Today has seen 5.8 miles walked and run while climbing 398.05 feet followed by 48 press ups, 112 sit-ups and moving 5 kgs over 84 metres or 840kgs over a metre while answering a zillion emails and waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

The folding bed from yesterday’s adventure was getting delivered today at some point between 0700hrs and 2100hrs. So I was required to sit in the flat all day. I knew that I was going to find that particularly difficult so got up a little earlier to ensure I could fit in a good 45 minute walk, and litter pick before 0700hrs. So up I got and set off at 0630 to do the 2.32 mile wood of doune track loop. I got wrapped up, coat on, hat on, gloves on, grabbed my torch, litter picker, two shopping bags and my wellies and headed downstairs. Once at the door, wellies on I was out the door. My goodness it was almost tropical as I stepped out. Immediately I took my hat off, my gloves off and unzipped my coat. I should perhaps even have left it but it was supposed to be winter so didn’t trust a walk without my coat.

Off I set and started collecting rubbish which is brilliant cognitive and motor coordination training for the brain but also makes the village look so much nicer and the woods so much tidier. It was a pretty uneventful walk. Just warm, very warm with little rubbish to be found. My head torch was shining the way as I went through a field of sheep and back round on myself, near the River Teith, and up over a stream towards the main road. As I walked, rather than my own breath fogging my vision in the bright light of my head torch, it was a heavy mist being lifted from the ground in this warm weather. It was so heavy that like head lights into fog I was blinded by the light reflecting back. I had to remove the headtorch and try and light a path under the mist.

Once at the main road my brain training started. There was loads of rubbish thrown from vehicles at the side of the road. I quickly filled one bag, moved to the second and made my way back up past St Modoc’s Church, onto the main street and home. I was sweating profusely but had collected a bag and a half of rubbish without once stumbling or loosing my balance, even in the dark. It was a wonderful reminder of just how far I had come. Just a year ago the children were occasionally having to guide me across roads or keep me on the pavements as the brain and body fazed in and out of balance. I am convinced that James actually saved my life as I started staggering sideways towards the road like a drunkard. I was trying so hard to stop myself but just kept staggering sideways. James grabbed me with a scream of ‘DAD!’ and pulled with all his might to keep me on the pavement. As he did so a large articulated lorry thundered past. Thank goodness for James. But today. Just a year later and I walked and litter picked 2.32 miles without so much of a stagger.

Back home and after drugs, breakfast and morning prayer, I was straight into my emails. Having to sit in was the perfect opportunity to catch up with my emails. I had 540 to tackle. So armed with a green tea I got to work. From 0900hrs to 1200hrs I tackled emails. I delighted in wonderful messages of support. I paid bills. I replied to requests for information. I unsubscribed from 10s of different organisations from whom I did not want to receive 100s of newsletters and articles. I tapped away at the keyboard and clicked away like fury with the mouse. To make this task more of a challenge however the email provider, MSN, kept dropping off. About every 20 minutes I was having to log back in to the email account which was frustrating but I did at least have broadband so could make phonecalls to chase up delivery times for the new kitchen and bathroom while organising a friend to help me collect Heather’s proper bed and bedroom furniture and lamp when the closing down sale ends soon. I just couldn’t fit it all on the No.59 bus.

Lunchtime and it was time for a run. I couldn’t sit inside any longer and as I stood from the computer after 3 hours at work on it I felt slightly wobbly. So I sat and wondered whether or not I should go. I was feeling a little woozy, perhaps I should stay but then as I sat on my chair slumped over feeling sorry for myself I felt a roll of fat on my middle. My metabolism had almost stopped since treatment. I had to fire it up again. I wasn’t going to go through 18 months of brutal treatment to beat the brain tumour, and survive it, to then die of a heart attack brought on by obesity. I was going for the run. I needed to go for the run. I had to go for the run. I got changed and set off on the 1.7 mile Commonty Path with a climb of 109.25 feet. I judged that it might take 20 minutes but did it in 15 minutes and 46 seconds which was a pace of 9 minutes 16 seconds a mile. I was pleasantly surprised and really happy with that pace, a further improvement on previously. A good stretch followed by a bath and then lunch of the usual poached egg on toast with spinach, rocket and watercress salad followed by raw carrot, tenderstem broccoli, red grapes and cherry tomatoes. Then I was back at my desk. It was now 1400hrs so I had another 2 hours of work to do before the next walk and some upper body training.

Still no folding bed and while I had taken a slight risk previously with the delivery arriving while I was out running, I had my phone with me and could get back quickly. The next walk was to be the War Memorial Loop over the elephants graveyard of the deforested area behind the war memorial. It was treacherous under foot so rapid movement over the ground was not possible. I was going to have to wait. The evening darkened and then the bed arrived just after 1600 hrs. Perfect. Heather texted, She was going to come over to see the new bed once ready for dancing in an hour or so. I had just enough time so set off in lighter order than this morning for the woods behind the war memorial. The old pine branches were still there forming a track over the boggy ground but with my head torch on shining brightly I could see the way. The branches were slippy underfoot in the damp of the day so I trod cautiously, but not cautiously enough. I trod on a branch hidden slightly under the vegetation and the angle of the slope of the branch sent my right foot flying off to the left. So fast that my legs were sent whizzing into the air. My hands went up in flight, the shopping bag of rubbish flying high into the air above me as I fell. I fell heavily on my right shoulder with a rather concerned ooooooffffffffff! It was going to hurt. I am sure that it was meant to but it didn’t. I seemed to have got away with that but just as I was about to bring myself upright the bright orange Sainsbury’s bag of rubbish landed on my head. It was mostly crisp packets and tissues so didn’t hurt anything other than my pride. It must have looked like a scene out of a 1970s Andy Cap comic strip with the fall, the bag thrown in the air then landing on my head. All it needed to add polish to the scene would have been a heavy downpour and a drooping flat cap, but while my pride took a bashing, my head did not so I was up, bag collected and with a smile of disbelief and relief that it was not more serious on my face, I gingerly picked my way through the deforested zone and onto a proper path.

Back home I set out the dumb bells, the roll mat, the pull up bar, and swallowed some water before putting on some christian worship music to work out to. The circuit done, I opened the windows to help me cool down before getting changed and ready for Heather’s arrival. All the equipment packed away, Heather arrived and informed me that she would be leaving for the bus to dancing in an hour so had come for tea as we had agreed yesterday. My brain had lost that particular agreement which was not unusual for me and I was delighted to see Heather who had earlier sat her music prelims which did not go as well as she had hoped. The singing was great but her keyboard playing, which she is normally so very good at, appeared to go as badly as me when I am being cognitively challenged. Her fingers just didn’t want to do what she was telling them and had become disorientated on the keyboard. It sounded horrific but she bounded into the flat smiling. I had not very long to make tea and feed her so set to work. Bacon, tomato and avocado with lime and a few chilli flakes on wholemeal toast. It was devine and when followed by a lactose free yoghurt with flaxseed and then a tangerine it was more than enough to get Heather through dancing but just in case, I added 4 squares of 95% dark chocolate. Topped with a fun conversation about the looming Christmas dance for Heather and her reassurances about her dress it was another wonderful evening to top off a good healthy and productive day. Only 152 emails left to tackle. Have a good evening.

Yours aye


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