Racing Towards the South Pole

Some days it feels like life is a mad rush; a whirlwind that sucks away at my time and leaves me dazed and confused. Other days are sedate, more relaxed and productive.

Today was one of the latter.

Another sponsor dropped out today. I remember reading the email several times over, just to make sure I'd hadn't misinterpreted the words. And I hadn't. These days happen, they've happened several times before and all I can do is pick up the fumbled baton and rejoin the race. It's looking a little precarious right now, but that's the nature of this kind of challenge.

All is not lost as there are more people who want to talk to me. Onwards!

The Homemade Pulka, Or Sledge

The training rig is almost ready. I spent some time gathering up the components (thanks Thame Cars for those very chunky and outrageously heavy for their size tyres - perfect). I now have three tyres, karibiners, ropes and the ringed bolts needed for my homemade sledge.

The build work should have only taken a little time, but one of my drill bits broke (the one I needed to bore out the holes in the tyre rubber). It was fairly late in the morning and I was also due to give a talk to the Orion School in London. Decision made and I left the work until the following day.

Fast forward about 24 hours and here is the fruit of my labours (they tyres are called Bindi, Frentus and Ermie - the latter named after my recently deceased former battery hen, Ermintrude):

Meet Ermie, Frentus and Bindi the tyres.

Meet Ermie, Frentus and Bindi the tyres.

 

The Orion School

Located in Barnet, London, the Orion has around 950 pupils aged 5 - 11. Now these kids might be small, but they have big voices. The greeting they gave me was deafening! The theme of the talk was 'I can', an idea the teachers and pupils will be exploring this term.

I asked one simple question: Where do you want to go? And was astounded when one young lady said she wants to be the first person to travel to Venus. WOW! Now that's thinking big and I hope she one day makes it there.

The school also presented me with paper version of a banner they are creating for my voyage South. The final version will be festooned at the South Pole and photographed.

 

The finished version will be coming to the South Pole

The finished version will be coming to the South Pole

Training Day Near Miss

So I finally got the tyres out for a run through the Oxfordshire countryside. A beautiful day with the warm sun bathing the woodland and a soft breeze that helped maintain a comfortable temperature. On most training sessions I simple get my head down and go for it. Luckily today I didn't as this little guy crossed my path...

A slow worm!

A slow worm!

I haven't seen a slow worm since I was 9 year's old and this made my day. After spending some time watching it laze in the sun, I moved the worm off the track and watched slip away into the long grass.

What a great day!

I've had some doubts and wobbles recently. Now I'm back on top of it all. No matter what, this will be the most amazing step in my journey so far.

Back soon.