Saturday, November 5, 2011

Olympic Game 2012

Hi everyone
It has been a long time since i last wrote to you, the E2E is now becoming a distant dream. Alex still has pride of place in my sitting room and my wall holds the GWR certificate that my team made possible, so why write now? I once again need your help.
Last year, along with 25000 other hopefuls, i applied to be a Games Maker at the 2012 Olympic Games, we made it to the interview and yes we made it the selection and have been offered a place as one of the 70000 Games Maker and will be posted to the transport section at the athletics village, I have my support team, we have all the camping equipment we need but we do not have a grass to put them upon Can you help us.
What we are looking for is accommodation for myself and my team very near to the Olympic Villiage..
This could be two rooms, someones garden to put up or tents, infact we would consider most places that we could hang our hats. A church room, a hall. ect Remember i am in a wheelchair so we need washing facilities on the ground floor along with two beds.
Dates
17th July –Games are 27th July to 12th
Aug 20 th – 17th Aug

If you think you can help then please email me
mary.laver.e2e@gmail.com
Thank you
Mary
.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Great North Run

Hi everyone
I seek your help.
This year i am been pushed in my 15th Great North Run and i am not doing for a well known charity but our local wildlife hedgehog sanctuary who desperately need our help.
You can find out more by going to https://sites.goole.com/site/pricklepad they need all the help they can get.
thanks
mary

Thursday, March 10, 2011

10th March 2011

Just come across this i hope you find it a good read.

“You have got to do the miles!”

I can remember looking at the weather map on the BBC and thinking “am I really going to drive ‘Alex’ my power chair, all the way from one end of this wonderful country of ours to the other, namely Lands End 2 John O’Groats?”

The reality of the task that I had set myself, did not really hit me until I had secured a team of people together, managed to raise the money against all the odds, got all the equipment together including hiring a second van, and with my team assembled, we slipped away from my home at 0630 on Friday 17th July 09.

The Journey to Lands End was an adventure in itself as we realised when we packed the hire van, I had hired a van that was too small, and had to be changed ASAP. The guys in our team pushed boxes and stuff bags into every corner, just managing to get the side door closed. We could not wait for the hire company to open to see if they had a larger van as we need time to get to Lands End and as the hire company was a national company, we decide to press on and deal with the situation on the road putting Addy, one of my care team, on the case. Using her female power of persuasion Addie did resolve our problem but the new larger van could not be picked up until the Monday.

We arrived at out first campsite at midnight feel very cold, tied and in need of a good hot drink. Just a couple more things to tell you, it was raining and the guys had never put the tens up before! The campsite owners at the Bone Valley Holiday Park could not have been any more helpful. They held a strip light to help the guys see while putting up the tents as it was pitch black and drizzly and went step further by bringing out the brews all round! Me, I just sat in my van dry and warm.

I could tell you of more wonderful stories like this of campsite owners just going that extra mile to accommodate us. Of church halls, Boys Brigade Halls and village halls that stepped in to help us when we had problems with staying on a campsite due to the appalling weather. To you all, thank you.

The journey that we were to undertake was to start at Lands End on Saturday 18th July 09 at 1400 hours. I had been in contact with the Royal British Legion and they promised a standard-bearer and a few other people to send us off. This they did and more. The official photographs were taken at the signpost and we made our way to the start line. Philip, my cyclist for the journey and I got kitted up, crash hat, flag on the back of Alex, and crossed the official starting line at 1430. The journey had started.

The first day was only 10 miles back to our campsite. Distance enough to get use to Alex on the open road; I had only had Alex 2 days before we set off. That evening the team, with Alex, went out to dinner and we had an early night.

Putting me to bed is not any easy task due to the extent of my disability, and usually took up to 1/2 an hour and the morning get up always took 3 hrs no matter how had we tried to cut it back. Revally was always at 0600…I started the day with two cups off good Fairtrade coffee and Organic rice milk. Just one big point I have not told you. The whole team were feed on Organic and Fairtrade food. Well for 80% of the time.

The first full days ride was to me be the tester. I was sure I could drive 40 miles, but had only put this to the test once. The riding team consisted of Graham our team leader. Philip our cyclist. One person from my care team and myself. The first day and a few more to follow, were to be the hardest. I had to get use to the way that Philip would give out his instructions while we are on the road. I soon realise that while Philip was not too polite while we are on the road. He would not say while approaching a junction, “Mary when we get to the line I want you to stop and I will tell you when to go”. No Philip would say, “Go to the line and stop at the line, pointing to the ground. When I say go, go”. I knew that when Philip said go no matter where we were, I was safe to go, and seeing I am blind in my right eye, I would not see the traffic on my right without moving Alex, I trusted Philip enough and went on his command. Philip was the sort of guy who would say, “Stop” for whatever reason, and I stopped dead. There could be many reasons for this command, but one stood out to me above all others, location I am not too sure as one place blurred into an other. Any way Philip said his usual stop, turn 45 degree to the right and I stopped. I said to him we are either going the wrong way, which did happen on many occasions, or there is a beautiful view I had missed due to my blind right eye. I turned 45 degrees to the right and was meet by a breathtaking view. Why people have to go abroad for holidays when we have such a beautiful countryside I will never know.

The idea behind accommodation was we would stay on campsite and use YHAs; we had three YHAs booked for the whole trip. This worked well for the first few days due to the weather not being too bad. We stayed on our second campsite for just one night, “Treyarnon Caravan and Camping Park”. this was a real tester for all the team, as we had not had a trial run before.

By the time we, the power chair party arrived at “Treyarnon” if I remember rightly the campsite took some finding but was well worth it, the advance party had to put up four tents... Addie was in charge of the kitchen and the mess tent and as well as doing the cooking in this tent, she was to be sharing we also had to charge Alex’s batteries. Besides a lot of the cooking equipment and food in various boxes and cool boxes, we had only two gas rings and a small oven; from this tent hot, tasty food for eight people would emerge. Being organic of course, it tasted superior, and the team admitted that. At the end of a days long run for wheelchair team and the forward team, Adie would put on the table, and so would other team members during our 4 weeks on the road, meals that were hot, very tasty, and tasted as if they had been cooked at home, not in a tent in the middle of a field with rain pouring down. We drank good Fairtrade coffee and the odd bottle of organic wine. I took along some organic bear for the guys. We were all drawn to the mess tent like families to the kitchen. The person who had been with me during the day had the job of feeding me my evening meal…Thanks to all the cooks, and I think everyone had a hand at some part of the challenge at producing a meal. Graham is a dab hand at putting full English breakfasts on the table. I kepted to my diet so only got my full English towards the end of the challenge. Well worth waiting for.

So how did it all work, putting a roof over the heads for eight tied and hungry people for 4 weeks? Feeding them, making sure they had adequate personal washing and cooking facilities as well as looking after me. Looking after my care needs is no easy no mater where we were, in a tent, a church hall, YHA or a hotel…

Our tent consisted of a tent for the guys, a tent for the girls, my tent, which I shared with who ever was dong, the sleepover, the mess tent and Alan our driver of the support van, took his one man tent. We discovered that my tent was too small for the hoist and we had to buy a new one, this had to be exchanged due to the zip breaking...

