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Showing posts from 2010

2011 - The Exercise Plan

I don't like New Year, I normally hate it - and tend to spend the evening with friends of similar views having a few too many and eating too much (so not that different from the traditional!)...

Last year was the exception, and I imagine that around the country there are plenty who are almost exploding with not being able to tell anyone that they're going to the Palace...

What I do is look forward and plan my exercising year in some detail... Partly cos I have to, and partly because I am driven by targets (and as a good friend would say by the pat on the head I get occasionally for doing things)...

So...

Jan - Begin to learn how to lead climb, pick up the running again, do section 4 of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal

Feb - Southport Mad Dog 10k, GUCH PA Awareness Walk in Leeds, Section 3 of the L2L

Mar - Liverpool Half Marathon, start the resistance training for the big walk - inc a weighted (that's a full backpack inc tent, clothing and food and water) Section 4 L2L, start doing l…

Congenital Heart Disease leads to Paranoia!

A apple a day keeps the doctor away, but means you spend a day at the dental hospital...

Its been a crap week...

No, that's not fair... The course was useful, Change Management has lots of facets and being reminded of them is useful, newer techniques can be assimilated into projects and insights can be woven in the matrix that is my slightly odd way of looking at life:-)

However, a heavy cold meant I didn't spend too long chatting with the others and when that mutated into a migraine... so I headed home early, grabbing a couple of apples as I went for the train. So far so good...

However, just outside Stafford I bit into the apple and screamed as part of my 1st lower molar right side disintegrated... Getting an NHS dentist in Liverpool for the last 5 or 6 years has been almost impossible, and private dentists normally listened as far as "congenital heart defect" and said thanks but no thanks... Being awkward is not always a good thing.

So to the dental hospital I went, u…

Dear Santa... Or any kindly sponsors of walkers!

Ah, the scent of my sweat in my nasal passages, the scrawled on spreadsheet of a training plan, the desperate search of a matching pair of running socks (or at least a left and right one)...

Phase 1 of the training has begun... As its icy out I'm in the gym (see posts from last winter for how much I hate the bloody gym)... But I'm pounding through the miles, yes I've lost a bit of fitness but not as much as I feared.

However, I've now run a fair bit, and walked many many miles so I now know what I need for next years exploits... I'm also a champion bargain hunter, so I hunt down cheaper stuff... I say cheaper, as the tent and jacket between them are north of £300.

Ultralight tent - bought:-) @38% off - Laser Competition Light (my dream tent for many a year)

Fell Running Association compliant smock - just won on Ebay:-) @40% off Paramo Velez Adventure

New hydration sack - spotted the probable one, an Osprey talon 11 want to try one more (North Face Boa Enduro) before I c…

Not so much a blog post, as a call to arms

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I need your help...

Honest, I do...

For most of the last 18months I've been pounding the streets and hills of the UK, writing to magazines and papers to try and raise as much awareness as I can about congenital heart defects and the real impact they can have.

I say real, because I don't tend to focus on one aspect, awareness should be about the diversity our community has. To focus on any one element gives an unbalanced portrayal, either too positive for some or too negative for others.

But I have one story, mine... And I can only talk in abstract about the range of ways that congenital heart disease affects those born with it, their parents and families and loved ones.

Taking our stories out and getting them into the public domain is never easy, and need a hook... something to sell them to newspapers and more magazines.

So I'm prepared to do the hook, the coast-2-coast walk is 190miles from St Bee's Head to Robin Hood's Bay, walking through the Lake District, the Penni…

This is a recycled blog - From GUCH News

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Originally published in GUCH New Winter 2010 (if you don't get it sign up here: http://www.guch.guidecat.org.uk/lists/?p=subscribe)

You’re going walking? Don’t all of your lot have heart conditions?

So said the unsuspecting person in the office the other day when my antics for the weekend were discussed.


This got me thinking that maybe people have the wrong idea about the GUCH Walking Club (GWC). It shouldn’t come as such as surprise to people who’ve sponsored me for marathons, seen me jog at lunchtimes and generally muck about in the great outdoors, that the GUCH Walking Club is not an elite group made up of super-fit athletes.

We are just a group of like-minded individuals who enjoy coming together to share a bit of gentle exercise and to push our boundaries in small but achievable ways. Simply put, we have fun, a natter and enjoy an amble/ramble/stroll as the group sees fit. We see the most beautiful of places, either outdoors or indoors if the weather is bad, and work up healthy a…

The dichtomy of birthdays - an adult with congenital heart defects inner dialogue

:-) Yeah, I'm 39!

