Its Raffle Time

As I Promised its the Middle of August and I have completed 6 of my challenges! So I promised a Raffle and Some Stonking prizes (does anyone say stonking anymore?)

Tickets start at just £1 in person and you can buy as many as you want. I have even added a Multibuy Offer and you know how much I love an offer!

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed a new tab at the top of the page (or in the Menu on your device) and this will take you to the Raffle page on this Blog. You can also go there by clicking here

The Buttons on that page or at the top of this page like this one……

…..will open a new page and take you direct to the online shop to buy tickets

Now on to those stonking (!) Prizes

The Kimpton Charlotte Square in Edinburgh have given us a 1 Night stay for 2 in a Superior Room with Breakfast

A Signed Scotland Rugby Shirt

We have bottles of Hollywood Ginge and Laphraoig Select

Vouchers for Dunelm and Iceland Foods

Signed Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory Memorabilia from Julie Dawn Cole – The Real Veruca Salt

A surprise gift from Mark Thomas (So surprising I dont know what it is yet)

10 Cases (!) of Irn Bru Extra (Collection or local Delivery only)

Flowers, Books, Food, Gym Passes and lots lots more

The Draw is on 4th December so you have got time to buy them and remember,

the more tickets you buy the more chance you have of winning.

And you get to help 5 Awesome Charities at the same time.

Thank you and Good Luck!

“If I said Ive got no ‘beef’ with July I would be telling ‘Porkies’”


Its July already

Its No Meat Month

Its difficult!!

Polly and Tricia are doing it to, Tricia is Breezing through it but Polly is finding it hard as the Twins munch on sausage rolls and chorizo especially.

We had some pleasantly nice stuff to eat though. We are still eating fish so that is helping a great deal. We had a meat free BBQ to start the month and the kids didn’t even notice. The Quorn lasagne was a winner and Tricia and I preferred it to the normal mince.

Tricia Had her birthday and we all had a Veggie breakfast. Scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, Mushrooms, grilled tomato, English muffins and beans. Wow it was pretty filling. All in all a success but I still miss a bacon roll mmmmm….

Slowly getting through the running – I have got to week 7 of the Couch 2 5k. I’m taking my time but We’ve had a lot going on at home and I have had a lot going on at work. I made the very difficult and Brave (some may say daft) decision to Step away from my role at work and handed in my notice this week. Life is busy at home with the Girls and all the assessments that go with them and Life was getting even busier at work. We are a small team after all the redundancies and the workload was overtaking my capacity at this time. My Home life and Mental health was suffering and I have to concentrate on making that work for now.

So no, if you are asking, I don’t know what’s next. I’ve already been having some interesting discussions but I’m keen not to rush into anything. I’ve had no capacity to think for the last while and I certainly need that moving forward.

So where are we with the challenges

Challenge 1 – alcohol free January – Tick

Challenge 2 – Kiltwalk – Tick

Challenge 3 – Couch to 5 K- Underway

Challenge 4 – Meat free July – Underway

Challenge 5 – 5k for Autism – this is the final run for the couch 2 5k

Challenge 6 – 10 k for TTTS – 17th August

Challenge 7 – Gung Ho 5K – Cancelled

Challenge 8 – 30 Miles in 30 days

Challenge 9 – Supernova 5k at the Kelpies (postponed from March)

Challenge 10 – Save Point 24hr gaming session

Challenge 11 – Movember

Challenge 12 – Raffle – more on that below

So the Gung Ho Inflatable 5k has been cancelled and we need Ideas for a replacement, any ideas are more than welcome!

The Raffle is still going well, we got a £50 voucher from Dunelm, Clairs Bookshop donated some kids books, I’m chatting to Yorkshire wildlife park about a prize, Nuffield health are donating something and I have exciting news regarding Kimpton Hotels which will be announced at the end of this month. But this could well be the star prize.

The raffle website is up and working and will be launched towards the end of August once I have the licence in place.

Here is what I need from you this month

As ever you are all awesome people and thank you for your support.

Leave your comments bellow

Back on Form

Well April was a much better. I completed challenge #4 the Kiltwalk and got a medal to boot. Polly Raised £80 (topped up to £120 by the hunter foundation) Directly for Simpsons Special Care Babies. look how little the wee ones were!

We Walked from Ferrytoll in Fife Under the Queensferry Crossing, Over the Forth Road Bridge and down into Queensferry ending up under the Forth Rail Bridge and then we had Fish and Chips for tea. What a lovely day. Not to mention Polly had her first football match that morning and scored a goal! The team won 8-2. WELL DONE POLLY

I’m back on the Challenge #2 Couch to 5K wagon too. Just redoing Week 4 to get up to speed. My Kidney stones have passed and I will be back at work on Tuesday so things are looking much more positive.

I have a New Running Buddy in the Form of my Best Man Phil O’Halloran and we are working through the Couch25K together. When we complete that I will be running from Roslin to home on the 5K for Autism.

