Saturday, 11 June 2011

A lot can happen in a year

It was 12 months ago to this date that I walked into Burton on Trent with Clive and then got the train home to Redditch to see the lovely Helen for the first time in ages. I was reminded of this earelier today when Jane phoned me to say that she'd been reading the blog and wondered what I was doing in Duffield yesterday. Nice one Jane, you were only a year out.
My spending on the new business has been going well, currently about £8000 with no income to show for it but by the end of next week I will have been trained properly and the van will be fully fitted out so that I can start earning something. I've already got a few jobs lined up and when the printing is done and the van is painted I can really start to advertise. it's really quite exciting.
 I am doing the training in Folkestone and I notice that there is a Wetherspoons only 10 minutes walk from my B&B, so after my day's work, and a run (well, you never know) I know where I will be.
I'm also making progress with the ensuite shower room and should be able to get the shower tray in by next weekend, all that needs then is tiling and the shower fitted. My target of finish by christmas should be manageable.
I've been golfing again today, playing pretty well but I'm sure that the ball that I was using was afraid of the dark, it just wouldn't fall down the hole.
We've got our first holiday dog coming on Tuesday, a young Parsons Terrier. That'll keep me on my toes. 

Thursday, 2 June 2011

It's like waiting for a bus.You wait for ages and two come along at once

Just got in from what started as a run but finished as a hobble. After about 10 minutes my left calf seemed to explode and I ended up limping home slowly. I really don't know if I can do this, think I've bitten off more than I can chew this time.

It's official, I'm a rubbish blogger

I am embarrassing myself by not posting more regularly, it's not as if there is nothing going on in my life at the moment; probably the opposite, there's so much happening that I don't make time to write this.
I went out running last Monday, about 10 days ago, determined to make an effort to make it regularly but I haven't been out since. It's not as if I fared badly, I completed my 3.3k lap in 21 minutes and didn't  feel stiff or sore afterwards, it's just that other issues have taken over in the last week or so.
It also rained a lot and I find I am a fair weather runner.
The big news is that I am starting a small business after searching in vain (but not in earnest) for work since I got back from last year's JOGLE walk. It's to be called Domestic Oven Valet and I will become an oven cleaner for a living.
Now you may be wondering how I came up with this concept and I have to say that it's not something that I feel I was always destined to do. Basically I saw an advert for a franchise and applied, when I investigated further I found that I didn't want to pay the franchise company what they were asking but I did think that there is a market for the service, from there it's just snowballed and I've bougt a white van and will shortly be going to Folkestone for training. Just goes to show that you never know what's round the corner.
On Tuesday just gone Helen and I went up to see her dad Reg and on the way called in to our Pete's where our cousin Sandy and her husband Chris had just arrived from New Zealand. Sandy was one of my first followers on this blog and it was really great to catch up with her after so many years. If all goes well they will be stopping with us in a few weeks. I was impressed with Chris's view on beer - he told me that he was going to try everything ontil he found one he didn't like, he hadn't got there yet.
Yesterday it was gardening for Reg and, after I had mowed his lawn I decided to trim the hedge between the houses while Helen took him out. Unfortunately I was somewhat gung ho and next doors sky tv cable took a bit of a battering, resulting in a severed cable - its going to cost me. When Helen got back she was rightly critical of me and insisted that she took over. She, of course, promptly cut through the cable to the hedge trimmer - it did cost me.
Russell, if you're still following this I've just found that your reply about meeting up on the 19th went into the spam box, can't work out why, but I would love to get together. Can you call me on 07980289365 and we'll sort it out.
It's a lovely day out there now, perhaps I should go for a run. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

Its been a long time again

I haven't run since 21st April, about 3 and a half weeks - mainly because I've been busy tying up the loose ends of my census job and then spending last week catching up on the DIY at home. I did intend to go out a couple of times last week but its amazing how many excuses I can find when the crunch comes. Having not worked for 18 months I just didnt realise how much I was taking out of myself with a full time job. Anyway I decided that there can be no more excuses and I just have to get on with it so off I went this morning, on a slightly extended route - its now 3.3k and I managed the first 3.2k without stopping; I just couldnt do the whole of it. I am due at the docs this evening for more treatment on the dreaded verruca on my left foot which I thought had cleared up. I had it all of last year and it went from JOG to LE with me but I've had enough and want rid of it now. My foot will probably be too sore to run tomorrow but hopefully I will be able to get on with it later in the week.
We had Stu, Beth and Zack stopping over the weekend, the baby is a real joy and is now into everything, he's definitely got my genes as he seems capable of falling over at the most inappropriate times. We also had another dog owner come to check us out, she brought her 11 month old Parsons Terrier and we'll be looking after it for 10 nights in June - we are in for a lively time. 

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Another day, another run

I've just got back from my latest tour round my 2.5k route, 16 minutes without stopping and no leg problems to worry about. I went out at 9.30 to avoid the hot weather later on but it was still pretty warm and I was dripping when I  got home. It seems that all the towns dog walkers had the same idea and I was dodging errant dogs all around the route, at one point having to detour slightly to avoid a mass brawl.
I'll be out later on census work, this is getting easier as I get used to it but it still entails about 5 hours on my feet, walking up and down hills and steps. I think that last year's walk was just training for this month's work. The area is multicultural and I'm having fun trying to explain what it's about in a variety of languages. My knowledge of Urdu and Polish are non existant but being British I find that shouting and using  hand gestures are effective.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

It's just another day in the life of a census collector.

