At bathtime tonight, my five year old said to me "this weekend has been like a whole holiday'. And it has. What a flaming crazy honking weekend.
It started with making two cardboard castles and a pirate ship for my three year old daughter's princess-pirate birthday party yesterday (they were ace, but that's another story!), followed by a late night attempt to create a Team Honk signpost (in case we couldn't get to the real one), and then an early morning start to get ourselves to Lands End to begin the Team Honk Bloggers Relay from there to John O Groats, what an honour! A windy wet and cold honour, but an honour none the less!
We'll just put aside the fact that my husband is currently overnighting in an upgraded hotel suite in Paris about to jet-set off to a tropical island 'for work'... (To be fair, my husband did donate to Team Honk (you can do that here, right now) so we'll let him off, for now...)
And instead we'll thank our lucky stars that we weren't lovely Lara Trewin undertaking her full-on cycling and running leg of the relay in North Cornwall as the heavens opened later in the day (my beautiful Lands End sign was beaten by the weather, but the amazing Lara was not, thankfully!).
So where does this story start? With three inspiring women - Annie Spratt, Tanya Barrow and Penny Alexander, who headed off to Ghana last year to capture amazing stories and make a social media fund-raising splash for Comic Relief with Team Honk - mama activism at its best. This year, they decided to fund-raise again, corraling 150 bloggers across the country into a massive Lands End to John O Groats relay. What a feat! They are amazing.
And somehow, we ended up starting the relay! On 18 December, we heard that Cornwall's leg of the relay would take place on 12 January - so soon, yikes! And then the sad news on 4 January that Annie and Tanya wouldn't be able to make the start date (which I'm still gutted about as I was so looking forward to squeezing them both, although I'm secretly hoping that will still be possible when they award me my OBE for services to Team Honk...).
So naturally, with a birthday party the day before, my husband jetting off that morning, and no car, I said no problem, we'd do it! And then panicked. And then got very very organised. And then started begging my friends.
And oh my goodness did my friends come through! Huge thanks to Steve and Georgia Potter of Apple Crumble who got me and my kids to Lands End early on Sunday morning, without even a breakfast butty to fuel them. And to my in-laws and all the other friends and kids who made it out on a windy cold wet day in Cornwall. We did it!
The theme for our leg of the relay was odd shoes... and you can see some of the fantastic examples below.
This tied into our activity at Story of Mum this month: Best Foot Forward, where mums share photos of their feet in two different shoes that capture different aspects of their identities - have a look and join in (and feel free to donate the price of a pair of socks to Team Honk as you do... we'd love that!)
Apparently there is footage of me running, (yes running, what was I thinking?) in my red high heel/green sock and welly combination. Sadly that is not footage that you will ever see here. I wouldn't show that to anyone unless there was a humongous £100 donation to Team Honk Cornwall for that sole purpose. For the free version - just picture a mid-sized hippo wearing a Louboutin on two feet, and wellies on the other two, and you get the general idea.
When we finally arrived in Penzance, we jumped on a train to Truro (many thanks, First Great Western!) entertained ourselves (and the rest of the carriage) with some quick-fire bingo and cupcakes, and at last handed over the Flaming Honker (my entry to the name-the-baton competition...) to Jackie Murray...
Jackie took the baton up the line to the delightfully bonkers animal-themed quad-biking Fiona and her family of Coombe Mill (read more about what they got up to here) and on to meet Zoe Corkhill and brave runner Lara Trewin (you can read Zoe's story here, Lara is still recovering and will share hers tomorrow).
What a fabulous and inspiring day. We got soaked to our knickers on the way back, but the kids and I spent the evening snuggled up on the sofa drinking hot chocolate and tweeting photos.
I mean, who'd want to be on a tropical island when you can spend the day with fabulous friends doing something hugely valuable for children who really need it - and getting enough exercise to justify eating a lot more cake and drinking beer when you get home?
Thank you Team Honk for this incredible opportunity to be part of this inspirational fund-raising project. Honkity-honkity-honk to you all.
Go on, donate a fiver here, and see if you can make me even happier than I already am. A gallumphing mid-sized hippo exploding with happiness, who wouldn't want to see that?
Plus, you too could get this fabulous really-exhausted-but-happy feeling too... The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.