Sunday, December 21, 2008

I forgot all about this!

Oh dear, how on earth could I have forgotten to blog about the piece on ITV Meridian?! If Mike hadn't mentioned it then it would have slipped away unnoticed.

Anyway, we were contacted by ITV Meridian, a local news programme, about the scarf auction and Paul and his cameraman came round to do an interview.

Mike was around and so busied himself taking photos.

First we started in the kitchen with me looking at the auction website I had to try not to look at the camera and to move my mouse around the screen so I wasn't just sitting there staring at it!

Then we moved into another room, jiggled the furniture around, wrapped the scarf round my neck and started talking about the London Marathon, the scarf, why I did it etc. It's much easier to do this when it isn't going out live as you can just re-record any sections that you mess up.

Next, Paul wanted to get Mike into the shot as well - he wasn't expecting that! Just as well as he'd have made himself scarce if he'd known it was going to happen. No photos of this but they filmed us sitting together, looking at the scarf and through the Guinness Book of World Records.

They wanted some shots of me running as this was before the Hastings marathon. I was anxious to be able to wear my Alzheimer's Research Trust vest so they filmed me slipping it over my head and running off.

Peter, the cameraman, said it was a great "tits shot"!!!!!

Then it was just a case of running up and down the lane a few times.

It's always hard to measure what effect this sort of publicity has (exposure of the charity on TV is always good) but this time I had a very positive outcome - a lady I know in Hastings was watching and she clubbed together with her sister to send me a cheque for the charity (one of her sisters is in the middle stage of Alzheimer's). It was worth it for that alone.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Truly Lovely Person

Well, once again I have been humbled by the kindness of strangers. This is a bit long-winded but worth it for the ending.

I have done many radio interviews about the work of the Alzheimer's Research Trust and why it's so important. A couple of years ago a fellow runner was listening to BBC Radio Kent on her way to work when she heard me talking about running the London marathon whilst knitting. She recognised my voice (having a distinctive Lancashire accent in the South of England does make me stand out a bit!) and realised that she knew me.

When she got to work she excitedly told her boss about what I was planning to do. He had lost his own dear mother to Alzheimer's and his father had been her carer until her death so he understood about the disease. Later that same day she emailed me to say that not only was she going to sponsor me but that her boss would too. True to their word, they both made a donation.

This year he sponsored me again for the London marathon which was wonderful - but it doesn't end there.

As the scarf I knitted in the London marathon was being auctioned off I emailed him to let him know, adding that I would be sad to see it go but glad that it would raise more money for the charity. I did actually intend to make a bid for it so I could keep it! Almost immediately I received an email back telling me that he had made a bid of £100 for the scarf and that if he was the winning bidder then I could keep the scarf.

Yes, that's right, not only had he placed a very generous bid for the scarf but he was giving it to me to keep. I'm filling up just writing about it. And so it is that I am now sitting here typing, a bright pink scarf across my lap with a happy ginger cat on top.

In a world filled with doom and gloom, as it is at present, I am bathing in the glow of human kindness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oregon Update

Excellent service as usual from Gill at the Woolly workshop. She emailed me to let me know it was back in stock, I ordered it yesterday and it arrived today. If only all suppliers were as reliable. I probably won't start the lace shawl immediately but I shall have a go at the nupps just to get the hang of them.

This is where I'm up to with Oregon. I've divided for the armholes and now have 3 sets of steeks on the go. 12 months ago I was terrified of just one but now I feel rather blase about them!
Marina has very kindly let me know that in some sizes, the shoulder joints don't match which is very tiresome and would really annoy me. Thanks for warning me Marina.

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments on my marathon. I still haven't worked out quite what I'll be doing next year so I need to get my act together pronto.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This is what I look like..... mile 22 in a marathon!

No. 16 done and dusted

Thanks for the good wishes!

The weather yesterday was near perfect for a marathon, being dull and cool (perhaps a bit too cold, especially for the spectators) with a slight breeze coming from the sea. It was a very jolly atmosphere and I met loads of people I knew at the start and during the race. I also put some more faces to names from the Runner's World and Fetcheveryone websites.

Ordinarily I don't like running on roads with heavy traffic but I felt confident as the marshalling was excellent and there were loads of signs out warning drivers to slow down. The organisation was superb as Eric Hardwick has been running the Hastings 1/2 marathon for 25 years. All the marshalls were friendly and encouraging and remained so right until the end (and some of them were standing out in the cold for over 5 hours!).

One of my favourite bits was heading into Battle where a convoy of bikers dressed as Father Christmas drove by!

I ran with many different people en-route, Cathy who's just returned from a 100 miler Himalayan challenge, Captain Wonder Pants who I last saw at Beachy Head, Plodding Hippo aka Ruth (who's now lost 2 stones in weight and doesn't plod any more!) who was running her 90th marathon, a man from the 100 marathon club who was running his 475th marathon (!!!) to name just a few.

I wasn't aiming for a specific time and just wanted to finish inside the 5:30 cut-off so I felt very relaxed with no pressure. I finished in 5:12:46 which is a pb for the year so I'm happy with that. I did the first 1/2 in 2:20 which I thought was quite good but I slowed down on the long flat bit from Bexhill and I walked the bit across the shingle as that had massive trip potential for one as clumsy as me! I really don't like long flat sections where I can see exactly where I'm heading. The horse brass we received at the end is gorgeous and has gone to join my other prized medals on the wall of my office.

Although I enjoyed the marathon very much it has confirmed that I much prefer the off-roaders.

I'll put some photos up tomorrow, including my progress on the Oregon cardigan. The good news is that the yarn I need for my lace project is now in stock and should be with me soon.

The other news is that I wore my Autumn Rose jumper the other evening to a very respectable gathering of the local Horticultural Society. I was careful to wear a camisole underneath, the same as in the photo, and Mike did a respectability check before we left home to check there wasn't a huge expanse of chest showing. Imagine my horror when I arrived home and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror displaying a massive amount of cleavage! The stupid camisole had worked its way down leaving the ladies on full show.

"Has it been like that all evening?" - I asked Mike.

"Yes", he replied. "I didn't think it looked like that when we left home".

"Why didn't you tell me?", I asked.

"I didn't think it mattered", he replied.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

This what I'll be doing tomorrow.......

Tomorrow is the Hastings marathon which will be my 5th and final marathon for the year bringing my total to 16. I can hardly believe it actually! The weather today is vile, with gale-force winds and lashing rain, but it sounds as if it will clear by tomorrow. Fingers crossed anyway.

There was an article about it on BBC South East today during the week.

The article about Christmas without mum appeared in Best magazine this tuesday, so that's a bit more publicity for the Alzheimer's Research Trust which is good, plus Mike and I made an appearance together on ITV Meridian last week.

It's interesting that Fiona Phillips appears on the cover of the magazine (albeit for a totally different reason on this occasion) as her mother suffered from Alzheimers and she is a spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Society.