Day 104 has seen 5 miles walked through melting snow, a computer recovered, 2.4 miles run a yummy tea and NO SEIZURES OR VISIONS WHATSOEVER!!

Today has thawed considerably and the 2 mile dog walk this morning after the children had shot off to school was a pleasant stroll. I was feeling not especially brilliant but…….…just………..normal. Completely normal and that is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!. I think that this is the first time since May 2014 that I have been able to state categorically that I feel normal. I cannot tell you how good that feels. Nothing aching, nothing fizzing, nothing tingling, balance good, no pains, just nothing to report normal. After all the pain, seizures, dizziness, heartache and anguish of the last couple of years to feel normal is to feel just brilliant and something most definitely to write home about. I wanted to celebrate with a monster walk but had a computer to pick up from Computer Division in Stirling now it was repaired. I should be able to fit in a run once back and before the children return from school so walked along the Main Street to the Bus Stop swinging my arms in a normal, balanced way. I could almost have started whistling to reinforce the rather happy feeling of normal but then I started to imagine a sketch from a 70s comedy shoe of a man being normal as he walked down the street in a city in his stripy pyjamas. It was highly amusing especially when he started whistling and swinging his arms in a sort of carefree way that would be interpreted in a modern sketch as ‘in a ‘Bovered? Do I look Bovered?’ sort of a way. I decided not to whistle. Besides I wasn’t walking down the street in my pyjamas, I wasn’t skittering down the street like a lizard, I wasn’t swaying from kerb to wall on the pavement. I was just walking quietly and normally to the bus stop to catch a normal bus to collect my computer from a shop in a city. Almost to reinforce the 70s sketch, as I arrived in the very normal bus stop two very normal people were also waiting for the bus dressed in very normal clothes. We greeted each other in a very normal way. ‘Morning,’ said one. ‘Morning,’ said the other. ‘Morning,’ said I very normally before smiling and taking a seat. I still felt normal. I felt great.

The bus arrived quite normally at 1004am and off I went to Stirling to pick up my computer. As I write this I wish that I had a more humerous imagination because I think the last paragraph on normality was just crying out for a punchline at the end!! Any suggestions would be very welcome.

Once at Computer division I stepped in from the cold and very wet snow into a huge cauldron of energetic activity done with huge happy smiles on their faces. It was like another sketch from a 70s show of the business seen in the studio just before going live for the news programme. As I stood at the door surveying this happy scene I was half expecting a clacker board or the hand up asking everybody to quiet down for the 5 second count in to going on air. There was an excitement in the room. It was very tangible and then the honour Azam came up as usual with the sun beaming from his face declaring that the shop was in a particularly happy place today but he wasn’t sure why!! All I could reply with was how noticeable it is and how great it is. Azam released my hand and in a flourish whirled around to the rear of the counter to whisper something to Kurt which I could not pick up. He confirmed that the computer was fixed and would normally cost, for the depth of file cleaning that they had to do to get to the bottom of the problem freezing the computer was ……..I held my breath. ‘Just react normally Archie’ I thought to myself ……….£120. My heart sank but smiled a faint but normal smile. ‘However’ went on Kurt before running off to get Peter who had done the work. Peter confirmed the price of the work as £40. My smile grew much bigger in to a smile of huge appreciation and then Kurt confirmed that Azam has said that it was for free as it was so important for the challenge to have a computer running properly. I was bowled over by their generosity and thanked them enormously. They were hugely busy so it was time to go. I thanked them all and quietly left. As I walked back to the bus stop I decided to pay in £20 to the challenge fund as a donation from the money that Azam saved me in the computer shop. I felt great and as I walked gently through the city centre towards the bus stop in the light snow drifting like white feathers in the gentle breeze I spotted McDonalds. I felt normal and I had just had a great morning. Why not celebrate with a quarter pounder with cheese meal. Water though. No coffee. I wanted to keep feeling normal and doubted that they did decaf!!

It was a misty evening as I run
It was a misty evening as I run

Back home. Got changed and went for a run. I took the lizard route from last week as a sort of a challenge to myself to face my fears. It wasn’t a presence in the wood that turned me in to a lizard. It was just a seizure. I felt normal so it wasn’t going to happen again. I took some convincing but went for it extending the route a little into a 2.4 mile run. I discovered that on the soft and gloriously muddy forest paths a number of frozen mud ridges lay hidden under the snow that were ideal for turning over an ankle. I hit a couple of them but flexed with the turn over and kept running. I didn’t fall. I didn’t wobble. I just flexed with it in my knees and kept running as normal. It felt great. Down to the river. Across the road. Up the hill turning right towards the castle. Up past a friend’s house then up to Main Street, across to King Street, round to the park, across the park and in to home. 24 minutes. Brilliant. I run much faster when not a lizard. Not going to set records alight but 10 minute miles is very normal and a significant improvement. 3 Overarm Pullups, 15 Press Ups and 15 Sit Ups done before some stretching which I also use as a form of meditation.

Showered and changed I cracked on with some admin before the children burst in from school. ‘What’s for tea? When is it? Can I have some toast? All very normal. We were due a haircut this evening so it was going to be an early tea so limited their snack to some raisins and a yoghurt before shooting out to take Georgie on a 3 mile walk. The weather had warmed further giving some rather atmospheric mist to the evening in the woodlines and got home without incident.

Cooked Smoked Mackerel in Coconut Milk with bay leaves and parsley and sugar snap peas. It was a hit before and well received again this evening. I did have to chase it though with carrots, tenderstem broccoli, red grapes and a tomato after my normal lunch this afternoon. Feeling normal was great but to keep feeling normal I have to keep fighting the Beast and keep up a good diet. Besides cooking great food was starting to feel quite normal!

So a great day and NO SEIZURES. In fact I feel so normal today that I am going to tempt fate and add another line to the challenge in numbers. I have to go 2 whole years without a seizure before my Oncology team and the DVLA will consider giving me my driving licence back. I will miss the bus. In particular the wonderful people I meet like the lovely older lady I met on the bus today on the way home from Stirling but having a car opens up all sorts of possibilities for the challenge so I am going to start the countdown today!!

The evening view

Have a great evening but before you do:

The challenge in numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 104
Total Miles Cycled: 571
Total Miles Walked: 532.0
Total Miles Run: 30.3
Total Miles Paddled: 7
Total Distance Cycled, Skied, Ran and Rowed in the gym: 8.4
Total Distance Swum: 500 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam.1141.8
Total Height Gained under own steam: 31,973 feet
Mountains Climbed: 5
Hills Climbed: 18
Days of Voluntary Activity: 6.0
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Curling Matches played in: 4
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 1
Weight Training Sessions: 8
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 4
Press Ups: 202
Pull Ups: 51
Sit Ups: 202
People Met and Hands Shaken: 341
Pots of tea shared: 22
Prayers joined on the top of a hill: 2
Prayers joined in the street!: 3
Prayers joined in a Train Station: 1
Pills popped: 458
Days until Driving Licence possibly Returned: 730
And most important of all – Money Raised as at Day 96 – £5,802.77.

Considering I started this challenge 20 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 £60.44 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. May I also ask however that if you are not sponsoring me to please consider it for as much or as little as you can afford. My rate of revenue raising has slowed from £70.00 a day to £60.00 a day so please sponsor me and encourage your friends to as well.

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