Monday, 10 February 2014

The #TeamHonkRelay hits Reading...

On Thursday this week I had the pleasure of being handed the famous, trending above the Winter Olympics and David Cameron, #TeamHonkRelay baton.

The baton has been handed from Blogger to Blogger from Lands End to Reading via loads of different places and from here it will go to Henley, Oxford and eventually it will go step by step, mile by mile, blogger to blogger, up the country to John O Groats, raising money for Sports Relief as it goes.

Why? I hear you cry.... WELL, let me tell you...
Rocky in Shed
As the nation gets in shape for the Sport Relief weekend, hundreds of bloggers known as Team Honk
will be taking part in a 3000 mile race in a bid to raise £20,000 for Sport Relief.

Team Honk kicked off their challenge on Sunday 12th January at Lands End, and the relay will see 38 teams pass the baton in a variety of fun and creative ways, finishing in John O Groats on Sunday 23rd March. By the end of the race over 200 participants are expected to have taken part and signed special ribbons on the Olympic themed baton.

Sport Relief takes place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March and for the first time ever the public can run, swim or cycle in the brand new Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games. For more information on how to join in the fun and games, raise cash and changes lives, go to

So what did we do on our leg of the relay...
Well, after the guys in Fleet hit the road on public transport, the long way round, the group from Wokingham cycled to Reading in the pouring rain dressed in brightly coloured 80's gear.

The weather was horrible and they were drenched, tired and hungry but luckily Shed (Merchants Place, Reading), had prepared them a lunch bag full of yummy baguettes and snacks to recuperate before they rushed back for the school run.

To top it off, whilst they were munching on their sandwiches, the lovely Tom from The Tom Show did his thing on a unicycle whilst wriggling himself through a tennis racket... no really, he can get through a tennis racket *shocked face* (watch the video here). He usually does this, in the dry and in places like
Covent Garden... not in a water logged Reading with a few drenched cyclists and the odd worker on their lunch break. I want to thank Tom for the effort he put in for us on such a cold and horrid day, when he could have been writing his book or practicing new tricks. The spirit of charity was defo keeping everyone going that day.

After the cyclists came and went we, Myself, Jada from Unique Young Mum and her friend Becka, dressed in wigs, tutu's, Sports Relief apron's and general craziness, had the task of doing a tour of Reading with the baton, taking pictures as we went.

The rain was a huge issue for us as it was freezing cold too and once wet it made it much worse, that and Rocky was refusing to keep his rain cover on so my cousin had to take over the childcare and get him in the warm and dry.

We did take respite in the Reading Museum for a short while during our trip as we had all hit the 'I can't feel my feet or hands... or body' stage and we needed to warm up a bit. We didn't stop whilst there though, we taught the baton all about the history of Reading... he listened carefully, obviously.

Doesn't sound very sporty though does it?...
We had the full team of crazies doing cycling, running and walking through the floods the next day and due to medical reasons, oh and the fact that Rocky may have broken my toe a few days before, I planned on doing something based in Reading that wasn't too complicated and luckily Jada, Unique Young Mum, had the same idea.

Shockingly, by the time we got round Reading, drenched and freezing cold, we'd actually done WAY more walking dressed in odd clothes, than we would have done running or going from town to town... which is sporty in itself isn't it?... yeah humour us and agree, because it was bloody hard work... go us!

My plan was to then join the rest of the team the next day at Shiplake College and cheer them on their way or join in if I could.... I couldn't though as Rocky was too poorly (see below) so I missed out on all the fun but they did an epic job and I'm proud to be a part of TeamHonk Reading.

How much has been raised so far?...
The staff and pupils at Shiplake College handed over a cheque for a whopping £300 whilst our team were there and I would just like to thank them for such an amazing effort and such a huge donation. Hats off to you all.

So far our team (Reading) have raised £930 (plus the £300 from Shiplake College which hasn't been added yet) and we are 5th in the leader board, only £14 below Oxford (without the Shiplake cheque) and not far behind Southampton either, who are placed 3rd.... the football fan in me makes me want to beat both of those teams just so that I can smugly grin at something, even if it's not in a football sense.

In total Team Honk has raised £15,573 so far which is 77% of our target and we are only part way through the relay. HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!!

A Huge Thank You to all who have donated so far.
If you would like to help Team Honk hit their target and support myself and Team Reading in beating the other areas please click on the link below and donate as much or as little as you like... every little helps and we would be truly grateful.
So much love for Team Honk right now xxxx

My drama behind the organisation...
The thing is, before the floods hit us we'd organised a boat to take the baton up the Thames via Shiplake College and on to Henley with people canoeing behind us.... BUT mother nature had other ideas and due to parts of the river being closed due to flooding, we had to rethink it all.

Sadly, mid organisation, Kyd had his operation and I had to step down a little on the #TeamHonkRelay case, this made me sad but sometimes real life takes over. Even after the op, I was really disorganised and out of the picture for so long I had no idea where to start it up again. On top of that I had a technical issue with EVERYTHING I owned that is technology based, internet connection, phone playing up and then finally the sudden death of my old laptop (RIP lappy), obviously this didn't help my #TeamHonkRelay team mates and I felt like I was letting everyone down but it couldn't be helped. It seemed like something was trying to stop me from doing anything to help... where, to be honest, it was probably just circumstance but the drama queen in me was not impressed and so I was convinced life was against me.

Luckily there was a brilliant team of crazies in the area who got together and arranged so much more than I could have ever dreamed up, it was just during the time the baton was in Reading town that needed attention.

I couldn't have done it though without the last minute help of a friend of mine Zsuzsi Kingsnorth. Zsuzsi and her team at Zuloo Productions are behind the amazing Reading Fringe festival (Reading Fringe Festival 2014 will take place 16th to 20th July) and stepped in when I phoned her in an 'omg it's only a few days away and there's nothing sorted' panic. With her contacts and calmness, she managed to do all the technical stuff without my panic getting in the way. She is amazing, thank you so much!

But AGAIN, after breaking my toe (I think it's just a bad bruise to be fair), Rocky tried to stop me in
my tracks the night before by causing an emergency trip to the doctors with a burst, god knows what it is, misdiagnosed lump under his arm, which had been there over a year nicely in tact until that night... impeccable timing. It was all very scary and I'll explain in a post later what happened... just don't eat dinner whilst reading it! Amazingly, although it isn't over, he was given antibiotics and an appointment with his specialist (our 5th in a year) and it didn't stop us doing our thing for Team Honk in Reading Town, however his reaction to the antibiotics did stop us joining the rest of the team the next day but we were there in spirit... lets just hope it gets sorted soon and it causes no more pain and unrest for Rocky.


All was good in the end and there is still so much more to come from Team Honk throughout 2014 and I know that they will have something bigger and better up their sleeve for 2015's comic relief too.... which hopefully will have an easier path to it for me and mine, than this years events... I say that every year though so don't hold your breath!
Keep up to date with the events by following @TeamHonk & #TeamHonkRelay on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and G+
Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter too on their website -


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