Monthly Archives: June 2011

The EdinBRA Moonwalk

I know I’m a bit late posting this but I am still suffering from a lack of sleep after what was the strangest way to spend a Saturday night but I will try to convey the emotion and sense of occasion that the Moonwalk brings to all those who take part, in whatever capacity.

At 8.30 pm on Saturday 12th June I dropped my good friends Kim & Joanna at their fellow Moonwalkers rented apartment in the Royal Mile – what an amazing place to stay – right in the heart of tourist land and easy access to the historical and cultural centre.  I then followed their minibus to Inverleith Park where the big pink tent was waiting. 

I wasn’t able to go into the Moonwalk Village as this was purely for the brave souls about to embark on their marathon (or half marathon) around the streets.  I decided to grab a coffee and wait for them to start at the start (and finish line).  The wait was a good 2 hours but myself and the few other hardened souls that were there with me were kept entertained by a power failure to the time clock and the lights around the start point – it was literally 5 minutes before the walk started that the power was restored and we could actually see something!

At 11.30pm the huge crowd of 10,000 walkers surged towards the start line – an incredible sight – and the 2011 Edinburgh Moonwalk was underway.  The “entertainment” was a man in a pink kilt talking to the crowd as they crossed the start line (I’m thinking he must be a minor Scottish celebrity but precisely who he was I’ve been unable to find out!) and some people on stilts – not sure what that was all about!  With a huge lump in my throat I went back to the car and began my epic night as support vehicle to my pals who had ordered hot coffees at the halfway point if possible.

 I hadn’t really thought this through – with this number of people let loose on the streets of Edinburgh in the wee small hours – would I ever manage to catch up with them during the walk?  I decided to check out the area around the 13 mile mark, only to discover that this was around Silverknowes Golf Club and the road had been blocked off to traffic.  Now this isn’t a part of Edinburgh that I am particularly familiar with so I back tracked to the nearest water stop and asked the volunteers there whereabouts in the walk I was.  They assured me that this was just past the 12 mile mark and that the first walkers were expected at around 1.40am.  I found a parking spot and prepared myself for a long wait.  Sure enough at around 1.40am the first few superfit athletes began to pass me.  I was amazed to see that one of the front runners was actually walking in heels – bet she regretted that the following day! 

During all the time I was waiting my friends, Kim & Joanna, were keeping in touch via their mobiles and I let them know that I would meet them with steaming hot coffee at the 12 mile point.  They were only 8 miles in at that point so I knew there would be a longish wait.  At 3.00am I called to check where they were and they said they’d just passed the 12 mile marker.  Panic set in.  I’d promised them hot coffee and hot coffee is what they shall have!  I screeched off at the top speed my borrowed Corsa could manage and headed back to the Shell garage at Maybury where I was now becoming a familiar face at the coffee machine.  Three steaming cups of coffee on board, I headed back to my vantage point, only to discover that I’d missed them by literally 30 seconds and they were now on that road which had been blocked to traffic!

I was a woman on a mission!  What could I do and, more to the point, where was the next best place to catch them up?  Checking the rather useless map that the organisers had provided, I decided that Granton seemed like a good bet and, bearing in mind there were the rest of the 10,000+ walkers to negotiate, I was back on the road in no time and heading for Granton.  Pulling up by a bit of waste ground, I was able to park and ask one of the walkers how far in they were.  15 miles was the reply so I knew I had a bit of a wait but at around 4.00am there they were – cold and tired but still in one piece!  With (the now) lukewarm coffee consumed they continued with their walk – more than halfway through but the sun had risen by this time and they were on the final leg.

All I could do now was head back to the finish line and wait.  With 4 hours to kill (and only a John Grisham for company) this seemed like the longest part of the night by far but eventually, at just after 8.00am they arrived back and their marathon ordeal was at an end.


I watched them cross the finish line through a sea of tears – both happy and sad.  I am so proud of each and every one of the good people who took part in the Moonwalk, whether they walked the distance or were volunteering throughout the night.  I am especially proud of the breast cancer survivors who took part (yes, I mean you Jane and all the others!).  I was bursting with pride when I saw Kim and Joanna – I love you both!

As most of you know, I am a breast cancer survivor – 8 years and counting.  Please give generously whenever you can as your money goes to help people like me have better chance of survival.  Thank you.

Thursday’s Conundrum

Can anyone help me?  I am trying to find out why, when putting petrol into my car, I am unable to put in a round figure of, say £40 – it is always £40.01.  The same thing happens if I try £30 or £50 – is it possible to stop the pump at an even number or are they programmed to go over by 1p for a possibly sinister reason – keeping 1p coins in general circulation when they are pretty useless otherwise???  Answers on a postcard please!!!

Walking on the moon?

