Matthew Munson: Sponsored walk for the Caldecott Foundation

Matthew and Bryan

I’m a bit knackered, I don’t mind admitting; Bryan and I did a sponsored walk on Friday, and so we’re having a lazy weekend in return.

The sponsored walk was for a children’s charity based in Ashford, but working with children and young people from all over the country; it’s the Caldecott Foundation, and it’s been around for the past hundred + years. I’ve been connected to Caldecott for the past six or so years, and I’ve always wanted to help them more if I could – hence the sponsored walk.

They’re raising money for a few different projects, but I chose their rocking horses – which are actually a really worthy cause. One of their two rocking horses was built in the 1890s, and they need some TLC. Brand new rocking horses would cost about £10,000, and the repair work would cost about £3,000 – so, as you can imagine, they are keen to repair; it’s not just the cost, but the memories and nostalgia in them as well, with the generations of children playing on them. You can donate here, if you wanted to;

Bryan and I walked from Margate all around the coast to Broadstairs and then onto Ramsgate, where we ended with an ice cream. It was a beautiful walk; I was reminded, as I am on a regular basis, of just how beautiful our coastline is. Seeing the stunning cliffs at Joss Bay is always one of my own personal favourite sights, but just the peace of walking across beaches and (where the tide comes in) through parks as well. It took Bryan and I a few hours to complete, as we were taking our time enjoying what was around us, and it was truly relaxing – and knackering, but I can live with that.

I also got to spend a lovely day in the company of my son, who – at 12 – is becoming that bit more independent now. But it was lovely spending a day with him, walking in the sunshine and the rain (and boy, did it rain at a couple of points). It is entirely comfortable being with this brilliant young man.

He is now five foot four with size 12 feet … and he’s 12 years old. My son will soon be taller than me, given that I’m only five foot six; that is pretty much a given. I don’t mind; it just shows that all the exercise he does is paying off.

We’ve had a lovely summer holiday, and I’m both sad and glad it’s come to an end; glad because Bryan’s going into a new year at school, where he will see his friends again and continue to be mentally stretched. That’s a good thing. But I’m sad because he’s been brilliant company this summer; we’ve gone a lot over the holiday, including Bryan taking part in a dance show (with me volunteering my time as a backstage helper), we’ve travelled to see his siblings and spent some time in London, he’s gone to a holiday club, and we’ve pottered about doing a few little bits and pieces. It’s been lovely to cherish the time I’ve had with him, knowing as I do that his independence will grow as his age continues to inevitably rise. But our relationship (I hope) will continue to be strong; we value each other a lot, and I’m blessed to be a dad to someone like this brilliant young man.

By the by, my university studies begin in a couple of weeks. I’ve been dealing with a lot of bureaucracy over the last few days in particular, getting everything ready for my start date. I’m always frustrated when different departments don’t always seem to link up, and at one point this week, I honestly thought I was about to go mad as I bounced between different people trying to get the last few bits finalised. I can honestly say that … well,. I’ve mostly succeeded now, and only have a couple of things left to wait on. It’s nothing that I can do, sadly; I’m not always the most patient of people, so it’s frustrating when I have to wait – but I know the end goal is going to be exciting, and I can’t wait to find out what opportunities there might be during my six years at the university. Exciting times for the Munson family ahead.