November 2011

Thursday 10 November

The coverage of the Wobbly story in The Sun this week was brilliant.  The launch of Jennifer’s Tiara appeal to raise £100k for Parkinson’s research was superbly presented and has increased yet again the awareness of Parkinson’s in Scotland.   Yvonne at The Sun put her heart and soul into the articles, and to give Parkinson’s six days of continuous coverage in the paper is a huge commitment by News International.

To get a £40k donation on the back of the coverage was a great start. The donation came from a client in Aberdeen, a company I do the patent work for, Optima Solutions.   Optima make heat suppression systems for oil rigs, to stop the heat from the flares you see burning off the side of rigs from melting the rig, without dampening the flame. Ella thinks the flares are like dragon breath.

We spent the Scottish half term in a chalet above Evian in the French Alps. The chalet was beautiful, set in a village with a fromagerie, patisserie, petanque court and a church that had a bell. The bell rang.  Rang approximately 578 times per day. You could set your watch by it. It was idyllic.

One of my plans for the holiday was to spend some time at altitude to get a feel of how I might cope on Kilimanjaro.

We had two days at a reasonable height, the first at 1800m on the Col de Bassachaux and the second at 3800m on Mont Blanc.

Mont Blanc was amazing, the weather was crystal clear and the views spectacular. It cost us over £100 to get upon the cable car but it was well worth it. I felt fine, only getting a bit breathless when we climbed up stairs to the top viewing gallery.

On other days we went to Lausanne where I bought an iPad (divorce imminent) and to Cora, the greatest supermarket in the world; I was in gastronomic heaven.

The final day was spent at the beach on Lake Geneva.  Ella spotted a couple of unidentified floating objects bobbing on the surface out on the lake. They looked like eels.  Ella tried luring them in with “sea talk” to no avail. She then resorted to throwing stones which brought the scuba divers to the surface.

Pissed myself.

It’s the end of an era.  The iconic Mr Jelly who has served as so well is no more.  The problem with Mr Jelly was we didn’t own him and we have to continually go back and asked for permission to use the image for whatever we do.

The other problem was that people never refer to him as Mr Jelly, always as Mr Wobbly.

So, to end the confusion and ease the logistics say hello to our new friend, Mr Wobbly.

Six months after throwing up in the Edinburgh half marathon due to pain in my groin, I now know what is the problem.  My rectus abdominis is torn.

I distinctly remember reading about Rectus Abdominis in Latin.  I think he was either the black sheep of Julius Caesar’s family (the one who was banished to Mongolia because he wouldn’t sleep with his mother) or a criminal who was incarcerated following a speech by the greatest orator of them all, Cicero, which ended with the immortal phrase; “Hey big man, nae more haggis supper’s for you any time soon.”

By the most incredible coincidences, the rectus abdominis is also the name of the muscles which make up one’s six pack (see photograph of me taken earlier today).  Where the muscle joins my pelvic bone there is a tear.  The good news is that is on the mend.  Apparently the large amount of padding I have built up to protect my magnificently formed six pack is assisting the recovery of my rectus.

20 November 2011 – Kilimanjaro Update

The Kilimanjaro campaign has raised £85,000 to date. The generosity of people is astonishing. With hindsight we would have planned fewer events so close together. The Wedding in two weeks has proved to be an incredible amount of work and will not generate the funds for research to justify the effort. It will be a great laugh though.

My Rectus Abdominus was relatively pain free this week so I took advantage of the cessation in hostilities to go for a run.  Vicky was off Thursday morning so we ran 4 miles together. It was great taking action once again, doing something positive. We ran largely in silence which perturbed Vicky.

“You are very quiet”

“I’m always quiet when I run”

“I thought you and Karen talked all the time when you are running”.

“She does, I just listen.”

I have speaking engagements galore this coming week.  I told my story to a Parkie group in Crewe yesterday, and again in Nottingham tomorrow.  I’m also speaking at a shop opening in Edinburgh, and talking about leadership at a new training academy, also in Edinburgh. I enjoy the public speaking now.  People assume that I regurgitate the same stuff every time, but no, each speech is thought through depending on the audience. That way I can maximise the insults. A guy at the Crewe event was a stand up comic who used the shakes as part of his routine. When he was diagnosed and went on the tablets he lost the shakes and all his material with it!

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