Day 122 has seen 3 miles run, 280 metres swum, an apology and a really exciting idea.

It was a beautiful morning and as the sun shone through the windows it was calling me outside. Heather was on a sleepover and day out with her friends and James was keen to go and play with his friends in the afternoon so there wasn’t time for a good long walk. There was time for a run though. James and I got changed and went for it. We took it steadily so set no world records. James found it tough going but he persevered and made it through to the end. 3 miles completed. Back home I introduced him to the pull up bar and after leading by example assisted him with his 4 pull-ups. On the 4th though he asked for a little less assistance and by jingle, he just lifted himself up and got his chin over the bar with very little help from me. It was brilliant to see. Then 16 press ups and 16 situps. He used his knees as a pivot for the last 8 press ups and I held his feet to assist him with the situps but he did well.

Stretched off and after a good scrub of the trainers it was time for a shower then lunch of the usual. No surprises for lunch. James made a few phonecalls and had a plan with his friends in the park for the afternoon. That meant that he didn’t want to come swimming with me this afternoon. I could understand that! So with James happy and sorted I caught the bus and went for a swim. It was time to add another 2 lengths and see how I got on. Freddy was on duty and the pool was just about empty so he was already waiting for me by the lane. First 4 lengths breaststroke, 2 lengths backstroke then 2 lengths butterfly! The first length went surprisingly well. I hadn’t swum butterfly since diagnosis but seemed to have the strength in the shoulders for the first length. By the half way point of the second though I was struggling to get my arms out of the water so it was messy. Very messy. But I made it. A couple of deep breaths and a sip of water then back on for 2 lengths frontcrawl. Halfway up the first length though I received the most excruciating pain in my right ear. It was very, very painful and stopped me swimming dead. I was straight on to the side and Freddy was right there ready for me. I was fine but my goodness that was painful. Freddy and I discussed it quickly and think the lengths of butterfly had dislodged an ear plug so some water had got into my ear canal which was sensitive enough after such major surgery to remove the Cholesteatoma. It burned badly but settled quite quickly. Freddy was of course absolutely right so I adjusted the ear plug to ensure a watertight fit and set off again. Finished those 2 lengths front crawl. Then another 2 then 2 lengths of breastroke to warm down. 14 lengths completed, 280 metres swum and no seizure. Not even a whiff of one! I thanked Freddy, showered, changed and set off for the only place I could think of going for a celebratory Mocha and a flapjack.

As I walked down the hill I suddenly realised to my horror that I hadn’t included the Deli Ecosse in my list of thank yous written last night to the team who do so much to support me. I was going to have to apologise and as I walked in Julie was there and her Mum who gave me the biggest smile and pulled my leg after my comments on the post about when I caught her swearing on Day 120. I walked straight up to Julie and she was ahead of me. Probably from the expression of guilt on my face Julie knew exactly what I was going to say so walked around from the counter, threw her arms up and gave me the most enormous hug whilst telling me that it really didn’t matter and she liked the post anyway. It was the best Mocha and a seeded flapjack ever and as I savoured the moment I framed my thank you note.

Dear Julie, Julie’s Mum, Debbie and the entire team of the Deli Ecosse a huge thank you for all the amazing support you give me with the enormous smiles, winning hugs, detailed knowledge of all I write, concerned conversation and even the arrival of the lactose free milk for my Mocha. A huge thank you for loving me no matter how smelly I am when I walk in to the Deli straight off a hill or covered in mud from a bike track or when you are up against it with the Deli packed to the gunnels. You always find me a seat or even make me one. You always find me the time to check that I’m good. You always make me feel welcome. You always make me feel special. That matters. Matters so very much. Thank you xx

As I framed the thank you into my head popped the names of lots of other people I hadn’t thanked individually but should have done so with a big apology for not thinking of you first time round in my rush to go Curling here goes:

A huge thank you to the wonderful Mother and Daughter team of Doune Chic for having a collection box and carrier bag charge for the challenge

A huge thank you to Laura Davies for her Christmas card making to raise funds for the challenge. 