I got a £50 voucher from Dunelm this week for the Raffle and one of Instagram Followers had a Book shop and will be sending a bundle of kids books over for the Raffle too.

As part of the build up to the Kiltwalk we SMASHED or £1000 target on Virgin Money but I don’t want stop there. I never had the confidence to set the target too high but I’m only 4 months in and need to reconsider. So from 1st May we have upped the Target to £2500 which will be £500 per charity.

This month is full concentration on Couch to 5k and getting back to work.

Thank you as ever for the support and Donations. Without you I would be just a guy running.

More of crawl than a March!

So here I am sat on the sofa, no running again this week! Frustrated is not the word.

Had Scans this week and the stones haven’t moved, another 3 more weeks of drinking loads and then back to see if they have moved by then.

For those of you only following my blog and not my social, two weeks past Tuesday, I ended up in A&E in the worst pain I have ever felt. I was screaming in agony all the way to the hospital and through the Emergency Department until I got some Morphine. Wow! Its good. A Few tests and a few hours later it was found I had Kidney Stones and I had a few nights in hospital. I was looked after incredibly well by the fabulous NHS Nurses and Doctors (even the food wasn’t too bad!)

The NHS staff are pushed to the Limit, you can see that in their faces and you can see it by the lack of bed space, we were moved out of cubicles so someone else could have a private moment or bloods take and then back in to be assessed again.

On the Ward it was all go. Procedures being carried out in the wards behind curtains as theatre space was at a premium. How I wish our theatre spaces were open (but that’s another story) I was in a 4-bed room on the first night and shared it with 5 others in total.

Anyway, Since I got home, I’ve been extremely tired and its just not passing, I’m now waiting for blood tests to see what’s going on. I’m signed of work and I can’t do jobs with power tools round the house as that’s dangerous if the pain comes back. Not that I have the energy to do jobs, after the school run, I usually need a nap.

So needless to say, I’ve been off the running and concentrating on the Admin side of the project. I’m following up on leads for prizes for the raffle and filling in applications and keeping up with Social Media. I’ve been a bit quiet for a while but I’m picking up speed again now.

I have to say I’m being well supported by you all, your messages of encouragement, well wishes and Donations are really appreciated and have given me the drive to push on.

The Kiltwalk is in 5 weeks and Polly and I will walk across the Forth Road Bridge from North to South.

We are collecting donations for all 5 charities on the Usual address https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/12in12for5

But there is also a special Just Giving page for the Simpson Special Care Babies who covered the Entry for us and you can donate here for that and the Hunter Foundation will add 50 percent more onto top of your donation. Gary (thekiltwalk.co.uk)

So, this month has been a bit more Spring Rabbit than March Hare but lets April is a bit more positive.

I’d love to hit that £1k mark soon – maybe the end of the month is a bit ambitious but let’s see what we can do, Afterall I can’t do it without every single one of you!

Thanks Team

Gary x

Changes to the Plan….

Its been 3 weeks since I last wrote a post, so I’m pulling my finger out now and getting on with it.

Its been a long three weeks and a few changes to update you on.

Firstly Its all been getting a bit much for Polly of late and we needed to relieve the pressure somewhat. With home learning, lockdown and the tour de force that is her sisters, the running was just one thing to much.

So for her Mental Health (and Mine) Polly has made the hard decision to drop the Couch to 5k but will resume training for the Supernova 5k nearer the time. Instead of this she is going to satisfy her curiosity and find out what life is like a vegetarian and give up meat for all of July with myself and Tricia.

She is still walking the Forth Bridge with me for the Virtual Kiltwalk and Still taking on the Save Point 24hr gaming session. The 5k for Autism that will end the couch to 5k (from Roslin to Danderhall) was always an extra so she’s still doing as much as planned.

Secondly the GungHO inflatable 5K is not happening and (unless anyone has several bouncy castles) we can’t do this one virtually. So, Polly and I are on the lookout for something else to do. If you have any ideas please fire them over to us. Something in May or June preferably.

Thirdly Couch to 5k is going pretty slow due to Pollys aversion and my blasted knee. I’m taking it easier but plodding on, Nearly half way now! My knee just has some horibble twinges every so often.

and Finally, my thanks go to Actor Gary Hollywood for the donation of his new Hollywood Ginge Gin which he has kindly donated. The prizes are racking up now.

My continued thanks go to all my (nearly 800) followers on insta, all the companies for raffle donations and all the donators who keep the money coming in.

I would love to hit £600 by the end of the Feb, and don’t forget one UK donator in Feb will get a gift at sent to them.


Cheers folks


Almost a Month…

So we are coming to the end of month 1 of 12 and what a month its been.

Scarlet (Twin #1 ) is finding things harder and harder to handle and she is struggling to control her emotions and that is really trying on all of us. Polly and Amelia (Twin #2) are really good but they can get very upset with it all. With the Schools being off the whole Autism assesment has slowed right down we are right at the stage of the teachers observing and sending a report back to paediatrics. So with that unlikely to be happening for a while we are trying to find out what will happen next.

