@charityoars #charityoars

Lets see now, we have Dean Headley, Martin Bayfield, Boris Johnson, Clare Balding, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Austin Healey, Craig Doyle, James Pritchard, Brendan Burke, Harry Peck – So far, but we have a lot more room on the #charityoars to fill, can you help?Image


Many thanks to @clarebalding @jggmedia

So off I went travelling into the fair city of London, just me, a copy of the Metro and some music. Travelling on the District Line was a lot of fun, plenty of seats, cheery fellow travellers and the sun shining away. A short 5 minute stroll from Gunnersbury tube station and into the very swish offices of JGG Media. I had (prior to this visit) checked out some of their clients, nothing more embarrassing than being in a lift with a celeb, and not recognising them. Pretty sure our BFF Helen Skelton has forgiven us by now…!

So why was I back in the offices of JGG Media I hear you ask? Well the rather lovely and very generous Clare Balding has very kindly signed the #charityoars for us. So after a cheery chat with Mark off I went back to the District Line. Now, my journey down had been rather pleasant, I was now travelling back into the city with an 8 foot oar, what could possibly go wrong?

District Line to Hammersmith, no problems. As usual a few bizarre looks and quizzical gazes, surely everyone has travelled with an oar on the tube before, it can’t be such a unique sight? Then we found ourselves on the Piccadilly Line. My timing was not ideal, but it’s amazing the space you can get yourself if you have an oar with you. Quite why one lady felt that I had travelled with an oar so she could hold onto it instead of the fixed handles that are part of the carriage I have no idea, the look of sheer fright when I moved it away and she reached for it and it wasn’t there was priceless. On the plus side it made a chap laugh out loud…!

“So why have you got an oar with signatures on?” I was asked on more than one occasion, I do love to be asked, and actually the timing was rather good as a couple of days previously Lifeblood had released a statement raising concerns over commuters being affected by blood clots.

“So did you meet Clare Balding?” I was asked, to wit I replied “Sadly not in person”. The general consensus of opinion is that she’s a blooming lovely chap, and I to go along with that opinion.

So we now have another signature on the #charityoars who should we ask next?



7 Triathlons in 7 Days …!

Would you have been able to complete the following?

A 3km row, 20km bike ride and a 5km run. Not once, or twice but 7 times in 7 days…!

Ian Jackson has successfully completed 7 sprint triathlons in 7 days and has (presently) raised £2300 for Lifeblood (the Thrombosis Charity) and Help for Heroes. 

About this amazing accomplishment Ian said “It is now nearly a week since I finished the 7 half triathlons in 7 days challenge (Each day completed in below 1 hour 15 mins) and the legs still hurt a bit but we are still getting money in and have now raised over £2300 for the fabulous Lifeblood Charity.”

“Thanks to everyone for their messages of support this week. I have used the support to help to drive me along and get through the 7 days and it is just hitting home now that I have completed 7 half triathlons in 7 days.”

Please pop over to Ian’s charity page and see how you can help.


7 Triathlons in 7 Days …!!

Ian Jackson is about to start something that (for me, being of soundish mind) thinks is a mixture of amazing, mad, crazy, fantastic and just a tad “yikes”…!

Ian is planning to undertake 7 triathlons in 7 days. (that’s 7 days between the 10th of May and the 16th May, not 7 days between now and “some date in the future”) Ian is fund raising for 2 charities; Help for Heroes and Lifeblood.

Please take a look at Ian’s Just Giving page and read the reasons behind this amazing task he’s set himself. If you can help support Ian in his fundraising campaign that would be great, but please do let others know about what he’s trying to achieve.

Please click here and find out more.

In the meantime, best of luck Ian. I think it’s an amazing thing you’re undertaking and this from a chap who took an 8 foot oar onto the Piccadilly Line during rush hour…!


Look who’s Signing the #charityoars @clarebalding

Yesterday was a tiring day for yours truly, and it’s fair to say that the pain killers have been close by today and I might have had a nap on the sofa earlier and awoke with a labrador using my leg as a pillow and to make matters worse my cup of tea was cold and we’d run out of milk …! Life is hard at times …

Any ho ….

