Thursday, 7 November 2013

Homecoming to Love Hope and Strength

When I left off from the last blog.. I was at LAX waiting to get on the plane to come home.  Its difficult to describe the feelings I had at that point.  It all seemed a bit surreal really, and I felt wierd not being on the road. 
I was sad to say goodbye to my friends here but it was time to be at home.  I love having adventures but at the end of the day, home, Reading and my workplace is where I really belong.
I landed at Heathrow to a lovely (low key as ordered) arrival and lunch with my parents, my brother and emma.  Finally got rid of some of the presents that I had been hauling around for weeks lol, and caught up.
It was funny, id start to tell a story from the road, to find them quoting my blog back to me... well at least it saved me having to talk too much.
And then I went home, put my feet up in front of the tv, and took it easy... right? ?.... errr nope... I went to a gig!
One of the many things that helped keep the pedals turning on crap days, was the thought that if I missed my flight home, id miss the Big Country gig.  Whilst I was away, Big Country had been on tour and Love Hope Strength Foundation had been swabbing people for the bone marrow donor list... and I had been missing it... big time!  All the efforts of the volunteers had resulted in many people signed up on this tour,  and the word of LHS spread to many more, and it was high time I got my arse in gear and did some work.  So off to Southend we went. What a night! Loads of people signed up, met lots of new people, caught up with old friends and called up onstage by Mike Peters, the founder of the charity and all time legend. Luckily my wierd suntan lines on my face hid my embarrassment but thank you mike, I really appreciated it. The gig was brilliant, despite the fact that none of the band members felt well.. they all struggled through to give the audience a great night, certainly one I will never forget.  My brother is now trained to swab and it was good to see Fitz, an outstandingly dedicated volunteer and to catch up with Mr Warden and the rest of the crew. It's great to be home...
Even the walk back to the car deserves a mention, purely for the Route 66 sign on top of one of the buildings... wierd huh?
The drive home was pretty quiet, (fortunately Emma was driving as jet lag was starting to hit) as we were all knackered. We dropped Paul off and I was persuaded to go to A and E for my foot, which probably wasnt made better by jumping up and down at the gig but I cant help myself.  To cut a long story short, after 2 and a half hours of waiting I was very restless and impatient and gave up, instead climbing the 6 flights of stairs (parker take note) to work for coffee, toast and a bit of a catch up at 4am!
I eventually got home and faced the task of unloading kit, unlocked my door.... and stopped dead in my tracks. My house was not only decorated with balloons and banners but had been cleaned from top to bottom, complete with new bedspread (apparently there were big discussions as to whether the teenage mutant ninja turtle one or the pink princess one was more 'suitable') and a Route 66 sign hanging on my wall. I was literally speechless... so thank you very very much to Emma and Jill for such a kind thought!
The homecoming was made complete out at dinner last night... I am so very lucky to have people like you guys to come home to... thankyou xx
And so began the week... one which will be taking me to Ipswich, Nottingham, Doncaster and Grimsby,  swabbing people with other fantastic volunteers for the bone marrow donor list.  So if you have enjoyed my journey and are interested in GETTING ON THE LIST with LOVE HOPE STRENGTH FOUNDATION and DELETE BLOOOD CANCER, please go to www.deletebloodcancer.co.uk, where you can get a home swabbing kit, and www.lovehopestrength.co.uk for details of the charity and other events coming up.  We always need volunteers to help with the swabbing, so if you would like to help other people save lives, drop me a message or go to The LHS website.

So to summarize the journey in a few words....tough, beautiful, emotional, raw and peaceful.  Over 2400 miles (roughly) in 24 days of cycling - 2 hours later than scheduled arrival to friends with a gig to celebrate. Total so far raised now over £6000 - www.justgiving.com/Route66LHS.

Thank you once again to everyone for the support and to Mike Peters for Music and Inspiration
This is not the end... I will continue to dream of adventure and put those dreams into reality as life is short and can only be lived once... please keep an eye out on my blog and facebook page for ideas and plans of future adventures and LHS.. 
FIGHT BACK, DREAM ALOUD AND STAY ALIVE