Since I last posted I've been really busy with my census work, most dys spending all afternoon and evening pounding the mean streets of Redditch - knocking on doors and generally harrassing people into filling their forms in. I got my allotted hours in by Friday afternoon and was able to spend the weekend with Stu, Beth and Zack. The weather was good but the barbeque that we intended to build didnt get done, instead we made some extremely large raised flower boxes. It was a nice change for me and I felt much relaxed by the time I got home.
I had another busy day on the streets yesterday and then this morning I felt fit enough to go running. It was hot but I only took 15 minutes to run round my 2.5k route (without stopping again!). I didn't feel too bad either when I finished.
I've now done the route 5 times and I reckon that next week I should be able to stretch it a little further. I was put in my place on Sunday when Stu said he'd be going later for a 9 mile run, it's going to take me some time before I get to that stage.
After the run today I went over to Stratford for some training on the elections which take place in a couple of weeks and then went out to knock on doors for the census, typical of me to have no job for over a year and then get two on the same day.  I wiull be pleased when May comes and I can return to my retirement bliss.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

It's been a while

It's a week since I found the time and energy to post another blog item, but I haven't been idle in that time - although I've been just too tired to go out running.
My new job as a census collector is taking up far more time and energy than I had anticipated, I'm on my feet from 2.00 until 8.00 and there is a fair bit of admin on top. It's just wearing me out but I suppose that it is giving me time to fully recover from the hamstring.
I'm hoping that as I settle in to this strange world of work I will improve my fitness and stamina and feel like running again.
I did get two mornings on the golf course but I should have been working as it's left me struggling to complete my hours for this week, I will have to give w/end golf a miss until the job is over. That's a shame as I finally posted a good score on Sunday, managing to play very well on the parts that I normally fail on.
We had Aaron round to finish off our electric job at home and he'd also been employed locally for a couple of other jobs so, with my golf and his working I didn't get to see him as much as I would have liked.
The work on the shower room has pretty well ground to a halt as it doesn't seem too much of a priority at the moment.
I hope to have more positive running news next time.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

I'm on the road again

I've found the last few days to be worrying, wondering when or if my leg was going to improve enough to try another jog. I'm going to be tied up over the next month with my census duties and I've been keen to get out and test the hamstring but wary of doing so.
So this morning I had another go, I could still feel a little ache but figured that that might be normal after a problem. I waited for the kids to go to school, partly because I didn't want their ridicule and partly because I didn't want to scare them and then I did a long stretching session before setting out at a very gentle pace.
It was more in hope than expectation and sure enough, after about five minutes the hamstring started to hurt. Sod it, I thought, I'm going to carry on and I slowed my pace - now barely more than walking but at least with a running action. I managed to carry on like this for the whole of the 2.5k and returned a very happy boy indeed.
It's the first time that I've managed the whole of this circuit without stopping and I did it in 16 minutes. I warmed down and then had a long soak in the bath, if there are no adverse reactions overnight I will try again tomorrow.
This afternoon I start out on my census form collections, I have to do 14 hours over the next two days and I am quite nervous about it really. I've not had a job for 18 months and, although this is only temporary I want to do it properly but it's going to be hard to fit it in to my busy retirement schedule.
Wew've got Aaron coming to stop the weekend, he's got some work locally to do and will finish off the work he started for us earlier this year, if you want a good electrician he's your man.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Every cloud

Golf yesterday was pretty much the same as the day before, most of it good but with some absolute rubbish in the middle. Still I'm out in the fresh air when I'm playing and there's always the Hobgoblin ale at the end.
Today started with something of a disaster when I showered and water dripped through the ceiling into the dining room. Investigation showed that the seal around the bath had stopped working so it was off to the DIY shop this afternoon for replacements, not before we went for our now regular Monday walk around the lake, just the two miles today.
On the way to the shop we called to visit one of our old neighbours who has moved into a town centre flat, it's a little distressing to see how disabled he's become after knowing him for so long when he was fit and healthy. We then made one of my regular trips to the tip with some debris from the weekend's gardening, whilst crouching to pick some of it up my hamstring twanged again. I'd almost forgotten about it as it hadn't given me any problems yesterday or for the first part of today, it looks like I'll have to wait another few days before I start jogging again.
I got a call from my doggy employer and have our first dog guest booked in for the end of September, typically it will coincide with the Windsor run so I will have to sort the logistics out, maybe I can take her down with us.
Also had a call from Alan, my brother, he's invited me on a golf trip to Northumberland in August, can't wait for it.
Tomorrow morning should see our plumber Phil arrive to start work on the en suite, I just want him to do the basic preparatory plumbing at the moment and then I can get on with sorting the rest out.
I didn't know there was so much to this retirement lark.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

