I was let down yesterday

Steeple Court Manor Wedding Fayre

This Sunday is the Steeple Court Manor Wedding Fayre with Hampshire Wedding Group.  Steeple Court Manor is a stunning venue tucked away just off the Square in Botley and is well worth a look if you are looking for a place to get married or host your reception. Steeple Court Manor is a vineyard and we really love their medium white wine! Weddings are held in a beautiful marquee in the grounds of the house and vineyard.

Jim and Ann Firth, the owners at Steeple Court, provide an exclusive venue so you can relax in the knowledge that you and your wedding party are the only guests within the marquee and grounds on your special day.

CLICK HERE to go to the Steeple Court Manor website to find out more about this exceptional venue.

Once again there will be over £2,000 worth of discount vouchers to be won for the various suppliers in the Hampshire Wedding Group.  For more information about The Hampshire Wedding Group CLICK HERE to go our website.

Steeple Court Manor Wedding Fayre

This Sunday’s event is FREE to enter and is open between 11am and 3pm and there is plenty of parking. The postcode for Steeple Court Manor is SO30 2EQ. Please come and see me at this event and say “Hello Paul, I claim my FREE GIFT” and you will!

CLICK HERE to go to the event page for Steeple Court Manor Wedding Fayre this Sunday.

Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Onwards And Upwards

Yesterday I posted about Amy’s wedding and mentioned my Walk All Over Cancer quest.  I’ve been doing my best to move my totals onwards and upwards. The wedding was always the target but events on the day took an unexpected brilliant turn.

Obviously I got to walk my beautiful daughter down the aisle (see picture in the last blog post) but my other main responsibility, as Father of the Bride, was to make a speech and that’s where it started. Our DJ/MC for the day was my good friend Tony Winyard (more about Tony in future posts) and he suggested a sweepstake for the guests to guess the total length of the speeches. Participating guests put a £1 in the hat with the winner collecting all the money. My nephew Tom won the prize pot and very generously gave it to me for Cancer Research. Several other guests hearing about this put more money in the collection resulting in a total of £73.60.

Among the evening guests were our dear friends Sue and Steve who also slipped me an envelope with a donation for my challenge. So now my total raised has reached £573.60 +£100.00 Gift Aid.

Keeping everything moving onwards and upwards was quite a challenge in the last week as I was away at a conference on Sunday and Monday and then the wedding on Saturday and then up to Wembley on Sunday for the football but I still managed to average over 10,000 steps a day.

onwards and upwards

My numbers for April have been much better than March and, until last week, I’d managed over 10,000 steps every day. My total distance since the beginning of the Challenge is now over 225 miles.

onwards and upwards

So my walking and the funds raise go onwards and upwards – please CLICK HERE to go to my fund raising page



Am I a wedding planner

Where To Begin?

Where to begin … sounds like it’s going to be where to start on planning your wedding – well it is and it isn’t.

My daughter got married last Saturday. It was a beautiful day and words can’t describe how great everything felt. My head has been full of things I want to share with you and I’ll be using this new experience as inspiration over the coming weeks.

Where did Amy begin … she asked me for my advice because of my knowledge and contacts. We did it this way –

1 We found a wedding venue that could provide everything we wanted.

2 We found the dates that were available and worked for Amy and her fiancé Sean.

3 We confirmed availability and times with the Registrar’s office.

4 Amy and Sean wanted a band and a DJ, so we checked availability with them too.

… that gave them their date and they booked it. Then they went on to research their photographers, florist, venue dresser, cake maker, etc. I’ll blog extensively about this in the coming weeks with input from Amy too.

Where to begin here is also about what’s been happening with me since my last post. As you may remember I did the Walk All Over Cancer Challenge of 10,000 steps a day in March for Cancer Research. This was to awareness and funds for the charity but also to make sure I stayed fit and healthy in the run up to the wedding. So I kept it up in April too (and still am). See my next blog post for an update on the money raised 🙂

The most important steps of the whole thing were the fifty or so I took with Amy as I walked her down the aisle. Here we are in our final pre-ceremony moments as the music was playing and the Bridesmaids were on their way and we paused for one last selfie.

Where To Begin







Where to begin … well I’ve started again and there will be more soon I promise.

Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

We March On, Walk All Over Cancer.

We March On, my 31 days are up. I did 316,991 recorded steps (any many more unrecorded), an average of 10,224 steps per day and walked over 120 miles in March, but the battle continues.

We March On

Thank you to everyone who has donated on my page – bless each and every one of you, your families and friends.

PLEASE CLICK HERE if you can spare a few quid to support the work of Cancer Research UK

Cancer has cast a huge shadow over my life since 2002 when Ce, my wife, was fist diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She was one of the lucky ones and we count our blessings every day. I remember that after she had surgery she was in a recovery ward with several other ladies – not all of them were as lucky as we were. Ce’s Cancer has returned as Secondary Bone Cancer.

