The end is nigh…

I don’t know if it’ll be the end of me, per se, but I think it might be the end of me poor feet… I haven’t walked anything like this distance since Nepal, and while I’m comforting myself with the thought that that particular expedition was up a huge hill and then down it again (not too many mountains in Wiltshire, I’m told), it’s still a bit daunting. Don’t forget I was practically unable to walk towards the end of the Nepal trek…

The weather looks a bit sucky at the time of writing, but I have faith in the BBC’s 5-day forecast, which tells me that it’ll be clearing up as the week goes on. Let’s hope that’s a trend rather than a blip! Although to be honest it won’t bother me that much if it’s raining. (just not cold!)

At this point, I’m back into hassle-merchant fundraising mode, and I’ll be plaguing all and sundry with requests for spare change. Even though I’ve raised over £500 so far (see the fundraising page), there’s a bunch of people I haven’t heard from – you know who you are, and I know where you live…! 😉

On that note, I have to make special mention of the people back home in good old Mullingar. The response to Julien’s efforts has been overwhelming, with people asking him for sponsorship forms to take around their friends, family and work colleagues. People who know me from years ago are pitching in, even if I don’t remember them!!! The effort that everyone is putting in is gobsmacking, and I’m very very touched.

Huge thanks to all back home, then: big up to Aggie, Kieran, Jhone, Paul, my dad, Mushroom and all the rest of you – you know who you are, even if I don’t!

To all that I’m dealing with here, remember that you can pledge money – you don’t have to fork over the cash immediately. Even though I’m doing the walk on FRIDAY 29th AUGUST, I’ve actually got until the end of September to collect any pledges, so come on – even if it’s only a few quid, every little helps. DROP ME A LINE with your details, and I’ll add you to the honours list! 🙂

Right – hassle section over. Party people take note: the (not many!) pics from Stu & Mookie’s housewarming will be in the gallery very soon, as will the few pix I managed to snap from my own flatwarming (months ago!) before I dissolved into a drunken stupor… Browse, comment, enjoy!

Music aficionados: the utterly brilliant Gin Panic are headlining the Hope & Anchor in Upper Street in Islington, N1 on Monday 25th August (is that enough emphasis, do you think?!). They’ll be on stage at 10pm, or so they tell me, but try and get there a bit earlier and have a drink with me and the band. They’re a nice bunch, once you get to know them and they’re not biting the heads off bats….

I think I’m out of news, although when I started this I was sure I had loads! Bummer…

Take care all!

Aww, the weather is on its way out!

As inevitable as a crushing hangover after a terrific housewarming party, the glorious weather is slipping away slowly but surely. Although I’m not sure that I always referred to it as ‘glorious’ – ‘this *$%#@£& weather’, I think I called it on one or two occasions. And the doomsayers reckon that this heralds the imminent demise of the planet, but I think the old girl’s got a few years left in her yet!

Last weekend saw a house very well warmed, if the drunken exploits were anything to go by. Certainly my hangover was of epic proportions on Sunday, and a salutory lesson in imbibing plenty of water when going on a piss-up in hot weather…! Stu & Mookie threw a memorable bash to throw their doors open to general socialising, and did it in style, with a top-notch barbeque (guest chef none other than Mr Ian Sands) and enough alcoholic beverage to sink the proverbial battleship.

Speaking of my erstwhile flatmate and boozing buddy, Stu is the latest to join the ranks of the sponsors – cheers mate, and I’ll buy you a beer when we next meet. I, however, will be sticking to water – I think it’s time to follow Toria’s example and go teetotal for a while, so my poor long-suffering liver can have a chance to recover. Photos of the housewarming will be posted in the photo gallery as soon as I get my sh*t together…

And speaking of sponsorship, it’s all kicking off in the Emerald Isle, with the local press running an article on mine and Julien’s fundraising for the BIGFoot challenge. Also, I believe my dear Dad is plaguing his workplace (the local constabulary!) for funds to support us – nice one, Dad. And Julien’s wonderful other half Agnes has managed to chivvy 80 Euro from her colleagues at Oxfam in Dublin – merci bien!

And with that, I’ve got less than two weeks to make myself vaguely capable of a 50-mile walk. Some hope! On that note, I’m signing off and going to the gym. Nothing like last-minute desperation to spur a man on to bigger weights and more reps….

Only a few weeks to go!!!

How time flies, when you’re having fun. Or when you’re insanely busy, for that matter… My big project was due for delivery on the 1st of August, and I made it – well, more or less. Still got a bunch of stuff to do on it, which has me working the weekend as usual – but the worst was working till 5:30AM on the morning of the deadline! Don’t want to do that too often…!

What about this weather?! I know it’s crap and boring to talk about weather, but isn’t it grand? I was inspired to pull my mountain bike out of the garage, service it and oil it up, and go scooting around Beckenham Place Park – great fun, particularly as I found a couple of short but extremely steep descents over rough ground that were pant-soilingly exhilarating. (A good/bad thing? You decide!) I’ll have more of that, please!

LINK OF THE WEEK: Primate Programming Inc: The Evolution of Java and .NET Training – my brother and sister code monkeys! :^D

In the news this week, I’ve joined a local gym – so local, in fact, that I can stroll to it in five minutes. Just as well, really… So I’ll be working hard to make sure that it’s not yet another complete waste of a membership fee that could be better spent in the pub! Watch this space – keep the pressure on!

Also, I took delivery of my first ever pair of specs, which are taking some getting used to. They did help me to work till 5:30 on Friday morning, which I’m still trying to work out if it’s a good or a bad thing! Still, they do ease the strain on the old eyes when working with a monitor, which is definitely helpful if your job entails nothing BUT staring at a screen all day! So bring on the “four-eyes” jibes; I have to get used to it at some point! They’re pretty funky, though, as they’re in Police frames. Hey, I’m nothing if not stylish… (fashion victim, more like!)

I’ve had mixed emotions lately, what with cheques coming through the post from sponsors (cheers Gina!); all this money, but I can’t spend it! Ouch… Joking aside, though, we’re well on the way with the old sponsorship, and hopefully those of you who haven’t managed to get around to it can get your butts in gear at some point. Hey – you get your name on the honours list on the left! What more can you ask for – apart, of course, from having the unbridled joy of seeing me wrecking my already-feeble carcass on the walk itself… 🙂 And a special mention has to go to the Australian contingent, who have poked a finger in the eye of the lousy exchange rate and extended their generosity to this side of the planet – nice one, guys!

Anyway, I’ve taken time out from my frantic deadline-chasing to scribble this, so I’d better get back to it. Keep the kettle on, though – I’ll be back in the land of the living soon enough, and refreshments will be in order! 🙂