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?
Day 13 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland
Wearing a T-shirt with a slogan saying, “TREKKED THE GRAND CANYON”. This was my third overseas trek in March 2016, an amazing experience touching on the Route 66, the privilege of camping among the Havasupai tribe in the Grand Canyon and exploring to finally a day in Las Vegas. Again with the fantastic support of guide/communicator, my wee pal Leah Thom.
I am standing with Peat in front of 2 signs together with a large area of water and gorse bushes in the background. The signs say, “DANGER. DEEP COLD WATER, DO NOT SWIM” the other sign is, “THIN ICE, STAY AWAY “. I am trusting Peat to avoid either situation, again it raises the question, can Peat read?
Day 14 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland
Wearing a T-shirt with a very faded picture of Animal, from the Muppet Show. This T-shirt is practically an antique and one of my favourite shirts. We have tried to get a replacement one, but never the same as you will see throughout this challenge.
I am standing with Peat in front of a sign on the golf course which says, “WARNING GOLF IN PROGRESS. PLEASE EXERCISE CARE”. Not sure about the care aspect with golf balls flying about and not hearing people shouting, “FORE”? However, no golf is in progress due to lockdown, so I am exercising with care!!
Interesting fact, it is a glorious day and the picture shows me with the bright sky and lit up clouds which are dramatic, but as a result my face is in silhouette. Something to consider when communicating with a Deaf or deafblind person?
Day 15 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland
Wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “TRAIN HARD, WIN EASY”. This is one of my gym shirts that I have worn when getting ready for the various treks I have done. Not sure about the hard training makes the treks any easier, but if I hadn’t they would have been much harder or impossible in some cases!!
I am standing with Peat in front of a sign that is made up of 3 signs together at one of the entrances to the Military grounds which says, “DANGER, MILITARY FIRING RANGE, KEEP OUT WHEN RED FLAGS FLYING AND RED LAMPS ARE LIT “.
The sign below this one says, “DANGER, DO NOT TOUCH ANY MILITARY DEBRIS, IT MAY EXPLODE AND KILL YOU”
The last one says, “SLOW VEHICLE EXIT 5MPH” .
Definitely not the place to taking the wrong turning – are you paying attention Peat?
Day 16 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland
Wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE”. Another favourite t-shirt that I bought at a Neil Young concert that I went to in Glasgow a few years ago with my son.
Appropriate slogan, as it looks like we have wandered into the woods away from the beaten track!! if you look closely there are Bears and Wolves in this wood? I am standing next to a tree in which Paddington is hiding in the branches and Peat next to me.
Day 17 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “EVOLUTION”. The shirt shows a series of 7 people ranging from an ape evolving into a man. The final picture is of a man walking a dog!
The shows me and Peat having wandered off the beaten track yet again? We are standing on the very edge of a very deep pond. This pond is hoaching (good Scottish word) with man-eating tadpoles at the moment. One more step we are doomed!
Day 18 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “GETTING TO THE TOP IS OPTIONAL, GETTING DOWN IS MANDATORY”. I wore this shirt on Iceland Trekand one of the challenges was the Cat’s Spine – a very narrow rock bridge between 2 gorges! Both t-shirt and the challenge a favourite for Hasmita Patel😂😂😂
The picture shows me and Peat having wandered off the beaten track yet again? We are standing on a narrow strip of grass between two golf bunkers. Not quite the Cat’ Spine and at least a soft landing!!
Day 19 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “ICELANDIC LAVA TREK CHALLENGE”. This was the last trek I did almost 2 years ago, a fantastic experience with many difficult and potentially dangerous adventures. As mentioned in yesterdays event, Cat’s Spine, hanging off chains over sheer drops, walking onto glaciers and behind waterfalls! All of which could not have been achieved without my two great pals and guides, Mick McCourt and Robert McCourt.
The picture shows me and Peat standing on a bridge with a sign saying, “WARNING, RISK OF FALLING, DO NOT CLIMB”. Could have done with some of these signs in Iceland!!