At least the curry was good

We went to the Spice Cafe and as usual we were greeted like long lost friends, we only go in about 3 times a year but Imran the attentive waiter always remembers Helena's name and she milks it for all its worth. We did use the car and were back home pretty early. Friday was a day of little happening, I got a lift up town to the bank and then regretted walking home as my leg was fairly sore but after lunch i did a little more DIY on the en suite that I'm constructing. It was then feet up for the rest of the day, hoping that my leg improved for golf today.
As it happens I managed to play the whole round without noticing the hamstring, hopefully a good sign for next week. My golf is as frustrating as ever, my handicap has gone up to 15 as I play a few good holes and then two really bad ones - ruining my score and leaving me wondering what might have been. I'm playing again tomorrow morning but it's a lazy one as I've agreed to share a buggy with a friend to svae us both the walk.
I even managed a little time in the garden cleaning the pond after the harsh winter. Sad to say that the fish numbers have been severly decimated by the frozen conditions, there are now only 7 left and I will buy some more in the next few weeks to make it seem a bit busier in there.
I start with the census on Wednesday so will have to get out and run in the mornings as the job is only afternoons and evenings.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Problems , problems, problems

It's very strange but even though I chose to do this half marathon it still feels like I'm being punished and I can't tell you how many times I found an excuse not to go out for a run this morning. Everything from the wet weather to my bad leg and the need to play chess on the computer, but eventually I plucked up courage and got changed. I did loads of stretches and then went for it. I was worried about my hamstring but it didn't give any twinges when I stretched so I started fairly tentatively, hoping that I could at last make some progress further round my route before stopping. I was feeling pretty good as I neared my normal stopping point and had no doubt that I could go a lot further today when I noticed that my lace had come undone. I stopped and crouched to tie it up and then my hamstring went again. It's a setback but I suppose I'll just have to give myself some time for it to heal and not worry about having to start all over again. It'd better not interfere with my golf!
I walked the rest of the way, with a few half hearted attempts to jog thrown in for good measure.
Last night I had a visit from Beccy at 'Animals at home' and I am now signed on to be a host holiday minder for dogs. The lucky dog gets to stay with us while their owners go away on holiday. I should get a pooch for the odd week in the summer and I hope that it'll provide a little light relief as well as a little pocket money. That's three jobs I've got now.
It's curry night tonight, I was thinking of walking there (it's only 20 minutes up the hill) but given my sore leg it might be more sensible to drive, provided that Helen doesn't mind driving home , of course.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

No running for two days

After I posted on Monday Helen came home from a late lunch with friends and we went for a walk across the meadows. I hadn't told her that I'd hurt my leg earlier so off I hobbled feeling rather heroic. We didn't go far and were going at a gentle pace so it didn't hurt.
On Tuesday I finished off my household chores and then mowed the lawns until the rain started, that was the end of my plans to go out on the bike - probably a good thing as my leg was a little sore after the gardening.
Today is Wednesday and I went off this morning for a game of golf, only for the heavens to open and we all decided to call it off. It ended up with an hour round trip in the car for a cup of tea.
The rest of the day so far has been taken up with producing a video of Zack's first year and printing DVD covers for it. It's never going to win an oscar but it should be fun to look back on in years to come.
I have received my contract from the Census and I'll be working with them until middle of May, more than I'd anticipated but the extra money will come in handy. Maybe I will be fit enough to jog around my district.
I'm hoping that both my leg and the weather will be fit enough tomorrow so that I can extend my 8 minutes running.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Very probably I wasn't born to run

I went to my Census training today, it's a long long time since I was in a classroom and I didn't enjoy the experience at all. I came home with a headache but I did learn a few things. Fill in your forms or the meanies will get you!
This afternoon I went for another jog, the same route as before and just as I was leaving , after my warm up, I answered the phone, it was about some potential employment so I did the right thing. The conversation took about 5 minutes before I could leave. Of course I didn't go through the warm up routine again and just as I was getting home I tweaked a hamstring. Looking on the bright side it does mean that my warm up so far has been good and it also means that I've got some muscles in there somewhere. The warm down must also be fairly Ok as I recovered better after yesterday than after the first attempt. There is hope.
I did try to keep to a more sensible pace and managed to return to my earlier 18 minutes, I feel a lot better when I get home than when I did it last week so something positive must be happening.
I passed a group of youths and received the usual "run Forest, run" shout. It's good to know that nothing really changes.
As soon as I'd warmed down and had a shower I treated myself to a hot cross bun, a true sign that Easter is approaching.
If the weather keeps up I may try the bike tomorrow, my goal on this is to cycle to the Coach and Horses for a pint of Holden's mild, about 30 minutes each way with some steep hills to negotiate. If I can do that without stopping I will feel like I'm in heaven.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Maybe I was born to run?

