Im in love – with the Freestyle Libre

This Valentines I treated myself to something a little different. A new way of managing my diabetes!

I have been very poor in the way that I have controlled my diabetes for many years. Whilst I never ate the wrong thing I very rarely checked my blood sugar levels, thinking that I knew what was going on with my own body. But with my the arrival of my son, that all changed and I started testing four times a day.

About six months ago I went for some market research and watched a young lady keep tapping her arm with a small device that looked like a phone and after the session i went up to her to ask her what she was doing! She told me about the how she monitors her blood sugar levels by having a little ‘implant’ in her arm which was continuously monitoring her levels and all she had to do, to get the information, was tap the small device on it it. But this was the game changer for me, the device told you which way your level were going. With my normal blood testing device, which you just prick your finger and put the blood on to a test strip, you have no indication apart from the moment you take the test, what is happening to your levels. I often do a blood test before going to bed not knowing which way my levels were going and in the last couple of years i have suffered with very low blood sugar levels in the middle of the night.

So i hoped that would be a game changer for me.

On valentines day i was fitted with the Libre – and after a day and a half of wearing it I am in love! Already it has changed the way i look after my diabetes. I am now checking my levels around 15 times a day and can see exactly what is going on!

I have the implant in for a two week trial and i plan to blog every few days about my experiences with it.

Update Two – Thrifty Cars and Aqua Cards

So, I thought I would keep the blogging going through this ‘experience’. If you have not followed where we are so far, please read this first

Yesterday was spent trying to get answers out of Thrifty Cars. It was going well until I started asking some difficult questions. They now seemed to have stopped wanting to talk to me. This morning I posted three questions on their facebook page. (Yesterday they were happy to chat to me on this page!). I asked,

1) Who gave you authorisation to take the money from my card? I did not and I did not pay for the car in the first place.

2) Why did you not contact me before taking the payment?

3) Why are you taking the money from me and not the administrators?

Yesterday I received replies in minutes – today I have not heard a thing.

This afternoon I phoned my credit card company. I use an Aqua credit card when I am abroad as they do not charge when doing transactions in different countries. I had spoken to them the day before and they have frozen the payment and are starting the investigation. They have been very helpful but I asked a simple question ..

“What checks did you do that I had authorised this payment?”

Sadly the answer came back none. They said they had not as I had used the company before. I pointed out that I had not and they had mistakenly taken a payment from me last time when they should not have! The seemed apologetic.

I also found out that the payment was done online. So did Thrifty Cars pretend to be me on line? I don’t know the answer to that but there the way their behaviour has been so far; I would not put it past them.

I want also to take this opportunity to thank all my friends who have offered help, support and advice.

My top tip – don’t ever use Thrifty Cars.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Open Letter to Thrifty Cars

See Below for update at 3pm

Dear Thrifty Cars,

Last year I had the pleasure of visiting Israel with my wife my then three-month-old son. I used a comparison website to book a car and car seat to transport my family around. As my mother and father in law were travelling with us, they paid for the car upfront.

We arrived in a very hot Tel Aviv airport, late in the afternoon. As you can imagine my son was not very happy having not experienced anything like this before. We managed to find the desk to pick the car up from, I gave them my credit card in case there were any problems and I made my way to pick the car up.

We have corresponded over twitter about the first issue before – the fact that the car seats were left outside and were filthy. Also, your staff would not help us fit the one seat that was semi clean and left us to sort in the heat. When we got in the car, the car was very dirty. You kindly refunded the price of the car seat although I was disappointed no further compensation was offered.

When I returned the car, I handed everything back and despite a few knocks (we thankfully have driven in Israel before and know that you need fully covered insurance!) there were no problems.

That was until I checked my credit card bill. I discovered I had been charged for the car (although it had been paid for in advance). We went backwards and forwards via the company I booked it through. The company was called Atlaschoice. Eventually, I was refunded the money – but the whole thing was extremely stressful.

I was then shocked when my credit card bill arrived on Saturday to see your Israeli Office has charged me £363.49.  Can you let me know why this has happened – and without my permission. Is this fraud?