The care and treatments she receives are fantastic and we count our blessings ever day. Research and development of new and improved treatments give us hope for a better future for our family and friends.

I had a brush with skin cancer a couple of years ago and received fantastic treatment and support too. The moment when a consultant sits you down and tells you that THIS IS SERIOUS changes everything and every day people are hearing it.

Cancer survival rates have doubled over the past 40 years. Consistent progress is being made but improvements to technology and ground-breaking work offer new opportunities to find different ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and improve survival rates even further.

We have to fight, we have to win for future generations. Thanks for reading this, together we will beat Cancer, never give up the fight.

My original motivation was that I needed to get walking again and Cancer needs to be beaten – so by making the commitment to walk 10,000 steps every day I was hoping to get mobile and contribute some of my own cash to the fight. 31 days later what do I know?

Well as an Englishman my first observation has to be that the weather this March has to have been the most challenging in years! Parts of the Country have been brought to a standstill twice by snow, even down here on the South Coast things have been disrupted.

PLEASE CLICK HERE if you can spare a few quid to support the work of Cancer Research UK

We march on, I’m going to keep walking, giving and hoping.

Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Good Friday Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Good Friday Walk All Over Cancer Challenge day 30. When I was growing up Good Friday was always a holy day in our house, a day for quiet reflection and church. Yesterday evening a few people started to make donations to my page and I am truly humbled by their generosity PLEASE CLICK HERE. Cancer hits so many people, so many families and I believe every penny given helps as the fight to find better treatments and cures goes on. We’ve lived with Cancer in our lives for over sixteen years now and we’ve seen incredible steps forward, we’ve also lost dear friends along the way, so once again as I walked today my mind was filled with memories, love and hope.

Good Friday Walk All Over Cancer Challenge

My Good Friday Walk All Over Cancer was wet from start to finish as is illustrated by the pictures. It was raining as I left home and it was raining when I got back, I think it stopped for a while but it was a day when I had to stick to footpaths rather than venture off.  The first and last pictures are from what I call the Foxhills underpass on my way out and then back to Ashurst. This middle picture below was from a house out that way where the residents made me smile with their sense of humour 🙂Good Friday Walk All Over Cancer Challenge

My Good Friday Walk All Over Cancer Challenge soundtrack was more of the Ken Dashow Beatles Revolution podcast, some Beatles and finally a few tracks from Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly.

I was home before 11am having completed over 11,000 steps, now it’s time for a toasted hot cross bun and coffee.  Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this small challenge. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Good Friday Walk All Over Cancer Challenge

Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Still On Track, Walk All Over Cancer.

Two days left and I’m still on track … just! Since my last post about my brilliant walk with Ian two things have happened – first the blood blister on my heal has made walking very painful and secondly it rained … it rained a lot.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m doing the “Walk All Over Cancer” challenge to walk 10,000 steps every day during March.  I’m now slightly ahead of the target with just two days left. I’m not making a huge thing about sponsorship, I’m making a few   small donations to the charity as I go along, but if you would like to “raise a mug of tea” to my efforts then a couple of quid would be fantastic via my page PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Still on track

So Wednesday was walking where walking was required. I didn’t get out for a proper walk but managed to hobble around Ikea and to the shops for milk and ended up still on track.

Today the foot felt a lot better so after I’d done my work for the day I ventured out in the rain for an hour or so.

Still on track

As for the soundtrack, it was another Podcast day listening to Ken Dashow’s Beatles Revolution – highly recommend to music fans especially Beatles lovers. PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Two more days and I’m still on track – please keep everything crossed for me.

Still on track


Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Tonne Up ~ Walk All Over Cancer

I can’t believe it, that’s the Tonne Up! A Tonne (or Tun) Up Kid was a biker who had done 100mph. Well, today I passed ONE HUNDRED MILES for the month in the Walk All Over Cancer Challenge!

AND I’m finally back ahead of schedule – that is to say I’ve now done over 270,000 steps in 27 days – BUT last time I boasted (I don’t think it was a boast, more a pat on the back) about being in control, it all went wrong. So as I type this, having just had a blood blister lanced, I’m really hoping these next four days go to plan and I can complete the challenge.

Tonne Up

The Tonne Up was a result of going out twice today. The weather was wet when I woke up so I had some breakfast and then headed out for a 45 minute starter which went well. I then completed a few chores round the house and items from my “to do” list before venturing out again – and just as I was putting on my coat the doorbell rang and there was my friend Ian who said “I’ll come with you”. Bless him, I think he dragged me around the last two miles heading home!

Ton Up

Following on from yesterdays radio show my Tonne Up soundtrack for the first walk of the day was Deaf School‘s album from last year “Let’s Do This Again Next Year”. Then Ian joined me for the second trip and we talked all the way around – and while we stopped for lunch at The Happy Cheese.

