Posted: September 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

The night wins the battle yet again. The battle of whether I sleep or not. It is a battle it almost always wins unless I blot out life and reality or until I breath my last and close my eyes for one last time. I admit defeat and move my weary body yet again on this long, long day. Twenty four hours has become forty eight and there is still more to go. I read some Ted Hughes, if I am awake I may as well make the most of it and I feel something reawakened deep inside, something that has been dormant for too long and needs to be brought to life once again. The heating hums its single tune, no wonder I cannot close my eyes and dream. The air is warm and dry devoid of cold moisture that could help me go to other places. I get up and go downstairs to eat the goodness of another, I shouldn’t eat it but I need it, my mind and body conditioned to eat it by years of socialisation from others. Of all the hopes I have tonight the one of closing my eyes and sleeping is the one that keeps me going.

Words of Praise and a Poem

Posted: August 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

Source: Words of Praise and a Poem

Rachel has got married and is on her bike already!


I’ve just married my best friend. Well, he’s more like an upgrade on a best friend – the deluxe version. He’s the front-facing table seat in quiet coach C on the Grand Central from Halifax – London… first class (of course.) He’s the 12mm luxury underlay as opposed to the 10mm more reasonably priced alternative (yes – we are currently shopping for carpets, and yes – we want the Gav quality “it’ll be like walking on a bouncy castle” option). He’s the Marks & Spencer’s weekly food shop, although admittedly, Aldi do some excellent fresh produce. (And £3.10 for a Pink Lady apple? It does come in a M&S protective polystyrene tray, although I’m quietly confident it would survive the 3-mile car journey home without.)

The last time I had a real best friend was in my teenage years. We did everything together, Jo and I. She’d get on my…

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Gallery  —  Posted: August 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

Can running save your life?

Posted: August 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

a heart warming blog about the friendship around the fell running community


It is a phrase that has often been said, running saved my life. A dramatic statement and at risk of becoming a cliché, but how much truth can there be in it, can running save your life?

Over recent weeks I have given it a lot of thought. I’ve talked about mental health before on this blog and it is an issue close to my heart that in my view cannot be talked about enough.  The past year or so has been hard personally, a relationship breakdown and health problems gave me a mental battering.  Some days have been really dark, I’m not ashamed to admit that I became really scared for the future at times and totally lost my way for a while.  The one thing that somehow managed to remain constant through it all was my need to get out and run.  Yes there were days when I…

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Rachel becomes a cyclist!


It’s only gotten worse, this recent and sudden-onset impulsion I have to transform myself into a cyclist. I look at my newly-padded ass in the mirror (I now own two pairs of Beyoncé-inspired cycling shorts) and I don’t know who I’ve become.

We broke off at my cycling the equivalent of a 1000-piece 101 Dalmatians jigsaw, did we not? This was the 16-mile local hilly route I ventured on with my trusty Trek 2010 front-suspension mountain bike, incorporating the infamous Ripponden Bank in granny gear (without getting off to push, I might add.)

Well, since then I’ve taken to wearing cycling jerseys around the house. In fact, I’m currently sitting in my long-sleeved zip-up DHB spotty number, and if I glance to my left, I can see two spare aero wheels* sitting underneath the lounge window (yes, I can – proof below), these having recently been changed over on my…

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Gallery  —  Posted: August 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

My good friend Winston Plowes wrote this thoughtful poem

A very inspiring blog from Rachel Cullan on saying no to anxiety and beating the demon within


The Dream Stealer 

What does anxiety feel like?

It’s a daily battle with the Dream Stealer.

It rears its head like one of the ugly, mean giants sprawled across The BFG’s hillside.

It’s a cat pawing at a cornered mouse; a bully taunting the vulnerable kid at school. It’s always there, lurking in the background, ready to rouse and pounce, paw and taunt. You just don’t know when.

It laughs and says, “You can’t!” when otherwise, you might have – just possibly – dared to consider that you could.

It prepares you for the worst, even when the worst is unfeasible.

It paints a picture of a scary, doomed outcome on even the brightest and sunniest of days.

It makes you fear the outcome, kiboshing the journey to even get there.

It’s your heart suddenly beginning to race in a supermarket aisle; your chest pounding when sitting motionless, that nobody sees.

It’s fight or flight that won’t switch off – on constant repeat. Only there is no one to fight, and no need to take flight.

It’s teetering on the edge of a cliff, about to jump off. But…

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Gallery  —  Posted: July 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

Part one of Rachel’s birthday adventure


I’m sitting on the sofa with my legs propped up on the corner part (When did we all start having corner sofas? When were Shackleton’s three-seaters no longer adequate? Maybe for occasions such as this…) I’ve got a large white toasted cheese baguette to my right, which is slarted with enough Lurpak to bake a small Mary Berry Victoria sandwich, and that’s placed precariously next to a pint of instant coffee – none of that posh stuff: it’s usually shit.

I’m 39 years old, and I’m KNACKERED.

We’ve just arrived back home after our mini adventure weekend away – forward slash – Rachel’s birthday “treat”. This was, as you may or may not know, the challenge of completing the Three Yorkshire Peaks as part of the organised Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice charity group event which took place yesterday, the 24th June, also nonchalantly marking my 39th year…

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Gallery  —  Posted: June 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


A: When I couldn’t give a Fat Rascal about anything other than finishing it.

‘I think I want to enter into a race again, Gav.’ I said. ‘It’s time to get over the fear.’

What’s the worst that could happen?

We chose the Ilkley Trail race on Bank Holiday Monday. It worked around the delicate orchestrating of childcare arrangements courtesy of two broken homes (sob*) having successfully amalgamated into one complete madhouse**

Regardless, it wasn’t an obvious choice for a tentative first race back since the debacle of the Dewsbury 10k back in February, during which I’d been forced to make the Walk of Shame back to the start after only 1.5 miles of purgatory (before being picked up by the Unfortunate Bastards Sweeper Bus.) That was my last race: it hurt my legs, my Achilles, and my pride.

I’ve written a lot recently about race anxiety…

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Gallery  —  Posted: June 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

Rachel writes about being constantly on the move


Doctor, doctor, I can’t sit down! I think I’ve got ADHD…

… No, Rachel. You’re just neurotic.

Let’s begin with a flashback to my ill-conceived legal career and a good old fashioned caveat: there is no intention whatsoever on my part to make light of the ADHD condition, its symptoms or its sufferers. The same goes for neurosis. I may – or may not – have traces of both. If I were a food product requiring labelling as being ‘free from’ on the Gluten Free supermarket shelf, I fear that I wouldn’t make the grade. I would simply be unable to declare myself to be entirely ‘free from’ either, or both. And so, I would be placed back on the regular shelf with all the other shit full of MSG, wheat, lactose, fructose, traces of brazil nuts and bee pollen. Think Mr Kipling’s Fondant Fancies. They were never fussed about…

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