9hrs and two very sore legs

After several months of walking up and down the East Sussex coast in preparation, the Moonwalk finally came around on Saturday night. It was a slightly weird feeling travelling up to London on the train with my Rio Barbie bra   carefully covered for the big reveal in Hyde Park. I say carefully as the last thing I wanted was to take off my T-shirt and find that one of my nipple tassels had got damaged and was beyond repair before the  big off. BUT everything survived intact and having carefully packed my bum bag with space blanket, folded rain mac, lip balm, tissues, fingerless gloves and jelly babies for emergencies we eventually got walking just after midnight.

In the main tent waiting for the big off. NOT the place to be if you don’t like pink
Highlight of the main tent ~ Roy doing his warm ups

I’d love to say that we proudly tramped the streets with the bling from our bras beaming in the moonlight but the truth of the matter is it was cold….. FREEZING cold! Thankfully I listened to  my inner voice that told me to hold on to my hooded top and fleece bodywarmer. Not very glam I’ll admit but this toasty combination kept out the chill whilst I spent the first 12 miles thinking ‘are we halfway there yet’ and ‘why didn’t I sign up for the half moon’ ( the 13 mile option). To be honest I felt that I’d done enough training before I started but at the 12 mile mark  I couldn’t see myself getting to the finish line. I was tired, nausea had set in and my head was beginning to hurt ~ it was also dark. But I wasn’t alone and we were all walking to raise money for an important cause so I kept putting one foot in front of another, I didn’t need to get there fast, I just had to get there.

The next few miles seemed to go by effortlessly as the sun came up over London and just a glint of daylight helped to pick up the pace.

04.55 Sunrise from Albert Bridge

But at around 18 miles I had to resort to painkillers (courtesy of Fiona) as my hips began to scream. Given that I have the flattest feet known to man I’d expected my feet to be more painful but both hips were agony at this point and with 8.2 miles still to go, drugs were the only way to cope.  By the time we hit the 20 mile marker the sun shining bright and I knew 2 things for sure;

1.  I was going to see the finish line and

2. There was a hot bath full of bubbles and a cold glass of cava waiting for me back in Brighton.

I’m proud (and slightly amazed) to say that we eventually crossed the line at 9.12 am. 9 hrs and two very sore legs later although I probably wouldn’t do it again I definitely think it was worth it.



Got the T-shirt, now for the walk

As though the last few months haven’t been frantic enough I’ve signed up to take part in my first Moonwalk which takes place in London on May 12th. For those of you who don’t know it’s a fundraising power-walking marathon through the streets of London to raise money for  breast cancer charity Walk The Walk. The basic rules are that you

a) walk don’t run (suits me)

b) raise a minimum of £100 (fingers crossed)

c) walk through the streets of London in a bra (I’m game if you are)

As anyone who knows me will testify 2012 may well be an Olympic year but I am NO athlete so why on earth am I doing this? Here’s why;

I was first diagnosed with cancer (Hodgkin’s disease stage 3) in my early 20’s whilst studying for my HND in textile design. At the time I was unaware how seriously ill I was which was just as well since I had tumours in my neck, chest and stomach which required months of really nasty chemo followed by a month of daily radiotherapy treatment. However thanks to the brilliant oncology department at St Bartholomew’s hospital in London I made a full recovery and managed to complete my HND. In the 15 years that followed I was told that I had an increased chance of developing breast cancer due to the radiotherapy I received (to my chest) in order to rid me of the Hodgkins. Sure enough, I discovered a lump whilst living in Edinburgh and within a week was diagnosed with breast cancer. Again I was very fortunate to be in the ‘right place’ and after undergoing a mastectomy received more chemo and was successfully treated at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital by the staff of another brilliant oncology department.

Whilst I don’t dwell on my cancer ‘journey’ I consider myself very lucky that both treatments have been successful and I’m still here even though the ‘me’  I  see in the mirror now isn’t quite who I expected to become back when I was a daft 1st year student aged 20. I recently saw a good friend who expected me to tell her that I have cancer for a 3rd time because my head is now shaved – nope, no cancer. BUT having worn wigs for the last 2 years I’d just rather  accept that the long term effects of chemo mean that my hair will never be as it once was – so I shaved it off.

With my best friend Margo and my sister Sandra at my side I’ll be donning my bra on May 12th  and hoping to raise as much money as possible for Walk The Walk. They donate to charities that fund research into breast cancer as well as those who provide emotional and physical support for people who have the disease now.

So many of us have been affected or know someone who has been touched by this terrible disease so if you would like to sponsor me you can do so through my fundraising page here. Alternatively if you place an order for yarn or patterns through the website www.jeanettesloandesign.com during May I’ll be donating 10% from every sale to Walk The Walk.

Thank you for reading this post, I’m off to decorate my bra

J x

British Wool Week

October’s a busy old month,  not only is it Breast Cancer Awareness month – take a few moments to check yours please, to see how click here – this week is British Wool Week and there have been lots of events to celebrate including flocks of sheep in Savile Row – ooer who’d have thought – and even Selfridges getting in on the act with it’s first graffiti knitting event alongside its very own knitted house. It’s not too late to do your bit, Innocent (the smoothie makers)  are still looking for wee hats for their Big Knit campaign and if you’re quick you can get a couple done before the deadline hits this Friday 15th October.For more info and patterns including Shaun the Sheep, pea pods and pineapples click here then click on!


Put down your knitting! . . . .

 . . . . just for 5 minutes though. 

It’s October and that means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month so ladies & gents ( more rare but it does happen ) put your pins down and take the time to check your breasts –  if you’re not sure how here’s a wee link to Breast Cancer Care. It’s been 5 years since I was diagnosed and thankfully I was lucky  to have been supported by the amazing people at the Maggie’s Centre here in Edinburgh both during and after treatment. There are lots of blogs about or inspired by the disease and here’s just one from – The Knitting Experience in Maine, USA  –  that caught my eye.

Get your boobs checked then get back to your knitting, I am . . .