After my attempt on Friday I was hoping to get out and have another run yesterday but, to be frank, my legs were hurting too much for me to be bothered. They were by no means as bad as they got when I was in Scotland last year but the same muscles were shouting at me. I did go to golf and surprisingly played pretty well although when I crouched behind my ball on the first green to read the line of the putt I had to be helped up by my playing partner as my legs wouldn't function.
I went again this morning, nearly missing my time as I'd forgotten to alter the clocks (Helen has been away for a couple of days and I was left to my own devices). I didn't play as well as yesterday but my legs were feeling a whole lot better so when I got home I had a cup of tea and went out to run. It's still not really running but it is faster than when I walk.
It's been a pleasant spring afternoon and there were a number of neighbours in their gardens so I took off like an olympic sprinter and found that I had reached the point where I started walking on Friday in two minutes less, it was certainly time for a walk.
I walked two minutes and then ran for four before another two minute walk and finally running home the last two minutes - I was only out 16 minutes but it felt like all day. Having said that, I was quicker and didn't feel any worse than the other day but I can tell you that walking a long way is a whole lot easier than running a short distance.
Still, I've now covered 5K in my training, about a quarter of what the actual half marathon distance is.
Happy birthday to Sandy in NZ, sorry I couldn't make your pig roast but we'll be meeting up soon. Well done to Siobhan, I can't imagine what pain you have to go through in a triathalon.
I'm off to Kidderminster in the morning for my Census training, that reminds me - I should complete mine and post it.

Friday, 25 March 2011

I've done it

I've finally taken my first steps this morning, in the warm and encouraging spring sunshine. I received the pro advice the other day, which was about good preparation in stretching and a really good warm down at the end to help with recovery. Also I was advised to go on the mapmyrun website to work out a 2k run as a starter, and then run 3 minutes walk 2 minutes etc.
I wish I had visited this website before JOGLE because it's excellent for planning training walks as well as runs.
My first route is 2.5k down the road and back across the meadows to home, very pretty and given my experience last year a little worrying with the cows in the meadow.
After my little blister of the other day I am back to my ritualistic taping of my feet, how I've missed this since I got back from Cornwall.
Anyway, I finished in 18 minutes, with the first 8 minutes at running pace (barely faster than a brisk walk), followed by 2 minutes walking, 5 running, 2 walking and then running the last bit where the neighbours could see me. It's not world beating but I'm elated.
Yesterday I went to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire to play golf, its a beautiful area but unfortunately the golf course didn't match the surrounding beauty. On the way we went through Ross on Wye and my companion asked which river ran through the town, is it the Severn?
Priceless, it'll be a long time before he lives that one down. I carried my bag around the undulating course but the others chickened out and drove a buggy.
It's golf again tomorrow and Sunday and I  hope to run on Saturday evening after I've finished playing.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The best laid plans

Strangely I've been somewhat apprehensive about starting running, far more so than taking on the JOGLE challenge, and I awoke this morning after a fairly poor nights sleep feeling very nervous. I've promised everyone now that I will start running and you are expecting me to say that I did a little today.
That, at least, was my plan - firstly I decided to finish the windows at the rear of the house, now I know that all of you busy people would have done them yesterday with the roof glass but I don't currently have any time pressures and decided to put it off til today.
I was still anticipating a short run afterwards but then got on with knocking the remaining tiles off the walls of our en suite shower room (suppose that I've now admitted that I have entered the world of the middle classes) and then visiting the tip with the debris. Now I've got the time for a jog, but I've not got the energy. My legs feel like they are made of lead and I just don't want to go.
We are out for a curry tonight and then tomorrow I've got a big golf day to attend so it looks like I'll have to postpone my first run until Friday.
I do feel a fraud but I remember feeling a little like this when I decided to JOGLE, I know that as soon as I have taken my first steps I will be OK but it is just plucking up the courage to take them. Maybe the curry will get me running.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Good things come to those who wait

It's been a long time now since I last posted, life has moved on and everyone is getting older. Young Zack has had his first birthday and is now walking, who knows but he may one day go for a long walk with grandad snapper.
I've been away on a golf trip to Spain, unfortunately the weather wasn't too good but I enjoyed it just the same, even winning the trophy.
I have been appointed to work on the census, starting shortly, and to add insult to injury I've also been offered a post for the day of the next election. It's funny to think that I was in Scotland, Tain I think, when the last election was held. From the position of no work I will have two jobs at once for a short period, still it'll pay my golf fees for next year.
I've actually started doing a bit of walking on Mondays with Helen and the local 'old folks walking group'. It's only about 3 miles a time but it is some exercise.
The reason that I've decided to start the blog again is that I've made the major decision to run in the Windsor half marathon in September (I'll be 59 by then) and I thought that I'd record the trials and tribulations that I go through as I prepare for this and then, hopefully, complete it. I can't remember the last time I ran anywhere - probably to get into the pub before closing time.
Stu has also entered, he's done a couple of them already and it will be nice to have an experienced companion at the start of the run although I don't expect that he will wait for me as it progresses.
I have been and bought some running shoes, I didn't even own any trainers, which have been designed for people with flat feet like me. I was advised to walk them in before running in them and I wore them on Monday for the short walk, now I've got a small blister on my heel. I'm not going to let that put me off though - I know that after last year's experience I can cope with a few blisters.
Today, after cleaning the conservatory roof (on the inside - I don't like climbing ladders!) I went out on my bike for 40 minutes. I'm still wobbly on it and I still don't understand the gears but I didn't fall off and I hope that this will help me prepare for the run.
Stu has a friend who is a professional running coach and will prepare a training regime for me. Already I've been advised to see a podiatrist which is a bit worrying as I'm sure I keep hearing about the police arresting these people and closing their internet groups.
Tomorrow I want to get out and run as far as I can before I need to stop, it'll probably only be to the first lamppost but everyone has to start somewhere.
In the time that I've missed writing this blog I've been writing a journal about last year's walk, I've asked a few people for some input and I'm still waiting for some of it. So here's a plea to anyone who reads this, if you were involved in any way with my JOGLE; either as a walker, one of my many hosts' a blog follower or contributor, or if what I did inspired you to do something out of the ordinary yourself please send me some words and I'll get them included in the book.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Sorry, I've been hacked

