The bridge that was the inspiration for Pooh Sticks by Winnie the Pooh
The bridge that was the inspiration for Pooh Sticks by Winnie the Pooh

Day 163 has seen 2 boat trips, 3.5 miles walked and more wonderful people met.

I was tired last night so as I planned today’s activity I decided to look for something different. I felt the need to get some air but not necessarily do the miles. Then I saw this wonderful description of a much shorter walk: ‘A delightful expedition, incorporating boat trips, and much opportunity for idleness; with a picnic lunch it could last all day.’ That was the decision made. Today was to be a boat-walk-boat day and a wonderful day it was. The boat was a very sleek 1920s style wooden clinker built, highly varnished, river boat of ample size and with excellent engines to take the quantity of passengers demanded of it. The journey along Derwent Water was pleasant as we cruised past the emerald green hills standing sentry over the lake in pleasant sunshine and a gentle breeze. Soon I was disembarking at Hawse End and heading South, munching on my veggie pick and mix bag as I walked. Soon enough the loo was required and there was not a bush thick enough in sight, while I was also being kept company by passing walkers. There was nothing for it. I turned off the track and headed up towards a large building that looked as if it might be some sort of hostel and sure enough I found myself talking to staff of the Cumbria Outdoors Centre, Keswick. Duncan, Mia and James were delightful and listened so intently to my story. I loved chatting to them and could have gone on for hours but felt that I had taken more than enough of their time so, mission accomplished, it was time to push on. After all there was a boat to catch or today was going to be a much longer walk.

Mia, James, Duncan and I
Mia, James, Duncan and I

The walk was completed passing many other walkers who were keen to stop and chat but I pushed on happy in the company of happy people. Christopher Robin’s bridge became a wonderful find in the final mile and cheered the day further. At the bridge there was a stone plaque in memorial to AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh with the following passage. ‘Christopher Robin came down from the forest to the bridge, feeling all sunny and careless, and just as if twice nineteen didn’t matter a bit, as it didn’t on such a happy afternoon, and he thought that if he stood on the bottom rail of the bridge, and leant over, and watched the river slipping slowly away beneath him, then he would suddenly know everything that there was to be known, and he would be able to tell Pooh, who wasn’t quite sure about some of it. But when he got to the bridge and saw all the animals there, then he knew that it wasn’t that kind of afternoon, but the other kind, when you wanted to DO something.’ For me, as I stood watching the farm animals in the sunshine watching people of all shapes and sizes passing by over the bridge, I smiled glad that even though today was an easier day, that I was at least doing something to help all the people I can, in as many ways as I can, in all the places that I can, for as long as ever I can, while I strive for healing. The ferry boat cruised in to Lodore and took me back to Keswick. A good relaxing day had I had to celebrate with a Mocha before fighting to stay awake on the journey back. I cooked Arnold Bennett Frittata with smoked haddock last night. Chicken Tikka tonight and, as I cooked, I reflected on the passage from Winnie the Pooh and knowing that there was a Winnie the Pooh book in the cottage, the passage was researched further and the following passage sprung out of the text as the perfect further description of the feelings I have invented the word Duzzy for. ‘Pooh began to feel a little more comfortable, because when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.’ When I was thinking of things, or trying to think of things, through the fog of the treatment it was occasionally hugely frustrating when other people looking at it might see things entirely differently, or when just having a bad day now, your perception of what is happening around you can be completely off kilter to all those around you. Just Duzzy.

Have a great night but before you do:

Lake District countryside
Lake District countryside

The challenge in numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 163
Total Miles Cycled: 867.38
Total Miles Walked: 903.83
Total Miles Run: 152.23
Total Miles Paddled: 7
Total Distance Cycled, Skied, Run and Rowed in the gym: 53.53
Total Distance Swum: 4,580 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam.1,986.47
Total Height Gained under own steam: 77,375.7 feet
Mountains Climbed: 7
Hills Climbed: 29
Days of Voluntary Activity: 8.5
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Bats Found:0!
Curling Matches played in: 8
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 3
Weight Training Sessions: 14
Weight shifted: 10kgs lifted over 558metres or 11,160kgs moved over ½ a metre,
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 9
Press Ups: 739
Pull Ups: 22
Sit Ups: 1204
People Met and Hands Shaken: 516
Pots of tea shared: 31
Prayers joined on the top of a hill: 3
Prayers joined in the street!: 4
Prayers joined in a Train Station: 1
Prayers joined in a Café: 2
Pills popped: 992
Days until Driving Licence (lost to epilepsy) possibly Returned: 717
And most importantly – Money Raised as at Week 44 – £8,771

Considering I started this challenge 11 months 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 £54.48 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.

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


A Swan with signets
A Swan with signets

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