By Tom Winnifrith | Sunday 28 April 2019
Readers kindly email to ask if, despite Storm Hannah, I completed my twenty four up hill down dale training walk yesterday. I did. But at a price. There is, however, good news.
About four weeks before the 33 mile Woodlarks training walk last year I did a 23 mile walk with Lucian from Bristol through Bath and onwards up the Kennet and Avon canal. At the end I collapsed, my feet were in agony and I could barely move for a day and a half afterwards. After yesterday’s trek my feet hurt but not that badly and I know I could easily have done another nine or so miles. As for my upper body, my lungs, I never felt the slightest strain at any point.
The bad news is that Storm Hannah was foul and as I plodded home the rain never stopped. The last half a mile was across our own fields by the river Dee and by that point I was utterly drenched and my hands with pink and frozen. I grabbed a few logs from my log-shed and headed back into the Welsh hovel where the Mrs had sort of lit a fire. I added my logs and swapped a set of clothes drenched by either rain or sweat for a new warm set.
I warmed up a little but within an hour I was shaking with a shivering cold. My body was in spasms and I felt as if I would puke. My teeth chattered. I found a third duvet for the Welsh hovel is not warm at the best of times and retreated to try to sleep. I have not felt that ghastly for a long time.
Today, my coach, 76 year old Fleet Street Legend Brian Basham is on a 20 mile training walk as he will be among the ten rogue bloggers on May 25 and is taking it seriously. That too should impress you and so encourage you to dig into your pocket.
Last year we raised £26,000 (£32,000 with gift aid) for the Woodlarks Camp. It is an amazing charity which managed to get buy last year with total costs of just £115,000. But that meant NOT doing things it really should be doing. Our walk helped a lot but we want to help more.
I first got involved with the folks at Woodlarks more than 15 years ago thanks to an amazing man called Jamie. He had severe Cerebral Palsy, had been let down by his local council so we helped raise money to get him equipment allowing him to communicate. Jamie is sadly no longer with us but he loved Woodlarks. I will never forget playing chess with him there. Woodlarks provides a unique facility allowing severely handicapped folks a really special holiday they would otherwise go without.
It is not a fashionable charity but that is all the more reason to support it.
So far this year we have raised 33% of our target which is £40,000. But we have a number of pledges to collect which would leave us at almost £20,000 raised. But I will not stop pestering you until we hit that £40,000 mark. So please:
In advance I thank you.