I've just heard that I've recently had a number of  spam posts on this blog. Hopefully I've now deleted them all. Apologies for any upset. Steve

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

As time goes by

Yet again I've failed to keep up with the blog but I suppose that my excuse is that I've been pretty busy for a retiree. Since my visit to the Wirral we've had Helen's birthday, I always let her down with naff presents unless she tells me in advance exactly what she wants. This year she asked for me to get a job as a present to her - needless to say she got flowers. Although I have appied for a temp job working on next year's census.
After the birthday I went to Corsham to help Aaron and Katy with some decorating, the house is coming on well and it's always a pleasure to help. Aaron is about to set up in business as an electrician, so if you need one let me know.
Last weekend we were in Norfolk for my sister Jan and brother in law Mike's 60th birthday. It was a ceileidh in their local village hall, unfortunately I wasn't allowed to play the sore walking feet card and was made to dance. It was a great weekend, lovely to meet up with my Mum and all my siblings and their offspring, and their offspring.
Good to see that the Haresnapes drank the place dry of Old Speckled Hen. Everyone was really interested in the JOGLE and I suppose I was the party bore. I did get some interest in my proposed return to the WHW.
The w/end got better when the mighty Everton put Liverpool to the sword and left them languishing in fear of relegation, then Mr Rooney decides to leave Man Utd and upsets the Mancs. Can life get any better I ask myself?
Todays pics are a view of my decorating handiwork and one of 4 generations of Snappers, Great Gran (Pat), Grandad (me), Dad (Stu) and baby Zack

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Rain drops keep falling

Sitting at Reg's looking out at the rain which is doing it's best to spoil an otherwise good weekend.
We drove up on Friday in very wet conditions so I could play in the annual Old Instonians golf competition at Caldy Golf Club.
Despite the rain stopping and sun coming out there weren't many of us. It was really good to meet up again with ol school mates and team mates from the rugby field. It was my first time at Caldy and I really enjoyed the views over the Dee estuary to Wales. Even better, after 4 hours I emerge as the winner.
After a quick change we were joined by more old boys for the annual dinner. Great to see John Tuohy, Pat Whearty and Len Davies. Also met up again with Joe and Richie from my walk.
The headache on Saturday was a small price to pay. Helen and I went into Chester in the afternoon for a stroll around its ancient splendour.
The day got better when Everton won, for a short while they are now above Liverpool - brilliant. All I need now is for Europe to beat USA in the Ryder Cup.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Thanks for the memories

Woken up early this morning so I thought I'd bore my readers with a blog post. I'm currently in the guest room at my Mum's sheltered housing complex, its very comfortable and allows me to visit Mum without putting her to much trouble.
Yesterday I gave a talk about my jogle to the residents here, they collected a lot of money for the charity on my behalf and it was my way of saying thanks to them.
The talk went well, getting lots of questions and clearly evoked memories for the audience of places they'd been.
It also brought the good times of the walk right back to me. I really must start thinking about writing that book.
The more I think about it, the more I'd like to do the West Highland Way again with a group.
Anyone fancy it?

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Monday, 20 September 2010

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?

Well I meant to be a prolific blogger while away in Jersey but typically my blackberry failed me. Probably because I was on the wrong tariff.
Nevertheless we had a good time, marred only by the extremely noisy bedroom antics from the adjoining room on our first night.
Two good sea crossings, lots of sight seeing, good food and lashings of Liberation Ale - a thoroughly good holiday.
Many of the tourist attractions are centred around the occupation by Germany in the last world war and the underground war tunnel museum is really eerie.
We also got to see the excellent Battle of Britain air display, Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and Vulcan - not to mention the Red Arrows. Just great.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Sunday, 5 September 2010

We're all goin on a summer holiday

Sorry Viv, decided not to update my profile after my birthday - I reckon 57 is as old as I want to get.
Just boarded the Jersey ferry for the start of our holiday. Its raining of course.
I am lucky though as I originally intended to start JOGLE to arrive in Cornwall this week. If I had done that I ould have had to walk well over half the distance in the rain.
Travelling today has made me laugh. I've just spent 10 weeks with only 3 shirts and 5 sets of socks and undies. I've brought 15 of each for this week.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

What's another year

My birthday went by on Sunday with lots of cards and presents and then a trip to see Aaron and Katy. Stuart, Beth and Zack couldn't make it.
We met at the Air Balloon pub in Birdlip, about 45 mins drive for each of us. Some of these place names are great, I went through loads of strange sounding villages on my walk, you really know when you're in the English shires.
Yesterday it was our 36th wedding anniversary, a quiet day as Helen has a cold and has lost her voice. How careless is that?
The weather has been atrociously wet, I've only been able to get outdoors to mow the lawns and play some golf. Let's hope it improves when we go to Jersey.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Friday, 20 August 2010