Last time I had this resolved through Atlaschoice (whom I booked the car with) but I emailed them directly this morning and they have gone into administration!

Please help!

I hope this open letter gets your attention as other ways of trying to get in contact with you have not been successful yet! You can tweet at me or just leave me a message in the comments as to how i can get in contact.

Robert @robertrams1

3pm Update

I have finally got this response.

“Thank you Robert. It appears that you purchased your prepaid voucher through Atlas Choice, correct? If so, unfortunately, they closed their operations and Thrifty was unable to get payment from them for your rental. Thrifty then had to charge you to collect payment. You will need to seek reimbursement for your prepaid voucher from Atlas Choice. Please view the website here with information.

Whilst i don’t have a problem with this i have a couple of questions that they have not and will not answer

  1. I did not pay for the original booking therefore why was i charged for this one?
  2. I did not give you permission to charge my card therefore why did you take payment without my permission?
  3. Why did you not get in contact with me before taking the payment? At no point did anyone inform there was a problem?

They seem to refuse to engage on this and expect me just to pay them.



My Uncle Philip

I am a very lucky person. I have and have had many wonderful people in my life. The one person whom I am most proud of, who I miss more than words can say (along with my mother), is her brother, my Uncle Philip. He was a genius. He was one of the greatest sports photographers ever. He was voted Specialist Sports photographer of the Year by Sport England an unprecedented three times. In 2004, he was the first recipient of the Lawrence Levy Lifetime Achievement Award, to honour outstanding work in golf photography, which was presented in conjunction with Golf International magazine.

Sadly he passed away 11 years ago and it is often around the start of major golf tournaments I think about him more than ever – and shed a little tear. Today is the first day of the Masters which got me thinking and googling pictures of his. There are many wonderful ones ( and many that I am in!) but for some reason, this is my favourite.



Pictured is José María Olazábal. He had been out for a while, with from memory, arthritis in his arms. This picture was taken the first day he returned back from tour and my uncle persuaded him to do a handstand!

Sadly once more, whilst watching the Masters tonight, I can’t be sat there playing the game “Spot the Uncle Philip!”


Underhill By Election

12.00pm update – I am sure you will pleased to know this was just an April Fools! The next time I will be elected is as an MP! 

I am delighted to announce I am seeking to be the Tory Candidate in the up coming council by election in the Underhill seat.
Commenting Robert Rams said,

“Barnet politics has missed me. With all this talk of Library closures I feel the time is right for me to return. If I can’t close a library then who can.

“I pay tribute to the Labour Councillor who stood down (no I had not noticed she had been there in the first place either and had to google her picture to check who she was) and wish her all the best in her new role at Cambridge uni. I am sure she will be out on strike soon.

“I will be holding a press conference at 12pm today (1st April) outside the Conservative party offices. All welcome.”

A now for something a little different!

A now for something a little different! I’m going into the Blinds business. I like to do my research before buying something. When we had new blinds put into our house I searched around for the best quality and best price I could find … and discovered Andy. Andy did an amazing job and since then I have recommended him to friends and family who were all really impressed with his quality and price. He was looking to expand his business and improve his online and social media presence – so after a few chats and a few beers – we decided to work together. At the moment, you can visit his website easily by going to So if you need new blinds, or know anyone who is looking for new blinds please get in contact with me directly and I will be happy to come round and measure up!


Royal Ramblings are delighted to be working closely with TNA and two wrestling stars to present our biggest ever competition.

We have three amazing prizes to give away –

1) Two tickets for the show in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro on the 29th January

2) Two tickets for the show in Manchester at the Manchester Arena on the 30th January

3) Two tickets for the show in London at the SEE Wembley Arena on the 31st January PLUS a signed personalised picture by the beautiful SoCal Val and the break out star of British Bootcamp, Richard Parliament will record an answer phone message for you! Yeaaahhhh!!

How can you win one of these incredible prizes?

Well, we want to know, if you were a wrestler, what would be your wrestling name? The funnier, the stranger, the more wonderful the better! You can tweet at us @royal_ramblings with either #manchester #glasgow #london and your answer. You can also email us with your wrestling name to including which prize you would like to go for.

Closing date 5pm on Monday 26th January