Tag Archives: charity

There’s no average day in the life of….

18 Oct

Do you have an average day? I don’t. They’re all a bit different. Often evolving as they progress, rarely planned anything more than by a vague outline, and quite often a little ‘out of the norm’ . Saying I’m not a nine to fiver is a bit of an understatement.

Want to know what my day is doing? Well it’s now 11am and I’m here..

Yep. I’m working whilst in the bath!

So today is like this. I woke up at 8:30 and though ‘i fancy a bath’ so I popped off to the bathroom but there was a spider in the bath and I didn’t want to disturb him so I hopped back into bed. Hubby, as is his wonderful habit, appeared with a cup of tea and we sat in bed catching up on FB and Twitter and discussed our separate ‘plans’ for the day.

We have b&b guests this coming weekend so for me it was ironing bedding. I see ironing as a bit of a waste of time so whilst steaming away I practiced a belly dance routine (and I haven’t even told you before that I go to dance classes.. another day another blog); and did some toe exercises as prescribed by Katie Holland as ‘guaranteed to improve your dancing’… Katie, I’m doubtful that anything will help but I’ll let you know.

Having built up a steam iron sweat I’m now in the bath (fortunately Bernard the Bath  Spider had buggered off) but to make better use of the time I’m both writing this for you lot and sorting out my art catalogue, making sure all my work to date is listed and titled. I have an exhibition pending and I need to make sure I know what’s  where and ensure I have enough pieces in the collection. Plus I’m having half a dozen or so images printed up as cards and my photographer friend and technical whizz needs to have the wording for the backs covers.

Alongside getting this done….

and I’ve added a face pack…may as well spruce up properly.

It’s now noon. Too late for breakfast, so a quick brunch and then off to get some groceries.

Marmite and mushrooms on toast yumyum

May as well pack up my old bras and take them to the bra bank at Tescos whilst I’m at it.

Donating my old bras

It’s a gorgeous day so hoping to get back in time to garden at home. Still have several plants that need to go in the ground before winter sets in.

….it’s now evening. Needless to say the gardening didn’t happen. I had about £60 in my hand from a swishing event I organised at the last-minute to clear out my wardrobe. A swish, for those who don’t know (I didn’t when invited to one last year), is a clothes swap. I’d cleared out my cupboards and had a car boot full of clothes and shoes to get rid of , friends could have them for a donation to a local charity. It raised £58 and I still managed to drop 2 large sacks of goodies at the local community charity shop.

So having done my shopping I went back into Aldi and spent the £58 with a view to dropping it at the local food bank. Sadly the charity was closed so that will involve another trip but look how much I got for my money!!!! Six full bags of none perishables! Aldi really is better value

Just about to head into the garden when I remember we have a fridge freezer to pick up from a friend (I need extra storage for the catering for my 50th).

And then the doorbell rings. The landlords of the flats I manage are here from Spain and I forgot they were popping in. Still they came armed with plenty of wine so I’m not complaining.

By which time it’s supper time. I cook a meal for me and Hubby. Bulk cook a bolognaise to add to the new freezer. Watch a movie. Then suddenly it’s midnight so off to bed.

Guess who’s back?

Bernard the Bath Spider

I wonder how he filled his day?

Lucy At Home

My Random Musings


You can even enter on the day – memorial Half Marathon … come on…

8 Oct

…and Do Do the Ron Run…

It’s the 11th Memorial Half Marathon in Llanwrtyd Wells on 23rd October. a 12.5 mile fell/mixed terrain run in a figure of eight from and to the town square twice.  In memory of the late great Ron Skilton, co-founder of Green Events Ltd (who bring you Bog Snorkelling, Man v Horse, Chariot Racing , Real Ale Wobbles and Summer Cider Cycles)… A fabulous family run event, marshalled entirely by member of the Skilton family who reunite here annually in his memory.  Open to solo runners or two person relays.  All ages from 14 up.  You can even enter on the morning of the event.  This year its on Sunday 23rd October.  So all I can say is come along and Run Run Run Run…

all the details are on my original blog about it from 2013…


the end of summer….

