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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

NORTH BY NORTH WEST

Aha, you are thinking - a quick skit on a classic Hitchcock Adventure. Ah! Mr Kaplan!

No - Sorry, to disappoint - It's the direction we shall be heading tomorrow and Friday to join with Derek and Marian and a host of family and well wishers to celebrate Derek's 80th Birthday.

It was Derek that I have to blame for me dragging myself across Scotland over the last fourteen years. I suppose Lynnie, Lord Elpus and Miss Whiplash, FenBoy Coady, Richard White, Bob Butler and my son Oli all have Derek to thank too - as I introduced them to the Challenge.

It was on Derek's mandatory year off (he had completed ten Challenges and so was forced to take a year off) that I met him - he was in a camper-van offering soup to Challengers and he mistakenly took me for one of the same, when in fact I was taking an all together different stroll. I had never even heard of the Challenge but Derek explained it all to me, and the rest is history. He has been an amazing supporter of the event - organizing annual reunions in Newtonmore and even today helping out on the Challenge Message Board.

On My LEJOG, Derek was a fantastic help - organizing accommodation, driving out to meet me in out-of-the-way places with Marian to deliver food parcels, gas canisters, fresh home-cooked bread and general moral support. Above and beyond in every respect.

The man is a gentleman and an inspiration. Happy Birthday Derek - Lynnie and me are thoroughly looking forward to the celebrations.

3 comments:

  1. Alan - pass on my best wishes.....I have never met/heard of this man until your post, but he sounds a fine and true character. If he started you on the TGOC then I have a lot to thank him for as he (indirectly) has given me hours of entertainment reading your Blog.
    Cheers,
    Fenlander

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  2. Hi Robin
    Derek would be tickled pink to hear that! he drops by on the blog from time to time - so I am sure he will pick up your best wishes - but I will pass them on anyway of course!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Derek sounds like a really good friend. Best wishes to him!
    Sophie

    ReplyDelete

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