Friday, 29 October 2010

183 days to go...I'm halfway through my year's preparation!

It's been 182 days and 378.05 miles since I announced my plans to walk those 78 miles around the Capital Ring. I've also acquired two pairs of trainers, one broken toe and gone through a hell of a lot of sports drink. So, I guess it's about time that I properly opened up my fundraising.

You can visit my fundraising page at

I'm not expecting everyone to rush out there and pledge, but there's an option to act impulsively if you want to. I'm sure I'll be plenty of other opportunities in the next 6 months!

Just a quick reminder about my chosen charity. The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund was set up in 1997 to do each of the following:
  • Encourage and sponsor research into mesothelioma;
  • Contribute to clinical trials of novel drug therapies for mesothelimoa;
  • Raise awareness of the disease amongst healthcare professionals and the public;
  • Provide good quality up to date information and advice for mesothelioma sufferers and their carers;
  • Campaign for delivery of the Mesothelioma Charter.

Mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancer, usually caused by exposure to asbestos, which attacks the membrane that covers most of the internal organs in the body, the mesothelium. The cancer usually develops in the lining of the lungs, the pleura, and it develops rather quickly. Treatment has limited sucess, and lifespan from diagnosis is short - we only had a few months with Dad before he died. You might have read a bit about the bleakness of mesothelioma when Malcolm McLaren died earlier this year, but there's more about malignant mesothelioma on wikipedia.

It's a terrible cancer. But I think we can make some difference here, so if you want to give me a jump start on donations, please do!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Frustration strikes.

Lovely little boat on the Grand Union Canal.
More photos are in my Flickr set from the day

Sunday was a lovely sunny day, so David and I decided to venture all the way out to Greenford to take on the next section of the Capital Ring: Walk 9, Greenford to South Kenton. We left without maps as my printer was playing up but had faith in the signage that we've seen so far, confident that we wouldn't lose our way.

We did lose our way a bit, thanks to some confusing signs on the way into Harrow-on-the-Hill, and it wasn't the most exciting walk, but that wasn't what was troubling me.

What was troubling me was the ache in my foot, and the general decline in my fitness in the few short weeks that I've been off the proper training regime. As I reach an important milestone (more about that on Friday) I'm suddenly conscious that I have to start pulling out the stops.

So it looks like I'm going back to the gym, and I'm going back on the road, and I'm going to beat this. There is no way that I am failing.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The world has changed.

When I was last out walking properly, before the bone broke, I had only recently noticed that it was Autumn. Kicking up leaves and shuffling through conkers were a new novelty, and I was still switching between bare arms and my hoody.

I dropped back into a bit of light training yesterday morning and everything seems to have changed. It's cold. It's windy. It's a bit rainy. Frankly, it's not very nice. Wardrobe changes are needed, I think. And just when I'd got used to the shorts!

In other news, my friend Pippa and I went to the Wellcome Collection's Things show last night where we got to see my socks in a special cabinet. I was rather surprised to see that they had been placed along side a carved wooden puppet, especially as Luigi was featured in the online gallery. A rather fitting placement.

Socks + puppet.

You can have a look at other pictures from last night here.

Friday, 15 October 2010


The Wellcome Collection is one of my favourite places to visit. They always have amazingly interesting exhibitions and there's always something new to see in their permenant collection. It's one of those museums that perhaps gets overlooked a little too often. If you're in London, you shouldn't overlook it. You should visit it now!

And while you're there, you can go and see something that I've put in the museum myself...

Things is an endeavour by artist Keith Wilson to update Henry Wellcome's already eccelectic collection. Members of the public can gift or loan items they think should be displayed, and they will be catalogued online before being put in the gallery. Items are catalogued in a calendar of next year's dates. I managed to get mine put on 1st May 2011.

Inter-generational socks

This was my contribution. You can go here to read about my submission, but I'm also quite excited to see that they've been featured on the Wellcome Collection's blog.

If you can't get to the collection to see the Things for real (it's only on until the 22nd October) take a little time to explore what's been submitted online. Some of the Things people have donated are sad, some hilarious, and some just plain bonkers. But all of them worth a look.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Introducing Luigi.

This last week has been one of those glorious weeks that remind you how great life is. My week started with a quarter share in a substantial pub quiz jackpot and ended with a fantastic weekend away at the zoo where I was married for my first anniversary. These alone would have been enough to send me to smug and cause me to forget all my walking woes.

But on Wednesday I had dinner with my sister, George. This in itself was lovely enough, but towards the end of the evening she handed me a wooden box. Inside was a small carved wooden man, jointed and dressed in a tiny suit. He had a piece of grey fur for hair, blue eyes and painted on rosy cheeks. His tiny shoes had little leather heels and you can still just about see where the strings were when he was a fully strung puppet.

Luigi LuigiFully carved hand. Hand stitched lapels and Luigi's garish tie.

George was given Luigi, as we now know his name is, by Dad shortly before he died. Dad made him when he was about 8 and must have had him hidden away since then as neither George, my Mum or I can remember seeing him before. Mum does remember Dad telling her about him though, and that's how we know about his Italian moniker.

He's an incredibly detailed piece of work, of such a level that at first I doubted that it could be an 8-year-old's craftsmanship - I've got a bit of puppet making experience, but I'm pretty certain that I couldn't create anything quite like this even now. But then I know that Dad had far more patience in his work than I have ever had.

My own interests mean that Luigi's appearance makes me feel as though I've had a little chat with Dad - a little shared experience. But it's strange to learn something new about your Dad, four years after he went silent. Good strange though.
In walking news, I managed 2 miles last night. I could have continued but I was pushed for time and the foot was starting up its dull ache. I think it's telling me that I'm going to have to take it slow and steady to get back to my usual routine, so the first marathon will have to be postponed until November.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Letter to my grandmother.

Dear Gran,

I know you worry about me out walking in the dark, so this week I bought something I thought you might appreciate.

Can you see me?!

Yeah, I don't think you need to worry about me not being seen now...

With love,

Katy xx