No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Wednesday, 19 April 2023


(Quick link to my donations page, click here: Wonderful )

Thanks for stopping by my blog.👍

Here I try and detail all my ultra adventures - don't always succeed, as I'm not the most disciplined bloke in the world - both for my own amusement, and for anyone who is interested. I do ultra marathons for two reasons - one because they're bloody good fun, and, more importantly, they are also a means of fundraising for charities which are dear to my heart, and benefit the animals. 

I appreciate that times are hard - but these are also difficult times for charities, as I'm sure you'll appreciate. Through my ultras, I'm fundraising for Viva! who have been very active rescuing animals from Ukraine - and have an animal sanctuary in Poland. They also do sterling work exposing the horrors of animal abuse in farms and slaughterhouses. Here's a link for anyone who is in a position to donate, Wonderful * (whose services are completely free). Many, many thanks for the awesome support my efforts are receiving! And the animals thank you, also.
*If you have any trouble with this link, please email me at paulwyoud(at)

You can obtain these, and other animal rights leaflets as well, from Everyday Activism. Check out their site, they're all free of charge.

I have several people to whom I look for inspiration - and I found most of these on Rich Roll's podcast. Rich Roll himself, of course, is one of my heroes, being a vegan ultra runner and ironman extraordinaire. Through his podcasts I've been introduced to a whole range of endurance athletes and positive thinkers. David Goggins and Fiona Oakes, stand out - two of the most inspirational athletes around today. 

4th Feb 2023
And it's 47k again this week - which included hill reps and stair climbing reps. Quite pleased with my speed today - I was going at over 6kph on a couple of stretches. Met a lovely family - dad and two kids - he was a runner and told me his MIL was a vegan and also a runner. Earlier in the week I met a group of traffic wardens and community police who were very receptive to my message. Probably shifted about 20 leaflets through the week, to dog walkers, parents with young children, people standing around - anyone I feel I can strike up a conversation with. As I offer a leaflet, after we've exchanged a couple of pleasantries, I'll often say something like, "I give these out to anyone I come across with a nice smile - and you've got a lovely smile!" Always goes down well.

27th Jan 2023
No walk for me this morning, had to hang around whilst we had a couple of workmen over. But when my grandson went to bed this evening, his dad and I went out for a brisk 5k. Gives me 47k for the week, with possibly a few more tomorrow. 

26th Jan 2023
11.8k this morning - overcast, but not so cold at 4-5C. Met a guy, Ed, who told me he had been diagnosed with diabetes type 1 - and also that he'd had Covid recently and was finding it difficult to shake it off. I gave him a leaflet, and told him about the film What the Health, to help with the diabetes, and about Dr Dean Ornish's recent assertion that the effects of Covid - and long-covid - can be substantially mitigated by the adoption of some simple lifestyle changes [link to come]. I also shared my story with a lovely couple by the canal who showed me the enormous bag of litter they had picked up that morning! 43k so far this week - and with my son coming down for the weekend, I've no doubt I'll add a few more!

25th Jan 2023
Just the 7k today - had a few chores to do before I could get out. Met 3 lovely young guys from the local arts college. Later I came across two broadband fitters, Bertie and ??, who were installing fibre optic cable - told me that we could expect them in our area in a month or so.

24th Jan 2023
Once again a bright sunny day - just perfect for walking - so I got 14.2k in, mostly along the local canal. Met two walking groups, in one of which, the WI walking group , I came across Carole Smith, an old friend - another I knew through my old mentor, Stuart Gunn. I also met a postie, Jen, who was very keen to give veganism another shot. So I pointed out the part of my leaflet, which she was very pleased about. I must have handed out about 15 or more leaflets altogether - including to several dog walkers and a bird watcher who pointed out a kingfisher to me.

23rd Jan 2023
I meet some lovely people, handing out my leaflets on my training walks. And this morning was no exception - 2 friendly scaffolders and a mum and dad with a young child on his training bike. 7k in bright sunshine - perfect weather for a brisk walk. 125k so far this year - aiming for 40-50k a week with still 3 months to go. 

17th Jan 2023
I'm now officially in training for the IOW Challenge - even though there are still 3.5 months to go, I need something to motivate me to get out. So this is it. I did 31k the first week of the NY, and 44k the second, and I've done 16k so far this week, so my total is 81k. I don't have any set training programme - I'll carry on getting out there as often as possible - and just get the miles in!

