Monday, 26 January 2009

Mood swings - not just for females

Isn't it amazing how the smallest of things can change your mood:

My prime example:

The background:
Due to my endeavour to get fit for Everest I now run home from work 3 or 4 days a week. My office is on the Aldwych and I run along the Strand and down to the Thames (these are all London landmarks, if you have not heard of them then please do some research).

The Detail:
I emerge from the office all decked out in running skins and bag snugly strapped to my back. My mind is focused at the task of running the 5 miles home and Chesney Hawkes'  "I am the one and only....." blares out of my headphones. I dodge through pedestrians like Brian Habana cuts through defenders, picking up pace and searching the road ahead for hazards. I start to feel good, impressed with myself for pounding the pavement again and having the mental strength not to just jump on the bus. And then it happens the moment that changes my mood in a split second..........

Swing Time:
A London Lite man jumps out and try's to hand me a paper. I give him a look as to say "look at how fast i am running how would I be able read a paper while travelling at this velocity?!!!!????!!!" He ignores my look and continues to offer me the paper as I pass him. From this moment until I have got passed Big Ben (you should all know where that is) I am in a foul mood, irate that i am not running fast enough to be a hazard to society if i were reading a newspaper.

It is the same guy everyday and unfortunately I have not spent the time to properly get to know him. But I truly hope that it is making his day and he has a private chuckle at my expense as I chug by.

My mood is changed by one small act from a person that should have no impact to my life. This shows that everyone can have a great effect on the people around you, even if you don't know that you are doing it. Hopefully therefore lots of good will come out of all the work that we are putting into this Everest expedition even if we do not see all the results.

Also it has meant that I am running faster and faster each week in an effort to not get offered a free London paper, which in the long run will help my fitness. If I do manage to get up to Base Camp and win a game of cricket I must remember to thank that London Lite man!!!!!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The New Cilla Black

Well as some people already know I am running a speed dating night on Feb the 17th in London, in an attempt to raise money for the Himalayan Trust.
I am currently looking for single people to come along and find that special someone. Therefore if you know anyone that is in the market then please strongly urge them to contact me:

The more people from different sources the greater success the night will be, so please think hard about who may be interested and remind people that it is for a good cause.

The night is going to be held in the Alma in Wandsworth and tickets will cost £20, which includes a complementary drink and some fantastic company.

So start racking your brains for single males and females.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

What do Katie Price and a Camel have in common?......Each time you look the humps have changed

I have just got back from a great trip to Jordan and during my time in the dessert the age old question popped into my head "What came first the country or the model?" We all know all the details about the model - she is has all the attributes (typo in google images - should have been D cups) to make her a house hold name. The country is a little known middle eastern landmass with no substantial history or significance.

The conclusion is obvious - The country was named after the model.

My next questions were does Jordan deserve to have a country named after her and did they give her an appropriate country?

As I have been out of the country I have not checked the New Years honour list but I make the assumption the Jordan is now officially Dame Katie Price and rightly so!!!! Apart from walk on the moon there is nothing that she has not attempted, including applying for eurovision and to trying to ride in the London Olympics. I for one tip my hat to the lady, where else has someone with so little talent become so famous (Mike Tindall and Monty Panasar being the only major contenders)?

With this evidence some people may ask why does she only have one country named after her?

My personal option is that life could get a little confussing if multiple countries were called the same thing. ->

The county of Jordan could not better reflect Jordan the model. It has a couple of sizable mountains, orangy-brown in colour, very easy to get into and produces many multiracial citizens.

Just to let you know, Sugar and I have just been to Jordan for a week. We had 4 days of walking around the dessert (Wadi Rum) and Petra, which helped break in the hiking boots and get the blood flowing to the legs. Some pictures of our trip are down the side. As a destination it was really good and i could really recommend it. However after 3 meals a day for 7 days you will be unlikely to see me walking around Salisbury's with Pita bread in my shopping basket.

You may also be wondering what you do in Jordan on New Years Eve, well it turns out that what seems to happen is that the Bedouin tent that you are staying in has the roof collapse at 5 minutes to midnight, resulting in being evacuated from the dessert and staying in the office of a restaurant. Sounds a little different but it certainly was entertaining.

