One of the many fine buildings in the city of Stirling
One of the many fine buildings in the city of Stirling

Day 53 has been relatively painless but not seizureless. This morning I had the pleasant experience of being woken by my daughter because I had slept all the way until 7am. I had woken earlier but for the first time managed to get back to sleep and past 6am. I was going in to Stirling to do a couple of walks so there was no panic required. Instead I could take my time to get ready for the day, have breakfast with the children before school and see them out to the bus as usual. However, after I had washed and shaved and while getting dressed two or three bees came to visit and started work behind the nose creating the most extraordinary and unrelenting tingling sensations that couldn’t be scratched. They must have been turning pollen in to honey or something because, as a shudder started to vibrate gently through the body I could smell that lovely pungent smell of pure honeycomb which also left a heavy after taste in my mouth. I knew I was having a partial seizure and it quickly subsided but it was so very frustrating to have at a time when all should have been calm as well rested as I was. The bees never came back but they left their honey behind because I walked the rest of the day with the taste and smell of it emanating from me. So strong that I wondered if anybody else could smell it though nothing suggested as such. I wasn’t chased through Doune on the way to the bus stop by a pack of hungry dogs wanting some honey so it had to be in the mind only.

Once in Stirling I set off through the City centre to get to the start point for the first walk along the Back Walk and Gowan Hill before then walking the Raploch River Walk. As I walked I marvelled at the beauty of the city and man’s ingenuity that we can build such lovely structures that stand the test of time but also manage such a complex space of competing requirements in such a way that it appears almost to run like clockwork with the worker bees scurrying around in the council offices or transport making things happen as they should throughout the city. I started to appreciate the city more and more as I walked and enjoyed being surrounded by nature in the woods around the castle, and along the River Forth while at the same time stumbling upon strong links to the history of the City as the Royal Capital for Scotland. Things like the old town walls themselves that are 5 feet thick and 20 feet high woven into the rock of the geology of the hills on which the old town sits and have held off several attacks during the 16th and 17th centuries. The volcanic plug dominating the area and on which the castle sits has supported a castle and the Stewart Dynasty since the 12th century. The rather gruesome beheading stone which was used for numerous executions during the 15th century including the Duke of Albany in 1425 and which still bears the blood channel hewn in to the rock and scars of the executioners blade. The rather lovely old Stirling Bridge still being used 500 years after construction and the many stone and wood carvings to be found as one makes ones way around the city.

7 miles walked in total and the rain stayed away. A gentle day with only one very small seizure whose aftertaste has now finally gone. With Heather at rehearsals for the City Pantomime, James at Pipe Band Practice in the village and Georgie fast asleep exhausted it is time to catch up with some admin.

Days completed: 53
Total Miles Cycled: 242
Total Miles Walked: 229
Total Miles Run: 8.1
Total Distance Swum: 50 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam: 479.1
Total Height Gained under own steam: 22,366 feet
Mountains Climbed: 5
Hills Climbed: 8
Days of Voluntary Activity: 5.5
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Curling Matches played in: 2
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 1!
Weight Training Sessions: 3
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 1
People Met and Hands Shaken: 207
Pots of tea shared: 9
Prayers joined on the top of a hill: 2
Pills popped: 226
And most important of all – Money Raised as at Day 44- £3,020.00.

Considering I started this challenge 9 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 £68.00 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