Some normality for now - In the name of Thiago - Day 288

I have safely negotiated my first day back at work. This is a fairly unremarkable statement I know and in truth I had no concerns about being back. Well I say being back - I am still very much doing the working from home thing. I anticipate this being the case for about the next 15 years. I jest, but with Wales going into national lockdown today and Cheshire being a neighbouring English county, I sense something similar may not be all that far away. The winter months are fast approaching and it's becoming more and more obvious that things are about to get a lot worse before they start getting better again.Moving on from that cheery note, (sorry!) I may as well switch to telling you what I have been doing. It hasn't quite gone as I'd planned. Unfortunately a colleague in my team had to leave work unexpectedly and I've picked up their workload or at least some of it. Naturally that doesn't mean the other things that I probably ought to be getting on with are being pa…

What's next Chris? - In the name of Thiago - Day 287

Whether it be media interviewers or simply interested bystanders, the same question keeps cropping up. What are you going to do now? People aren't necessarily expecting me to take on another huge challenge immediately but I think they are just as concerned that I don't get lost in the aftermath of general life and a return to whatever normal might look like these days.One thing that I've thought about since the heady heights of Friday afternoon, is that I could not have been luckier with how everything fell into place with the lack of restrictions in the parts of the country where I was walking. Everyone that planned to come on the walk joined in and the whole thing, aside from my abysmal geography, went off without a hitch. I worked hard to make it a success and I had some helpful lucky breaks. I am exceptionally proud of myself for having pulled it all off in the midst of a global pandemic too.
Essentially I just vegged out today. The only time I got off my backside prett…

Reflections on a job well done - In the name of Thiago - Day 286

Simply wow. I am still in a state of shock from yesterday - it was an absolutely incredible day. I've spent today doing precisely nothing, which was exactly as planned and my feet are already feeling normal again. They don't look normal, far from it, but hey no-one's perfect!I spent the whole day in a state of suspended disbelief, or at least on reflection that's what I think I was going through. It started with seeing my friends from Eastbourne, Aussie Dan and Jamie Hickey at the Ten Green Bottles in Stone before we'd even set off. My brother's girlfriend had kept that from me and Angelica, having given them a lift up from the south coast on Thursday night. I stood gormlessly looking at them through the window for what seemed an age, just not quite able to compute the information that my eyes were presenting. The day continued on in a similar theme.
Here we all were at the start of the day - not just any day but one of the most memorable days of my life. My wed…

I have no words (Stone to Royal Stoke University Hospital) - In the name of Thiago - Day 285

I'm going to level with you here straight up. I truly have nothing left in the tank to offer you tonight. I have been completely blown away by everything that's happened. I cannot even offer you the now well established line of sarcasm. I barely have the energy to fucking swear. The well has run dry. And this is why.
I walked up towards the children's hospital entrance at the Royal Stoke today and I was greeted by this sight. People lining the streets to greet me. But they weren't just lining the streets, they were applauding. Loudly. I will probably never experience anything like this again but you know what, I'll have this memory for the rest of my life.I was completely overwhelmed. As many of you will know, it is not a common thing for me to be lost for words - it's not a terribly helpful trait for a broadcaster - but today I was truly gobsmacked. These people in their scrubs are the real heroes: the heroes of our NHS - probably the greatest organisation that…

The final step is in sight - (Little Haywood to Stone) - In the name of Thiago - Day 284

I had thought about writing today's blog about the impossibly pompous twat that we met on the canal path, who refused to engage with me on any level today, justifying his recalcitrance on the fact that he already donates to a local hospital in Southampton. This led to my learned friend Rob launching into some wonderful north v south stereotypes, which I was only too happy to indulge him in. Rob has been an amazing support to me - frankly he can do what he bloody likes!But no, to give pompous man from Southampton more editorial space would be a terrible injustice. And the reason for that is because it has been another absolutely phenomenal day spent with truly wonderful company, which Mr shit for brains shall not be permitted to overshadow. I make no apology for boring you with reading these platitudes. The fact is that I've got some pretty special friends, who are making me feel like a champion at the moment.
And here are your starters for seven today. From left to right starti…

Let's cut to the chase (Cannock to Little Haywood) - In the name of Thiago - Day 283

Yes, let's cut to the chase; Cannock Chase in fact. I'd been looking forward to this stage of the homeward bound part of the walk for a few days. The final week criss-crossing as it has from Birmingham to Stourbridge then over to Wolverhampton and on to Cannock yesterday has been a bit of a mess in some ways. Essentially I'd always wanted to do this over four weeks but as I was planning it all I realised that I would end up getting to Birmingham sooner than I'd initially thought.This walk could have been done over three and a half weeks really but as the idea of doing this as well as providing a legacy for my beautiful son Thiago, has been about doing my bit with the fundraising, stretching it out over four weeks is giving me an outside chance of reaching my ambitious £20,000 target if not by Friday then certainly soon after. This was the dream team for the day, from left to right I give you Jez Goodman, Alex Reay, Adam Parkes, Mark Delicata and yours truly. Look at our…

One to move on from (Wolverhampton to Cannock) - In the name of Thiago - Day 282

I'm going to level with you here. I'd quite like it to stop fucking raining. Admittedly yes, it was forecast but gees come on it's just been non-stop for days now apart from on Sunday, when as luck would have it I was having a rest day. I have it on no particular authority at all that it may well remain dry for the rest of the week - I reckon I deserve it. It all started off so well today in quite magnificent weather you might even say. I was certainly enjoying the warmth on my back, ok relative warmth, it is October after all. There was just Adam and myself today for the duration and I'll be honest, I wasn't quite 'feeling it', as Elisa would say. Maybe my slight drop in intensity reflected in how I put myself across today as we had a fairly lousy day on the bucket. Our meanderings raised £25 though the second half of the day was in tipping down rain, which never helps.
Look at the pair of us, still at this point enjoying the dry and some fairly cracking vie…