Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Tag Archives: 2014

Woodworkers Fighting Cancer 2014

Today, in the woodworking world, it’s the annual fund-raising, Cancer-fighting charity build. Take a look on YouTube and you’ll find (from my reckoning) more than 20 people who’ve already supported this cause by uploading videos of the projects they’ve been working on. Below, I’m going to share with you three of my favourites – although that’s not to imply that I’m even halfway through my Watch Later list!

To learn about the cause and its origins, please head over to The Wood Whisperer’s site.

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Circuit of Bath 2014

Already, it’s been six-days since I completed my second successive Circuit of Bath challenge. I didn’t take quite as many photos on this occasion – or, to put it another way; I didn’t photograph quite as much – because you’ll have already seen so much of it from last year’s event. But I hope you enjoy what I do have to share.

It began on a misty Sunday morning, near Lansdown

The Circuit of Bath is an annual fundraising event in support of Julian House. I’ve chosen to walk the full 20-mile circuit where as you can walk as little as 2 miles if you’d prefer.

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Going Indie

Already, it’s been seven days since I last fell in love… This time, it’s an affection I’ve developed for a new kind of music! It was at the Green Man Festival last weekend where I feel I was first properly introduced to the genre commonly known as indie music. Folk, world, blues; I’ve heard them all before and they’re appreciated. But for some reason, some how, I’ve gone almost 30 years without experiencing indie. To tell you the truth, I still cannot quite define how it can be differentiated from ‘light rock’!

With days of coming home, I was online, to the iTunes store and downloading three new albums; each from a an artist to have featured at the festival (in fact, all three performed on the same Friday night). We begin in alphabetical order…

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West Mendip Win!

Waking up earlier this morning, I felt as though I could relate to how Pinnochio must’ve felt before he became a real boy. After walking 30 miles across the Mendip Hills yesterday, I certainly feel as though I now need someone to bend my legs for me!

After 30 miles and 4 or 5 significant hills, I’m not going to stand up for anyone taking the photo, even my best friend! 😉

It was the one I’d been working up to with my other walks; the ultimate Mendip Challenge.

I’m very pleased to be able to say that, after a 7.55am start in Wells, I arrived at the finishing point in Uphill for 18.30. I was hoping to finish around 19.00; giving me an hour to spare before the checkpoint closed so, factoring in a single 20 minute lunch break (plus a handful of other brief stops), I’m very proud of and impressed with my time. I’ve suffered a bout of sunburn (it was cloudy when we set off…) and my shoulders ache from carrying probably 30kg of liquid (4lt – not necessary with so many checkpoints) but it feels good.

If you’ve ever considered tackling this one yourself, I can assure you that the first 10 miles (apparently equating to 13 miles by another walker’s GPS) are by far the worst. Then again, we had a coach driver who did anything but instil confidence with his abilities but that really is another story for a different day!! We all arrived and set off in one piece.

Looking at the bibs of other people (including the runners… Crazy people!!), I noticed numbers tallying close to 700. On average, Weston Hospicecar gains around £50,000 for this event each year. I’m quite certain they’ll be close to that average again this year.

My medal! 🙂

Leading up to this event, I’d felt concerned that I could spend too much time walking alone after one of my friend’s dropped down to the 20 mile stage and that, ultimately, I might ‘hit the wall’ at some point because of this. I’m quite accustomed now to walking reasonably long distances solo but this was always going to be a greater stretch. Instead, I feel fantastic for having conquered it (without taking any shortcuts) and I found a simple joy in walking along with both everyone and absolutely no-one at the same time…

I would catch up with different groups of people at various points. Some would overtake me as I stopped for lunch, only for me to leap-frog them again a bit further on (I was quite determined to get beyond Crook Peak ASAP). Each time, I could meet with different people and freely move on. It was enjoyable, yet somehow different to walking with the Ramblers, where there is always one leader; one head of authority and a constant need to attend to the tail-end of the queue. Plus, the checkpoints with free rehydration and sweets were very welcome!

I’d like to close by saying thank you to the Hospice charity for organising this event. I’ll almost certainly be doing it again next year. Also, a huge congratulations to every person who took part. Whether you did 5 miles or more than 5-times that. Very well done indeed!! 🙂

(Photos and hopefully some video will follow.)

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Three Months to Go!

It is now three months to the day when I’ll be heading west across the Mendip hills for a full and enduring 30 miles! Just like the Circuit of Bath walk at the end of September; this one’s in aid of another charity, Weston Hospicecare. If you read about the work they do, you’ll quickly realise how indispensable they are. I’m sure we all know at least one person who’s been diagnosed with cancer.

I’ve touched on this event in a couple of my recent walking posts and now, the time feels right to begin asking for donations and so, I’ve just this morning created a fresh page on JustGiving.

https://www.justgiving.com/ollymendip

Again, I’ve decided not to set a target as that can bring with it the anxieties and pressure that can surround expectation and disappointment, particularly when goals are not met or exceeded. I’m asking for people to consider and I’m hoping that a few will donate a small amount. Chances are that I’ll remind you again at the beginning of April, in May and then in the penultimate weeks before the big day.

You’ll also find a convenient ‘Sponsor Me‘ button has been added to the top-right hand corner of my blog.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Twelve weeks or so and it suddenly seems so real… It could take a good 12 hours but I’m excited and looking forward to it!! 🙂

Thank you for reading. I do hope you might consider a donation. Best of luck to everyone else who is also entering this event.

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Returning to Priston

It’s been almost three-weeks to the day since I last went on a walk! In part, I blame the wet weather, the cold, the fact that I broke my camera last week and also, that my walking boots are no longer waterproof and need replacing… But these excuses are not good enough. It is now four-months to the day when I’ll be walking a good 12 hours across the Mendip Hills. I need to keep my fitness levels up and, as always, there’s going to be room for improvement.

Back in Stanton Prior, three months later.

This was a brief walk to revisit a route I enjoyed a few months ago, albeit under warm and dry weather.

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Woodworking Update 13/01/2014

I haven’t written much about woodworking for a while. As you’re probably aware, I moved home not long ago and, for an indefinite amount of time, I still have access to the place where my tools are currently stored… I just don’t seem to have enough of the time, money or weather at the moment! But I am still keeping two projects on-the-go and, to be fair, they’ve been in said state for a while. This is what I wanted to share with you this evening.

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