Look at my fab new t-shirt.
It will make its official public debut – on me at least – on October 3 when I ride the 100km I’ve promised to do for the Minutes Not Money idea.
There is less than a fortnight to go now before I take the Just-Bike challenge.
I’m quite excited about it all.
But I figured it was high time I filled in a few blanks and started making a few suggestions about ways in which you can put your pledged minutes to good use.
Plus, unlike the original plan, the October 3 ride is a fund-raising event as the ME Association is one of the partner charities. So there is a JustGiving page set up for those who would like to donate money rather than minutes.
All donations, of monetary or time value, are very much appreciated.
So, where to begin?
I’ll start with ME/CFS which is, after all, the reason I’m doing this and why I juggle my career with my role as carer for Rachel.
For an illness that affects so many millions around the world, ME/CFS remains one of those things that might prompt a flicker of recognition but which most people remain largely unaware about. I was the same.
As a journalist I did a couple of interviews with sufferers (studiously avoiding the rather ignorant and frankly offensive term that some media colleagues still feel the need to trot out – it rhymes with “guppy blue”) and yet it was only when Rachel started to become ill around four years ago that my level of understanding increased. It has been a steep learning curve ever since.
These cover some of the basics. I’ll point you in other directions that give more of an insight into the day-to-day impact of ME/CFS another time.
Equally, the Carers UK website is a good starting point for information on the millions of carers in the UK and the role we carry out every day.
There are a lot of people fighting hard to raise awareness about the largely ignored role carers undertake and various campaigns to improve the rights of those who care and safeguard what little support they currenrtly get are currently under way.
I’ll also provide some other links and ideas for you in the next couple of weeks.
A bit like my training for the 100km ride on October 3, I’m going to start you off slowly and hopefully build gradually.
Thanks for your time.