Due to the extreme bad weather, many of the campsites we hoped to stay at were a bit too wet underfoot so we made a few phone calls to people that Graham knew. I did not know how many people he knew until I found myself, and the team, staying in a selection of church halls, churches, Boys Brigade halls and a Black Watch Community Centre.

Some of the halls did not have different rooms, so we all bunked in together in one large hall. I was sheltered at one end by various means, as I had to have my personal needs seen to including toileting and washing. This did not mean that a good hot meal would not appear O no. Who ever was duty cook for the night produced meals to feed us all. Jason, one of our team and who plays a guitar, got us all singing after the meal. So has the rain poured down outside, we were warm and dry inside.

Not all our accommodation was in village halls and campsites. We did stay in Premier Lodges, which I am very disappointed to say, did not have suitable accommodation for wheelchair chair users. I think that for any hotel to get starts they must have a portion of 1% of their rooms suitable for wheelchair users with a walk in shower.

While I am on my soapbox about accommodation, in this the 21 century, all accommodation should cater for disabled people. Why they do not, to me is just pure discrimination.

We booked into three YHAs along the route. The first one I arrived at at midnight, we found that even though it had a ramp up to the door, there were still two steps we could not negotiate with the power chair. Sleeping in the dudgeons was out that night and we moved onto a hotel that said it had a lift. The lift was so small, to get in, I had to be transferred onto my commode to get up to my room. The next YHA though it had a shower I could not get into it and our last YHA I knew I could not sleep in so a tent was put up for me and Jenny, she had the short straw that night and was on sleeping duty in my tent..
Let us talk about the route
The route we took, as I have said, was the CTC YHA route and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to do the E2E. I was to be taken; using this route, on mainly minor A & B roads thought some f the most stunning countryside of the UK. We went down country lanes, along some major roads, but only for a short distance, we went over beautiful more lands and saw rivers, lakes and beautiful causeways. Along the route, we tented to eat from a packed lunch eaten at the side of the road and were usually at a battery change stop. People passing us were quite surprised to see me hanging in my hoist while the two guys were busily changing Alex’s batteries. They got battery changes down to six mins.

The appalling road surfaces were a big slowing down factor. If you want to see the real state of our roads do by cycle or power chair the E2E. Alex was reduced to about 4/5 miles per hour a lot of the time when he could have been going flat out at 7 mph.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Have Made it onto a Chinese Web Site

10th Frbruary 2011

I have made it onto a Chinese web site

That is right, i have made it onto a Chinese web site that is helping the Chinese read English.

Go to http://wenku.baidu.com/view/94cdcafa770bf78a652954ef.html then page 5.

The Mary has arrived!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Organic Meat

8th February 2011

Organic Meat.

I have included a link to "Organic Meat " http://www.riverford.co.uk/homefarm/shop/meat/

I, and a few of my friends have tried the meat, both red and white, and besides knowing that the animals have had a good life i can tell you that it is delious. Try it and see.

Now i only have two days to write 1000 words for my OU essay "Mongering volunteer's in fundraising activities"

Mary

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

23rd January 2011

Congratulations to Haidar Talib

I have just read on the GWR site that Haidar Talib has just set a GWR buy driving his power chair 88.05 miles in 24 hrs see below.

The current record for "Greatest distance covered in 24 hours by motorized wheelchair " is:
The greatest distance covered in 24 hours by a motorized wheelchair is 141.70 km (88.05 miles) in 14 hours 28 seconds and was achieved by Haidar Talib, from Masdar City to Sharjah Al Thiqa Club for Handicapped, UAE, on 11 November 2010.

http://community.guinnessworldrecords.com/_The-greatest-distance-covered-in-24-hours-by-motorised-wheelchair/blog/3023522/7691.html

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vegy Box

1st February 2011

Vegy Box

To those of you who have read my blog way back you will know i am a great advocate of organic veg, see link to Riverford on left.

This evening i recieved in my email box from such a reader who has tried the organic veg from Riverford. This is what she wrote.

Hi Mary,

I just want to thank you for recommending Riverford to me. I received my first veg box with a bag of fruit today and also some eggs. I am so pleased with them as they seem to be extra fresh, not like in the shops. I made a leek and potato soup with blue cheese for tonight, and it was delicious (even if I do say it myself) I will certainly buy from them again, it is well worth it for the bit extra it costs. I have initially ordered for a delivery once a fortnight, but depending on how long it lasts, I may change to once a week. The girl who delivered them asked me how I had heard of Riverford and I told her your name, and she said she knows you. I don't know if you will get a freebie for getting more business for them, but I think you should . There is some beetroot in the box, not something I usually buy, so I am wondering if you have any nice recipes for beetroot. I can only think to boil it and have it plain. Have you tried juicing it, I wonder if it is meant to be juiced raw, or should it be cooked first?

£1.1m house


1st February 2011


£1.1m house


Today i am going to share with you my plans for my day. I hope that you will find it interesting.


After coffee and walking my two Jack Russel's Jack and Molly my PA and I are off to the Baltic in Newcastle City to meet up with Laura from Coco, http://www.coco.org.uk/home my chosen charity for my next Guinness World Records attempt. The furthest distance covered in 24 hrs in a power chair. The present record 84 miles in 14 hours. I think we might just beat it.




The aim is to take 6 ex-forces disabled, like minded people of any age and disability, to live in this beautiful house which is about 1 mile from my present home, pool our care while living independly in a house that any of use could only dream about. Click on the above to find out more details. If any of you are interested in the project then please contact me on email mary.laver.e2e@gmail.com


I have also got to get a add put in my local paper for a replacement PA, have all my personal care done and getting on with my OU course which is about fundraising.


By 22.30 i will be more than ready for my bed.


Have a great day.


Mary

I haven't time to be abled bodied

1st February 2011


I haven't time to be abled bodied



Hi to all of you.


Now that i have got your attension i would like to tell you about my plans for today.


Jacky my carer for to0day, arrives at 0900. Then it is coffe and walk my dogs.


At 11.00 i am off to the Baltic in Newcastle to meet up with

Monday, July 19, 2010

Twelve Months Ago


19th July 2010


Twelve months ago to day.


It is hard to believe that 12 months ago today my team and I set out on an End 2 End challenge of the UK that ended up with us holding a world record and getting into The Guinness Book of Records. I am extremely proud of what we did and the the team, including me, that did it.


The trip was not all plane sailing and there were times, in the early stages when i wanted to give up but it was my team that keepted me going. The longer we were into the challenge the fitter i became and with the knock on effect that getting into Alex every day just got a lot easier.


At the 500 mile point i just cried. I could not believe what we had done, i remember me saying, i have now got to do that all over again. This was very daunting at the time.


I and the team have so many memories and i know when i am on my own I sometimes go back in my mind to any day on the journey and i will smile or i will shed a tear.


At the heart of this journey was a power chair 'Alex'. Handicare h ave let me keep Alex and tomorrow i will know if i can have use of a stadium to got for my next record. "Furthest distance covered in a mechanical electric vehicle". I will keep you posted.


Can i just share with you some magic moments..