:-( Boo, I'm getting older!

:-) Yeah, I've outlived all expectations!

:-( Shit, how long can this go on for!

:-) Yeah, I'm fitter than I've ever been!

:-( So if I slow down is that age or the dicky-ticker?

:-) Yeah, I've lots of good friends hitting significant birthdays (some on the same day as me)

:-( Fuck it, I've lost lots of good friends who will never have another birthday (some of whose birthdays were the same day as me)

:-) new tent! My birthday present to myself

:-( means I need a new rucksack (look its my birthday and therefore my logic... )

:-) new rucksack... shiny (my eyesight too)

:-( it'll have to be my Christmas present to myself

:-) the next 3 weekends I'm walking; GUCH Walking Club, a BHF Challenge walk and leading a team from work on what will turn into a 124mile walk (in 10 stages... 10months)

:-( I have friends I'd love to walk with again, who won't be there.

So lay-in and birthday breakfast had, pottered around for …

60 paces = 100m on the flat, 100 paces = 100m up...

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and keep counting...

I've been on the Walking Group Leader training course... Yep, you can trained in how to lead groups out and about... 3 days in my one of favourite parts of the world with a bunch of people just like me (well, not quite but we'll come to that).

The WGL is designed to make sure that people taking groups out in the countryside have the skills to take them out and bring them back, the navigation training we did was probably harder than anything I would want to do with the GUCH Walking Group (though if they want to start following bearings across featureless bogs then I'm game) but its good to know that in the mental kit bag is the ability to walk on a bearing for a set distance to an attack point. It also means that my personal walking might just get a bit more scary... :-D


And I saw a mountain hare:-) First time I've seen a live one of them:-D

The night walk was interesting, not least because it was properly dark and the hill we came down would've b…

an itch to be scratched...

well it lasted a clear 36 hours...

The GNR was my last planned run, nothing else had been looked into, nothing else booked...

All I had to look forward to was the Fellsman (60 miles in 24h over the Yorkshire Dales), and the Coast-2-Coast you'll all be hearing about next year. And I've been having a motivation problem...

I've trained and run a marathon, it was hotter than ideal so I was slower than I could be... This years GNR was done on the marathon training, a hell of a lot of walking and a dozen 5kms and a 10km... that's it 1 10km... and I ran at PB pace for a half-marathon.

So what's the itch, the heat... And the change in me that I don't just want to any run, I want to do runs that I find interesting or amusing...

Which is why I've been getting excited about a New Years Eve Marathon up and down the side of the Mersey... Its part of a double, so the idea for some people is to do a marathon either side of the festivities... Sorry guys, I may be mad but some …

The night before a run...

The kit has been checked... so lets do it again...

The weathers been checked... so lets do it again...

Every runner will have their rituals, whether they admit them or not... Me, I'm re-reading the run magazine to check nothing has changed from last year. I've checked my kit, yep its still in the same place as last night, the number is still pinned on. The bag for the baggage van is ready to be packed, and the extra number already pinned on it...

So whats left - the GPS watch is charging, the timing chip is ready to go, the wristbands for the bus are out on the table, the hydration sack is chilling...

Which leaves a couple of important things to do...

1) Wake up
2) Get the transfer bus
3) Run
4) Enjoy it
5) Meet up with people at the end
6) Get the bus back back

Hmmm... about number 3...

TTFN

Paul

How many heroes?

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My bib's arrived... and around the country over 50,000 bibs have arrived...

So its back to where it all began... well all of my running...

A mate convinced me it would be a good weekend and even a walker would be able to finish before they re-opened the roads.
I can still remember the weekend, the finding a pub in Whitley Bay for our Saturday restorative pint... And were joined by some locals who on hearing what we were up to said that Mike looked like he'd be fine, but that was a bit fat to run anywhere...

Pasta ensued...

And then the run, I waited at the back... right at the back... so far at the back the guys in the sweeper truck were asking me if I was ok... and I was... 13.1 miles... Walking past people who had started off a long time before me, realising that I was part of that tide of humanity pouring over the Tyne Bridge, plodding along the motorways, ohh and ahhing as the Red Arrows swoop low over ours heads as we go up the last hill... and then the sea, shining in the sun…

That was the walk that was...

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Soggy

Peaty

Gloopy
Quiet

And I loved it...

