In case you didn’t know I spend a lot of my time fundraising on the ferry, during the course of doing this though I get to meet a lot of people. Some of these meetings can be quite emotional. It seems over the last couple of weeks I have met people who have different experiences with leukaemia. One very pretty lass in her early twenties thanked me, she had survived leukaemia when she was ten. Whilst rowing away I met one gentleman who had his children with him. He described to his children how his cousin died from leukaemia at the age of 26. Last summer someone thanked me because their daughter died at age of six from the disease. It was last weekend another one of these chance meetings struck me.

I met a family whose mother thanked me because they were going through leukaemia at the moment. When I enquired who she pointed to her young son running around on the floor. He was wearing a hat but from the parts of scalp you could see the hair was growing slowly back from chemo. I was taken a back by this young lad who seemed to be just enjoying himself on the Red Funnel ferry. I know a number of people who if they were that ill would close themselves off from the world. Instead this young man who was no older than ten was facing the world with gusto and courage. I recommended they look up the Ellen Macarthur Trust.

I don’t know this boys name so I named him Falcon because that was the name of the ferry I was on at the time. It seems this boy being just himself taught me a lesson that no piece of advice from any adult or expert could ever manage. I recently have been on the tail end of a bout of bullying to force me to sell my late mum’s house. Going though the process of selling has been a tough emotional trial. This is a place where my brothers terminal illness and mums cancer finished with their passing. On one occasion down stairs Andrew attempting to take his own life by cutting his throat in front of us. The chance meeting with this boy though, has now granted me the strength and courage to get through.

I have had to re adjust the schedule for charity events which, actually remains pretty much the same. Having to postpone the row around the Isle of Wight has thrown a spanner in the works. So it is as follows:

Row distance of Southampton to New York (5503.03km) On concept2 rowing machine (1st Jan to 9th August)

13th April London Marathon

June 1st – August 1st Spidermans 1800 mile solo sail around Britain

Leeds Jane Tomlinson’s Run for all

Row around the Isle of Wight July 2008 (Weather dependent)

Triathlon Dorney Lake Windsor (July)

JP Morgam sail around island 28th June

Calshot velodrome challenge August

UK Ironman 7th September 2008

Ride lands end to john o groats and back 9th Sept – 21st Sept

Rowers revenge october 2008

New York Marathon November

Note: so far Alaisdair has made it round to Ramsgate