1st January 2023

I’d been looking for a Virtual Challenge, to give myself the motivation to keep moving, and also to keep to my goal of 3 actual ultras, and 3 virtual ultras a year. So I signed up for the Actioon Challenge Winter Walk to Lapland. There were various distances on offer - I chose the 250k route from Russia to Lapland. Much to my delight, the distance I had travelled from the 14th November which had been uploaded to Strava, were acknowledged - so I was already 74 kilometres into my challenge. By Christmas Eve I had covered 167k and my son and I decided to go for a walk over the Quantocks - aiming for up to 50k on the day. In the event, because of a few niggles, we called it a day at 40k. We were happy with that. This leaves 43k with 4/5 days left, since we’re seeing family over this period, It’s going to be a bit tight.

In the event, with the help of 30k on the day before NYE, and 9k on NYD, I finally managed it. Phew! So I've now done 8 ultras - with three more next year,  I only need 1 more Virtual to be up to date with my 100 ultras by my 100th birthday.

My programme for next year is fairly set, I think - I’ve signed up to the IoW 107k challenge, over 2 days, at the end of April; the SWC50 again (mainly because it’s on my doorstep); and the Chiltern50, deferred since last year.

Sunday 10th September 2022 

Yesterday, my son and I attempted the Thames Path Challenge 100k - continuous.
The conditions were great, and we were both feeling good. We did the first 50k in under 10 hours - including pit stops, where we've learned not to sit down - getting going again is so much harder when you've been relaxing in a chair. We figured if we could keep up 4k per hour for the next 50, we'd do the whole distance in under 24hrs. That was our mistake - we pushed on too fast in the dark - and at 58k I tripped over a malignant tree root and banged my head on the path. I got up feeling not too bad - but then I felt faint for a few seconds, so we decided to quit. We managed to get to the next rest stop at 61k - so that remains my one day distance record - up from the 58k on the Jurassic Coast Challenge. One day I'll manage the 100k continuous, but not this year, or even next, but maybe 2024, when we're thinking of attempting the TPC again - figuring that if we take a lot more care after dark, we could do it

Our next challenge is the IoW 107k over 2 days in April. After that, I've entered the SCW50 again, in August and the Chiltern50 at the end of September.

Sunday 7th August 2022
Yesterday, I and my new friend, Tom Pickering - who took the place of my son Ben, who couldn't make it because of childcare duties - completed the 50k South West Coast Challenge in 14 hours and 40 minutes (including about an hour and a half at the rest stops).  It was a complete blast, but I'll have to tell the story about this in the morning - I'm shattered, ATM!

Saturday 6th August 2022

The South West Coast 50 Challenge:

A loop from Dunster along the coast to Porlock, up over Dunkery Beacon, then back down to Dunster again. 

Tom had come into the picture when he advertised on Facebook for older Vegan Runners - naturally I put my name forward. Tom is a film maker who is producing a film ‘I Could Never Go Vegan’, exposing  and rebutting all the myths surrounding Veganism. He had interviewed me in Taunton for the film, and wanted to see me in action. When my son had to pull out, Tom took his place - and a worthy companion he proved to be!

We set off at 7.30, along with about 1200 others, along the road to Minehead, past Butlins, then joined the SW coastal path past Bossington, to Porlock Weir where we swung inland. 

This is where the climbing began in earnest. I’d naively thought that after the climb from Minehead up Dunkery in July last the climb round the back of Dunkery would be easier. Well, it may not have been as steep, but it was steep - steep and long. The climb seemed to go on for ever. Some other ultra marathoners maintained that this was tougher than the first half of the Jurassic Coast Challenge, but I couldn’t agree with that. 

Every so often, Tom would point his camera at me and ask how I was feeling. Thankfully I was always able to say, “Doing fine, thanks, Tom.” And every pit stop - which were roughly every 12-13k, I would do 25 press ups - just to show what a vegan can do - and Tom caught a couple of these sets on camera.

14th May 2022
Well we did it - we now have the Jurassic Coast Challenge under our belts - albeit a truncated one (explanation to come).

I'd like to welcome all the wonderful friends I made yesterday on the challenge to my blog. I handed out about 50 leaflets all told - about 15 or so to people I met on the journey, and had a conversation with; and the rest whilst waiting for the taxi scheduled to arrive at 1.45am. I just took all my remaining leaflets (which I had intended to hand out during the course of the 2nd day) and gave one to everyone sitting eating their meals - either on completion of their challenge - or fuelling up to carry them through the 2nd half.

Everyone who took a leaflet was interested in my story - it was lovely to have that brief contact with you all, but I just wish I had had time to get to know you all and listen to your stories. Maybe on another challenge!

Here's how I got started on my Ultra journey. It's a pretty long blog, but the gist of it is in the first few paragraphs. 