To brighten the day we had a message from Clare Balding via our twitter account @charityoars and she has very kindly signed one of the #charityoars to help our campaign. It’s nice to know that people are getting behind the campaign, yes it’s still in its infancy, but with only 340 days to go until the “PE Day +4 Auction” (just come up with that) isn’t it great to have such support..!

So, from me a big thank you, from Lifeblood an even bigger thank you and from the potential people we raise awareness of #Thrombosis #DVTs #PulmonaryEmbolisms for, a massive thank you ….!

(now who else can we get to sign the #charityoars ?)


National Thrombosis Week – Patients Day

Well let’s just say I now realise that any chance of being a commuter again is a definite NO….! In the past I used to be up at 05:30, get the train at 06:30, in the office by 07:30 and be home by 21:00. Yesterday, I caught a train at 08:00 and was home by 18:00 and I’m blooming shattered…! So there you have it in a nutshell, suffering from a Massive Pulmonary Embolism really does take it out of you, those blooming consultants may have known what they were talking about after all…… Any ho …

Yesterday morning was the first ever National Thrombosis Week’s “patients day” and St Thomas’s Hospital (south of the river) was hosting the event. So with #charityoars in hand off I went. Now let me just explain, travelling on a commuter train with an oar was an interesting experience, all those suited chaps and ladies with coiffured hair all tapping away on their iPads not daring to look up or even speak to anyone were slightly flummoxed by an oar carrying chap, who not only wasn’t suited and booted, but was worse “HE WAS A NEW FACE ON THE TRAIN” and no doubt I sat in someone’s seat….! So the poor people didn’t know how to react, dare they speak to the stranger, was that allowed? I definitely heard a few headphones become louder, and the passion for reading their iPads became even stronger, but there were a couple of brave commuters (who sadly have probably by now been shunned by their fellow travellers and sent to the “carriage of shame” for breaking the golden rule of commuting “NEVER TALK TO ANYONE”…!)

Anyway as I was saying, I was able to speak to 2 or 3 fellow travellers and explain exactly why I was taking up room in their carriage with a bloody big oar. Now to me, if I was able to speak to 3 people about DVT’s, PE’s, Thrombosis and of course Lifeblood, then that’s 3 more people who now know. So we pulled into Kings Cross, a few nods of thanks for breaking the journey up with tales of Ill health (and not being contagious) and a few “good luck on the Piccadilly line” comments and off I went.

Having commuted for well over 15 years I realised that I really should have carried an oar with me before during peak commuter times. Now Harry Potter has his wooden stick (or “wand” as it’s also called), me, well I had a 6 foot “get out of my way I’m going that way” stick..!It was fantastic, no one pushed past me on the way to the escalators, no one tried to cross in front of me and god forbid anyone should try getting too close behind.

Well I made it safely to St Thomas’s hospital and found my way to the Lifeblood patients day meeting room. A warm welcome from Annya and Katherine, then to the coffee table……!

During the day there were some amazing stories from other patients. The overriding message was one of strength and the desire to raise awareness of a condition that takes more lives than Breast Cancer, Aids and Road Accidents combined each and every year. Awareness is key, not only for the patients, but for the medical community. It was staggering just how many cases had been misdiagnosed, I say “staggering” it was more like “atrocious” …!

It’s hard to explain, and even trickier to convey the emotional and psychological effects of the trauma that many of those that spoke had been through. Of course when the lovely person from Liverpool spoke about their journey, it not only rang so many home truths about dealing with the medical world and trying to make them understand the fact that we actually know our bodies, but it was delivered with a stereotypical scouse style of cheery banter and tales of drunken nights out…! As for the purple mini called Mary that was the source of strength for another fellow survivor, well lets just say I send them all a hearty salute of admiration for keeping going.

I managed to have a quick few words about the Charity Oars and my reasons behind how I ended up there and I bid my farewells as I had Fundraising work to carry out ……