Mercedes’ Marvellous Mondays; Walk for Bowel Cancer
Twitter – @MercedesPrunty
In 2013 it was a very sad time for us in the Prunty household as we lost someone very special to us, my father in law. He was my husband’s best friend, both my daughter’s grandad and a great father in law to me. The reason for him being taken away from us as such a young age was bowel cancer. It had been missed by the medical professionals over a period of five years and dismissed as IBS, but it was misdiagnosed, and he was gone within a matter of weeks when we found out what it really was. The loss left us all devastated but us Prunty’s fight and live on.
Earlier this year my husband who donates each month to the bowel cancer charity was informed of an event taking place in London on the 15th September. It was a sponsored walk which would lead you all through the heart of London in the hopes of raising money to help those who have the deadly disease and also to help those who may get it in the future. At once my husband joined us all to take part in it. Then as the weeks for the event grew closer I also found out someone very close to me had been diagnosed with cancer, the heartbreak is soul destroying but again you fight on, and to fight on I wanted to also do the walk for this person in my life.
The 15th of September arrived, and it was a rather stressful morning and journey to get to London. The usual route to London is on a train from Eastbourne station to London Victoria but this weekend the train people decided to do some work at Polegate station, so we had to get a replacement bus from Hampden Park to Lewes, then jump on a train at Lewes which went to Brighton and then onto London Victoria. It was oh so stressful as the bus driver was really cutting it fine with getting us to Lewes on time, but he done an amazing job and got us there. The actual train journey wasn’t too bad, we had seats which was a plus, but I did pretty much have other passengers on my lap as the train was so busy, but at least my girls got to see parks of England via the train which they wouldn’t normally see.
When we arrived at London Victoria the panic soon arose again, we had to use the TUBE! Now, me and my husband have never been to London together and bar being a child with my mother I have not been on the tube since and had no idea what train was to go where or which line to get. But after some navigating, asking, reading maps and running from tube train to tube train we made it to our destination which was Canada Water Station. From there we walked the eight-minute walk to the park where the walk was going to start from and all we saw was a sea of green, green t-shirts ready and waiting to raise money for such a good cause.
There was a rather energetic woman who was at the front cheering everyone on and getting us to do warmup exercises before announcing the walk could begin. As we had the pushchair for my youngest we stayed near the back and let the runners and faster people carrying on ahead of us, plus my eldest had told all her friends at school she was going to London and wanted to see all the sights, so she could to tell them what she had seen and how awesome it was. The journey started off at park a good twenty minutes away from London Bridge. We saw the river boats cruising and even a Chinese couple getting married down by the muddy river bank on our venture to the bridge. We trudged along tiny city streets which looked like they belonged in the film ‘Oliver Twist’, then as we marched on they merged into new city streets with modern glass greenhouse balconies with greenery and washing lines. The bridge itself was enormous, from a far it didn’t look that big, but when we were on it was massive. My eldest daughters face was a sight as we scrambled across it taking selfies and then trying to catch up to the sea of green bodies that was wading through the throng of tourists.
Our next lap of the walk took us along the harbour area with grand apartments, boats and even the odd floating home. Then we came out where we began and headed off towards the Tower of London where we also came across street market stalls which smelled amazing! And for us walking and nearing lunch time the smell of caramelised nuts, exotic spices and the odd fish and chips was torture, which seemed fitting as the location we were at. We also saw the large battleship boat which was docked in the river Thames, we could see people looking aboard it and I had to get a snap for my boat mad grandad.
We soon stopped for a water break where bottles of water were handed out and a quick snack before we scooted off again and headed towards Millennium Bridge, where I immediately explained to my husband that a part of Harry Potter had been here with the bridge being bent, snapped and destroyed by death eaters and wizards. The look on his face was confused and priceless, (He is not a Potter fan, he is a muggle). The last neck of our walk took us through more market stalls, Morris dancers, tourists and the London eye. That was indeed a sight to see but instead of going right up to it we clambered up a bridge to the other side where a small park became our finishing line.
We were overjoyed to see the end as in total we had walked five miles just for the walk, let alone all the extra walking we had done at the beginning in the stations and for my kids and even my husband with his damaged leg we were happy to see the end. We were each given a medal before we went to sit down for a picnic and a coffee in the park. We stayed sat there talking and giggling for about an hour before the kid’s tiredness kicked in and my husband leg was throbbing in pain. Lucky for us the park was right by the Tube station that would take us back to Victoria and on our way home.
The day was over in a flash but the sights we saw will stay with us forever, and for the walk we managed to raise £80 which is AMAZING!!! And to end the fantastic day (And also because I was too tired to cook) we had some fish and chips for dinner which was the best fish and chips I had ever eaten in my life.