A huge thank you to Matt Beresford who I met in St Abbs for bringing all his friends to the challenge.

A huge thank you to Julia Parry-Jones for beating the drum for me as hard as she can.  A huge thank you to Lucy Cameron for her hugely generous donation and encouraging comments.

A huge thank you to Sarah Corser for cheering me on with a toot and a cheery wave whenever she passes.

A huge thank you to Cameron And Kirsty Whyte for just being there for me. 

A huge thank you to Pat and Matthew for all their advice and guidance on epilepsy. For their concern and patience shown when I set out to push the boundary a little.

A huge thank you to Janice and Andrew for letting me know that they are there in case needed. 

A huge thank you to Gary and Kate for their friendly faces, support, encouragement and expert help with practical tasks. 

A huge thank you to Siobhan and Laura for helping to keep on top of the housework while bringing sunshine, warmth and laughter in to the house each and every time you come. 

A huge thank you to Jon and Helen for taking me climbing and offering me lifts.

A huge thank you to Marcia Banks for running me into town and offering so many times.

A huge thank you to Caroline Barrowman for giving up her evening to come and meet a man in a pub who she met briefly on a train in order to give him expert advice on social media and how to do it.

A huge thank you to Jamie Oliver for being so supportive of not only the village and their teams but also of the challenge.

A huge thank you to Claire Segrave for bringing me some followers but also an amazing opportunity to go flyfishing in the Borders.

A huge thank you to Charlie Brownlow for responding to Claire’s appeal and offering to try and help me catch a Salmon.

A huge thank you to Aunt Sue for pledging £10.00 per pound of Salmon caught. Does it count if I catch it in a supermarket?

A huge thank you to Heather MacLeod for all her faith in me, support for the challenge and ready advice on call when needed.

A huge thank you to Elizabeth Hurley for drawing up a reading list to ease me through the dark days when I couldn’t face another antiques programme and for being a constant source of encouragement.

And finally a huge thank you to Mum of course who dropped everything and shot up to stay with me and nurse me through the treatment post surgery, through radiotherapy and chemotherapy thus ensuring that the children were fed and cared for, the house cleaned and the ironing done when I was struggling and then helped me devise and settle in to a workable routine that would allow me to deliver the challenge and care for the children at the same time.

There are so many people I should be thanking and if I haven’t mentioned you personally please forgive me. It is not deliberate just a clunky brain.

But what yesterday’s post and today’s short catch up reaffirms in my mind is that there are so many people involved. Heather and I were bowled over by the scale of the support when I wrote it all down yesterday. One thing that is great is that the number of followers is growing day by day thanks to the efforts of Julia and Matt and Claire and Debbie and so many others who like the page, share the page and encourage their friends to get behind the challenge. The strength of such support is a very powerful vehicle and that gives me an idea!

I am driving myself so hard to try and improve my chances in the battle against the brain tumour but wanted to ensure that I did something worthwhile to help others and play my part in improving the lives and life chances of so many more people in the process while I still can. This improving lives bit is achieved through the sponsorship money raised being distributed to and used by the 5 charities I support. We are doing well but I see a noticeable slowing in my daily return of money raised while at the same time the number of followers growing and the post reach extending.

I have also had, on a number of occasions, a number of people express a desire to sponsor me but that it is an aspiration that is just out of their reach at the moment. It is wonderful to hear the willingness to support and when I reassure them that I really am more than happy to do all this for just 5p per day, therefore £1.00 per month, I am even more reassured when I see the relief and intent to do such a thing etched on their faces. Why? Because if those 5 people that immediately jump to mind in this example each sponsored me the £1.00 per month their £1.00 would have immediately increased in value to £5.00 per month!! Most people with an active current account can afford just £1.00 per month and 10 minutes of their time to complete a Standing Order.

Each of those 5 people probably has a facebook account but will also have on average 10 close friends each. If they could convince those 10 friends each to join the journey and sponsor me £1.00 per month that would see their £1.00 immediately increase in value to £50.00 per month!!!

