Jogle 2015 – 7th and 8th August – days 1 and 2 of forever 13

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Day 1 – 7th August Blow the wind blow. It didn’t rain although it did threaten but the wind more than made up for it. On our faces all the way. With the first half of the ride through open … Continue reading

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Jogle 2015 forever 13 – day 2 and about to Jogle!

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It rained. It was raining when we tucked ourselves up for the night then again when we woke and I’m assured by Bob and Trev it rained during the night as well. When I wandered over to the shower block … Continue reading

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Jogle 2015 forever 13 – on our way!

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Well the journey has started and after months of planning and preparation we are finally on our way. It all feels a bit surreal at the moment, that “pregnant” pause (whatever that means) when the real business is still to … Continue reading

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The triumph of the long distance runner

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There are days in your life that you know will remain with you forever. Etched in the mind, carved on the heart. They don’t come along that often and nor would you want them to. To be memorable they must also … Continue reading

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The loneliness of the long distance runner.

The lonely one? My daughter Rachel. The distance, all 26.2 miles of the London Marathon.

Through Wolvercote

Through Wolvercote

Rachel isn’t really lonely, (at least I don’t think she is) but hours of pounding the streets of Oxford in training for the big event can be a very lonely existence. It takes fabulous discipline and dedication to make the committment necessary to complete a marathon, as the many before her will testify, and I have to admire her for her selfless effort in making sure that she is adequately equipped to deal with everything the day will throw at her. I for one certainly admire her for her dedicated effort, because like me she is tall, and again like me, not your atypical marathon shape or size! Running marathons does not immediately spring to mind and I can only imagine how hard the preparation will have been, both physically and mentally.

Alongside the Oxford Canal

Alongside the Oxford Canal

So when I knew that on her longer training runs she welcomed support and companionship I was keen to help. Not on foot I might add but from the comfort of my bicycle. As well as providing moral and vocal support the role doubles up as mobile refreshment stand, complete with water and gels.

The race itself is but two weeks away on Sunday 21st April, so now is the time to start tapering down on the training. Nonetheless Rachel determined that she needed one last chunky effort under her belt so yesterday at 10.00 we set off on a 12 mile training run.

IMG_2910The beauty of Oxford, being surrounded as it is by Green Belt, is that you are never far from wonderful countryside. So Rachel planned a lovely route that took us through Binsey, around Port Meadow, back down the canal, into the centre of Oxford, then on a small loop through North Oxford and finally back home along the Botley Road. Not that scenery is much on the mind of the long distance runner but I certainly enjoyed it and I saw parts of Oxford I had never seen before despite working 40 years in the City. Maybe I should take up long distance running ……. no, maybe not, let’s nip that one in the bud straightaway.

Oxford Canal

Oxford Canal

What impressed me most was Rachel’s steady pace. From first to last minute her pace was metronome steady, and I have no doubt thatsuch a tempo will stand her in very good stead on the day of the race. For her the achievement will be completing the race, although I know she has set herself a target time. Keep to the steady pace principle Rachel and don’t get carried away by the adrenaline and euphoria of the day, and I have no doubt that you will not only finish but finish inside your target time.

Corner of Holywell and Longwall St

Corner of Holywell and Longwall St

Rachel is running for Epilepsy Society and has so far raised £1,400. Her cousin Melissa is a sufferer, as is Hannah’s (Rachel’s sister) best friend Lucy. So the cause is one that is close to all our hearts. As one very proud Dad I would urge everyone to donate, no matter how small. It all adds up.

The Botley rd and the home straight.

The Botley rd and the home straight.