As time goes by

Another week seems to have slipped by and this time I've lots to report.
Firstly, I didn't get an interview for the job I applied for, not to worry I'm sure something will turn up.
Then we had Clive and Jane over for the weekend and had a really good gossip covering the 13 years since we last met up. My walk seems to have had the added bonus of renewing our old friendship, hope we can get over to Derby soon for a rematch at golf.
I've booked my golf break in Spain for March with 5 old friends from SDC (old being the operative word).
During the week I've built a small garden wall, its not a class job but it'll do. I certainly won't be getting a job as a bricklayer judging by this.
Last night we went to Peppers in Studley for our weekly curry. Its not our usual venue but we were celebrating my birthday on Sunday so thought we'd have a change.
Looking forward to Sandy and Chris's visit next year, if they're here mid August I will get us some tickets for the Hells Angels Bulldog Bash, I reckon that Chris will really enjoy the bikes.
The charity pot now stands over 3000 pounds.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Friday, 13 August 2010

It's been a long time

Again I am apologising for not posting for such a long time, it's not as if nothing has been going on - it's just that life at home is nowhere near as exciting as life on the road. Last night Jenny told me off and today Wayne said that he was  fed up looking at a picture of a hedgehog.
As you can imagine I've played a fair bit of golf over the weeks , not well I have to admit but I do try.
We've booked a holiday in Jersey in early September, only 3 weeks to go now and we went to Stu and Beth's the other w/end. It's always great to see them and i can't believe how Zack grows in the short time between our visits. He's a really bonny lad now. Check his photo, he's clearly got Scouse genes.
While on the visit Stu and I assembled and fitted a new storage unit in the new extension, talk about Bodgit and Son. At least it gives me an excuse to go back and put it right.

Today I went to a leaving do for my old mate Mick McCracknel from SDC, lots of people there and I was given the charity collection funds from my walk - another £200 which brings me uo to £2900. Now I'm hoping to make £3k before it's all collected. Well done SDC staff.

If you're squeamish, look away now. This is the last of my blisters which lasted me from Radstock in Wiltshire to Princetown in Devon, about 100 miles.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The concrete and the clay

Good to get the comments on my last post so I'm enthused to write more.
Heard this song on the radio today and it reminded me of my attempt to dig the garden yesterday, the ground was like concrete.
Decided to go out on the bike instead, nothing too taxing - about an hour over fairly flat terrain. Its only my second time out so its a start. Don't know how Cliff can go all day on onem
Played 3 rounds of golf over the last 4 days, with another tomorrow, and not feeling too bad physically. Even came 3rd on Saturday.
Helen and I walked down to the local for a meal, and a couple of Banks,s Milds ( its pronounced Bonks's round herre).
Saw this little fellow on the way.
My latest scheme is organising a golf trip to Spain next spring, I promise you I will be using a buggy, not walking.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Friday, 23 July 2010

That's life

It's over a week since I last blogged, so apologies to anyone who's still reading this. It is difficult to get a new angle each day now I'm home, as most days are the same for an old bloke with not much to do.
We did go up to Wirral last w/end and stopped with Reg (my father in law) and I'm delighted to say that he's looking really well, so well that he accompanied me to the local tip and bought me a  pint on the way back. I seem to be a  tip groupie at the moment, I've been to several dotted around the countryside, including Worcs, Warks, Berks, Wilts and now Merseyside. That would be a new spin on LEJOG, visiting the waste sites in each town that you go through - think I'll leave it for someone else.
I got my first round of golf on Wed, not having picked  a golf club up for three months, and finished leg weary and with sore feet. I'm going to have to start some exercise before I drop back into my previously non energetic lifestyle. 
Finally got my official photo and certificate for completing the walk so all I've got to do now is to add up all of the donations, currently standing at a total of over £2600 - truly amazing.
Also applied for an application form to apply for a job, more about that if any progress is made.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Just been for our regular Thursday evening curry with Jenny and Tony and we decided to stop at our local Wetherspoons. A chicken bhuna, spiced with some hot chiles but washed down with a couple of Titanic Ales (sorry but I've already got out of the habit of carrying a notebook to take details) was just what the doctor ordered.
Weatherwise it was pretty awful today, I had to use the intervals between showers to repair the conservatory gutter, and then I decided to do the ironing. Suddenly long distance walking is looking quite appealing.
Still, the Open golf is on TV so I've got to be happy.
A couple of pics that haven't been posted yet, Helen and Zack, me being greeted at the finish line by Sue from SOS
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Monday, 12 July 2010

Back to life, back to reality

We left Cornwall on Saturday (Katy and Aaron and Beth and Stu went on Friday) and took our time getting home. We stopped in Bodmin for coffee and Exeter for lunch so that we made Redditch around 5.00.
Our friends Liz and Adrian had stuck congratulations banners to the house for our arrival, what a great surprise.
Sunday was a chill out day, sitting in the garden with the newspapers and a little gardening before a long afternoon watching sport on TV.
I've checked on the justgiving websites today and I'm overwhelmed at the generosity of everyone. Seeing a donation from people I met in Fort William, which seems so long ago, was amazing.
Now I have to start collecting the pledges before I can finally pass on all of the donations. So I'd like to ask anyone who has got any collection sheets on the go to let me know and also to collect the pledges for me please.
Tomorrow I need to start replying to some of the many emails received and also get my CV into order to look for work.
Exeter cathedral and the handywork of Liz and Adrian
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Everybodys gone surfin

