Talks, talks…

We are back home and trying too adjust to the normal life. Although I am not sure what is actually normal. To make transition easier we are trying to fit in as much paddling as possible. There is more about it on our SIXKNOTS blog.

But more importantly we are trying to organise few talks about our journey. We had our first talk  at CK/MER symposium in France several weeks ago.

Next talks are planed for first weekend in October in Burnham on Crouch and second weekend in October we are going to symposium in Falmouth.

We are also trying to do talk in Shadwell in near future and once the date will be set we will post more details here.

In the meantime you can watch our short video to know what to expect on our talk.

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We are still raising money!!!

We wanted to say THANK YOU, and an enormous one, to all people who helped with our fundraising effort.

So far everyone who donated helped to raise an amazing £3800.

Both Shadwell Basin Centre and Joshua-Journey are delighted with the number of people who showed interest in their work and needs and who supported them. Thank you, all.

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WE ARE RAISING TILL THE END OF AUGUST.

Once we finish, we will put all donators in a hat and make a draw of three who will receive a small prize.

The importance of the competition

Jean-Pierre is helping us with the fundraising and is running the “WHERE MICHAL AND NATALIE ARE GOING TO BE” competition.

We love the competition for two reasons. The first one is obvious, it helps us to raise money for Shadwell Basin and Joshua’s Journey. Two causes that are very close to us. While the first round raised £5,-; the second one made an amazing £81.

The second reason is purely ego-centric one. Yes, I can admit this, it makes our paddle more interesting and motivating. Motivating as it let’s us know, that people are still interesting in our journey, watching us paddle day by day through the good and not so good, fighting or succumbing to the elements, our moods, other people’s moods, discovering, learning.
Interesting as often we don’t know what lies ahead, in a geographical sense. We only have the road map, not much detail there. For Scotland 70 kilometres fitted on page. Try coastal navigate with that.
So the last round was inspiring. Let me explain.
When I read that we would be on the 2nd of July in John O’ Groats, I was horrified (sorry Yali), but when I read we should be in Dundee, I was hoping. Please, yes, I would love that. We really wanted to be in Aberdeen at that time, thank you Tony. But we also read the name Lossiemouth, never heard of it, didn’t know where it was, had to find the relevant sheet. Yes, not far, sorry Ali & Nick, not you, I thought.
Then we were held in Wick, still chance for Lossiemouth then, or Dunbeath. And then we attempted the crossing, thinking sorry Ali & Nick, Fraserburgh it will be.
When we had to turn during that crossing due to the conditions and other circumstances, I thought, I wish we make it to Burghhead, at least.
Once we passed Lossiemouth on the 30th of June, yeah, sorry Lossiemouth. But the headwind had the last word and JP had to check the distances between Cullen – Fraserburgh – Lossiemouth carefully.

The third round has had one entry so far, but where is that? We don’t know yet.
But, please, we do need more entries, otherwise this round is going the fairly boring (no offence, Sarah), what lies ahead is mud and sand.

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Can we have some fun, please?

THE NEW COMPETITION IS STARTED

The spot finder is now working. Therefore, it is time for a new competition Natalie & Michal are now homeward bound and should be back in London in 3 to 4 weeks all being well. Last night they reached Redcar.

They should achieve one of their goal, circumnavigating mainland Britain. To help them to achieve their fundraising goal of £7000 for the two charities ( Joshua’s Journey and Shadwell Basin Outdoor Centre ),please click on the donate button.

You will make a contribution and you can also enter the competition for just £3 for your chance to win a prize (for more details click on the competition button).

Thank you so much to all the people that already contributed to their causes, Natalie & Michal are very grateful for your help.

Living in a big city

Can you imagine what it is like to be a teenager in a big city like London? You have nowhere to play, the playgrounds being for kids up to the age of ten only. You can’t cycle, because of the traffic, and group of teens on bikes on pavement is not popular either. You can’t really play with a ball since it says “No ball games” everywhere. Can’t climb trees, can’t run with your mates, can’t swim, can’t really go freely where you want as parents may be worried, just too much.
What can you do then? Hang around the corner shops, stay inside, watch telly, play computers. Fun? Not really.
I know kids who see summer holidays as the worst time of the year, long days of boredom being stuck at home. Wrong, isn’t is?
You don’t even know how it looks outside the town your parents not having enough money or time to take you.

And then there are places like Shadwell Basin. They try their most to get kids of the streets and try out stuff, cool stuff. Does it sound like a cliche? It’s the reality, just think about it. Why are you paddling, climbing, cycling, walking, camping, etc.? Because it’s cool, change, something to do in a free time, you like it. And aren’t we all lucky we can do this.
Besides it really gets kids off the streets, gives them structure, vision and motivation to work towards goals and to achieve.

What Michal and I are trying to do is to give the young people in Tower Hamlets more opportunities to do these ace things.
We asked Mike and Jan from Shadwell what would the money raised by our journey used for. That’s what they said: “I think we would like to use the money to purchase some stand up paddling boards and paddles to introduce a new activity which I am sure the youngsters would love.”

