You can’t be serious! Send me your words….

Three more to go? You can’t be serious!

I’m Alex is a bit relieved to get so far through the year and successfully complete seven mad adventures so far! But now we have another mission for you!

Following the success of You mean the world to me (there are only a couple left if you would like a copy !) we’re going to put together a travel journal, as it were, of the adventures as a whole. So I’ll need your submissions J

For the first adventure, I wrote a piece about how we trekked over what felt like the biggest mountains in the world for a blog post. This is the kind of thing that will go into the book. So many people have walked, kayaked, cycled, run, climbed, crawled, driven, fed and supported Alex through this amazing journey, and we want your stories, memories, anecdotes, pictures and everything! In order to get this all done before the final hoorah, I’ll need to make this book before the 25th of October. So this will be the last date anything can be sent in.

But please send it in. Alex has done, and is doing, the most amazing thing, but it’s the product of so many peoples support.

Send me your words, pictures, doodles. Anything adventure related!

inkycygnet@googlemail.com

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Adventure 5!

imageAlex and Rob have started out on the first part of adventure number 5 #10for10 they set off on their 22 mile journey at 8am this morning from Seaton. Let’s hope the rain continues to hold back a bit longer!!!!!

On our way!

Rob and I are on our way to adventure number 5!! Let’s hope we can bring the sunshine with us!!

 

#10for10

#5of10

Something amazing has happened

I mean honestly… amazing.

After returning back from the fourth adventure along Hadrian’s Wall which he had been walking along with family and friends, I imagine Alex was pretty tired; with sore feet, a bit of dehydration and exhaustion after driving across the country to get there and back.

(Name the film that features this location…)

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But guess what my crazy, but awesome cousin did the very next day? Well he sailed in the Fire Fighters annual sailing competition of course!

What?! Honestly, he’s mad! I can’t imagine how tired he must have been going into the competition, but I know he would have given it his all. Again and again Alex just keeps showing what dedication, commitment and determination can achieve.

He and his crew mates won. THEY WON! What a fantastic achievement in itself! The Fire Fighters yearly race is very very competitive and it’s a real feat to win. They did so well. Congratulations!!

So much hard work, energy and just sheer effort went into this. I’m a bit lost for words and astounded.

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In winning they were awarded a cheque to be donated to the charity of their choice. I must admit I got a bit chocked up when I heard that the crew had voted unanimously to donate the £1500 to Cystic Fibrosis for Alex’s Adventures. Steven, Neil, Nathan, Steve, Nathan and Ben you are legends.

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So amazing.

Alex now has seven days to rest up and prepare for adventure number five. The Jurassic Coast (I’m hoping there won’t be any live dinosaurs as I’ll be joining him for this one. Eeeek! – Time to get the walking boots out.)

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Cover Art – Revealed!

 

Hi Everyone,

 

Alex has completed the fourth of his ten adventures! There are some amazing photos of the journey on facebook. Just a huge congratulations to Alex and all the supportive family and friends who joined in with the Hadrians Wall Walk!

Now for some further exciting news – This is the cover art of the collected poems and stories for You Mean the World to Me.

It’s quite simple, but I hope you like it!

youmean

Remember if you would like to send something in, please do it before the end of Wednesday! E-mail submissions on the theme of ‘You Mean the World to Me’, under 2000 words to inkycygnet@googlemail.com

Hope Alex, Angelique, Sophie, Andrew and everyone else’s feet arn’t too sore!

Fibi xx

Memory Lives

More than her years

So forevermore she will remain

More than one who has left us

Because she stays 

In the words that we say

And the ones that we don’t

She’s the prayer on the motorway

For everyone to come home safe

She is the one that we ask

To make things okay

She is the hope in the night

That there will be a new day

We remember a smile

The most beautiful face

She is with us

And with us she’ll stay

 

This is dedicated to the memory of my cousin Melissa Mould who ten years ago passed away due to cystic fibrosis at the age of 19. Her younger brother is doing ten challenges in her memory to mark this and raise awareness for CF. More information about his adventures can be found here: https://alexsadventure.wordpress.com/

Fibi
fibijeeves.wordpress.com

 

This is part of my contribution to the collection of poems and short stories I’m pulling together for Alex’s Adventures. The theme is You Mean the World to Me. I’m currently working on a family related vilanelle but it’s a tricky devil.

This was originally posted on http://poetreecreations.org/ and I would have reblogged however the picture put up with the poem doesn’t quite fit! Sorry guys!

I have a challenge for you, should you chose to accept it…

You’ve all seen my discussions, posts and encouragement of my cousin Alex who is undertaking Ten Adventures to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and the Fire Fighters Trust. Alex has completed 3 out of the 10 adventures in memory of his sister Melissa who passed away 10 years ago.

