Jen and I are just back from a fabulous week's holiday in Anglesey, during which, I was extremely daring, bordering on reckless:
OK, so maybe going for a paddle isn't all that daring. But, let's face it: I'm 49 years old; I have a bit of gyp from my left leg after adventurously trying to jump over an extremely narrow stream a few weeks back; my beard is more salt than pepper these days; and I've finally had to concede that my hair might indeed be thinning ever so slightly on top. So just how daring and adventurous can one expect to be at this stage in one's life?
39 years ago, I made friends with a boy named Paul who lived at the other end of our road. We were at different primary schools at the time, but were about to start at the same secondary school. We became very good mates, but ended up going to different universities and pretty much lost touch until we recently re-established contact via Facebook (yes, I am, somewhat reluctantly, on Facebook).
Last week, at around the time I was paddling on a beach in Anglesey, Paul, who was always a tad more athletic than me, set off on a jog from Marble Arch in London. He jogged down to Dover, then swam across the English Channel, then biked it to l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris. In so doing, Paul became the 20th, sixth-fastest, and oldest person to complete the frankly ridiculous Arch to Arc Challenge. In all, it took him 84 hours and 44 minutes.
Paul carried out all this nonsense in aid of the spinal cord injury charity for which he works. He's still accepting donations, if you're interested in sponsoring him retrospectively.
Before you get too impressed, however, I feel it my duty to point out that Paul is 26 days younger than me.