Thursday, 9 April 2009

ta-ra for now!

Bye for now, catch you all on the other side and keep an eye on the website for all our news and progress up into the Himalayan hills!

I'm off to buy some more 'happy' pants (the theory of which I will share with you upon my return - including whether the theory worked or not....). I guess you can use your imagination on the main purpose for psychological uplift that these are to bring!

Oh, and I suppose between now and meeting everyone at the Oval this afternoon, I may consider shifting my kit from the bedroom floor into my ageing backpack. I'm sure he's glad to get a breath of fresh air after 10 years under the stairs!!

A random thought entered my head yesterday about how much my life has already changed on a daily basis through the preparation for the expedition.
Lets start with daily chat as the first example, to keep this entry brief.
Not only have I become very open to discussion with strangers on how bodily functions should be working and will be working under duress, either after one of the fundraiser parties or more likely at altitude, but a strange form of motivational chat has also entered my vocabulary. I have grown accustomed to understanding the different intonation and subtlety of meaning to exclamations of "BOOM TIME", if not calling everyone a leg-end.
Response reflex to Toovs' dirt chat has increased significantly and risk-control methods to extended dialogue of this type greatly improved.
Multi-tasking skills have augmented at an exponential growth factor.
This would include simultaneous eating, problem solving, sending of work emails, discount bargaining, creation of an internal network opportunity radar and critical 'to-do' list (inside my head, nowhere else, before this is questioned, thanks Toovs); as this fine last example indicates, I have also evolved to manage tail-covering on all accounts to avoid liability at cost to personal embarrassment. No feedback required there on that comment either Toovs.
If I'm not far wrong, I think I have become well-qualified to write a clean job application for a role as a lawyer or politician.

Ode to the Tower of Doom

So, here it is. The official beginning to a regular blog spot, not before time you will notice!

I thought it was only right to start with an Ode to the Office - before eyes start to roll and boredom pushes you to a mouse click for a more interesting link, the support in helping to reach my fundraising target from the guys at work has been overwhelming and the constant request for updates ongoing. For that I am truly grateful and probably owe a good few rounds of beers! Besides, I thought I would have bored everyone by now with this topic of conversation!!

I have finally put my fingers to the keyboard, (not for want of trying), under the burdening pressure for more information and curiosity on how I am feeling in the run up to the escape from London. I've always been a slow starter. Ask Paola.

The growing excitement for our upcoming adventure has also been nudged along by snippets of conversation as I buzz around the office on a daily basis, not least from the most recent of instalments with Gordon and Ray, the dynamo team from the North-west corner of the floor.

Tips on how to position myself over a long drop and how to milk a yak, has been invaluable. I don't know who their scoutmaster was, but certainly puts a question over whether an introduction to our ever-respected Expedition Patron may be appropriate! I am indebted to them for this advice and clarification.

My line manager, Paul, cannot be faulted for regular monitoring of the website for updates and when the next party is being organised, if not more importantly registering the venue for a rating on the social barometer (full credit for letting me know how crap I have been on the blogs yesterday!) .

Subsequently, having hassled, cajoled and cornered anyone willing to listen or unable to escape the begging tin for Dress Down Day contributions, my personal target has nearly been met.

The inevitable odd krona and euro cent strayed past the gaudy Christmas wrapping paper-covered lid which was super-glued onto a translucent plastic begging bowl. I don't know what training programme the office manager attended but this invaluable creativity has certainly contributed to saving the state of my micro-economic activity.

I bypassed a few desks from where, it has to be said, there emanated souring karma and audible sniffs at charity-induced loose change hardship, which only hardened my resolve to set a new, higher target for the August deadline - watch this space. Who knows what contraption will be created to assist my efforts in the working arena!

How am I feeling? A little ridiculous actually. Having thought through all the kit that I might need and spent a good portion of my overdraft on a last minute dash to all the outdoors shops in Covent Garden on the weekend, I have realised the severity to my error in judgement from the feedback from Hillarians, Zingers and Trektators alike, in last minute messages zipping around.

There's been little mention of technical kit, more like chat on what to do without a daily injection of caffeine and how many bottles of Newcastle Ale can be squeezed into a back pack without undue detriment to the emergency supply of Snickers and nuclear energy bars, stuffed alongside a wad of PG Tips.

At least I know how to get a fresh supply of milk.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

24th April 2008

So, Thursday night I met up with the guys for my first intro to the madness, with Wes, Kirt and Charlie and the mandatory pizza and beers in my backpack.

Directions were a little vague what with Wes providing a high level internet streetmap, marked with a red circle somwhere up the Kings Road and Kirt's address located as a black door in the area. Got it.

Not really understanding what this was really all about I suppose my heart was beating a bit faster - rectifying the knowledge gap about cricket and high altitude trekking will be another project in itself! After a good run down of how this idea was conceived and nurtured to life it was clear to me I want to be a part of it. And so to work!

Having been on the ground helping to start up a company in the ski industry through the European Alps, memories came flooding back on concerted efforts huddled over laptops to trawl through sponsorship names (not true now thanks to our idea and contact pool) and cash flow crises (only comparable to audit and responsibility towards the charities we're supporting!!)....

Anyway, I came out of the meeting thinking not only that I could bring something to this project and grinning from ear to ear with excitement, but most importantly with the new team name: "The Anchor". I guess I've only ever been called that in terms of my skiing ability when wobbling about in the snow at the start of my ski season!

I feel like I've walked into the middle of a scrumdown and I'm holding the ball. Bring it on. This is one adventure I am not going to miss!