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So You Want to Fundraise?

First of all- well done! Second… welcome to the madhouse!

As I am in the thick of fundraising at the moment, I thought I might jot a few notes down for anyone who might be considering fundraising. I wouldn’t go as far as calling my musings ‘tips’- that may give you the illusion that I am some kind of expert in this area- which I can categorically say I am not! This blog simply tries to offer observations that I have made from trying to raise cash for charity. So I use the term ‘advice’ very loosely in this blog- it is simply pieces of information that I have found useful and you may also.

I have dabbled with fundraising for a few years now- for personal reasons( I can’t even imagine what it must feel like doing it for a job)! Over the last 5 years I reckon I have raised about £10,000 for a variety of charities. Not by myself I hasten to add- I have always had some great people involved in raising money with me. I have been lucky enough to know people that nod happily when I say things like- ‘shall we walk the Yorkshire Peaks’- or ‘let’s bake hundreds of cakes and stand for hours flogging them to unwilling students’! And even- ‘shall we dress up like Madonna and prance about to 80s music with a collection tin for the British Lung Foundation’. I wish I could say that people say yes because of my winning personality- the truth is- I have great friends and work colleagues who, like most people, are just happy to be involved with anything that involves helping others. And whilst I won’t go into a political rant (here is not the place) it’s a bloody good job that there are people like us because I don’t know what would happen to the 1000s of charities around the country if there weren’t!

The first piece of ‘advice’ I can give you then- is make the most of your friends during your fundraising efforts.. even if all they can offer is the time to mop your furrowed brow over a beer or two whilst pretending to listen to you wining about how hard it is to convince people to part with their hard earned cash! The are worth their weight in gold believe me!

Here are a few other things that might be of help to you ( I can’t tell you how excited I was when I produced my first jpeg)!

Here is why fundraising is NOT a good idea:

  • It takes a huge amount of your time up- fundraising is not ‘easy money’!
  • You end up pi**ing some folk you know off by asking them for money. It’s always a bit surprising who those people are too! Don’t take it to heart- and don’t judge people for not coughing up- money is tight for a lot of folk and your charity might not be the one that motivates them to dig their hand into their pocket for. Move on and smile!
  • Don’t be too obsessed with ‘size’. Your richest friends will probably be the ones to sponsor you the least and the ones you least expect will sponsor you a shed load. Don’t get hung up on this. It doesn’t matter how well off you think someone is or how much you know they earn… it’s THEIR MONEY and they can choose what to do with it. How much they donate is not an indication of how much they like you.. move on!
  • It’s not always fun! Standing for hours selling cakes, giving up evenings of wine to walk for hours in training and sending the same email over and over again asking for sponsorship wears thin very very quickly!

But here is why you should do it anyway:

  • Handing over the hard earned funds you have raised gives you a massive sense of achievement
  • Because someone has to!
  • we spend enough time thinking about ourselves and our own crap… it’s good for us to take time out and think about other people for a bit.
  • Some of it is really fun!
  • It helps you develop all kinds of skills- negotation skills, time managment skills etc. It can even tap into creativity you didn’t know you had!

So there have it.. that’s fundraising folks!

I will be walking the 3 National Peaks on the 6th of July to raise cash for the British Lung Foundation. So if anyone has any loose change laying around.. be great if you could sponsor me on

Wish me luck!
D
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Wait Until Your Father Gets Home

NEVER WORKED IN OUR HOUSE!

In fact those threats from my mum had the adverse effect. My dad came home with sweets, chocolate or sandwiches from the working men’s Club. Or best still those little pots of prawns in vinegar.. mmmm. So why my mum thought my dad coming home was scarier than her chasing us up the stairs with slipper in hand- was beyond me!

It seemed apt that I put something together for Father’s Day. With the walk looming and all kinds of external factors taking over my life at the moment- the fast approaching Father’s Day is definatly a day to remember why I started doing all this charity raising, walking and blogging in the first place- because recently I have been rudely awakened to the fact that dad’s are very precious.

I have rewritten this blog about 10 times. They normally get banged out on the keyboard and then off. But this one was different. My first attempts were just too depressing and that was never my intention for creating the fundraising blogs. So eventually I decided to go with what I know best- sarcasm and low brow humour. I have decided to do it with pictures because I have some cracking ones scanned in and because my dad can’t use a computer he will never see the excruciatingly embarrassing pictures I put of him on here- and because of his breathing difficulties- I can run faster than he can if does catch a glimpse over my mum’s shoulder!!

