Day 61 has been a day of contrasts. Highs and lows, fears unfounded, and wonderful people with 4 miles walked and 2.1 miles run.

I started this morning slightly low as the forecast for more strong winds had cancelled another day of cycling so went for a walk as normal to thank God for another day, even if I couldn’t go cycling in it, and use the relaxed atmosphere the glorious countryside offers to get the day in order in my mind. Well that’s the idea but it doesn’t always work out that way. Yesterday on the way over the River Teith to catch the bus after swimming, the most enormous Salmon I think I have ever seen jumped out of the river. It was a great sight so went down to the river this morning to see if the Salmon were running back to sea and could see some more jumping as I strolled along. No more Salmon seen so turned to head up a field on the way home. In this field is usually a couple of horses a little like a cross between Friesians and Welsh Cobs. They liked to come and say hello and could roam from the field down to the river so were very used to people and dogs. I had wanted to learn to ride as a boy but we couldn’t afford lessons so instead worked as a labourer on a farm in return for riding lessons from the farmer’s wife. It was a brilliant solution. I loved working on the farm and loved the riding lessons. I learnt a lot about horses so was not at all concerned when one of these horses in the field came steaming up to me in a spirited canter/trot tale up and carrying her legs high in the trot like she thought she was in a Spanish riding school. I stood my ground and faced up to her. She stopped. I rubbed her muzzle and then she shot off this time straight for Georgie who was along by the fence minding her own business. Next thing my 13 year old Collie was running up the fence line as fast as her old legs could carry her with this Mare hot on her heels again tail up and clearly agitated. Georgie hit the corner and turned to head along the top fence and before I knew what was happening the Mare did a very impressive pirouette to get her hindquarter facing Georgie and bucked and kicked. She caught Georgie hard. I heard the sickening thud of her hoof against Georgie and was convinced that I had also heard a crack. Certainly Georgie let out a yelp confirming she had been hurt. She was wounded or winded but had nowhere to go so I ran up to get her through the gate. The Mare trotted away content that she had achieved her aim whatever it was. I saw no foal in the field and Georgie was a long way away from any of the horses. I think the Mare must have had a run in with a Collie some where back in the distance and decided to get her own back or perhaps she was just in a filthy mood. Certainly I had never seen the like between a horse and a dog just minding it’s own business. I got Georgie through the gate and checked her over. I could find nothing broken or even any sensitive area. It looked like she had got away with it but there was of course a risk of internal bleeding so took her home gently and slightly shaken by this event.

