I know him from somewhere... - In the name of Thiago - Day 290

There's something strangely surreal about watching yourself on television, especially surrounded by your wife, daughter and father. We were at my dad's this evening to celebrate his 68th birthday but we bunged Midlands Today on at 6.30, as is customary for many people I guess who live in the patch and waited to see how my interview with Nick Owen and the piece in general came across.I know it's boring to keep saying this but watching the news tonight made me feel proud - there's no other way of putting it. I've done my level-headed best to ensure that as many people as possible know about my boy and just what a remarkable little chap he was. And it's like I said in the interview today, it really is all for Thiago - he's my driving force, the brave little boy who is helping me go from lightweight soft touch to strong-willed and determined. That is Thiago's legacy - and I'm going to keep going.
They used some lovely photos of the little man and I loved…

Making the most of every day - In the name of Thiago - Day 289

I was warned about the aftermath. It was never going to take a genius to establish that the days following the end of the walk would be tough. Nothing is likely to get close to the feeling that I had on Friday again. Now that's not to say that I yearn for that, but it is to say that now that I know what I can achieve, I'm not going to be so timid about striking out to achieve it. The world is my lobster.For the time being, I'm just quietly going about my business trying to get my ideas to be reality and pushing a few things here and there. Following through and completing the walk - and frankly apart from the blisters doing so with a bit to spare - has really given me the lift in my confidence that I so desperately needed. I'll be using this experience as a way of saying: just look what I can do, as although I'm very much an extrovert, some of my maverick behaviour has been a bit of a cover for the lack of self-esteem and confidence that I've suffered from most…

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…