24 August 2009

Magic Moments

I would like to share with you some magic moments. I hope the team will add to them. They are not in any particular order.

Reaching 100 miles will quite a milestone and every 100 miles after that.

Seeing the sign that said you are leaving Cornwall.

Philip saying stop, turn 45o and seeing before me a view of outstanding beauty and I had missed it due to been blind in my right eye.

Driving in the pouring rain wrapped up warm in my leg bag and waterproof jacket.

Looking at the stars with Yasmine

Feeling so happy that I could burst!

People hooting their horns when they passed I hope as a sign of encouragement.

Been stopped by strangers who wanted to put money in the poppy tin

Been part of a very special team.

Talking to my close friend as I turned down to John o'Groats

Lying in my tent with the rain pouring down snuggled up in my sleeping bag.

Crossing the Yorkshire Moors. The views are just stunning.

Listening to Philip tell his little story as we crossed the railway line.

Girly talks with Jenny and Yasmine!

Never knowing where I was going to sleep that night until I got there.

Phone calls from friends.

Addie and Eileen turning up for the last 5 miles, they drove 8 hrs to get there.

Seeing friend Dee, Arthur and their two dogs at the finishing line.

Sharing a few words to camera with a friend while sitting looking at a lock.

Emmanuelle leaning out of the van window shouting.

This is just a fraction of the magic moments that none can take away from me or the team who will have their own.

I was told that if I did another 30 miles I should have 1000 miles in the bag. I did not think that was important, spending some quality time with the team was. I have no regrets. Who knows, we may have done a 1000 miles and Graham may be 30 miles out in his calculations.

If we have a world record on our hands that would be the icing on the cake but what is more important is the team, been part of that and being ‘End to Enders.’

You may like to know we raised over £1000 for the RBL Poppy Appeal.






Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Training Yesterday


Training Yesterday


15th June 2010



Yesterday 'Alex' and I started training for my next world record, but instead of going around my village her in Newcastle upon Tyne, I took to my local running track. That was quite an eye opener as I soon discovered that i had lost most, if not all of the fitness i had gained on my E2E 2019.


Most, if not all of you, will know that a running track is 400 meters long all the way around. Alex takes 2 mins, we put the stop watch on him. Easy i thought, just do one hours training said me. Body said no. After three laps my arm was aching and i found an excuse to stop...


Today i go back to basics to get fit again. An elastic band on my arm rest of my Balder, this means i can sit in my conservatory, watching the birds on my well stocked bird table, which by the way, as from yesterday, includes a pair, yes a pair, of woodpeckers. Took the advice of Spring-watch and put a log out with large holes bored in and filled with fat. The also like the very long peanut holder. Try and see for yourself. Now where was I? Back to basics. I will now have to get back to training around the village. The orange flag will be on the back of my power chair, my crash hat will be on and I shall be wearing a lime green jacket.


Next years challenge will be the quest time to cover a 1000 miles in a power chair, Where and when i know not, but If you wish to join me, then please send me an email. All i know is it will not be in the UK, possible Europe, Holland seems a good bet. Now back tom my Woodpeckers and strengthening my left arm with the large rubber band.


Speak again soon.


Mary

Monday, May 31, 2010

Setting Next World Record




31st May 2010

Setting Next World Record

Having made it into the Guiness Book of Records with my End 2 End plans are now going ahead for Alex, the team and myself to set the next world record. Please watch this space for further detail.

I can tell you that this next world record will be taking place this year and possible in September.

Remember i have a brandnew Alex for sale donated by Handicare. Price £6700, th at is a saving of over £4000. See entry below for details...
Thanks for visiting this blog

Mary

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Next Challenge


11th March 2010
Extreme Challenge.


I am looking for my next challenge for Alex and my team but we desperately need sponsors, not very easy to find.


I would like to take Alex up into the mountains say to the base of Everest, Cross a desert, Go to some remote part of this beautiful world of ours. Say one of the tracks the that Glen Gobble has done. The harder the challenge the better.


If you feel you can help in anyway, either as a team member, nice to have another Alex power chair with us, a sponsor, then please email me at mary.laver.e2e@gmail.com


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Next World Record Attempt For Me and Alex


17th February 2010


What next world record for me and Alex


I am now looking for my next GWR attempt in my Alex, have you got any ideas what that might be?


Please leave you suggestions in my comments box. Thanks


Mary Laver

Friday, February 5, 2010

Face Book

5th February 2010

Face Book

I have put over 100 photographs on Face Book. I do not know how you can get to them but i hope you find them.

Mary

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Email We Have Waited For




7th January 2010

The email we have waited so long for

I have just had confirmation the The Guiness Book of Records have accepted my Lands End 2 John O'Groats in a Power Chair.
Thank you 'Alex' for getting there and thank you team for your support.

Love

Mary

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To the team that made this journey happen


15th December 09


Message to my team


Guys and Girls


To you all i want to wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas and all that you wish yourself for 2010. I hope we can get together to End 2 End Holland at Easter.
Love to you all
Mary


I give you my team




Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Finishing Line


WE, THAT IS THE TEAM, MADE IT
26 DAYS
APPROX 965 MILES
I AM SO PROUD OF US ALL
THANKS GUYS AND GIRLS
THAT IS ONE I OWE YOU

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Petal Back Clothing


8th November 09
Petal Back Clothing
During my challenge their was a tee-shirt that i wore which was manufacture by Petel Back Clothing, see picture on the right. I was hoping to show you more pictures in
of me wearing this tee shirt, but as i lost over 200
photographs i am sory to say i cannot.
My care team did find this tea shirt very was to put on, which was essential in the confined spaces we often worked in.
As regards washing. Being Cotton they were very easy to was and as you can see, as we did not have an iron, they still looked good.
As regards wearing on the trip. It was essential that all the clothing i wore was comfortable and did not cause any friction. In this area this particular tee-shirt scored very well.
I would like to thank Petal Back Clothing for supplying a number of tee-shits in variuos clothes and i would like to fully endorse them.
Thank you Petal Back Clothing

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


5th October 09


Join me on my next two challenges



If you think you would like to have a challenge like you have just read then you are in luck.


In 2010 i am planing to take up to three other power chair users to do the E2E Ireland and E2E Holland. Both about 400 miles and taking approx 10 days.


Interested then go to.


Friday, September 25, 2009

We Are On You Tube

9th September 09


We are on YouTube

To see the team and me in my power chair in action you can now find us on You Tube One link try Power Chair or try these links. I am planing on doing Irelands and Holland E2E in 2010 If you would like to join any of these teams then please email me.

Because due to my RA I constantly have a dry mouth so the ability for drinking while in bed and on the road is essentual.

To drink while in bed without having to call my carer I used and still use at home, Drinkup Hands Free Drinking System While I was on the road in Alex iI used Drinkups Travel Light.

You can find out more by visting their web site http://www.drinkup.uk.com/ or by lvisiting me on You Tub or by looking at the variuos photes on the blog.

Without either Drinkup Hands Free and Drinking System my fluid intake would have been greatly reduced and i may well not have reached our (the team and me) goal of John O'Groats due to frequent stops to take a drink. Thank you Drinkup for this product.

