Day 115 has seen sunshine and 2.5 miles run, some music ruined, some inspiration and some beautiful music from the farm.

Yes the sun was out. It wasn’t raining. It wasn’t snowing. It wasn’t blowing a gale. It was just a beautiful day. A perfect day for a run. A little further than last time to just push the envelope a little more to keep improving my fitness. I took the usual route around the Wood of Doune and down to the river, then along the river and this time rather than turning away from the river and back towards the village well before the castle I followed the river to just past the castle then up around the castle and back to the village. Just a little bit further than last time and a beautiful run. I was feeling good, the river was behaving and staying within her banks so not trying to pull me in and the sun was out. The village was out too and waving and wishing me a good morning with huge smiles all round. A little like a hat is quite the thing to be wearing in the rain a smile seems to be the only thing to be seen wearing when the sun is out. Marvellous. It was a great run completed in 25mins13 secs and with not even a hint of a seizure. Back in the house I upped the numbers again so 4 overarm pull ups this time. Well 3.5 to be precise. I didn’t get all the way up on the fourth but it was a valiant effort! 16 Press ups and 16 Sit ups followed by some stretching and deep breathing. Showered, changed and a late lunch of the usual. I know I know – no imagination but I have stumbled upon this combination of brazil nuts, apple, Banana, orange, red grapes, poached egg, flaxseed, spinach, rocket, watercress and tomatoes, tenderstem broccoli, carrots and red wine, 85% Dark Chocolate, lactose free yoghurt for the calcium, raisins and turmeric as part of a combination of foods to be consumed throughout every day which with a good freshly made evening meal and breakfast will help me in my quest to Beat the Beast. The last two scans say that we’re doing something right so why change it!?!

After lunch I was feeling a little tired so decided that that was the perfect time to do some organ practice. There was a particular tune that I was really struggling to master so decided to have another crack at it. I was struggling far more beyond just tired. I was finding it difficult to get my fingers to do what I wanted them to do. They weren’t being very obedient. My brain was finding it difficult to read the music. I was having to break down tunes that I had already learnt back down to right hand then left hand separately while working out what note was what in the tune. It was a hugely frustrating time but I knew that I had to continue. That this was one of the moments when I stood a chance of trying to force the left hand healthy side of the brain to take on some of the failing cognitive and motor function from the diseased right temporal lobe. I persevered but found that I had to revert back to some pieces I learnt as a young boy when I took the Grade 1 examination on the piano. They were nice pieces so had continued to play them occasionally ever since and without issue but today I was having to break them down again. I ground on and on until eventually it clicked and I could play the Menuetto. Heartened I moved on to Morning Greeting which took a couple of attempts but picked it up again much more quickly. I was on a role and not wanting to stop. To keep pushing the brain to rewire itself. To find a way. The final piece for today was Musique Dans Les Bois which as I was playing it, almost faultlessly first time through, I realised that it might actually sound quite good on the organ. Another time. I had succeeded in forcing the brain to function, was tired and had murdered enough music for today. Besides I needed to cook tea in time to be able to go and get some inspiration.

I went for something nice and simple this afternoon. Smoked mackerel poached in coconut milk with parsley and green beans chased by an orange. Delicious. Tidied up and I was off to the parish church this time for evening prayer. I was very glad that I went.

It was a tough afternoon in which I really struggled. I managed to win in the end but was quietly at odds with myself about how difficult I was finding it. I needed some inspiration and as I looked at the three candles burning in the centre of our group representing the holy trinity we were told about Moses. How he had turned away from the lure of treasure as an Egyptian Prince and instead by true and honest belief had surmounted every challenge presented to him. Through faith he achieved the impossible and led the people out of captivity, out of Egypt and to freedom. He went out into the wilderness with little to show for himself other than his faith and by Faith he saved a people from the Egyptians, by Faith he fed a people and by Faith he led his people to the promised land. Perfect – By Faith I can Beat this Beast.

Prayers completed it was time for a little distraction away from the turbulence of life. I went to the Rural Hall in the village for a concert given by the Northern Lights Wind Quartet. It was beautiful music, beautifully played with some humour and introductions. It was all the distraction I needed and one of the pieces they played was set in the countryside intending to reflect nature itself. It was a beautiful piece of music and as they played I found myself identifying the instruments with the countryside. The French Horn painting the glorious velvety colours of a deep emerald green meadow with huge patches of vibrant reds, blues and yellow wild flowers. Over this beautiful kaleidoscope of colour could be heard the oboe and clarinet like the voices of the shepherds marshalling their flock through the meadow. Bringing order to the composition, to the music. Then in the background could be heard the Bassoon harrumphing or garrumphing away like the farmer calling to the shepherds and telling them off for taking the flock in the wrong direction. The occasional basal below of the farmer leaning on his stick with his bright rosy red cheeks and being grumpy in harmony with this wonderful scene. Then flying high above the meadow singing on the wing flying high in to the crisp blue sky and the sunshine comes the flute throwing it’s wonderful melodic tunes over the scene, the music rising high above the orchestrated, colourful and harmonious scene of the countryside at work painted by these beautiful instruments. I was lost in this picture that they had painted for us and loving every minute of it. I was reminded of a beautiful piece of music for the oboe that I loved as a boy. A story told in music of the Snow Goose. I just wish I could play the organ. Well that’s the challenge and with a little determination and perseverance I can learn.

The challenge in numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 115
Total Miles Cycled: 627
Total Miles Walked: 595.5
Total Miles Run: 35.2
Total Miles Paddled: 7
Total Distance Cycled, Skied, Ran and Rowed in the gym: 17.2 
Total Distance Swum: 900 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam.1395.8
Total Height Gained under own steam: 31,973 feet
Mountains Climbed: 5
Hills Climbed: 18
Days of Voluntary Activity: 6.5
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Curling Matches played in: 5
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 1
Weight Training Sessions: 8
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 5
Press Ups: 248
Pull Ups: 61
Sit Ups: 248
People Met and Hands Shaken: 360
Pots of tea shared: 24
Prayers joined on the top of a hill: 2
Prayers joined in the street!: 4
Prayers joined in a Train Station: 1
Prayers joined in a Café: 1
Pills popped: 502
Days until Driving Licence (lost to epilepsy) possibly Returned: 727
And most important of all – Money Raised as at Day 112 – £6,050.77

Considering I started this challenge 22 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. That is £54.02 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 to £54.02 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