He’s going up all mountains, kayaking, riding, cycling etc and as I have all of the athletic skill and agility as a two-legged epileptic donkey. I’ve been doing my best to support my little cousin (okay, he does somewhat tower over me these days…) but despite wracking my brains for about six months now, I’ve been struggling to think of what I can ‘do’ to really really help out.

But then, I ordered a gift for my Mum for Mother’s Day. A small, self-published collection of short stories, poetry, flash fiction and musings in a cute little hardback and paperback format. They’ve just arrived and I’m so pleased with the quality of the printing and aaah it just looks lush!

It’s like a genius moment.

I’ve realised what I can do.

I can’t climb a mountain. (I can barely walk in a straight line without injuring myself!)

I can however, pull together a collection of poems, short stories, pictures and art. Publish it with the same company I used for my mums gift and pass on any profits to Alex’s chosen charities.

This is a very good idea!

The title of the collection will be ‘You mean the world to me…’ and all of the collected works will reflect this theme in some way.

It could be a story about a loved one, or a poem someone who has passed away, someone that you just couldn’t be without, a friend or family member. It could also be about your favourite teddy bear or a goldfish. It can be as happy or as sad as you like and any length so long as it’s under 2000 words.

So long as it fits the theme, I’d love to see it!

If you’d be interested in submitting a piece then please e-mail me at inkycygnet@googlemail.com

Fibi

fibijeeves.wordpress.com

 

Adventure TWO!

Adventure TWO!

Alex and Chris have started the second adventure! They’ve set off on Kayaks off into the morning. Good luck to them both!

Day Two: Team Horse Joins the Adventure.

Well…it was dark when we arrived at the stables and the horses were surprised to see us so early! (I was quite surprised to be up so early myself, especially as there was no coffee.) But the sun rose when they were eating their breakfast and we made our final preparations. My Aunt Jacqui, Alex’s Fiance Angelique and myself would be ‘team horse’ to join Alex on day two of his adventure. We would be riding Guiness, George and Daisy. box Everyone loaded into the Horse Box we set off to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, ready to saddle up and ride off. Alex had set off for the second leg of his journey a bit before us and we expected him to come past just as we were ready to join him. It wasn’t too cold thankfully and there wasn’t any frost on the ground! Me Here I am! Ready to go and layered up with fleece. The pony behind me is the lovely Daisy, rescued by Melissa when she was a foal. She’s truly one of those horses who is worth their weight in gold. If anyone has read the Robert Jordan series, she IS Bela, the little pony who think’s she’s a much bigger horse and has the heart of a lion. Start Two We set off before Alex could catch us as the horses hadn’t been on some of the trail before we expected a few hesitations in the journey. The first hill was an absolute monster! Slippery leaves underfoot and under those was hard flint which is no good for their poor feet. So we walked the first part on foot to save their poor legs.  But here we all are, mounted up and ready to hit the trail. start My Aunt Jacqui is wearing the Cystic Fibrosis High-Vis which reads ‘Cystic Fibrosis is Invisible but not Invincible.’ Wonderful words that were in front of me for the most part. They kept me going in some parts too. The trail went up and down so many times that I lost count. But I can say this – before yesterday I wasn’t used to riding on hills! There was one point though where my little pony decided that she wanted to be a show jumper! We were riding along the track (and you can see how wide it is) but on the left hand side was a sheer 50 foot drop to a tarmac road. I don’t have a great head for heights an Daisy, like myself, is fairly renowned for being a little bit clumsy. We both have a reputation and tendency to fall over our own feet… so walking on a slippery track with a sheer drop to one side, I was a bit unhappy. And then there – was – a – log….a log (TREE!) in the middle of the track! The lowest point that the horses could step over, was, of course, at the edge of the left hand side. Guiness and George having lovely long legs, stepped daintily over. Daisy? Well, Daisy decided that she was going to jump. That was a surprise! She did it beautifully though and we landed safely. What was going to be our next hurdle? Well first there was more hills to go up and down, some winding tracks and a continuation of the tricky terrain. Then there was a lunch on a hill top, after which it started to drizzle. There was some lovely meadows and meandering slopes and then it turned into a steep chalky descent. George and Angelique were much braver than I! Once we got to the bottom though we were a bit flummoxed. Dead ahead, a bridle path that seemed at points to go vertically up Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill Here we are at the top of said hill…it was a real challenge to get up there! We half found our own zig-zagging path but were slightly foiled when a herd of deer dashed out of the bushes just a head. We were riding on a pretty steep slope at that point so Angelique and I performed a quick emergency dismount. So this is the hill we thought we’d never make it to the top of. But then we had to get down again. photo I don’t know if the photo does the Hill of doom any real justice, but you can just about how see how muddy it was. I kid you not, down this bridle path, the horses were skidding on all four hooves. It was like they were skiiing! Daisy at one point got the leg tremors of someone too afraid to keep on going. She’s such a sweetheart though I could tell she was really trying and we did all get safely down. There were a few more hills to go and then the South Downs Way curved into a lovely wooded area with a much gentler slope. 19.01.14 Once out of the woods as it were, we had a final four kilometer stretch to Cocking and the Horsebox. As you can see from the photos, we had a race against daylight for this final stage and had to keep pressing on. photo 3(1) But I do think that the photos are quite lovely and I hope you’ll agree. Guiness Guiness and Daisy at points were determined that they wouldn’t take another step. But they did and they kept going. George was wonderful and responsive to Angelique. photo 5 We were expecting the ride to be challenging, long and to cause a few aches and pains. It’s not meant to be easy. But it turned out to be difficult in completely different ways than what we, or certainly I expected. photo 1(1) Expecting to ride three horses out on an unfamiliar trail for the best part of 16 miles, takes a lot of preparation and planning. But still, with horses, they’re very much their own people. They have to want to go out as well. You have to build a relationship and be a part of a team. But still, as anyone who rides, or has experience with horses will know sometimes riding out can go a bit ooh-er when the unexpected leaps out of the bushes (DEER!) or even the most terrifying of terrifying for many horses… plastic bag in the wind attack! photo 2 But that isn’t what happened at all. That wasn’t difficult. I’m so amazed at all the horses and the whole team of us that were up there yesterday on the Downs because we did it. We made it to the end. If we’d known how hard it would have been after lunch, we have all agreed we wouldn’t have gone on, but we did. The horses were so truly amazing and they really came through for us and we for them.  What WAS difficult was the terrain. We hadn’t expected it to be hard flint for 90% of the journey.  We hadn’t expected quite such steep inclines and descents or for mud so thick you could bathe in it. But we did it. photo 4(1) The pictures in this last section show the final four kilometers. We had to dig really deep at this point. My lemon sherbet energy boosting had worn off. photo 5(1) We could see the Horse Box at this point though and the surrounds we beautiful. The end was in sight. photo 4 I was really thinking at this point about my cousin Melissa and my memories of her.  I ached all over, especially in my right knee which I have a weird tendency to twist when riding in a western saddle.  In the end Daisy was  tripping over because she was tired so I dismounted for the last part and we walked to the finish together, side by side. photo 1(2) photo 2(2) And here we all are. Utterly exhausted and after a full day of trekking up and down hills. But it was worth it. Every step. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my mad day and my part in Alex’s Adventures. Please remember to donate to the worthy causes. Cystic Fibrosis Trust for the illness that stole Melissa and the Fire Fighters Charity, without which, Alex wouldn’t be doing his adventures. You can donate here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=alexs-adventures Our aches and pains are worth every penny – honest! Now…I better put the dinner on… Love Fibi xxx

