Thursday, 17 February 2011

Your Mission Jim, Should You Choose to accept it......

This tape will self destruct
before my head (Hopefully!)
Well, the last couple of weeks have been as crammed as a famous UK sprinter's lunch box.... Nah let''s not go there!. A weekly blog? Only if I don't blooming sleep! After my last visit to the knee masher I gave the knobblies some well earned rest strapped them up with errr... straps and started to fine plan my timetable for Project 350. This is really exciting and thanks to my very valuable Vodafone World of Difference placement with Breakthrough it has raised the pressure a tad. So, my mission “Jim” and I have chosen to accept it, is to raise awareness about breast cancer in women and men, bring to the fore the partners of breast cancer patients, and raise as much money as I can for Breakthrough to carry on their aim of a world free from the fear of breast cancer.

DR400, G-RBIN at Headcorn. I past my test in this little beasty.
 If you are going to help cure a stutter, do it in style
First I have a timeline, planning press releases for printed media, then radio and hopefully some TV. Last October I ended up doing some live telly outside parliament representing Breakthrough and I got a taste for it. You know the feeling, Pure fear! Freezing cold, took my coat off as it was too tatty for telly, no loos and needing one badly. (A bathroom for my USA Friends!) Also I suffer from the fear of a past stutter coming back to haunt me, as it does when I get stressed! (Thanks to the King's Speech for highlighting this issue.) I was bullied at school and beyond for it, laughed at; even in my 40s and sometimes now, by half witted numskulls with no friends, but it still hurts. With the BBC’s brilliant Colin Campbell calming me down we were on. I got away with it. A few breathing problems that stutterers will all understand and I had the telly bug. Stuttering is another issue but no real room on here, but I am lucky; mine mostly went when I started flying light aeroplanes in 1980. (Robin DR400s for the plane loving folk out there, also checked out on Archer IIs, C150, 152, 172 & C182s) Having to use the radio sent the fear of God through me but I got there.  I'll dig out some photos for the next blog... they are on film EEK THAT OLD
Mind you if anyone has a couple of quid spare, I'll have a Mooney Acclaim with everything on it. Pink, grey and magenta of course!

My time with Breakthrough on the Vodafone scheme begins in March but I need not mention in too much detail that I am already involved with the ‘ones displaying the magenta logo’!
 I have started planning the web site and I will put the address on here as soon as Project 350 launches. To be honest, I am shaking with excitement, nerves and anticipation. I so don't want to mess this up.

Me and my knees have been back twice to Daven the Pain Meister, though I think he has seen the light since last week. It was that or the garlic hanging round my neck was having the desired effect.
My drummer's head was on form last week and as a result the London Marathon has shrunk. Yes, Shrunk! I had engraved on my soft-drive that the route was 26.4 miles and it's not!!! It is a poultry 26.2!! 385 yards less. No problem then, what's all the fuss about? I'm off down the pub!!!
The planning for my “Hayley's Mile” flag is going well, details are on my website. We are still in two minds about how to add additional names, if via hot press transfer I will be opening the invitation to my readers to suggest a name or two to add to the flag.

I must say I am so pleased to be out running again. However I have a bit of a gripe. No, the knees are fine despite Devan's best efforts to turn them into tea bags or just rip them off altogether. No, not the weather, no, not even the bloke in matching yellow running gear, with no waist, David Beckham's legs and Pierce Brosnan's hairline who I see regularly gliding smoothly on his way breathlessly around the streets, (obviously after a sub-three hour marathon time). It's our old friend dog poo! That's what. I like dogs, I'd love a Westie, Marc (MUD2 Bass player) has two of the most adorable Chocolate Labs. However, I'd like to send a message to inconsiderate dog owners: Just because you walk your mutts around the outside of a public grass area, it does not mean that you can leave a little pile of something that wouldn't look out of place in Tracy Emin's display cabinet. Pick it up, bin it or sell it on to the Tate Modern. They'll buy anything! Runners like to use the edge, and the trees are where kids like to play hide-and-seek. Think a bit...... Please.

Prof. Sarah Yes it's emotional.
Two weekends ago I was lucky enough to have a tour of the Breakthrough Research Centre in West London. Being involved with breast cancer, at any level, plays on my heart strings and emotion, even when you least expect it. The challenger's wall is at the centre and I saw the one with Sarah's name on. This was thanks to her friends Dawn & Paul who arranged an event in Paul’s back garden and pulled in just over £3000. As a £1000 challenger Dawn and Paul got to nominate Sarah. That was a moment seeing her name. I took a photo of Sarah mid-blubber standing by the wall. It catches the whole emotion of the moment. A lovely idea and a big thank you to Dawn, Paul, their families and friends. Another delegate on the tour saw the names of two friends no longer with us. Also on the wall was music queen Kylie. Nope. No guys no one is safe from breast cancer, no matter how big your bank balance. We all have to touch look and check! Even the blokes..... yourselves I mean, I am not instigating an office fad, I might get in trouble.