The original plan was to do the whole Edale Skyline - about 20 miles and 4500ft ascent, its a walk I've tried to complete 3 or 4 times. Once beaten by a lack of fitness, the rest by the weather. Its also a walk I've always attempted solo, just because I can get to the start by train, I know the hills (I have walked all of it, just not all at the same time) and its the view from the train as it hurtles through the Penines from Liverpool to York or Leeds taunting me as I sit in my suit reading papers...

So if I didn't finish it why did I love it?

Cos it wasn't easy...

16 miles and 2000ft isn't to be sneezed at, that the climb is an undulating one makes life a little easier, as does the nice paths along the Lose Hill -> Mam Tor Ridge... and then it gets fun... No nice mill slab footpaths, no friendly information signs, just walking as per the old days...
Map, compass bearings and a little bit of luck... (I feel I should point out…

how's the heart doing? Need a new challenge...

Pretty much every book written on exercise in the last 10 years will draw on sports psychology and say that there is a clear link between what you're thinking and/or feeling depending on your psychological bent...

I'm no different.

If I feel crap I run crap, Ron Hill (the man, the legend http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Hill) says that if you start a run you think will be poor then often it'll become average and sometimes it'll good and occasionally it'll become great... And he's right... Apart from sometimes being a GUCH runner other things kick in...

A comparison of the 2 runs last week shows this... a 5km PB in a time I've been hunting for a while a run where I knew I was running hard and working all of my body well, and it flowed. My running partner for the day even commented that it looked smooth. I hit the marks, 1km flat out, 250m recovery walk, another 1km flat out, 250m walk, 1km flat out, 300m (I skipped the the top of the hill;-)) and then run it …

The Tip of the Iceberg...

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... is apparently all that people ever see.

Next week I've a 2 day training course on leadership, and have spent probablt half a day this week going over my previous reviews and management/leadership training so I remember what the books say about my personality and what previous teams have said about working with me, for me, or even managing me...

It is very easy to focus on the bits you like or agree with, and not the honest if uncomfortable feedback you also get... But I've gritted my teeth and read it all. I can see the best of me and the worst of me in all of it, unlike many people I seem to quite enjoy the process of working out who I am and how I interact with others, I don't see it as a challenge to who I am (which is different from it being challenge).

So what sort of person am I? Well, the detailed information from the 360degree reviews is between me, the anonymised authors and the poor trainer who has had to wade through the essays. However, that does give me th…

The next challenge...

Well decision made...

Time to get off my sorry fat ass and start aiming for a target, the running will underpin it but what the marathon has taught me is having the big target, the ultimate goal, focuses me more than I thought possible.

So, the target - 190 miles in 2 weeks, straight across England, from St Bee's to Robin Hood's Bay, crossing the Lake District, Pennines, Yorkshire dales and some of the best walking country the world has to offer.

When, well that'll be May next year... A long time away, but long enough to get my road fitness (which is still about as good as its ever been) enhanced and hill fitness added in. It also gives me time to start saving for the replacement kit I'll need (new ultra-lightweight tent, lightweight sleepingbag and camping mat) and to book the time from work.

So where to start doing things... getting my ass back into the running gear and stop being wishy washy about the Great North Run, start block booking some weekends for hard and fast…

From the Urals to the Atlantic, The Arctic Circle to the Med (with Austrailia and New Zealand) - GUCHs working together

Eurohearts 2010...

Firstly, and lastly, a HUGE thank you to JEMAH and the organising committee for the 2010 Euroheart conference for giving us a special week in Berlin. The agenda is here http://www.jemah.de/cms/images/download_presse/programme_final0710.pdf

It's always difficult to write about things that mean a lot to you, or at least I find it difficult, so please bear with me.

I'll start with a question... How often can you look someone in the eye and just know they understand you? That no words are needed, no language barriers exist in that look, and that a gentle squeeze of the shoulder or a huge bear hug are all that needed to say that the love is there.

Now imagine you're in a room with 60 people like that, 60 people who share life experiences, share losses, and have shared tears, that most other people will never share...

And you can start imagining what these conferences mean to me.

There will always be people who you are closer to than others, those special friends w…

What I said I'd do and what I did....

The very first blog post is copied below, with my updated info in between...

1000km in 365 days

1714 km in 365 days

Sounds simple, its only 3km a day.... Yup, only...

4.7km a day so over an extra 50% a day!