The Adventure Begins!

It was a bit of an early start this morning! The family was up at 5:30am ready to be on the road to Winchester where the first adventure begins. (There was a lot of coffee drunk to make sure we were all at least half-awake before setting off)

Today marks the tenth anniversary that Alex’s sister and my cousin Melissa passed away. She was such an inspirational person, that Alex has decided to complete ten challenges #10for10 in memory of her and to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Fireman’s Charity.

AA5

As you can see it was still dark when we arrived. This is the official start of the South Downs Way 100 mile walk.  Luckily the weather wasn’t as wet as expected.

AA4

As we walked up to the Cathedral, Perdy (Alex and Angelique’s lovely Pointer) volunteered to carry the balloons. Thanks Perdy!

AA3

We decided that a bit more coffee was needed as we waited outside the Cathedral.  The Cystic Fibrosis Trust have been really wonderful and supportive of Alex Adventure. The rain eased off a bit just before 8am as well which was a really good omen.

AA1

Alex, Angelique and Perdy above. We walked through Winchester all together which I found a bit emotional to be honest. It’s such a strange feeling, but for the first time I was able to pinpoint just why I felt Melissa was still with us all.  The people who pass remain in the love they leave behind. On the just giving page Alex has spoken about how he’s also hoping our family will grow together again. In honesty it’s been a very hard decade. When someone so young dies, no matter what the cause, it’s a shock that I really don’t believe you ever get over, but it does become less painful. Today I realized that Melissa absolutely remains within her family and friends in the way that we all live our lives and the way that we bond together.

So this has turned a bit more reflective than I intended! But maybe its appropriate for today. My Sister Kirsty and Cousin  Alex are currently three hours into their walk and I wonder how many miles they’re managed so far.  I hope they’re not getting too wet. One thing I do know, is that no matter how difficult it gets for them today, they won’t give up.  They’re walking for an amazing cause and in memory of someone who was one of those people who just glowed from the inside. No matter the circumstances, or how tough things got.

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You can hear from Alex himself, Spirit FM are featuring snippets from an interview they had with him the other day.

Follow the adventure on twitter @adventure_cf or on facebook at Alex’s Adventure.

To donate to the Adventures you can follow this fancy link!

Every penny goes to a good cause.

george

We’re off down to the horses in just a moment, final preparations for joining in the adventure tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Love Fibi