I told many of you that my arthritis disappeared after I adopted plant-based nutrition - here is a blog post I wrote about it.

I've got more - much more - to write about, concerning the JCC, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow - I'm just a bit shattered ATM!

14th May 2022 
What. A. Day! 
The day, long anticipated (and will live long in the memory!), had finally arrived - and it got off to a very good start. The taxi driver who took my son and I from Wareham to Corfe Castle took £4 off the bill to give us £2 each for our chosen charities. Lovely woman!

I'm not a worrier, but it's fair to say I'm always more concerned about the logistics of the event, rather than the event itself [talk about getting your priorities wrong, as it turned out! :)] So I'm always relieved when all the formalities are over and we've been checked in. 

And there we were, surrounded by hundreds of eager, smiling faces, just waiting for the off. Bit of zumba type warm up exercise, a speech from Mike the MC (he of the purple suit) welcoming us to the event and telling us to enjoy ourselves - and we were off, at around 6.45.

The terrain to the first pitstop at 11k  and the second at 25k was relatively uneventful - couple of fairly easy climbs between each, but we were all fresh and keen to get the miles in. Danish pastries and hot drinks were on offer at the first pitstop - as a vegan we're told to ask for stuff, as it's put by for us. Huge plates of biscuits were also on offer - I grabbed a few bourbons, knowing they were vegan - not sure about the rest. We were very disciplined - we'd planned on only spending 20 minutes at each of the minor stops - we were on our way again after only 15. At the second stop, some form of vegan sausage rolls were available, which weren't great, since they left a film of grease on the palate. I had a couple of Greggs sausage rolls with me, so I had one of those. Not so disciplined this time, since we spent about 45 minutes at this rest stop.
It was on the next leg - the 17k to Lulworth Cove, that we really began to be challenged. Each steep ascent and descent was swiftly followed by another. l'll let these pics tell the story:

Some of these hills, I have to say, were brutal! The walking poles were an absolute necessity for me on the steepest ascents - my technique was to put both poles a few inches in front of me, take two paces through the 'gate' they formed, then reposition the poles a little in front of me. It was slow going, but I found it the only way. Ben and I had intended to do the full 100k continuous, but, on the last leg towards the halfway point, Ben told me he didn't want to carry on after Weymouth - the halfway stage at 58k. He'd begun to feel unwell - but he'd done brilliantly since he'd only come off antibiotics the day before. So we were content with that 58k, achieved in 18 hours, with about 2 hours rest. As it turned out, it was a very wise (fortunate?) decision, since the weather turned nasty an hour or so afterwards, and the other contestants had to complete in pouring rain. 
So that's our 4th ultra done and dusted - next one is the South West Coast 50k at the beginning of August.

6th May 2022
Been out every day this week, clocking up an average of 20k each time - with a 30k day earlier. In the absence of decent hills, I'm doing lots of stair climbing in preparation for the fearsome hills on the JCC we've been warned about - my record is a stint of 36 times up the stairs and down the ramp. Carrying at least 3kg in the rucksack - which is about the weight I'll be carrying on the ultra.

With only 8 days to go, most of our preparations are in place, and I think I'm as ready as I'm going to be - next week I'll probably just do about 10k a day, ticking over, as it were. 
My programme this year also includes two 50k events - the SWC2C in August, and the Chiltern 50 in September. As I've opted for the full charity fundraiser, I need to raise £600 for the 100k event and £400 each for the two 50k events - so £1400 for the year. As I write, I've already raised over £1100, with 5 months to go, so my donors are doing me proud.

28th March 2022
My story so far: After the wonderful weekend my son and I had on the South West Coast 2 Coast ultra marathon in July 2021, we've both become addicted, and cannot wait to repeat the experience. We followed this up with a 50k Virtual Trek to Kilimanjaro - actually a days hike over the Chilterns. Finally, for several weeks before Christmas we completed a 200k Virtual Trek to the North Pole. I've now set myself the goal of completing 100 ultra marathons by my 100th birthday. I'm 84 ATM, so that means 6 ultras - I'm thinking 3 real ultras and 3 virtual ones - every year, for the next 14 years.

I'm extremely fortunate in that my son is keen to join me in this endeavour, and our intention is to do the bulk of these together. We've already done 3 as I said - here's the story of the SWC2C and here's the Virtual Trek to Kilimanjaro story - and we've both signed up for the 102km Jurassic Coast Challenge in May.

Unfortunately for my plans, at the end of December, I suffered a broken leg, so that's put my training on the back burner for the next couple of months. My leg has been placed in a fairly fragile cast to begin with, and I mustn't put any weight on it, which makes moving around on crutches quite tricky. I should get a more permanent cast next week sometime.

