Day 105 has seen 4 miles walked, 200metres swum and a school snowballing challenge won. 

I had a message from a friend last night giggling that I am the first person that she has ever heard celebrating feeling normal. A quote from a friend of hers from previously was ‘Normal?Normal? Who wants to be normal? That’s a setting on a washing machine!!’ Before all this. As a younger man. Before the disease I would probably have had a similar quip. Now however I am still feeling normal and that still feels great. I am a little tired after a very heavy night sweat and a poor nights sleep but I otherwise feel normal. I can breath in new smells with a confidence that it is not going to send me in to a flat spin of a seizure. I am no longer scared of life. As I travelled to Callander on the bus I was able to help two American tourists as to where to go when they got off the bus. Directions to the tourist office. Directions to the Falls of Leny. Directions to the Deli Ecosse! Only last week I was struggling to remember how to fold a map let alone give somebody else directions but today? Normal. Got off the bus and with a sure confidence pointed out all that they needed and then invited them to enjoy a glass of wine while watching a video!!I

I walked up to the Leisure Centre and went for another swim today and knocked out a steady and unrushed good quality 10 lengths. 200 metres swum concentrating on the quality of each stroke rather than whether or not my lips were twitching. Was my nose fizzing. Was I about to have a seizure. No I was just swimming normally except for the ever watchful life guard Andrew shadowing me from above at the side. I was again the only person in the pool. Such a luxury. I did find out though that the pool is only 20metres long so I only swam 200 metres rather than the 250 metres I thought I had. No matter though I swam 10 lengths. Further than last time and still felt normal. No twitches, fizziness nothing. A significant milestone. A few short months ago just a whiff of a swimming pool was enough to trigger a small aura. Now nothing!!

Once showered and changed Though I walked in to an ambush. The children were on their lunch break and having a snowball fight outside the leisure centre and guess who was right in the middle of it. My son James!! And his friends, Cameron, Robin and David. In fact just about the whole year who I knew well having coached them at Rugby or been their Scout Leader. They were pleased to see me but had the wisdom to hold their fire against me. They egged James on though and time and again he threatened to throw but my stare won. He held his fire. I smiled and said farewell to them all and sure enough as my back turned a lone snowball whistled harmlessly past me and hit the wall smashing into many pieces and falling at my feet. I turned and sure enough. There in the centre of his rapidly withdrawing group of friends was James with the most mischievous giggle and looking very guilty as he shuffled from foot to foot fidgeting with his hands. In fact so guilty that he started to run before I moved. He was penned in by his friends who I think wanted to see what happens next. I had no need to run. I just walked normally towards him and like a deer unable to get through or over a fence James just bounced off the ring of boys, testing for gaps, as his friends excitement grew. Trapped I wrapped my arm around his shoulders and held him tight as I stooped to get some snow. James was wriggling but I held on. Rubbed some snow into the top of his head so as not to hurt his face and then much to the delight of his friends stuffed the rest down his back as he tried to run. A big cheer. James now at a safer distance turned and laughed. I wanted to pick him up and hug him and give him a big Daddy kiss but knew not to embarrass him in front of his friends so waved instead with a that’ll teach you but I love you too sort of a wave as James shook the snow from out of his back. As I turned to walk away another lone snow ball went wide of me. As I turned with a huge smile on my face James was already running!! I said goodbye to his friends and let him run. I wonder how long he ran for before realising I had gone!

As I walked down to the town I grew 6 inches. I felt normal. I felt great. I had a great son who I could have fun with and he was happy with a great load of boys and girls in his year group at school. Life was good despite everything and then life got better. The Deli Ecosse was open! Time for an egg sandwich with salad, a decaf lactose free Mocha and a flapjack. It was heaven. The log burner was lit again so I sat, content, planning a bike ride with Debbie and eating my egg sandwich while I typed my notes.

Caught the bus home, answered some emails and then took Georgie for another 2 mile walk. Back in and time to cook tea. Another Jamie Oliver 15 Minute special so an hour later I turned out Prawns cooked with chilli, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, cinnamon and saffron in Passata with basil and then mixed in with linguine and parmesan cheese. The salad was fennel, celery, mint and lemon finely sliced in a food processor. To top it all was homemade garlic breadcrumbs. It was delicious, well received by the children, fiddly to make but packed full of goodness. Still feeling normal!!

Have a great evening but before you do:

The challenge in numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 105
Total Miles Cycled: 571
Total Miles Walked: 536.0
Total Miles Run: 30.3
Total Miles Paddled: 7
Total Distance Cycled, Skied, Ran and Rowed in the gym: 8.4
Total Distance Swum: 700 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam.1153.4
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: 343
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: 462
Days until Driving Licence possibly Returned: 729
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