I write this post having been for my first walk in ten days. I cannot tell you what a blessed relief it was for Cocoa and for me. The best bit was that I was rewarded with the sight of hares jumping like dolphins out through the sea of barley that swept for many hundreds of metres across a field. As the breeze swept across the hairy whiskers of the barley it sang like the quiet whisper of a calm sea in a gentle breeze. The breeze rippled across the surface of the barley just like water. It was mesmerising, but then to see the humped backs of hare after hare jumping and diving through the sea of barley to escape Cocoa and I as we approached was just like watching dolphins leap and dive through the sea as they played. There was no need to rush, we stood and watched until the sea was still once more.

Sea Of Barley
Sea Of Barley

Shortly after writing my last post we went to the funeral of the daughter of a friend of ours. This wonderful young woman, who was blessed with the most extraordinary talent for painting, had been severely ill for quite some time. So while the moment of her passing was a shock, it was not unexpected. The service of thanksgiving and even the meal afterwards were respectful and sombre affairs full of stories of memories of the happy times had prior to her illness, and of her courage. Both events were full to bursting with her friends and family all wanting to say goodbye and support her parents in their grief. In a sense it was as if a huge weight had been lifted from their shoulders because, for eighteen years, they had done everything in their power to save their daughter and to make her as comfortable as possible. They could rarely attend anything together for the need to look after their daughter, whose care was their priority. Now they could rest knowing that their daughter is at peace and suffers no more pain. They can hold their heads up high knowing that they had done everything that was humanly possible, and more, to save her and to give her life through the pain. They could start to live their lives again with many happy memories of their daughter.

As Allie drove us home from Livingston, I felt inspired and encouraged to keep fighting and to live life as the best example of a human being that I possibly could be. To keep on going on for the benefit of others. To get stronger through golf, music and writing. Strong enough to be useful again.

Postitive Test
Postitive Test

Sadly, a couple of days later, Allie and I started to feel a little full of a cold and received a message from our friends. They had both caught COVID at their daughter’s thanksgiving and hoped that we had escaped it. We tested and discovered that we too had caught COVID. Despite our best efforts, through my balanced daily lifestyle, taking regular walks around and around the garden with bucket loads of rest, by day five we were still full of COVID. We had to cancel the visit of Allie’s Mum and then the visit of my brother, sister-in-law and new nephew. Allie and I were so disappointed to have to do so but for their own good health it was felt best so to do.

I found it hugely frustrating not to be able to get out for a walk, not to be able to swing a golf club, not to be able to play the organ, but apart from bouts of crushing tiredness and a gunky cough we seemed to be getting off lightly. So I concentrated on the small things that needed doing and had been waiting in the ‘To Do’ list for sometime. By getting the small stuff done at this opportunity I was ready to take on the medium stuff like learning to play golf, learning to play the pipe organ and writing my book once again. By concentrating on the medium stuff I was preparing a solid brain foundation for getting the big stuff done which, as you know, is chairing my not for profit, designed prior to diagnosis, into fruition.

The American author Andy Andrews once wrote: “Many people ignore ‘small stuff’, claiming to have an eye on the bigger picture, never understanding that the bigger picture is composed entirely of small stuff.”

Cocoa The Model
Cocoa The Model

So please sponsor me with the small stuff of only £1 per month sponsorship, in order that I can achieve the bigger picture of saving lives by convincing 1% of the 64 million active current accounts in the UK to challenge me with £1 per month. If I manage that then I could be raising £640,000 per month with which to save and rebuild lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee.


They have come to prominence for all the good works done in the Ukraine, but we must not forget the millions, whose lives the DEC continues to save and rebuild, in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

So far I have managed to raise £20,372.60 for the DEC with every single penny raised – thanks to the generosity of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Webb and Wallace Accountants in Doune, MHCreations in Glasgow and Key facilities Management in Doune – going to save and rebuild lives through the DEC.

This money saves lives and gives me the resolve to make more of mine. Please sponsor me to keep fighting with just £1 per month at www.beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk/sponsor-archie . I guarantee that every single penny raised gives me the strength to keep fighting and goes to save and rebuild lives through the DEC. Not a single penny is lost to costs.

Thank you
Keep safe.

Please keep me fighting.

Keep being brilliant.

Keeeeeeeeeeeep smiling

Yours aye with love and gratitude