Georgie in profile
Georgie in profile

After breakfast I fed Georgie and watched carefully for any pain in her jaw line while she ate. Nothing. The whole lot went in a flash!! That was a relief. I checked her over again and content that she was okay could head for Stirling to finally get the computer fixed. As I walked for the bus stop Pastor Jon shouted after me. The amazing Helen was going to Stirling did I want a lift. Awesome and just the lift I needed. I told Helen about the fun meeting I had had yesterday at the bus stop and my phone buzzed. I checked for messages. None. It must have been an email. More than one. I started to read Helen some wonderful messages from my new Spanish friends and their family. They had come to find me as promised. Amazing and thank you all. Welcome on board. In to Computer Division in Stirling and the team were fantastic. They asked for 90 minutes to do the final bits and pieces needed so I left them to it. I wandered around Stirling. Despite the light rain everyone was smiling and there was a really positive mood about the City. I was again starting to enjoy some quiet time in a lovely City and started to enjoy the architecture. Then I saw Mountain Warehouse. I hadn’t been in before so popped in looking for a waterproof mobile phone cover that I could fix to the hip belt of my rucksack. As I looked around I was pleasantly surprised by what I found at the prices they were asking for and thought that I could definitely come back when I needed kit. Then I met the wonderful Tracey who was a shop assistant who just buzzed with energy and friendliness. We had a great chat and as I bought some stuff I needed told her all about the challenge. We talked excitedly about helping me to raise awareness for the challenge and feel sure that she will and maybe even try and raise some sponsorship. I left with a great big smile and went for a Mocha. This time at the Green Grocer Café and met Leanne. I was struggling a little for some reason, perhaps a little tired after the amazing conversation I had just had with Tracey but Leanne’s smile brought me back to life and I just had to harness her support for the challenge. I started with the usual, pour a glass of wine and watch the video. When I mentioned the second glass of wine for the posts Leanne’s interest was piqued. Result and as I write this I see that my instinct was bang on – Leanne has joined me already on this journey and liked the page. Brilliant Leanne thank you and I really hope you enjoy your time with me. With Leanne on board I only have another 30 likes to get to reach 500 likes. That would be brilliant. So my spirits were already lifted by the wonderful Tracey and Leanne and then I walked back in to Computer Division. Job done. What do I owe you I asked. At that very moment the amazing shining light of Azam popped up. He looked at his assistant. ‘Nothing!!’ I was left speechless and hugely humbled by his generosity and thrilled to finally have my computer working properly again. Thank you Azam. Heather is thrilled to have her computer back!! The day has gone from a low and fears about Georgie’s health after a nasty bang to a constant stream of brilliant people wanting to see me succeed. Then just as the day couldn’t get any better when I got off the bus I bumped into a couple who confirmed that they were going to the fundraising tea for the challenge at the Buttercup Café and were really looking forward to it. Amazing. I got home to be met by Georgie her tail wagging happy to see me. Time for a run. Got changed and as I came downstairs and reached for my trainers Georgie became excited. I opened the door. Pouring with rain. I got my running jacket and went for it. We went back down to the horse field, the Mare had gone but Georgie was taking no chances and skulked very quickly down the side of the field to the river which was running high, broad and fast. We had a great run and bumped in to Mairi who was also out running but stopped to say hello once she realised who this other weirdo out running in the rain and mud was. A quick hug and back onwards. Georgie was okay. A little slow but her tail was up. She was happy enough so on we pressed. It felt great again to be out in the rain running after meeting so many wonderful people. Apart from a very tiny wobble in the Green Grocer Café I was feeling and had felt great all day. Georgie was okay and my computer was working.

Back home and 3 over arm pull ups, 12 press ups and 12 sit ups before a good stretch, a shower and some brazil nuts, broccoli, carrots and grapes. I checked the weather forecast for tomorrow. Guess what? I am back on my bike tomorrow – Yippee. Another phone call, an answer in the affirmative, and I have a cracking day planned for tomorrow. It is going to be wet and breezy but good enough for cycling in – brilliant!! That means that it was time to answer some more emails and paperwork.

Children home toast on and final walk before cooking tea. Another 2 miles. Georgie still looking good – immense relief. With the children upstairs doing their homework I cooked a tomato and cream sauce with pasta and leek ribbons and basil which I then poured over some pasta with some parmesan cheese. It was a real hit and thoroughly enjoyed listening to the two versions of various stories from the day at school while Daddy acted as referee. It was dynamic but good humoured and with such yummy food it was an almost perfect way to end a good day. Washing up done with James drying up. Georgie fed and again eating as quickly as she can – a great sign – and then Sarah the Piano teacher arrived. Sarah is always happy and cheerful so a delight to welcome in to the house. The children enjoy the lessons so I sit typing this post listening to some basic but delightful music and positive encouragement.

So today has been a day frustrated by wind forecasts and a worrying start after a meeting with a grumpy horse that has turned in to an amazing day chock full of people that just can’t help but make you smile as well as 4 miles walked and 2.1 run.

Smile and the world smiles back!!

The challenge in numbers total since the start:
Days completed: 61
Total Miles Cycled: 288
Total Miles Walked: 245
Total Miles Run: 14.4
Total Distance Swum: 150 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam: 547.4
Total Height Gained under own steam: 24,006 feet
Mountains Climbed: 5
Hills Climbed: 9
Days of Voluntary Activity: 5.5
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Curling Matches played in: 3
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 1
Weight Training Sessions: 5
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 2
Press Ups: 55
Pull Ups: 15
Sit Ups: 55
People Met and Hands Shaken: 216
Pots of tea shared: 11
Prayers joined on the top of a hill: 2
Prayers joined in the street!: 1
Pills popped: 258
And most important of all – Money Raised as at Day 58- £4,029.

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 £69.46 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 all for your incredible comments and support. Please continue to spread the word.

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

Yours aye