June 8th 2010 was the day we first climbed Snowdon with a group of strangers, June 20th 2015 will be the fifth time but this time probably with some of the same strangers, but who are now friends, which proves the old quote is true that “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t met yet”
We both grew up in the early 80s, our music tastes then centred around The Human League, Duran Duran, Ultravox, Big Country, U2 and of course The Alarm.
Over the years music trends changes and people, like ourselves, got into new forms of music and followed new acts in different genres, however we still hold on to those sounds and words that we grew up with when we were in our late teens. In 2007 we both attended the Big Country 25 years tour. Later when Mike Peters teamed up with the band memories of the 80s kept flooding back, Big Country once played in my home town of Dumfries, I was at the front and true to form Stuart came into the crowd shaking hands while the band played on. Two memories of the Big Country gigs in the 80s were Stuart always sincerely thanking everyone for coming and always ending with two words, Stay Alive.
During the first Big Country tour with Mike Peters we become aware of LHS and Snowdon Rocks, we enjoyed doing the odd walk on a Sunday but never big hills so it was a physical challenge and an opportunity to help and learn more about Love Hope Strength, both of us could identify with this as we both lost family members to cancer.
This year will be our 5th Snowdon Rocks and 4th Ben Nevis Rocks and we now regularly volunteer for LHS swabbing at venues up and down the country.
Becoming a volunteer has led us to rethink our values and rethink ourselves, we’ve had conversations with people at gigs where they open up to you tell you their own cancer stories, their families cancer stories, their friends cancer stories. We’ve met people that inspire and motivate us and some who quite simply make us smile.
The strangers to friends theory again proved true when we were asked to attend The Village Inn at East Kilbride to swab, we have now been over 10 times and signed over 100 potential life savers, a true example of a small friendly community who care, who are prepared to give. Before moving on thanks to all those at East Kilbride for your hospitality, we won’t mention individuals as it would unfair but thanks to you all, if your reading this you know who you are.
Having followed Lydia Franklin going with the crazy on Route 66, Mickey “Merlot” Collins cycling LEJOG, Dave Spragg never giving up without a fight and Mike and Jules constantly showing love, hope and strength, we decided we would take a tiny bit of inspiration and do our own challenge for LHS. So this year we will trek 8 peaks in 8 days, starting with friends at Ben Nevis Rocks, end with friends at Snowdon Rocks. Who knows, maybe on the 6 peaks (Ben Lomond, Skiddaw, Scafell Pike, Helvellyn, Elidir Fawr, Carnedd Llewelyn) in between we will see friends we haven’t met yet. Although our LHS journey is only just beginning its been the most satisfying one yet.
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Thank You and Stay Alive
Nicola & David