Sorry people but I'm getting addicted to blogging, could be worse - the addiction could be walking.
I'm going to keep it up, at least until I have a chance to sort out how much money's been raised and been able to thank everyone properly.
Sun was shining today so it was off to Gwithian to catch some waves ( that's surfer talk - I'm a quick learner). Helen and Katy looked after Zack while Stu, Beth, Aaron and I went in the water. Two firsts for me - I've never worn a wet suit before and I've never been on a surf board. So glad that I've lost some weight on my way from JOG, I looked porky enough in the suite anyway.
I did get my feet on the board a couple of times but I'm glad that I walked better than I surfed.
The day nearly ended badly when Aaron lost his wallet, fortunately there are some honest people about and he was able to collect it intact from St Ives police station.
Check out the surfer dudes in the pic
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

King of the road

That's what I feel like today after so many messages of congratulations.
The celebrations yesterday went on so late that it was actually dark when I went to bed, I've been that tired recently that I've got used to going around 8.30.
No beach today as its been foggy, so we opted for a walk around Falmouth - and, of course a pint of Skinners Heligan Honey.
Its going to take some time to get over yesterday's buzz.
Some of yesterday's pics which I forgot to include and one of my chin in the trimming process.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

So what happens now?

That's it, I'm an ex walker.
What a day, a lovely walk through Marazion, and along the coast path into Penzance. Beth and Aaron were with me and it was the most amazing section of the whole walk, who couldn't be impressed with close up views of St Michael's Mount. Only Beth could make her walking debut on such a section.
When we stopped for a cuppa Stu took over from Beth and we powered on toward LE, at least he and Aaron did - I was grimly hanging on at the rear.
Stu kept us going by declaring 'Snowy, I can see the pub from here' every time we saw a building.
Got to LE about 3 o,clock after a brief stop at the Last Inn for a couple of Skinners Betty Stoggs.
Met up with Sue from SOS then walked on my own down to the finish line were I was greeted by Helen, Katy, Beth, Aaron and Stu together with Sue and Jeannette from SOS.
I have to admit that I was just a little emotional, but not so much that I offered to buy any drinks. The weather was glorious and the Scillys clearly in view, picnic and champagne provided by Helen just finished off the most amazing experience for me. Its a day on the beach tomorrow and then who knows what.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Monday, 5 July 2010

This could be the last time

It's finally arrived, one more day to go and I become an ex walker. Brilliant.
I know that I couldn't have got this far without the support that you've all provided. There's been many a time when I've felt like there's been a whole crew of people walking with me and that's kept me going when I've been at a low ebb.
Today was a bad day simply because I started so tired. I never felt that I got into any rhythm or pace and it was just a long hard plod for over 20 miles. Amazingly I was still in the pub just after 4 for my end of walk pint of Tribute, even collected 8 quid at the end of the day.
Tomorrow starts with Beth and Aaron ( obviously a glutton for punishment) joining me before Stu takes over from Beth for the end of the day. Half the walk will be along the seafront, right past St Michaels Mount, should get a good pic to post.
Tonights photo is one of the many Cornish disused tin mine engine houses
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


Yes, its the big day tomorrow, but first I have to tell you what's been happening recently.
Yesterday was something of an enigma in that I really didn't feel like going, it was forecast to rain and I left without my trusty first aid kit. Nevertheless, I walked well and finished the 21 miles in under 8 hours.
I was reminded that pride cometh before a fall when I walked past a large party of scouts who were strolling along the other pavement, as I caught them and started to pass I could here the comments about the remarkable old man walking from JOG to LE. Full of pride I puffed out my chest and increased my pace, they were soon left trailing and when they were out of sight I just had to stop to get my breath. A little later on I got to St Austell and tripped over a pavement, ending up sprawled on the floor. I suppose I had it coming.
I got my first view of the sea since Scotland just after leaving Lanlivery.
The predicted rain arrived and I ended the day soaked, despite a mercy dash by Stu at halfway with dry gear.
My feet are much improved although I did develop a new blister which appeared in the early hours this morning.
Pics, a couple of interested bystanders, the pub that I didn't stop at, a different view of Truro
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Sunday, 4 July 2010

There are 3 steps to heaven

Yesterday was day 52 and really exciting for me. It started with my last B+B breakfast in Callington.
Also there were Gordon and Eilleen, who were both cycling from LE to Taunton as a 70th birthday present to each other, amazing!
They also made a healthy donation to my charities.
Later in the day I met up with Helen, Stuart, Beth and Zack for lunch and then I was able to off load most of the contents of my bag before setting off for the remaining 13 miles accompanied by Stu.
It was a long, hard afternoon resulting in yet another blister but having company certainly made it easier.
At the end of the walk we collected the car from the Crown and drove down to Helston to join the rest of the family. Shugborough bitter was fine but the earlier Doombar wasn't up to scratch.
While walking we spotted this scooter for sale, tied to a lamp post at a busy road junction, couldn't resist the opportunity of a pic.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Friday, 2 July 2010

