the brain capacity to even remember how to walk in a straight line, but let’s not forget that the copper who helped to provide the info that would incriminate the Caddy, had a tiny baby that she brought into the office late at night. If anyone should have received a commendation at the end of the episode, it was her.




Beat the Street Reading

Beat the Street has returned to the town and it’s the third time the walking, cycling and running competition has taken place in Reading. More than just Reading, it’s also nudging into West Berkshire with pockets of activity in Theale, Pangbourne, Mortimer and Burghfield.


These Beat Boxes have appeared about half a mile apart on lamp-posts across the area. Players simply tap two of these within an hour to score points and the team that ends the competition with the most points wins a great prize of £1,000 worth of sports vouchers.

If you are in a small team (minimum of 25), then don’t lose heart, because there’s also a leaderboard for average points, meaning the highest points per team members.

The game started today (15th April) and takes place until 27th May. I would love to get LO involved, but we’re based just a bit too far west. However, as I work in Reading, I’m delighted to report that I scored 60 points today – if you can do that on a day of pouring rain, then think how far Reading could walk in the sunshine!

We hear great stories about people who have become addicted to physical activity through playing the game; sedentary people who have become inspired to walk hundreds of miles or to run marathons; families who have taken the opportunity to go out tapping together and ended up having proper chats; schoolchildren who have discovered new areas of their towns, learned about the geography and history of the locality and begged their parents to go out instead of watching TV.


This is a brilliant project and if you would like to get involved, there are maps, cards and other info is available here

Good luck Reading and happy tapping!

If you’re not close to Reading, then sit (haha!) tight as it’s taking over the world. IN the next couple of weeks, it starts in Rhondda, North Lanarkshire and Nottingham with more cities and towns soon.



Discovering the magic of Magic Hands


“Wiggly fingers, super duper….Magic Hands!”


The libraries of West Berkshire have put on a brilliant LibraryFest event which included a workshop put on by the people who make the hit CBeebies series Magic Hands.

The interactive workshop meant that LO met the producer and also the main presenter Aimee.

What’s great about Magic Hands, much like Something Special with Mr Tumble, is that is a programme aimed at one section of society that don’t tend to get specialist entertainment, yet it is entertaining for everyone to watch. The other thing about it that’s good for us, is that it’s made in association with Mary Hare, a school for deaf people that is right on our doorstep.



We saw an episode about the Owl and the Pussycat, plus another about the Pied Piper, which meant that in just a short time, LO and the other children (plus parents) learned a bit about poetry and also how to sign such words as “boat”, “cat”, “pig”, “money” plus colours and names.

Catch it on iPlayer – it’s well worth a watch!