The excitement and energy that I felt on learning of my good news, which I then ploughed into my idea of making as much positive noise as possible and raising as much money as possible while I still can, and with increasing amounts of energy to demonstrate that it is perfectly possible to make the impossible possible, has fizzled. My post likes have crept up a little further but only a little. The beat the beast challenge account is creeping up a little further but only a little. So there has been a response but rather like a surfer who has slipped off the back of a wave that showed such potential, I feel as if I am bobbing about on my board in the gentle silence of the swell just waiting for the next wave. Watching for the next wave, but getting cold and feeling a little disheartened, shivering and becoming stiff from inactivity.

So as I sat in the flat in Doune waiting for the new kitchen to be delivered from B&Q, answering emails, responding to wonderful messages of support, but seeing no movement of any significance on Facebook, or in the account, I started to feel the building chill in this flat which was cold and dark and lacking in energy. I had been buoyed after my mile long walk to St Modoc’s and back with an inspirational spell of morning prayer and organ practice on a proper organ, but was now starting to lose that buoyancy. I was starting to wonder how my life would pan out. Is the challenge just going to fizzle? Am I just going to fizzle? I had a wonderful future ahead of me with Allie, supporting her through her PhD and into her future while watching the children grow in confidence and capability and being there to catch them, or advise them, or to just gently nudge them back on the rails should they fall off them, but what would I leave behind? I have been given extra time, but as my oncologist said, it is how I deal with the scars of facing my own mortality that will mark me out, and right now I was stuck in a rather depressive inertia. I was so capable during my military service and never ever gave up but, right now, after all that treatment, it would appear that I just didn’t have it. That I had lost my libido. I was starting to think, for the first time in my life, that perhaps I should think about giving up, but I had never given up and would be a translucent shell of who I once was if I did. So I turned to some of the lovely messages that I had been given for inspiration and was led to this reading by Jane, ‘I read Isaiah 43: 16, 18-19 on New Year’s Eve – a beautiful reminder for all of us’ I thanked Jane then read it and thanked her again. I was inspired:

‘This is what the Lord says –
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,

‘Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.’

I saw it very clearly. During my service I was a vocal advocate of the old school Latin phrase, ‘Acta non verba’, Actions not Words. It was time for action. My campaign lacked energy so I had to be the energy behind it and I will. So I will run, I will go to the gym, I will swim, I will cook, I will walk through muddy fields, I will walk through deep forests, I will wade through streams, I will ford icy waters, I will climb mountains, I will canoe, but still there is so much that I could do so I put myself out there for you to use in order to help me raise more sponsors. Let us try and reach every active personal current account holder in the UK and convince them to donate 15 minutes of their time and £1.00 per month. Let us use our imagination on this and see if you can’t help me make some noise. I will come to any event that you might be organising if you would like me to. I can run, I can build rafts, I can plough through mud, in fact I love mud, I can start or even play (badly) in a football match, I can start a rugby match, I can even play touch rugby. I can switch on lights, I can learn to dance, I will sit in a bath tub of baked beans, I can play squash, I can bowl the first ball in an over, or even play in a cricket match, I can climb, I can play tennis, I can walk the catwalk, I can muck out horses, I can scratch a rhino’s tummy, I can white water raft, I can abseil, I can sail small boats, I will serve tables, I can play badminton, I have always wanted to learn to row, I can sail medium-sized boats and even climb the rigging on a big boat, I can curl, I can talk for as long or as short as you would like to any audience of any size and on any subject that you would desire. I will even dance about like a performing monkey if you want me to. I can and am willing to do absolutely anything that you might want me to do, in fact the only thing that my daughter asks that I don’t do is sing! Give me a few lessons first and I will even have a go at that!!

From Morning Prayer this morning on the Scottish Episcopal website was the following prayer:

‘O God, bring our nation and all nations to a sense of justice and equity, that poverty, oppression and violence may vanish and all may know peace and plenty. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.’ In this prayer I would add that disease may vanish and in this prayer you can see the need for the 5 charities that I support:

  1. The British Red Cross for those in need at times of crisis across the UK and the world
  2. Cancer Research UK
  3. Help for Heroes who stood against oppression and violence
  4. The Princes’ Trust for our disadvantaged disengaged youth
  5. The World Wide Fund for Nature

So help me raise as much money as we possibly can. I will perform an organ tune, I will man a stall, I will give a reading of whatever you would like me to read, I will even read the news if you wanted me to. I will just come for a walk with your group or attend your church service and even give the sermon. I will act in a show or a programme or play a cameo role in either. I will walk 2,000 miles in a 100 days if a camera crew and producer were to follow me on the journey for broadcast in any shape or form. I will wait on tables. I will even just attend an event if you want me too. I will do whatever you would like me or need me to do if I possibly can. I am not shy and have a good sense of humour. I am fit and my epilepsy is now under control and my brain tumour is being beaten so please don’t be shy. No matter how wild the idea, if I possibly can I will. I just need to ensure that I am here for the key moments in Allie’s and the children’ lives and when they need me. Beyond their needs I will do whatever it takes to find sponsors. What I want personally pales into insignificance, because all I want to do is the best I can for as long as ever I can. I spent my entire working life (20 years) in service and I want to spend the rest of my life in service to others. It is no sacrifice. I love people, I want to help people, as many people as I can and it might actually be enormously good fun!! I will work as hard as you need me too. No event is too large or too small, and no task is too menial.

All I ask is that central to whatever brilliant idea you may have, is that you do your very best to encourage all participants and spectators to sponsor me to beat the beast for good with 15 minutes of their time and just £1.00 per month in order to improve the lives and life chances of the maximum amount of people we can. It is so little time and so little money that they will not miss it and it should not interfere with any other fundraising aspirations intended for your event. In fact, if we manage to start making some proper noise, my attendance could actually enhance the intended outcomes of your event. Help me reach out to as many people as possible. I will travel anywhere to do this, all I ask is that you cover the costs of travel and accommodation as I have very little income of my own beyond a war disablement pension, and I insist that every single penny we raise goes to the five charities. I will take nothing donated to the challenge to cover costs, not even the interest earned in the bank account. Every single penny goes to the five charities.

All I need is access to an organ or keyboard most mornings and evenings for prayer, a ready supply of brazil nuts, organic bananas, oat based cereals, blueberries, coconut milk, apples, tenderstem broccoli, carrots, red grapes, cherry tomatoes, spinach rocket and watercress salad, eggs, ground flaxseed, tangerines, 85% dark chocolate, port glass of red wine, Horlicks and a fresh cooked healthy meal, some time (2hrs a day if possible) for some physical exercise, and 7 hours of sleep a day, in order to ensure that I continue to beat the beast while at your service.

So please put on your thinking caps and help me start to make some proper noise. Just get in touch via the Facebook page, message me, we can swap email addresses and start a proper conversation about the art of the possible. Let’s make some noise.

Thank you

Yours aye