Beat The Beast Challenge

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Happy St Andrew’s Day.

James performing
James performing

Today has seen 2.55 miles walked while climbing 113.19 feet. 1.37 miles on the corkscrew short walk this morning followed by morning prayer and organ practice followed by more administration. Legal documentation can be confusing at the best of times. The same words being used in a completely different order and in a completely different context mean that one has to take so much more time to read it and then realise that one really doesn’t understand it. So a swift email was sent to Karen requesting a meeting to try and understand the deeds required for placing my flat into trust for the children then it was back onto a train for the trip back to Doune. More mail caught up with. More Christmas and birthday presents wrapped, a bed stripped, sheets washed and bed remade, some hoovering done and it was time for tea. I hadn’t seen Sharen over in Willow’s Dell for ages so I headed over for tea. I spoilt myself with a wonderful tomato and basil soup followed by a most excellent club sandwich with salad followed of course with a Mocha. It was great to see Sharon again but as I waited I also met David Harding. An OU student in Politics, Philosophy and Economics who asked me that fateful question. ‘What do you do for a living?’ Of course I told him about the challenge and all the wonderful things that have been happening on the way and of the enormous hope I now have for the future. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him. He so got my point about a holistic approach to healing as a reinforcement to the marvels of modern medicine and also understood and believed in the power of a total faith in one’s faith of whatever nature that might be. Sadly though it was time to go as I was off to McLaren High School in Callander for a night of Scottish traditional music. James was playing in the pipe band so I was in to watch him and enjoy the music. There is some real musical talent in McLaren High so I was really looking forward to it. Off the bus in Callander and then a 1.18 mile walk up to the High School, over the river Teith climbing 43.64 feet.

Wow – what a musical extravaganza that was.

David Harding
David Harding

The pipe band were most excellent throughout with some very clever touches in the way they introduced new tunes in the set and new players to the band. We were treated to sweet yet haunting Scottish songs sung by Ailish. We were treated to a plethora of most excellent tunes by the traditional music band on whistle and small pipe accompanied by Bodhran ( a celtic frame drum), fiddle, cello, accordion, piano and guitar. From haunting melodies to foot stomping jigs it truly was a night to remember. The time and the effort spent in learning their own instrument and then practising together in their various bands by all was clear to see and earned the McLaren High students a well-deserved standing ovation. The tune that caught me in the throat was a tune written for the whistle and fiddle by Callum Hall. The tune was being auctioned in order to raise money for the school pipe band. The winner of the auction had the right to name the tune and then be presented with a signed and framed copy of it. I was intrigued by what was to come and then couldn’t believe my ears. As Callum played his tune it sang so very clearly to me in a wonderful melody that matched the words perfectly, ‘Don’t give up, never ever give up!’ I wanted to name that tune and then use it as the catch phrase and tune for the Beat the Beast Challenge as it spoke volumes as to what can be achieved with a lot of hard work and determination. Callum epitomised that point in his wonderful performances on bagpipes and whistle but also in his tune. Sadly, I didn’t have the money available to compete as the value of that tune shot up in auction before I could even draw breath. I was saddened not to be able to secure it but thrilled for Callum that his tune drew such interest. The night was further topped by more old friends seen again and further hugs of congratulation for Allie and I. It was a warm night outside, a warm night inside and a night of delightful music so all in all the perfect way to end a busy day.

Thank you James.
Thank you McLaren High.