Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Twelve Months of Twenty Ten – A round up of a Year in the life of the Collinge Family

On the First month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family we saw New Year in with old friends in Nottingham and I joined Marlborough Running Club, with the crazy notion that I was going to run in the Bristol Half Marathon to raise funds for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust.

On the Second month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family I was advised by my long-suffering coach at Marlborough Running Club that I was definitely not a runner and that I needed to get some cardio-vascular workouts done in the gymnasium! Also, my mother turned 76 but you wouldn’t think it as she is still incredibly fit and active.

On the Third month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family we celebrated Tim's 52nd birthday! One of my friends, Karen, very kindly offered to run the Bristol Half in my place…. Brave lady as apart from running for the odd bus or after her children, she had never done any running before. Her husband, an experienced runner, was her coach and mentor throughout the training and during the run itself.

On the Fourth month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family saw one of my closest and dearest friends, Judith, get married to Steve – a match truly made in heaven. The wedding venue was perfect, with a trio of interconnecting country cottages hired at a remote village in Derbyshire and the wedding taking place in the village church. We all pitched up on the Friday evening, and it was one long party until the Sunday lunchtime. The weather was perfect, there were old friends there, some of whom we hadn’t seen in years and had lost touch with……. So old friendships were renewed! The highlight of the wedding weekend was definitely beating the Brides brother-in-law to a game of pool (hmmm…. he plays league ooop north I believe!) I used to play in my 20’s but not much since then! For me, personally, the challenge was holding the cue and keeping my tremors in check!

On the Fifth month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family My younger daughter turned 6 and we had a garden party for her and her mates. Apart from that, a quiet month!

On the Sixth month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family My daughters and I were filmed for European Parkinson’s Disease Association’s latest euro-wide campaign focussing on Non-Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s. After the filming I was sent by the company who did the filming 3 dozen roses! In spite of a huge vase being sent with them, it still wasn’t big enough to take them all. They were lovely and my thanks go to Serena and Chris for sending those to me!

On the Seventh month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family I had a long over due hysterectomy, the day after my 48th birthday and the first day of the school summer holidays.

On the Eighth month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family Owing to post-operative complications, Tim spent two weeks camping on his own with the girls and good friends, whilst I was either back in hospital or at home recovering. The girls also went to a summer camp locally and had a wonderful time, whilst Tim held the fort at home. My thanks go to Caroline and Andy for coming to see me whilst I was in Dorchester Hospital and restoring my sanity! Also thank you to my good friends Andi, Eva, and Nikki & James who we were with in Dorset for helping Tim out……

On the Ninth month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family A lot happened in this month……….. Our elder daughter turned 11, and Tim and I celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary – cripes – is it really that long? Being absolutely stony broke, we sadly couldn’t afford a celebration, but maybe in 2011 we will have a joint 26th anniversary/49th birthday celebration instead. Having been asked if I would speak at the press launch of the campaign being held to coincide with the World Parkinson’s Congress, Tim and I “farmed out” the girls and had a wonderful time in Glasgow. For me the trip to Glasgow was full of firsts – my first visit to Glasgow (and also to Scotland!). my first press launch, my first “Wobbly Banquet” (at which we were served Fish Finger butties, Cow Boy Pie, and Jelly and Ice cream) and last but by no means least the first time I met up with my old school friend, Alex, who I hadn’t seen for 30 years – how cool was that? We also met and made friends with many people from all corners of the world – Sara from Sweden, Bob from Canada, Dilys from New Zealand and not forgetting Jon from Kent, to name but a few….. September was also the month of the Half Marathon’s, with Karen running the Bristol Half accompanied by her husband Steve C, and the Great North Run being undertaken by veteran runners, Judith and Steve H. Between them they raised a tremendous £1,700 for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust and my thanks go to them for their tremendous support and hard work.

On the Tenth month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family we had to make the dreaded secondary school choice for our elder daughter – we’re just praying we’ve made the right decision! Also, I applied for early retirement on ill health grounds from my employers of 23 years – again, I’m praying that I’ve made the right decision and as I write this the terms of my exit from the Bank are still not finalised.

On the Eleventh month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family my elder daughter sat common entrance exams to a local independent school to try to win a bursary place. Being bright, she should have walked it, but also being a tad too confident, she refused to do any prep work on her weakest subject (Maths). She did very well and has been offered a place, but not the Bursary. I also became a serial “bloggespondent” on the web site! During this month my book group buddies reviewed Tom Isaacs account of his year long UK coastline walk "Shake Well Before Use" and they gave it a score of at least 8 out of 10. One of the group has been so inspired by his story, that she has decided to walk the Kennet and Avon (all 87 miles of it) end to end in 4 days raising money for Diabetes. I am planning to join her, raising money for Tom's charity, Cure Parkinson's Trust.

On the Twelfth month of Twenty Ten in the Collinge family I was interviewed on BBC Radio Wiltshire which was totally nerve wracking as it was a live broadcast and I arrived late owing to the snowy conditions. An article has also appeared in the local Gazette and Herald paper about the benefits of the wii Fit. My younger daughter starred as a dog in school nativity (howled beautifully but forgot her lines), finally clicked with swimming and started self defence classes.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my husband, children, family and my beautiful friends for their wonderful support during 2010.

And for all of you reading this, this is a very special message wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year……. My next blog will be dedicated to my lovely old school friend Niki H and her wonderful Mum, Ann, who was always such an inspiration to me.

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