Today has seen 4.1 miles run while climbing 309.7 feet, 4 pull ups, 20 press ups, 20 sit ups and not the slightest hint of tears or tantrums.

More wallpaper stripped today. In fact, by the close of play tomorrow I will have finished stripping the last walls of the flat. I also managed to complete my morning and evening prayer plus lots of organ practice and I am jolly glad that I did because on this morning’s organ practice I was struggling. Really, really struggling. I was just trying to learn how to play the next bar of the new tune I am learning. A very simple bar it was but my goodness I had to go over it and over it and over it and just when I thought that I had it and tried to play it following on from the preceding bar of the tune the whole thing would unravel again. A lady was in to tidy up the church in preparation for Sunday and I apologised to her for the monotony of the repetitive practice I was having to do. I explained the reason why and that I was struggling. That this is exactly the time when I must stay and force the brain to function if I was to have any hope of training the healthy left side of the brain to take over from the diseased right side. When I am at my lowest ebb and struggling the most. That is the time to sit down at the organ and practice, practice, practice and practice until I get it right. No time limit, just practice, practice, practice. The lady agreed with me and then said something very encouraging. ‘You are very tenacious and determined and that is a good thing. Keep up that spirit and you will beat the beast and anyway I like to hear the organ when I am working in here.’ I thanked her and tried again. This time I nailed it so then pulled the stops out and played another tune in celebration. It almost worked perfectly. I had beaten the beast.

I texted the children this morning to see if either of them wanted to come for a run with me at lunchtime. Heather replied that she wanted a lie in. I replied that it wasn’t until lunchtime. Heather replied again that she wanted a lie in!! I couldn’t remember staying in bed all that time but I guess I must have done when young. But the good news was that James wanted to come. He turned up bang on time and ready to go. First I needed a hand moving my desk from the sitting room into the new condensed sitting room and study (James’ bedroom) in order to give me access to finish stripping the wallpaper and allow the work to start on that room on Monday. James’ spacial awareness was much better than mine so he saw immediately that we were best off moving the desk side on when stood on it’s end. I got the tape measure and checked and he was absolutely right. That put a smile on his face, especially when we managed to move the desk into the corridor and up and across and into his room with no dramas. It was a genius observation of James’ and made life much easier. So it was time for a run. I had choosen a 4.1 mile route that was well within his capabilities but that had a good uphill but on a good track so we could run side by side with the reward of a good downhill section and then wild running along the flat of the disused but unconverted disused railway track. James was thinking of joining the Army Cadets so was full of questions about the rank structure and the structure of a Regiment. We had a delightful run as I answered his questions and tested his Maths as we ran up hill. If a Fire Team has 3 Riflemen and 1 Commander and there are two Fire Teams in a Section, how many Riflemen are there in a Section. Including the Commanders then how many men are there in a section. I then continued Sections into Platoons, Platoons into Companys and so on. Before James knew it he had run up the hill and was still going strong and slowly but surely locking in the very basics of rank and the structure of a Battalion. The only point at which he fell back was when we hit the uncut wildlands of the railway track. The nettles and thistles weren’t enormous but they were certainly present in thick clumps. I dived in and went for it forgetting of course that I had my skimpy shorts on. James took a much more sensible route. It took longer but his legs were far more comfortable at the end.

Stinging Nettle rash comparison!
Stinging Nettle rash comparison!

Back at the flat after a good run which culminated in us running side by side, proudly in each other’s company and in step through the village we were straight up. I had put up the pull up bar so we went straight into 4 overarm Pull ups. I only managed 31/2 but they were genuine unassisted pullups from a hanging start. No jumping into them and this was a further improvement post treatment. Then James’ turn. He required assistance but worked hard and did well. Then into the sitting room. 20 press ups and 20 sit ups. James didn’t quite manage 20 press ups but did well in the first 10 and worked hard to complete the 20 with only a very few needing a little assistance off the knee. The sit ups were also good and as we stretched off I could sense the sense of achievement in James. He had done well. After James had admired my rather impressive nettle-rash on my legs We talked of James joining me in the gym and the pool at school if I managed to mesh in with his lunchtime, of us running together some week evenings and of James joining me for challenge activity in the summer holidays. But then it was time for him to go home for a shower and some lunch. I was so sad to see him go. But so very pleased that we had had this opportunity together. That despite the disease I was physically and cognitively still able to inspire and encourage the children to better themselves and that by being close by I was able to do it in person. I was still a Father to them, able to be so and loved being so. Once the flat redecoration is finished and I have some furniture in place they can even come and stay overnight. Now that will be good.

More wallpaper stripped then as a treat I cooked some sausage dippers. Sausages with a slither of cheese placed in a slit of each sausage and wrapped with bacon then baked in the oven and served with a spicy tomato dip and spinach, rocket and watercress salad. I was planning to treat the children with this but they were off to see their Auntie so I was left with surplus sausages. I asked Bob downstairs and with a glint in his eye he accepted. Clearly a treat for him and and his wonderful wife Margaret as well.

This evening I went back for some more organ practice. I was functioning so much better than this morning so had a great practice and thoroughly enjoyed evening prayer as the sun threw a kaleidoscope of colours across the church through the stained glass windows.

More wallpaper to strip and then off to bed. Sunday so no post tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Yours aye