Day 20 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “FREE TO A GOOD HOME”. Do not worry I am house trained and perform tricks for treats!😆😂This is another of my favourite gym shirts, but not worn for the past 2 years since my last trek.
The picture shows me and Peat standing by a barrier designed to slow cyclists down with a sign saying, “WARNING, GOLF PRACTISE AREA, EXERCISE CARE AND CAUTION WHEN USING THE CYCLEWAY”. It would be great if cyclists had to learn the highway code. Twice we were overtaken by cyclists coming within a couple of feet of us. My wife was with me, and she did not hear if they had rung their bells to alert us to move over.
Day 21 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “THE DOGFATHER”. It is a mock up of the cover of the book, “THE GODFATHER”. a T-shirt bought for me due to my love of dogs. in all of my almost 62 years on this planet, I have only ever been 4 years without a dog!
The picture shows me and Peat standing outside a workshop area belonging to the golf course. There are a number of signs all around this area, we are standing between 2 signs which say, “PUBLIC NOTICE, MACHINARY AND HEAVY PLANT OPERATING IN THIS AREA, AUTHOURISED VEHICLES ONLY”. The other sign says, “ONE WAY” . It is very easy to follow the road around into this area if you take the wrong turning? I am asking Peat if he can read these signs?
Day 22 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “EDEN MILL, ST ANDREWS”.
This is from the Eden Mill Gin distillery. Ironically we can see St Andrews across the bay from where we live.
The picture shows me and Peat standing on the golf green with an irrigation pipe creating a water cloud behind us. Again serves us right for meandering off the beaten track — very close to getting a wet t-shirt! Not my ideal tonic for the Gin?
Day 23 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “I AM CURRENTLY UNSUPERVISED. I KNOW, IT FREAKS ME OUT TOO. BUT THE POSSIBLITIES ARE ENDLESS”. Yet another Animal from the Muppet show! Peat is wearing a red and white bandana as it is his 4th Birthday today!
The picture shows me and Peat standing on the edge of the pond with 2 swans coming towards us, they have 3 cygnets with them and obviously very protective of them. Peat is looking behind us at them as if to say, “Time we left?”.
Day 24 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTNING VERY, VERY FRIGHTENING ME — GALILEO”. it is a reference to the famous Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody. Almost out of t-shirts now!!
The picture shows me and Peat standing next to a telegraph pole that has a sign on it saying, “DANGER OF DEATH. KEEP OFF”. The sign also has a picture of a black thunderbolt on a yellow background, striking a person who is lying down dead. Quite appropriate for the t-shirt i am wearing? I have my hand touching it and Peat is looking a wee bit concerned.
Day 25 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “HIGHLAND PARK. J and S. GRANT and CO. HIGHLAND PARK DISTILLERS LTD. ORKNEY”. I confess i had to buy a t-shirt to get the 26 total? What could be more appropriate as this whisky is my favourite and I would have worn it this weekend at the Whisky Stramash this weekend in Edinburgh, sadly not going to happen!
Looks like we have wandered down the wrong steps and into the sea!! it is high tide so no beach to see. Peat is looking behind me, telling me we are about to get soaked. I don’t think salt water will go with the Highland Park somehow?
Day 26 of the 26 Challenge raising funds for Deafblind Scotland wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “DEAFBLIND SCOTLAND”. The last T-shirt of the challenge and it is a very old Deafblind Scotland shirt that I got when I first got involved with this charity 21 years ago!! Practically an antique!
Peat and I are standing on the platform at Carnoustie train station with several signs behind us. The most significant one says. “PASSENGERS MUST NOT CROSS THE LINE”. Interestingly enough there is no tactile indication of where this line is, and I know of a visually impaired person having gone the wrong direction when getting off the train and gone down this section!
The other picture shows Peat and myself with the train approaching us from behind, Peat is making sure I do not move over to my right in front of the train!