Tag Archives: #TieForHelena

Review of the Year

There are lots of these posts going around, so to prove my lack of originality here is mine.


Screenshot 2015-12-15 22.02.08

A subject that took over my blog for a few days in December was the #TieForHelena. An online friend of mine (we’ve never actually met in person) and fellow swimmer was attacked near her house because she was wearing a tie. As a community we wanted to support her and hopefully give her the confidence to wear a tie again. Here’s the original post outlining this: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/tieforhelena/

What actually happened was that it seemed to strike a chord with people and it turned out to be quite big. Here’s the summary post I did: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/that-went-well/


About to start mile 20 - not happy!

About to start mile 20 – not happy!

There were two main events that were the focus of 2015 for me. The first was back in May and was the 2swim4life event. A simple premise of swimming a mile on the hour, every hour, for 24 hours. I trained hard for it and had great support on the day, here’s the write-up I did: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/2swim4life-summary/. That said, it took me a while to get my focus back again: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/if-found-please-return-to/

Swimming the Channel

Screenshot 2015-08-26 14.08.43One thing that did help me to regain my focus was swimming the channel on behalf of the charity Aspire. This was a channel crossing with a difference as it was to be done in the pool over the course of 12 weeks. I decided to add another element to the challenge and do it in 22 days: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/swimming-the-channel/. I completed it successfully and as you can see I was effusive in my final write-up: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/ive-done-it/.

It’s not too late to sponsor me if you have any spare money lying around after Xmas: https://www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire/

I didn’t do a channel relay this year (although there may be one on the cards for 2016), but I did write some of my thoughts on them for aspiring relay swimmers: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/channel-relay-thoughts/

Bala Disaster

2015 wasn’t all good though. I had my first ever DNF at Bala this year – and to make it worse I wasn’t swimming, but kayaking and had to pull my swimmer out of the water (sorry again Rach): https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/shit-shit-shit-shit-shit/. Fortunately we did get a swim in the following day: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/sunday-was-better/.


A picture postcard scene. Photo courtesy of @135notout

A picture postcard scene. Photo courtesy of @135notout

I also tried to play cricket again in 2015, for the first time in over 25 years. As you can see from these posts, it wasn’t a complete success: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/crickets-hard-work/; https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/cricket-hmmm/


But at the end of the summer, I did treat myself to a swimming trip to Crete. It was a trip organised by the wonderful Swimtrek and I met some great new swimming friends: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/more-on-crete/. I’d definitely recommend one if you’re thinking about it.

Not a bad 2015 all in all. And I still think that 2016 will be even better.


Filed under Charity, Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming

That went well…

… in fact it went very well.

Yesterday was #TieForHelena day. It was done to show support for someone who was attacked just for wearing a tie. We wanted to tell homophobia to get knotted. There was one hell of a response from people.

See all the Twitter #TieForHelena posts here.
See all the Facebook #TieForHelena posts here.

There were a number of news stories, articles and blogs written on this:

The Telegraph

We had people wear ties with shirts:

Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.51.04 Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.51.22 Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.51.32

And people wear ties without shirts:

Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.53.40 Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.53.51

And bow ties:

Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.55.23

We had people in offices wear ties:

We’ve had swimmers in ties:

Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.56.31 Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.56.40

And non-swimming swimmers:

Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.10.36

We even had teddy bears:

Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.11.12

And babies:

Screenshot 2015-12-15 21.18.53

But most importantly – and this was the main reason for #TieForHelena, to show Helena that we are all supporting her and want her to have the confidence to wear a tie again after the attack – we had Helena herself wearing a tie:

Screenshot 2015-12-15 22.02.08

1 Comment

Filed under Thoughts


A swimming friend of mine was attacked only a street away from her own home in London last night.

She believes the attack was a homophobic attack and that the perpetrator singled her out because of how she was dressed – especially that she was wearing tie. Read the article and see the photos in the Evening Standard.

There was a line from the Facebook post she made that really struck me:

“I don’t think I’ll be rocking a tie in the near future.”

I called Helena a friend of mine in the intro to this piece, but strangely we’ve never actually met, instead we’re social media buddies through shared swimming experiences – Helena did a channel relay with someone I went to SwimTrek Majorca with. And one thing that I used to love was seeing the photos Helena updated with her wearing a new tie, she definitely did ‘rock’ that look, so I hope this horrible attack doesn’t make her too scared to rock it again.


I think that we should show support for Helena by all of us wearing a tie – so we can all rock that look.

If you already wear a tie to work, then great, you’re part of the gang. If you don’t, then for one day, please do. You can wear it rakishly, dashingly, with a suit, with slacks, or maybe even ‘Rambo style’ like we used to on the school playground occasionally. However you wear it, please take a photo and upload it to social media with the hashtag #TieForHelena.

Let’s all do this on Tuesday 15th December.

Let’s show idiot homophobes that they are in the minority and let’s hopefully give Helena the courage to rock a tie again.


Filed under Thoughts