Saturday, 28 January 2017

BEING TRUMPED - WILL MAY RUE THE DAY OF THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP?

My political antennae are well-positioned for crap-detecting. The phrase 'Special Relationship' has been heard so often in recent days that the alarm bells are sounding unbearably in my ears. Prime-minister May and President Trump and their teams have wrung the rhetoric dry and exposed the cliché of a special relationship high and dry for further scrutiny. I can only hope that most people can see through them and the deceptions  - if not now then in that future time when the proverbial chickens will have come home to roost.




Trump and May - a natural or a special relationship?



Here are some facts to consider. Not post-truth facts. Real facts. Objective facts. My source is Wikipedia - check the references - these facts qualify as facts. Here is a tale of a relationship that has fluctuated according to the needs of both the stronger party - the USA - and the will and political  judgement of the prime minister of the weaker party - the UK.


  • The United States gradually became involved in the Vietnam War in the early 1960s, but this time received no support from the United Kingdom. Anti-Americanism due to the Vietnam

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

COUNTDOWN TO THE LONDON MARATHON - APRIL 2017

Let's be frank. I am hoping that if you are reading this you will want to continue - and you will also consider making an online donation to the website that is linked to this blog. If you can afford to, please sponsor my charity marathon run for the Salvation Army in London in April. More on all that later but first some information about the wannabe athlete you may be betting on completing the course. A kind of quick once-over of the two-year old fancied filly before parting with any money. Only this time round, the two-year old filly has morphed into a sixty-eight year old writer.

As the end of November 2016 approached, my training calendar/record book showed that I was now four weeks away from my latest - and 76th in a lifetime - blood donation (25/10/2016). I know from interesting experience the importance of giving the body time to recover, not least the older I get. I had waited until the 19th of November before returning to the gym for a session. That went well. So on 25/11/2016 I ventured forth on my run from home - up to Little Trevalgan and back down again. Around 3.5 miles. My local circuit. It took 36 minutes and 35 seconds. I could live with that - it was quite a windy day.

Preparing for my Sally Army run 


Two days later, I was out running again and this time it was two circuits - the first in 37:00, the second in 37:09. (7 miles in 74:09) - and then back to the gym for  another session on the Tuesday.

In December, I managed six runs and two more gym sessions. Two of the runs were long local circuit runs of 7 miles, with times of 73:05 and 75:02. I also clocked up three sessions with my ace physiotherapist, Ben Donaldson, at the St Ives Leisure Centre, and one chiropractic treatment with Tanya in Redruth. Ben is still working to ensure that the plantar fasciitis is kept at bay and Tanya manipulates in order to prevent any weaknesses left by the surgeon's laminectomy four decades ago from surfacing.


Made it!


Rather unfortunately, when matters athletic were going so well - this was my planned period of consolidation before I started the serious business of increasing the mileage from January through to the beginning of April 2017 - someone, on December 30, drove into the back of our stationary new car. And Louise and I were in the car at the time.

No serious damage to our car - much more to the other driver's. A bit of a shock and inevitably some neck issues surfaced within a few days. But I'm glad to report that the combination of physio and chiro treatment and my own experience has meant no damage to the training plan. Two 3.5 mile circuit runs and one gym session so far in January plus - crucially - long runs on Sunday 8th (7 miles in 73:21)and Sunday 15th (7.5 miles in 79:14). We are heading in the right direction!

So it's still a good bet to invest in the 68-year old writer. What do you get for your money? Well, for starters, the satisfaction of knowing that you have supported one of our national treasures - the Salvation Army. No one has a bad word to say about the Sally Army. And so many people I speak to have such positive things to say.


Hard going - London 2012


Here's my peon of praise. When I was a kid, my parents used to meet the Bowns, Bill and Ivy, every month or so on a Saturday evening for a drink either in my home suburb of Welling or a bus ride  away in Lewisham where the Bowns lived. No matter how, I would be waiting for them outside the pub to walk or catch the bus home depending on whether the pub was in Welling or Lewisham. Invariably, I was handed the copy of the War Cry that mum and dad had purchased inside the warmth of that pub interior I glimpsed and smelt (and yearned to enter one day). I may have got my messages confused but I grew up knowing that my mum and dad had respect for the Sally Army. My dad had been in the Royal Artillery - another army. He knew their outreach.

When I got my automatic place for the London Marathon in April 2012 - I was one of the last to get this bonus after five unsuccessful applications - I had intended to run for the Sally Army. But my sister had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law had developed the condition in the recent last years of her life. I switched my sponsorship to the Alzheimer's Society and they were the beneficiary of the £2,000 plus my run raised. Now, it's the turn of the Salvation Army to benefit - and the specific cause is the further development of  a drug rehabilitation unit in Swindon that the Sally Army are responsible for running.

So here is  the link to my Virgin Money Giving website page where online donations can be given.

.My donation link

You will read there about how this run is also my personal tribute to my late father-in-law, Ronald Watkins, who died in July 2015, aged 90. His generosity in leaving me a legacy means I can pledge that I will match the total  sponsorship raised by my run using his legacy.

Many thanks in advance for your support if you are able to donate in this way to a really good and worthwhile cause.