I have 605 people who like this page. If each of them could encourage 10 friends to join the journey and sponsor me just £1.00 per month that would see a return of £6,050 per month. And if they then also went and got 10 friends so the figures increase:
£60,500 per month
£605,000 per month
£6 Million and Fifty Thousand Pounds per month.

So that original gentleman’s £1.00 per month standing order and 10 minutes of his time could quite feasibly become in real terms 3 Million Six Hundred and Thirty Thousand pounds every 3 months for each of the 5 amazing charities with which they can improve the lives and life chances of so many more people.

I am clearly stated as being more than happy to continue with the challenge, for as long as ever I can, for just 5p per day, £1.00 per month but just need your support, will and some time to actively go out and recruit some sponsors to the challenge. If each of us can find just 10 sponsors each we are changing many, many lives. This is a really exciting prospect that offers such huge rewards in return for little effort from many. Thank you for reading this far.

Thank you for coming to join me on the journey to Beat the Beast. I very much hope that you enjoy it and if you support what I am trying to achieve in the challenge do please help me raise more sponsorship by sharing the page, telling your friends and family about it and just making me a part of your daily life and conversation. It is quite a journey and sure to give you lots to talk about. Please find me 10 friends and sponsors and encourage them to do the same because we really can change lives. Finally I humbly pray, that my story on the challenge provides a source of Hope, Help, Inspiration or Encouragement for you or any of your friends or family who may need it in the future, as it has for a number of wonderfully courageous people already.

Thank you

Yours aye


The challenge so far in numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 122
Total Miles Cycled: 635
Total Miles Walked: 605.5
Total Miles Run: 41.2
Total Miles Paddled: 7
Total Distance Cycled, Skied, Ran and Rowed in the gym: 23.3
Total Distance Swum: 1,860 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam.1,313.7
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: 7
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 1
Weight Training Sessions: 9
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 6
Press Ups: 312
Pull Ups: 73
Sit Ups: 312
People Met and Hands Shaken: 364
Pots of tea shared: 26
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: 538
Days until Driving Licence (lost to epilepsy) possibly Returned: 722
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 for joining me on my own personal journey and encouraging me to walk, cycle, climb, paddle, sport and do good deeds each day to ‘Beat the Beast’ while helping to improve the lives and life chances of so many more people through sponsorship. The Five Charities that I have selected to support are:

  1. Cancer Research UK – My Father Succumbed to Lung Cancer; a couple of friends are currently fighting cancer and I am fighting a brain tumour. Let’s Help to Beat Cancer Sooner.
  2. The Prince’s Trust – Inspiring and preparing disadvantaged Young Lives for success.
  3. British Red Cross – helping those in need around the UK and the world whoever and wherever they are.
  4. World Wide Fund for Nature – For a Living Planet and a Future Where People and Nature Thrive.
  5. Help for Heroes – Support for our Wounded and their Families. To learn more about my story that brought me to this point, how I plan to ‘Beat the Beast’, what activities I plan to do within the challenge and why, please see my welcome video on this page.

How to Sponsor Me

The Beat the Beast Challenge is self funding through my own contribution while keeping costs to a minimum with voluntary support and corporate sponsorship in kind. Therefore the entirety of every penny donated will go directly to the 5 charities listed above.

Please sponsor me by completing a standing order form either through your own personal internet banking or by completing a hard copy standing order form in your branch of your bank and then handing it in to the teller.

It is entirely up to you how much you would like to and are able to sponsor me for so do please give as much or as little as you can. Every penny will be very gratefully received.

While I hope you will encourage me to keep going by sponsoring me for every day I survive and am able to find the cognitive and physical capability to complete a day’s task designed to improve my chances of ‘Beating the Beast’ or improving the lives of others, 5 days a week, four weeks a month, for as long as ever I can. Any One off Cash contributions will be most gratefully received and distributed in exactly the same manner to the five charities as the sponsorship. Any one off donations can be made by BACS or cheque.

Thank you for having enough faith in me to sponsor me.

Yours aye