Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Dogs, Dames, a Difference and a Real Hero.

Tuesday evening I spoke with amazing campaigner Anna Wallace
. I met Anna at a Breakthrough Breast Cancer “do” a few weeks back, Tuesday evening she was packing her pockets to busting with Smarties, jelly babies, fruit gums, concentrated Red Bull shots and anything else that would keep her awake after three days whizzing around Scotland and back before a flight to Orlando to a breast cancer conference. She was looking forward to meeting up with other campaigners at the C4YW, The Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer. I have sent my best wishes to all attendees and maverick campaigner Dusty Showers a man who one day I will meet.

Anna' s charity, Living Beyond Diagnosis, is running a very important and valuable conference in November this year so here is a date for your diary. November 17th -19. at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge, London. This is their inaugural event and will be for 500 attendees affected by breast cancer. It is open to all breast cancer survivors and co-survivors spouses, caregivers, children, parents, friends, relatives etc. Use the link tagged to visit their website and register. Exhibitors are also invited to do so. This will be an amazing few days and the first of its kind in this country. Follow the website on Facebook and pick up on their Twitter feed for up to date details. I for one will look forward to seeing you there. (We could even have a mass jog around St James’ Park before breakfast!!! How cool would that be?..... (Or freezing cold seeing that it will be the middle of November!) Pack your woollies!

Shock Horror!! Wednesday I nearly missed the earth shatteringly important Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day! (Honestly!) I would never have slept a wink had I not realized that I was thoughtlessly ignoring this amazing day of culinary canis lupus familiaris celebration. I was agog to see that Clintons and WH Smith had sold out of cards and balloons marking the crunchy occasion! (or at least I couldn't find any). I did ask the assistant in Smiths for a button badge and flag but she just looked at me as though I was speaking Latin and needed a doctor. Oh well, next year perhaps. The world's gone barking mad! (Pun intended!!!)
With the doggie treat disappointment still ringing in my ears, I boarded a train to London. I had a meeting arranged with Anna and Becky at Breakthrough Breast Cancer about Project 350 and the Vodafone World of Difference scheme. A nice train ride from Chatham to London Victoria where I looked all business like with a small brief case and I wrote, all posh like, on a pad during the journey. I was however only playing hangman against myself. (It's the only way I get to win) From Victoria I took in a sardine experience on the underground that got me, somewhat squashed, to Holborn. (I think the underground was that full because we could be approaching Oily Fish in a Small Flat Tin Awareness Week) We dotted I's and crossed the the “Ts” of the Vodafone paperwork and I came away all happy with things called “Key Objectives and Mile Stones.” Well, I know what a key's objective is but I think the neighbours might object to milestones in the front open plan garden... we'll see

Where to put a milestone?
While I was there I also met with Jane (From the Running Team) She runs everywhere, even jogs on the spot during meetings, even during breaks! Now there's dedication. She gave me my running shirt for the marathon. As soon as I got home I just had to try it on with everything! Just for a look-see. (Photo later Sloat!) Pulling that shirt on felt amazing. What it stands for, who it represents and who it will help in the future. Emotional moment. Thank you Breakthrough for trusting me with it. I look forward to lining up with the other 140 or so runners in the “Team Breakthrough” shirt on London Marathon day.

Project 350 will be raising awareness about breast cancer in women and men, although the figures for male breast cancer are far far lower than women (around 300 a year in the UK) it is something to just be aware of. This week there was an article in the Daily Mail  about Policeman Mark Cross, who noticed a lump only after knocking himself with a ladder. I emailed a comment to the paper's website and they published it. Do have a read later. Click HERE for the report

Oh no here we go again! Dogs! (See last week) This week (Friday) I had my long run. I would be away all weekend so I had to get the 10 miler in early. It was going as well as could be expected, what with it being my longest run on 90% concrete or road since my double knee tweak. So yes I was feeling it. At about eight and a half miles in I see a dog, short gold fur clad tank like thing weighing in at about about 5 tons lolloping towards me with his useless owner shouting commands like “Stay” “Heel” “No!” "back" "Eat!" All of which the mutt duly ignored as he homed in on me with laser targeting eyes, “MMMM Yummy a runner!”