My rules:

Walking to the shops won't count, this is walks and runs that I consider training for something or doing something.

So over the course of the year you'll share my training runs (all weathers, I don't stop apart from the heat), my walks (often with the GUCH Walking Club) and events (and I will let you know which ones so you can come and join me).

I've stuck to the plan, trips to the shops haven't counted. The Walking Club have walked, not as much as we'd have liked but life for GUCHs can be complicated...

I've run a full marathon, done a overnight walking marathon, 2 half marathons & 2 10k's as well as all of the pounding of the pavements in training runs. I've been to the top of England and Wales, walked 13% of the TransPennine trail…

Farewell old friends... and the miles keep adding up!

Every so often a walker or runner has to do the hardest thing... admit their most faithful friends have gone from new, through comfortable, through worn to just plain worn out...

And so my Inov8 285s are making their way to the great recycling bin in the sky, they were my first pair of inov8s... designed foe fast moving over rough terrain, they managed in their 18 months on my feet to get: boggy in the Peak District; go up, over and around the Fairfield Horseshoe; completed my first run/walk marathon; countless short walks and long hikes; and, yesterday gave me my first blister in over 1000miles...

Not a bad return on the investment, and I will be getting another pair...

But not for a month or so...

The walking has been hard but good! As well as the old standby of the Wirral Way and walking some of the running training trails, I did 13% of the Transpennine Trail http://www.transpenninetrail.org.uk/template.asp?ID=0&parentID=481 also known as Bootle to Warrington... Just under 28miles…

Time to be sensible

The only conditions that really scare me are hot and dry... And next week's projections are for hot and dry just when I was meant to be walking a very long way...

A long way along a path I don't know and I don't know where the water stop are.

So I'm being sensible, I'm going to walk the miles, but do them locally... Tomorrow will be about 13miles along the canal path I've run so much of as marathon training, Tuesday will be along the Wirral Way and then the connecting paths to Chester, should be around 26 miles, Wednesday well I'll pick where, but it'll be a long one (c30miles) and Thursday something nice as a treat...

Then the East Midlands Outlet Village beckons, and to run down the final miles....

TTFN

Paul

The last 10 days....

It's been almost a year when I started my insane quest to run or walk 1000km...

355 days... 1500km, 1 marathon, 1 walking marathon, 2 half marathons, many a hill, many a mile plodding around the streets of Bootle, I walked with friends and on my own...

So with 10 days left what is there to do?

Firstly, walk a chunk of the 133 miles... I'll be setting out from Stafford on Tuesday morning and sometime on Wednesday will have walked 70 miles along the Heart of England Way. That's a lot of miles in not a lot of time, its training for a big event I want to try next year, which is a proper endurance event,

So with the 15-20 miles I walk tomorrow, that'll take me to just over 100 miles, leaving about 25 miles to do at the last weekend of my challenge year... and what a weekend that will be - if you've ever wondered what a man running on a treadmill in an outlet village looks like then this is your chance!

I'm going to be doing the last of my miles at the McArthur Glen Outl…

You're looking good for being 100...

Said the office wag when I opened the large, impressively postmarked letter...

There's something about the postmark "Buckingham Palace" that sends a thrill and a chill down your spine. The black stamp of the "Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood" means its going to be good - the last one of them was the invite to my Investiture.

What was in the buff envelope? The formal Warrant of Appointment to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - signed by the Queen and Prince Phillip themselves. The copperplate is beautiful, the wording archaic and wondrous - how many times do you get called "our trusty and well beloved Paul Willgoss", by HRH herself?

The envelope also had in the statutes of the order, when where and how to where the medals and information on the Chapel of the Order at St Paul's.

So my night is sorted, I've had a reasonably hard climb, tea is in the oven, GUCH emails sent so now time to kick back and read the statutes!

TTF…

Getting to the point where I need a run...

Its been a week...

A full week at work, a very full week at work... However, my new person is beginning to settle in, I'm on top of most of the stuff that's going on and I'm also getting there on a couple of issues that need bottoming out.

Throw in a meeting of the Civil Service Disability Network, a telephone conference with the GUCH Walking Club Executive and a CHF Trustees meeting its no wonder I spelt 12 hours last night... Today was a stack of stuff for the GWC - reminding people of our next walks, explaining what we're doing behind the scenes and stuff like that - a meeting of the European Congenital Heart Group - finalising the documents for the Berlin conference - and working with the GUCH International Group to help the Slovenian's by answering a questionnaire...

