Category Archives: Non Running

Porridge Swap Begins

Here’s something I’m helping to initiate for the charity I ran London Marathon for. It’s not your usual fundraising plea…


Welcome to the official launch of #PorridgeSwap!

Inspired by the “one red paperclip” story, the premise of Porridge Swap is simple: start with a portion of instant porridge, swap it for something bigger and better, then continue to swap for 12 months before auctioning the final item to raise funds for African Children’s Fund to support projects like their Porridge Clubs in Kenya.

Kenyan Porridge Club One of the Kenyan Porridge Clubs supported by African Children’s Fund

Starting in Small Charity Week 2015, the #PorridgeSwap will continue until the start of the 2016 Small Charity Week, when the final item will then be auctioned.

So how will it work?

  • Each item will be listed in its own post
  • We’ll invite you to make an offer of what you’re willing to swap
  • Once we’ve received an offer or two we’ll announce a deadline for any more offers
  • Then we’ll review all…

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#LondonMarathonSelfie Winner

As a keen Twitterer I find myself entering all manner of competitions.  Some of my friends think I’m lucky but if you enter as many competitions as I do, it’s hard not to win one or two of them.

With my marathon fever in full force I tweeted a good old selfie as part of TNT’s #LondonMarathonSelfie competition, celebrating their role as logistics partner for the London Marathon:

Think my geeky t-shirt may have helped me win

I then, as with many of the competitions I enter, completely forgot about it until I got a tweet confirming I’d won!

Brilliant timing, given that I’d decided to do the honourable thing and retire my marathon shoes.

When the package arrived I opened it like a Christmas present, eager to find out what model and colour of Asics I’d won.

A gleaming pair of Asics GT-2000-2 were staring back at me, in glorious TNT orange.


Now all I have to do is decide which orange top to wear with them:

A post #LondonMarathonSelfie

Thank you TNT, these will certainly help me with my post-marathon running targets.

#Janathon 2015 Day 3 – First Run of 2015

It’s day 3 of Janathon and finally I’ve recorded my first run of 2015.  And it was a special one.

This morning I opted to stay in bed instead of getting up to go to parkrun but it wasn’t because of the weather and it wasn’t to avoid a run.  With a long run due tomorrow morning today was the last chance of the festive break to lay in.  And I’d promised The Wife that we’d go for an “urbanrun” instead – it’d be less muddy than parkrun.

With the rain tapping on the bedroom’s velux, I thought it might disuade The Wife from heading out for the run.

I shouldn’t have doubted her.

The Wife hasn’t been running for long (just over a year ago she decided “if you can’t beat ‘im, join ‘im) but she’s got a great stubborn streak and we’re trying to harness it during her runs.

It turns out she had it with her today.  The weather didn’t stop her setting foot outside and, in fact, it didn’t stop her putting in one of her strongest 5k runs to date.

It wasn’t a personal best in terms of time (that’s not surprising considering the weather was terrible and a couple of road crossings slowed us to a standstill) but it was definitely a personal best in terms of attitude and attack: her determination to get stuck in despite the rain and digging in through the last kilometre to increase the pace was awesome.

I’m very proud of her.  And she should be too.

The Hidden Secret of Shreddies

Another day, another run.  Tonight was an easy 5 miles to shake out any stiffness from Sunday’s 10 miler.  The run was good – relatively relaxed but still achieved 9 minute miles – and as has become my post-run tradition, I checked my feedback from adidas miCoach, stretched, showered and then had a nice cold half a pint of fruit juice.  Refreshing!  Tonight I felt like I needed something else.  Resisting the chocolate, biscuits and crisps I thought a bowl of cereal would be a healthy option.  But not all is as it seems! Continue reading The Hidden Secret of Shreddies

Why run?

Since my last post having reached the half way point of my half marathon training I’ve tried to apply a more positive and determined attitude to my adidas miCoach workouts.  Sure, the app tells me what pace band I need to run in but I choose at what point in the band.  It was time to push for the top of the bands instead of taking the easy option of sitting at the bottom.  My determination has been rewarded with a great sense of achievement.  Not only have I put some of the doubt about my pace behind me but I feel great! Continue reading Why run?

My Theme Park

As my 2012 Arthouse sketchbook tours America searching for its 3rd checkout I’m starting to think about participating in the 2013 project.  The one thing holding me back is a lack of inspiration.

When signing up to the 2012 worldwide art project you had to select a theme from a list of 30 or so words, phrases or titles.  Whilst I found this list initially very constrictive, it provided a great starting point to get my creative juices flowing.

The 2013 is different.  Instead of whimsical themes that grab your imagination by the hand and lead it off into the sunset, there is a choice of 10 book “categories”.  This somewhat clinical starting point had just built a barrier between me and the 2013 project.  The Wife, who enjoyed her first forage in the woods if creativity with the 2012 project, was devastated: how was she going to find the spark to generate enough energy to overcome her nervousness towards being “creative”.  She found being forced to choose a theme in 2012 helped push her forward.  This year’s list was just too vague to offer her any direction.

The only way I was going to get over my own barrier and help The Wife find a starting point, would be to brainstorm like I’ve never brainstormed before.  Clichés, sayings, single words; they all spewed onto the page of my everyday sketchbook. Continue reading My Theme Park

Page 25 – Beyond Porthminster

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

Having relatives in St Ives means there’s no excuse for not visiting the amazing Cornwall countryside.  Having an artist as your aunt (Sally MacCabe – find her website here) who lives in Cornwall means there’s no excuse for not being creative while you’re down there!

Beyond Porthminster
Page 25 - Beyond Porthminster

I sketched this view across Porthminster beach from my aunt’s first floor lounge window, sitting above her studio, one morning.