It is Christmas Eve. The frenzy of the last few days is over and it is time to settle down peacefully, wrap the presents, sort out the television viewing over the next few days and think of the people who at this time of the year are not in a position to have any celebrations.

It is important to think of people less fortunate than ourselves not just at this time of the year but at all times. This time last year Val was going through horrendous chemotherapy and Christmas festivities were not even in the equation. It was cycle after cycle of vomiting and feeling dreadful, but an end was in sight which helped her to endure such a difficult time. The support we had from family and friends was invaluable.

Over the next week it will be time to take stock of the past year and see what is in store in the new year. Yesterday I celebrated my 66th birthday, not that at this age one worries about celebrations, but nevertheless it was a good opportunity to get together with family and friends and have a party.

I managed to do about 35k on my Wattbike yesterday, getting up to zone 5 for a short while. I am beginning to get enthused about this bike challenge. As one gets older your options are starting to narrow. If I don’t do this now I may never get another chance. Reading about Andrew Sykes and Reggie’s adventures (see first blog from two weeks ago) across the alps has brought renewed vigour.

So this is what it feels like to turn 66 So this is what it feels like to be 66!

Tomorrow will bring some degree of indulgence but I would like to keep it under control. Next week I would like to bring you further news of my battle to lose weight and get fitter. I would also like to get familiar with Strava as many other riders on this challenge are already using it.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my family, friends and followers a Very Happy Christmas. See you next week.