Sunday, 27 December 2009

Happy Christmas and thank you!!!

Walberswick village shop
Trish and Ken Mayhew
Julia Rice
Drew, Deb, Simon and Dash
Andrea, Simon and Amalie
Camilla, Jeremy, Thea and Esme
Jan Thwaites
Chris Marcela, Jamie and Michaela
Helena and the Walker family
Jo and Matthew Guinness
Gil and Eddie Child
Linsey Gorham
Anjula Crocker
Claire Quilter
Luna and Mertz
Jane Kirkeby
Helle Beck-Andersen
Shirley-Ann Humphries
Sonja, Trevor and Harry
Lindsey Gray
John Ormerod
Ian, Catherine, Lily and Daisy Salmon
Warwick and Caroline Comer-Stone
Lizzie Whittenbury
June Bellis
Christa Lossin
Barney Andrews
Neo Stefanou
Hazel Church
Julie Button
Anna Colman
Tom, Sez, Flynn an Joe Hamilton
Christine and Spike Howell
John and Christine Fernihough
Dayami Amador-Espinosa
Anna Swann
Robin, Mandy, Anna and Max Merttens
Nicky PHillips
The Button Family
Nicholas and Victoria Muers-Raby
Terry Boase
Ute Towris
Mark Umfreville
Kevin Avison
Barbara Priestman
Rob Bevan
Lise Bevan
Gill and Becky
The Maynes
Mbili and her owners
Dom Gothard

And the kind anonymous donors.


Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Festive weather

Today I was accused, twice, of bringing on this weather by wanting to train for the cold - unfair? Whatever... it has been good to try out my cold weather gear. Thanks to some very generous friends and family I am now in possession of wonderful undies to keep me warm, and which I suspect I shall live in as well as a down jacket.

 The ice has meant that the running has not been very safe, even the beach was solid this morning, but it didn't stop the girls. They have had to wear coats a couple of times on our walks and runs as they don't have the advantage of double fur, like huskies.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

This is where it gets real

In more ways than one. Today we had our briefing at the Dogs Trust centre in Uxbridge and it was a real eye opener. Firstly because it really brought home why I'm doing this, and secondly that there is no going back! The staff at the centre gave us a tour and introduced us to some of the animals currently in their care. Whilst they don't simply re-home dogs, this is a huge part of their work and it was heartbreaking to see evidence of the kind of abuse some dogs receive. 2 weeks ago a group of dogs were rescued from a woman in Ireland who had kept them all, at least 12 dogs, in crates for their entire lives. Most had never been outside. They arrived emaciated and some were not really able to walk, having never been allowed to. They were terrified and painfully thin, although she had obviously given them enough to just keep them alive. Within the 2 weeks at the centre they are all making good recoveries, some are even becoming confident enough to approach humans. They were being taken for short walks in the snow and were showing signs of appreciation, tails wagged.

In the words of Paloma Faith "Do you want the truth or something beautiful?' the truth isn't beautiful here, and I'm not about to say that it is, but seeing 20 families arrive in the morning to take their new found friends home was pretty amazing. I do actually have to make an admission too... I fell in love. No, not with the tall, dark, good looking bloke who leads expeditions across the arctic, who gave us the facts about what we have let ourselves in for, but with Millie:

It's not a great photo as she was so happy to see us, but she is just gorgeous, and not unlike our little Willow, who is titchy and brindle. The guide explained that brindle dogs are the least likely to be re-homed, the statistics prove this, but no one knows why. I can't imagine why! Who wouldn't want a brindle misfit like this?

Most of the dogs waiting to find home are Staffies, Lurchers or Collies. The Labs and Springers go straight away, as do the little dogs, and puppies are popular, so the 'sticky' dogs are usually older crossbreeds with brindle coats, like Leggit here.

Friday, 18 December 2009


It's been pretty chilly over here in East Anglia and whilst the snow doesn't really settle that well by the sea it was drifting badly on the A12 last night. I'm due to go to the Dogs Trust HQ tomorrow for our first 'Arctic Briefing', so I'm really hoping the weather clears up and that the roads are OK. I'm very excited about going as I can ask all those questions that have been on my mind, like 'does your snot really freeze?' and so on. Since my operation on my skull the whole nose blowing thing has been a bit of an issue as I no longer have the orbital wall to keep my eyes in the right place when I blow my nose, and they wander about for a bit - if it freezes, who knows what could happen. My consultant says it's quite normal and the really good news is that I don't have to have any more operations. I do, however, need to look after my eyes and Mertz has bought me a wonderful Christmas present - top of the range sports glasses, I can't wait for the sun to come out now.

Training is going well this week, and the girls love running about in the snow, eating it and throwing themselves about in the cold. I've discovered the joys of merino underwear and so no longer have to wear layer upon layer of fleece. I only realised this after the first time I wore the undies to run in though - nearly passed out from the heat. As part of the deal of undertaking this madness I get discount at Cotswold Outdoor clothing and now need to be held back as I am skint, what with it being Christmas and all that, but my Mother in Law is going to get me a toasty downy coat for my birthday present, so I'm really lucky.

Just looked outside and the snow is coming down again, lovely as it is, it would be ironic if I couldn't make it to the Arctic Briefing due to snow on the road....

Friday, 4 December 2009


I have an alcohol related injury - and it is nothing to do with drinking it. I was checking out the offers at our local Co-op when a wine bottle fell from the top shelf and landed on my foot, it didn't break, nor did the bottle, as the foot broke its fall, but now I have a very sore foot indeed. Determined to be back running tomorrow, so lots of arnica and putting my feet up in front of a DVD this evening.

I feel that this run of excuses needs to stop!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


I feel the need for some technology to help to inject some much needed new energy into my training regime and so I started with a couple of apps to encourage me on the runs: a distance meter and a pedometer. The pedometer is great and really helps me to plan new runs, now that some tracks are too wet, but the distance meter didn't like this part of the world and claimed that I had only run 0.19 miles - rubbish!

The biggest breakthrough was my new sounds though, normally I don't like to run with an iPod but I am ashamed to admit that I now have 'Men's Health playlist - mixed by Judge Jules' - it's actually just a continuous stream of dance tracks, for an hour. It keeps me going till I've finished the exercises at home too, I think I might suggest it to Mark - our circuit training instructor - as he threatened to take out the Christmas mix on Tuesday... please God, no.

Next stop Nike + trainers and sensor, then I'd really have some motivation!