I am hoping to go back to the research centre in a week or so. It will help so you can see where your well earned and really appreciated donations go. Right down to the last 10p!

Last weekend I went along to the Breakthrough London Marathon Runner's training day. Picked up some top tips. Jane from the Running Team was there handing out warm welcomes and cake!!! I always wondered why I go to these things! I had my feet analysed by the friendly man from Adidas and I need three new pairs of road shoes, two pairs of track shoes, trail shoes, a track suit, two pairs of shorts, four pairs of socks, five tops, three sizes of drinks bottles, a hat and a life size cardboard cut out of Addidas endorsee Andy Murray. Not cheep this marathon running!
 The training day was, incidentally next to the Dysart Arms, the pub where two guys first had the idea of arranging the London Marathon all those years ago. Thanks chaps..... more water with it next time. Nice piece of history though

Me being silly at a gig (there's a change) and
the ever helpful Sarah R "Project London Manager!!!"
After I had said good bye to Jane ( Ooo there's a song in there somewhere!) as she started the washing up.. (These Breakthrough peeps just never stop!) I headed south for my gig in Bognor. When I arrived I met up with Sarah R, a good friend and one of the Mid Kent Breakthrough Group. She is my London Marathon Project manager! Yes, exactly what I said! I have been silly busy and Sarah, (my Sarah) was worried that my head might explode with all the goings on with Project 350, training, gigs, and so on. Sarah R has been great. She's arranged a few fundraisers for me, plus on the night me and the lads signed a pair of my now famous pink drum sticks and she sold them for fifty quid! She has all sorts going on, coffee mornings and the like. I'm still offering the percussion thing (see the ad to the right) so it really is all go now. I also met up with “Needle Steve” This man is a true whiz with an embroidery machine. He has already embroidered pink ribbons on my cycling and running clothes. He is also making the Hayley's Mile flag for me. We had a chat about it and the plans are going away this week.

You'll laugh! Back stage I bumped into Slade’s Dave Hill. Now, I have had beards intermittently since I was eight, this week I am carrying one. “Hi Phil” said the 70s guitar hero “Like the beard by the way.”
“Thanks Dave”
“You don't look quite as much like Martin Clunes now!”
I was tempted to scatter frozen peas on the stage during their set, but the 24 hour shop was shut. Now there's irony!

Sitcom comedy stars aside, we had a great gig. I can tell that my fitness is improving as I didn't come off half dead, calling for St Johns and an oxygen tent! I had to avoid jumping up and down as much as usual, I was worried that my freshly mended knees would give in.

Luton Rec' The testing ground for my
ever complaining knees.
Tuesday I gave the afore mentioned leg hinges a harder workout and they were fine. Is it paranoia getting close to the BIG DAY? I can feel every slight knock, twinge, feeling throughout my body. I am convinced that I can even feel my fingernails growing.
I am now out five sessions a week. Yes, my friends FIVE SESSIONS A WEEK!!!! They are all mixed up (Not unlike me) short hard runs, light trots, speed and cardio hill work and a long run on a Sunday or as near as damn it. I have even started training at 9.30 in the morning, marathon start time, to get my poor beaten up body used to exhilaration before the lark has even put his porridge on and woken the eggs!

Being involved locally with all things breast cancer, I listen to local radio, largely BBC Radio Kent. Coleen Nolan was interviewed on the Pat Marsh show this Wednesday (16th) It was about her new book. That didn't stop me though!!! I sent an email into the producers. I would like to thank them for reading it out live on air and in it's entirety. Any opportunity I get to raise awareness i’ll grab. Here is the text:

“Please ask Coleen to pass on my very best wishes to Bernie and her other sisters.
The numbers of life cycle breast cancer cases in women and men is has increased to beyond 47,000 annually in the UK. We all talk about the high numbers but must remember that every number is a person, like Bernie. I must also thank Bernie for being public about her treatment and hair loss. I know that it put a number of people at ease. She did a great job and all the very best for the future.”

Pat and Laura had a little chat about my marathon and mentioned Breakthrough. I look forward to seeing them soon to talk about Project 350.

It's been a busy couple of weeks and I am off to see Avenue Q tonight. Can't wait.
Next week I go the the Vodafone World of Difference launch in Birmingham a meeting with Anna at Breakthrough about Project 350 and the research centre tour. I need some kip!!!

See you again soon.

Eeeeek!!  STOP THE BOAT!!
I have been nominated as a Local Legend on the Rochester People Website. (I've been called worse things!!!) Thank you so much. I would love to win this for local breast cancer awareness more than me so please cast your vote.
Thanks guys. Please vote here

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Please leave a comment. Keep it clean, I know I don't have the best legs in the world but the tummy is reducing!