Since we don't have a downstairs toilet, and it's hard work going up and down - and I get tired pretty quickly - I'm staying upstairs most of the time. I have to go up the stairs, backwards, sitting down, which is a tad undignified, I have to say😀.  (But it  does give me an extra workout!) Going downstairs is a lot easier, since we have two handrails, and I've found if I grip these, I can hop down okay.

The cast finally came off on Feb 10th, and I've been walking daily since then. Beginning with an average of 5k a day, I'm now (28th March) doing over 10k a day. I'm also back to doing my press ups, and, since I haven't been doing them for 3 months, I need to catch up, so I'm doing 500 every evening.


21st April 2023

Just in - turkey tail mushrooms prove effective against some cancers.

Why is there such a huge disparity in prostate cancer rates? For instance the incidence of clinically malignant prostate cancer is highest in African-Americans—some 30-fold greater than in Japanese men, and 120 times greater than seen in Chinese men in Shanghai. The reason has to do with lifestyle.

When I began intermittent fasting (something else I would recommend for optimum health), I did so because it was shown to reduce the level of IGF-1 (insulin growth factor 1) in the body: IGF-1 being a marker of cancer risk (the more IGF-1, the more risk of cancer growth). It turns out that a WFPB diet also lowers IGF-1. Cow’s milk, being designed to produce a 600lb calf in very short order, is packed with IGF-1. (It’s also, because cows are made to produce milk whilst pregnant, full of oestrogen and other unwanted hormones).

At the last count, I have four friends and family members suffering from cancer. Here I've tried to gather in one place, all the info I can find on the subject.

Dr Michael Greger, who runs, has many short videos on how diet influences cancer. 

Cancer and a WFPB diet. (Whenever I look at one of Dr Greger's videos, it's always worth checking out the comments section, there is a wealth of info in there - plus some inspirational stories!)

Fasting and cancer:

Protect your prostate from cancer

Effects of a low-fat, high-fiber diet and exercise program on breast cancer risk factors in vivo and tumor cell growth and apoptosis in vitro.

Stunning results from the largest diet/nutrition study ever: Cornell University: 

A healthy diet will slow and/or stop most cancers: Why not?

“Study finds vegan blood is 8 times more effective at killing cancer cells.”

I didn’t know just what study to link that sentence to, but if you put that into a search engine, you get loads of results.

Finally, there’s help available here, from someone who has been through it:

Monday, 20 March 2023


Sunday 1th March 2023
One more milestone reached, today - I've now completed 600,000 press ups - in just under five and a half years! Just 400,000 to go - and I've four and a half years in which to get them. I averaged 11,800 press ups a month over the past year, at this rate I'll finish my challenge sometime in my 89th year.

Tuesday, 14 February 2023


(I have previously posted about intermittent fasting here and here. What follows is general - pretty comprehensive it seems to me - info about the benefits of fasting.)

[This person fasted when they caught covid] and it was gone completely in a couple days, absolutely nothing. [Study of one] Some of the many benefits of doing occasional extended fasting: Blood clotting is reduced and blood clots and arterial plaque are reabsorbed into the body. Blood pressure is quickly and dramatically lowered. 

Fribrosis/scarring is reversed over time and telomeres are lengthened, which also helps with lung fibrosis. 

Fasting increases nitric oxide.

Fasting stimulates phagocytosis, the ingestion of bacteria, plaques and viruses by the immune system. It will also remove any 'foreign material' that is not supposed to be there.

After 72 hours or more fasted, your body recycles large numbers of immune bodies and creates new ones, rejuvenating your entire immune system. 

Vitamin D plasma levels are increased, and vitamin D in turn increases autophagy.

Fasting increases anti-aging Yamanaka factors!

Fasts from 36-96 h actually INCREASE metabolic rate due to norepinephrine release! 

Weight loss from fasting only loses10% lean tissue and 90% fat compared to the typical 25% lean tissue and 75% fat lost when calorically restricting for long periods. The hunger hormone ghrelin lowers with extended fasting and rises from dieting. 

Blood sugar and insulin are lowered, allowing white blood cells to move more freely throughout the body and do their job. Ideal blood sugar is around 80. Some viruses activate glycolosis (the release of sugar in the body) and clinically it has been shown that decreasing glucose metabolism in the body weakens the influenza virus.

Thymus is regenerated, which suppresses aging and renews the immune system. 

When you move out of MTOR your body shuts down the building blocks of the cell which are used to produce organelles and proteins. This means the mechanisms needed by viruses to replicate are by and large unavailable when you are in a deeply fasted state.

