Friday, 16 September 2011

Jane Sturdy


I've known Jane over 6 years now.  She was my midwife and the lady that saved our son's life!

At 30 weeks pregnant Jane had popped in to do her usual anti-natal check on the way home.  I had been diagnosed with Symphesis Pubis Dysfunction and was basically bound to the sofa because of it.  Jane and I live in the village so it made sense for her to make me her last call of the day on her way home.

She left having phoned her son Joe to run her a bath having had a bad day at work but within 30 minutes I was on the phone to her sobbing because I'd had a show and  'I didn't feel right'.  She battled with the hospital because I'd had previous problems with pregnancy and they finally agreed to take me in to check me over.  They monitored me, injected with hormones, made me as comfortable as possible and kept me in for the night for observation.

The next afternoon at 14:30 our son Benjamin Harold was born 10 weeks premature and weighing in at 3lb 11ozs.  I can't begin to tell you how frightened we were but I also can't begin to tell you how grateful I was and still am to Jane.  She kept me calm and told me everything was going to be OK - she was right.  We now have a beautiful 5 year old that I seriously believe would not be with us today if it hadn't have been for her.

She puts her life and soul into her midwifery and everyone is her family as her poor partner Rachel finds out everytime they nip into the local supermarket when it takes them 2 hours just to buy a pint of milk.

Jane has always supported me in whatever event I've been doing with words of encouragement and telling me how proud and inspired she is of me, putting her hand in her pocket and sponsoring me for every run, walk, jog or mountain climb I did.

Jane also sponsored Andy for his Challenge66 event and I remember her saying she always liked to sponsor people because she never did events herself so it was her way on contributing - how times have changed!  She has done not one but 2 Race for Life's this year and raised a staggering £551.00 for cancer research.  An amazing feat for someone who does nothing!!

Jane and I went out for a couple of walks together with Willow and Finlay, our respective dogs and when the email went around regarding the Moonwalk, Jane told me she might do it and would go home and think about it - that was a BIG MISTAKE JANE, HUGE!!  By saying you would "think" about it you set ME the challenge of wanting you to say yes and I didn't have to wait too long at all. 

All of a sudden she was enjoying herself and walking further that she had ever walked.  Jane says I am her mentor - personally I still find it hard to hear people saying that but if I can pay her back for the way she helped me all of those years ago then it is my honour. The fact that we now also have a wonderful friendship to go with it is an added bonus.

When we go out walking, Jane really is our Mary Poppins, our David Bellamy or even our Dr Doolittle.  She has saved frogs from the jaws of death (well car tyres anyway).  She could tell you every bird in the Sproatley countryside, she can count rabbits quicker than I can count my calories and she is a Deer Hunter Extrordinaire (real or statue!).  Jane even finds fairy slippers in nettle flowers.  (I for one can actually see the slippers in the flowers and think of them everytime I watch Tinkerbell). 

She also has a wonderful way with.......................... SHEEP,  she talks to them and tries to get into fields with them when all we do is run away from them.  Jane even lets wasps sit on her arm and sting her - what a woman!!

Like myself, Jane lost her Dad and talks or both him and her Mum when we are out.  She has picked up her Dads wonderful love for animals and nature which she passes on to us all, or anyone that will listen and not think she has had far too much sun, or wine!!

It is my pleasure to have you as a walking partner Jane and look forward to downing many bottles of wine along the way, well we have earned them after all!!

Now who's next......................


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Jayne Beck


Well what can I say about................................................. Jayne?!?!?! Hahahahahahahahahaha.

I've known Jayne for about a year through the school that our children go too, dropping them off and  picking them up.  Then latterly through F.O.S.S.A (friends of Sproatley School Association) our schools fundraising group.  We are both members with Jayne being the secretary *still waiting for minutes!!*. 

It was Annmarie that initiallymentioned to her about our walking activities and before she or any of us knew it she was well and truly hooked, out nearly every day and falling down on most of them! Going out with injured knees bruised legs, swollen ankles - nothing stopped her because Jayne has found something she loves doing and was getting such a buzz out of it.

Again Jayne really will do anything for anyone always lending a hand and is always willing to go that extra mile.............LITERALLY.  Many's a time we've been out walking for a short 4 miler and have come back 7 or even 9 miles later not even knowing we've walked that far because we have talked and laughed non stop along the way.