Her just giving page can be found at:

Posted in Charity fund raising, Family and Friends, London marathon | 4 Comments

Well, not so bad – fasting solo the Buchinger way


Its Sunday, the day after my digestive day, having fasted for 8 days. I feel great, and friends and family tell me I look great. I like the sound of that. I am left convinced that this is the way. I now weigh less than 15 st, a number I have not seen for 15 years, and I am fitter than I have been for a long while. And the regime is not that difficult, it really is not. I would recommend it to everyone. It guarantees me nothing of course, I could drop dead tomorrow (or even today!), but I am in no doubt that it gives me a much better chance of longevity than had I continued as I was. What has been disappointing this time is my blood sugar results, and on reflection I could have been stricter with myself than I have been. At Buchinger my 2.00 snack was a plain yoghurt, nothing else. Non diabetics would get honey with their yoghurt, but not me. This week, because I didn’t really want to lose too much weight at all, I have been having an apple and a satsuma with my 2.00 yoghurt. I eat apples, and fruit generally, every day, but not on an empty stomach! I can only think that the sugar in the fruit has been more than my body can cope with, whilst in fasting mode. My blood sugar reading came down a little on Saturday, having cut out the fruit the day before, so I think that could well be the reason. But I am guessing. One to watch.IMG_2801

I do hope to go back to the Buchinger one day, but I would never be able to go back every six months. Not at the moment at least. Part of me says that life should never be too busy for your well-being, but realism has to prevail sometimes. Hence the reason on this occasion for going solo. I was able to combine fasting with matters that needed attention at home, and even some work. but all on my terms. So the routine was as per Buchinger. Tea and slice of lemon for breakfast, midday juice, followed by liver press and usually a snooze, at 2.00 that plain yoghurt, and an apple, soup in the evening, and plenty of water throughout. One wonderful source of information has been Therapeutic Fasting: The Buchinger Amplius Method, ISBN 978-3-13-160361-6 and published by Thieme Essential reading in my view.

County Hall, Abingdon. c.1677 and built by Christopher Kempster, stone mason to Sir Christopher Wren.

County Hall, Abingdon. c.1677 and built by Christopher Kempster, stone mason to Sir Christopher Wren.

I had a wonderful day yesterday, with my son and my Dad, on this years 3 generation trip. We went to Bath on the train, for the rugby, Bath v London Irish. Bath won comfortably in the end, 40 – 16, in an entertaining game, and with lovely weather to boot, it was the perfect day. As for breaking the fast, I had fruit in the morning, a chicken salad for lunch and some more fruit in the evening.

The new banner photo is of crocus’ in my garden. I took the photo on Friday when the sun came out for the day. The flowers showed their appreciation for a bit of sun on their faces and warmth on their backs. About time too.

St Nicholas Church, Abingdon

St Nicholas Church, Abingdon

So, another leg complete, but the journey is a lifetime, one of lessons that have to be heeded and observed. Otherwise what is the point in the first place. The more of you that join with me the better. You really will see the difference and feel the benefit. Go on, go for it!

Finally, the last round of vitals (starting vitals in brackets):

Weight: 95.5kgs/14st 12 (98.8)

Blood Sugar: 8.4? (7.1)

Blood Pressure: 127/75 (126/79)

Pulse: 63 (54)

Waist: 92cm (94)

Once again thank you for reading. I just hope that I have converted you.

The River Thames in full flood, Abingdon Lock and weir.

The River Thames in full flood, Abingdon Lock and weir.

Posted in Buchinger Clinic, Family and Friends, Fasting | 1 Comment

Going solo, going strong – fasting the Buchinger way.

I thought this was going to be harder. 7 days into my fast and still no real issues. In fact quite the contrary. This morning my alarm went at 6:00, and 1 minute later I was up. I had a … Continue reading

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Going solo – fasting the Buchinger Way

Following my stay at the Buchinger last year there is one piece of advice that has remained with me above all the sound advice I was given during my stay. Life has to be fun, so have a drink and a bit of cake occasionally, but fast the day afterwards, and above all else fast every 6 months for 10 – 14 days.

So, to keep matters in check I fast every Monday. I do allow myself fruit on my fasting day but otherwise water and tea during the day, a spot of plain yoghurt, and some homemade soup in the evening. Really not difficult. If I do step out of line, and Christmas was testing, I take my punishment the next day. Largely it has served to keep me on the straight and narrow. But fasting for 10 – 14 days without the support of the Buchinger, going solo so to speak, well that’s a different ball game. At least so I thought.