What breaks a fast? Anything with protein or carbohydrates in it will break a fast, though if the amount is tiny you will go back into ketosis very quickly. Most teas and herbs are OK. Most supplements and meds will either break ketosis directly or contain a filler that will. Many medications are dangerous to take while fasting so you may have to talk to your dr. about discontinuing them during a fast.

Fasts of several days will not affect short term female fertility and may increase long term fertility, especially in women with PCOS.

Does fasting lower testosterone? No, it raises it when the fast is broken by increasing lutenizing hormone and helps build muscle by increasing insulin sensitivity!

The hormone Leptin is an immunomodulator that keeps the body from attacking itself and obesity causes leptin resistance. Fasting very quickly reduces leptin resistance and leptin levels and one day of fasting can cut your leptin levels in half and gets your immune system working properly again!

Does the body preferentially prefer glucose as a fuel? No, your body always runs mainly on fat except for brief periods of very intense exercise. Your brain also prefers to burn ketones at a rate of around 2.5 to 1 when they are available in equal quantity to glucose.

Fasting stimulates the AMPK complex and activates autophagy. Autophagy (literally self eating) will cause cells to recycle foreign matter such as viruses and kill cancerous and senescent cells. AMPK does many helpful things in the body including activating the body's antioxidant defenses. 

Deep ketosis virtually eliminates chronic inflammation in the body. This can offset the life threatening symptoms of viral pneumonia which effectively kills you through inflammation. This also creates BHB ketones in your body, which also help your immune system and anti-oxidative system, especially in the brain. Ketones also provide an additional energy source during infection, which is critical when trying to fight off a bug. In fact you can have as much as three times the total energy available in your blood when you are in deep ketosis, or even more.

It increases mitochondrial function and repairs mitichondrial DNA, leading to improved ATP production and oxygen efficiency and thereby making cells better able to fight off infection. Increased mitochondrial function also has the added benefit of increasing your metabolism and cancer prevention!

When you fast, this stimulates apoptosis in senescent or genetically damaged cells. This kills these cells off completely. Senescent cells are responsible for the effects of aging and are the root cause of the development of cancer. If it were possible to destroy them all it would completely stop aging and cancer. That is not possible but fasting can help limit these effects by killing off many of the affected cells and limiting the future effects of aging.

Fasting also releases BDNF and NGF in the blood which stimulates new nerve and brain cell growth, helping a great deal with diseases like MS, peripheral neuropathy and Alzheimers.

In fact, the biochemical regulator of BDNF production is beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is the same ketone the body produces to nourish the brain while fasting.

Fasting also increases telomere length, negating some of the effects of aging at a cellular level.

A fasting mimicking diet for 3-5 days in a row also provides many of the same benefits as water fasting. FMD usually has 200-800 calories, under 18 g of protein and under 18 g of carb.

Exogenous ketones can aid with fasting, making it easier in healthy people and allowing some people with specific issues to fast in spite of them without worrying as much about hypoglycemia.

Children, pregnant or nursing women should not fast for periods longer than 16 hours. People with pancreatic tumors or certain forms of hypoglycemia generally cannot fast at all. Type 1 diabetics can also fast but it is more complicated and should be approached with caution as it could lead to ketoacidosis. Those with Addison's disease may also be unable to fast without liberal use of exogenous ketones, depending on severity. If you experience extreme symptoms of some kind, especially dizziness then simply break the fast and seek advice.


This list compiled over years of research by the user known as Pottenger's Human on youtube but feel free to copy and paste this anywhere you like, no accreditation needed!

My channel which will always contain an updated version of this list of fasting benefits on the community tab. I also have playlists on fasting and health topics.

Monday, 27 September 2021


Sunday 3rd October 2021

And so it begins...7.55am - just 50k to go!

Well, we did it! The three of us - GS Alfie, son Ben, and myself - set off at 7.55 yesterday morning, and arrived back at 7.25 yesterday evening. So 11 hours 30; actual walking time was 9.38. We had 3 pitstops, one in a rural cafe, one at a local shop in one of the villages we walked though, and the main one, just after the halfway point, back at my son's house, where we changed into some dry clothing.

Conditions were OK - it was a bit chilly early on, around 10C, and it was overcast - pretty good really. 

12.44 - it had been raining for over 2 hours at this point and the previously very dry trails were beginning to show puddles here and there.

