March Update: When things get tough…

March 31, 2013 at 9:53 PM

I’ve just emailed this to my 2500 Clue Challenge mailing list, updating them on my progress for March. If you’d like to be on the mailing list, then simply send me a quick email to 2500cluechallenge AT danielpeake DOT com and I’ll add you to the list!

We’re a quarter of the way through the year!! Amazing – where did the time go? And also, where did the heat go? It’s been a sodding cold start to the year.

Anyway, enough complaining about the weather. I do plenty of that in my day job. In March, I solved 196 out of 607 clues, taking me to 633 out of 1811 in total. This makes me just under 2 days ahead of schedule, which should mean I finish in mid-December at the current rate. To see my day by day progress, I update this spreadsheet most days: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvH9W6C-9XHRdE8tZnRmSXRTekVZbUpaRWhzN0tyTVE#gid=0 . Also you can follow me, @danielpeake, or search for #2500ClueChallenge on twitter and flickr. Crosswords have been varied, with themes ranging from James Bond, Animal Farm to the discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick. My clue of the month is by Paul: “Bugger duck sauce! (5)”. Answer at the end of the email.

It’s been a hard month, particularly the last couple of weeks. As I’m trying to raise awareness of depression, it’s only fair that it decided to pay me a rather intense visit of late. It was triggered in what I find an amusing (and completely first world) way – I bought the wrong computer monitor. I meant to get a different one, when it arrived from amazon, I realised I’d got the wrong one. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as it was by no means the only thing on my plate at that point. But it was enough to make me question my own ability to function.

Whilst I’ve been struggling to cope with the hours of my shift work in my job anyway, this totally blew me out of the water. The depression has made me phenomenally tired, so much so that it’s all I’m doing outside of work. Case in point – several days this week after I finished work at 5pm, I was in bed by half past five, and I slept through until work the following morning. At least I CAN sleep – depression has two different effects on people, it’ll either make you sleep more (like me, 11-12 hours per night on average at the moment), or it’ll make you sleep less like an insomniac. Either way, you don’t feel refreshed by the morning.

The current intense period of depression will ease, I know that, but at the moment it’s a difficult time for me. I’m asking my doctor for an increase in my medication to help me cope better, and I’ll see what the doctor says about how to manage my frankly ridiculous sleep levels. But I wanted to point out that really random things can set off depression, and the effects can be profound and then linger.

By doing the 2500 Clue Challenge, and asking people to donate 1p per clue that I solve,  I’m hoping to raise money for ReThink, which research and support those with a wide range of mental illnesses, obviously my particular focus here is on depression. I’ve got over £300 in donations now, so I’d like to say THANK YOU to all who have pledged and donated so far. If you would like to do so, head over to http://www.justgiving.com/danielpeake2500 for all the details.

FINALLY – please spread the word! I want more people to know about this challenge. Tell them about the challenge, and direct them to my website to find out more, www.danielpeake.com , or simply google “2500 Clue Challenge”.

Until April, let’s hope it warms up (and I bet we’ll be complaining it’s too hot soon).

Dan

ANSWER TO CLUE OF THE MONTH: PESTO. (Bugger = pest, duck = O)