Thank you to everyone who sponsored my 10,000 steps a day challenge for Cancer Research UK. It’s hugely appreciated and the £305 raised will really help. I completed the challenge successfully yesterday by adding another 10,127 steps – my lowest daily total of the month. I confess that I was getting rather tired of the constant nagging from the app, so my Fitbit is definitely going nowhere near my wrist in October!
Today’s steps were easily achieved as this evening I went out leafleting on behalf of the excellent Liberal Democrat by-election candidate for Allestree, Deena Smith.
For those of you that don’t follow Derby politics closely, the vacancy was caused by the Conservative councillor elected in May being jailed for two months for providing a false address. I think the people of Allestree deserve better than to have their votes taken for granted by the Tory party. The by-election is on Thursday and I hope that the recent success elsewhere in Derbyshire is a good omen in what has been considered a safe Conservative ward.
If you’ve never delivered leaflets before, this is what the activity looks like to a Fitbit tracker.
I was quite pleased that I didn’t have to backtrack too many times.
There are just three days left in my September walk all over cancer, but there’s still time to sponsor me. My donations page is here. Thank you!
A lot of gardening over the weekend and today’s visit to Gravesend has pushed me over September’s 300,000 step target. Thank you again to everyone who has sponsored me – you’ve raised a magnificent £305 for Cancer Research. I shall, of course, keep trying for 10,000 steps a day for the rest of the month. Target one has been achieved though!
While waiting for my colleagues to arrive in Ebbsfleet International at stupid o’clock this morning, a plaque just inside the station terminal caught my eye. It commemorates the death of Pocahontas in Gravesend some 400 years ago. As the station is new and trains didn’t exist in 1617, it did make me (playfully) wonder if anything else of note had ever happened here. But it’s an interesting touch in a pleasant, if rather empty station.
Anyway, not wishing to become another Gravesend celebrity death, I got on the first Javelin train out of there once my meeting had finished. I’m pleased to report that I’m now safely tucked up at home in Derby.
Regardless of whether you’re happy, indifferent or sad that the curse of Gravesend didn’t get me today, there’s still time to sponsor me to walk all over cancer during September. My donations page is here. Thank you!
I’ve been ticking along on the challenge quite nicely for the last three days. No big dramas, although I did need a short walk in the dark on the 21st to reach my target. The last three days have been busy, so this post is a bit of a miscellany.
21st – ARIS User Group, London
A really well attended and informative event, held at the Glaziers Hall. This was the view from the lunch room.
22nd – Derby
My Fitbit tells me that mowing our lawn is worth 1,325 steps. Target achieved!
23rd – Derby again
The preparations for Derby Festé are in full swing. A number of fire-breathing dragons are currently being assembled next to Riverlights.
Cancer Research have also reminded me that there’s only 7 days of this challenge left to go …
… and finally, I was given my first new fiver today in change for a coffee. Many people are donating their first plastic fivers to charity, so that’s where mine is going, bringing my total raised so far to £305.
Sometimes reaching 10,000 steps a day is a significant challenge if work means I’m writing a document or presentation. Monday was like that – by mid afternoon I was still below 2,000 steps for the day. I eventually reached the target by some judicious gardening and taking the long route to the shops. Other days, like yesterday, work makes reaching the target very easy. Well, easy, apart from lugging around the case that I had with me for my overnight stay. Wrestling it on and off the underground at peak times is never easy for anyone …
After yesterday’s exertions, I spent the evening in a hotel in Hammersmith. I was on the 13th floor – so great for clocking up extra steps up and down the stairwell. And the view was, well, of Hammersmith.
This morning, I’ve been ranting at the Independent’s headline writers on twitter. They’re misreporting an initiative by Microsoft by suggesting that software will ‘solve’ cancer in the next decade. If they read their own article, they’d see that’s not what’s being claimed. For rare cancers, like MCL, the issue isn’t sifting through lots of research of course, it’s getting the research funded in the first place.
Yesterday was a beautiful day in Derbyshire. So Jane and I took a quick hop up the M1 to Hardwick Hall – one of my favourite National Trust properties. You can spend a whole day here, as there’s the Hall, Old Hall, gardens, walks around the estate and the tea rooms to keep you busy. Especially the tea rooms. We decided to do the Sculpture Trail (in blue) – around 2.5 miles. While the walks are all well signposted, the free leaflet is helpful too.
It’s quite steep in places and because we were taking in the views, our progress was rather sedate.
After all that exertion, a cream tea with lashings of ginger beer was most definitely called for.
Followed by a walk around the Hall’s gardens.
And a doze in a thoughtfully provided deckchair.
I recorded over 16,000 steps even with the deckchair interlude, not to mention a quick blat in brum gnu later.
… even though it did mean more aimless wandering to reach my step count yesterday. These are the perils of having a job that meant I spent most of yesterday driving, in meetings or at an M42 service station.
Most of the people I see out and about in the evenings are dog walking. Dog owners can be quite intimidating if you’re out walking and don’t have a dog. I can feel them staring at me, wondering where my barking, wagging, panting ball of fur is. I haven’t quite reached the stage where I’m pretending that I’m looking for my lost dog, but it feels like it will be only a matter of time.
I took the cat to work today. Thrill as you see me pull away without stalling. Be amazed as I slip easily under Derby’s notorious low bridge without scraping the roof (11 minutes in). Watch as a taxi driver performs a questionable U-turn in front of the bus station (13:40). See me shake my head! Wonder why I simply didn’t drive under the barrier at work, rather than stopping to use my pass.
It’s not the greatest movie ever shot, but I think you’ll agree that its far more entertaining than London Has Fallen.
In other news, you’ll be glad to hear that I’m still on target to meet the challenge. Thank you again to everyone who is supporting me. Funds raised for Cancer Research UK has topped £300 today.
This may come as a surprise. It may even be a shock to some of my friends who are aware of my lifelong political views, but I’ve decided to go purple. It’s taken a lot of heart searching to come to this decision as you might expect. I’ve spent hours agonising over this move. I hope that none of you think any the less of me because of it. However, given my desire to truly change things for the better in the UK, the purple option is the only course of action that I believe is open to me.
Today, September 12th 2016, marks the start of Lymphatic Cancer Awareness Week. I’ve temporarily turned the border on my blog purple to show my support. Shame on you if you thought I was talking about joining UKIP by the way. I’ve never been so insulted in my life! However, if the words at the beginning of this post drove you to read this, then that’s a good thing. And the Lymphoma Association has achieved many good things, so please keep reading.
For anyone who isn’t aware, Lymphoma is the UK’s fifth most common cancer, with someone being given the diagnosis every 40 minutes. I received mine in August 2104 and I still vividly remember the shock of that day. However, not everyone knows about the signs. The Lymphoma Association published this handy card a few years ago, so I’m reproducing it again here.
Once I was given my diagnosis, I found the information on their website about treatments, ‘watch and wait’ and other support services invaluable, as did my family and friends. As part of their activities this week, the Lymphoma Association are also launching the Types Matter initiative. Lymphoma is complex, with more than 60 distinct types and sub-types identified so far. Different treatments are required for each one, so knowing your type is crucial if you’re to get the right treatment.
I’m also naturally carrying on with my 10,000 steps a day challenge for Cancer Research this week. If my purple confession has made you smile, perhaps you could donate a couple of pounds to this really important cause.