15 Sep

I had so many blogs I wanted to write in a timely fashion this summer.  But time for timeliness was lost to busy-ness and busy-ness was loss to craziness and a certain amount of chaotic-ness, sleeplessness and general tiredness!

It was a whirlwind summer, one that promised to be longer than most (which it was) but to fit in the extra length, time was most certainly speeded up and the resultant rapidity of activity, organisation and enjoyable experiences blurred into one mass of euphoria and exuberance.

I wanted to write to you about all the gardens I visited.

The vibrant and magestic Bicton Park Botanical Gardens, near Exeter:-

The tranquil and contemplative Burrow Farm Gardens in Axminster:-

…and the hidden gem of Hergest Croft, in Kington, Herefordshire; with its perfect little tea room and plant nursery

I wanted to wax lyrical about the wonderfully wacky two weeks of the World Alternative Games culminating in commentating for the World Bog Snorkelling here in Llanwrtyd Wells.

I wanted, but failed, to fit in participating in any of the adventures of the fortnight – although I wanted to Office Chair Race, Husband Drag, Ditch Run, Pea Shoot, Crazy Shop, Worm Charm, Race Chariots, Wrestle in Gravy, Run Backwards, Cycle Slowly and dress as a Zombie; but the extra activities in town meant extra work for me .

Then there was the fabulous Imp Club National event at Hatton Park World in Warwickshire which involved camping; cars; a rally to the British Motor Museum in Gaydon (fabulous thoroughly recommend it); and strolls along the Grand Union Canal tow path.

Meanwhile there was still work. I was busy managing five other people’s garden’s ( I love these jobs). I had my own house than needed painting and some extra shifts in our local caffi.  Mum and Dad wanted (and did) visit.  Our B&B proved extra popular this summer with both new and repeat visitors.  fitting in a hectic self employment based multitude of work activities alongside a heavy social schedule has been both incredibly exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure.  There are people I love who I have not seen or spoken to in the last 8 weeks….  forgive me until October, I will be back.  …and events i didn’t fit in (sadly) especially the Pink Car Rally which is fabulous fun and for a great cause… next year….


And then I wanted to share with you all the fun of our long planned , end of summer party where we dressed the entire garden as an enchanted landscape themed for Alice in Wonderland; complete with appearing and disappearing Cheshire cat grins; card guards, tea party and lawn croquet….

I was seriously keen to play the Proud Mum and rave about the excellent achievements of my son and his friends who all sat in nervous anticipation of their A level results until they could finally relax and revel in their exceptional successes this summer  – how proud am I to know them all.


I was determined to discuss with you the trials and tribulations; nerves and nausea caused to these teens in the preparing and planning for their next chapter… for many it’s this weeks move into their university halls.  Sick with excitement, doubt, fear and anticipation; worry about making new friends; living away from home; learning in a new way; taking responsibility for their own finances.  I drop Jason at his halls tomorrow.  As I type this (or in between paragraphs ) I’m preparing his ‘final supper’; his favourite meal; one he feels he’s unlikely to ever eat again…. well, at least until he comes home for his dad’s 60th; or the Christmas holidays… or in fact any weekend or weekday evening he wishes!!!! So it’s Thursday and I’m preparing a Sunday roast with all the trimmings and my mum’s very indulgent rice pudding recipe.  I sense a heart warming afternoon, playing board-games, having a good old laugh and possibly a few tears (mainly mine); probably a sleepless night and then tomorrow a drive to Cardiff.    I plan to be the ‘cool mum’ the one who offers ‘just the right amount’ of support/detachment/emotion/comment… I plan to leave with a hug and a smile and let him get on with it…. we all know what they say about the best laid plans.

Anyway, this shall begin my last weekend of summer and I plan to write an addendum next week…. stay in touch people… and why not tell me about your summer.

Helpless with the homeless

19 Jan
how can we help?

homelessness, hopelessness

So. How do you react when you pass a homeless person?

Avoid eye contact?  Feel embarrassed? Feel helpless? Offer a sympathetic glance? Cross the street?  Give cash?  Strike up a conversation? Report him/her? Buy him a coffee? Feel offended?