So, I have decided to write this ‘lighthearted’ blog for all those who have great dads, have had great dads and ARE great dads. It might also serve as a reminder of all the things we forget about them- particularly when we are angry with them for confiscating our mascara when we are 13, or disgusted with them when they turn up to pick us from school in a v neck jumper with no t-shirt underneath..(not cool dad)! or embarrassed of them when they fart in public or order ‘worms’ in a Chinese restaurant!

There a lots of things I chastise my own children about- one of the main things is that I am convinced they think I was born old- and that the whole issue of being a teenager is totally beyond my comprehension because as if I could have ever been one! And then I rememembered all those conversations with my own mum and dad- and realised that I had done exactly the same. As far as I was aware- they were born in the olden days and anything they went through had no relation to what I was going through. They didn’t even have Sony Walkman’s or Wham for goodness sake- how on earth did they expect to understand the world I lived in.

So- as a recognition of the fact that parents have all kinds of things going on other than being parents.. I will devote this Father’s Day blog to all the things I overlooked about my dad as I was growing up.

So Dad, here it is

You were someone’s pride and joy. You were not, despite my earlier doubts, born with a fag in one hand and beer in the other shouting profanities at us all! Someone carried you for 9 months, held you when you were taking your first breaths of life and had all the hopes and dreams for you, as any new parent does when they hold their perfect and tiny baby. And bonus.. you could get away with your excessive wind back in those days!

You were someone’s naughty little boy– with scuffed knees and a dirty face! You were the boy sent to bed for trying to make baby chicks ‘swim’- how did that turn out dad?! I am sure your brothers have many more tales to tell- but at 7 year old- I bet the world was just one big laugh for you- where racing around fields and climbing trees were about all you had to worry about- not like the crap you have to worry about now!

You were someone’s naughty BIG boy! I have no idea why you thought you looked cool by the way in that picture– socks and shoes on the beach- and is that a shower cap on your head.. not sure that will be UV proof dad? And you should definatley gone to specs savers! Like any teenager, I am sure you thought you knew everything- thought you could do anything and that consequences were for losers… Remember telling me off for all that dad!!!!!

You were someone’s mate. You obviously also thought you were Elvis! Maybe you are Elvis?? That tone deaf singing into your headphones is clearly just a rouse so that we don’t find out! You do look rather cool in this picture though I have to say- although you clearly chose to hang out with the worst looking men in the town ever- so you got a look in with the girls!

You were a soldier! I really had forgotten that. You always did love cleaning your shoes! Did they have a mini squadron then for men under 5’’2? Or maybe you were taken on because of your amazing MASSIVE ears- they could well have provided an early warning sign for the enemy.. one flap for approach- two for LEG IT!

And of course you are still someone’s husband. You did all that mushy stuff and managed to bags yourself a girl! Not surprising with that fringe and sideys I have to say! I won’t go into how much I know you love my mum and how you have demonstrated this throughout your marriage- it makes me be a bit sick in my mouth! But I will never forget seeing you guys snog once.. That was truly gross! Please don’t ever do that again.

And here are all the little things I forget…

You used to be a pirate!! A fat one- check out those moobs dad. Your parrot has obviously gone for a rest somewhere..

I take it back– You used to be Gadaffi! How much did that beard used to scare my kids!

But most of all- you are my dad– and Craig and Mandy’s dad- and Grandad to Adam, Rowen, Jade, Bailey, Tegan and Sainsbury bump, and Phoebe, Charlie and Emily and Great Grandad now to little Alfie. And that we don’t forget…

My first You Tube Upload- just for you dad! xx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhiAE4-_4jE&feature=youtu.be

Happy Father’s Day

Love you loads

D xx

Shame About The Weather!!!

This weekend we have all been in training. Mike and I did Kinder Scout, Kirsty did Snowdon and Steve went on his usual morning jaunt- taking in about 2500 miles somewhere in the Isle of Man.

Happy days!

Well it would be- if it hadn’t pi**ed down with rain all weekend of course!

I had a feeling my walk might not be so great when my £110 quid shoes broke as I was trying to fasten them up in the car! Despite this fact- I buckled up as best I could, set my pedometer and off we set.