So, not a lot of time to get out and exercise - I did manage to get climbing twice, and it seems the climbing wall has started booby trapping routes - one hold spun on its screw and another shattered…

Something a little bit political...

Well the legs still don't want to run, walk and climb is fine, run makes them feel a bit leary...

Probably the two most contentious words in the congenital heart world (UK branch) are "safe and sustainable", a quick trawl of the support websites or facebook will show many a group being set up to save a hospital or a ward.

I won't be joining any of them. Not because I don't care, but because I care too much.

The origins of Safe and Sustainable go back to the Bristol Hospital Enquiry, and quite simply this is designed to ensure that the surgery that heart kids get is the the most appropriate, done by well trained and supported surgeons who are used to doing the operations and are in a surgical setting which are designed around the needs of the child going through the surgery and their family.

Is that too much to ask? I don't think so. I want every heart kid to get the best surgery available to them, I want their parents to be given the best advice, support and t…

By Royal Command?

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Ok,

so what's going to the Palace like??? Absolutely fantastic...
The slightly longer version...

Travelling down with my gang the day before, drinking Champagne and eating select of cheese on the train started the couple of days as it was going to carry on, new and novel experiences...

The planned trip to the zoo was curtailed by the weather so we wandered to the Imperial War Museum instead and pottered. Decent Italian and then back to the hotel for another bottle of Champers and an early night.

Not much sleep, I was far too excited for that! A stroll along the embankment at 5:30 started clearing the head, followed by coffee and a rather unhealthy fry up in the hotel.

Then it was getting the morning suit on, with a little help with the ruchet... I'm not double jointed or have eyes in the back of my head!!!
Hailing a cab for Buckingham Palace was the 1st magical parts of the day... Rolling up to the gates and seeing the Royal Standard flying was the 2nd. That meant Her Majesty was …

Are you ready to become the 1 in 133?

So this is it, the final month...

30 days...

What am I going to do?

I could sit back and relax... But that's not really my style... ;-)

So I'm going to have some fun, and hope that some of you will try and join me and possibly raise some cash for the Children's Heart Federation in the process.

I'm going to ask you to become the 1 in 133. One in every 133 babies born in the UK has a congenital heart defect and for the last month I will do 133 miles.

All I would like you to do is be the 1... Do a mile... Do it fast, do it slow, do it playing tiddlywinks, on a spacehopper but do it with a smile on your face.... If you can raise money for CHF then that's just great. If you can get in your local paper for becoming the 1 in 133 then that's as good. This is about showing that the 1 is as wonderful as the 133, is as much fun and worthy of as much love and attention.

So while you're all doing a mile - I'll be doing 133.

The bulk will done when I walk the Heart of Eng…

The final thousand paces...

The morning suit is hung, the shoes polished to a high shine, the champers chilling in the fridge for the train down...

The last 11 months have been about waving the congenital heart disease flag across the UK, whether for the Children's Heart Federation, GUCH PA, the GUCH Walking Club or just generally. Congenital Heart Defects have appeared in national magazines, local papers, across the internet, facebook and twitter.

I promised way back that this would be an honest blog, and I've stuck to that. Those of you who've read each blog will know that its a year where people I've known have died, had operations, worried me silly and made me smile with their approach to living life.

And that's what this has been about, me living my life... Yes, this year has been something special, pushing myself to new limits - the Edinburgh Marathon, the constant need to push through the miles. Getting to the top of Snowdon on a crystal clear day, the friends I've walked with from…

The edinburgh marathon video is up...

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Hot, tired... yup... But as the photo belows shows I was quite happy shortly afterwards...


So what did the Marathon teach me? Find a decent sweatproof sunscreen, trust my body and its training and the big thing for me is that I can follow a task orientated plan. My natural approach is to ride across the plains with sword waving and hope people are following me, to be able to buckle down and deliver gives me a bit more confidence in dealing with things in that structured way - and that's the plan when it comes to my ability to swim - find a task orientated session rather than the splash and dash I had before Xmas.

The skin is flaking off, the aches and pains are fading, and do I want to do another one? Yes, but a cold one... Any ideas?

TTFN

Paul

26.2 or 41.2 km

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The numbers tell a tale...

10k: 01:15:46 - Good
Half: 00:00:00 - the watch says 2:46 - Good
30k: 04:05:07 - Fantaaaaasssssstic, last time I was out this far it was 4:45ish
Marathon: 05:53:49 - Holy cow I've just hit a hot exposed area on rough ground, slammed into a wall of heat, forgot how to run for a bit...