Thank you come again.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

How can you tell a bar is friendly?.... The nuts are Complementaty

Complements are wonderful things - nice to give and even better to receive (if they are honest and sincere). Recently I have found myself being on the giving side of things more and more (most unlike me). This is mainly due to my involvement in the cricket coaching of Team Hillary.

With David and Simmo living out of London it has been left to Glen and myself to get the teams cricket level up to scratch for the big day - Which We Will Win. It is a task that I have really began to enjoy and after only a few net sessions the improvement shown in some of the team has been massive. This is probably best illustrated by the fact that Tenzing no longer regard us as a complete push over.

On the weekend however I did receive a complement, it was not directed solely at myself but to all the members of the team that are attempting this world record attempt. It was given by many members of the public that noticed our efforts on Saturday morning. The complement was then bought home by the Chairman of the Lords Taverners, who was pleasantly surprised that a group of people from our age group had put so much time and effort into a project such as this.

As always a big hand must go to Kirt and Wes for all the hard work that they have put in, however I feel that it is time that everyone should start taking pride in what is taking place and there personal invlovement in it.

I have also found myself becoming heavily involved in the fitness side of the expedition. This at times can be a very deflating task, with some sessions containing very few participants. Bugging people to get fit and pestering them to come along to sessions is not something that anyone enjoys doing but it needs to be done. Therefore pestering emails will be coming out in the new year (be warned).

The more involved in the project I become the more I enjoy it and the more I enjoy it, the more involved I am willing to become (see where this is going???). This is a credit to the people that I am dealing with on a daily basis and is my final complement for this blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On a side note I had a very enjoyable weekend, spending almost all of it with people from the Everest project. I will not bother to recap it as all the info is already out their. Please read Tooves' and Glen's blogs for all the details. To increase the accuracy and add some more information to each blog:

Tooves': I am not his bunny and the dismissals he is talking about is are a dubious LBW and a catch (caught 50 metres over the boundary - maybe 150 metres at altitude).

Glen's: I beat the bearded wounder in the Grim Challenge, however we all lost to a real cricketer. Mr. Chris Read finished in 01.03.42 and who says you do not need to be fit to play cricket?????

Right I am off to Vienna to eat some schnitzel. Thank you come again.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

What do you call a band of Scottish chefs?....The Kooks

Now we're cooking!!!!!!!!
Since my last blog post things have changed. Firstly I have left the lovely residents of Mr. Dawson, a big thanks to Paddy for his fine hospitality. I am now living with the International Airport (Charles de Gaulle) and my lovely wife to be RED (over their <--). Secondly I have managed to find employment, with no thanks from my outcry on my last blog. As of Monday I will be working at the LSE (London School of Economics) so if anyone wants some free lectures or maybe a book on accounting I am your go to guy. The last four days have involved some real activity on the Everest front on my behalf.

Captains log (of the Starship Enterprise not Team Hilary):

Sunday, 26th of October:
After receiving news of Tenzing disastrous three peaks challenge and some serious white van driving the soup maker and I turned up to the first Hillary cricket nets armed with two arm chairs and last seasons smelly cricket kit.
We arrived fashionably late in the hope that the bleep test would be completed before our arrival. No such luck, as we walked through the door we heard the boom box thumping out the sounds of "Competitor 1 you will go on my first whistle....".
The bleep test was completed to varying level of success and helped as all to realise that there is plenty of work still to be done. I personally achieved level 12.8, which I was not that over the moon about but has helped me to set a target for the beginning of April (level 15).
After a brief recovery it was time for nets, there was plenty commitment on show and some real potential, with some surprising big hitting from Blade, front doggin' from Glen and formidable induckers from BJ.
After a brief coaching stint for Kirt we even managed to get him hitting the pitch and missing the side netting in the same delivery - so there is serious hope for the boy to be our opening bowler come April.

Monday, 27th of October:
Woke up and was offered a job - ummmmed and arrrhhed about it for about an hour and then accepted.
Charles and I then decided to plan a day trip for the next day along the South Downs Way to break in my new hiking boots and enjoy a smashing day in the country. Many thanks must go to Derek for his very detailed online posting which without we may still be wandering aimlessly around Sussex.
Monday was then completed with a 10.2 mile run along the Thames and a lovely dinner for two, interrupted by third wheel Sugar!!!!!

