100 Mile Cycle Ride

On Sunday 16th July 2017, at 8am, seven cyclists set off from Eastbourne to ride to Dungeness and back, a total of 100 miles. Mark, a UK vets triathlete was due to race in Iceland on the following weekend so only did 20 miles to see us off. Anthony and Jack unfortunately had committments for the afternoon so could only do one way. The remaining four: Chris, Harvey, Nick and Paul were setting out to go both there and back, 100 miles.

None of these four riders had cycled that distance before. They had been in training but were very apprehensive! The team was raising money for the fantastic ‘Let Them Shine Children’s Centre‘ in Tanzania. The Centre provides much needed care and education to 50 disadvantaged pre-school children. Every penny raised is to go to building a new kitchen and dining room to provide food and nutrition. The route passed through Little Common, Cooden, Bexhill, Hastings, Rye, Romney Marsh, Lydd, on into Dungeness and all the way back again.

When we arrived in Dungeness we were met by a small party of domestiques and masseurs to help us enjoy our twenty minutes sandwich and drink.


After a break at 75 miles …


We got back to Eastbourne at about 5pm to find drinks and water on the windscreens.

… and the odometer said 100 miles.

Roll on next year!


25 years

25 Years
One of the great pleasures of being 60 is that some wonderful milestone events roll in. A most recent one for Bee and I was our 25th wedding anniversary. There is not a lot of comment in this post just some wonderful pictures of an exquisite day. The South of England was in full glory with 30+ degrees of magnificent sunshine all day and on into a balmy evening. The 14 adults and 6 child enjoyed every moment of this memorable day.

Here are some great photographs of the day.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed the day …


Still running: the Severn Bridge Half Marathon


Once upon a time I lived in Chepstow in South Wales, and often jogged the country lanes, including out and back over the old Severn Bridge – always a bracing run with high winds and spectacular views. Now I live in that place called faraway, but visit the UK each summer to see family. So it was that I found myself planning to be in Bristol for a weekend, and discovered that there was to be a Severn Bridge Half Marathon that same weekend. Of course, there being no fool like an old fool, I entered.

The one, hardly significant, difference in running across the Bridge was of course the passage of time. On being sixty, plus a little bit, I was entered in the male 60+ veteran category. I later discovered that I was just one of 58 in the same category. Not bad, but clearly not exceptional.


The race itself was much bigger than any of the local races I remembered – over 2,000 entrants. I had to get up early, having been warned that the Bridge would close to traffic at 7.45am, in preparation for the race start at 9am. In the best tradition my motorcycle and I crossed the toll booth at 7.42am, saving twenty minutes extra drive. The start area was busy but well-organised, and I quickly collected my race number, had coffee and consequent loo stop, changed and was ready to go.

Somehow the Bridge was a bit longer than I remembered, and a bit steeper, and I’d certainly never crossed it in such company- a tide of runners, flowing almost as majestically as the Severn itself. The Bridge itself was conquered in little more than an hour, out and back. However this turned out to be just the first half of the race. Less fun was the climb up through Bulwark on the Welsh side, followed by the long lane down through Mathern to Pwllmeyric. Nostalgia indeed, since I lived just round the corner for twenty years.

Unfortunately, in running, what comes down must go up. The run back up Dark Lane, passing the twelve mile marker, was fairly tough. The race ended with a short downhill back to the start. Finished in two hours and five minutes, my slowest half marathon but not bad, given the preceding month-long holiday spent in France, eating well and exploring the fine wines of Mersault. Lovely, but not race preparation.

IMG_0629Within hours, the hasty decision ” never again” was under threat, especially as the race organisers had announced a one-off Severn Bridges Marathon next year- out over the Old Bridge, back over the New. That must mean England being cut-off from Wales for several hours! Runners completing the half-marathon this year would be guaranteed entry to this special event next year. Oh dear. At what age do we become sensible?

Words and images by Steve Hill.




Laura Walter’s 365 day birthday party

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Coming to the end of a year and passing to become 60 something. It marked quite a year in many respects. Laura Walter shares some images of a week at the beach to celebrate and talks about her 60th year and her ambitions for being sixty.

Time marches on and I decided to embrace my sixtieth year. I filled the year with friends and family and visited new places to enjoy time with them.  In August 2015 my mother surprised me with a birthday visit to mark the end of my 50s. As I have done on so many other occasions in the past sixty years I had to give thanks to a dear friend for helping out. This time it was to Iva for collecting Mom from the airport and once again Erv, my wonderful husband had a hand in it. It is amazing that they managed to keep the secret. We celebrated that birthday and ushered in the next with lots of wine and laughter.

Screenshot 2016-09-02 21.18.43In November we traveled to Europe for a wonderful week in England and Spain with my brother Paul and his wife Bee (we always have such fun). We visited the windmill at Windmill Hill in East Sussex and then on to Seville and Cordoba.Screenshot 2016-09-02 21.20.18

We strategically left things undone thereby creating an excuse for the next trip!
December took me to Wisconsin for my mother’s 85th birthday. With my siblings Keith and Karen, we relived the days of skittles from our youth. As was usual, Keith won !

In March Erv and I traveled to Brazil for a long awaited visit with our dear friends Ana Valeria and Sergio. They had planned the a full range of adventures in Sao Paulo and Rio. I could identify many sites while watching the Olympics! Screenshot 2016-09-02 21.24.21

In addition to the wonders that filled our eyes, our stomachs were treated to great food. I never had a meal that was less than spectacular while in Brazil.

August brought those I love to me. With matching T-shirts boasting Beach Week, Corolla 2016 we enjoyed IMG_1896lazy days on the beach as well as a bit of biking.

At family gatherings, it is my husband Erv that makes the speeches but on this occasion I took the floor. The speech was unscripted. I was certainly less articulate than I would have liked and I have been forgiven for the oversight of the long weekend in California. I wanted to honor the entire year and the people in that year. .

Now completed, I reflect on the year and observe what many of us know, what I appreciate most in life. The relationships I have formed, nurtured and retained bring me joy and sustain me. It is the people that are in my life that tell my story. I cherish them.




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