But, as I tentatively laced up my trainers to join my friend Rachel Mai-Jones on her specially designed course along the Thames Path, I had no idea how far round I’d actually get.
I had done zero Marathon training due to badly inuring my left leg during my first week of training in June.
But once I was out with Rachel on Marathon Sunday, crossing part of the main London Marathon route, I slowly started to relax, enjoy every step and be purely in the moment. I wasn’t running for a time.
I was running purely for the enjoyment, being with my friends, dissolving into something bigger than myself, raising money for our local charity, South London Special League.
Rachel had designed a beautiful Virtual Marathon – including tea and home-baked fruit cake stops along the way from her mobile support van! We ran along some of the main London Marathon route in Greenwich and Woolwich followed by a gloriously sunny loop with friends along the Thames Path from Woolwich to the Thamesmead Pumping Station and back.
It was a magical day, showing me what’s possible when we all pull together. Being in the present moment with friends, their positive energy driving me on from injury, running together for a great cause.
Donate towards a new powerchair for Greenwich Powerchair Football club here.
The skyscrapers of Canary Wharf vanish for a brief instant. White lightning, the thunder rolls, I know I have one chance to capture this image of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich before the rain devours my phone. Constantly changing conditions.
Lost At Sea, a gripping new podcast, launched on 24 August 2022 on BBC Sounds in the UK and BBC Podcasts on Apple Podcasts in North America.
Lost At Sea is an immersive and moving journey into the disappearance of Keith Davis, a fisheries observer who went missing 500 miles off the coast of Peru. It connects the can of tuna you casually throw in your shopping basket to a remote crew who could have been at sea for over 10 years without returning to land.
We produced a suite of creative marketing assets to promote this podcast including 30 and 60 sec ads for Acast, static and animated assets for the social accounts.
Our original target was £2,000 to provide weekly tennis sessions in Greenwich Park. Thanks to the phenomenal support from our family, friends, community, the Westcombe News and Blackheath and Westcombe Ward who donated £4,500, we have raised more than four times this amount.
Sharon Brokenshire, MBE, Director and Founder of South London Special League says the extra money will go towards new Powerchairs for Greenwich Powerchair Football Club. (GPFC):
“Greenwich Powerchair Football Club play in the South England Region League and travel each weekend to matches. It is essential we are able to provide modern competitive equipment for our players.
The 10 Powerchairs are getting old and expensive to maintain. A new Powerchair costs over £7,000 and the Marathon money will go towards buying new Powerchairs.
Powerchair Football is a skilful, fast-moving game, enabling physically disabled players to play football at whatever level they desire – at a really competitive level, or just enjoy being part of the game. Many players prior to Powerchair Football lived solitary and isolated lives; the health and wellbeing improvements are enormous and can be seen at every game.”
A huge Thank You to everybody who supported our appeal – every penny is making a direct, positive impact on people’s lives, providing much needed opportunities for our diverse, disabled community of all ages to meet friends, get fit and have fun.
We hope to see the Powerchair team in action one weekend soon. In the meantime, there’s still time to donate to our Marathon Appeal.
Matthew Pennycook MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, visits Greenwich PFC
Leon finally emerges from his deep coma and the nightmares caused by the accident that almost killed him in hopsital. He’s been given a test treatment, Syndrome K. As he takes more of the drug, an unexpected side effect emerges: the startling increase in his intelligence.
Not particularly academic at school, Leon notices with astonishment how K opens up his mind and his perception. The drug makes Leon first notice and then begin to understand strange patterns, the interconnectedness of art, music, science, everything that surrounds us.
But the drug soon starts to take over and Leon becomes increasingly enmeshed inside his own consciousness, turning ever more inward while his brain searches restlessly for the ultimate Gestalt, the pattern that underpins the entire universe.
Award-winning US writer Ted Chiang’s sci-fi thriller was published in 1991 and explores with rich lyrical density, what it is like to become ever more self-aware. The sad irony: the more self aware and hyper intelligent Leon becomes, the more he’s becoming locked inside his own head, separated from the rest of humanity while seeing how connected we all are, the strands of energy that vibrate between person to person.
‘Benevolence’ muses Leon, ‘being able to bestow generosity on other people. How many emotions are required by the presence of another person….’
Leon creates his own language from all the languages of the world so he can express the inexpressible. He writes a poem ‘which is like combining Finnegan’s Wake and Pound’s Cantos…’
Ted Chang’s book is packed with rich descriptions: Leon’s search for the ultimate Gestalt and the struggle to describe what lies beyond the capabilities of human language – yet still having to use language to describe what lies beyond words and most mere mortals’ comprehension.
Gestallt – the patterns and the systems that underpin us, climb inside and understand the secret machinations of the universe…
After his third dose of K, Leon watches his mind watching itself working itself out, each time creating chemical reactions and interconnections. Leon’s watching himself watching himself fall into ever deeper understanding but the more understanding, the less that is understood as the universe expands out in a giant fractal. Soon, he’s using more of his brain than any other human in existence but his mind is getting too big for his brain, a mere piece of organic matter, to contain.
‘ Exploring the nature of reality and existence – that life is an illusion, that life is just a dream – that the true reality is just out of reach. That to be biologically concious means we can never get to ultimate reality – our thoughts, our emotions, our attachments constantly getting in the way.’
Patterns everywhere. Life ending and beginning across the globe one second at a time. The condition inexorably changing as time moves constantly forwards one moment to the next. Steam rises from the subway, smoke curls up from the bonfire, the child laughs, the clouds chase each other across the sky.
Plane trails, leaves falling, people walking. The exhalation of my breath running on a cold Autumnal day.
The universe: zero point, one giant fractal. Half into half into half and back out again.
Further Thoughts and Reading
There was a definite mind expanding, examining theme to this weekend. The trailer at the end of Episode 3 was for The Haunting of Alma Field.