I don't know if its normal but the further I got in the marathon the more my running regressed in time... 1st 10km good solid running, hell the first half good solid running (my PB for a half is only 8min faster), tried to stick to the game plan 2km run 500m walk... Then 30km came, and a huge exposed section of the run, rough ground that no one (based on the reviews) were expecting... I walked passed chicken sheds where the chickens were hiding in the barn rather than the heat... Fellow runners were in all sorts of states at the side of the route, and it would've been the easiest thing in the world to sit down and join them.

But I didn't, if the last 1400-odd km have …

6 days to the Edinburgh Marathon - Giraffes and Dragons slain - 1400km - Manchester 10k

I have a personal enemy... an 8ft tall giraffe... for as long I can remember they've been doing the Great North Run... Normally starting well in front of me and trying to keep up as I go past... To be fair they're carrying a giraffe costume, but this is about passion not fairness...

Anyway, the giraffe has moved west, and was in the Great Manchester 10k... and ate dust after about 1500m...

Obviously they have no idea they've caused this competitive edge in me...

The Dragon, I was trying to help - the tale and wrapped around last runners legs and she asked if I could pull it and get it clear... Unfortunately it sort of turned into a tourniquet come razor wire thing... Oppps:-(

But a PB was run:-D

and the 1400km has been bought up:-D

Which leaves me 6 days to rest, relax, short run on Tuesday, and carbo-load... Train to Edinburgh on Saturday, and yes I am getting nervous!

To finish with a question... For a final flourish, would you all join me (virtually or really...) its been a he…

This Game of Ghosts...

Its been a bad week in European GUCH circles, in fact its been a bad year... Too many of the people I've come to hold dear have died.

This Game of Ghosts is the sequel to Touching the Void, where Joe Simpson moves on from mountaineering for a while to take up equally dangerous sports - like long distance hang-gliding... I first read it about after another period of time where GUCHs died in a cluster and the thought struck me that in sometimes the thought processes are the same, the need to get away from it all balanced by the need to be close to those we care about and can provide us with the support we need.

The big difference is that I have no choice to do the GUCH thing, I'm not prone to wondering about alternate universes where I'm not one or how I'd be. Being a GUCH is a fact of my life, like having brown hair... Just a tad more annoying, inconvenient and dangerous.

Some people ask why life is unfair, especially at times like this. Life is unfair, its unfair that o…

From tears to Teddy Bears Picnics!

Time moves on, the immediate pain subsides and become a dull ache, bit like tearing a muscle.. in this case my heart and the hearts of all of those who knew Charlie especially his wife, children and family.

Time moves on, lives focus more on what could be than what we have lost...

This week is Children's Heart Week, the Children's Heart Federation are coordinating events around the country, and a Teddy Bear Takeover at the East Midlands Designer Outlet, Mansfield Road, South Normanton, Derbyshire, DE55 2JW.

The outlet is here - http://www.mcarthurglen.com/locations/uk/east-midlands/index.htm

The Children's Heart Federation can be found in the Food Court at the following times;

Thursday 13th May 2010 from 1pm-7pm with a children's colouring competition drawn between 6-7pm.Friday 14th May from 10am-5pmSaturday 15th May from 10am-4pm with a teddy bears picnic from 12pm-2pmOther events can be found here: http://www.chfed.org.uk/news/childrens_h…

May the sun forever be at your back, your bearing true, the slopes gentle and views glorious

I promisedtobehonest, I don't domuchsugarcoating... tosome I canappearcoldasonlythosewhocanseedeep in mysoulseethepain, andthatthecoldnessisn't icebutthe pure heatofplasmaasmyemotionsarecontainedbymyabilitytoput a magneticfieldaroundthemstongerthananyatthelargehadroncollider...

A friendhasdied, a friend I sawyesterday, hewasn't wellbutyesterdaywenatteredaboutgadgets, thefinerpointsofGUCHPAandthewalkswewoulddotogetherwhenhe'd beenletout.

Charlie was theheartoftheGUCHWalking Club, theonewhoalwaystried, was alwaysreadytohelpoutsomeoneelseevenifhe was tiredhimself. He was onlyoneoftheGWCwho I couldtrusttowieldthemightyspoonofstirringasherustleduphisvariantofourinfamousBeanSurprise...

Almost exactly a yearago