Now please enjoy these links. Mary

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTWHHGBPP24
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LThuNvYMPQw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZaCZfqW8FY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYupxFhmHnA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWwnjnZjrfU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFI8WcDnkcI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR4998h0r0Y



I would love your feedback on what you see..

Monday, September 21, 2009

Costings

21 September 2009

Costing



For those of you that are interested, I am now going to give you the estimated costing for the trip.

We are sure that this is an under estimate not an over estimate. What we have the costing for we have recipes and bills so I would say add about 1.50% to the total. We also had a Fairtrade food hamper donated to the value of £300.

When you see the grand total, you will realise why I have to sell my van and a few other items to make up the I have a shortfall of £2052.67.  A price well woth paying. A debt that has is will woth paying.  


Was it worth it? Would I do it again? A resounding yes, but this time a different country and if I can clear this debt and raise the cash, as you will have already read, that in 2210 that country is Ireland.

Everyone should try the E2E it is an amzing joureny and a joureny of self discovery for all who take on the E2E challenge.  Try it and see, you will not reget it...

I hope you find this information of some interest and some use.

Food organic and other £1,721.74

Petro £1,667.44

Accommodation
Remember we had a few freebee halls but had to pay for two hotel and lodges £1,637.63

Miscellaneous £912.96

Travel train fares to change staff £165.90

Wages above those of my own staff £5,500

My expenses for storing boxesm extra tent and camping gear above what I already had £652

Grand total £12,257.57

 
Monies in £10,205

 
Short fall £2052.67

Please make any comments you wish..i will also try to answer and questions.

Friday, September 18, 2009

More Pictures









More Pictures

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So more photgraphs


16th September

Some new photoes

Monday, September 14, 2009

M2M Taking Shape

14th September 09
M2M is taking shape

I am now starting to put my next challenge together, the M2M in Ireland and already i have one cyclist, i have a good idea of the route as i have been in contact with a guy who has just run it, and you try to avoid hills just like Alex and I do.

The estimated date is leave the UK on Thursday 1st April thus avoiding the Easter rush, drive down to Mizenhead on the Friday and start the M2M on the Saturday.  We are looking at between 35/40 miles per day, that is 10 days of wonderful driving with 2 rest days, coming home on Sunday or Monday 18th/19th April.

On this trip i am looking for one other power chair/scooter.trike user to join the team. If you are interested then please contact me, mary.laver.e2e@googlemail.com

I am still looking for a team leader who will drive my support vehicle, care support.  If you are interested then please email me or for any of the above, ring or text me, my mobile number is on the right.

Speak again soon

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mizenhead to Malin Head Ireland

8th August 09

Mizenhead to Malin Head  Ireland

This is my next challenge Mizenhead to Malin head  Irelands E2E   For more details visit http://www.bikeadventures.co.uk/supportireland.html 

We shall be leaving on 2nd April 10

Please watch this space for all details...

Ireland from South to North

08 September 2009


Ireland from South to North

Our next challenge is to go from the South of Ireland to the North. The date will be around Easter and I am looking for one or two other power chair users to join me.

If you are interested in this challenge, do not mind camping and been feed on organic and Fairtrade food, then I would love to hear from you.

If we have two power chair users joining us, we will also be looking for two cyclist and we will have to meet their care needs so extra carers above my requirements will have to be met.

To express your interest then please email me at mary.laver.e2e@google.com
Thank you

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Using Organic Food

02 September 2009
 Using Organic Food


I am, and have been since I was newly married when I had control over the food that my hubby and I ate, a very strong advocate of Organic Food. Why? Quite simply because it tastes better. I cannot give us any better than organic foods and is good for our planet.

Why anyone would want to eat food that has been feed chemicals to make it grow, whether that me animal, vegetable or fruit, is beyond me.

Look at it this way. You have a lovely organic, chemical free meal in front of you. Would you then take a salt pot containing all the chemicals that are in none organic foods are grown in and sprinkle it on top! I think not! Then why buy food that is none organic?

Okay you can come at me with the argument that none organic food is cheaper, but how cheaper? My organic veg box costs me just under £5 per week. Less than a packet of fags, by the way, I do not smoke... I eat the contents knowing that what I am eating is healthy, the food will taste good, and is not full of harmful chemicals. My meat is also organic. The difference in the price of an organic chicken is about £1.50. I will have to check out other meats.

Due to having Rheumatoid Arthritis, I give my body all the ammunition I can to fight my RA. That does not include drugs. I do not take any drugs, never have done. On the E2E, I only took four Paracetamals and that was because I wrenched my left shoulder, no other reason. I used Rescue Remedy in my water bottle to help fight any stress.

I throw you all a challenge. Try ‘Organic Food’ for a whole week and see if you agree with me about the taste and quality. Do you feel better for it? Send your comments to me and I will put it my blog.
Organic Food is better.

For more details visit  http://www.soilassociation.org/Whatwedo/tabid/58/Default.aspx

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Message to All End 2 Enders

29th August 09

My Journey

I have been asked to write a piece for the Lands End 2 John O'Groats Association magazine and this is what i wrote.  I hope you all find it a good read.


Lands End to John o Groats in an Alex power chair
By
Mary Laver


Taken from the synopsis of a book I hope to have written



Quote “With a gentle nudge of her joystick, Mary Laver crossed the finish line. It wasn’t the most salubrious spot – in the shadow of a boarded-up hotel on Scotland’s northern coast – but she’d done it: she’d traveled from one end of Great Britain to the other in a power chair. At nearly 1,000 miles, it was a record.” Unquote



The end of a journey is always a great place to start to write about a journey. In this case my journey from Lands End to John o Groats a distance of 965 miles.



A journey that was not without its problems. Some very big some not so big.

My E2E journey really stated way back in June 2008 when I tried and failed my first attempt. You can read about it by visiting my blog at http://powerwheelchaire2e.blogspot.com/ both Donn and Jack were there when I decide to do the E2E in a power chair and have been there for me, and us all, ever since. You can all verify to that.



The one thing that I have learned is, the good thing about failure is that you get another chance to try again and this is what I did in 2009. I put another team together, got the funding and a different power chair, and at 2.00 pm on Saturday 18th July 2009 I left Lands End on my epic journey with Philip my cyclist at my helm.



You have all done the journey; you all know what a difference it has made to you as people. You all know what a wonderful country we have; as we have seen a good slice of it. So what makes this journey different?