A very full River Thames at Abingdon.

A very full River Thames at Abingdon.

My digestive day, fruit, yoghurt, and porridge, was last Friday. Today is Tuesday day 5 of my fast, and already I feel great. And the experience has brought memories of those wonderful two weeks on Lake Constance flooding back. My vitals at the start of the fast were very encouraging too (todays vitals in brackets):

Weight: 98.8kgs, it was 98.4 on my last day of the clinic (97kgs)

Blood Sugar: 7.1, still normal, up a little, but STILL without medication, (7.4)

Blood Pressure: 126/79 (123/66)

Pulse: 54bpm (53)

Waist: 94cm (93cms the day I left the clinic) (94)

So not a bad starting point in my view, and I have already lost 1.8kgs, but my blood sugar is bouncing up and down like it did in the clinic! It will be down again tomorrow, I am confident of that.

I have taken the week off work. I could not imagine fasting in a work environment, besides quiet time is an important part of the process. Yesterday, for some reason, I just wanted to sleep. So I did. Buchinger tell you to do what your body wants you to do, and who am I to argue! Otherwise, the routine is very similar. Tea and two slices of lemon in the morning, a quick hop on the rowing machine, liver press and rest around midday, that yoghurt at 2.00, homemade soup in the evening, and as much water as I want throughout.

The River Thames in flood at Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

The River Thames in flood at Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

I thought it would be much tougher on my own, but so far so good. I have kept to the regime, but other than the odd hunger pang in the evening, I have no complaints. Being at home it is much easier to keep busy, and I do find that being busy keeps my mind off food.

I mentioned the rowing machine. I had one piece of unfinished business at the Buchinger. My time for 2,000m on the rowing machine. If you recall I blamed faulty equipment. On Sunday my 2,000m time was 7:37.9, a whole 2 minutes faster than my last effort at Buchinger. I rest my case. One added bonus of staying at the Buchinger was the rediscovery of my love for exercise. I now get on the rowing machine regularly, and cycle and run occasionally. But no way have I improved that much in 6 months. So sort the faulty equipment please Buchinger, and let me know when it’s done 😉

I will not be posting every day but will post some updates. The photos won’t be the same either, but those scattered through this posting are of my home town Abingdon during this winters floods. I will take some more photos this week so that you can see the comparison and get a feel for the town where I live. The new banner photo is my back garden, the view from my room. Not quite Lake Constance but it is home.

Posted in Buchinger Clinic, Fasting | 2 Comments

The Buchinger Diary – An update

Today was my annual diabetes checkup. A day of judgement, one that would prove, or disprove, the lasting effects or not of my two week fast at the Buchinger. I am going to keep this brief, let the facts speak … Continue reading

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Buchinger Diary – Day 13

Well, almost at journey’s end, I return home tomorrow. So perhaps now is the time to reflect.

Apple puree and that nut.

The nervousness and anticipation upon arrival seems a long time ago now, as does the unfamiliarity of the place. I now know it like the back of my hand. There have also been a lot of new faces in the last few days and I have actually started to feel like an old lag.

So, what of my memories.

The ease with which the fasting began, only to be brought back to earth with a severe jolt last weekend. The evening hunger, and the tears. Anger even. I was warned that this would be an emotional as well as a physical journey, but needless to say I didn’t believe it. But it was emotional, and I am really not sure why. “Why are you crying sir?”, “I don’t know, don’t ask me! I just feel like crying”. And so it was.

The Fasters Salon, complete with grand piano.

The joy of the morning walks, which I so looked forward to. To feel so alive at 6.00 am was new to me, and to walk in such wonderful countryside with amazing views was simply uplifting. It was also on the walks that I made the most friends, had the most chats, laughed the most. Truly the highlight of my day, and probably the bit I will miss the most.

