Magic piano, Molehills and Mountains

Probably writing this to a very limited audience ! i.e. 1  ( me) but guess it’s cathartic. (First and last long word used !)  My last post on here was so long ago even I found it interesting (mildly) to read it to remember what I’d said !  It was January 2023, and in it I talked about running the London Marathon last year and the incredible experience it was and the reasons why I ran it.  The last 8 months have flown by and have provided all kinds of experiences.  As you know (well of course you know – it’s only me reading it !) So in January I said I’d try to run every month in official Runs/Races, and sometimes 2 or 3 times a month. My first one was 10 km at Tatton Park in very wet conditions.  At the end as I was walking back to the car, very wet and looking similar to someone who had a shower but forgotten to take their clothes off !, I said to a lady also walking back;

“Why do we do this?”She replied, “Because it’s a bug !”, as she got into her car, with registration: RUN 1.    She has a point !

The next 8 months saw me run as I had planned and up to date have completed 11 official runs.  With Great North coming up in 2 weeks.  Each run with their own story to tell.

For the  two of you i.e. me and my friend on the Isle of Wight ! (family joke -” I only have one friend and he lives on the Isle of Wight ” !)  who have read my previous blog , my bruised face and sore ribs was me falling over a very small stone on a training run !!! Is it old age, too tired, too many stones or just clumsiness  I know which one I think ! This meant that I completed some of the runs with a very strange support around my ribs which gave me an inclining of what women used to go through with a girdle!








Running in  London in February being cheered on by polar bears around Trafalgar Square; was a great experience. Running it with friends and family followed by a lovely lunch was a great ending to the run.
In Chester running past my house where I grew up and all my old haunts was something special;






Lea Valley running 13 times around a route where after 9 laps I lost count ! so I ran somewhere between 20 km and 24 km !Who knows ??? But great to finish the last lap with the ‘little man’!







Great encouragement from friends and family who were running Chorley 10Km;

Loved Manchester half marathon, amazing atmosphere, sharing jelly babies with other runners:- sounds a bit weird I know  but it was offered so who was I to refuse  and I managed to get under 2: 30 for the first time; so jelly babies hence forth to the fore.

Richmond  and Rickling – was great running it with family and friends, again amazing support.

  Abersoch where the winds and rains came and the last 1 km of the 21 km was on the beach!  As we turned the bend to arrive on the beach, I turned to the guy who I was running alongside and we both said; ” ******* **** ” or was it “Oh dear” can’t quite remember,.  Advice apparently was to run as close to the sea as possible where the hard sand was.  However, along the beach were approximately 13 groynes (look it up !) which were highest by the sea and lowest on the soft sand.   A challenge but can’t deny it was great experience.







And then a week ago ran the Lights at Blackpool – probably shouldn’t have due to no runs for over a fortnight; a minor op involving 22 stitches and a chest cough that made it tough to breathe ! But couldnt say no could I – I mean it was in the plan !!! Medal haul was growing so was bought a medal hanger -to make the place look tidy!

Of course have to remember why Im doing all this  ……

in memory of our amazing daughter – Laura

She really is with me on every run I do; her encouragement, her words, her presence.  It may sound very weird but running just makes the memory of Laura even stronger.

“It’s ok to feel low, unsure or emotional.  We are allowed to be vunerable as long as we don’t stay there and we keep pushing forward “

Laura Stephenson

So pushing forward is what I try to do

Just in case you’ve dropped off to sleep ( and who can blame you!) I’m raising funds for The Christie hospital leading up to the London Marathon 2024

The medal is part of the Christie Challenge, which is made up of 6 jigsaw pieces of a medal for 6 separate events I know that many many of you have given already, but sadly Cancer and especially Bowel Cancer is still very much with us and every penny counts to try and find treatments for it .


Every penny counts.


This takes me to the Magic Piano ………….

Now at this point I may well lose my younger readers !  When Junior choice was on the radio on a Saturday, one of my favourite songs along with Puff the Magic Dragon ( but we wont go into that !) was Sparky’s Magic Piano ! See I told you I’d lose you – but bear with ……

Sparky was a young boy who had a magic piano that played itself and everyone thought that it was Sparky that was playing, and he became famous for playing the piano; However, when he got over confident and said he didn’t need the magic piano anymore then the piano refused to play for him !!! What’s this got to do with ‘the price of bread?” I hear you say. Well I think the more confident I got with running the more I thought I can do this easily.  Move to now and I think my body has said ok go on then “Run without me helping”! Hence I now haven’t run for 2 or 3 weeks really ( except for Blackpool and a park run) and I now have to rest with a cough and stitches taken out yesterday but the medics said “No running/sweating for a few days.”  At this point I could go off at a complete tangent but I wont ! Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill but no running for a number of days is: to get down with the kids “Doing me head in!”  Is my body like Sparky’s Magic Piano? Is this a simile or an analogy – I’ll have to ask a teacher !

I never heard the end of Sparky’s story but I’m hoping it turned out to be a positive one as I have the Great North Run in just 2 weeks time !!!!!

And as for the Mountain that episode  I promise will be coming along very soon and a weekend that has left me with a memory of inspiration and an amazing group of people …………..

7 thoughts on “Magic piano, Molehills and Mountains

  1. Haha 😂 proud of you dad! Loved the end you nutter! ‘I haven’t run for 2/3 weeks… apart from ‘ahem’ park run AND Blackpool 🙈🤪😂 REST UP and you’ll make it to Great North Run 😉

  2. Sorry you weren’t well enough to make it this weekend for the family get together, but at least you spent your time productively writing the blog, so entertaining.
    Hope you get well soon and can make the amazing Great North Run but there is no shame if your body isn’t up to it.

  3. great and a surprise to catch your mussings, so a plus one reading!
    i do get a bit down occasionally but like Laura said i try not to stop there.
    Ihave a great deal to be greatful for. my home and Farm…..even though i can no longer drive a tractor, my family , my friends., my village and my little automatic car. time rolls on and come next Easter and my 90th there may be changes. Give up being verger in church…it gets tricky when you rely on a rollator. but hey ho……..thats a future story.

  4. Speaking of Junior Choice – you’re like the little engine going up the hill (what was that one called?)
    I think I can, I think I can, I know I can, I know I can!!!!
    and yer do!!!
    Keep it up old man, we really MUST get together some time in the New Year.
    Southend sea front makes a lovely run – see you at the end!!

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