Saturday, 17 January 2015

June continues.

2nd June - walking on suuuunshine woaaaahhhh! Whoops, that was meant to be sand. Not sunshine. Sand.

It seems that the 2nd June 2014 was the day dad decided to do this walk, not just for himself, but in memory of those who died during the wars and those who survived and now have to struggle with everyday life back home. Dad says in his notes that "they (those who served in the war) suffered daily for 4 years with no choice. This is my choice for them." Wonderfully said dad. If you ever think that you can't continue on your journey just look back here, read what you said and make your choice.

3rd June - "coastal path nursing a strong bruise on my right heel, so I've been taking it easy"

Ouchy! Sounds painful. Its never nice hurting your feet. "Only walked about 10 miles" is his opening statement - ONLY walked 10 miles today... Most people would say WOW I walked 10 miles today how good is that? But no, 10 miles isn't far enough for my father. He even says here that his tent started to fall apart. I'm having a little deja vu here, didn't your tent fall apart about a week ago? How many tents have you been through dad??

4th June - the start of free accommodation.

This appears to be the first time dad managed to stay somewhere for free. He was able to camp at a campsite free, the owner said to call it a donation.
Since dad has come on the radar he has had so much help from you guys - the readers, the helpers, the supporters. Many of you have put up with his snoring for a night (and trust me I know how bad that is! You can hear him from three rooms away) or filled his hungry belly with warm food.

Friday, 16 January 2015

We've made it to June!

So here we are, the 2nd post of this 5 post in a row craziness. I am watching the day after tomorrow and listening to the howling that is the evening wind while writing this and all I can think is, thank god I'm not walking the coast right now. Sucks to be you Dad ;).

1st June 2014 - "scramble" to St Ives and on.

Dad wrote a lovely piece on this day so I have decided not to edit any of it out. 

"Not a good day today, lost my beanie, glos rugby shirt, felt quite depressed all day (too much thinking) oh! And the lcd broke on my camera. I was parched when I eventually came across a stream and then had to wait 30 mins until purifying tablets had done their job. Ended up walking to a campsite that doesn't exist anymore! Luckily a nice farmer let me pitch up in his field in a place called laity. Turns out he was from Swindon originally. Going to turn in early tomorrow. Want to try and get to portreath tomorrow."

I wanted you all to read this unedited entry of dads diary because I thought that you might appreciate being able to see the way he writes. Also I think it is important to highlight the days where he is having a bad day and some stranger makes it much more manageable.

It seems to me that people sometimes view those with disabilities (mental or physical) as not 'normal'. This is rubbish. What is normal? Is there even such a thing? We all have our own personalities and differences, this is what makes us unique! We should be proud of this. I know that my dad certainly is.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The next step in the journey!

Hey everyone! Did you miss me? 

Normally I would say "sorry" for my absence here but a wise man once told me never to say sorry for that which you cannot control. I have been away for a little while due to life.
Life is a hard thing, I have a diploma on the go, I work full time, I have an 8 month old puppy who never stops, a love life, a social life, a home to care for as well as my own workout regime. Wow, that's a lot of stuff now I have written it down, how do I do all that? I think that I am truly beginning to understand all that my parents did for me and my sisters (as well as all the pets). Anyway there is my explanation to you all. Have a nice picture of my puppy:

So here is the big surprise I said I would have for you all! - I have pre-written several posts and you will be bombarded with posts this week. For the next 5 days I will release a new blog post :). So let's get on with it. I last left you when I finally started sorting through dads notes so that you could see what he was up to before he got 'on the radar'.

29th May 2014 - Coastal path to lands end then finally trevedra:

Dad didn't seem to have many thoughts on this day and wrote: "lesson number 3: don't go off to quickly" I'm not completely sure what this means, anyone want to take a guess? Comment below. I am going to assume that dad started walking to fast and got tired quickly. Remember that he has a stupidly heavy backpack at this point!

30th May 2014 - Coastal path to St Just:

"Decided Friday will be my 'bimble day' as my legs are being beaten to within an inch of failure by my eagerness to get better" I guess I was right about dad walking too fast. "I walked past a cow with the biggest, sharpest horns I have ever seen! And for the first time in my life I feared not!!" For those of you who don't know, dad is afraid of cows...pretty much any farmyard animal I think. I believe that he is slowly getting better with them which is great because he loves animals in general. I couldn't tell you exactly why he has this fear, all I know is that when he was young he was butted by a goat and scared up a tree by a sheep, yes LITERALLY up a tree! I'll have to ask him if anything happened with a cow.
He has also written on this day that is was the first time he contact help for heroes and received £15 in donations, another chance for me to make a sneaky shout out to help for heroes who have helped my dad tremendously over his journey. Thank you so much.