I don’t mind rain. I don’t mind wind. I can even cope with them together. Rain that feels and looks more like hailstones (because it is hailstones) and wind that feels more like gail force wind (because it is gail force) and can blow you off your feet however is a different matter! The walk was wet, windy and crappy from start to finish.

Even the dog though it was sh**. Apart from the bit of course when he chased a sheep for a few miles- ignoring any plea to stop. I did what I always do in a crisis- shouted Mike’s name as shrilly and loudly as possible. I am never certain why that doesn’t work?!! Anyway, Jackson ended up on his lead for the whole walk as punishment- not chaffing at all holding him on his lead as he gagged for breath pulling all the damn way!

The walk however was good exercise with some good uphill stretches. But it also resulted in us feeling a bit gutted at not finishing in the time we wanted and wondering how the hell we would manage the 3 National Peaks if the weather was even remotely similar. However, it’s always easier to focus on what you haven’t achieved than what you have and we had at least had a go.

The great thing about the walk is that we learnt a few things that would serve us well when tackling the 3 Beasts!

  • It can be f***ing freezing even in the summer months and gloves and hats are a must! It might look nice at the bottom of the hill but the top can look a whole lot different! I ended up wearing socks on my hands as gloves- impressive!
  • Kid’s rain jackets are cheaper but are rubbish for proper trekking because kids don’t generally do hard core walks in the rain! My hood wouldn’t stay up and after about 2 hours the water came through. I found a pair of the kids earmuffs in the hiking bag which came in well in handy in keeping my hood attached to my head. God knows what people must have thought when they walked past me though. Socks on hands and tiny earmuffs on head…. novice walker who should be kept indoors that’s what!
  • You need to put waterproof trousers on before we get wet. Balancing on one foot in the middle of nowhere with muddy shoes and cling on trousers is not a good idea!
  • Bad weather does bad things to your body– even through clothes. Mike described my legs after stripping off in the car, as looking like a plucked chicken.. nice! Any delusion of looking sexy and alluring after a walk was killed in that moment!
  • Waterproof your rucksack– because whilst your banana might be safe- your sandwiches will be minging after an hour’s worth of rain water dripping into your sandwich bag.
  • Have spare clothes in the car- because as much as you say you don’t care what you look like after your hike- it’s all about being a hardcore walker… the first mention of nipping into the pub for a pint sends you into total despair as you know for sure you will bump into all your kids teachers- some old flame from high school and generally anyone that you don’t want to see you wearing skin tight wet trousers- hair stuck to your head and legs that look like plucked chickens…. not your best look

Despite all my bleating however- it was a great day and good practice. Who wouldn’t want to spend a day in the driving wind and rain- walking up hills getting brain freeze from hail stones. And I complain that me and my hubby don’t get out on romantic dates anymore!

Kirsty’s photo blog is to follow and I will arm wrestle Steve into producing something!

Next blog will also investigate if Matt has thrown those pumps in the bin and invested in some real walking shoes??!

Don’t forget to keep donating to our website… still for a good cause 🙂

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=DionneCoburn

 

Steve bought a book…

on tips for  walking the 3 National Peaks.

Tips like.. .’Don’t do it in 24 hours because you might die’! Mmmm well I was expecting to get a few blisters and feel a tad tired but not sure I was expecting that!!

The guy on the front cover, who I can only suppose was the author, did look very old. Maybe he was just advising other ‘old’ people not to do it?  Surely he can’t be talking about me and Kirsty- two young women in their peak of fitness?!  Or maybe he was just trying to sell more books by being a drama queen- nothing sells like sex or tragic death! Maybe Chapter One gives you all the boring advice on health and safety and how not to do in 24 hours because it will kill you,  and Chapter Two then maps out  all the places you can nip to if you fancy a crafty quickie on the hills of Snowdon or Nevis.  Who needs the Karma Sutra when authors like Slieve Donnard can tell you all the amazing things you can get up to with a pair of walking sticks and a headtorch J I jest of course, Slieve is very serious about his peaks and gives some great advice. And as one of the reviewers on Amazon reveals, the book fits in your pocket and everything. Not sure where I will put my bible for someone to read me the last rights on Scar fell though if that  little gem is taking up all the room?!

So I started to panic. Have I set myself a ridiculous challenge?