Today I had the luxury of two hours of time-wasting and coffee drinking with my partner in central Cardiff before an appointment.  We were strolling along happy and carefree.  Laughing I expect.  Holding hands.  A young lad, maybe in his mid 20’s is sat on a dirty duvet in a shop doorway. Rucksack by his side, blanket on his legs. Teardrop tattoo by his right eye.  He looks sad.  Freezing.

By the time I see him I am in the process of crossing the road away from him.  I catch myself looking at him and turn away… I’m embarrassed.  It looks like (to whom I don’t know), I’m crossing the road to avoid him.  My mood changes.  I feel sad.  Helpless.  Embarrassed.  I tell my partner I want to go and get him something warm.  We turn around and walk back to the market.  I avoid eye contact with the pathetic looking lad.

Having purchased a cup of hot soup we head back.  I say to John, “what if loads of people have bought him food or drink and he doesn’t want it”

“At least it will keep his hands warm for a bit” says John, “but I doubt it”.

Poor lad, sat there in the drizzle, a lost soul, invisible in the commercial, consumerist chaos and greed surrounding him.  I feel guilty for the money I spent on a meal out the evening before.

“You look freezing love, here’s something to warm you up”

He looks terribly sad and quite confused.  Has he been crying?  “My mum’s just died” he says

I ask how he knows.

“I go to the library every Monday and use the public phone”

We continue to chat. Another person arrives and hands him a roll and a coffee.  Asks if she can help.

I don’t know if his story is true.  I don’t even know if he knows.  But I’m told his mum has died since his last call.  His son is at school, he doesn’t know what to say to him.  His mum is his son’s legal guardian.  He’d been in prison because of some incident of violence and he needs to get to Caerphilly where his mum and son are.  He tells me he asked the police to take him there but they told him not to waste their time.

So.  What should you, or would you, do at this point?  More cash?  Some sympathy?  Walk away?  Find a policeman?  We don’t know how to react do we?   We’re not trained for this.  There’s no manual we can refer to.

I offered to take him to the station and buy him a ticket.  In my mind this is the obvious solution.  I would have ‘done my bit’, I could feel right with the world again.  I am so saddened by my helplessness in the situation and of his plight.  It’s embarrassing to admit it makes me feel uncomfortable and its put a bit of a damper on my day.

Anyway, it’s all too much for him.  He can’t get his head around his options.  He thinks he should stay put for a bit and try to get some money.  Talk to his aunt who’ll be by after schools out.  As I said before, he’s confused.  Whether or not the story is real is irrelevant, he believes it and his heart is breaking.  Well mine is.

So? What would you do now?  Say ‘Ok’ and move on?  Try and persuade him that your help is the right option? Report him? Give money?  What is the etiquette here?

I offer to come back in an hour with the car and if he wants a lift and a ticket I’d get him one.

As we walk off he calls after us ” you will come back and check won’t you?”  “Of course”, says I.  “I promise”.

I wonder at the chain of life events that has resulted in this point of time.  At the pain and sadness, trials and tribulations he and his family and friends may have endured.  A small part of me is angered by this negative intrusion into my rose-tinted world. Another small part of me is ashamed of that.

We do go back.  I have John driving down the taxi only lanes and parking in the disabled bay so I can get to near him. So he can see the offer is genuine.  Its been about 40 minutes since the food, soup, coffee, chat.

But he doesn’t think he should come.  Not yet.  He should wait.  Who knows what for.  I’m sure he is struggling to grasp his thoughts.  I’m not sure about his reality.  I want to give him a cwtch.  Should I?   All I can think about is how vulnerable and small he looks.  I hesitate.  But I don’t offer the cuddle.  I also don’t offer cash.  Even though he asks for the latter.

I’m reluctant, but I walk off back to the car. “Thanks anyway” he calls.

I wish I’d offered the cwtch.  I wonder what he’d have done with the cash.


Simply Pink at Beaulieu

10 Jun


                                                                                                                                                        Fund raising fun with Pinkies…
why not check it all out here

Ffloyd goes Simply Pink at Beaulieu for Breast Cancer Campaign

Ffloyd goes Simply Pink at Beaulieu for Breast Cancer Campaign

Ffloyd joins the Pink Car Rally.. final pre-event update..

