Tears, TV & Radio - We’re off!
An early start! Up at 6am and then Radio Oxford live interview at 7.30am – breakfast– a moveable feast – great fun as everyone mucking in. Then surprise surprise my nephew Alexei, the one with MS arrived all the way from Sheffield with his lovely wife, Beth and 2 year old Iris. They had stayed the previous night with Kim, Clive's wife in Pangbourne and they all came together – it was very moving and I was in tears. Did a 'piece' for Meridian, ITV with Charlotte and then everyone started to arrive. It all happened very quickly So many people to talk to. David Searle gave an excellent speech about MS and then I did my bit and then we climbed on the carriage. Richard, my brother sent us on our way with a very amusing and personal blessing and the two bagpipers played us away. Charles and his son provided outriders and we were on our way. Soon Tracy caught up with us with Joanna and Blackie her horse. We stopped for a picnic in the sun on the green at Appleford. This was an ideal spot as there is a park seat and we were able to tie the donkeys to it and they nibbled grass quite happily. The next stop was tea at our old home, Gilbournes Farm in Drayton kindly hosted by David and Angela. And then on to the Green at Drayton where we said 'goodbye' to Tracy and were greeted by Paul Caudwell at his farm in Gravel Lane. Having settled the donkeys in their overnight accommodation we went to our son Brian's and Georgie's home round the corner where we had a supper in the garden before tumbling, exhausted but happy into bed. Memories of the day: Really dangerous driving on the road between Sutton Courtenay and Drayton. Wonderful gestures from so many passers by and one person opened his car window whilst travelling in the opposite direction and thrust a £10 note into our hands. So many generous people have given us wonderful donations and we met old friends from Drayton – Doreen and Alan Bourne, Heather Mole, Andrew de Haan. Georgie and Brian gave us their usual warm welcome and Kim came to help with the evening meal – a tremendous start to an exciting journey.