It’s totally right to consider all the pros and cons and worst case scenarios. What do we do if Kirsty falls down a crack in Ben Nevis trying to retrieve her tin of Special Brew? What if I have some massive reaction to an overdose of Kendal Mint cake and end up telling everyone, including random passers by, that I love them, whilst crying uncontrollably and singing Wind Beneath My Wings at the top of my voice all the way up Snowdon, with so much effort I can’t get back down because the others have buried my legs under a pile of rocks!   What if the bus breaks down- or our driver Iain gets lost; or falls asleep at the wheel and kills us all.  What if there is a freak snow storm in July and the only person with a bivvy sack is Steve- who all of sudden becomes one of those horrid characters in the films who hides all the health and safety stuff for himself whilst pretending he is a really good guy- like those guys in Lost.. Who can you trust?!  Matt will freeze to death in his hoody and trainers, he is a young boy still, he has all his life to live! Steve- look at that face… give him your bloody bivvy sack! Image

It could happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t panic yet though- we are all upping our game in the training game now. Well everyone apart from Matt who has just spent the last 10 days in Corfu- drinking, eating and topping up his tan! But as said before- he is young- and if nothing else- we can sell pictures of his tanned body later to raise money if he doesn’t finish the walk! Kirsty has even had to invest in some earphones that don’t fall out of her ears due to her super walking speed. Well when I say invest, I mean borrow Steve’s, who insisted far too keenly that they were ‘clean’. Thanks for that information Steve! I have been mainly eating BBQ food and drinking wine- but have invested in a personal trainer and being doing some pretty good walks and runs over the last week. The weekend was a blip.. I hope!

So I think we will be ok. I hope we will be ok. Actually I am determined that we will be ok!

Apart from the fact I have told my dad and everyone reading this that I will do it. Here is another reason why..

The http://blf.healthunlocked.com.

A week ago I was introduced to this online community by my mum. She has been routed to it by someone who felt that it would be a good place for her to chat to folk about my dad’s illness. Somewhere she could ask all those awful questions without my dad overhearing and somewhere that could give her those awful answers- and then offer her the space to deal with them by herself, in her own time, void of people watching for her reaction.

Aside from the amazing support, the site also made me get a grip and given me a taste of what a real challenge looks like. What real pain is. And what a real ‘worst scenario’ actually looks like.

The people on BLF health unlocked are amazing. I obviously can’t give any names on here- but there are real people on there with real big problems. There are people younger than me- coping with the fact that by the time they are 40, they will have the body of a 90 year old. They are living every moment like it is their last- because it might be. These folks have children that depend on them and wives and husbands that adore them. They probably won’t see their children get married. They probably won’t see their grandchildren.

I stress at hitting 40 because I might get fat(ter)- or grey(er). They stress because they don’t know how their children or spouses will cope without them- or worry that someone will take their place when they are gone. I stress because my size 10 jeans don’t fit anymore. How trivial does my shit sound!

The BLF advised me to post my blog on this site just for readership but I got more than I bargained for.  I got £30 in sponsor money; money from people who don’t know me or my dad. These people donated because they feel the cause- every day. I was truly inspired by this.  And I had to recall these feelings whilst in my moments of doubt- brought about by ‘the book’. The people with lung diseases like COPD and Pulmonary Fibrosis have a far bigger battle than I do.   I will be aching and knackered for 3 or 4 days after the walk… they don’t see an end to feeling battered and bruised!  In fact- they don’t have an end to that. Not until the BLF find some way of curing or preventing their illnesses.

And that is what this walk is about; helping the BLF to do that. Because that is the only way I can help right now and it helps me to stop whining about my approaching 40th birthday because whilst that birthday is only 18 months away it might be the first birthday that I receive a card, signed, ‘Mum’.  My dad may not be around to take the p*** out of me getting older or at least stressing about getting older. So I will give him the opportunity to laugh at me trying to do a 26 mile hike up some bloody great big hills- and allow him to remind me of the days that my mum used to have to drag me to school 5 minutes up the road because Wiggan Lane was too steep!

So I will prepare for the worst for the walk but hope for the best. The book will give me all those little tips that might make the walk a little easier and I will shove it in my pocket along with my bible, my kindle mint cake and my lyric sheet to the Wind Beneath my Wings….

I wonder if the book tells you all the best places to pee?

donation page is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DionneCoburn

and the support page is  http://blf.healthunlocked.com.