4 Sep

Collection pot for Ffloyd now exceeds £1000!!! 

What can I say but thank you Ffloyd Supporters and people of Llanwrtyd and thankyou ladies who donated their hair and shaved their heads to put the bulk of that money in their back in May (June, Jen, Aurelia – i love you all)

A thoroughbred rear engined car ...and a Ferrari !

A thoroughbred rear engined car …and a Ferrari !

Tomorrow is the big day.  Ffloyd, John and I will take the 175 mile drive to the start point.  We will travel from Llanwrtyd to Brecon and take the A40 as far as Witney; we’ll then join the A415 to Abingdon on Thames and the A4130 to Henley on Thames… look out for us and tweet photos if you catch us to @pinkcarrally.


Sails of Merit... by Sarah Liscoe
Sails of Merit… by Sarah Liscoe

We’re meeting fellow Husky owners (Rob & Sarah Liscoe) for a ‘camp’ in the back of our Husky’s with our matching blue/pink husky/tents handmade by Sarah and her new business “Sails of Merit”

10497904_10154439719450153_159132964683286482_o  Then its off to the start for 9am at Saintsbury Langley – if you are in the area come along and meet us – we’ll be liverying up with Little Princess Trust and Pink Car Rally posters and getting set for the off at 10am.  Then its  an M25 Pink Car Convey to Intu Lakeside where us Pinkies will be based all afternoon until 7pm meeting the public, selling Little Princess Goodies, allowing you to take our car’s photos for donations to our cause.

Remember if you see our Pinkie Convoy on the M25 this Saturday and Sunday please take a photo and post it to you FB page and tag Pink Car Rally 2014 or tweet @pinkcarrally or, of course – send me a copy and comment on this blog.

Wish us Pinkies well and feel free to donate … it’s a great cause… love to you all….

Update to the Pink Car Rally Update (!)……

30 Aug

The fund pot is at £994.97 as of this moment in time!!!!

Ffloyd (aged 46) will be driven by me AKA Lady Lily the Pink with co-driver and tame mechanic, John Crompton on hand to deal with the inevitable breakdowns!

Ffloyd (aged 46) will be driven by me AKA Lady Lily the Pink with co-driver and tame mechanic, John Crompton on hand to deal with the inevitable breakdowns!

…..this is due to a  huge HUGE HUGE amount of generosity and support from friends, family and the local community.  I decided to do this over 2 years ago, I can’t believe that this coming weekend is THE weekend. 

me and my alter ego... Lady Lily the Pink

me and my alter ego… Lady Lily the Pink

Having first discussed the idea in May 2013, I somehow managed to engage 2 amazing ladies (June Duncan and Jenny Walsby) who decided to grow their hair for a year with the view to cutting it off for donation this May just gone.  The idea .. to raise money and increase our fund pot for this amazing cause… they were joined by another local lady AureliaTyczka and all 3 donated hair and then had their head shaves – contributing over £750 to the pot. WOW

June, Tina,Aurelia, Jen - amazing local ladies helping The Little Princess Trust

June, Tina,Aurelia, Jen – amazing local ladies helping The Little Princess Trust

This was the start of our fundraiser that ends this Sunday after Ffloyd and I (and our ‘Tame Mechanic”, John ) have completed the 2014 Pink Car Rally.

Here’s a reminder of the timetable:

Day 1 – Saturday 6th September

9am – meet at Sainsbury’s, Uxbridge Road, Langley, Slough SL1 1SU (Selena Mullen is liaising with them, in the hope that we can make our visit there ‘official’, but if they say ‘no’ then we will simply be a group of very pink customers, in an assortment of pink cars! I, for one, will be having breakfast there around 8am!!! – Thank you, Selena)

10am – leave Sainsbury’s :-

Option 1 – if Wexham Park Hospital (SL2 4HL) gives permission, we will drive there first, before heading for the M25. It’s 5 miles from Sainsbury’s.

