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Personal Stuff

Some photos from Lanzarote… The last, for now anyway!

A while back I had my beautiful old Bronica GS1 shipped out to me. Unfortunately, I’ve not had much time on my hands to play with it for a while, but I did manage to get it out a couple of times before we left the island to run a couple of test films through. Here are some of the results;

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Some more about Rose Road…

I have written before on the site about the work of two charities I support, Niños Tercer del Mudo and the Rose Road Appeal.

But this year wanted to find out a little more about the people involved. Having already written about Christopher David, the lovely man behind Niños Tercer del Mundo, I emailed Rose Road with some ‘interview’ questions for a couple of the personalities behind this incredible service.

Here’s the answers I got from Con, who is the current chair of the trustees, and Neil, who has a huge hand in helping keep the centre running day-to-day;

Alan: “Con, how did you get involved with Rose Road, and what does it mean to you”?

Con and Katie

Con: “I did a presentation at the Bradbury Centre for Rose Road called ‘Living with Autism’ as part of an Autism Awareness day, that charity was hosting. My daughter, Katie, is autistic. I got to see the fantastic work Rose Road do and when approached to be a trustee I jumped at the chance.

I have been involved with Rose Road now for about 6 years, the last year as the Chair of trustees.

My daughter Katie, now 17 years old, has been using the Rose Road services for about 5 years. She attends the Oaks and Acorns short break facility at the Bradbury Centre as well as receiving ‘Outreach’ care to help her access the community. Katie also attends an after school play scheme. Katie is really flourishing and Rose Road is certainly making a big difference and is proving to be an invaluable service to both Katie and family! My wife Julie also has a disability and so when Katie, who can be very demanding at times, is with Rose Road this enables me to give much needed dedicated time to Julie even it is just to sit and watch telly together in peace and quite”.

I also had a couple of questions for Neil at Rose road about the day to day running of the centre…
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Saturday 7th April

This is the part of the journey I dread most!

I’ve had the date in mind for some time now, it’s about time I declared it for the start of my next little stroll – across the seven islands. Wish me luck!

When I do this, Elle will be writing daily blog posts on here, and I’ll be posting my progress on the Facebook page I set up this week. I’d be really grateful if you’d ‘like’ the page if you are a Facebook user…

You can make a donation to the charities at any time, or if you prefer you pledge some money in advance subject to me completing the walk you can do so using the form below.

I totally appreciate that times are hard, or that people have particular charities they support – I hate ‘asking’ for money so I’m really not offended if people don’t donate for whatever reason. Donations to charities are, I feel, a very personal thing. However, whether sponsoring me or not there are other ways you can help if you feel you’d like to lend your support in other ways, click here for some other ideas on how you might be able to help.

Name (required, first name only or anon is okay)

Your Email (required)

Donation on completion - in GBP (required)

Your Message

(Please note: Your email address will not be used for any other purpose than to send a reminder to you, and will be deleted once that’s been sent.)

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Siete Islas

Most people who know me will be aware that in February of 2011 I walked from the North to the South of the island (71.3 km) and in doing so managed to raise some money for charity. I didn’t particularly set out to do this in aid of charity but thought whilst I was doing it I might as well see if I could get some sponsorship.

In total it raised  £1305.67 for two charities, Niños del Tercer Mundo – a charity based on the island which funds projects in the third world, and the Rose Road Association – based in the UK, who provide services to severely disabled children and their families. I’m really proud to have been able to help both of these fantastic organizations.

When I got back, quite a few people asked me, “What next” ? Most suggesting Iron Man – not a chance, not for me, I would have considered it but, but there are two big reasons that I couldn’t do it even if I wanted to;

1. I don’t particularly like running, plus after playing squash for a number of years my knees wouldn’t take it.

2. Perhaps more challenging for me; I can barely swim!

My answer at the time was along the lines of “That’s it for now”! However, in the couple of months following February I started to play with a few other ideas for things I’d quite fancy a crack at. Some insane, some not (Elle ruled out one or two of my suggestions as I am not sufficiently insured!).  Perhaps I’ve got the ‘bug’ as one friend put it. And, I’m now planning for another little ‘expedition’. Continue reading

How you can help with the Siete Islas Walk…

I know it’s early days yet, but I thought I’d get the ball rolling – and ask you for some ideas for fund raising…

Of course I’d love you to donate to the charities either before, during or after the walk via the Just Giving site. However I’m very aware how bloody annoying it can be getting hit up for every charity and every sponsored event going – so I make the promise that I will not ask anyone directly. Donating to charity is a personal choice, and I very much respect that.