The question isn’t “what are we going to do,” the question is “what aren’t we going to do?”

Image(Ferris Bueller 1986)


After forcing my three children to watch some classic 80s films, my 13 year old daughter now thinks the 80s is cool- it’s like really ‘retro’ she says!

RETRO- Really??

Retro is the something that existed years ago- in the 50s or 60s, NOT the 80s- they were about two minutes ago. Surely not?

I checked it out.

 Definition: The term retro refers to clothing, style, and design which is outdated. Generally to be considered retro, something must be between 20 and 25 years old. The actual item does not necessarily need to be old, but can be a new item that references styles of the past.

OH DEAR! It appears the 80s are indeed now officially ‘retro’ which means I am officially ‘retro’ which basically means I am officially old and ‘outdated’!

I realise that with 45 days to go to the walk- I have more important things to be concentrating on, but with an 80s Charity bash in aid of the BLF organised to go, the all important costume has become my focus/obsession. Fund raising is hard work to be honest so rather than going for straight sponsorship I thought it might be nice to spice up the fund raising with some fun events. It was only right therefore that anything I organised was alright…. it had to be taken seriously!

Why choose the 80s for a theme for the bash? Well mainly because the 80s were a cool era. I hit my teens in the late 80s, so I missed all the quality music and hit the music scene slap bang in the height of Stock, Aitken and Waterman. I am not ashamed to admit I loved all that cheesy stuff- Rick Astley, Jason Donavon, Kylie, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson.. Oh yea times were good!

Quality music played on my quality walkman, playing my quality tape of top 40 hits taped from the radio. Anyone from this era must surely remember doing that! Making everyone be quiet whilst you were taping your favourite tunes, pausing it in the talking bits and never getting it quite right. My favourite bits are when you managed to record yourself singing along by accident or when you caught on tape the  sound of beating  your little brother within an inch of his life because he has just told you that George Michael looked gay… as if!!!!!!

Music was really fun in those days. It was an era when music seemed to bypass political correctness- or at least it did in my world. Never mind feminism- why can’t a page 3 model bring out a song called ‘touch me’? Better still let’s all us budding young feminists sing along with Sinitta’s ‘So Macho’.  Girl Power was coming in the 90s.. So what the hey! I do remember Frankie’s Relax and poor old Mark Almond causing a bit of a stir mind- but that was because only straight people could talk about sex in the 80s- or at least it seemed. You could only be gay if you looked like Kenny Everett- i.e. full on tranny style; the kind that do ‘gayness’ for comedy, because that’s not real of course. My dad almost fell off his chair when he found out Kenny was actually gay, he refused to watch his show ever again.

What a huge surprise that was!

British TV was just as crass. I remember crying every week when Hi-de-Hi finished because I loved it so much and Allo Allo was cutting edge! I caught about 5 minutes on Gold TV the other day and I had to turn it off it was so painful. Grange Hill was banned in our house as it apparently was a bad example as was Coronation Street and Cross Roads.  I could go on forever about TV shows- crackerjack, it’s a knockout, Tis waz etc etc.   It’s what we did as kids- none of this keeping healthy stuff on a Wii.  We did burn calories turning the channels over on the TV though- no remote in our house until the late 90s!

It was American TV that captured us mostly though. Who couldn’t love BA from the A Team, the big toughie who fell that for that drink of milk every week- ‘I pity the fool’! Kit the talking car, and the Hulk who I really didn’t like when he was angry; his ripping shirt used to send me shooting behind the sofa. The American films however were much more sophisticated. Kids dancing around on top of cars, cars that could take us back to the future and a shop mannequin that came to life and rode around on a motorbike with the shop guy at night who had fallen in love with her…not weird at all! Top Gun was a legend though- although it was years later we found out that the tiny Tom Cruise would have failed the RAF height test by a good few feet and would have never been let near a fighter jet! Still looked pretty hot in those glasses and boiler suit though!

It was all a bit crass, all a bit cheesy and all harmless… If you were 13 at least!

The 80s for the older generation was of course a much more serious time; Thatcher, unemployment and a cascade of political turmoil for many.  I was too young for politics and news however. I do remember overhearing that Russia was going to blow us all up at one point! I remember worrying for about 30 seconds about that and then didn’t think too much about it anymore really- all a bit dramatic and didn’t justify taking time out of my smearing blue eye shadow on.  As long as I had my leg warmers, my Brother Beyond Album and a ‘quarter’ of cola cubes- the world was a safe place.