Jayne always comes across as the life and soul of the party but there is a side to her that she never seems to give herself credit for.  She has such enthusiasm  not just for everything she does but also for helping others.  She'll push and encourage you to go just that little bit more, JUST when it's needed and always just at the right time.  We really don't know where we would be without her personality on board.

Although Jayne has a partner, daughter and 2 dogs who she often used to walk, since starting doing 'proper' exercise (sorry Jayne couldn't resist)  with us on the 10th July she has logged every mile.  Whether it has been walked with us, walked with Shaun and the dogs  or cycled with Molly it has been entered into her notebook and so far from just walking, she has covered an incredible 149.2 miles.  I have to say though, I'm still to know if she has a column in there that gives injuries sustained when she is out??  If she's not dropping her water bottle she is dropping herself!

I suppose I best introduce you too her properly now, although it has to be said she is as gorgeous as Cheryl Cole anyway!!

I love you Jayne and thank you so much for being just you, you really do brighten my day.


Monday, 12 September 2011

Katy Wood


Contrary to popular belief I've know Katy for over 8 years.  We first met during a local talent competition but it's only over the last couple of years that we have become really close friends.

In my honest opinion, she is possibly one of the best reporters in the area and when I say that she will do ANYTHING for ANYONE I really do mean it.  Katy has not only raised thousands of pounds for charity on her own behalf, she also supports anyone else attempting to raise money for worthy causes, whether it's by supporting them via the local paper, putting her hand in her pocket to sponsor individuals directly or just getting stuck in and helping out.

Katy's had her own 'rubbish' to deal with over the last year or so but she always presents herself with a smile and is ready to listen to your problems rather than burden you with hers.  I admire her so much for showing such resolve, anyone else would have hidden under a very large rock but she has come out fighting and it's made her all the more loving and caring. 

Katy like myself comes from a very close family and her Mum, Dad and brother are wonderful people who present the true epitomy of what a family should be. They work together sharing problems and opportunities and demonstrate a wonderful rapport.  We've had the pleasure of spending many times with them as a family and look forward to many more in the future.

Katy and I have always been able to 'put the world to rights' chatting easily and openly about so many things.  We've laughed and cried as we've gone along helping each other with our problems and worries.  To me that is what friendship is about - sharing in things whether it's good or bad and helping each other deal with the highs and lows of whatever life throws at you. 

Katy is yet another of our group that is always striving towards a healthier life and this has presented the opportuity to talk often about diet, fitness and lifestyle.  When work and other committments allow we also enjoy training together .  When Katy decided to join us on the Moonwalk I was absolutely delighted and knew that even though I was the only person in the group she knew she would soon be laughing and working along with everyone else - I wasn't wrong!

Katy is doing a skydive next weekend for Dove House and the Love you 2 appeal (yes it is debatable whether she is insane!!).  I'm just gutted that we can't be there to support her by being there to watch her skydive but we shall be in Newcastle preparing for the Great North Run that falls on the same weekend!  I for one wish her all the luck in the world and look forward to hearing all about it.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Annmarie Bennett

You know about me from the post above (only I'm now 42!!).

Over the next few days I would like to introduce you to our walking group.


Back in June a girl in the village came and asked me about my weightloss and if she could have a chat. ME miss a chance to put the kettle on?? NEVER!!!!

With a very common starting point and an even more common goal, Annmarie and I were soon chatting like long lost friends and got on like a house on fire. After 3 hrs she left with my telephone number and the promise she would be in touch.

The next week she asked about going for a walk and off we trotted, just for an hour and both came back pooped but having talked non stop all the way felt full of purpose - and hope.

We always say everyone has a story - It was the loss of my Dad that started my journey. It was the thought of leaving her children on their own with no parent that started hers. Annmarie is a lady who lost her husband Dave (4 yrs ago) to heart disease at the stupidly young age of 27. She has been left under tragic circumstances to bring up 2 beautiful children on her own (with the help and support of her family and friends) but still she is on her own. With Kalem, her youngest being disabled Annmarie never sees what she does for him or Elisha or anyone else for that matter. She NEVER complains, helps everybody as much as she possibly can is in the middle of a Uni course but thinks everyone else is always worse off than she is.

We are now 2 months down the line and Annmarie has lost 1 1/2 stone. I'm so proud of her but more importantly admire her so much. Elisha and Kalem are a credit to both her and Dave. They are wonderful kids and I have no doubt that their Dad shines on them all every second of every day.

I hope our journey and friendship continues for years to come.