Tuesday, 28th of October:
After waking up earlier than two unemployed men needed to The Soup Maker and I were out the door and buying previsions in ASDA by 7.15. After an hour train journey and two Homer Simpson's doughnuts we were dropped off at the delightful village of Hassocks. We arrived with no map and only some guidelines jotted down from Derek's blog. So the first stop was the local Londis store in search of Ordnance Survey Map 198 (Brighton & Lewes) and as luck would have it we managed to pick up the last copy in the store. The map was purchased for £6.99 but you will be able to find a signed copy of our map up for auction on EBay at a computer near you.

We started walking at 9.10 towards Jack and Jill (Charlie kept harping on about these - which I did not realise were a set of traditional corn windmills built in 1824 until we got to them; for more information on the windmills please visit

The day started off very cold with some frost on the ground and after an hour or so we had found our way onto the South Downs Way. We trekked until around 12.00 and found our way to Upper Beeding were we intended to stop for lunch, however after a few quick calculations we realised that lunch was not an option on this walk or we would be ending it in the dark. Therefore lunch consisted of two trek bars and one of Sloughs most useful outputs (after Ricky Gervais) the Mars Bar.

During the walk we discovered that if you do chose to walk around the British country side wearing a backpack then people you pass assume that you want to have a conversation with them and therefore will begin to strike one up with very little option but to join in.

The walk concluded at 4.32 at Amberly (a one horse town that seemed to have lost its horse). The light was just fading so we were thankful to have skipped lunch to arrive in the light. We were not so thankful that the only establishment that Amberly had was the Amberly Working Museum with not a single shop in sight. With four very sore feet and one very large blister (pictured on the side) we boarded the train back to London and the inviting prospect of a warm meal and a hot shower.
You will also be pleased to know that you will be able to purchase the missing piece of skin at the Everest Charity auction (Kirt my contribution is in the post).

Wednesday, 29th of October:
The day stared with a limp and wince as I hobbled around the house trying to take on some protein. I then ventured onto the glitz of Oxford Street in the hope of finding some clothes for my newly acquired job. Unfortunately M&S do not stock trousers longer than 33 inch leg and shoes larger than a size 11 so I went home empty handed apart from four London Lites (I need to learn to say "No") and did not help the blister situation.
The days events were concluded with the now famous Trim Trail, fascistly run by Tom. A great turn out from the Hillary boys (10 of us in all) made for a good group session and although I still felt the burn it was not as hard as my first outing with my inhuman ankle allowing me to duck out of some of the stations.

A brief meeting in our kitchen helped Glen, Kirt and Jules get across some much needed points as we start to focus on the task at hand.

Until next time...................

Friday, 10 October 2008

How do you start a jelly race? Ready, Get Set

Well everything is off and running and (finally) I have crossed the start line and am attempting to catch up to my fellow trekors/players. If you have just stumbled across this blog and have no idea what I am talking about then the following link should help to explain things:

Please excuse my lateness but I have an excuse (and a note from my Matron): I have been doing extensive training in Central America and New Zealand, climbing volcanoes and labouring on a farm all in an attempt to get me super fit to climb some mountain in Nepal.

Down the side of this blog you will see some photos of me climbing a volcano in Nicaragua and working on the farm in NZ (there is also a photo of me playing keepy-ups with a golf ball - just because I thought it looked cool!!!!!!)

I have just started my training in London and looking forward to the support and companionship of my fellow cricketers. From what I hear the trim trail at Battersea Park is not for the faint hearted and the support from the other guys will go down a treat.

On Wednesday night we had our first official fundraising event, in South Kensington at some bar. My input to the event, although not essential, certainly made the whole night an even greater success (I turned up). But I can not take all the praise and would like to take the time to say thanks to the people that put in a massive effort to make the night a huge success. "Thanks".

Having been starved of cricket for the last year living in New York, I am now looking forward to some pretour nets and a pickled onion.

I am now sitting in Paddy's flat in Parsons Green looking for a job. So if anyone wants to employ me then please start depositing the money in my bank account and I will turn up as and when.

These blogs take much longer to write than originally anticipated. So I must go as I have to watch the highlights of the 3rd session of day 2 of the first test in the current Border-Gavaskar series (missed the the final session due to the inconvenience of an interview with a recruitment agency).
Stay tuned to the second edition of my blog which one can only hope will be more worth reading than this one.