A 10k, a Birthday and amazing friends !

or You really should know better at your age ! 

There is a saying that I have often heard, and indeed I have often used it myself  – “In this life you can count on the fingers of one hand ( why they don’t just say 5 or strictly speaking 4 fingers plus a thumb I have no idea !) the number of absolutely true friends that you can totally rely upon when you need them!   This may well be true for a majority or even a minority of people. At our front door we have a sign which says ” Friends welcome, Family by appointment !” Hopefully “The family” know me well enough to just go – ‘Yeah yeah – whatever ! ‘ We don’t mean it really 😉  Family of course are very important but  since starting out on this ‘Mad Malawian Adventure’ the friends element has been put more into focus.  Those ‘four fingers and a thumb’ have now increased to at least 2 sets of gloves and a couple of mittens !

If you’ve read the previous post on this blog you will know that there were two additions to ‘The Family’ very recently.  And I make no apology for adding another picture of them in this post ! – there has to be some plusses for reading this drivel !! ……………………..

…………… as well as making no apology to those of you who are teachers for starting a sentence with ‘And’  and all the other grammatical errors that I make – It’s written exactly how my brain thinks which has never wanted to conform anyway,  let alone conform with any SPAG rules  !!

Following their arrival I had loads of messages from friends congratulating and commenting on their birth  And for all of you I really thank you.  (oops done it again ! – just plain wicked !) I have passed on all your wishes and comments to their Mum and Dad


Then last Sunday of course I took part in the Blackpool 10K Fun Run. A slight misrepresentation of the name I feel – it was set in Blackpool and it was 10k but as for the last part ………but we will let that one go. It was an extremely warm if not hot day.  The atmosphere was as usual really good and very supportive of all the runners.  Despite looking ‘like I was the grim Reaper’s stand in’ as one kind friend put it, I managed to complete the course in just over the hour – which was about what I thought I would do but sadly not what I wanted to do ! One of the reasons I took part was to raise money for VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) and my forthcoming work in Malawi.
I also took part to prove how fit I was – failed; to beat my time for last year – failed; as well as to smile for the whole of the 10k – failed, although I did manage to put my 2 thumbs up when told to ! ( I do sometimes mix up my fingers and thumbs  – my apologies to the little old lady who shouted “well done  – Two thumbs up” !)
But as far as raising money was/is concerned I am absolutely in awe of how generous people are, even so far as the guy called Alan who donated to my JustGiving page by adding,   “Im the guy who passed you on the Trinity 10K on Blackpool prom. Keep up the good work.” (Did he really have to get in the dig about passing me ? ) – just amazing. All of you who have donated I am really touched by your generosity and actually all your comments have really made a difference.  Some of the donations are from people I have known for a long long time, some are from ex pupils of schools where I have worked, while others are from people I have really only just got to know.  Actually it’s not just the donations but also the comments that people have made to me  (ignoring the ‘You must be absolutely off your rocker” and that of course is the Radio Edit version ! ) that have really made me think how lucky I am to know such a great group of people.  Rightly or wrongly all of these people I now feel have become even stronger friends. I just hope that this ‘friendship’ will continue in a ‘communication’ form over the next 12 months when I absolutely know that I will need all the support that I can get.  Your support will now mean such a lot to me.  Thank you

My next 10k is on May 28th in Manchester.  For those of you who haven’t donated yet but would like to do so my JustGiving page can be accessed by clicking on the JustGiving links on this blog.   I’m 83% of the way to reaching my total  Thank you all so much

To emphasise this friendship support, the following day after the 10k I had my birthday. I had more e-wishes for my birthday than I have ever had; no cards though but maybe that’s a sign of the times ! …………………  I did really just kidding !  Witness the one on the left with the inside inscription – “Saw this card and thought it was totally appropriate !”    …………..  I don’t know what they mean !




Again thank you all so much for your thoughts,  generosity, conversations, messages  – really touched.   Next Post – the malaria drug quandary !!!!!!!

Don’t forget add any comments below – I love to get them

2 thoughts on “A 10k, a Birthday and amazing friends !

  1. Mike, well done and all that for this thing you are doing. I know most people think you are bonkers including me, but it must take some nuts to leave all the comforts of home behind to live like you are going to be doing for the next 12 months and just to help those less fortunate, bloody commendable man. I shall be writing to her Maj to see if I can get you a meddle or something. Anyway good luck with it and If I was you I’d take some Mars Bars with you or spam, anything as long as it’s not grasshoppers or whatever it is you are going to live off when you get there. Cheers man Gm – PS, just looking at your header picture, call me old fashioned but wouldn’t it be a good idea to buy the kids a few chairs and perhaps a desk before giving them ipads and Beat’s, just a thought !?

  2. Thank you for your insightful and helpful comments. Please do let her Maj know that she is more than welcome anytime to look around my mud hut. I have infact researched the taking of Mars bars and found some very interesting facts about Marianne. Think I may well leave the amars bars at home

    Just for information desks and chairs are just sooooooooooo yesterday

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