“We could get 2 boards and paddles for £1300 and six for £3600.”

So let’s do it. Please help us to raise enough money to get them six SUPs.

Thank you
Natalie

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NATALIE & MICHAL TIME CHALLENGE

EASY CHANCE TO WIN A GREAT PRIZE

ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DIVIDED BETWEEN THE TWO CHARITIES ( Joshua’s Journey  and Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre ) CLICK ON OUR CHARITIES FOR MORE INFORMATION)

NATALIE & MICHAL TIME CHALLENGE

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN, TELL US WHERE NATALIE AND MICHAL WILL BE LANDING FOR THE NIGHT ON July 25th. 2012

THE WINNER WILL BE ABLE TO SELECT BETWEEN THE FOLLOWING

SEA KAYAKING NAVIGATION BY FRANCO FERRERO

Or

SOUTH WEST SEA KAYAKING Isle of Wight to the Severn Estuary BY MARK RAINSLEY

Or

SOUTH & WEST CORNWAL 20 circular routes on quiet roads laminated for foul weather protection

Donate at least £ 3. to enter the competition

Competition Closes on July 23rd 2012  19:00

TO ENTER THE COMPETITION CLICK ON DONATE

DONATE AT LEAST £ 3.IN THE COMMENT BOX GUESS THE PLACE THEY WILL BE LANDING OR SPENDING THE NIGHT ON July  25 th. and your name

THE WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON THE BLOG ON JULY 26th.


ALWAYS THINKING

This journey always had three main aims, circumnavigate the island, and write an interactive blog about it and mainly to help and to raise money for charities.
While the achievement of the first two aims are mainly dependent upon us, with the third one we need help.
Joshua is the young boy for whom we are raising money. We have introduced him already in our previous posts and explained what his needs are and what the money are used for.
This time we asked his mum, Tara, to write about her son.
So, please, give us a hand, and as we are nearing the half point of our journey, help us to bring our fundraising target to similar level. Thank you, Natalie and Michal.

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ALWAYS THINKING
by Tara Haroon

When we were told Joshua had PVL (Periventricular leukomalacia) which may lead to cerebral palsy and all of the conditions that go along with that we didn’t realise we were going to become experts in positioning, movement and communication. Over the past two years we have become lay-professional physiotherapists, occupational therapist, neurologists, nurses, visual impairment teachers and speech and language therapists. Of course our expertise lies only with Joshua’s conditions but in Joshua, we are experts.

So when Joshua is sitting in his new dinner chair and we can see his head dropping we are worried about head control and neck muscles shortening or lengthening. When he is in bed and brings his knees under him which causes a twisting in his spine we are worried about scoliosis. When he has a seizure we are worried that his epilepsy will change and become life threatening. There is always something to worry about.

Naturally when Joshua was diagnosed we refused to beleive it. We thought it would be fine, he’ll grow out of it. We remember sitting in the Neo-Natologists office having a discussion about ‘quality of life’. Still disbelieving and not wanting to acknowledge it we renamed the doctor, Dr Evil (his name was Ebel).

Physiotherapy started when Joshua was 6 weeks old. He was tiny, about 6lb and was just a regular baby. A new baby, doing what new babies do. Cry, feed, sleep and cry some more. At first as milestones passed and Joshua wasn’t reaching it we put that down to him being early, we believed that he would catch up.

When we noticed Joshua wasn’t tracking and following with his eyes was when we began to know that something wasn’t right. Our baby couldn’t see. Not with any consistency. He has glimpses, he definately sees better in a darkened room that a bright one.

We are always grateful to the team of therapists who support Joshua. Even when we thought it was unnecessary, we continued with the therapies, just in case. Knowing that extra help can’t hurt any child, we embraced it. Boy did he need it. We are so grateful to his physios who have worked to maintain range of movement and help teach us methods to reduce Joshua’s tone.

We have learned more from Joshua about patience and love. that has definately kept us sane and kept us going, trying to learn as much as we can to give Joshua the best possible chance to learn as much as he can so he can reach his full potential.

People have also been a great source of inspiration and support. We have had friends organising social fund raisers. Friends who donated time and money to help Joshua receive extra therapy from Bobath. And friends who have participated in sponsored events, like swimming, running the marathon, walking and even a mad couple who currently seakyaking around the UK to raise money for Joshua. We have amazing friends who show unwavering support and love for Joshua and give us strength and motivation.

Of course we have learned so much from Joshua’s therapists, but one of the many benefits of Bobath is the intensity of each block. Having physio every day during the week not only gives Joshua a chance to master a skill but it gives us the opportunity to learn how to hold, support and encourage good patterns. We are his daily carers and it is crucial that we understand the benefits and risks of different activities. We impart knowledge to others who support him but we have the skills and knowledge do that.

We are back to the Bobath for a week block next week. I’ll be sure to write up something about his progress.

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