Quite and simple my team. Taken from my synopsis “was divided into a support team, which went ahead of Mary to prepare campsites etc., and a road team that actually shadowed her mile-by-mile. The team leader was Graham, a “100% prime beef” Territorial Army sergeant and a natural commander. Philip patiently rode his bike behind Mary’s chair for the entire 965 miles and often acted as her “other eye”. Alan was the “quiet man” who drove one of the team’s two vans. Jason was the “dog’s body” who would lead sing-alongs on his guitar by night. Emmanuelle, Adie and Margaret have been part of Mary’s home care team for years. Emmanuelle, from France, was the E2E team’s housekeeper and very involved in the trip’s planning. Adie proved herself an excellent and proud cook – even in tents in the pouring rain. Margaret – who’d never even camped before – bravely came out of her comfort zone (and still put on make-up every morning!) Yasmine and Jenny, both students, were strangers before the journey and fast friends afterwards – exceptional young ladies who seldom stopped laughing.” Unquote



Been part of my team, I told all who wanted to join me, would be hard but I hope fun. I told them that they would be come end to ender in their own right, so what did my team have to do on to top of putting up tents, cooking, driving load and unloading vans? Again, quote “Mary has to overcome incredible physical challenges just to navigate everyday life. This only makes her End to End (E2E) trek all the more remarkable. “First and foremost, I cannot wash, clean my teeth, dress myself, feed, or generally use my hands and arms to any extent except to drive my power chair and use my computer,” Mary explains. On her E2E trip she had to be put to bed (which took around half an hour), got up in the morning (which could take up to 3 hours), washed, fed, watered and toileted at public campsites and in Youth Hostels.” Unquote. This I hasten to add, the ladies did for me.



We had a motto which you would here us say every day and during the day “You’ve got to do the miles” and miles we did. Between 40/55 per day, sometimes riding into the night. I loved every moment of it. The number of times I was asked how I felt and I replied, “I am so just so happy”.



You all know what it is like to see the sign you are leaving x county. The best one being “Welcome to Scotland”. The best but saddest sigh says X miles to John o Groats. The first time I saw this sign it said 47 miles. You like me may have had mixed feeling. Joy at knowing you had made it and sorrow because your journey is almost at an end.



That last ¼ mile leading down to John o Groats was very moving to me as thanks to the mobile phone I had a friend who has walked my disability walk with me, if you understand what I mean, and was too poorly to be with me, was there, in my ear, and I was able to described what was happening; she could also hear what was happening. “Bagpipes,” I shouted, “They have got bagpipes, and I don’t like bagpipes.” I also saw friends whom I had spoken to on my mobile that day, and whom I thought were in Newcastle, were there with a bottle of pink Champagne. You know the picture.



We took all the photographs and then I slipped away to find the official finishing line, you all know where it is. I went up to it, in a away I did not want to cross it because it symbled the journey had ended. Christ on the cross came into my head when he said, “it is now finished” and died. I crossed that line, as it says at the start of this piece, knowing that my journey was finished.



I raise my glass to all End to Enders. Cheers.

Opening Words

29th August 09

The opening words


To thoes of you who have been foloowing my blog you will know that i am, with a guy called Paul, hoping to have a book published and the synopsis has already been writen and will be posted to my agent today.

I just love what Paul has writen and the way he is approaching the book.  i am now going to share with you the first paragraph.  What he has writen i can see in my minds eye, i hope from what you have read on this blog, you can see it also.  i will keep you all informed of the progress, if any, of the book, which for the time being is called "The Journey".

THE JOURNEY
1,000 Miles in a Power Chair
By Mary Laver and Paul Rogers

 
With a gentle nudge of her joystick, Mary Laver crossed the finish line. It wasn’t the most salubrious spot – in the shadow of a boarded-up hotel on Scotland’s northern coast – but she’d done it: she’d traveled from one end of Great Britain to the other in a power chair. At nearly 1,000 miles, it was a record.

The Team at Lands End

29th August 09

The Team at Lands End

Thursday, August 27, 2009

From Jack Adams

27th August 2009

Message from Jack Adams to Guiness Book of Records.  I have his permission to put it on my blog.

Hi Ralph
I have now received Mary Laver’s full documentation for her epic end to end journey; my feelings are of a sense of awe at the courage of this frail lady and also a sense of amazement and respect for her team of carers who tended to Mary’s every need, from feeding and dressing her to her more personal needs. It is inevitable now that Mary will be awarded the Charlie Hankins trophy at our award ceremony on the weekend of 16th January 2010, this trophy is only awarded to the bravest of the brave and has in the past been awarded to two GWR champions.
Now to Mary’s journey details, she set out from Lands End on 18th July 2009 and arrived at John o’ Groats on 12th August 2009 covering 965 miles, Mary not only recorded each overnight stop but most rest stops, this was not required by the Association but Mary being Mary thought it prudent to include them.
I can only recall one other journey that displayed similar courage; this was by Charlie Hankins who completed not one but two end to end journeys in his WW11 hand propelled tricycle wheelchair, hence the Charlie Hankins trophy.
We at the LEJOG Association are extremely proud, and also feel humble, to have such a courageous lady as a member and can recommend her journey for official recognition by GWR.

If you require copies of Mary’s journey records please let me know and I will mail them to you.
Kind Regards
Jack

Extreme Challenge in a Power Chair

27th August 09

Extreme Challenge in a Power Chair

I am looking to next year and getting a team together and doing an extreme challenge that is only for people who a repower chair users. This is not open to manual chair user.

The destination has not been decided, because I think we should get a team together first and the team then decided

Therefore, who can be in this extreme team?

Three to four power chair users. Everyone has a chance of been in the team regardless of their disability.

Two cyclists.

Two drivers general camp dog bodies. We shall be camping most of the time.

Care support team, a nurse.

A support team here in the UK.

If you are interested then please email me mary.laver.e2e@googlemail.com

I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Sign post at John oGroats


26th August 09


The End


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


25 August 2009

Every journey has an end.

Finishing writing a blog to which over 6000 of you have visited since it was started in October 2007, will be like loosing touch with many friends. Some I know have visited many times sharing my journey with me. Some of you have visited my blog from all parts of the world. You will have spotted many spelling mistakes. Even the spell checker could not pick them all up. I hope you have enjoyed what you have read. If there is a guy called Ric, and he knows who he is, then I would love to hear how you made out.

All of you will be given the chance of obtain a free, eddied version, of my E2E journey, details of how will be published on this blog within the next four weeks, or you can email and I will tell you how you can obtain your free copy.

More photos will also be appearing on this blog in the near future, but in the mean time, with a tear in my eye, I am signing off leaving you with one last message.

Visualize if you can being at JOG. I had just done the E2E a distance for us of 965 miles, give or take. All the fuss has ended and I am spending a few moments on my own. I know, but had not seen, that there was on official fining/starting line somewhere as there is a Lands End, so I went on the search to find it.

After a few minutes I find it in front of a hotel that was boarded up and had a fence in front it, the hotel not the line. The finishing stop line was about 2 feet from the fence. I go up to the part of the line that says 'finish' I say to myself, “well done you did it, 965 miles you are and End 2 Ender,” and gave myself a verbal pat on the back, pause and then cross the line. What a moment for me. I turn around and there is the team. They had been keeping an eye on me and were right behind me waiting until I had had my private moment and saw me cross the line...They then crossed that line as well. We took photographs with the piper and just shouted “we did it...” What an ending, what a team.

Thank you to all my team and my supporters who stayed with me when others did not. I hope you consider that the team did you proud.

A special thanks goes to a lump of metal who did all the work, I found myself talking to that lump of metal on many occasions, mainly when we were facing step hill. I give you Handycare’s ‘Alex’.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Press release

24 August 2009


Mary Laver

Travelling the longest path in the UK, in a ‘Alex Power Chair.’