Option 2 – head straight for the M25 (directions will be issued)

12noon – arrive South Mimms Service Area on M25

1pm – leave South Mimms

3pm – arrive intu Lakeside – RM20 2ZP http://intu.co.uk/lakeside

NB We have permission to do an ‘all day’ coin collection here! So anyone choosing to join us here is welcome to start collecting if they arrive before us!

7pm – leave intu Lakeside and cross the Dartford Bridge (toll) to the Dartford Travelodge (5 miles away)

Pinkie Dinner!!!!!

Day 2

9.30am Leave Dartford Travelodge, heading for Brands Hatch DA3 8NG (10.6miles)

10am Arrive Brand’s Hatch (we should be able to buy food there… I’m currently checking our location and where the food is etc…)

11am Leave Brand’s Hatch – official start of Day 2 of the rally! Head for M25 S towards Gatwick

Subject to permission….. (currently waiting to hear) we will then go Sutton, Surrey

12.15pm Arrive Royal Marsden Hospital Sutton SM2 5PT

NB If no permission is granted (I’m currently liaising with two hospitals on the site!) then I will find an alternative comfort stop.

1.30pm Leave the Hospital/other venue… and re-join the M25

3.30pm Arrive either at Wexham Park Hospital SL2 4HL (awaiting authorisation) or Sainsbury’s Uxbridge Road, Langley, Slough SL1 1SU

The rally will end at approx. 4.30pm

If you are on the M25 or new any of the scheduled stops PLEASE come along and support us and the host of other PINKIES on the Rally.  If you want to show your support and can spare a few pennies please visit my justgiving page and help make this a record year.   Last year all the Pinkies together raised almost £18,000.  Lets beat it this year.
I think Ffloyd (aged 46) is going to be the oldest car on the Rally with Jane Sutton, driving Bubble (aged 43) a close second.  Her mechanic is coming along too….  should be a fantastic weekend ❤ ❤ ❤

Bubble (aged 43) will be driven by Pinkie, Jane Sutton and codriver/ mechanic hubby will be on hand in case of emergency

Bubble (aged 43) will be driven by Pinkie, Jane Sutton and co-driver/ mechanic hubby will be on hand in case of emergency


Pink Car Rally Update…..

16 Aug

Further to my previous post, there has been an announcement

The Pink Car Rally route has been finalised ….! We will be ‘orbiting the orbital’ on the 6th and 7th September!
Day 1 will take us from Langley, Slough to intu Lakeside and after an overnight stay in the local area…
Day 2 will take us from Brands Hatch (yes, really….. THE Brands Hatch!!! As in Britain’s best-loved motor racing circuit) back to Langley, Slough…

All I can say is, O M G... I really do deserve sponsorship for this… I moved away from Essex to Wales largely to never have to see the M25 again… but on 6/7th (and if traffic is bad, possibly 8th/9th!!!) you will find Ffloyd and I (plus John my tame mechanic) circumnavigating the “Ring of Hell” to raise money for Little Princess Trust along with many other Pinkies…

If you live in the areas we stop why not come along and show your support (please bring me tea/cake and valium!!)

I, (on behalf of The Little Princess Trust) deserve your money so I can pass it on to a great cause… come on… make all the pain worth my while…

from last years event....

from last years event….

Hair Raising…a great cause…

28 Apr

Instead of writing this postf from scratch,  I’m sharing with you the release I made to the local press on behalf of all those involved…

Ffloyd and I will be on the 2014 Pink Car Rally raising money for The Little Princess Trust

Ffloyd and I will be on the 2014 Pink Car Rally raising money for The Little Princess Trust

It’s May Bank Holiday, and there’s ‘Mayhem’ to be had in Llanwrtyd at the Third Heart of Wales Music Festival on the 3rd and 4th May. In recognition of it eccentric history , pastimes and general obsession with joviality; the events over the weekend include a Fancy Dress Ball ”May the Fourth Be With You” . Free entry to hours and hours of great live music hosted at the Neuadd Arms Hotel with the added entertainment of individuals dressed for Star Wars meets Loony on the Sunday Evening.
A couple of local ladies have taken advantage of this madness to have their heads shaved in order to donate their hair to the Little Princess Trust. June Duncan (62), of New Hall Guest House and Jenny Walsby (50), of Home Stays at Lledgwial decided to grow their hair when Bernice Benton (46) of Cerdyn Villa, suggested raising money and awareness of the charity back in May 2013. The charity sources and gives beautiful real-hair wigs to children who have lost their own hair, primarily through cancer treatment and The Little Princess Trust accepts hair donations (minimum length 7″). So, June and Jenny will have their hair tied in a ponytail which will be snipped off ,to send away, then friend Tina will use hair croppers to tidy what’s left.