But it didn't stay that way! The forecast said to expect rain about 11am, but it began to rain about 10 - nothing heavy, but it was steady. The forecast I had seen showed green patches of rain over the Chilterns throughout the day - with the green turning to purple, which indicated heavier rain, for most of it. And so it proved. As soon as it began to rain I donned my poncho - hoping to keep my rucksack dry, and that worked, after a fashion. The rain steadily grew heavier, in line with the forecast. It wasn't comfortable, but there was nothing for it but to plough on. I have a mantra I bring out on these occasions, gleaned from one of the Rich Roll podcasts - "Being comfortable with being uncomfortable."

One of the joys of that first couple of hours was that we had wonderful views of loads of Red Kites, soaring and swooping around us - sometimes just overhead. When the main diet here in the SW is the odd buzzard, this was a treat indeed!

I learned a few things about endurance events, and myself, yesterday. One of them was that once it had been raining steadily for a longish period - say over an hour - rain became the norm, and it no longer bothered us. We all agreed on this. Another was that once my feet were wet - and this was inevitable, since the puddles eventually became too big to avoid - some time after the squelching had gone, my feet began to feel warm and dry again. They weren't, of course, but they felt OK. This was more noticeable with my Asics road trainers than with my Inov8 trail shoes. I had started off wearing my trail shoes, went to change socks at the halfway point, but didn't want to put dry socks into wet shoes - so I rather stupidly put on my dry trainers - which became soaked within 10 minutes of getting back on track!

14.32 - by now we'd got used to the rain, and just accepted it.

15.34 - Glad to get out of these wet shorts! And, taking note of Paul Millson's advice to keep warm, I donned a pair of joggers and an extra fleece which I'd been carrying in my rucksack. So the poncho worked on my top half, at least.  

Knowing that vegan food would possibly be hard to find on the route, I had brought with me a couple of Gregg's vegan sausage rolls, and 4 pre-cooked Richmond meat-free sausages, plus, as a treat, a dozen dates stuffed with marzipan. I planned on having one of these every hour. In the event I had more than enough, and came home with 5 of the dates still uneaten. Not being a fan of hydrating with water, I took along a 1ltr flask with black coffee, and again, I still had half a mug left.

My son had the difficult task of guiding us around the route he had chosen, using a combination of his iPhone and Garmin watch. The rain was so persistent and heavy that he had trouble accessing the phone at times. But he kept us on track for the whole 50k - with about 75% trails and 25% roadwork.

I have to pay tribute to Alfie, who suffered a groin strain when he slipped early on - and he developed the odd blister  But he never complained, and just got on with it. I saw a quote from Bob Unsworth, on The Ultra Challenge Club FB page, which I've relayed to Alfie: "Doing it without the adrenaline buzz of an event makes it that much more impressive.”

We did 48k in daylight - just the final 2 in darkness where we needed our head torches. In fact, as the light dwindled, so did the rain, finally. Just as we arrived home! Bloody typical! 😃😃

19.26 - 3 smiling faces! And why wouldn't we be happy - we'd just smashed 50k in nine and a half hours in the pouring rain, and we only had hot showers, warm, dry clothing and hot or cold drinks and a takeaway in front of us!

I can't begin to convey the feeling of satisfaction - along with some euphoria - that we all felt, as we finished. It had been a wonderful day, with some real highs, and one or two - very short in duration - lows, it must be said. But the opportunity to test ourselves, in our loved ones company, was something really special. A day I will savour for a long time - an occasion to remember, indeed!

A huge thanks to my supporters - the animals at Pear Tree Farm Sanctuary will also thank you. There's still time to donate - you'll find a link a little further down this blog. 

These are the reason I'm fundraising - these guys will get to live out their whole lives in peace and freedom. Surrounded by nothing but love! But it costs money for feed, vets bills, etc. So any pennies you can spare will be hugely appreciated - and put to good use!

I'll post their names, as soon as I find out from Bex at Pear Tree farm.

One last thought about my ultra adventures - and my ambition is to do 50 of these before my 100th birthday - or three a year: We can all do more than we think we can! In fact, we can all do much more than we think we can!

(As a treat for reading this far, I give you my chocolate cake recipe, down the side of this post - you'll be glad you did! An 8" cake, with only 5 ingredients and costing around 40p! What's not to like?)

Monday 27th September 2021

I've been holding off posting this update, since my son was unable to arrange childcare for the Chiltern 50 ultra and we were casting around for something to take its place. So, we've had to go to plan B. We still intend to do a 50k - but this time a Virtual one - and plumped for the Virtual Challenge Trek to Kilimanjaro - 50k exactly,  over the Chilterns - this coming weekend. And we're to be joined by my grandson, Alfie! But my fundraiser for Pear Tree Farm Sanctuary (link below)is still ongoing - I'm hoping to run it until the week ending 10th October.

