Beat The Beast Challenge

Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee

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Sazar and Mitko, originally from Turkey, now happily settled and working in Granton, Edinburgh
Sazar and Mitko, originally from Turkey, now happily settled and working in Granton, Edinburgh

Yesterday saw me walk 3.36 miles ascending 165.67 feet, collecting 8 bags (12.8 kgs) of rubbish, capturing 2 wonderful smiles, and came back feeling so much the better for it. I left for my walk feeling extremely fuzzy and sad at the distress of a dear friend of mine who was struggling at this time of deep sadness with continuing restrictions in the numbing cold of January. Her WhatsApp video call had drained me of any reserve I had immediately after thirty minutes of work at my computer. I had to finish the call early as I came close to tipping my brain into a neurological dysfunction which leads to loss of sight, speech, motor coordination, then motor function, and balance. I was now a little off balance, feeling very weak and so frustrated that I had to let this person in need down by finishing the call early. I had to get myself functioning again. Common sense said that I should take one of my regular 30 minute siestas to reset my brain, much like switching a misfiring computer on and off. However, I was determined to find some happiness. Litter picking makes me feel happier as it makes the local area look so much tidier and a more pleasant place in which to live, but it also attracts smiles from grateful people and smiling made me happy and energized me too. Allie wasn't really convinced that it was the right decision but could see my determination to go, and after ensuring I had what I needed and most importantly had my phone in my pocket so that she could track me and get to me quickly should I struggle, she agreed to let me go. I left, armed with some old carrier bags and my pickers, wrapped up against the cold, with my brain in thick fog praying that God would strengthen me through these good works I was going to attempt. I crossed the parking area in front of our flats and onto the path that runs along the waterfront. Two young men were passing, I stepped back to let them pass and as I did so they smiled at me. I called after them, and now immediately out of my fog, asked if I might capture their smiles. Sazar and Mitko were delighted to give me their smiles and to take a card with a view to sponsorship, before departing after a short socially distanced conversation. I set off, and although much happier and more stable, I struggled to coordinate my hand, pickers and eyes to pick up the first few items, but persevered and quite quickly my motor coordination improved enough to get the job done. 2.5 hours, 3.36 miles, and 8 bags (12.8 kgs) of rubbish later, as the light rapidly faded, I came home thankful for Sazar and Mitko, and Allie, and the very blessing of life. On coming home I discovered that I had accrued another new sponsor. An anonymous person called simply ‘Facebook Follower’ That wonderfully generous person had me grinning from ear to ear.

First Five Bags Of Rubbish
First Five Bags Of Rubbish

The German Inventor Frederick Koenig once said,”We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

I have life and despite its current frustrations I am H.A.P.P.Y.

Please help me to spread a little light into the lives of those that struggle by sending me a photo of your smile that I can publish, with the other 175 smiles so far collected, on the smileometer on my website, and via the Challenge social media channels of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Emailing it to me would be best on or message it to me on Messenger or Instagram.

Furthermore I continue to look for sponsorship. There are 64 million active current accounts in the UK. If I can attract just 1% of these account holders to sponsor me with just £1 per month I can raise £640,000 per month to help save and rebuild lives of the world’s poorest through the Disasters Emergency Committee. At the moment, with just 57 sponsors, I have only managed to reach 0.008% of my target. So if you do not yet sponsor me, please give me 10 minutes of your time to fill out a standing order to challenge me to keep fighting. Every penny raised goes to the Disasters Emergency Committee to bring light to those whose entire lives have been destroyed by the double whammy of COVID-19 and disaster.

Every penny raised encourages me to keep fighting to prevent my brain tumour from returning as predicted, and to retrain and strengthen my brain, using the mediums of Golf, Music, Navigating over the Hills, Drama, Dance, Juggling, Litter Picking and Writing, with becoming neurologically and cognitively strong enough to one day be able to sustain myself in some form of future employment being may main effort.

Thank you, Keep safe, keep being brilliant.

Keep smiling

Yours aye with love and gratitude,

Archie xx