Between 18th July and 12th August 2009, Mary drove her ‘Alex’ power chair from Lands End 2 John o’Groats, a distance of 965 miles.

Mary did not do this journey with family but a team of seven people, four of whom she had never meet before. The team was made up of four guys and three girls of different ages and backgrounds. Mary was the 8th member of the team and the power chair user.

Her dependence on the other team members was total. Mary cannot do anything for herself and had to be hoisted into her chair and onto her bed. This meant that her team bedsides putting up tents, cooking meals, driving vehicles, riding bikes, had to feed and water her, do all her personal care and a team member had to sleep in her tent as she need looking after during the night. Mary’s disability is caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Mary says that the journey its self was hard. She drove her ‘Alex power chair’ between 45/55 miles per day using mainly minor A & B class roads. To be part of a team that had one goal for 26 days was to get her from Lands End 2 John o’Groats was a shear joy and honour, says Mary.

Mary has a ghostwriter now looking at writing a book about this incredible journey.

If you want to read, more about Mary’s journey then go to http://powerwheelchaire2e.blogspot.com/

Mary is now looking to next year and getting a new challenge together, if you would like to do the same and have any ideas then please write her. Her email is mary.laver.e2e@googlemail.com


24 August 2009

Magic Moments


I would like to share with you some magic moments. I hope the team will add to them. They are not in any particular order.

Reaching 100 miles will quite a milestone and every 100 miles after that.

Seeing the sign that said you are leaving Cornwall.

Philip saying stop, turn 45o and seeing before me a view of outstanding beauty and I had missed it due to been blind in my right eye.

Driving in the pouring rain wrapped up warm in my leg bag and waterproof jacket.

Looking at the stars with Yasmine

Feeling so happy that I could burst!

People hooting their horns when they passed I hope as a sign of encouragement.

Been stopped by strangers who wanted to put money in the poppy tin

Been part of a very special team.

Talking to my close friend as I turned down to John oGroats

Lying in my tent with the rain pouring down snuggled up in my sleeping bag.

Crossing the Yorkshire Moors. The views are just stunning.

Listening to Philip tell his little story as we crossed the railway line.

Girly talks with Jenny and Yasmine!

Never knowing where I was going to sleep that night until I got there.

Phone calls from friends.

Addie and Eileen turning up for the last 5 miles, they drove 8 hrs to get there.

Seeing friend Dee, Athure and their two dogs at the finishing line.

Sharing a few words to camera with a friend while sitting looking at a lock.

Emmanuelle leaning out of the van window shouting.

This is just a fraction of the magic moments that none can take away from me or the team who will have their own.

I was told that if I did another 30 miles I should have 1000 miles in the bag. I did not think that was important, spending some quality time with the team was. I have no regrets. Who knows, we may have done a 1000 miles and Graham may be 30 miles out in his calculations.

If we have a world record on our hands that would be the icing on the cake but what is more important is the team, been part of that and being ‘End to Enders.’

You may like to know we raised over £500 for the RBL Poppy Appeal.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yasmin and Jenny

22 August 2009

Final two team members, Yasmine and Jenny

Yasmine and Jenny, what shall I say about two exceptional young ladies who never stopped laughing, even when the going got tough and making the team laugh, We all love them very much. Yasmine and Jenny did not know each other before this trip.

Both are students, Yasmine is studying at University and wants to be a doctor. Jenny is studying at University languages, French and Spanish. They can both speak three langue’s, English is their third language! Moreover, both enjoyed speaking to Emmanuelle, - remember I told you she is French, - in French or did I forget to tell you, never mind.

Yasmine, oh Yasmine. She is so full of life, like Jenny, that no matter what she was asked to do, whether it was looking after me, unloading the van, putting up the tents, cooking a meal, Yasmine, and I might add, so was Jenny, was up to the task.

Yasmine, out of the two girls and with them both only been 21 yrs, I can call them girls, Yasmine was the mad one. You would have to have been on this trip to understand what I mean. I will share with you one magic moment I shared with Yasmine; I just hope she does not mind. It is the second Saturday, I am bushed, we are at the campsite just outside Lockerby, we had all been feed and watered, it is night-time, around 10.30 ish, beautiful bulls in the next field, the sky was clear and I was on my stretcher. Got the picture? Yasmine took me on my stretcher to the edge of the campsite, only a couple of yards, not to see the bulls I might add, “ I thought you would like to see this she” she said and told me to look up at the sky, tipping the head of the stretcher down so I could see properly. I have very little movement in my neck…On either side of my view were small trees, which framed my picture to perfection. It was a view of a sky full of stars. We have light pollution in Newcastle, which she knew about so to see the sight of a sky full of stars is very rare… Yasmine then pointed out to me the different star clusters. A magic moment not caught on camera but ‘caught in that little box in my heart,’ see girls I did remember. Thank you Yasmine for that magic moment.

Jenny. Gentle Jenny. If anyone should be a nurse it is Jenny…Everyone tells her but that is not what she wants to do…How would you describe someone, and Jenny I hope you do not mind me saying this, who dealt with a problem I had which could have effected the time it was taking on the road, and subsequently the challenge.

I had a problem with always wanting to wee at every stop we made. I started to get a complex about it because it took up valuable time on the road. We latter on discovered that drinking coffee at each stop may have something to do with it and so I only had water and had coffee as a treat at the end of my days run.. except one day near the end, another stroy, this journey is full of stories, I also felt very nervous at the start of the days run, like any one would, so part of my routine before I got out of the van was that I would have a wee, even if I had only had one ½ hour earlier… I would want a wee nearly every time I saw the red van. Made me think, if I am not careful, every time I see a red van I will want to wee…Anyway I started to get a hang up about this, and Jenny reassured me that me wanting a wee so often was not a problem. This relaxed me. I weed less. Meant a lot to me Jenny. I am not to sure if I have explained that right. As with all the team, with all my funny ways and diet, I never felt a burden or a nuisance,

The other thing I loved about the girls was our girly talks….what is said between girls, stays between girls…Ah ladies..

Yasmine and Jenny found they had so much in common that it became uncanny to the rest of the team. They loved the same kind of music. They had been to the same rock concerts. Their love of langues and both played the piano. Both are at university. They are both well travelled. The way, as a team they looked after me was next to none, I am not down crying the other team members because they are all brilliant, but with these two, they seem to know what the other was thinking so did not need to speak to each other... Very uncanny. They also had a love they shared, Alan, remember Alan, he was one of the drivers…He would sit with them and talk to the early hours. I can remember shouting at them in a campsite to shut up; it was 2 am…Oh to be young again!

I could write more, but you will have to wait for the book if I can find a publisher. I have a ghostwriter working on the synopsis and we will then present it to a publisher…

There you have it, the team…What about me, someone else can write about me…

Thursday, August 20, 2009

20th August

We have talked about the guys now it is the girls turn….

Not trying to pigeon hole the girls but as much as I love guys, and our guys on this trip were and still are, very sexy, I had to have girls to do all my personal care. I think you can work out why, being 62 does not mean you have no go in me. Get my drift.

