56. Get my weight below 200lbs (14st 4lbs)
57. Meet a former school/college friend I haven't seen for over 30 years
59. Update my book about Coronation Street barmaids for free download
60. Be pictured with someone who has had a top ten single
61. Own a racehorse for a day
62. Arrange a face-to-face interview with an international athlete
63. Complete a second 12 hour solo darts marathon
64. Record a song
65. Play against an international sportsman or woman in their chosen sport
66. Take part in an event organised by the local Muslim community - to be chosen by my friends
67. Swim a mile
68. Play my first game of table tennis in thirty years (I used to be quite good... I used to be quite young!)
69. Go for coffee (or tea), cake and a chat with someone who everyone will know....
70. To be decided by my work colleagues!
71. Appear on television
72. Round off my stand-up comedy "career" with a third and final gig
It’s been fairly slow progress on the challenge front these past few weeks—mainly because much of my spare time has been spent on the preparations for May’s darts marathon.
Arrangements have been going well; a couple of special guests from the world of darts have been confirmed and there’s a possibility that local MP Anna Turley might be able to pop in as well. In addition, I’ve already been sent some fantastic prizes for the raffle/auction and have been promised two or three more. I’m genuinely amazed at the response I’ve received, and I will be doing everything I possibly can to make the event a success, not only to do justice to the organisations I’m supporting, but as a sincere thank you to everyone who’s been willing to get involved and help.
As with all the best laid plans, there’s always something that can throw a proverbial spanner in the works; and that came with the news that Grangetown’s Premier League netball squad will be involved in the end-of-season play-offs which have been moved from May 7 to avoid the Superleague final… and will now take place on May 14—yes, you’ve guessed it; the day of the marathon.
I must admit that when I finalised the date, I didn’t envisage there being a clash with the netball; especially as the regular season finished last Sunday. It’s disappointing, as I know most of the girls would have come along at some point during the day, but what is far more important is that they go down to Sheffield and perform how they did in Kent at the weekend—if they do, they will certainly be playing in Division 2 again next season.
The darts marathon is challenge no.63 and is the only fundraising event on the list. I am trying to raise money on behalf of the Jenny Wallwork Foundation (a mental health charity founded by Jenny, a former England and Great Britain badminton player) and Grangetown Netball Club and whilst I appreciate it’s relatively early days, if anyone would like to make a small donation, here is the link to my JustGiving page—anything you can give will make a difference. Thank you so much.
The remainder of the tasks are all about mental health awareness; and here is a brief(ish) update on some that are (or aren’t) progressing:
No.56: My weight has fluctuated a lot since the turn of the year. At the moment, I’m tipping the scales at 14st 13lbs; ten pounds away from my target. I am getting back into exercising and lost a few pounds last week. I’m heading in the right direction, but I also love chocolate.
No.57: I’ve been in touch with three friends from college for quite a time now; I’ve met Frances twice, but before this specific task was included within the list. Interestingly and unexpectedly, I’ve also made contact with a couple of people from my old school in the past few weeks. No firm plans as yet, but I’m pretty sure there’ll be a trip or two down memory lane at some point this year.
No.59: The Coronation Street book isn’t far away from being ready. The basic text has been completed, formatted and proof read, but I will need to check it thoroughly once (maybe twice) more before I can finalise the free download. I’m pretty happy with the book and hopefully a few of you will decide to have a read.
No.60: This is provisionally arranged for the first week in April. The singer in question had a top ten hit in the 1960s and shares my birthday—strictly speaking, I suppose, I share hers. Any ideas? Keeping fingers crossed.
No.64: I did make contact with a local recording studio. They sent me a message saying they might be able to help and could I send a few more details. I did… and I’ve heard nothing further! Maybe it’s a hint….
No.65: Looks like this one is arranged… more details to follow soon!
No.69: I haven’t ventured into the pool as yet, so this one’s a fair way from being ticked off; but we’ve got a new bath and I’ve already done a few lengths to get me back into the swing.
No.72: My stand-up farewell will take place in Newcastle upon Tyne on May 18 (at The Stand Comedy Club). It promises to be an evening filled with mirth and merriment… apart from the five minutes I’ve got to fill, of course. Hopefully one or two old friends will be in the audience to see my take my final bow. Just one more joke Richie… it’s what the fans want…