31st May 2014 - Coastal path - zenner point:

This particular entry made me giggle as he starts off with "I found Wally!! Apparently he is an 84 year old man that lives in pendeen and he gave me £5 for a nip of rum." What a kind man, I have found that the older generation come in types - those that are wonderfully friendly and tell you loooong stories about the war are the best type. I won't talk about the other types as that would be mean ;).
He continues with the funny: "I saw a sea lion sleeping today he, or she, looked a bit grumpy but fat and me!" Oh that did make me laugh. Bless you dad you are no sea lion. You are a gorilla!! :D

And on that note it is time for me to stop (run away before dad can get me). I hope that you enjoyed this post and look forward to seeing me much more this week ;).

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Massive Thank You!

Quick note: As you all know I am working on a serious post for this here blog, but no matter what I edit I can't seem to get it right. I don't want it all to come out in the wrong way so you will have to bear with me. 

So, I am going to take this chance to thank you. You, the reader, the helper, the person who helped my dad on his way. 

Over the last few months I have been overwhelmed with the kindness that you have all shown my dad, I'm not even sure I have been that kind to him throughout my whole life (joke ! I am very kind to least I am now, can't say I was when I was a teenager :p). I have had heartfelt messages through facebook, twitter and email, all of which have warmed my core and helped me in continuing the support on this end. 

Dad is in the process of sending me a list of people who have helped him (ie. given him a hot meal, let him stay in their house/hotel etc) and when I have that list I am going to make sure you get a standing ovation for your kindness. In any case, I am sure you are all reading this so you know who you are and what you have done. Please leave a message here telling us how you met dad, what you talked about and how you helped him on his way, I want everyone to know that the kindness of others really does go a long way.

I would also like to take this opportunity to let you know that Dad's online donations have reached a grand total (both sites together) of  £1833!!!! That is so amazing, well done Dad, and thank you to everyone who has donated online. Please continue to do so :D. You can find the giving sites on this blog as well as Facebook.

From the bottom of my heart (and dad's) THANK YOU! As a thank you, here is a picture of Dad competing in a Tough Guy challenge a few years ago ;)

P.S. Nearly forgot ! Dad weighed his bag again for you, it is now 7st 2lbs! Will have to ask how much weight HE has lost next time ;)!

Monday, 3 November 2014

It's been a while! Let us go back to the beginning, come with me.

Hey everyone!

I has been a ridiculously busy couple of weeks but hopefully things have settled down on my end now. Life in general has been getting in the way of my regular posts, as well as lots of technical issues (grrrr). In any case, I am back! So lets travel back to the beginning of Dad's journey since apparently he was invisible until he reached Wales.

27th May 2014: Day 1: Cornwall Coastal Path: Penzance - Lamorna

"Lesson number 1! Start walking earlier!" According to Dad's notes he did not start walking on his first day until 16:20, what were you thinking Father? Dad only walked for 4 hours the first day and wrote down "Little steps at a time. Until I get fitter and weight at least the same as my bag does!" His bag was, at this time, just over 12 stone. Can you imagine carrying a 12 stone bag along the Cornwall Coastal path? I think I would be too afraid of tipping over the edge. As you all know Dad was taking anti-anxiety pills before he left for this journey (and he took some just in case), well day one was the first day he didn't need a tablet all day...when he called me to tell me that I was so relieved.

28th May 2014: Day 2: Lamorna Cliffs - Treen

"Lesson number 2! Conserve water!" Hahaha, always a good lesson to learn. Reading dad's notes are just making giggle for all the wrong reasons. Apparently Dad met an 'old chap' walking 700 miles for a hospice in Bristol, wonder what he thought about Dad's challenge? You'll have to tell us Dad!! He seemed to learn his lesson from the previous day and began walking about 10:40, and didn't stop until 17:00. "Did just under 10k today of really difficult coastal path, part of which had been washed away during the winter storms so I had to climb boulders for about an hour...with a 12st pack on my back! (Got to make it lighter somehow)" Haha! Let us know the weight of your backpack now Dad, has it got any lighter?

As you can see here the feral puppy dog is attempting to eat Dad's map of Penzance, I think that he can smell that unwashed man smell that Dad left on's true, did you put it under your armpit Dad? :P
Anyways! No more joking, this is the first map that Dad used on his travels and to be completely honest with you it is not as interesting as some of his maps later on (stay with us folks and you'll see what I mean!). Just wanted to quickly note the camp site where Dad stayed on that first night: Bone Valley Campsite and Treen Campsite where dad got his first £5 donation to H4H!

Thank you so much for being so patient, keep donating, keep liking and keep supporting!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): What is it?

PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by a number of stressful events. These can include military combat, prolonged abuse or neglect, rape, witnessing violent death, being held hostage, natural disaster. These are just some of the causes. PTSD can develop immediately or may take days, months or years. According to the NHS website ( PTSD affects ‘1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience’.

I am no expert on PTSD, I can only tell you what I have seen and heard from people who have suffered with it as well as the information I read on the internet. I will provide links to some good sites about PTSD at the end of this post as I believe that it is important for us to widen our knowledge on mental health, something that has been ignored greatly through the years. So here comes my explanation.

