Charitable Christmas

This year, I haven’t been as ratty as usual about the whole Festering Season thing. It still annoys me, but I’ve been able to ignore most of the retail bullshit around the season (due to not visiting shops as much, primarily) and so on, and avoided most of the raw sentimentality and commercialism that hangs around the entire process.

However, I’ve also been looking more at some of the charity stuff that’s being done – particularly for the homeless.

One of those things – and one I’ve contributed too, both this year and in previous ones – is the “Reserve A Place” scheme by Crisis. Paying £26.08 per place reserves a place for a homeless person at one of the Crisis centres over Christmas, along with support, health checks, and a bundle of other things. I’m all for that, to be honest.

The other one, only announced yesterday, is a slightly different thing, but still pretty brilliant. London’s Euston Station, which would usually be closed for Christmas Day, is instead going to become a homeless shelter for the day, filled with decorations and tables for 200 rough sleepers.  I think that’s pretty fucking brilliant, to make use of that sheer space in a different but decent way.

It’s being organised as a collaboration between St Mungos and Streets Kitchen, with about 30 Network Rail staff also involved.

To me, as always, I think these are the things that should be promoted, that are what the whole Festering Season should be about. I truly hope they’re both successful ventures, this year and into the future.

Farce about Ace

In my standard way, I’m doing some things in the wrong order over the next few weeks.

As I’ve said before, on Saturday night I’ll be doing the Shine London Night Walk, which will be interesting, to say the least. I really don’t know at the moment what to expect, and it’s preying on my mind a bit (actually more than a bit, but there we go, not long now) as to how well I’ll actually do.

Once that’s done, and whatever recovery process is under way, I’m also going to be taking myself to a chiropodist/podiatrist, and getting the problem areas of my feet sorted out.   And that’s what’s backwards.

Of course, If I’d had any sense (or done any real preparation or organisation) I’d have been doing the “sorting out of feet” well before it was time to walk 26-and-a-bit miles on them. But I left it too late – and in fairness, it’s only in the last month that I’ve been experiencing any real pains or problems with my feet. But fixing the issues now would result in greater problems by the weekend, so there we go, backwards organisation it is.

In fairness, this way will probably kind of be in the same vein as the whole [x] Anonymous thing, of having hit rock bottom and the only way being up.  If I present my feet to the chiropodist/podiatrist in the expected post-Marathon semi-knackered state, that should be the worst they can be. Which will mean that only good things can result in the treatment.

Well, that’s the ‘plan’, anyway.  Only time will tell how it handles first contacts with reality…

Doing Less, Doing More

After this coming weekend, life calms down a bit once more. (I know, it’s a recurring theme)  From here, I’ve got fewer weekends with stuff already booked – at least until September, which is already idiotic. (Of which more later, or in a future post)

However, that doesn’t mean I’ll not be doing much.

Come the end of September, I’ll be walking a marathon distance, and I want to have an equivalent distance already under my belt by then, along with some other practice/training walks building up to it.  I did a half-marathon distance back in October, but then haven’t done anywhere near as much since, and I’m aware that I really should have done. Oops, as they say.

So in the run-up to the end of September, that’s (part of) what I’m going to be doing. Taking some time, some days out, doing a shitload of walking. It won’t all be London-based, although the majority will be.

I know I could easily just rock up on the day and complete the course – but I do want to at least appear to be taking it more seriously than that.

Climbing The Gherkin (Not)

Today was the day I was supposed to be doing the NSPCC’s Gherkin Climb – walking up the 1,000+ steps of the Gherkin building.

For a number of reasons – not least that period of food poisoning over the week – I ended up not doing it.

I had reservations anyway, as I wrote about before, and had pretty much chickened out of doing it already, but the food poisoning sealed the deal.

The event was well attended though, I’m pleased to say – and some of the times achieved for climbing the Gherkin are pretty impressive – the quickest ascent being a gobsmacking 4minutes 31 seconds.  That really is going some.

No 10k

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been getting involved in doing some small fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Trust, mainly through doing their 10km walks, the “Walk to Remember”, and raising some cash through that. (At the same time, being a fat bloke who can walk 10k in less than 100 mins is something that makes me happy)

It’s a fun event, involving walking round a planned route at a stately home on a Summer evening – it’s been thoroughly enjoyable as a way to spend a couple of hours, plus travelling etc. and meant I raised an amount of money that’s not epic by their standards, but was pretty good by mine – and better than nothing, or doing sod all.

They’re emphatically non-competitive, you don’t get issued with numbers etc., you don’t get timed (you can, of course, time yourself) and it’s aimed at being a walk rather than a run/job – which also suits me just fine. I’m built for comfort, not speed (although again, I can do fast-moving fat bloke pretty damn well!) but I do cover the route at speed, while enjoying it.

Having looked this weekend, it turns out that they’re not doing these walks this year at all. That is, to say the least, a bit disappointing. I’m not sure yet whether to look at doing something else – well, I will definitely be doing longer walks and so on anyway, but it was nice to be fundraising at the same time – or what this year.

Time will tell. But it’s a bit of a bugger that this one won’t be being done.


I’m not a massive fan of Sport Relief – although I do prefer it to shite like Comic Relief and Children-in-Need – but regardless of any of that, I have to say that Eddie Izzard’s achievement of running 27 marathons in 27 days (including two on the final day, as he’d missed one early on) is nothing short of amazing.

That he’s also raised more than £1.35million is also seriously noteworthy.

That’s not to belittle the fundraising efforts of anyone else, as I’d rather see anyone raise £50 than nothing. Regardless though, the sheer madness of saying “I’m going to run 27 marathons in four weeks” – and then manage to do it – is a gobsmacking and noteworthy effort.