It's been three weeks since my last blog update, and, in truth, I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked on the challenge front. I still haven't won the lottery, I'm no nearer meeting anyone called Andy Jackson and my Glastonbury opening appears to have slammed shut.
However, this week I have an opportunity to get some real momentum going again as I'll be doing two challenges before the week is out starting with Challenge 16, taking part in a beetle drive, on Wednesday.
Challenge 3: Grow a real beard
It's been 47 days now since I started growing a beard and I'm quite impressed on the progress I've made in that time:
That said, the growth is pretty patchy with it developing at the rate of knots in some areas (the underbeard is particularly strong) but in others there is virtually no growth at all. This makes for a comedy barb but has got me contemplating doing some kind of pruning to make myself look a little bit more respectable.
I've also got to decide how long I need to keep it until I can say that the challenge is complete. Should I put a time limit on the beard or wait until the majority of you think it's time for the beard to go? Maybe I should wait until I've completed a certain number of the other challenges before shaving - that would certainly motivate me to get some of the other challenges done even quicker!
Challenge 23: Win £10 on the National Lottery
The solution, of course, is obvious. Sign up online. It doesn't quite give you the same rush as going in and buying a physical ticket but at least it means I won' t miss out, if, and when (hopefully) I finally win!
Fortunately I haven't 'won' on the three occasions I've failed to buy a ticket so far and if I'd played every week, I'd still only have got four numbers in almost 20 attempts!
Challenge 7: Read 30 books
Last night I finished my fifth book in the Game of Thrones series to leave me with just one more book before I'm up to date.
I've really enjoyed the books but will be glad to move on to some slightly shorter books, as whilst still on track to compete the challenge, I could do with a bit of breathing space to complete some of the other challenges especially later on next year when it becomes a bit of a mad dash to get the challenges finished.
With that in mind, any suggestions on shorter books worth a read would be greatly appreciated.
Challenge 25: Go to Glastonbury
My quest to get a Glastonbury ticket has taken a huge step backwards since the last blog as I was forced to pull out of stewarding at Freeze festival (which would have opened up the opportunity of going as a steward) due to a clash with my Dad's birthday.
To complicate things even further, Glastonbury weekend is also the preferred dates for one of my best friend's stag dos. This is a major stumbling block but I haven't given up all hope of getting a ticket. Indeed, I haven't even ruled out doing the stag do AND Glastonbury in the same weekend!
Time will tell but my best route in at this stage is to ask everyone I know that will apply in the second round of ticket sales to save a ticket for me whilst at the same time embarking upon a charm offensive with the PR team at Glastonbury.
Challenge 16: Take part in a Beetle Drive
This challenge is 100% on, and, bar a major mishap like trains failing or injury will be completed on Wednesday night.
In the last blog I told you about discovering a Beetle Drive that was taking place down in Tunbridge Wells. Since then, things have progressed very quickly. The Constitutional Club have not only agreed to let me play but would also like to make a donation to the challenge as the wife of one of the committee members sadly passed away after a battle against leukaemia.
This has really helped to put in perspective how lucky I am to still be here and made me even more determined to complete this challenge to help beat blood cancer.
I'm also really looking forward to meeting the members of the Constitutional Club and taking part in the Beetle Drive on Wednesday even though I haven't got the foggiest idea how to play!
Challenge 6: Perform a poem at Rhymes with Orange
Like taking part in a beetle drive, this challenge will be completed by the time I write my next blog. On Thursday night some time between 8 and 10 pm I'll be taking to the stage at the Bedroom Bar on Revington Street in Shoreditch to make my performance poetry debut.
The closer the event gets, the more nervous I'm getting. I haven't finished writing my poem yet and I'm worried that it's going to go down like a lead balloon. However, I've signed up and it's too late to back out now not least because I work with half of the people taking part!
I need as many friendly faces in the crowd as possible to cheer and laugh regardless of how bad my poem is going so please pop along if you're free on Thursday night.
Aside from that, I haven't made any progress on any of the other challenges although I am slowly stepping up my efforts at the gym despite my lung problems and I have put a trip on a hot air balloon at the top of my Christmas wish list!
With many of the challenges I really need your help. You can:
Follow me on twitter to help me reach 30,000 followers.
Make a donation to help me reach my £30,000 target.
Do you know someone called Andy Jackson that would be willing to meet up with me? Drop me an email at: AJackson@beatingbloodcancers.org.uk