My personal care was total. In my case, as with a lot of disabled people, was not just put my in front of a sink and I could wash myself; put me in a shower and I would shower myself; give me a toothbrush and I would clean my teeth; put me on the loo, well lets stop on that one; give me my cloths and I would put them on. No, I had to be washed, showed, my teeth cleaned and my bottom cleaned. I had to be dressed. Not easy when joints will not move very easily... I also had to be feed and watered. At night I need help so had someone in my tent on sleepovers…That was the extent of my care requirements... and much more. I had to be lifted using a portable lightweight manual lift to be put into Alex or on to my stretcher. The girls did all this and much more…..

So what more did the girls do…One every day came out with me in the van doing all my personal care at the roadside or in the van. They also helped Graham read the route we were doing that day…This might be why we got lost a couple of times…When we did a battery change, remember they guys got it down to 6 minutes, they would help hoist me and stay with me as I dangled in mid air. This was a good time to eat some banners to raise my energy level…They helped with the coking back at camp and helped load and unload the van. If we were to find a hall for the night, it was one of the girls that found it for us…Hall door knocking became part of their job in the end...

So who were are these remarkable girls, ladies…

In no particular order….

Emmanuelle, Adie and Margaret. These three girls, they may prefer to be called ladies, are part of my home care team and have worked with me for many years.

Emanuel who is in her 30s, about 5’3 and petite; she I spent many evenings prior to taking on the E2E, in planning our accommodation along the route and marking the route on maps. The route I chose was, as I have said, was the CTC YHA route. The CTC route was broken down into two weeks covering 90 miles daily, but Emanuel had to break it down to approx 40 miles per day using one of these wheels you push along a map. She nearly got it right. She also looked out on the internet our campsites, which had disabled facilities; they were rare. All this Emmanuelle did before we left, and she also put all the paperwork together. Each van had its own file with maps, places we were staying, contact numbers ect.

On the actual challenges, as with the other girls, Emmanuelle was the housekeeper, making sure we had all our shopping for the day, cooking our food, paying our bills; helped with my personal care including the sleepover. I left how my personal care was to be done to my care team. Emmanuelle was in the support van for her first week and upon her return, spent some time in my van. I can see her now leaning out of the van banging on the door shouting “Come on Mary, you can do it!”
Adie. How would I would describe her? She has her 40 the year, her birthday is in November; is about 5’4, is a carer and loves cooking.

Adie was on the first week and had all the teething troubles to sort out in the mess tent and my care.

Adie, during the first week; did most of the cooking because like most cooks, even if it was in a tent in the pouring rain, she did not like anyone in her kitchen. If you scan down to 17th Adie, you will see a picture of Adie in the mess tent with the rain pouring down cooking us all dinner. Jenny, whom I shall speak about latter, is looking on while taking shelter under the umbrella. I wonder what Jenny is saying to Adie? “What is for dinner?” springs too mined? Adie is the first one to put her hands up and admit that organic tastes better, especially the meat. So now, I will crash your mental picture of this cook putting hot nursing meals on our table and tell you the other side of the coin in her tasks of looking after me.

One of the jobs of looking after me that only three team members could do, Adie been one of them, was I had a suppository every day. This I also do at home. This meant that one of her duties was to put my suppository in, and Adie had been trained to do this, as are all of my staff, this task fell upon her shoulder every day she was with us. Adie also helped, when it was her shift, with all my personal care. Adie, like all of the team, said she would not have missed this challenge for any thing. She said it was very hard work but very rewarding, an experience she is glad she did not miss and lots of fun. Adie even drove up from Newcastle to John O’Groats to be with us for the final 7 miles and the dinner that evening. More on that latter.

Margaret joined us at Gretna, swopping the third week with Emmanuelle…Margaret is in her 40s, and puts her make-up on every morning. She has been with me a long time and is the person I admire the most. The team will not mind me saying that as they agree with me.

Margaret came way out of her comfue zone for a week to be with us. Margaret has never camped before and is very much a home bird. Margaret got very home sick but as her family were right behind her on her week with us, they told her, if she wanted to, to stay which I am please to say she did.

Margret was only to sleep under canvas for 1 night as the other nights, due to bad weather; we stayed in hotels or halls. This did not stop Margaret producing our meals even if we did have the odd pizza when staying in the hotel. She also came out in the van with me twice. I gather she enjoyed doing this and saw some remarkable countryside in Scotland. She did give in on the last night. Her shifts were finished and she was due to change over with Emmanuelle the next day who was returning for the last week, Margaret asked that instead of sleeping in the tent she as going to book into a B&B, and was willing to pay for it. We could not let her do that, pay for the B&B after what we had just put her through, so we would pick up the bill…Margaret thanks for been part of the team and for coming out of your comfort zone. The whole team love you for it and thank your family for loaning you to us. You are part of this remarkable team.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

19th July 09

The team

Let us talk team

We have talked about the route now lets talk about my amazing team without whom none of this challenge would have happen.

The team was broken down into the support team; they went on ahead and the road team that was the team that went with me on the road.

Our team leader was Graham Harrison, a TA sergeant. Graham was only to be with us for the first two weeks but decide that he would see the challenge through to the end. The whole team know that this made a vast outcome to us getting to the end and we hope a world record...

Grahams roll as team leader was many. He drove my support van. Decided, with Philip my cyclist, the route for the next day. He was the guy who pushed me in the early days when my fitness was not too good and he realized I was not meeting my mileage target. I think he and Philip said one or two pokies saying that I still had more miles to go than I did. It worked.

Graham also sorted out problems between the team, which by the way I did not know about until I got back. We, the team, described ourselves like being on Big Brother. Eight people who did not know each other before, except Jenny and her dad Graham, being put in the Big Brother house in our case campsites, halls, YHAs and hotels, and told their tasks for the day. We had to get on or we would not complete the daily task. We all had to accept each other’s funny ways; mine was making funny notices at when receiving my personal care. I will keep the other secret!

Graham was the guy that when we stopped on the road, and he did let me stop sometimes, had a brew on. Philip noticed this and made up a flask of hot water to save some time. Some of this hot water was used to clean out my wee bottle. We had to maintain good hygiene while we were in camp and on the road.
I was once asked to describe Graham after I meet him. “100% prime beef!” Thanks Graham.

The person who was with me all along the route, mainly behind me, was Philip. Philip as I have already written was the guy whom I put 100% trust in and he never let me down once. I am blind in my right eye and so relied on his judgement without question….I will share a little story with you to illustrate Philip.

We were going up a step hill, the batteries were running very low and we needed to cross a level crossing. Now I am a 62 yr old weakling of a female and crossing that small distance, say 3 feet on low batteries was scary. Okay laugh at me, I can take it. After debating the crossing of the said line, Philip said to me what the worse that can happen is. Reasonable question. My reply,” I would tip over, the train would come along, hit the chair and kill me and you would have to take me over the finishing dead, nothing in the rules that says I have to be alive!” “No” said Philip! “The worst thing that could happen, would be you would tip over; a train would hit you; you would still be alive but then you would burst into flames; a family of weasels who are very hungry would come up from their burrows below the lines and eat part of you and we would take you across the finishing line pulling strings so you could wave at every body. That is the worst than can happen to you!” Needles to say I crossed the train line and nothing happened.