The webbed feet made walking to the bog very easy!

The webbed feet made walking to the bog very easy!

In addition they will be passing the collection buckets and sponsorship forms to the party goers at the fancy dress ball and asking them to support their challenge and Berni’s pending involvement in this year’s (the 7th) annual Pink Car Rally which takes place in early September..


June & I dressed for a Midsummer Nights Dream themed party

June & I dressed for a Midsummer Nights Dream themed party

June Duncan has lived in Llanwrtyd for 8 years and embraced its event-led tourism agenda from day one. She told us “ Llanwrtyd has given me the opportunity to celebrate by inner child. It’s a great place for people who love to embrace their individuality. The things I’ve been involved in since moving here have been amazing” . Back in August 2009 June stood on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square to represent the town and its infamous sport of Bog Snorkelling. She spent her hour up there dressed in lime green lycra with a bike helmet based frog head, green tutu and umbrella , beside a toilet (!!) – representing herself as the mascot “Bog Frog”.. and definitely putting the town boldly onto the map.

Jen Walsby taking part in Man v Horse Marathon held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells

Jen Walsby taking part in Man v Horse Marathon held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells

Jenny, who came to Llanwrtyd in 3 years ago is in the process of setting up an eco campsite in the grounds of her B&B. She too couldn’t help but become actively involved in the towns tourism credentials, helping to develop their quarterly Farmers & Crafts Markets, a food fair for this coming summer and taking on the organising of the 2014 Bog Series on behalf of Green Events Ltd as part of the 2014 World Alternative Games.
Jenny told us “As an in-comer to Llanwrtyd you are revitalised by the energy of the many event companies, wacky activity organisers and enthusiasm of the community to engage in voluntary groups to look after and develop the town. It’s such a fun place to live and getting involved certainly keeps us busy!”

My alter-ego "Lady lily of the Pink"

My alter-ego “Lady lily of the Pink”

This is the 3rd year that the Neuadd Arms has hosted the Heart of Wales Music Festival (Music Madness and MAYhem) supported by Sir Dangerous Dave ex of Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Savages” and performing as lead on Sunday for The Pistol Riders; and Catrin O’Neill, talented folk singer/guitarist from North Wales.
Saturday will be a folk/roots evening featuring George Breakfast, followed by Catrin O’Neill with Mike Lease, and culminating with the Fluid Druids (a trio including a mix of guitar, cittern, pipes, fiddle, flute and voice). Celtic music and song from Ireland , Scotland and Wales.

screaming lord sutch
Sunday (which happens to be May the fourth (be with you)) is the Screamin’ Lord Sutch Memorial Fancy Dress Ball (theme is Loonies meet Star Wars), a night of rocking starting with local band The Hurricanes and finished off in style by The Pistol Riders. And, of course, the brave ladies having their hair shared off, somewhere in the middle!
To enjoy the weekend, simply turn up in Llanwrtyd and join us at the Neuadd Arms Hotel Saturday3rd and Sunday 4th May 2014.   Dressing up is optional.

To donate to the fundraiser go to http://www.justgiving.com/hair4littleprincesses

come on and Do the Ron Run

24 Oct


Last Sunday was the 8th Memorial Half Marathon dedicated to Ron Skilton.To be fair we didn’t know him very well.  we moved in Feb 05 and Ron passed away Dec 05 having battled for 6 months with the degeneration and knowledge of having Motor Neurone Disease.  What we did know was that he was a kind and generous man.  With a gentle demeanor and a good humour.  A lovely neighbour.  What we have come to know is what a strong and caring family  branched out from him.  His lovely widow Irene, his brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews.  We also know how well-respected and loved he was within his community . As a young man he was a keen runner and cyclist.  As a professional man he was a well-regarded architect and draftsman.  As a member of his community he was inclusive, proactive and integrated.  He was the co-founder of  Green events, the creator of the ‘Home of Bog Snorkelling’

When Ron died in 2005, the town wanted to remember him.  Because of his history of running and cycling and event led tourism the Ron Skilton Half Marathon was set up.  It has become a very special annual event.

