If a week is a long time in politics, it's an equinox in football.
, possibly the greatest summariser the beautiful game has ever known, once brightened up a fairly dismal Saturday afternoon of mine many years ago with the above pearler.
Making a difference this week was Dr Em, one half of global party beatsters Funky Jim and Dr Em, who added much-needed impetus to my fund-raising effort this week. Just some well-placed words on the internet was all that was needed to push the amount collected over my one grand target. Chapeau, squire, and much appreciated.
Much like the Marmotte, though, having reached one peak, there's another just on the horizon. I decided to up the target to £1,500, which may or may not be achievable, but you've got to give it a whirl, haven't you?
Training's been practically non-existent this week, partly due to prudent planning and partly a result of the hammering I took in last week's Magnificat. The legs didn't feel up to anything at all up to and including Wednesday, so I allocated the following day to be my first cycle commute of the week.
And it was all going according to plan until around 6am on Thursday, when I was woken by an intense stabbing pain in my left shoulder. This spread to my chest and I've seen those ads on telly with the middle aged bloke having his chest crushed by an imaginary belt, so I immediately thought heart attack. A call to NHS Direct elicited precious little reassurance, especially as I was put through to the London Ambulance Service to book in for a quick trip to A&E.
Several prods, listens and ECG tests later, I was given a clean bill of health and dispatched to the streets of Lewisham two paracetamol to the good. Gotta love the NHS. Breathing was still slightly painful, though; a sensation amplified by my cycle into the bike shop to get the gearing sorted out. As well as having heavy legs, I found it insanely difficult and uncomfortable to breathe deeply.
Friday's commute in was more painful than usual, although some of that might be down to my pride forcing me to 'drop' the guy drafting me along Great Dover Street. The return journey was better, but it's still a worry. Nurofen seems to have done the trick, though, and there is now no pain to speak of. I'll be giving it a good work-out tomorrow at Box Hill
, where I'm planning a few repetitions to keep the sharpness in the legs.
In exactly two weeks' time, I will have completed the challenge. Or failed. It's now so close I can touch it. I'm actually genuinely scared, having spent the evening viewing pictures of each of the climbs. But the surge in sponsorship has definitely provided a timely tonic, so thanks to everyone who's chipped in.