This Saturday night sees the wonderful occasion that is the Edinburgh Moonwalk.  This is the 6th time this event has been held in Edinburgh where over 10,000 men and women come together to walk a marathon (26.2 miles) or a half-marathon (13.1 miles) challenge through the night to raise money for Breast Cancer projects across the UK.

“It really has become a much-loved night in the city’s busy calendar and it just keeps on getting better” Nina Barough Walk the Walk

Survival rates for breast cancer have been improving for 30 years.  The most recent breast cancer survival rates in England are for women diagnosed in England in 2001 to 2006. For this group of women five-year relative survival is 82%.  The estimated relative twenty year survival rate for women with breast cancer has increased from 44% in the early 1990s to 64% for the most recent period.

One year breast cancer survival rates have increased from 82% for women diagnosed in 1971-1975 to 96% for women in 2004-2006 (England)

Similar increases have occurred in Scotland.  Breast cancer survival rates for Scottish women diagnosed in 2000-2004 are 94% at one-year, 78% at five years, and 65% at ten years.

Please sponsor this terrific cause and help the good work continue.  Full details can be found at


Making Ugly Update

I am delighted to announce that the first full length feature from the production company SquareBoxYellow “Making Ugly” will be completed in ten days time. We are currently submitting entries to selected Film Festivals and I can confirm that we have already been selected to show at the EPIC arts festival in New Orleans in October 2011 On the competition front we are in the final of the International Trailer Festival, please visit the site, search for “Making Ugly”, run the trailer and give us a vote. Thanks to everyone for their support.

Just a little prick?

Auricular acupuncture is the most fashionable therapy in town and any celebrity worth their salt is wearing the tell-tale ear seed showing they’re having treatment.

Kate Moss is said to be using it to combat cocaine addiction, Cherie Blair turns to it to relieve stress. But does it really work?

It may be the latest celebrity fad but auricular acupuncture has, in fact, been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, and is hugely helpful in treating all manner of problems, from addictions to insomnia, joint pain and fertility.

There are as many as 200 acupuncture points on the outer ear, each point named generally after areas of our anatomy – liver, heart, mouth and so on.  The outer ear acts like a switchboard to the brain and each point triggers electrical impulses, from the ear, via the brain, to the area of the body being treated.  After a lengthy consultation to build up a comprehensive picture of their general health, lifestyle and associated problems, patients are treated with needles – up to ten per ear – which are left in for between ten and 45 minutes.  They can then be left with ‘ear seeds’ (as seen in pictures of Kate Moss and Cherie Blair), to stimulate the acupressure points and allow them to enjoy the effects of acupuncture after they leave the clinic.  The seeds can be anything hard, from mustard seeds to gold-plated press studs or coiled pins, held against the ear with surgical tape.

Many conventional medical professionals may be nonplussed by this type of acupuncture, dismissing it as merely mind over matter. But what happened when I tried it out?

After talking to me about my symptoms which included wanting to stop smoking and the horrendous hot flushes experienced by the majority of women of a certain age, Geraldine from Midas Touch in Linlithgow ( asked to see my tongue and also felt my pulse. I then lay down and she inserted seven needles in each ear. I must admit I was dreading it but was amazed when it hardly hurt at all. All I could feel was a slight sting as the needles went in. Obviously, I couldn’t see what she was doing, but she explained that she was targeting something called the ‘shenmen’ or heart point of my ear, which supposedly calms the mind.

The needles were left in for 20 minutes and Geraldine talked me through what she was doing and approached a couple of times to twiddle them.

Then she took them out and said, to feel long-term benefit, I’d have to come back several times over the next few months.

I have now had several sessions and am delighted to say I am now a convert!!!  I have not smoked a cigarette since 29th March 2011 and my hot flushes are much more manageable and less debilitating.  If you are fed up with taking conventional medicine and want to give this a try, please let me know and I’ll put you directly in touch with Geraldine!

And the winner is …………


The winner in the undergraduate competition at Napier, after great and lengthy debate, was Erica Douglas with ACE Inspire (

‘ACE Inspire – inspiring businesswomen to achieve more’

Our aim is to provide flexible and affordable training to mums who want to become mumpreneurs and business women who want to use the internet more effectively to market their business.

The other finalists, Geoffrey Allman of Nexus, Isla Baker with Prom Princess and Steven Stewart with SunSafe all performed to a high standard and it will be interesting to see how their businesses develop over the next year. Hopefully we will see some of them in the competition next year. 

Erica will receive £500 to develop her ideas and will be entered in the Santander Universities national competition as a representative of Edinburgh Napier. Hopefully she will make it to the final on July 5 – fingers crossed!!!

We need your votes!

Please vote for our film Making Ugly on the International Movie trailer Festival website – – search MAKING UGLY then click on VOTE FOR THIS TRAILER and its as simple as that. Thank you.  The full trailer is available to watch on

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