How about a little history:  ever heard of ‘shell shock’? A term coined during World War 1. This is what we call it PTSD today, which doesn’t mean that it solely applies to those that have fought in a war! Soldiers with shell shock had symptoms such as insomnia, the inability to speak or walk, in a constant state of panic. Many people would have been put into an asylum ‘back in the day’ had they shown these kinds of symptoms, mainly because they couldn’t get on in society. PTSD wasn’t officially recognised as a mental health disorder until 1980, a long time don’t you think? We have a better system today, there are many therapies developed especially for mental health, trained professionals who can help someone manage the symptoms, drug therapy and, in my Dad’s case, walking around the entire UK! In the end it is up to the individual to make their own decision on what kind of therapy would be better for them.

Dad started off on the drug therapy, which is very common I find, this meant that he was taking anti-depressants as well as anti-anxiety pills when needed. Before he started the drug therapy my Dad would get extremely stressed in crowds, he would feel the need to hide away, scream out loud, shake, panic, get angry. He started gaining weight again, looking haggard and ill. This wasn’t the Dad I knew, Dad developed PTSD years after the event. I think Dad kept all his pain shut up inside for such a long time that it just exploded out of him like a bottle of coke that has been shaken then opened. For a while the medication appeared to be working but Dad felt he wasn’t getting any better, he was just managing. This isn’t what he wanted. He wanted to get better; he still wants to get better. So, very, very randomly he told us that he was going on an adventure. (Psst, this is where you all join the story.) Dad started walking the country. Starting at Land’s End and walking all the way around the coast. To be honest I wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to do it, I worried every day I didn’t hear from him. Then, something amazing happened. My Dad started to sound better. Happier. I was astonished. He had finally found that thing that had the potential to get him better! Every time he rang me he had another crazy story about being ran through a field by a herd of cows, or sneaking into a festival by accident and then chipping his tooth trying to get out. Then he started to meet you guys, all you that have been supporting him along the way, who would offer him a bed for the night, a hot meal to fill his shrinking tummy, a story for him to cherish. This is the hardest bit for my Dad, his anxiety mainly comes from too many people around him (this is why he hates cities and chose to walk the coast!). This is why he has to take a break every now and then, go off the radar for a few days. But he will be back! Don’t you worry ;).

So, I hope that this has given you a little bit of information about what PTSD is and what it does to my Dad. Don’t forget to donate to Dad’s charities of choice the links can be found to the right of this post under the title ‘Where to Donate’. Also, check out our facebook and twitter pages also linked to the right of this post. Please comment!

Sites about PTSD:

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Eldest Daughter

While I am working my way through my dad's notes and crazy drawings on maps of the UK I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself and give you a little more inside information into the man I am proud to call, Dad.

So we'll start at the beginning, my name is Stacey. Nice to meet you all! I am the eldest daughter of Rich Long, the crazy man walking the British Isles. I am a 23 year old Support Worker from Gloucestershire. I went to university in Aberystwyth, a place dad has passed recently. I am the eldest of dad's three daughters, my sisters are off at university (last year!) at the moment which is why this great responsibility falls upon myself and to be honest with you I love writing blogs, I have tried many times over the years but all kinds of things seemed to get in the way, ah well! I am here now so let's keep this up.

I wish that I could say I always knew everything about me dad, but who truly knows everything about another person? No matter how close you think you are to them. The way I see it, whether you are spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, sibling, daughter, son, mother, father, there is always some detail, be it little or big, that you don't know about that person. My dad and I have always been very close (much too alike I say!) so I hope that I can say I know him pretty well. However, many things have come to light this past year that I didn't know about my dad. My dad spent a good chunk of his life hiding his troubles and illnesses just so that we, his kids, didn't see it. Who wants to show that side of yourself to your children really? As you all know my dad suffers from PTSD, something I will write about in detail next week. This is not a nice thing to see as a child, or as an adult for that matter. I did not find out about this until the beginning of last year, in a way I am happy that he waited until I was old enough to completely understand. But that's just me.

You may be wondering at this point; "Aren't you mad that he was never honest about this with you?" and my answer would be no, of course not. How I can possibly be mad at him for trying to protect me? I was a typical teenage drama queen and was going through my own crap, I am fairly sure I wouldn't have been able to deal with his as well. I appreciate that, I will always appreciate that. However, I am so happy that he told me, even if it did take him a long time, because now I am in a position to help him. Even if its only by writing this blog and supporting him.

My dad is a good man, the best man (don't tell him I said that ;)). Don't all daughters say that though? I remember when I started living with my boyfriend about 2 years ago and he said to me "Don't forget that I will always be the most important man in your life!" with a very serious face which I, of course, couldn't help laughing at. But he is right, Dad will always be the only solid man in my life. As much as you don't want to think about it when you are in a committed relationship there is always the chance that something with go wrong. At that point it is your dad that is there, at least, I know mine will be, even if he is half way across the county scaling a mountain he would do everything he could to make sure he got back to me, the same goes for my sisters.

That's just the kind of man my Dad is.