Keeping with Philip, he also asked me on a number of occations to stop in a safe place while he would check out a road junction or a cycle path. He also shared this barley sugar with me. “Philip thanks for everything you did for the team and me.” For a cyclist to ride over 965 miles, mainly behind a power chair with only the odd bit for freedom when we got to going down a steep hill on the moors, took some doing. Other cyclist will know what I mean...

I have talk about two of the male team members and there are still two more to talk about, Alan and Jason.

Alan, to quote a famous saying “a quite man” was the driver of the second van. Alan was the guy no matter was asked of him, and we did ask a lot of him he did it without a mone or a question. Alan was the guy who could see something that needed to be done and did it. Alan was the guy who when called upon would feed me, wipe my nose, give me a drink, put up tents, cook a meal, smile when you needed to see one. We all loved him very much and if I can get another challenge together, he has said he would love to be involved. He is one of the five of us that went from LE 2 JOG and is an End 2 Ender in is own right. Thanks Alan for all or your support.

The last guy was Jason. Jason was our dogs’ body and drove a third vehicle. He helped put up the tents, unload the vehicles and did some cooking. He also played his guitar at sing alongs.Jason left after three weeks to be back with his family.

18th August Paper cutting


Lets talk route

19th August

Let us talk about the route

The route we took, as I have said, was the CTC YHA route and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to do the E2E. I was to be taken; using this route, on mainly minor A & B roads thought some of the most stunning countryside of the UK. We went down country lanes, along some major A roads, but only for a short distance; we went over beautiful more lands and saw rivers, lakes and beautiful causeways.

Along the route, we tented to eat from a packed lunch eaten at the side of the road and were usually at a battery change stop. People passing us were quite surprised to see me hanging in my hoist while the two guys were busily changing Alex’s batteries. They got battery changes down to six mins.

The appalling road surfaces were a big slowing down factor on this challenge. If you want to see the real state of our roads do by cycle or power chair the E2E. Alex was reduced to about 4/5 miles per hour a lot of the time when he could have been going flat out at 7 mph. If the road surfaces were better then the days target would have been meet a lot soon.

Our target for the day was set by Graham. That was usually between 45/50 miles. No wonder when we got to the second Saturday i was dun in. We had to maintain a high millage in order to finish in the time limit i had set. People had to get back to their proper jobs dogs had to be got from kennels. The usual mundane things that makes life tick on.

Along the route we meet some amazing people. Some where doing the E2E on cycles and would ride with us for a few minuites. Some people would stop us and give us cash.

One person amongst many stopped us just our side Glastonbury and invited us home for tea. We had to decline as we still had many miles to go. A few yards further along the road was a trail back of traffic, a farmer was cutting his hedge. Just after passing him i got a front wheel puncture and pulled into a gateway, it was the home of the lady who had just invited us in for tea...we rang on to our other support vehicle who had the spar tire but was 2 hours away. This meant we had time for tea with our new friend!

All along the route we have marked with green pant the place we have stopped for the end of the days run and gone back to it. Prof that we had been there. This stop we also marked with the ladies permission. We then put me into the back of the van, went to a Tesco's car park and waited for the spar wheel.

After changing the tire we went back up the hill, about 2/3 miles. Said hi to the lady only to find that the paper, vital Prof we had been where we said we had been we have had signed all along the route had been left in her house. Now does that not show that honesty is the best policy. This was just one of many magic moments i can tell you...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

cont...

19th Aug

Due to the extreme bad weather, many of the campsites we hoped to stay at were a bit too wet underfoot so we made a few phone calls to people that Graham knew to see if he could get us some better accommodation for the night I did not know how many people he knew until I found myself, and the team, staying, over the next three weeks, as well as campsites sleeping in a selection of church halls, churches, Boys Brigade halls and a Black Watch Community Centre.

Some of the halls did not have different rooms, so we all bunked in together in one large hall. I was sheltered at one end by various means, as I had to have my personal needs seen to including toileting and washing. This did not mean that a good hot meal would not appear O no. Who ever was duty cook for the night produced meals to feed us all. Jason, one of our team and who plays a guitar, got us all singing after the meal. So has the rain poured down outside, we were warm and dry inside.

Not all our accommodation was in village halls and campsites. We did stay in Premier Lodges, which I am very disappointed to say, did not have suitable accommodation for wheelchair chair users. I think that for any hotel to get rating stars they must have a portion of 1% of their rooms suitable for wheelchair users with a walk in shower.

While I am on my soapbox about accommodation, in this the 21 century, all accommodation should cater for disabled people. Why they do not, to me is just pure discrimination.

We booked into three YHAs along the route. The first one I arrived at at midnight, we found that even though it had a ramp up to the door, there were still two steps we could not negotiate with the power chair. Sleeping in the dudgeons was out that night and we moved onto a hotel that said it had a lift. The lift was so small, to get in, I had to be transferred onto my commode to get up to my room. The next YHA though it had a shower in the room I could not get into it and our last YHA I knew I could not sleep in so a tent was put up for me and Jenny, she had the short straw that night and was on sleeping duty in my tent..

cont...

18th August 09

The idea behind accommodation was we would stay on campsite and use YHAs; we had three YHAs booked for the whole trip. This worked well for the first few days due to the weather not being too bad. We stayed on our second campsite for just one night, “Treyarnon Caravan and Camping Park”. this was a real tester for all the team, as we had not had a trial run before.

By the time we, the power chair party arrived at “Treyarnon” if I remember rightly the campsite took some finding but was well worth it, the advance party had to put up four tents... Addie was in charge of the kitchen and the mess tent and as well as doing the cooking in this tent, she was to be sharing we also had to charge Alex’s batteries. Besides a lot of the cooking equipment and food in various boxes and cool boxes, we had only two gas rings and a small oven; from this tent hot, tasty food for eight people would emerge. Being organic of course, it tasted superior, and the team admitted that. At the end of a days long run for wheelchair team and the forward team, Adie would put on the table, and so would other team members during our 4 weeks on the road, meals that were hot, very tasty, and tasted as if they had been cooked at home, not in a tent in the middle of a field with rain pouring down. We drank good Fairtrade coffee and the odd bottle of organic wine. I took along some organic bear for the guys. We were all drawn to the mess tent like families to the kitchen. The person who had been with me during the day had the job of feeding me my evening meal…Thanks to all the cooks, and I think everyone had a hand at some part of the challenge at producing a meal. Graham is a dab hand at putting full English breakfasts on the table. I kepted to my diet so only got my full English towards the end of the challenge. Well worth waiting for.

So how did it all work, putting a roof over the heads for eight tied and hungry people for 4 weeks? Feeding them, making sure they had adequate personal washing and cooking facilities as well as looking after me. Looking after my care needs is no easy no mater where we were, in a tent, a church hall, YHA or a hotel…

Our tent consisted of a tent for the guys, a tent for the girls, my tent, which I shared with who ever was dong, the sleepover, the mess tent and Alan our driver of the support van, took his one man tent. We discovered that my tent was too small for the hoist and we had to buy a new one, this had to be exchanged due to the zip breaking...