"Wherever you go, go with all your heart" - so said Chinese bright spark Confucius, back in the day (ie, circa 500BC, give or take).
I'm pretty sure he would have heartily approved of the Barcelona send-off today, with much love and support from family and friends... I was overwhelmed!
To have three of my cheeky young nephews Oliver, Freddie and Alex wave me off, along with my sisters Lauren and Sarah, plus Mum & Dad, was the icing on the cake.
There's a lot of heart in what Chris is doing!
I was therefore sent on my journey from Head Office in Manchester with a big heart...
However, at my first stop in Birmingham I found a bigger heart still... none other than superstar recluse Mr Hearty himself!
His colleagues, the BHF fundraising and events team at Sheldon Place - led enthusiastically by Debbie - gave me a great reception, and a welcome cup of tea!
The friendly and informative Zoe then got me up to speed with the numerous events that the BHF help organise, including the Newcastle Stampede. I always thought this referred to 'last orders' on the Tyne, but I'm reliably informed it is instead a bonkers 10k cross-country 'adventure run', complete with various challenging obstacles, all organised by a bootcamp company. What some people will do to get that last pint when the bell rings...
As we waited for Mr Hearty to make a grand entrance, there was talk of him having not long ago looked a bit rough and ragged (before you ask, he was never arrested), but today he was absolutely beaming and radiant... even if he couldn't quite see where he was going, and just getting in the lift was a challenge!
He made it down to the car park, though, along with the fundraising team, for a photoshoot with the car. Massive thanks to Debbie for her expert shots!
As the rain started to fall, the mysterious Mr Hearty quickly excused himself, while the BHF team wished me luck on my travels.
A big 'thank you' to everyone at the BHF for their extremely friendly and enthusiastic welcome, it really was appreciated after the inevitable stop / start slog down the M6.
Mr Hearty and some of the British Heart Foundation team
And so it was back onto the motorway, through the drizzle, and onwards to my overnight stop at Ashford in Kent. I've taken the opportunity to fill the tank, so let's see how far I get before having to refuel!
I head into Europe tomorrow with all of my heart, thanks to the great generosity and support from everyone, which is greatly appreciated.
If you haven't yet donated, please check out the invaluable work and research that the BHF carry out for the benefit of us all - visit www.BHF.org.UK.
And to help them mend broken hearts, just head to www.justgiving.com/heartlookers, or text LKRS99 £5 to 70070.