Day 16 which is a compilation of all the great things that have been happening over the weekend and today has ended in the most remarkable way. It was capped by the most wonderful post by Phil Deakin. When we spoke on the telephone earlier he read me this poem as the challenge was, in a small part, it’s inspiration. It is such a beautiful and at the same time poignant poem that evokes such a powerful message to get out there and make life matter. He could not have captured the very essence of the challenge more eloquently and as I know this poem will ring true in so many people who have joined my journey strengthening ones hearts, minds and resolve to carry on the fight I felt that I could not leave it languishing in the visitor posts. Instead I wish to open today’s post with your poem Phil and thank you for your inspiration.

I met Archie through my work, and I have found him to be a strong and persuasive character whose heart is bigger for the suffering than anyone I have ever met! When talking to him, I mentioned I was writing a poem about the need to capture each moment and live it to the fullest. He has asked that I share it here,

It is simply called Hyphen!


It’s not so much a mark of mere punctuation
But rather it’s a sign, of life and it’s duration
As you look upon each chiselled stone
All standing to attention;
We try to truly look aloof and hide the apprehension,
Of humanity’s mortality, Our final destination.
As we reflect, the Danish Prince Ignites a flame that burns
‘That undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns’
How can you believe in destiny without a destination?
How can you build a building without an estimation?
Purpose is the reason, Intent the Creator’s cause.
For no one is an accident please, let me give you pause…
But it’s the dash between the dates that makes me write today
And dash as we might and dash as we may
Each wistful fleeting moment can be stolen from our life an’
What joy is it to be summarised by a simple stone-carved hyphen?!?
The dates each side don’t really matter
For what is space and what is time?!
Without the space that’s in between
Where lies the reason or the rhyme?!
Space is the distance between the matter If no space then… what’s the matter?!
Without my birth I wouldn’t live
Without my death no riddle,
No eulogy no mourning friends If no beginning and no end
Why even have a middle?!
But upon a day four decades past I breathed fresh air anew
And as my lungs let out a yell I declared myself alive
And this is why I want to live And not to just survive
To make the space between more meaningful
Take time to rest and savour
A life that’s full of life and hope
That’s bursting out with flavour
Life is but a vapour, now you see it now… You don’t
Maybe you’ll accept my words, maybe…. you just won’t
But invest your life into other people
Your words into each other
Sow kindness ‘stead of selfishness
Make every man your brother
Leave a legacy of love that lives on inside your friends
Not a trail of bitterness that thankfully …just ends.
The moment that you stepped on stage Your inextinguished fire raged
Not cowering behind the curtain
Your words, your lines are there for certain
To raise your eyes towards the skies
And watch your dawning day arise
From the moment that you entered life you came in with a yell
Let generosity and courage ring loud like sounding bell
When time arrives for to depart
Your looks won’t matter, just your heart
So riding steed into the night
Don’t ever cease to fight the fight
But sound aloud your victory cry
For when freedom sings, your demons fly!

P J Deakin 2015 ©

After a pause for reflection I give you all the great things that have happened this weekend.

Part of the Relay Team The first was on Saturday in which I took part in the relay of the Eco Baton from Doune to Dunblane as it makes it’s way, carrying it’s very strong message, across Scotland and on into the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris next year. I couldn’t be prouder to be supporting the demand for climate justice as it is after all the world’s poorest that are hit hardest by climate change as some of the pictures on today’s news about climate driven weather conditions this year reinforced. In December 2015 the United Nations climate conference will bring together political leaders to try and agree the basis for global actions on climate change. The churches in scotland and the act alliance are calling for:

Agreement to deliver fair, ambitious and strong climate actions at national and international levels, adequate to stop climate change and keep global warming well below 2 degrees.

Agreement to deliver and increase public finance so that the poorest can adapt to climate change and develop in a low carbon sustainable way.

I completely agree with the demands and love the idea of the baton relay as the majority of the charities I am supporting will be supporting people effected by climate change. In fact I love it that much that I have volunteered to escort the ECO baton all the way to Paris myself as I feel that the ECO Baton Relay and the Beat the Beast Challenge complement each other perfectly. Fingers crossed!!

Sunday consisted an excellent service in St Modoc’s on Sunday morning which focussed rather fittingly on the power of speech for good and was followed by a short bicycle Reconnaissance to Blair Drummond Safari Park to work out where I needed to go and how long it would take for the meeting I had today.

Today was the meeting for a very exciting opportunity later in the week both for the challenge and for the children. The plan is brilliant and hopefully will be a great example of the influence a coherent team and message can have. Thank you for your time Gemma. Very much looking forward to it. All will be revealed in the next few days!!

So 3 days rolled together to make one busy one for the challenge. 12 miles cycled, 2 pots of tea shared, 5 flyers handed out and some hugely positive messages delivered. Thank you Phil.

The team took the Eco Baton to Dunblane Cathedral
These pictures taken by Valerie are of the team that took the Eco Baton to Dunblane Cathedral. It was a wet but great day and couldn’t resist the photo by the Andy Murray golden letter box as I attempted to take a video of the Baton inscription. Thank you for the Photos Valerie.

The challenge in numbers total since the start:
Days completed: 16
Total Miles Cycled: 84
Total Miles Walked: 51
Total Miles covered under own steam: 135
Total Height Gained under own steam: 4,361 feet
Mountains Climbed: 2
Days of Conservation Activity: 1 1/4
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
People Met and Hands Shaken: 56
Pots of tea shared: 2
Pills popped: 68

If you see me around do please give a cheery hello and shake my hand or toot your horn and give a cheery wave to show your support and encourage me on. Thank you all for your incredible comments and support. Please continue to spread the word.

Thank you

Yours aye