2013 Couse

2013 Course

It more than a fund-raising run.  i refer you to my last blog about the mutual benefits of charitable giving. Every year since the first in October 2006 this challenging fell run has been the perfect excuse and a catalyst to Ron’s family who meet in Llanwrtyd for a reunion.  The number of family members seems to grow year on year.  Whilst here they help with the event by Marshaling the course.  The entire 13 miles (12.58 miles to be exact) are marshaled by the members of one family.  This year there were 26 Skilton’s in town. That has to be unique.

The town looking to Spion Kop  spectacular expance of landscape crumbling old farm house majestic on hill top

The run itself is different from most too and judging by the reviews in Runners World, these differences, together with the warm welcome and challenging course, are much appreciated.

I’ll tell you a little about it.

firstly, its run totally by volunteers – its organised under the Green Events umbrella by Bob Greenough and John Crompton, occasionally with a little help from me.   It is marshaled by the Skilton family and it attracts representatives from MNDA.  Maimei, the SW Wales Rep comes every year with T-shirts, or running vests , a friendly smile and a couple of collection buckets, which she invariably forgets to rattle!!. It’s by no means a ‘hard sell’ fundraiser

The course starts, middles and finishes in the Town Square , outside the Neuadd Arms Hotel.  This allows for a figure of 8 style course and 2 person relay teams with minimal logistical challenge.  The course is predominantly off-road and on mountains.  It spans two local peaks – Spion Kop and The Garn with accents and descents of 2838 ft.  The course has markers every 50 yds if not more.  A very nice man on a bike follows the back marker – clearing the course and offering help to anyone feeling the strain.

At the end the ladies of Merced y Bont ( Our WI) provide complimentary tea, coffee, jam and cheese sarnies and biscuits for runners and marshals.  After the run everyone retires to the lounge bar for food drink and the trophy giving.  We finish with a sing song.  “Do Do the Ron Run” to the tune of the old Crystals song Da Doo Ron Ron.

Throughout the day I rally the troops, inform, update, joke and generally drone on about all and sundry via the PA system in the Square.  Occasionally (quite often actually)  I confuse the mic and the walkie talkie ,calling over the PA “can you repeat that Bob”or ” how many runners are you waiting for at White Bridge” and  poor Bob gets “and don’t forget to pop your change in the collection bucket. OVER” on the walkie talkie.  Ever the professional.  Do we laugh?!

rainbow  sheep!  wild flowersAnyway, Its got a friendly, family feel, its challenging for the serious runners but not impossible (especially as a relay event) for those less well-trained.  It raises money for a good cause.  It not too big that you won’t get noticed.  The scenery is spectacular.  There are mountains, forests, boggy bits, farm land,fell land,cows, horses, sheep, gates, rainbows, blue skies, happy people.  The weather is (usually but not always) good.  The beer at the Neuadd is home-brewed.  The food is homemade.   The trophies are donated by the time keepers, Pat & Roland Sherwood of On line Race Results.

Everyone leaves smiling.  And I usually leave having lost my voice  (a bonus for family and the community at large!).

If you are a member of a running club or an individual who does a bit of running , or you know someone who is; perhaps you would be so kind as to mention this event to them.   The Ron Skilton Memorial Half Marathon, as seen on the Green Events webite alongside Man v Horse and World Bog Snorkelling.   It also has a FB page and we have a target of 500 like before the next event – help us get there.   Please.

Its difficult, when organising an event for it not to clash with others.   However, for those who have made it to Llanwrtyd for this (slowly) growing, feel good event, its worth making this one the event of choice.  Give it a try you won’t be disappointed and Llanwrtyd will make you very welcome.

scenic  scenic routemushrooms