Pembroke: Boredom struggles to keep heart beating

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The Independent Online
I understand the boredom of marathon training is beginning to gnaw away at Jonathan Paddison, partner at accountants BDO Binder Hamlyn. Mr Paddison, who describes himself as 'more a jogger than a runner', is limbering up for his first 26 miler at the London Marathon next month.

Bidding to raise pounds 1,500 for the British Heart Foundation, he and five colleagues have been pounding the streets and have entered a half- marathon in Hastings this weekend as an early test.

'It is the boredom factor that is the problem,' puffs the 43-year-old former rugby player. 'I'm dreading not having anyone to run with because that's what will keep me going.'

Mr Paddison, who is aiming at a time of four hours 15 mins, has been clocking up the miles running home from his office in the City to Bayswater. Apparently he has even been finding that tedious.

City workers with a sweet tooth will get a chance to indulge their habit next week when a new chocolate delivery service is launched. Too late for Mother's Day but just in time for Easter, Clare Alford of Theobroma Chocolates of north London, has identified the City's bankers and brokers as the ideal target market for her range of top notch chocs.

''I will run a service once a week probably on Fridays,' says Ms Alford, who claims to have already had orders from Cazenove, SG Warburg and Gartmore Investment.

Suits interested in a free pig- out should turn up at Cafe Pierre by Liverpool Street Station on Tuesday evening where Ms Alford will be running a tasting session of choccies from the likes of Gerard Ronay and Montgomery Moore. 'I'll be the one in the red lipstick,' she chirrups.

It may be our Mothering Sunday this weekend but French mums have to wait another two months for theirs. This highly useful piece of information comes to us courtesy of Flying Flowers, the Jersey- based outfit being promoted by David Burnside, the erstwhile British Airways public affairs director.

Flying Flowers, which packs flowers in polystyrene boxes and then pops them in the post, has a little special offer planned for the French mother's day on 29 May. Unfortunately Mr Burnside's little note neglects to tell us what the offer is.

Peter Hain, the Labour MP for Neath, is not very happy with Sir James McKinnon, I see from the House of Commons records. In fact he is positively apoplectic. His gripe is the decision by the former head of Ofgas, the gas regulator, to throw in his lot with Calor Gas, where he will be paid an unspecified amount (ie loads of lolly) to act as the group's special adviser.

Mr Hain 'considers Mr McKinnon's decision to sell his unique knowledge to these companies not only as a grossly unpatriotic act but a shameless example of a Tory government appointee serving his time before shoving his nose into the free market trough'. And so it goes on, closing with a call to Michael Heseltine to do something to regulate the regulators. This phrase rings a bell. One of Mr Hain's previous publications is Policing the Police.

In a move that might be construed as a rather rude comment on the company's takover by Granada, LWT's studios have just lauched a new virtual reality simulator. It is called 'The Horror Ride'. Filmed at the London Dungeon, it is a virtual reality version of the 'Haunted House' or 'Ghost Train' rides at fair grounds.

The simulator, complete with severed heads and bloodied axes, will be tested in a new unit outside LWT's studios on London's South Bank from this weekend. LWT was not saying whether it would be inviting Gerry Robinson, Granada's chief, to take a front seat.

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