So another reason the theme is the 80s is because it takes me back to a time where life was easy and I had no worries. Apart from some awful GCSE results- life was simple!

So if you fancy reminiscing with me with some good old ‘retro’ 80s music and dance- dig out your paint splash t-shirt and pepe jeans and join us here at The University of Huddersfield Student Union on the 29th of June. It’s all for a good cause.

And as this walk and party is all for the British Lung Foundation- I thought I would end with the song of my dad’s choice… he is a comedian of course!

Laughter is the best medicine- unless you’re asthmatic and then it’s ventolin.. boom boom!

 

 

When life gets tough- chill out- take a deep breath!  Not quite as easy as it sounds in the middle of an asthma attack. Taking breathing for granted is easy. It’s not until you can’t do it- that you realise how great breathing actually is!

 

Anyone with Asthma or any  lung condition will tell you that when things get tough, it physically hurts your whole body to ‘take a deep breath’. Everything in your body has to work harder just to take in a few gasps of air. After a prolonged attack even the muscles in your back can ache and your stomach feels like it’s done a million sit ups. In fact your whole body feels like a clenched fist. It’s not just that you can’t breath- you can’t do anything.

 

For me, Ventolin does the trick. The feeling of relief as your lungs open up and allow you to take in air isn’t something you can easily describe. Your head feels a bit dizzy and your body starts to relax- and all of sudden- the fat guy that is sitting on your chest (metaphorically of course) gets off and gives you a break!

 

I loved having asthma as a child. It meant a day of school every few weeks to go to the hospital, where I got to strip off and play on the rocking horse whilst breathing into a tube! I pretended to laugh at all the usual dry jokes asking me if I had given up smoking, in anticipation for a lolly and a sticker. Life was just that simple as a kid.

Having asthma also served me well as I grew older. It got me out of all the long church services at Easter and celebration times because all that incense used to set me off a treat! Sitting in the church foyer picking all the rude words out of the hymn books was far more entertaining!

 

As I got even older I had the best excuses to get out of cross country at school and used my time well smoking in the woods! PE teachers had no idea how to handle asthma at the time, so any dramatic attempt at gasping for air at the mere mention of a netball used to gain me a place on the bench. Result!

I am allergic to cats and dust. Cats love me however and seem to make a bee line for me always!! And Dust, well that is another great story. I was diagnosed with asthma at about 7. As soon as she found out, my mum set out about hovering the curtains, my bedding and basically anything that flapped and could potentially house a dust mite. She did all of this whilst my dad got me out of the house and took me to the local working men’s club- where I sat in a den of second hand smoke- practicing my smoke signals, eating my cheese and onion crisps. Life was sweet!

 

As I have gotten older, the novelty has worn off. I now dread the time of year when the central heating goes on and the days surrounding bonfire night, where enjoying the lovely fireworks, just ends up in me dosing myself with extra Ventolin.

It is only since my dad was diagnosed with his illness however that I have realised just how lucky I am for now!

 

With COPD and Pulmonary Fibrosis, every breath my dad takes must be agony. Every step he takes probably feels like a mile. In fact I would guess it kind of feels like he is carrying another person on his back. With ever breath my dad takes his organs have to work twice as hard as everyone else’s has to keep up- which is what eventually will kill him. Something will have to give!

And yet I remember sighing a huge breath of relief when we were told my dad didn’t have lung cancer. Oh good- he only has COPD and PF- not lung cancer at all, but hooray a slower, more debilitating illness. Selfishly we would have my dad for longer- but the price was that he would suffer for longer. I have no idea how to make that sit right. I have even less idea how my dad feels about all of this. I have no idea how my mum spends every night listening to me dad breathing in his sleep- counting his breaths- just to make sure he is ok. And like my mum and dad, I have no idea about what comes next. Puts the slight inconvenience of the central heating going on again into perspective for me really!

 

So for now- thank goodness for the British Lung Foundation- because they do know what comes next and will be ready with answers when we need them. And that is why I am going to raise money for them; because I need someone to have answers. I need someone who one day might even have a cure. And I guess to make that happen, the BLF need people like us- to raise cash to make that possible.

