Kilimanjaro Challenge 2011

Welcome to my blog!

Follow the ups and downs of the biggest challenge I've ever faced. My friend Justine and I are climbing Kilimanjaro in February 2011 and are hoping to raise £10,000 for Naomi House Children's Hospice.

Thanks for visiting.



Sunday, 16 May 2010

Messing about on the river

In the interest of actually being able to drag myself up a mountain, I thought I'd better do some proper distance walking. My other half diligently got out the OS (previous map reading, when left to me, has not had the desired outcome) and plotted a nice walk along the Basingstoke canal. Since I've had achy joints the last week or so - I wasn't joking when I said in an earlier post that I have the knees of a 90 year old - we thought a canal walk would be sensible since it would be nice and flat and so wouldn't put to much stain on my poor knees (and lately, just for some variety, my ankles).

We parked one car at Odiham and then drove up to Fleet in the second car, with the small, furry beastie on board and off we went. The route was about 10 miles, which would push me and also wear the dog out. It was an absolutely glorious walk. Lovely sun shine, people messing about in canoes on the canal, or having picnics on the grassy verges. There are some stunning properties along side the canal bank and I love a good nose so there was plenty to keep us occupied on our little trek. What a lot of bugs there were though! I'm not really good with flying things. They tend to make me have weird impulse spasms as soon as I hear anything buzzing anywhere near me, especially when they get tangled up in my hair - yeulch!! So there we were, walking along the canal on a beautiful, English spring day with me doing what would look from a distance, like a jumpy, out of time dance as I swot flies and a variety of flying insects away from me. Goodness only knows what I'll be like in Africa - Justine thinks it's hilarious that I'm so rubbish at being out doors, but since her only pre-condition to climbing Kili with me was that I didn't snore (we'll be sharing a tent) she seems to think she can live with some of my more ridiculous qwerks!

There's lots to see along the canal, it was built around the 1790's and has some lovely old bridges over it. The stetch that we walked along has many war defences to stop German tanks during WWII, it would seem that Basingstoke was the place to get to for the 3rd Reich so needed a pill box every 10 feet and lots of dragons teeth (anti tank lumps of concrete to the uninitiated). Further along, past Odiham is King Johns Castle, which is an ancient relic, apparently there are 2 other castles in the area, but I haven't spotted them yet.

We've received lots more donations for the next car boot, which will be next weekend, so hopefully that'll add to our total.

I'm off to put my slightly achy feet up now. I'm not nearly as sore as I thought I was going to be and managed to complete the 10 miles without a total sense of humour failure, which is an improvement for me! The dog, however, is still pooped and refuses to move off the sofa!

Monday, 10 May 2010

We're on the way....

We've had a very busy few weeks! First there was the cream tea, which was held in our local village hall. People were very generous with both their cake donations and their time and we raised £300, which was excellent for our first event. The spread looked really good and everyone that came really seemed to enjoy the afternoon. It was a proper, old fashioned afternoon, with big pots of tea and scones galore! Hopefully the word is now out that we put on a good show and we'll attract even more folk to the Hog Roast, which is on the 3rd July. We're really looking forward to that and are trying to organise a bit of a carnival theme, with a limbo competition and steel band music. Although, getting in a live band is probably going to be prohibitively expensive as the aim is to raise money, not spend it on entertainment. If anyone knows someone who can play a steel drum and doesn't mind coming along to bang out a few tunes in return for food, please let me know!

We're in full organisation mode for the next event now and Justine has become the Queen of Lists! She's got a list for everything, it's quite astounding! Now there's talk of spreadsheets and databases since the money has started coming in and it's a real motivator to see the Just Giving total creeping up. Very exciting!

We had our first car boot sale on Sunday 9th May and it was an education - to say the least! I quite enjoyed all the hustle and bustle of it, but was a little shocked when we arrived, the first visitors you get are traders who do car booting (not sure that's an actual verb) for a living and good grief, they were climbing about in our car before we'd hardly had time to put the handbrake on! They don't even let you get set up before they're raking through boxes of stuff and asking "how much for the picture love?". It was very bizarre, although, one chap did ask permission before he clambered into the boot and disappeared behind a box of old baking trays, I wouldn't have been too surprised to have found a lost trader stuck behind the back seats once we were all done and at home unpacking, but they seemed to disappear and move onto the next arriving car as quickly as they'd swarmed over us.

There was one moment when I thought Justine was going in for the kill. There was a rather round chap with an attractive grease spill down his jacket who came around and bartered us down on the price of DVDs. He gave us some old pony chat about his 6 kids and yadda, yadda, yadda. Anyway, the upshot was he wanted to pay 50p per DVD and we wanted a £1. We came down in the end just to get rid of some stuff and thought every penny counts. We had our Naomi House posters up and had told him all the money raised was going to charity so he knew what we were about. Anyway, later on, Linz (my other half) was wandering around and found same round chap on his own stall selling the DVDs he'd just bought from us for £1 each!!!! The bloomin' cheek of it! Well, Linz came back and mentioned it and Justine marched straight over and ripped a strip off him! Good for her, some people are unbelievable! But then, that's a lesson learned and we won't fall for that trick again when we do our next car boot in about a fortnight. We raised £117 so we did quite well and have lots more donations in the garage ready for round 2!! More are always gratefully accepted of course!

So, that's about it for now. Trying to tie in training, with car boots plus organising and running events is turning into a full time job, but we're well on the way to raising our first £1000 which will be brilliant! I might pop a bottle of bubbly when we do!