Lifting my eyes heavenwards during a particularly poignant song at choir this morning, I am taken by the sight of three shaped balloons which must have escaped from a party occasion and floated up to the roof - far
too high for retrieval.
My friend Sue, who has also spotted them, suggests the occasion in question might have been a Baby Shower, on account of the fact
that one of the balloons is shaped like a baby, while the other two are feeding bottles. I muse that possibly Meghan Markle may have chosen the Heene Community Centre for the second Baby Shower which the tabloids predict she is organising. She is, after all,
the Duchess of Sussex.
We decide, in the end, that this is unlikely - not, you understand, because the Heene Community Centre wouldn’t be a splendid venue
(we can certainly vouch for the refreshments which the Remarkable Kevin would doubtless have produced for the Duchess and her entourage) but because the three balloons are all blue in colour and appear to be heralding the forthcoming birth of a baby boy. Harry
and Meghan, Royal watchers have told us - and who are we to doubt them? - plan to raise their child without categorising him / her as a boy or girl.
balloons at my local branch of Santander bank were yellow rather than blue and were decorating a treadmill on which a gutsy member of staff named Fran was running the Brighton Marathon. No, she wasn’t in Brighton, she was in Worthing - but you
get the idea. She was apparently 17 miles into the 26 miles 385 yards which was her target. Bless her, she looked shattered - doubtless only borne along by the thought of the money she was raising for the Chestnut Tree House, a local children’s hospice.
It was a supportive friend who explained to me how far along she was towards her target - I decided it was probably best not to direct questions at our Intrepid Runner who didn’t look as if she had the breath to spare to chat to onlookers such
It started me thinking about getting fit while at the same time raising money for charity - though I couldn’t quite imagine myself emulating Fran.
Then I heard about a scheme called Run One, organised by the charity Independent Age. This involves signing up for between eight and twelve weeks for sessions in one of several local parks where participants will walk, jog or run a WHOLE MILE! I know, I know
but this is me we are talking about.
I used to be a pretty good runner in my far-off youth - I once won the Butlins Chase on holiday in Minehead, I’ll have
you know. Sadly my running days are behind me - I don’t even run for the Pulse bus these days in case I trip over my feet - but, who knows, after twelve weeks I might get up to a jog?
But here’s the rub - after finishing the Run One course, participants are encouraged to join in a Celebration Mile, raising money through sponsorship for Independent Age. Now many of my family and friends tackle the most
amazing challenges - they run marathons and half marathons, cycle miles and miles, both on-road and off-road, they climb mountains, swim across lakes, they walk for hours across London by night or by day. I’m not sure I can ask any of these heroes to
sponsor me for Just One Mile.
Thinking positively, however, it is all (quite literally) about small steps. My Run One maybe just the start. Who knows, one day
soon I may be competing in the London Marathon or the Moon Walk. I may have taken up the triathlon.
Or, possibly, not...