My training is going well - walking about 70+km a week, ATM. And, whisper it quietly, I actually did some run/walk this morning, only for about a mile, but it's a start!

22nd August 2021

There's no doubt about it, at least in my experience, ultra marathons are addictive! My friend Alex, who also did the South West Coast 2 Coast last month - his first ultra - is now actively planning to do 10 ultras throughout 2022! And my son, Ben, who also did the ultra with me, took less than a week afterwards to start looking at his next ultra - the Chiltern 50. Then I started thinking about it, and decided - just yesterday - that I would like to do it with him.

Fundraising: When I did my 100k challenge last year, Dean Farm Sanctuary was the beneficiary; For the SWC2C challenge, Viva! benefited. I figure these two charities represent two sides of the same coin. So this time I'm going for another sanctuary - Pear Tree Farm Animal Sanctuary.

The ultra takes place on the 25th of September, so we have 5 weeks to prepare. I thought long and hard about funding it - it costs £130 to self-fund, but only £10 if I was to fund-raise for a charity. This would require me to raise £395 - over 5 weeks I thought this would be doable. But the problem with that is that half of the money has to be with the charity 3 weeks before the ultra.

So I've got 2 weeks to raise £200. 

Please donate if you are able to - but if you're a bit short this month, I would appreciate it if you would share this among your friends. :)

Here's my Facebook fundraiser.

And I'm just about to start a fundraiser with, recommended by Money Saving Expert, they take no commission - every penny goes to the charity - for those not on Facebook.

Monday, 6 September 2021


Tuesday 27th July 2021

Well, I did it! Or at least I completed 70km out of the full 102km. I'll come on to why I had to drop out in a moment, but I want to start at the beginning. But first, I should like to thank everyone who donated to Viva! both on Just Giving, and on Facebook Donate. I finished up raising around £1700 which is absolutely amazing! Thank you, each and everyone of you!😍😍

Here's an article that I wrote an article for the Vegan Runners Newsletter, about the whole adventure - and it was an adventure, it was a complete blast!

Sunday, 5 September 2021


This was first posted in 2013 and started out as a weekly menu, but I've since added to it. I need to update this, since I try to follow Dr Greger's Daily Dozen, and my lunch routine has changed considerably.)

Porridge – made with water - is probably the healthiest breakfast. Combine it with blueberries, strawberries or whatever suits your fancy.  I like mine with blackstrap molasses – although I no longer draw faces and yachts on the porridge as I did with treacle when I was younger! (Still do with the grandchildren on occasion! :-) )

My wife has hers with sultanas (soaked overnight) and banana. (Ugh!)

I only have porridge about once a week - my usual breakfast used to be spicy fruit naan, slathered with mashed banana.

However, since I'm rarely hungry in the morning, I skip breakfast these days, except for the once a week porridge when my wife and I have a Sunday lie-in.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

HEALTHY - and I mean healthy and guilt free — flapjacks:

200g chopped dates

200g banana

200g rolled oats

50g peanut butter

Turn oven on to 180C/350F

Soften the dates with the water - I microwave them for 2 minutes.

Add the banana and mix into a paste - I used a hand-held blender for this

Add the oatmeal and the peanut butter - I get mine from our zero waste shop, just pure peanuts

Mix together into a stiff, but very sticky, dough, using a table knife

Place the dough onto a baking paper lined oven tray and press down evenly to your chosen thickness - 5mm or 1/4”. Wet your knife or spoon, whatever you’re using for this.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the temp down to 150C/300F for a further 15 minutes.

TBH, I was trying to get them to crisp up a little at this stage, but they still remained a bit soggy - but with a chewy texture. 

I also did some in the frying pan over a very low heat. Place spoonfuls of the mixture around the pan, press them flat with the back of a wet spoon. Turn over after 5 minutes. Keep turning over until you think they’re done. 


Think I’ll add some cocoa powder next time. And you could add sultanas/seeds to this, no problem. I reckon a pocketful of these would keep you going for a few hours, at least!

23/7/21 - for my latest version, which I took on the ultra,  I added:

1 dsp cocoa powder

125g sultanas


Thursday, 27 May 2021


My new, personalised leaflets:

These came courtesy of The Everyday Activity Shop and are a great conversation starter. 
I've been giving these out to everyone I meet.

Tuesday 25th May 2021
Gave out a couple of dozen leaflets to a gang of construction workers who regularly gave me encouragement when I swing past their building site whilst doing my training. Also on offer was a piece of my chocolate cake, just to show how tasty vegan food can be:

One of the guys, who'd seen me coming, had a load of spare change to give me, so another £2.80 goes into the pot.