If you’d like to make a small donation to Cancer Research UK please click here to go to my page.

Tonne Up

  • By the way, I now have total respect for the Proclaimers. I used to think they were just a pair of funny Scottish blokes who could put a pop song together but walking 500 miles and then 500 more … flippin’ ‘eck!
Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

The Long Weekend Walk All Over Cancer

I’m back with my report from The Long Weekend. A lot has happened since Friday morning. I didn’t really get the chance to walk much more on Friday afternoon but I had already done my 10,000 steps in the morning.

Saturday was my first wedding of the year. Vicky and Rob actually got married in Canada earlier in the month, this was their party for all their friends and family having returned on Thursday. They chose the Bartley Lodge for their celebration and I must say the service they received was excellent. I’ll write a proper blog about the evening soon, suffice to say a great time was had by all … including me.  My step count for the day didn’t quite hit the 10,000 mark – but that’s not what was important, Vicky and Rob’s party was all the mattered.

The Long Weekend

Sunday started very well because the party finished at midnight and then I had to pack away so my steps started before I got to bed. The clocks went forward and I was still aching from Saturday but I managed to get out and put in a very respectable total. The weather was much warmer and I switched footwear from my trusty “DM’s” to lightweight trainers. 12,651 steps covering over 5 miles.

The Long Weekend

Today (Monday) I finally ventured into the Forest proper with a part of my walk taking me through Denny Lodge enclosure. Over 15,000 steps covering over 6 miles.

My soundtrack for the The Long Weekend… Saturday was all about Vicky and Rob’s wedding celebration party and the floor-fillers were “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains Of Wayne, Naive by the Kooks and “Dakota” by The Stereophonics. The floor-killer was “Show Me Love” by Robin S.

Sunday I was listening to one of my “guilty pleasure” podcasts ~ My Favourite Murder. This is a NSFW, true crime, comedy podcast hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. It’s very funny, but once again please note the language is often very rude.

Today (Monday) it was yesterdays edition of Johnny Walker’s “Sounds of the Seventies” which featured an interview with Guy Chambers and included tracks by Deaf School, Bowie and two from “Tommy” by The Who.

The Long Weekend is done and the finish line is in my sights, the final push has started!  I am now under 5,000 steps behind which considering the snow, sickness and more snow I’ve encountered is pretty incredible. 54,686 steps to go in 5 days … fingers crossed!

The Long Weekend

Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Making tracks

Making tracks, it’s just after 11am and I’ve done my 10,000 steps for today! Whoop … Go Me! My trusty Dr Martins have no clocked up almost 80 miles.

Making tracks

I decided to title todays blog “Making tracks” because it’s still muddy out there and I’ve seen a lot of interesting tracks this week while I’ve doing my Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Making tracks

Making tracks like the ones in the picture above – from a motor bike and a deer. I’ve seen lots of deer prints on my travels but didn’t think to take a picture until yesterday – so it’s not the best example, I’m sure I’ll see better soon and share them with you.

I’ve also seen some monster tractor prints like the ones below – again the picture doesn’t really do them justice – they were huge!

Making tracks

My making tracks soundtrack this morning was “High Rez” by The Baker Brothers. Yesterday you may remember I listened to The Brit Funk Association – I prefer this album. I saw The Baker Brothers last year with my friend Steve – intact we were at the recording of their live album which I’ll buy, download and listen to next week.

Their website is HERE and their FaceBook page is HERE

Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Day 22 Walk All Over Cancer Challenge

Day 22 Walk All Over Cancer Challenge was another good one. I’m trying to be sensible in my efforts to cancel out the deficit that built up from last weeks sick day and bad weather and I’m nearly there with todays total topping 16,000 steps. This means I have now completed over 200,000 steps. This challenge is organised by Cancer Research UK and I’m using it to help get a little bit fitter and I’m pledging to give some cash to the charity along the way. If you’d like to donate a few quid to the cause CLICK HERE to go to my Cancer Research UK giving page. Thank you x

Day 22 Walk All Over Cancer Challenge



My route for Day 22 Walk All Over Cancer Challenge was out to Ashurst again with a few variations. I have to say it again – I can’t believe I’ve lived here for 30 years and have never visited many of these places before. Every walk reveals something new. Wherever you live get out and explore!

Day 22 Walk All Over Cancer Challenge

The soundtrack for Day 22 Walk All Over Cancer Challenge was “Full Circle” by the Brit Funk Association (CLICK HERE for more info). I actually listened to this album yesterday too. It didn’t blow me away on first listen but it’s growing on me. Tomorrow I’m going to switch to a similar album I bought lat year as I want to compare the two. So more on this tomorrow.

Day 22 Walk All Over Cancer Challenge