Day 33 has no photos, tales of daring do, or, you’ll be glad to hear tales of woe for today has been great. A clear head all day. No fog at all, no seizures at all, the tiniest flicker of a seizure behind the nose but that was it and best of all no feelings of loneliness – well nearly none.

The day started in a beautiful way for when out walking the dog one of the more elderly women of the village came rushing up to say hello and check I was doing ok. Followed by another chap checking up on me which was then followed by an invitation to join a work party on another day. In fact there was a genuine interest in my welfare and what plans I had for the day. I couldn’t help but smile. Then as I was tying on my old boots for a bike ride a neighbour wanted to offer a show of support and let me know that she and her family were there for me whenever I needed them. Oh and even more exciting had I heard that the Buttercup Cafe in Doune was planning to run a tea to raise awareness and maybe even funds for the challenge? Wow – good news travels fast and thank you Janis and thank you Doune for this morning was a beautiful morning despite the typically dreich conditions and all thanks to such simple expressions of caring.

Apology post written I set off for Callander via the back road. With very little traffic and glorious views over the surrounding rolling countryside it turned out to be a delight to cycle. An undulating road it got the legs working, the blood pumping and the glasses misting up!! It was a great 9 miles with only 3 cars seen all the way and was soon in Callander and back at the deli ecosse to see Julie and her great team, have a hug, a mocha and a flapjack next to the woodburner to celebrate feeling so good. Unluckily for Jilly and Nigel from Dorset I sat on the table next to them while they tucked in one of Julie’s delicious breakfasts. I had a sense that they were a great couple so struck up a conversation and realising that I had forgotten my flyers started writing frantically on a napkin so that they wouldn’t forget to pour a glass of wine and learn about the challenge before telling their friends and of course their friends tennis partners et al. My senses were absolutely right. Jilly and Nigel were very kind and listened intently as their son was a triathlete and good at raising money for good causes. I had hit gold. Thank you Jilly and Nigel. I hope you had a safe journey home and that you remember to come and join me on my journey – it’s quite a ride – bring some friends!!

It was time to go before I scared off anymore customers. The return 9 miles was easier with a little more downhill but equally lovely views. Sadly however the easier leg let my mind wander and I just started to feel the first twinges of loneliness again after leaving behind such lovely company. This was so silly and needed to be dealt with. I remembered a meditation technique from a CD a friend had given me. This was all about maximising the senses to bring the mind in to the present, the hear and now, rather than let it wander in to sad places because of what might have been in the past or in the future, or any other product of over thinking ones current situation when in completely the wrong frame of mind for such thought processes. So I focussed back on to the senses and took a deep breath as I continued to cycle along. I breathed in a lung full of the sweet but musky smell of silage which had an immediate hit like a drug. It felt like my pupils dilated while there was a sudden rush of blood to the head and a smile spread across my face. I was fully grounded in to the present and enjoying the rural smells, including the by-product of silage! I could hear the rhythmic sound of the tyres on the road as I peddled, I could hear the birds in the trees, I could hear the sheep in the fields. I was back, happy and smiling and just in the nick of time because a tractor was coming up large in the narrow country road. I missed it!! A great day. Genuine messages of support followed by a hug, a mocha, 18 miles cycled and an enormous smile. I Beat the Beast today all thanks to good people, a quiet road, some great advice and the aroma of some hay.

Then just to keep me in that good place I opened a message from a friend who most kindly said “you have a real gift for expressing how you are feeling and it is obviously appreciated and encourages your readers”. I took the dog for another short walk with a smile still on my face and to run some errands to find myself being thanked by a friend for my posts because they help a friend of hers greatly. Such news is some of the best to hear as it spurs me on to write as honestly and as positively as I can. The more I can help through my writings the more positive and worthwhile this challenge becomes. The message being given to me today has been heard loud and clear. I am not alone!!

So the challenge in numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 33
Total Miles Cycled: 130
Total Miles Walked: 136
Total Miles Run: 4
Total Miles covered under own steam: 270
Total Height Gained under own steam: 15,179 feet
Mountains Climbed: 6
Days of Conservation Activity: 2 1/4
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Curling Matches played in: 1
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 0!
Weight Training Sessions: 2
People Met and Hands Shaken: 138
Pots of tea shared: 5
Pills popped: 152

And most important of all – Money Raised as at Day 30 – £2,267.00.

Considering I started this challenge 6 weeks ago very quietly with no target beyond a fiver, thanks to the brilliant advice from a friend of mine, I am absolutely thrilled and again thank you all. So far that is £75.00 for each and every day that I have managed to find the will and energy to do something worthwhile and my goodness it has been worth it for my peace of mind, for my healing and for the five wonderful charities you are supporting through your generosity. Long may it continue.

Thank you

Yours aye