We have an online observation session with speech and language department next week, thats a first for us so we will have to wait and see how it goes. Scarlet has been discharged from the eye pavilion so some positives there.

So Dry January has been difficult, more so than I was expecting. The home learning, the meltdowns, the extention of lockdown and the death of a close friend. They would all usually be ‘eased’ by a glass of Vino in the evening! Only a few days left and then I can enjoy a glass (or two!)

The Supernova 5k has been posponed until november and the official 5k walk for Autism has been cancelled. So Polly and I have decided to move the 5k for Autism to the end of March and we will run from Roslin monument to home which is just over 5k. We need it to focus the end of the couch to 5K and on that note Couch 2 5K is going well – we are into week 3. the weather hasnt been on our side but we are determined and Polly is starting to enjoy it (I think). we have to have a small break from running as ive got a knee injury but back on it next week. See the events page for more details.

I had an nice piece in the Edinburgh Evening News and a lovely article on Spautism.com. Raffle prizes are increasing with prizes coming in from Iceland Foods, Laphroaig, Veruca Salt (Julie Dawn Cole) and Innocent Drinks. We are also very pleased to have hit 300 followers on Instagram. and we almost hit £400 in donations.

All in all a great first month, Thank you for all your support so far and if you can, please donate to the challenges HERE.

In the Beginning

WOW just WOW! what a start to the year! I honestly never thought I could get this sort of response. I must be doing something right.

We started on January first with myself and my wife Tricia partaking in DRY JANUARY – I thought it would be easier but 2021 is throwing things at us left right and centre. Tricia has had a chest infection (no hot toddies here) then there was the news of homeschooling! The spread of this virus is picking up speed. Im back on furlough and I lost a good friend this week too. Needless to say Ive needed a drink on more than one occasion! But NO. we will succeed.

Today My oldest Daughter and I started Challenge 2 – Couch to 5K. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I dont run for anything. However today we RAN, and it nearly killed me! Day off tomorrow and then same again on Wednesday. Its been nice knowing you…

Back to the positives though

We have already hit 25 percent of the target on the Virgin money page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/12in12for5 – I knew i set the target to low!

We’ve got over 50 followers on Twitter, over 100 on Facebook and over 150 on Instagram

As well as several positive leads for CHALLENGE 12 the Raffle/Auction we have have received prizes from Camera Obscura, Next and Irn Bru Xtra

We got front page and page 5 of the Fife Herald and this week we have an interview lined up and a few other leads on press

Thanks for reading and if you have a few spare pence in the bank come payday please consider donating to me and my 5 charities.

12 Challenges, 12 Months, 5 Charities

New Years Resolutions – I never keep them

Infact I’ve stopped making them (oops!)

I keep meaning to do something for charity and never quite get round to it.

If 2020 has taught me anything, Its taught me that you don’t know what’s round the corner so if you are going to do something then do it!

So in 2021 I’m going to play catch up:- I’m going to get fit, lose weight, and do something for charity and #GiveBack

Not just something but 12 things, and I’ve given myself 12 months to complete. Not just 1 charity either, I’ve chosen 5 charities that mean something to me. #12in12for5

Twins Trust – We have 5 year old twin girls and the support and knowledge of the Twins Trust has been invaluable

Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity – I lost my brother when he was 14 and he spent a lot of time in the “Sick Kids” and having 3 kids of my own at one point it felt like a second home.

Simpsons Special Care Babies – The care in the Simpsons Baby unit is excellent and out Twins were born there at 33 weeks and spent time in the special care unit and were looked after amazingly.

Scottish Autism – Our Twins are going through testing just now for ASD and this has been a good resource so far.

shout 85258 – Our Mental health is so important and we look after it so badly. this free text service will chat to you when you need it and don’t judge. Its great for being able to reply at your own pace and not having to talk out loud.

So what I am I going to do?

This is the plan so far*

I’m going to start slowly and Give up Alcohol for a DRY JANUARY (My Wife Tricia is doing this one with me) then for the 9 weeks from 11th January I will take the COUCH TO 5K Challenge (with my Oldest daughter Polly) and then run the SUPERNOVA 5K at the Kelpies on 21st March (Again with my daughter Polly).

April brings the VIRTUAL KILTWALK and May is the fun(and inflatable!) GUNG-HO 5k ( Superstar Polly Again!) and June is a 5K FOR AUTISM

in July I’ll give up meat (and My Wife Tricia is going to do this one with me too) and August is 10K FOR TTTS (Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome) and September is 30 MILES in 30 DAYS

October is SAVE POINT which is a 24 hr gaming session which we plan to do as a family Even the Twins Scarlet and Amelia will join in. November is MOVEMBER and then it is December.

In December I hope to do a Silent Auction or a Raffle – so Ill spend the year trying to get some decent prizes together.

So there we are, New Years Resolutions, Charity Giving, Challenges and fun!

All I need now is for you to Donate. I don’t want to do all this for nothing 🙂

Thank you

*DISCLAIMER – some of the events may be cancelled or postponed – if this happens then I will attempt to find an alternative.








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