However, I’d really like to top what I managed to raise walking Lanzarote with this one, so whether or not you choose to make a personal donation, I thought I’d put together some ideas as to other ways in which you can help either raise funds or put the word out. More publicity means more funds for the Rose Road Association and Niños del Tercer Mundo! Continue reading

Niños del Tercer Mundo – Christopher David

As a result of my latest and forthcoming ‘expedition’ – walking across, up or around the seven main islands that make up the Canary Islands I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Christopher David. Christopher along with his wife Gill and a number of other prominent Lanzarote residents founded Niños del Tercer Mundo, and is the current Chairman of the charity.

Meeting Christopher was an absolute pleasure. He’s such a lovely man and he and his wife Gill (who sadly passed away last year) have selflessly given their time to help others since retiring to Lanzarote  in 1995, having owned a place been regular visitors since the mid-80s. Niños del Tercer Mundo came about after their involvement with a project providing one room schools in Ecuador – and Christopher has not helping people since stopped since…  He is not – I am sure he will not mind me saying – a young man, yet still continues to dedicate his time to making the lives of others better. The world would be a much better place if it had more people like Christopher in it! Continue reading

Back in training – almost!

Not an excuse - it bloody hurts!

Having enrolled the help of personal trainer Mitch – I have to admit to not getting off to the best of starts! Partially my fault, partially plain old bad luck.

Having met Mitch initially about a month ago he set me a couple of relatively simple tasks, and asked me to keep a food diary. I met him again last week to be greeted by a smile as he handed me the food diary I’d sent him. He explained that he had marked the food diary with a note – containing words to the effect of “Normally I highlight the bad things my clients eat – in this case – to save time – I’ve marked yours with the good stuff”!

I have been a good with the walking though in the meantime, and have come to the conclusion that I am at least doing more mileage on foot than I have been by car since our firsts meeting. The dogs are loving it of course.

The upside of the food diary comment being that it shouldn’t be hard to impress  with at least some improvement by our next meeting. Despite the difficulties of my current lifestyle and movements, I can at least squeeze in a couple of salads for next time! 🙂 Continue reading

A new challenge…

February 2011

People who read this site regularly will likely be aware of the walk I did from the north to the south of the island. From which I managed to raise a total of £1305.67 (including gift aid) via the Just Giving website, which has since been distributed to Niños del Tercer Mundo and the Rose Road Centre and is now being put to good use in support of both of their great works!

The first question I was asked after completing that walk was what next. At that time I hadn’t even thought about what next, I wasn’t even sure there would be a next time as the walk was just something I had wanted to do for my own reasons. Also at the time I got an email from our friend Geoff Holt who – to paraphrase – said to me “I bet you’ve got the bug now haven’t you”? It seems he was right. Raising the money for these extremely fantastic causes was perhaps one of the most satisfying things I have ever done.

Now I have a new plan. I’m not saying what exactly just yet for a several reasons – clearly I have to top what I did last time… Continue reading

Just Giving total

The Just Giving page set up for the recent walk I did to raise money for, I happy to say, has topped at out just over £1300 for the two very deserving charities – Niños del Tercer Mundo and The Rose Road Centre.

I’m very proud to be associated with both of these charities and also planning on helping them both more in the future whenever I am able. Continue reading

Back to work!

So it’s the Monday after the weekend before and I’m feeling so much better than I expected I would after walking the 70 plus kilometres from Orzola to the lighthouse at Playa Blanca. The blisters  healing quickly and hardly a twinge from my legs and back.

Just before setting off

As I’ve written before, the walk is something I’ve had in mind for some time. And I have to say, despite the blistered feet and inevitable aching legs I really, really enjoyed the experience. I wanted to take some time out, clear my head.

It was hard work to do – but incredibly rewarding. It’s given some perspective to life here, and highlighted to me some of the good (and bad) things. I’m not turning into a hippy or anything – so don’t worry I’ve not come out of it a changed man – it just adds some clarity.

Starting early and getting ready about 4am, I was carrying my stuff downstairs and nearly took a tumble missing a step on the corner where our staircase turns. I didn’t know if I should read it as a sign – was it a sign? Was it telling me I shouldn’t do this? Or was it that the very fact I had failed to tumble down the stairs a sign that I was meant to do it? Actually, as I’m not one for signs, I ignored it as such – the only thought that went through my head was “Sh*t, that was lucky, how would it look to everyone if I’d cried off with a twisted ankle or broken leg before I even start”! Continue reading