I stopped and this thing rugby barged me full on to say a playful “Hello” I grabbed a tree and was able to keep upright. Now, I know I have lost some weight, I'd just had my hair cut, was wearing black tights yellow top and a cap. I thought I looked ok. The bloody dog thought I looked fantastic and proceeded to put his giant paws around my chest and try and “do stuff!” As he wasn't my type I pushed him away to which he obviously though “WOW.... GAME!” and jumped up again. The owner took an age to get over, he was apologetic and said “he's only a puppy” PUPPY!? He's as much a puppy as I am Charles bloody Dickens! You could saddle the darn thing and ride him off into the sunset now! Any bigger and you'd expect it to turn grey and grow a trunk! I checked that I was all in one piece and took up a jog. I was relieved that the extra weight and minor battle hadn't caused any problems. (Paranoia) Nope all there, counted my limbs and picked up my pace. About five minutes further on a tiny bead of sweat dripped into my eye, as I brushed my sleeve across I was greeted by a glob of your finest doggie slobber! My shirt was covered in it. “Love him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day is hereby cancelled next year, they can take a run and jump!

The running this week has been just brilliant. I made all five of the sessions including the ten mile long run. The knees (and their owner) are back up to working speed, the Walkman's fine (See blog a few weeks back, plus other MP3 format players are available!)

Dame Donna Kebab! I think I've pulled!
Thanks Fay for the photo
I attended the Panto in Worcester, spoken about last week, and it was brilliant. Many people go to the “big ones” in 2,000 seat theatres, watch people from soap operas no one has really heard of outside of Coronation Enders Farm Hospital, plus a couple of folk from a reality TV show three years back, since taken off air because it was rubbish! Plus there's the £20 a seat, crap view and some of the chorus, going by the looks on their faces, would rather be down the pub. Panto belongs in the village hall! 100 people had crammed in waiting for a cast of all amateurs about to embark on a two hour mission to entertain. All nervous from the drummer, in the simple trio, to the to the seasoned director. It was all there, brilliant dance routines, a sparkly Dick and a baddie played by the local vicar BOOOOOO! HISSSSS!! (That's not me taking on a non Christian religious bent you HAVE to Boo the baddy or you get thrown out!) I was involved in a charity show last year and was helped immensely by a brilliant graphic designer from Worcester called Jeremy Field, He took up the all important role as Pantomime Dame and was fantastic. So realistic in fact I went on the “pull” in the interval! Well done to everybody. Roll on next year.

I'm staying on!
Sunday, during a lunch to celebrate the end of the Panto run my daughter Becky turned up from Wales unannounced! Great to see her and thank you to everybody involved in the sneakiness.

Monday was the day. Off to Birmingham's Custard Factory for the Vodafone World of Difference induction. 500 of us winners filled the venue all excited to see videos, meet other winners and hear talks from past winners and guests. The project’s ambassador Gok Wan was there giving a great welcome speech. The organisation of moving 500 people from one hall to a number of smaller rooms and back, and off for photos was seamless. (Well done everyone) A talk by Simon Weston OBE would be enough to make you feel like you could take on the world with a hand tied behind your back and no pen! He was amazing. Knowing his story or not, (I do) he was a truly inspirational speaker. I had the total pleasure of a brief hello and hand shake at the end so I am ready to turn the county pink! Taking a section from his talk: Life is a carousel full of coloured horses . Each coloured horse is an opportunity. Choose one, climb on and hold on tight. Hold on to that opportunity until your hands grow blisters, hold on until your fingers bleed. Stay on for all life is worth. My horse is pink, with a blue trimmed saddle. Breakthrough and Vodafone have given me the once in a lifetime opportunity to ride it. Ride it I will. With pleasure, with pride and with passion. Pass me some of the best riding gloves you can find. I am not getting off.

Still time to vote for my Local Legend place! If we get it it will be more awareness for breast cancer so please just make a couple of clicks.
See you next week.

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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!