John Whitfield is writing and sharing a photograph for each day of his 26 Day 26 T-Shire Challenge. Raising vital funds for Deafblind Scotland during this time of national crisis.
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I have been fundraising for Deafblind Scotland for many years. this year I was going to be doing a couple of Kiltwalks. but due to the COVID-19 pandemic so many fundraising events have been cancelled and Deafblind Scotland rely on donations that are generated by these events. Every day I walk over 2.6 miles and had put up a couple of pictures of myself on Whatsapp with my guide dog Peat next to a warning sign! Some folk have come back at me saying. “cool t-shirt”. so I thought I would put up a picture of myself and Peat everyday wearing a different t-shirt over the next 26 days covering 2.6 miles at least!! the added fun factor is that I have not trimmed my beard or hair since the 4th March when my daughter got married, and intend to keep this going till I emerge out of lockdown! I will combine all the pictures, including some of previous ones and hopefully will be able to see the beard grow before your very eyes!!
Day 1 on Sunday 26th April wearing a Deafblind Scotland T-shirt with Peat by a caution sign at Carnoustie Golf course. The sign says, ” Flying golf balls from the left”.
Day 2. Wearing a T-shirt with an image of “Animal” from the Muppet Show. No idea why my kids think I am an animal – I get different ones each Xmas!! I am standing with Peat in front of another warning sign that says, “Beware. When flag is flying Access to MOD property is strictly forbidden”. The red flag is flying, and just after the picture was taken, a military police car went past! DbS Dangerman!!
Day 3 of the 26 Challenge. Wearing a T-shirt with a slogan saying, “The Older I Get the Better I Was!”. I am standing with Peat in front of another warning sign that says, “STOP. LOOK AND LISTEN. BEWARE OF TRAINS” . The sign is in front of a private railway crossing.
Day 4 of the 26 Challenge. Wearing a T-shirt with a slogan saying, “Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know!”. This T-shirt was a present from a dear friend around 20 years ago, unfortunately she died a few years ago. Obviously, she knew me well!! I am standing with Peat in front of another warning sign that says, “DANGER MILITARY FIRING RANGE, KEEP OUT WHEN WARNING FLAGS OR LIGHTS ARE DISPLAYED” . Whilst posing there is the sound of gunfire in the distance!!
Day 5 of the 26 Challenge. Wearing an old Deafblind Scotland T-shirt with Deafblind Scotland translated into Chinese writing below the logo. I had a number of these printed for myself and my two guide/communicators, Gina and Margaret, who supported me when we did the Great Wall of China. This was my first fundraising trek back in 2010 towards the, “Field of Dreams building”. 10 years on, and the building is built and proving to be a valuable asset to deafblind people. I am standing with Peat in front of a lake and behind me are 2 swans. 0ne of which is on a nest and has been there for the past week or so. There is a picture of her mate swimming towards me, just visible between my body and arm. a previous picture had both swans in the picture but no Peat. The male swan was swimming towards us to scare us away from the nest and his mate. It obviously worked, we scarpered pretty quick! Hopefully in the weeks to come, there will be baby swans (cygnets) in another picture.
Day 6 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland. Wearing T-shirt with a slogan, ” LIFE IS BETTER WITH MY GERMAN SHEPHERD”. Thank goodness dogs cannot read, or else my 2 other dogs would be extremely jealous!
I am standing with Peat in front of a barrier that is to slow down cycles on a shared walkway along the coast. Literally around the corner where I live. On the barrier is 2 brooms tied together and a sign saying,” THESE TWO BRUSHES TOGETHER MEASURE 2 METRES”. This is make sure people are aware of social distancing. I have to say most people stick to the rules. The worst culprits are the cyclists, some will pass by within 2 feet of you! There is an added problem if you are deafblind because you do not hear the bell ringing behind you, which is useless as the ringing is competing with the noise of the sea and the noisy seabirds!
Day 7 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland Wearing a red T-shirt with a slogan in white writing, ” LLAMA – MACCHU PICHU”. the T-shirt is a mock up of the PUMA slogan. I bought this in Cuzco, when I did my second trek which was the Inca Trail trek in Peru. I was supported my dearest friend Joy Sharp.
We inadvertently wandered into the Military of Defence firing range! I am standing with Peat in front of a red and white gate and on it is a sign saying,” DANGER NO ENTRY, LIVE FIRING IN PROGRESS”. Observant folk will see that Paddington the Bear is also in the picture, he came with me as my mascot and as we were going to Peru, he had a chance of staying or going? he came back and became a film star!!
Day 8 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland Wearing a T-shirt with a slogan saying, ” PERU, INCA TRAIL TREK 26 04 14 TO 05 05 14.”. Ironically i wore a T-shirt yesterday that I bought in Peru. When I got back I saw a post from a fellow trekker Tracey Rousell reminiscing it was 6 years ago that we were actually doing the trek as we speak!! It was an amazing surreal experience.
I am standing with Peat in front of a sign saying,” DANGER DO NOT TOUCH ANY MILITARY DEBRIS IT MAY KILL YOU”.
Hmmm, starting to think this is a pretty dangerous place to live?
Day 9 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland Wearing a T-shirt with a slogan saying, ” ROLLING STONES, NO FILTER, EDINBURGH”. It was bought at the concert at Murrayfield a couple of years ago and the old Mick Jagger mouth and tongue is reworked in a two tone effect reflecting on Jekyll and Hyde image.
I am standing with Peat in front of a sign saying,” CAUTION, GOLF IN PROGRESS ON ALL SIDES. GOLF BALLS CAN CAUSE INJURY. PLEASE BE STILL AND QUIET WHEN GOLFERS PLAYING”.
I truly hope Peat can read signs? thankfully there is no golf during the lockdown and I have Becky with me.
Day 10 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland
Wearing a T-shirt with a slogan saying, “OLIVERS MOUNT, SCARBOROUGH. HOME OF LEGENDS. ENGLANDS NATURAL RACING CIRCUIT”. It covered with pictures of famous motorbike racers. This was bought for me to remind me of my young motorcycling days and racing at Oliver’s Mount .40 years on, and still missing the motorbikes.
I am standing with Peat in front of a sign that has a picture of 2 people walking side by side and a bicycle above their heads. The sign is to indicate this is a share walkway for cyclists and pedestrians and that cycles should slow down and be respectful. i see that sign as saying, “look out, low flying bikes!”
I have spoken about the difficulties deafblind people experience on shared walkways. Even with Peat wearing his red and white harness i have had cyclists come up behind me, possibly ringing there bell to no avail, and then shouting at me to get out of the way. Perhaps if cyclist were aware of the Highway Code and what the red and white means, then there might be more consideration?
Day 11 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland
Wearing a black T-shirt with a yellow Batman motif. Another old shirt bought for me in mind of my liking for this character over the many years.
The picture shows me and Peat in the midst of a gorse bush! we must have gone off the beaten track? Judging by the expression on my face, it must be a, “pain in the gorse, or even a thorn in my side?”. Whichever, another example of the dangers that surround us, in this case mother nature is making an impact!!
Day 12 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland Wearing a Grey T-shirt with a slogan saying, “WITH GREAT BEARDS COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILTY!”. there is a picture of a beard on the t-shirt. Quite ironic, as ! have not touched my beard since the 4th March and it is getting a bit feral at the moment!
I am standing with Peat in front of a sign next to a railway crossing, the sign says, “WARNING. DO NOT TRESPASS ON THIS RAILWAY. PENALTY £1000”. I am trusting Peat to go straight on, or else I am going to be skint! Great responsibilities rest on Peat’s shoulders?