Sunday 28 September 2014

Week 16: Macmillan Coffee Morning x 2

Along with 1000s of others around the country - I was helping out and attending a Macmillan Coffee Morning.  Organised by Janine Quinn and Debbie Stevens, we had coffee, cake and raffle prizes

We raised £287 on the day from the sale of tickets, raffle prizes and donations.

On Saturday morning I went round to friends for another coffee morning where they'd baked all the totally delicious and scrumptious cakes, biscuits and tray bakes and raised £150.

If you didn't get a chance to attend one on the day or over the weekend, you can donate to Macmillan - just click here.

Related sites:

Macmillan Coffee Morning - check the current total.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Week 16: Got A Haircut!

Well, this might not seem like a big deal but when you've gone from being completely bald to having hair again, that first cut is another milestone on the road to recovery and knowing that you're through it and life is returning to normal.

One positive thing that's come out of this - I love my new shorter haircut and judging by the comments, so does everyone else.

My newest image courtesy of the fabulous Stephen Cotterell

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Week 15: Stop And Smell The Roses

On my way back from running a workshop in London, I took the opportunity to stop off at Nymans, just off the A23.

Herbaceous border, Nymans
After a quick walk around the gardens to admire the herbaceous borders which were totally bare in the Spring but filled to overflowing now.  I was after a few ideas for my own garden for Autumn colour. Very definitely stopping to smell the roses in the rose garden, most had gone over but there a few delicious musk and old English roses to sniff.

Heather garden, Nymans
I then settled in to do some work with a cup of tea in the Coffee shop before taking the scenic route back in to Brighton for my afternoon meeting.

It made perfect sense and was a good opportunity to take time out:

- I avoided the traffic through the roadworks heading back in to Brighton.
- I got a late lunch break in lovely surroundings.
- I was able to get on with work away from the distractions of the office.
- I didn't spend time going back to the office and then driving back in to Brighton later.

Saturday 13 September 2014

Week 14: Cycling, walking and the new YHA

The Tour of Britain passed through Newhaven and Lewes on Saturday, just a short walk or cycle ride from where I live.

I intended to cycle over (that being my #52Things for the week) but my bike having been in the shed for the last year wasn't road (or bridleway) worthy, so Plan B was to head on foot to a spot on the road between Newhaven and Lewes (C7).

So the cyclists on the Tour of Britain were cycling and I ended up walking.  Picnicing on the side of the road while waiting for them to come through.  It was a bit of a wait but eventually the police motorbikes came through, stopping traffic and blocking off the numerous lanes leading on the C7.

Finally the five lead bikes came through - followed about 5 minutes later by the first part of the peleton and about another five minutes for the second part of the peleton and a few more minutes until the final rider came through.  Great to see even if they do whizz by in a blur of wheels and lycra.

As the road cleared I walked into Southease and across the river to the newest YHA South Downs with a cafe - great stop for tea and cake - looking out from the courtyard to the Ouse and the Downs.

Courtyard Cafe, South Downs YHA
It's right on the South Downs Way, so a perfect stopping point if you just happen to be cycling or walking the South Downs or doing a route along the Ouse between Lewes and Newhaven.

Southease Bridge, River Ouse
Back along the River Ouse to Piddinghoe and then a walk up along the track into the back of Peacehaven through the area where they shoot pheasant and partridge.  I found a dead red-legged partridge which was missed by the shoot and the dogs.  Finally back home - a round trip of 8.5 miles.

Sunday 7 September 2014

Week 13: Back Volunteering on the South Downs

My first serious task out with the South Downs Volunteers since all my treatments finished and a chance to drive the landrover.

After a busy week in Kent, I should have planned better and had the whole weekend off but as I was the designated driver, so didn't want to drop out at the last minute and anyway, I thought I could have an easier time and not overdo it.

However, only two of us turned up!  Ah well, maybe not such an easy day.

The work site was just round the corner in Newhaven on the Ouse Valley Nature Reserve between Newhaven and Seaford, putting in a line of post and wire fencing so that the cattle could be moved in to graze the area.

We joined an enthusiastic bunch of volunteers from the Seven Sisters area who were already hard at work when we arrived, so there were six of us in all.

If you enjoy the outdoors or just being active - get out and volunteer.  There are plenty of wildlife and conservation groups around the country looking for willing people to help out.

Saturday 6 September 2014

Week 13: Odyssey Challenge

Five days in the Kent countryside on a magical adventure with Odyssey.

Can't say any more than that as part of the success, benefit and enjoyment of the course is that a level of intrigue is maintained.  Just to say I ticked a few things off while I was away but I won't say which ... :)

They have sand on their beaches!

It just goes to show that a change is as good as a rest and getting out into the great outdoors is good for the mind, body and soul as well as exchanging laughter and tears.

I've come back realising that my energy levels are better than I thought, more motivation to get fit and active, a zest for life and a desire to help raise funds to enable others to participate in the Challenge.  Watch this space ...