Wednesday 26th May 2021
Good start to the day with a phone consultation with a physio. After taking my history, and hearing about my challenge, he said he would mail me some knee strengthening exercises. I told him I attribute my physical fitness to plant-based nutrition, and he told me he was interested in veganism, but was very nervous about it. So I told him I would send him some links which would allay his fears.
Later, whilst shopping in Taunton, I came across a young guy who told me he liked my VEGAN AF beanie. So I asked him if he was vegan - which he was, as was his partner. Lovely couple, Taylor and Lily. They'd both been vegan for about 5 years. Taylor had experience of Cubes of Truth in Sydney, and had met James Aspey. So he's going to look up AV: Taunton on Facebook, and maybe join us on the streets. Turned out he was also a runner, on and off, but his brother was a serious runner who had recently done the Somerset 6 peaks challenge, which I've not heard of, and I'm unable to find anything about it. We are both fans of David Goggins, so we swapped a few stories and quotes about him. 
Later I asked a young checkout guy if he had any friends - he had three or four, he said. "Thought about it yourself?" I asked. He hadn't, but he took a leaflet and promised to check out all the links.


[This was written back in March, last year, just before the first lockdown. The material I use has changed, but the method - seizing every opportunity to start a conversation - hasn't. ]

3rd March 2020
Scroll down a bit for my latest outreach efforts - also known as the latest episode of, 'Never leave home without some AV cards.]

Casual outreach - and organised animal rights activism
When shopping, I try and head for a young checkout operator, and I ask them if they have any vegan friends. Generally, the answer is "Yes." I then produce a card and ask them to pass it along to their friend(s), pointing out the AV Taunton link - "We're always looking for new people to join us." Then I ask them if they’ve thought of going vegan themselves - and often the answer is they’ve thought about it a bit. So I quickly go through a couple of links on the card, on the back of which I’ve written “The Game Changers” NETFLIX, and I tell them to watch that.
I've now started asking older checkout operators if they have any vegans in their family - same conversation ensues, although not so often.
If I see anyone pick up a vegan item in a supermarket, I'll start a conversation - often starting off by saying, "Oh, I haven't tried that, what's it like? Are you vegan yourself?" And away we go. Or I'll check out someone's items on the conveyor belt at the checkout.
I've been known to ask a group of obviously fit young lads about their fitness - then it's "Have you watched The Game Changers? It's about these elite athletes who are all going vegan and finding their performance is enhanced - not just their performance on the playing field!" Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. 😎
I'm a bit more circumspect when it comes to young women, although there was a girl on a train not long ago, carrying a hockey stick, and carrying a sports bag. I asked her if she'd heard about a plant-based diet improving sports performances. She was very interested and promised to look into it.
If you've read all this waffle, you're probably wondering where you can get hold of these AV cards I keep handing out. The best way is to join your local AV Chapter on Facebook. We're AV Taunton - and come along to one of our Cube of Truth demonstrations, where we try to educate the public about the horrors of animal farming, asking them to go vegan. It is, without doubt, the most painless way into activism. YOU are in control of how much you want to participate. Standing there, behind a mask, supporting a TV, with a sling over your shoulders (doesn't weigh much, and you can keep your hands warm in your pockets), you're part of a static display which attracts passers-by. When you've had enough and you want a break, someone will swap you out, and you can hang around and shadow an experienced outreacher talking to someone. ONLY when you feel comfortable - and this is at your own pace - do you begin to do some outreach. Often, what happens is that you'll be standing there behind the mask, you'll hear one of the outreachers make a point, and you'll think to yourself, "I could have said that", and slowly, your confidence grows. I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Becoming active for the animals is the quickest and best way to increase your circle of vegan friends. I began my AV activism knowing perhaps half a dozen other vegans - now I have scores of ARA friends, all over the SW. People I'm proud to stand alongside and fight for the animals with and call my dear friends - my second family, in fact. And the satisfaction, and fulfilment that you feel after a Cube is immense. I spoke to about 7 people in Bath today, who all said they would check out the links on the card with a view to going vegan. I doubt this will happen straight away with all of them, but, seeds have been planted - and with one couple, who said they would support each other, I'm pretty confident that they will make the change.
As vegans, we all have the benefit of going to sleep with a clear conscience. But just being vegan is a non-action - it's like being a non-sexist, or a non-racist, it should be the default position - you're merely not contributing to the violence towards animals. As an Animal Rights Activist, you also have the benefit of knowing you're doing something good for the animals - and you're on the right side of history!💚💪💚