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I’ve really struggled – both time wise and I guess on an emotional level – to write anything on here recently. Apologies for that.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks, what with dad’s anniversary and the two year anniversary of my wife and I separating, and there have been other things going on too which haven’t really helped. Dad’s anniversary wasn’t as hard as other years but it seemed to be a build-up of lots of things over the last few weeks, and I’ve struggled a little bit.

Still, no excuse really. I don’t know why I’ve not written about it all to be honest because I normally would have? That being said, I’ve actually had some really good times since I last properly posted which I’ll bring you up to date with now.

The other weekend, when I had the girls last, we had a breakthrough on the swimming front – both Alice and Elisa came into the big pool with me for the first time! It took a little bit of coaxing but once in they loved it. Alice did amazingly well swimming four lengths in total with her arm bands and Elisa had her ring on, holding on to the side, moving along the length of the pool with Alice and I. I was so proud of them both and I hope that this weekend we can keep that going and not bother with the learner pool at all. We’ll see.

We also had a great time with Shelli, Asri and Eleni that weekend too. They all went out on their bikes (Elisa was on her scooter) and had a riot along the paths, in the play area and investigating the woods by the stream too. There are photos posted if you’ve not already noticed. It’s great that they all get on so well. It makes time spent all together lots of fun and a joy.

Shelli and I popped out to help Dave (Big Dave) celebrate his 40th Birthday. It was great to catch up with him, Andy and Marina for a few beverages. We missed out on the big celebratory night as we (Shelli and I) had to play it sensibly on the Saturday night as we were taking part in the Chilterns Three Peaks Challenge.

A little while ago Alex (he works with Shelli) came up with the mad idea of doing the Three Peaks Challenge, i.e. the one where you walk the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours. This seemed like a bit of a leap so trying to take the sensible approach I suggested we start with the Chilterns Three Peaks Challenge, then do the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge and finally move on to the big one.

So, Sunday morning, bright and early, we were up and getting ready for what turned out to be a great day’s walking across the Chiltern Hills. Alex and Matt (who also works with Shelli) came over and we were soon on the road to Princes Risborough for the start of the day’s walking, all 18 miles of it! I say 18 miles, when I plotted the route I made it just under 17.5 miles, but who’s counting?

The weather was great, the rain never came and at some points I actually thought it was too hot for walking – the shade of the woods we walked through was very welcome indeed. One bonus for the good weather was the spectacular views as we made our way over the hills…stunning!

It was a great day and everyone did amazingly well, even if my feet played up but then that’s nothing new is it? Before we even started I was ready and waiting for the blisters to come. They weren’t as bad as they’d been last year but then I wasn’t carrying anywhere near as much on my back, fortunately.

All in all, after heading off at 9:17am from the start and taking 40 minutes of break time throughout the walk, we got to the end in a total time (including breaks) of 6 hours and 11 minutes, meaning we covered the entire route in 5 hours 31 minutes, which I think you’ll agree is a great time?!

There are a load of photos posted on here for you to check out if you’ve not spotted them yet. I think this is something I may well do every year as it really was a good laugh.

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This week has mainly been spent helping Shelli get ready for Eleni’s 4th Birthday party tomorrow. Never really having done any baking before (mostly because she wasn’t allowed to do it; I won’t go into that any more on here!) she wanted help with making the Birthday cake and biscuits. She did a great job and, having tasted the cake last night while we cut it into shape, I think it’s going to go down well with all the children.

It’s been a busy week with some late nights to make sure everything was ready so I’m a little wiped out now, but it’s been well worth it!

So there you have it. Apologies again for not writing more often. I will try and do better. I know I’ve said that before but there’s been a lot weighing me down as of late and I hope that it’s now all passed.