Views of life walking to the ends of the world

Blog of the ups and downs of life preparing to walk 1000km to the ends of the earth of the ancient world, to raise money to let sunshine into the lives of children with life-limiting diseases throughout the English Midlands

Friday, March 17, 2006

Great stuff! My first ventures into blogging have found wider support and blog coverage from Nosemonkey (http://europhobia.blogspot.com) and Tim Worstall (http://timworstall.typepad.com/timworstall/). I realise now that I need to do what I can to show people we're OK.

One - We have no bank account in respect of this fundraising - all money donated on our website goes through 'www.justgiving.co.uk' rdirect to the hospices - so they get the benefit straight away, and also the tax refielf from the taxman if you are a UK tax payer. So we never see the money if you donate on line.

Two - We also pay any off-line donations direct into the hospices bank accounts using their pay-in slips.

Three - We are not asking for any support for the actual cost of funraising - like driving round talking to potential corporate sponsors, or the cost of getting to/from the route.

What else? Phone the hospices and ask for their corporate fundraising coordiinator - ask if they have heard of us..

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Still no picture on the blog. I'll get there in the end.

Exciting stuff today - met with manager of our gym, who is offering real support for the fundraising, and says he is staying around, so maybe it will happen this time.

Even more exciting - went out kitted up to open a bank account, got home, couldn't find my passport! EEK!

Checked all pockets, briefcase and car footwell then rang everywhere I'd been. This included the local branch of two banks - have you ever tried to phone a bank branch lately? I had to negotiate answer phone options for both, but got through to a real person pretty soon at Abbey, while with HSBC I couldn't get beyond the first hurdle unless I was already a customer!

Last resort, reported the loss to the police, and was told they couldn't hand it back even if it was handed in. Wouldn't they be able to tell it was mine? Nice lady, but weird rules.

Final last resort, rechecked bag - guess what - passport secure in zipped pocket, just where I'd put it for safety! WHOOPPEE!!! I'm sure I'd double checked it before, but there you go.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I spent ages on Sunday night trying to add a picture to our profile. Seems the one I wanted to use was too many bytes, and I somehow couldn't get 'Hello' to do the biz. Looks simple enough, so must be me. I'll try again soon.

In the meantime - ain't it a funny old world? I was just writing up the diary entry for February for the website (www.walkingtheway.org) about the arrangements I have been making with our funeral director, when he phoned me up. Spooky, huh? (or is 'spooky' an indelicate word in the circs?). I don't think he's checking up to see if I'm still alive - it's not that sort of relationship. it's not that we expect to drop off our perches in the ommediate future - or even on the pilgrimage, but we just want to make sure we get wghat we want in the end, as opposed to what we deserve.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hi folks

Thanks for coming. Settle down for a wonderful roller coaster of a tale. There have already been periods of sunshine and shadow - triumphs and disasters - exultation and depression. Do keep coming back for more, and as you enjoy the story, please share it with as many others as you can. You never know what you might miss if you don't

The tale starts a few years ago, maybe even before we read Paolo Coelho's 'The Pilgrimage'. (by the way - that's a great read, and you might enjoy it too). I'll come back to that later, because I wouldn't want to start somewhere as conventional as the beginning, but we gradually came to feel called to walk the mediaeval Christian pilgrimage route across Northern spain to Santiago de Compostella. We've maybe got unconscious reasons, but the outer need became obvious last year when my beloved, Roisin, sat next to someone from Rainbows children's hospice in Loughborough in the English Midlands.

Visiting the hospice was an amazing experience - a bright sunny place of joy and laughter, a place for children with short life-expectancy to play and experience something approaching normality. Their parents and siblings too could gain relief from the daily tasks of caring for a very sick loved one. What a place to help!

The ancient way beyond Compostella beckoned, to Finisterre -the 'old way' to the end of the earth for the ancients. The modern day less mystical purpose was clear - we had to raise money to help the hospice. Why do they need the money? Come back to find out in the next instalment.

Soon, the plans firmed up as a neighbour assumed the hospice we meant was Bluebell Wood near Rotherham, which was still in the planning stage.

We realised that living half-way between the two, we had been offered the chance to do even more than we had expected. Our aims became regional rather than local.

We're in training now for the big walk, and are looking for support of any sort, either financial or moral.

We have set up a companion website (www.walkingtheway.org) to channel donations. If you are able to help financially, that site enables you to give on line, with the taxman automatically adding another 28% if you are a UK taxpayer. If you don't feel able to give money, you can still do wonders just by visiting this blog or the website regularly, putting links on your own blogs or websites (or your company's), asking your friends to do the same, and by leaving us messages of encouragement.

This is our first foray into blogging, so watch this space for developments as we become more expert bloggers!