The massages, the cookery demonstrations, the evening events, and above all, the chance to take exercise again. I love it, always have, but over the last 10 years I have convinced myself that I simply do not have time. Well that notion is going in the bin.

The views of the Lake, ever-changing but always engaging.

The old school at Seefelden

Being in an environment that is tranquil and calm, well organised and efficient. Where everyone smiles and says hello. Where the doctors and nurses genuinely care about your well-being. They explain everything and more. That was new to me. The message here is loud and clear, you are important, your health is important, and your happiness is important. And you can do something about it yourself. They show you the way, but then the rest is up to you.

I know I have to keep my weight down, to take regular exercise, to eat better and to eat less. Alcohol needs to be reduced. I better understand what foods are good for me and those that are not. I understand now how to control my blood sugar. The nutritionist this morning even told me that I can manage diabetes without drugs. The doctor is less convinced. I am too to be honest. It’s a big ask.

This place has a simple and effective philosophy, built very much on caring, and I have felt that for my entire two weeks here.

I feel great. I have more energy, more vitality, I feel more flexible, more supple, I stand and sit more upright, I move quicker and more freely, I feel light, I feel calm. I feel more alive. I wake up more often feeling like Bambi, less so like Nellie.

I have lost almost 1.5 stone in weight, taken 8 cms off my waist (just over 3″) got my blood sugar down to normal, and without medication, and improved my fitness. I have spent approx. 6 – 7 hours in the gym and the pool, and walked about 40 miles.

But I could not have done this without the support of my family and friends. Knowing that you are reading my blog, and sometimes sending me comments, has kept me going through the low moments. So I have you all to thank. But especial thanks must go to Julie, my soul mate, who nagged me to go in the first place. Without her I would not be here. Thank you darling xxxx.

The church at Seefelden

The blog stats are also interesting. I have already mentioned the diversity of countries that have logged on. I even had a substantial number of hits from Egypt yesterday (almost 20). Someone on holiday there must know me. Over the course of my diary keeping there have been over 830 hits. On two occasions the daily hits have registered 100 or more, the best day being 108 on the 9th August. Somewhat ironically I did not post a blog that day! 😦 . August the 4th, last Saturday, when again I did not register a post, was the lowest day at a paltry 20! But regardless, I have enjoyed blogging, it has been a form of additional therapy. So thank you all again for reading.

So would I come again? I don’t know. Not because I would not recommend this place, quite the contrary. I think it can do a lot for most people (and I have one or two in mind), and hearing the stories of some of the “inmates” you have to admire their courage. But to come back is almost to admit failure. Failure to see through the lessons that have been

The beautiful Basilica at Birnau

learnt, to ignore the wonderful advice that has been given. My doctor has told me that with my condition I should fast for two weeks every six months. She hasn’t told me to come back to the clinic every six months! She has also said that to live long I need to keep my waist trim, all the time, not come back in 12 months to lose weight again, in some yo-yo fashion. So yes I would love to come back, but hopefully not for the obvious reasons, to de-stress and relax perhaps. Otherwise that would represent failure on my part.

By the way, in case you were wondering about the nut, I got the fattest, plumpest, juiciest cashew nut you have ever seen. I cheated a little. I spoke to the waitress the day before, and she saved it for me! It then survived a whole 20 minutes.

It is difficult to write this without appearing sentimental, but I truly believe that this experience will be life changing and I have rediscovered a peace that I thought was lost many years ago. That is the simple truth. Everyone should have an opportunity to come here because I FEEL BLOODY FANTASTIC!

I still haven’t finished A Tale of two Cities. But I will.

Must go, got a trunk to pack.

The final vitals, the best set of results yet:

Weight: 98.2 kgs (- 8.1 kgs)
Blood Sugar: 95 (5.2) almost halved from where I started
Blood Pressure: 120/65
Waist: 93cm (36.5″) I was 40″ not that long ago.
Sunshine: 11.5 hrs
Temp: 25 c

Thank you once more and goodbye until next time. Much love.

Posted in Buchinger Clinic | 5 Comments