The Team…

 

It’s great that the word is getting out about our team taking on the 3 National Peaks for charity. However, disturbingly, people keep asking when I am ‘running’ the peaks. I am NOT running the peaks. I will be walking it- steadily. I will also be cursing anyone who dare to  ‘run’ past me or overtake me whilst carrying a picnic basket, holding their dog on a flex- lead or  carrying twins in a backpack; basically anyone daring enough to make it look easy.

To be crystal clear, I and a team of 5 will be WALKING the 3 national peaks in 24 hours. Walking isn’t by the way the easy option. Walking it is still bloody hard!

My blogs have probably told you enough about me. So let’s meet the rest of the team.

Mike

I will start with Mike because I know him best. I have been married to him for 17 years so I guess I should. Mike is doing this because he is supporting me and has always had a passion for conquering things. I won’t get soppy but Mike has kicked my arse into gear over the years and made me appreciate that feeling sorry for yourself gets you nowhere. Hence me taking on this walk! He isn’t like one of those army sergeants who keeps shouting in your face to stop behaving like a girl… but someone who helps you to believe you can do what you want- so strongly- you do!  .. Enough already of that- I will get a room!

Kirsty

 

If I were stuck in the middle of nowhere and was surrounded by bears, I would want Kirsty to be on my team! Kirsty has spirit and fight and whilst she is the person in the team who has probably got the least experience of walking, she is the person I least expect not to make it. If she has to drag herself up on her hands and knees, she will do it! Kirsty is one of those people that I know that if I needed someone to be holding a rope I was dangling off- I would want her at the other end.  We may have to tempt her to the top of Ben Nevis with a packet of Benson and Hedges and a giant Mars bar but I bet she is the last one standing at the bar when we have finished.

Kate

One of those women that make you sick! Still gorgeous and uber fit considering she is ‘cough’ over 40ish. She has five lush children, one of who is severely disabled and yet if you ever need any help- Kate’s your girl. She was the only one who almost weed her pants in excitement over this walk- she is the one of the only ones that is remotely unnerved by this. I have no idea whether she is training or not- but I don’t worry about her getting to the top and back.  Her very loud and ever happy personality may mean I want to push her over the top once or twice though. I am a real grumpy arse when I am tired and I can’t imagine Kate ever being grumpy which will probably result in me mentally wrestling her to the ground on a few occasions- or perhaps burying her under those big piles of rocks at the top of Snowdon?? Mm the mind boggles! Only joking Kate 😉

Steve

Steve who walks 21 miles just for fun of a weekend. Has a pair of fell running shoes, which may get lost somewhere very intimate if he dares to wear them to run past me on any of the peaks! Up for a challenge and apparently first aid trained; so any broken necks- we are it seems in safe hands! Steve is in charge of health and safety- but I am not sure he is taking it seriously! I will be very upset if we don’t have at least one whistle and if I am freezing my arse off on Ben Nevis after falling down- I expect a bivvy sack and a sachet of cottage pie at the very least. I reckon Steve is the sort of guy that would gnaw his own arm off to get out of a crevice. Well I would like to state for the record- I AM NOT so I do hope he brings a whole host of ‘getting out of crevice’ devices in H&S backpack!

Matt

The youngest of the group by far!! He will manage this walk because he is young and being young counts! His first walk was in the boggy marshlands of the peak district- which he did in a pair of trainers and his second training walk was in the rain – for which he wore his hoody! He had a cold for about 2 weeks after that! So like mother hens, me and Kirsty have told him he has to buy a waterproof and a decent pair of shoes. We have also told him that he cannot do the walk with only a packet of fags and a tin of beer in his backpack. To be fair, he could probably do it in his hoody and trainers because life hasn’t spoiled him yet. Unlike Steve and Mike, he hasn’t had a wife and kids draining the life out of him and unlike me, Kirsty and Kate, he is a bloke and therefore life is just easier for him..Simples J

So there you go- our team. I hope that has inspired you massively! Well if it hasn’t, it should. It’s not inspiring because we are taking on the impossible, quite the contrary. There are thousands of people that do the 3 national peaks in 24 hours every year. I am inspired because I sent an email off several weeks ago asking people in my department to support me and my dad in a fundraising event, and despite most of those people not knowing my dad or even me that well, they jumped in. They went out and bought shoes and coats and starting training. And I have no words to describe just how bloody great that is!