This is it

Gunnislake, CORNWALL. Friday 2nd July at 1.10.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


Manfred Mann I seem to remember.
Yes folks I now have 5 days to go, 95 miles.
Awake early with excitement so posting while I've got a signal.
Yesterday I walked across the high moor in very strong head winds, it felt like I walked half as much again but I managed to check into the Prince of Wales hotel just as the torrential rain was starting.
What a bonus that was as it lashed down most of the night.
The other bonus was this pub is the home of Dartmoor brewery, so Jail Ale was again on the evening menu.
The landlord and his family come from the Wirral, Little Neston. A pub full of scousers next to the prison - make your own jokes up.
Got quite a surprise yesterday when an Adder slithered out of the grass right in front of me, a first sighting for me.
Pics across the moors and Dartmoor prison.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Take walk on the wild side

I'm heading toward Dartmoor and the forecast is for wild and windy and wet weather. Suppose it makes a change from heat.
Loving all the comments, keep them coming.
Come on Zack, act your age. You'll find that drinking namby pamby milk won't help the pain, try a couple of pints of real ale instead.
Dunsford was lovely, a good quiet resting place where I walked no more than 100 yards the whole time I was there, also managed to have some of Dartmoor brewery Jail Ale, excellent.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Go west

Its west, west , west from here on in. Every step taking me towards Cornwall, the last of the 13 English counties that I go through. Sorry but I haven't a clue what the Scottish ones were, perhaps someone could help on that.
I'm composing this over a pint of Cotleigh Nutcracker in a Wetherspoons in Exeter. Sorry but my vow of daytime sobriety didn't last long, I succumbed to the lure of Otter bitter yesterday in the Vine at Honiton and who in their right mind could resist this place - check out the pic.
On my way this morning I passed the local airfield, that certainly would have been easier for me.
Just a thought, when I see Aaron and Katy at Lands End they, too, will be End to Enders. They drove up to JOG the week before I started and will arrive at LE on the day I do. I will have walked it a week quicker than they've driven it.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Monday, 28 June 2010

Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home

I've lost count of the places I've stayed at and but each night they've been a haven for me, and I've always been greeted with a friendly smile and wished well as I've left. I was even upgraded in Chard so I had my own bathroom. I suspect because guests from other places have phoned their complaints about me.
I've stopped in Stockland, about one third of todays journey done, and the landlord has taken pity on me and sold me a lemonade.
Its another hot day but with a pleasant breeze and my right foot is painful but a little better than yesterday.
I wonder why I bothered to get in in time for the footbal yesterday. Watching it was more painful than walking.
I'm in Devon now, I can tell because the wheelie bins have changed.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Its been a good year for the roses

A chance remark this morning by Rob led to this title, and there's a pic to show it.
After a hearty breakfast I set off at 9.00 with 3 companions - Rob, Jo and little Alexander. They walked with me for the first 1.3 miles (Alexander ran most of it) and it was a great send off.
Less hills today but just as much sunshine led to another fairly slow walk but who can complain when walking through villages with names such as Compton Pauncefoot and Queen Camel ( must win a prize for that one).
I stopped for a lemonade in QC and collected some donations. Honestly, when I say lemonade that's what I had. I'm a big boy and don't always have to have beer.
The good news is that my left foot is no longer hurting, the bad news is that's because I've developed an enormous blister under my right foot and the pain from that blocks out everything else.
Still, only 180 miles to go and a ccouple of pints of Banks's Best should help numb the pain.
Pics today are my companions, roses and the church at Compton Pauncefoot.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

I am a cider drinker

I'm in Somerset now so today's title had to be something by the Worzels. I'm stopping with Jo and Rob, and little Alexander. I was treated to a glass or two of Rob's home produced cider last night, very palatable.
I think that Alexander believes that Santa has come to stay as he's on his best behaviour and is being very attentive to me.
White whiskers clearly have their uses.
I hadn't realised how hilly this part of the world is but I had 5 or 6 fairly long climbs yesterday and together with the heat and a couple of new blisters it turned into a pretty tough walk. I intended to celebrate getting to Shepton Montague with a pint at The Montague but it ha closed for the afternoon when I arrived, oh well these things can't be helped.
Off to Yeovil today, when I arrive I will be only 10 days from finishing.
Pic is a view across the Mendips
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Come on Eileen

My companion today was my future Son in Law Aaron and he was really good company, he had me in fits of laughter when he was discretely attending to a call of nature only for a lady in a 4x4 to drive through the gateway into the field. Don't know who was more embarrassed.
Our route took us through the lovely town of Bradford on Avon and right past Eileen and Derek's (Aaron's parents). We spent a good couple of hours there and dined on a sumptuous lunch. Thanks very much Eileen, both for lunch and the donation from the both of you. All I need now is for Eileen to get a caravan and get in front of me each to provide lunch.
I'm well impressed with Aaron as I walked him hard today and despite his blisters and aching legs he completed the day without complaint, well done.
The days I've spent in Corsham have been great, I've been really well looked after and will have to walk hard over the next few days to get back to my fighting weight.
Pics show Bradford on Avon, happy walkers after lunch, Radstock and tired walkers with Butcombe bitter
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange