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updates from 5380m

morning bigmoose team!

sorry for our radio silence on the blog front, things have been rather manic!

as you probably know, dad is out of the country until june 7th climbing mount everest! he is safely in nepal and his first 2 weeks there have been great and he is feeling really strong. the team he is with are all lovely, he is enjoying the whole experience, oh and he is back eating chocolate.... i’m pretty sure the box of 48 twirls that we bought him will have been consumed by now!

they got to everest base camp last week and camped there for a few days to acclimatise. however, as you read this he is on a neighbouring mountain called, lobuche, which they are climbing to again help with their acclimatisation. they will hopefully summit lobuche today.  after they have summitted they will journey back to everest base camp (5380m) where they will rest for a few days... then comes the real hard work – their ascent to the summit! if all goes to plan dad should hopefully summit at the end of may!

whilst dad is away i am updating all of the ‘everest at 53’ social medias (facebook, twitter and instagram) with daily posts, so if you would like to follow, we would love to have you on the journey! dad is also sending back videos for the school children he went to visit on the months before his trip, talking them through the whole expedition from the food he eats, how they get water, the kit they use, the lives of the sherpa etc! he will then revisit the schools when he returns home! 

also, as you may be aware dad had two sponsors pull out of sponsoring the trip with less than 3 months to go! this was a massive shock and made the journey to the bottom of the mountain even tougher as it wasn’t just physical training he needed to do, there was now a monetary barrier.

however we worked really hard and raised as much as we could within the time but we were still short of the full amount. dad rang his guide and told him what had happened and thankfully he agreed to be paid the rest of the money post trip.

now dad has gone i have decided to set up a ‘go fund me’ page to help raise some money towards his goal – dad doesn’t know i have done this so hopefully this will be a lovely surprise when he summits! J if you would like to check out his fundraising page, please follow this link and any contribution would be so gratefully received.

with regards to bigmoose – our main focus now is the coffee shop! hopefully there will be some exciting news shortly, watch this space!! 

hope you've enjoyed the updates from the mountain...sorry my blog isn’t quite as witty or coffee fuelled as dad’s!!!

please keep your fingers and toes crossed for dad’s safe journey and i will keep you all updated.

finally, if anyone has any monthly moose stories for us, please email them to chloe@bigmoose.co, we love hearing your stories!! 

as dad always says, blue skies,

chloe 

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five more sleeps

04:41 and i can't sleep.

oh well, let's get up and write my blog, what will i write about today?

no qualms about content today!

5 days to go.

120 hours.

7200 minutes.

432000 seconds, and they are slipping by very quickly.

until when?

well before i tell you until when, please accept my apologies for not even saying good morning, i think there is a level of excitement and expectation, mixed with coffee numero deux, that is causing me to rush ahead of myself.

so let's start again quietly and calmly.

good morning bigmoose chums.

ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

i really can't do quietly and calm this morning, i only have five days to go!!!

now for those members of the world who have stumbled across this blog whilst looking for information on canadian animals, or are researching stefan sattlers report about alaska and it's four legged, antler adorned mammals http://www.mooseworld.com/mooseman/index.htm, i apologise, google has led you to a very different world, this is a world in which i jeff smith have the aforementioned five days to wait until my life changes.

life on the 29th of march will see me heading to heathrow, and completing my abstention from eating chocolate based confectionery. 

specifically twirls.

long term friends and blog readers will be aware of my penchant for said two fingered chocolate treat, though possibly not aware of quite why a love of my life, is removed so callously before every adventure i embark on.

i am a strong willed man, and i have a gene inside me which is determined, driven, and works hard to reach my goal, whatever that may take.

so whenever i embark on a physical adventure that requires strength in body and mind, i remove things that can be detrimental to my progress, namely chocolate and booze.

booze is no biggy, as i can take or leave booze, but its cause and effect on me as i train mentally and physically is an obvious no no, chocolate however takes grit and doggedness to contain.

so it came to pass that in december i aimed toward a himalayan goal, and decided to cut chocolate from my diet 100%.

no cadburys stocking for this adventurer, no sneaky yule logs for this explorer.

i clawed my way through the festive season proud that not one cocoa based treat was consumed.

why specifically do i do this to myself, and does it really make a difference?

what it does is prove to myself that i can do anything i set my mind on, and when i am alone in my house and the shiny purple wrapper literally whispers to me, attempting to seduce me, as adam was seduced in that sunny garden at the beginning of time, i am steadfast in my resolve.

no, i will not succumb to your delicious gustatory sensations, and the thought of you melting in my mouth as i taste you, we both know how good you taste, you cannot and will not stop me on the path to my dream.

and so it continues, as i pay for my fuel, i hear the soft voice, drawing me closer as i notice the purple glow in the waist high rack.

as i wander the supermarket aisles, like man made valleys, i see the purple sparkle.

but i am strong, and i will not give in.

until heathrow.

heathrow is my time.

if i can make heathrow i have won.

and so my goal is in sight.

heathrow, and specifically w h smith in heathrow, which is my chocolate utopia.

as i check my luggage full of high altitude clothing, boots and crampons, ice axes and the like, i know i am close.

close to welcoming her back into my life, and as i self scan the first twirl i will have touched for over a season, it feels good, and psychologically i have been strong of will, and i am ready.

i toyed with writing about eating the first twirl to have touched my lips for almost 100 days, but felt it would definitely dive into double entendre, so will leave you to imagine that taste sensation yourself, sometimes imagination can be equal if not better than reality.

oh yeah, and i'm off to climb everest.

as the cursor flashes on my screen, i sit, still, contemplating the power of the sentence above.

wow, this is a huge chapter in my life.

ha ha i just breathed so deep, it almost scared me.

i am gonna struggle to write exactly how i am feeling now, as there are some very deep rooted emotions flying around the place, but what i will say is that i have set out my stall, made the decision that i want to return to the beautiful world of nepal, and with the permission of sagarmatha, i will hopefully climb to her summit, and look at the stunning views that she has to offer, and then i will return home to show the world her beauty, and proffer up my story to show an example of how anyone can achieve their dreams if they work hard, do their best, and never ever give up, and hopefully inspire people to do things they may not have done, and therefore sharing my story in a way that makes our world better one person at a time, and if the schoolchildren's responses to our storytelling is anything to go by i think we are on the right path.

i have so many people i would like to thank for helping me get back to everest, but my expedition guide russell brice must be singled out, as it is he who has allowed me to continue on this journey, and as the man i will now put my life literally in his hands, there is no man on mount everest i would trust more, and it is strange how life goes, and there is a part of me that wonders if some things are just meant to be, and how he and i have met for a reason, and the next 70 or so days will tell.

i feel like i could write so much today, i am so energised, but i realise this is probably a mix of caffeine and adrenaline, so i will refrain, but i will try to get a blog written while i am away to keep you updated, but please bear with us if it doesn't land with you on time.

we will be posting stuff on social media and our everest website, so please come along on the journey, hopefully you can enjoy it too, i am really looking forward to sharing some of the beauty of this expedition with you.

today i have four different catchups with important people in my life, and i have listened to alan arnette and connected with nearest and dearest as i head towards the highest point on our planet, and i have found it quite funny how as i have hugged loved ones goodbye, the hugs have been decidedly longer in duration than normal, consistently, funny huh?

so wish me luck, i will do my best, and thank you for reading my scribings, and supporting me and bigmoose on this wonderful journey that we are taking together.

much love, and blue skies,

jeffers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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roll up, roll up, read all abart it!!

hi there,

sorry to send you a second e-mail in two days, but i wanted to share some news with you before i mention it on social media.

we are going to climb mount everest!!! (hopefully you will come with me on the journey)

it's official, i leave on 29th march, and i just wanted to share it with you lovely lot, who are supporters of what we do first.

russ my everest guide is allowing me to pay any shortfall there will be prior to leaving the uk, after the expedition, which is an amazing gesture, and one words cannot describe, so i won't try, although i owe him a great deal of thanks for keeping my dream alive.

i won't waste any more of your precious weekend, but thanks for all your support, i hope i make people proud, and come back with a story to share that inspires children and adults alike to believe they can do anything.

blue skies

jeff

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t minus 12 (i had to look up what 't minus' means, it's 'time before launch')

morning bigmoose gang,

i had hoped to bring you positive everest news today, but, and as i type this my heart is definitely beating faster, we still haven't got the full funding for my trip, and in fact we are still quite some way off.

boooooooooooo!

but, i am still staying focused, and full of belief that it will come together, though i would be a liar if i said i didn't have some fears as the days and hours tick by.

i currently have a big hole to fill to get the money, but have three people who have promised backing, but i just don't know how much, and whether it will be enough.

i had played out in my mind that i would know by now that i would be 100% funded, but apparently that isn't to be, so for now i will try to stay calm, and not have any wobbles.

i have so far avoided wobbles or meltdowns, and long may it continue, but i am telling you it is taking a big bit of resolve to avoid cracking, stay focused smith, stay focused chap!!

i am a great believer in surrounding myself with experts in everything i do, as their knowledge, and support tends to be invaluable, so this week i have met up with my friend and everest summiteer tori james, who was the first welsh woman to summit everest a number of years ago, and tori has been an amazing support for me and chloe since we started this mountain mullarkey back in 2010. so as we sat down to natter, and i told tori of my situation, feeling quite ashamed that i hadn't got my funding at such a late stage, she reminisced about her own plight back in 2007, and told me that she too had been staring at not going, up until the last moment.

tori told me how she managed to get to nepal, and hopefully i can use her experience to help me, but more than anything she gave me confidence to believe it will happen, however late.

today i am having a skype call with my mate and everest summiteer gary guller, who i have spoken about before in my blog, but if you are a new subscriber here is a link to this amazing human http://garyguller.com/

gary is one inspirational cat, and the fact that he lost his arm in an accident which has not stopped him, in fact it has propelled him to do truly mindblowing feats, and touch many many lives, is amazing, and we have become good muckas, though we've never met, and so i am really looking forward to chatting with him, as his energy is infectious.

next week i am meeting up with another mountaineer pal richard parks, who again you can have a read about here if you aren't aware of him http://www.richardparks.co.uk/

parksy is also an everest summiteer, and whilst it may seem like everyone in my friendship group has summited everest, it's totally not that at all, but i just think i am bringing them all together in this last few weeks to support me, and to get any last minute tips, and advice on how to approach this next stage of my life, as their experiences are so helpful.

ooo i just remembered i've also been in contact through social media with a geezer called robby kojetin, who has got in touch and been really supportive, and has a brilliant story which you can read here https://www.robbyspeaks.com/

what's that, has he summited everest?

ha ha ha!!!

so, as well as chatting to all these climbers i have still been training super hard, and my knees and hips, and all the other bits seem to be working well, under the strain that i've been putting them through, which reminds me, chloe mentioned to me that a lot of people don't know what goes into the training side of things, and she suggested doing a video, which she has shot, edited, and put out on social media, so you may have seen it, but if you haven't, it gives a bit of an insight into it, as well as showing the stuff we've been doing with schools, which i have to say i have loved, it has been so rewarding.

i'm very lucky to have so many supportive folk in my world, and to everybody that reads this blog weekly, and has supported me in any way, financially, verbally, textually, if there is even a word as textually, thank you for giving me strength to do this stuff, which is sometimes very difficult, especially when you fear the demons who challenge you and your mission, and the skies seem to cloud over a bit, you lot inspire me to keep rocking it, so cheers for the support, and keep all yer digits crossed we can jump on the bus, get over to nepal and inspire some more people to change the world, together i truly believe we can.

till next week, keep doing stuff that makes the world smile, enjoy the journey, we are all very lucky to have this life, make the most of it.

blue skies,

jeff

 

 

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454 hours till everest, and the story of my new hat

morning fellow bigmoose thinking people,

thanks for opening today's blog, our numbers seem to be increasing weekly, and i would be telling an untruth if i said that seeing the subscribe and open numbers increase doesn't give me impetus to keep rising and shining to write stuff, and hopefully the next few weeks blogs will have a little extra spice as we see whether i make it back to everest, to attempt to climb the most beautiful and tallest mountain on our wonderful planet.

i started to write the sentence 'cue butterflies dancing some kind of latin salsa rythym in my stomach', and decided to google butterflies to see if there was any inspiration of other terminology for this species, and found this 'a fluttering and nauseous sensation felt in the stomach when one is nervous' 

never has a description fitted so well.

currently i am going through my life as if it was a movie, heading towards a very important scene, and i am hoping like all great movies, that the story carries on to the following scene, building the story and the suspense as it goes. 

i do however wish i knew the ending to this one, though if i did it would probably spoil the thrill i am currently experiencing.

now as you will no doubt be aware i love adrenaline, and the thrill of the roller coaster is one i adore, but at this present moment my senses are so heightened, i feel like a tightly coiled spring, just ready to release it's tension and power, which for this example would be to start on the trek and climb of sagarmatha, and controlling my emotions, and physical presence needs a tremendous amount of control mentally, which i seem to be doing ok, and i have now moved from being quite emotional and crying at the slightest thing, to now getting into tough mode, and feeling really strong and determined. i assume this is because the time for action is very very close, and as i often do, i equate it to my thoughts and feelings i've experienced before a big ice hockey match in my previous life, where i knew my presence as the goalie would probably have a pretty big influence on the outcome of the game. 

so the pressure was extremely intense, but as i emerged from the dressing room my confidence to perform at my highest level was always present, and as i write this i am taken back to how i would feel stepping onto the ice in front of the roaring crowd, knowing that the next 60 minutes would allow me the opportunity to influence the outcome of this sporting fixture, that meant so much to so many, including my teammates and myself.

massive pressure, and the higher the level of game, the higher the level of expectation and pressure associated with it, and for me the release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter, and causes those cheeky little endorphins to play their merry dance in my brain.

i now have that same feeling, i am almost operating in automatic mode, i know what is necessary to do, i am nearing the end of the game and my responsibility now more than ever is to shore up the defence, and complete my job perfectly, and i am feeling like that now, always believing we will get the right outcome, always believing it will come together, and if i stay calm and focussed it will.

watch this space......

i have had a pretty full week this week with trips to london and bath, to attend a b corporation event, and speak to the parents of a school i had presented to last night, which were both very fulfilling and worth the journey down the m4.

this speaking mullarkey is becoming more fun, and i am pushing my boundaries more and more, asking for audience participation, and attempting to get people to push their circles and do things they wouldn't have done before they walked into the room where i was speaking, and the results are being quite amazing, and are confirming that this kind of stuff is what i really enjoy doing, it seems that lots of people just need a little encouragement, and i am not shy when it comes to encouraging, which hopefully results in lots of positivity, and actions that would otherwise lay dormant, and if i can do this in a way that is sensitive and strong at the same time sparks will happen.

i have been speaking to my climbing mate alan arnette this week, and he gave me some advice on the next few weeks, assuming that my trip is going ahead, and one of his tips was to connect with people, family and friends, which i didn't really do last time, but on his advice i have been scheduling some hookups with mates and people i love, just to connect and energise really, and i have also got two meetings with everest summiteers tori james and richard parks, who have always been super supportive, and i love their energy, and any last minute tips they can give me may help on the hill, so i am very excited to see all these people in my life, and have made a mental note to do this kind of thing more regularly when i get back. 

i am still training super hard, and this weekend will be a toughy, but i want to be ready, and not let anybody down, so pain will hopefully will be worth the gain, and part of the story.

i am also getting my kit together, and the thrill of preparing this equipment that will keep me safe on this treacherous adventure, again sends the adrenaline rush around my veins, and the meticulous attention to getting it right avoids costly mistakes.

also, on a seriously hedonistic note, i have also bought a new hat!

mental huh!

why am i telling you this, i have no idea really, but i have been on a serious no spend policy this last few months, as i can't expect people to help me financially to get on this trip, and go off spending money unnecessarily, so i have been absolutely ruthless in my non spending, and when my mate rich that has a pad in chamonix invited my over foc to do some last minute training with him in cham i declined his generous offer, as even though it would have almost zero cost, i felt that the perception would be that i was off galavanting while asking for people to help me, i have no idea whether this was the right decision, but you get the jist of my thinking.

however, as i wandered along st davids 2 shopping mall in cardiff the north face shop was like a street corner drug dealer in amsterdam offering me all sorts of illicit offerings.

whilst not succumbing in holland, in cardiff i caved.

'it won't hurt just to have a look around' i negotiated.

'you've got a spare 20 minutes until your meeting' i added.

i was weak.

i entered the shiny mountain equipment store, and the young assistant encouraged me further by telling me the mens department was upstairs.

this was going to end badly i knew it.

the upper floor was empty so i was able to stroll around with no pressure and admire the range of well made, well designed kit.

stop!!!

you do not need any more kit, you are ready to go, your wardrobe cannot fit another tee shirt in it (true story) step away from the rail.

i listened, and corroborated with the voice inside my head.

'i could do with a hat', the crack dealer in my head countered.

before i knew it, i had the warm soft feeling of that material that i don't know the name of, but i wish very article of clothing i own was made of, sitting snugly on my head.

if felt warm.

it felt everest warm.

now i normally look like a knob in hats, i am just not a hat guy, which frustrates me somewhat, because i love a good hat.

however this bad boy actually looked ok on my noggin.

 black, mysterious, subtle, and it fitted.

'really!' my inner angel announced, 'you are so weak.' 

'i don't care, i want to look good in pictures at the top of the world, instead of that picture that i have on the summit of manaslu, where i have a very warm hat, but my white sunglasses makes me look like a character out of banana splits!

am i right?

to be fair, it's probably the binnsies that accentuate the likeness, but the titfer certainly doesn't help!!!

now i don't care if this makes me look vain, i had found a hat i looked ok in, and i was having it.

as i touched my card contactlessly on the terminal i knew i had concluded the deal and the guy with the halo had lost, mwahahahahaha, oh my god i am so sad!

once home i decided to be an idiot, a role i find quite easy to adopt, and wear my hat in the house, and when my family question 'why' and give me the look, i feign a perplexed look questioning what their problem is.

but it didn't play out how i expected.

'that look goods on you' was echoed by both cohabitees.

'really?' my inner voice countered, trying to figure out if they had colluded to dupe me.

'yeah, you don't normally suit hats, but that looks good on you', the most ascerbic woman i have ever known commented. 

i am not ashamed to say i maneuvered myself into the nearest reflective surface, 'in your face' the crack dealer proffered.

so, whether i make it back to everest or not, i have a very nice warm hat, that my family have told me i actually look ok in, though i do worry a little that if i don't make it back you may find me rocking in a corner rubbing the very soft fabric inside the hat muttering and mumbling, but hopefully that doesn't happen!!! lol

so cometh the hour cometh the hat, i now have only 454 hours to go, so wish me luck, i so hope i am able to carry on this journey, and hopefully share it with you, thanks so much for all your support, i ain't giving up yet, have a great week, and i'll see you back here next week, hopefully a little closer to reaching nepal.

blue skies,

jeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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and the award for shortest blog of the year goes to........

good morning bigmoose blog folk,

how did that even happen!!!

number one, this working class upstart from finsbury park actually dares to think he can go off to the himalayas and climb mount everest, which is pretty radio rental in the world i come from originally, and secondly it's only flipping 26 days away, who nicked all my days!!!

as bigmoose mates, i'm guessing we know each other in some way, and based on that, i will assume that you know i am gonna be scared out of my skin with this impending dream getting so close, and the fact that after all these months of preparing i might not actually get there. 

but do we believe we'll get there?

simply put, yes!

so, hopefully in 26 days time, we can all do a bit of michael jackson moonwalking, dance like jeffrey daniels in 70's soul band 'shalamar' and generally whoop it up, fist pumping, behaving like rocky at the top of the stairs in philly' and generally going nuts, or will that just be me??

we'll see.

for now, we will keep grinding it out, pushing hard to raise the full ticket price to get me back to nepal.

even just typing that gives me butterflies.

so, as i breathe out deeply, i am trying to stay calm, focusing on the task, and trying not to fret or waiver, which may seem simple, but is taking a lot of willpower, tough, but i'm sure worth it.

as well as concentrating on everest and bigmoose, my day job has also gone a bit crazy, with us winning three contracts, one of which is with the nhs, which we have been working on for over two years, but this week we have won the job, and now need to deliver by the time i hopefully go back to kathmandu, so does anybody out there have any spare hours, i appear to be using mine up every day quite quickly, and when a friend recently asked if i was busy, my mind did a mental fast forward on everything going on in my world, before i calmly replied 'we've got a bit going on' how about you?

so, as i write my blog today i am going to make it a little shorter than normal, but would like to share with you a video of my recent talk i did for share talk, which as i mentioned last week has resulted in one of the speakers offering to run an ultra marathon, fundraising for bigmoose this year, so thanks joão, i can't wait to work with you on this, and the video is pretty long, so watching it may cause drowsiness, and shouldn't be watched if you are in charge of heavy vehicles.

i've just seen the thumbnail for this, how very attractive :) lol

also breaking news, last night we went for dinner with friends butch and linds, and baby erin, and they invited friends of theirs julia and ben along as well, and long story short, julia has offered to do a gig for us for everest, check her album out here, oh yeah and she once had a number one in china, how very cool.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/colour-bomb/id652477620

sounds good huh?

so, apologies for a briefer than normal blog, but i hope the presentation makes up for the lack of written word, have a great day, weekend and week, and hopefully see you back here next time.

blue skies,

jeff

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34 days till everest.

namaste,

how are you this fine morning?

hope doris hasn't affected you too much?

for non uk readers, we have had a hurricane named doris pay us a visit, and there's nothing us brits like more than a good weather story, it keeps us talking for weeks.

weather stories, and queueing.

so doris aside, i hope your previous seven days have been good ones, and you've used them well, i'm sure you have. i truly would love to know what you've been up to, so if you have had any stand out moments drop me a line, you can inspire others with your good news, which in turn turns into positivity, it's kinda like the polar opposite of what our traditional news media do, think about it, done some cool stuff, share it, the world wants to know, it really does.

the coffee grains at the bottom of my cup signify joe 2 is imminent, back in 180 seconds.

my second cup of fresh columbian is now smelling delicious, and i inhale the waft of freshly ground roasted beans as the first of my senses is stimulated, and as i sip the hot stimulant, and the richness slides down my throat, taste plays it's role in this sensory delight.

i quite like good coffee, have i ever mentioned that?

this week for me has been pretty full, and i knew i had lots to write about and share with you lovely bigmoose crew, so i decided to write some stuff down to prompt me so i didn't forget anything. 

the only problem with this is that i have actually had a really busy week, that could cause today's blog to require an interval whilst reading if i'm not careful, so i am going to keep it somewhat brief, so you don't nod off in work, and wake with dribble coming out of the side of your mouth, as that would give a whole new meaning to 'that friday feeling'.

so, to start with, last friday i met a chap called michael burne, who owns a company called carbon law, and i met michael through a friend of mine victoria hall, who ran for emily with bigmoose in the cardiff half last year, and victoria has been amazing recently, helping link me up with some great people, and booking me for a paying speaking engagement, and generally encouraging me lots, so cheers vic, your support has been top notch.

so, i meet michael for a coffee, and we get on, i mean proper get on, and the two hours we spend nattering just speeds by, with michael agreeing at the end of the conversation to help provide foc a lawyer to handle our legal work, when we get our coffee shop, so as meetings go, it was rather good, and i have a funny feeling we will be doing more great stuff together in the future, i liked michael.

unbeknownst to me this piece of legal work normally costs circa £2k, so friday finished the week off rather spiffingly, so thank you jonathan beck who is the lawyer chap that is going to kindly perform our legal duties, and michael for facilitating this, it is so strange how connections just happen, and some wonderful stuff can blossom when people hear the bigmoose story, there isn't a day goes by when i'm not amazed by the power of this thing.

that was friday.

saturday i got paid for my first gig i have ever compered, and i really enjoyed it, and i have to say i felt very grown up, and at one point wondered what my friends i grew up in finsbury park with would have thought as i introduced companies and individuals that are literally changing the world, with members of the british empire and winners of fund manager of the year award, among others, being on the roster.

as i watched the presentations these fellow humans gave, my time to wrap the show up came, and as i took off my suit jacket and rolled up my sleeves, i wondered if this was unplanned symbolism on my part.

i talked about losing my best friend ten years ago this march 1st, and all the things that bigmoose and you dear reader have done in the last two years that bigmoose has existed, and as i invited questions from the audience i saw one of the speakers i had introduced, ask for the microphone in his seat in the vast auditorium.

joão andrade is co-founder and ceo of widecells group plc, and as he spoke into the microphone, he told me and the audience how he too was an ultra runner, and how he wanted to run an ultramarathon this year, and raise money for bigmoose, and as the audience clapped, i realised that my mate georgina's advice to speak to audiences was some of the best advice i have ever had, tell people about bigmoose and they will want to be part of this beautiful thing, and i realised this is my path.

joão is based in portugal, and on monday as my phone showed a number from portugal was calling i knew it was him.

he was calling me from the airport to confirm he was very serious about his commitment, and would be presenting it to his board for support.

what the heck!!!

ceo of a plc presenting to his board to raise money for bigmoose, based on me telling our story, seriously, please don't ever underestimate how you bigmoose blog reader are helping make amazing shizzle happen, geez this journey is a goodun, and it can only get bigger and stronger with all of our energy combined, so thank you for playing your part, i hope you are enjoying the ride?

i arrived home friday night mentally frazzled, this speaking mullarkey is so adrenaline fuelled, and so full of emotion it actually leaves me exhausted, but in a good way.

i slept well.

sunday, me and our lass drove to london to the dusty knuckle bakery in dalston to learn how to make bread, sourdough, focaccia, and walnut and raisin half sourdough, and we absolutely loved it, and the process was therapeutic, tasty, and rewarding all in four loaves.

tuesday, we set off to peter alan estate agents to collect the last van load of warm clothing for the homeless that they have been collecting in their 29 branches, and collected our 1000th bag from them, over 1 0 0 0 bags of warm gear that the general public have donated, and we have distributed to people living on our streets, man i'm proud of some of the humans that we work with, pretty sweet huh, well done peter alan!!

wednesday, we headed off to meet one of our mates, who i'm not going to name, as he will get really embarrassed, but we have a running project that we will be launching very soon, which he will be headlining, but knowing about my everest predicament as we went to pick him up due to him being without a vehicle currently, he beckoned us in to collect a load of golf clubs, and other stuff for us to sell on e-bay to help fund my trip, which was really kind, and as we sat discussing the upcoming running gig, he passed over a pile of notes as well, which he said he wanted to support me with, which nearly saw tiny tears make an appearance, but you'll be proud to know i was strong and just hugged him tight instead, and as he said to me 'you have to go' i did swallow rather hard as well, but i didn't crack, wow, this is an emotional journey!

so i got to thursday without having a boo, go me!

so.

thursday.

thursday, we have booked a day off from work to go to winsley primary school in bath, where one of the coolest head teachers i've ever met rebecca wilson, who is the lady i mentioned last year who initiated the 'womble', or 'winsley one mile before lessons everyday', which she started with our mate mathew pritchard when he started his 100k challenge, and has carried on with her school ever since, which i think is brilliant.

beccy has been liasing with us on the everest theme, and where i have been doing school assemblies over the last few months, she asked if we would spend a whole day at winsley, talking to every class, and also the teachers, and i was really excited as we rocked up full of energy.

'we have a surprise for you' she told us as she greeted us, and i really didn't have a scooby what it could be as she led us to the main hall.

the hall was full of the children i was going to be meeting throughout the day, and i spied mountain imagery all around the place, and as she introduced me and chloe, the children proceeded to sing the song they had learnt to sing to us, have a click here to see and hear something to warm the cockles of yer heart.

 

i so nearly went, but held it together, but as they sang full of gusto, i had a kind of weird calm feeling, almost out of body, where i just felt this everest journey is going to happen, there just seems to be so many reasons why it has to, and so many people, including my brilliantly supportive guide russell brice helping me, so to everybody that has sent me messages up support and encouragement, and helped financially so far, thank you so much, we're quite a way off what i need to get, but hopefully these next 34 days will see it come together.

every class in winsley primary was fantastic, and the children were so interested, thought provoking, and some of the questions and answers were literally jaw droppingly entertaining, they had put so much effort into decorating their classrooms with nepali flags, base camp reconstructions, and facts and figures relating to everest i loved it.

this whole school engagement idea has been brilliant for me, and the schools seem to be enjoying it as well, and hopefully from a chance encounter at saturday night's shindig we will be heading up to leicester to spread the word as well, the story travels further :)

so that was the week so far, a pretty goodun i reckon, and as i go into the week where i remember my pal moosey boy, that we lost ten years ago i reflect on how losing him has touched so many people that didn't even know him, and i kinda like that.

so his memory and legacy live on through a vision that didn't even exist while he was alive, but if you are reading this you are a part of it, so on behalf of me, and all of the big mans family, thanks for anything and everything you have done in his memory.

thinking of ya moose, loved ya like a brother.

blue skies,

jeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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dave allen, rob maher-blenkinsop and doogie

morning.

hopefully.

apologies for delayed delivery last week, i won't bore you with the story.

so, this week we got a little bit closer to getting the coffee shop, in fact it is that close, i can almost taste the cappucino!

but i don't wanna jinx it, so let's see what happens next week, oooooooo i don't know about you, but i'm a bit hyper about this thing, if we finally get it i don't know how i'll react, probably have a flipping boo, the state i've been in just lately, i am so emotional, i'm booing at everything, i went to see the movie 'lion' last week, you guessed it, i booed, somebody did something lovely for me about everest, you guessed it, booing ensuing!

it's quite weird, i'm not normally this highly strung, but then i guess the next few months could be quite life changing in all manner of ways, i probably just need to stop fretting so much.

anyway, quite  a few bits of good news, we've sold my mates motorbike, and hopefully conclude the deal next week, which will be awesome.

the crowdfunding has been quite slow, but i need to invigorate it, so watch this space for invigoration, big thanks to everyone that's got involved, hopefully i will make you proud to have helped.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/everest-a-journey-to-inspire-travel/x/15967014#/

another goodun, has been that one of the other sponsors that i had lined up, has signed the contract, and we are rockin and rollin, and basically i have done a deal with a young watch company called maher-blenkinsop watches, who are going to pay me to take 53 watch dials to the summit of everest, and then they will build an everest collection using the dials, which will be kinda cool, and we will be filming the story of the watch being created and built, as well as the journey of the watch dials, so hopefully the planets all align and it all comes together.

here is a link to their website https://www.maher-blenkinsop.com/ and here is a pic of the watch dial, nice huh?

we've also sold quite a bit of e-bay stuff this week, so if you have anything, no matter how random, that you'd like to donate, we'd love it!

we've presented to two more schools this week, and we're pushing the number of children we've talked to, to nearly 2000, and the responses from the kids and the teachers have been really rewarding, so i'm continuing working on the basis that i'm still going on the trip at the moment.

continuing on the positive theme, we have had our following on instagram rise to nearly ten thousand people, and a recent post got over five and a half thousand likes, which is a bit mad, but cool that people like mountain pictures with a story, and the encouragement from complete strangers on instagram to keep going has been unexpectedly brilliant.

so if you're on instagram give us a follow at @everestat53.

training has been great, and last saturday i headed to the gym to attempt to do a four hour session on the stairmaster, which i managed to do without actually pegging it, although i thought i might a couple of times, but this time i hydrated really well, and made sure i ate while on the machine to keep my energy levels up.

i lost a lot of liquids on that session, and my weight has dropped to where i wanted it to be about a month early, so i'll need to eat more, as my very low carb diet, and training sessions that lose over 1000 calories a day, mean i am in calorie deficit constantly, so i'll need to up my intake so i don't waste away.

i have been in touch with some other climbers on the same journey, and we all seem to be training tons, but we all still feel like we haven't done enough, but i think that is probably natural for everybody.

i saw a saying this week that i quite liked so i thought i would share it with you, 'only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go', which kind of fits at this moment i think, watch this space.

we have had a builder mate of mine, mr keith lee, say that he is going to help us develop the coffee shop when we get it, and an electrician mate julian evans from eleven electrical offer his services foc, so when we do get it, we will have some awesome people that will be stepping up to help, i really can't wait.

in the meantime, we will probably need a solicitor to do the contracts with the landlord when we get the deal sorted, so if anybody knows anyone with a kind heart, that might offer their services, please put them in touch with us at jeff@bigmoose.co.

i am pretty conscious that my blog is pretty filled with everest mullarkey just lately, but as well as it being a big part of my life personally, it will hopefully help bigmoose as a non profit massively, as i want to share our story with as many people that will listen, and if (when) i make it, everybody involved with bigmoose will be proud of our joint team effort, which honestly it will be, as i totally can't do it without massive support, however it manifests itself, so with 42 days to go, i hope i don't bore you with mountain stuff too much, but all i ever want to do, is share the bigmoose world, and as my great friend georgina says make it raw, make it real, and hopefully make it relevant, and our subscriber numbers and opens keep increasing every week, so hopefully we are doing that.

thanks massively, and see you next week, and as the late great dave allen used to say 'may your god go with you'.

 

blue skies,

jeff #15

 

 

 

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mad thursday, rory and russ

evening,

well you may possibly be reading this early doors, but i have unusually written this blog thursday night.

i know, quirky, disruptive, slightly unhinged, but you know what, i always say live on the edge, and as i write this a wry smile fights it's way through my grey stubble, as i glance over to my running coach, rory coleman's new book that he sent me today, sitting perched on my desk with the inscription "to jeff, always be a rebel" oh if rory could only see me now.

rory's book 'a rebel and a runner' should be a good read, and having shared a number of marathons with him, and in doing so found a geezer with a similar sense of humour and interest in music, i am looking forward to reading it, and without rory in my life i don't think i would have completed my first ultra marathon and then mds without the confidence i had, so thanks coach, i look forward to reading it.

 

so why thursday night?

well i am up at early doors to continue my training, as i am still working on the theory that i am going to get the full ticket price to fund my adventure to climb everest, and as such i am not taking my foot off the pedal at all, and in fact i am ramping up training, and i remember the last time i attempted to climb sagarmartha or chomolungma as everest is also known, that i did a four hour training session on the stairmaster in the gym, and i did it four days on the bounce, calling it my four by four, which i will be trying to emulate soon, and as such every day is important.

so, a thursday blog it is.

this week has been pretty good considering, and as such i have been selling pretty much everything i own that i don't need, the biggest thing being my quad bike, which brought in a couple of bob, and we have quite an array on e-bay, so if you are looking for a bargain have a look at http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/everestat53/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=

you will notice on there the biggest donation so far, which a friend who wants to remain anonymous has said that if we sell it for him he will go 50/50 with me, putting the money towards my journey, which was really humbling, so if you want this beautiful moto guzzi in your world, stick a bid on.

i've also had  a mate say he has some important stamps he will give me, another who is looking to get me a running machine to put online, and one also who has offered to do some unpaid work as his donation, as well as a load of you bigmoose crew who have made contact offering help, and others who have put donations on the indiegogo page, so please accept my huge thanks for everyone's help so far, financial or psychological, it is really very emotional seeing it all.

one other thing that has happened is that i have been asked by an old mate to compere an evening for his company, share talk, which will help fund getting me back to nepal, and which is all about bringing companies and investors together, for what hopefully will be a very informative evening, and i am genuinely looking forward to my first compering gig, and presenting to a room of folk, which hopefully should be a great new experience, scary but fun i hope, and here is a link http://www.cardiff17.com/

thanks john for getting me involved.

today was a pretty good day too for the reason that i spoke to the head of my everest team russell brice, who discussed with me my current situation.

russ said that i shouldn't fret and that we will get the money, and he will get me to the summit, now i know russ reads my blog, so it's a little difficult saying this, but he always has a caring way about him that instills confidence in me, and i love his way of looking at life, he is totally living it to the full, always has, and i think always will, and he is currently working in australia in alice springs on a very covert project, which is very exciting, and today told me how the aussies are so laid back.

this week he has needed to hire a crane for this part of the project he is managing, and the guys doing the paperwork when asked whether they could source said crane replied 'too easy mate' which is kinda like no problem, and when he had to do the paperwork they were equally really easygoing on the whole transaction, referring a number of times when russ showed his gratitude to being 'too easy mate' which we both agreed was a great way to be, and russ suggested it would be great if everybody adopted the same attitude, and i got off the phone, happier than i'd been for a while.

so hopefully russ's faith pays off and we get to climb together again.

it is now 00:32 and i am up at 05:30, so i'm gonna wrap up this weeks blog by just telling you about a notebook i found from my 2013 trip with russ to climb manaslu, at 8163m high, the 8th highest in the world, and i found some notes i had written, after living on the mountain for almost two months.

THE MORNING AFTER THE SUMMIT

the pain on my body

the glow of summiting

my toes hurting

the sherpa on the team almost singing 'good morning'

remembering russ hugging me the night before

russ overhearing somebody in the mess tent asking for a sprite, and rushing to get it for them

russ coming to collect me from a rumanian groups tent when i got lost just outside basecamp

russ pacing like a panther until fenton and bruce, our last two team members returned, and then when they did he suddenly appeared content his pride of climbers were all safe and he retired to bed.

the day is sunny, and everybody in the camp knows we all summited safely, and the smiles and laughter on everybody's faces is pure joy, i wish i could bottle this feeling.

these notes form a great memory for me, and i hope that i get to nepal, and i get to climb well and achieve my dream, and most of all i hope i can share it with you and anybody that wants to listen, so again a big thank you for continuing to support me, i hope i can make you proud.

blue skies,

jeff

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/everest-a-journey-to-inspire-travel/x/15967014#/

 

 

 

 

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please invest in the everest journey, maria conceicao and nick butter

morning bigmoose squad,

you'll be pleased to hear that tiny tears isn't here this week, well not at the moment anyway!

this next 58 days is going to be a bit of a rollercoaster for yours truly, so bear with me though.

first of all this week i'm going to say a massive thanks to every one of you that have invested in me getting back to climb mount everest, and then bringing the adventure back to share and inspire others with, so hopefully together we manage what looks like a big old ask.

some of you lovely gang have invested your bangers already, but if you can't manage that, it would be lush if you could help by sharing my story with anybody you think might be interested in helping out. one of the ways that a couple of folk have said they will help is by doing an own clothes day at work, and whilst i am rubbish at self promotion, and it makes me cringe reading stuff about myself, i am aware that i have to market and sell to stand a chance of getting my trip fully funded, so here is a description one of my mates has put together, so if you fancy copy and pasting it for anybody you know, especially your office manager who agrees own clothes day donations, i would be mighty grateful.

I just wonder if you might like to help a good friend of mine – a very successful guy who devotes an amazing amount of time and energy helping others. He is actually pretty inspirational.

His name is Jeff Smith and he has been training to climb Everest for a few years – and now with weeks to go before departure two of his sponsors have dropped out. The cost of the attempt is £55k but the shortfall is now £24k. I hope you will be able to help in some way, if not a direct donation, by circulating this to your friends – colleagues and network.

Jeff set up a charity called Bigmoose a few years ago after his best friend died of cancer – and has raised over £185k which has supported good causes such as homeless people – and providing food for the needy. He has also arranged for barbers to give free haircuts to homeless people in Cardiff.

He has set up triathlons for under the name Supertri for children with disabilities and over 150 kids have taken part in those. He arranged for over 100 Bigmoose supporters to run the Cardiff half marathon in 2016 raising over £30k.

Jeff’s current project is to set up an academy to train homeless people in food and beverage skills. They will progress to gain a City and Guilds qualification before going on to work in a café now being leased by Bigmoose in central Cardiff.

His good work took him to No 10 to meet David Cameron and he now works in conjunction with Cabinet Office staff on business plans for charitable work.

Please give your support to this Everest ambition by going to Jeff’s website -

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/everest-a-journey-to-inspire-travel/x/15967014#/

i am gonna get totally rinsed by my mates over this, i can't wait for the texts, but hey desperate times call for desperate measures, and if i get there it will have been worth it, if not i might never leave the house again!!

anyway, i am still training super hard, as i am working on the theory that i am still going, so i did a long gym training session last sunday, and finished off with walking thirty lengths of our david lloyd swimming pool, which was a training method that maria conceicao, a friend of mine used prior to summiting in 2013, but i haven't done since my previous everest trip.

i met maria when we climbed in russia together, but i haven't spoken to her for a couple of years, so it was very weird indeed that as i came out of the pool my phone had a message from her, which was very poignant, and has helped me tremendously to prepare for the next chapter.

maria told me not to lose faith, and that she only managed to get the last $10,000 to pay for her expedition 24 hours before her departure, which whilst really scary, has caused me to be ready for this, and manage my expectations, and to stay calm and focused throughout.

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maria is an amazing woman, and a true inspiration to me, check her out http://mariacristinafoundation.org/maria-conceicao/

so that is maria, a great person to have sending messages to keep the faith, and that was sunday.

the rest of the week was standard fare when training for a big mountain, time in the gym, daily hypoxic training, eating well, weight dropping like billyo, and chasing dopamine like it's going out of fashion, and then it was wednesday and my life changed.

believe me, i do not say this lightly.

here is the backstory to this big statement.

last year i boarded a plane to morocco to attempt to run the marathon des sables, and as i landed i knew one person, my coach, the legendary rory coleman.

the race organiser patrick bauer hugged me hello, and made me feel very welcome in his sandpit.

as we boarded one of the fleet of sparkling brand new 52 seat coaches, i sat next to one of my soon to be tent mates, one nick butter, aka slippery, anchorman, you name it he'd heard 'em.

nick is a good looking 27 year old whippet physiqued chap, and was keen to do well in mds, and i explained that i wanted to complete rather than compete. we started talking, and got on super well, he is a very intelligent guy, with a very high powered job in banking, but apparently not happy with what difference he was making to the world.

ha ha ha, you so know that i opened the bigmoose box o' tricks on him, 'man you gotta be happy, there's no point otherwise', i proferred from my rather hastily built soapbox.

we talked running, we talked mountains, we talked life, we talked death, we arrived, and little did we both know that this conversation would be a game changer.

eight tent mates in tent 105, and one fantastic week that i absolutely loved, and have made some great pals, one of whom big kev, aka kevla has terminal prostate cancer, which i have spoken of before.

we all ran, we all cared for each other, and we became a team, and we fought for each other, and when the last day of the race came, nick had suffered a double fractured ankle and was walking on crutches, so tent 105 walked the ten miles over burning hot sands, in 40 degree temperatures, alongside him, and for six hard hours, but tent 105 did it, together, and we all bonded.

nick and i roomed together in our hotel, and speak regularly now, with him travelling from bristol to help train our cardiff half bigmoose running crew, and i was proud to see him run the half wearing his bigmoose running shirt.

so where's the life changing bit?

well he mentioned we hadn't seen each other for a while, and suggested coming to the 'diff to catchup.

i stocked up with malbec for this guy that runs an average 130+ miles a week, and as i just googled hermes, the greek god of running, the description that came up stated that 'hermes stamina is virtually inexhaustible due his godly metabolism', which is a polite way to say this boy can eat and drink, in equal measure!

so as he sat down to eat, he said he had some news for me.

i didn't have a scooby, what's happening mr butter, i'm excited.

'i'm going to quit my job and run around the world, running a marathon in every country in the world, all 196 of them over 18 months starting january 2018.'

my jaw behaved like a cartoon character, literally dropping open as the magnitude of this statement washed over me.

'oh, and i'm going to raise a quarter of a million pounds for prostate cancer for kevla'.

'oh and write a book, oh and take pictures of the journey, and have an exhibition when i get back showing them off.

wow, there's big, and there's nick big, 'who run the world, nick', i exclaimed.

i love it!!!

brave, daring, scary, wonderful.

we spent the next few hours brainstorming ideas, and how bigmoose can help, and the energy was electric, truly electric.

i eventually drove this crazy human to the train station, and we hugged long and hard as we said goodbye, and as i walked away into the cold night air i thought about how my mates life was gonna change forever, and hopefully i could help him in some way, what an absolutely amazing adventure, and i felt proud to be privileged to be asked to be part of his new world.

the next morning we exchanged a number of messages, mainly me saying how buzzing i was for him, until he informed me that this was all my fault.

it was all because of the chat we had on the bus sparked something inside him, and as i read the message i felt a mix of guilt and joy, guilty that i had caused a complete shift in his life, but then joy that i had caused a complete shift in his life, and more joy at how the world was gonna be a far greater place with mr butter doing all the amazing stuff he had planned, and i smiled, very very proud that a simple conversation could have such an effect, and i really can't wait to work with him on it.

here is a link to his website, check him out and read some of the detail it looks great.

https://www.nickbutter.com/running-the-world2018

i think that's a good place to finish todays blog, i hope you get a chance to click on my pals links, they're both pretty spesh people, and i hope they inspire you to do some cool stuff in your worlds, i love hearing and reading about what they're up to, and would love to hear your stories as well so send them over.

finally big shout out to bigmoose stalwarts nadine and steve who are expecting their second baby this week, we have a bigmoose babygrow waiting :)

have a great week, and follow your dreams,

blue skies,

jeffla

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everest, childhood memories and destiny

i have never been so excited to write a blog!!!

so excited i don't even have the decency to say good morning first apparently. (good morning, sorry about that)

why the excitement smithman, had a pretty great week?

actually no, one pretty crap one to be honest.

how so?

well, unfortunately two sources of sponsorship for my everest trip are not now happening, and at this present moment i am now not going to everest.

confused?

well, i wasn't confused when i heard, i was downright angry, then upset, then scared, and now exhilarated.

exhilarated, how come?

well, for the last six months i have been going to schools standing up in front of the next generation, telling them to follow their dreams, achieve their potential, work hard, and most of all never ever give up.

when my daughter tiffany left home to become and actress i told her, and always do tell her, never ever give up, when my other daughter chloe struggled on mount kilimanjaro halfway up on summit night, in weather so cold her water bottle froze like a popsicle, i told her never ever give up, and they haven't, ever.

so now i have a chance to show them, my children, the schoolchildren from the schools in all the assemblies i have presented to, and everyone who decides to read or watch the next sixty days of what has the potential to either be a car crash or an epic win for the little guy if he believes enough that he can do it.

do i believe i can raise the money needed for my ticket to everest, within 60 days?

100% yes

and if i fail it really won't be because i gave up, so therefore i am actually buzzing with excitement to get the chance to show what we can all do, not just talking about it, leading by example, and if i get there i will have won, and if i fail giving it my best shot, i will still be able to hold my head high and show that i never ever gave up.

so to work, this aint gonna happen just by talking about it.

i need to take action.

i need to ask for help.

woah, back up up there cowboy, ask for help????

'we don't ask for help', my inner voice chirped in, 'remember that time with your old man, remember when he made you feel awful, and you vowed never to need anybody's help, so you would never have that feeling ever again?'

oh yeah, i do remember, now you, inner voice person that remembers that shizzle from forty years ago, but is nowhere to be found when i can't find my keys, mention it!

the story inner jeff is referring to when as an eleven year old i stood across the desk from my dad in his office asking him for help.

my dad left me and my mum when i was seven, and every week i had to collect my mums maintenance money from him, which was degrading enough an act in itself, but as i grew older i didn't think that much about it, but whilst going to school one day i had discovered that my trainers had started leaking water and making my feet wet whenever it rained.

i combatted this action at first by putting cardboard inside my shoe, but by the end of the day i had a kind of papier mache effigy of my foot, which was great if i was doing a blue peter sketch, but started to become tiresome after a week of wintery conditions.

i knew mum couldn't afford new trainers, so i decided to ask my dad to see if he could help me out.

as i told him my story and showed him the hole, he asked how much trainers were, and i pitched him the price of an average priced pair mid range, so as not to appear greedy, but also, not low end enough that my mates at school would recognise that i was a plum, black plimsolls just weren't gonna cut it.

my dad barked 'how much!' and my dad had a loud shout, i knew this was a pants idea, oh well the genie's out of the bottle now, we spent the next five minutes discussing trainers, and how my dad's financial situation couldn't stretch to such luxuries, and that he would see what he could do, and i crept off back to whence i had came, with squelchy feet i hasten to add.

now this moment in my life was great for me, but i didn't know it at the time, but what this did was galvanise something inside me, and i vowed never to let some bastard make me feel that way ever again, so i must never put myself in a position to need help like that, and i have spent the last four decades trying to fight hard and build my world without putting my hand out to ask for a new pair of shoes to stop my feet getting wet.

so this week we concluded i need to ask for help to get me to everest.

online.

for the world to see.

can you imagine how my stomach felt?

i'll tell you as i sat in front of the video, pouring my heart out, asking for a new pair of shoes, i felt physically sick, and the demons came out to play in my head.

but i did it.

and then we had to press the button to make it live online, and i had another flashback.

some years after i finished playing hockey i decided i needed to get an adrenaline rush that was missing from my life.

i had spent years playing ice hockey professionally, as a goalie, which basically as a job means that if you make a mistake and let a goal in, the opposing team and their fans cheer your error, a red light goes on behind you to highlight the fact, your teammates get disappointed, and life is crap, imagine that in your own job, now that is pressure. now don't get me wrong, there are some pretty amazing moments too, like saving a penalty shot in wembley in front of fifteen thousand screaming fans that mean your team win the grand slam, and you get covered by your team mates as they skate screaming onto the ice to congratulate you.

how cool if you hit that sales target and that happened eh?

highs and lows i guess.

but that left my life after hockey, and i needed my drug.

adrenaline.

i signed up to learn to skydive, and did my accelerated freefall course, which enabled me to fly through the air on my own.

adrenaline. check.

as chloe and i went to press the button live, i felt the same fear as standing in the doorway of that cessna every time i jump, fear makes your heart race as the door of the aircraft is opened, the wind rushes in, the engines cut back, and the red light inside the aircraft turns green.

go!!!

we pressed the button on our indiegogo crowdfund going live.

https://igg.me/at/everest-journeytoinspire

so that was that, now we had to sit back and wait.

yeah right!

we had to social media the whole thing, this was gonna need as much exposure as possible to get traction, and get people to help, so we basically bared our soul, and i felt, and still do feel very, very vulnerable, and i hate it.

vulnerability growing up in macho world like i did was not normal, and this is probably why it is so difficult for male gay athletes to come out, but that's another story altogether, but definitely worth thinking about, as a working class lad from finsbury park it was never easy to show weakness, fear or vulnerability, so my muscle memory was finding it very tough to reveal this to the world, those pseudo friends who would tell you what a shame it was, but behind their masks were laughing at your failure, my heart raced.

but then there was calm.

you can do this.

this is an opportunity to practise what you've been evangelically preaching to all those schoolchildren, all your blog readers, and all those bigmoose followers you have encouraged to step outside their comfort zones, all the ones who abseiled to raise money for teenage cancer trust, all the ones who ran a half marathon, the one who skydived to raise money for his mate with cancer, who sadly died recently, every parent and disabled child who have found something within the supertri that makes them feel amazing, and makes them laugh and cry with emotion, now is the opportunity to inspire again, so that dear bigmoose blog reader is why i am excited.

i have the opportunity to step up to the plate and succeed big or fail big, and i genuinely feel like i am going to succeed, and if i do then hopefully i can carry that around with me for the rest of my life to inspire and encourage every person i ever meet, and that is worth fighting for.

so come with me on the journey, and see how it pans out, it's gonna be pretty scary, but hopefully we get the result that will make the biggest impact on the world.

oh and if you thought that was me getting a tad emotional today, i'll share with you guys something that i haven't told anybody else, moose's wife asked me on my last trip to everest to sprinkle his ashes at the top, and i haven't done that yet, but man oh man i am gonna give it my best shot to try to.

so, to finish with, as i fight back the tears as i write this, i saw this lush video this morning, which you've probably all seen already, but i loved it, and wanted to share, i hope you like it.

have a great week, and go do some cool stuff.

wish me luck as i follow my destiny,

blue skies,

jeff

 

 

 

 

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callum, peter alan and jasmine

good morning bigmoose chums,

how the devil are you this fine friday morning?

it's a bit nippy in cf3 aint no mistake, and as i single finger type this, one cup of strong columbian has already been inhaled, so bear with me while i head to the cafetiere for a refill.

ok i'm back, and as i purse my lips the dark roast aroma precedes the taste, and i realise that maybe i was born to have a coffee shop, and all this helping the homeless mullarkey is just a ruse to get my hands on a place where i can brew my own roasted coffee beans, and satisfy my addiction, under the guise of helping others, and i have this dr evil image in my head with me turning around in my swivel chair with a white persian on my lap and a cup of fazenda londrina in hand, inhaling first, and letting all those full bodied flavours wash over me, with orange nuances, caramel and hazelnut, mwahahahaha.

and i'm back.

sorry about that, kinda lost it for a few seconds.

coffee though seems to be playing quite a big part of my life just lately, and everywhere i seem to go these days ends up with me heading to the best coffee shop in the area so i can absorb their decor, their music choices, what their staff wear, the coffee machine they use, and importantly what beans they use, and the number of different coffee shops i have been to in the last few months is pretty mad, causing me to reflect that the market is very crowded, so will our shop work, will people come to us for their experience?

well, as in all things in life, one of the most important things for success is passion, and hopefully when we eventually get our bigmoose coffee co dream, the passion of everyone in the business will shine through and attract our audience, and as i breathe deeply thinking about the challenge ahead i have this feeling that it just might work.

last night before i pulled the shutters down on my thursday i mentioned to chloe that i was going to get up early, not go to the gym, as is my normal routine now i'm in full everest mode, write my blog, and then train after the blog was written, adding in that i didn't have anything to write about this week, to which chloe exclaimed 'are you kidding?'

she then reeled off a number of things that had happened, which upon reflection were kinda cool, which i could tell you guys about, and hopefully make you smile, possibly inspiring you to do something in a kind of cause and effect way.

but as i reflected on what has been a pretty fun week i decided that there were actually too many things to fill your friday blog with, so i would limit it to my top three.

so in reverse order at number three, this week i have been to a couple of schools, speaking at their assemblies, and meeting some great kids, with more passion and enthusiasm than you could shake a stick at, and the theme of my talks has been everest based, and achieving your potential, and having dreams, and my personal favourite tiny person i've met at these assemblies has been callum.

callum wants to be a mountaineer, and upon intense interrogation by chloe, it turns out that this wasn't an assembly based decision, he actually does want to climb mountains, so we had a picture taken, and one day let's hope he aspires to follow his dreams, i genuinely would love to have had some kind of positive influence on this.

i think we have spoken to almost a thousand children so far, so hopefully we can inspire a few along the way, it's been great fun.

at number two this week has been our 'grab your coat' campaign, where we have been collecting warm clothes for homeless folk in cardiff, and last night i met up with half a dozen staff from peter alan estate agents who expressed a desire to help hand out the aforementioned warm gear, and it was interesting to see their reactions, and i think they went home with a new appreciation for how tough it is on the streets, and how homeless people are actually very 'human', it sounds daft, but i think they were all humbled, and it will be interesting to see how it affects them, big thanks for coming along though, especially on such a freezing night.

which segues nicely into top slot in pick of the week.

jasmine.

jasmine jasmine jasmine.

this is a pretty mindblowing one really.

a few weeks ago i was contacted by a lady who told me that her daughter jasmine had been affected by homelessness, having recently been to the theatre to see a pantomime, and seing a homeless chap outside.

she discussed the situation with her nan, and decided to save her interval sweets for the person on the street, and as they left the show, there was now a homeless girl outside, and as she handed the sweets over, she thought about how lucky she was and how their worlds were so different.

this prompted jasmine to decide she wanted to do something more.

after chatting to her mum, i decided it would be good to meet jasmine to see if we could help her, and also if she wanted to get involved with bigmoose.

we met up, and ended up filming jasmine telling her story, as we felt it was very powerful, and we are currently editing it to put out on social media, with her mum and dad's permission obviously.

after i returned from my trip into town with the peter alan staff last night, jasmine's mum dropped me a line just letting me know what jasmine had been up to since we had met her, and i was kinda blown away.

she has collected 62 bags of warm clothes, and two boxes of donations.

run a cake stall to raise money.

and created her own brand.

jasmine has indeed been busy, but man oh man what passion, and my mind is boggled by the creativity and energy that this little girl has, and i feel sure that she is destined to do more great things, so keep an eye out for our video we will be putting on social media soon, and i am looking forward to having jasmine as part of our bigmoose team.

how cool huh?

well, as i look at the time, i need to go and pull a tractor tyre around the garden, such is my world, but before i scoot off to leave you to your day, i hope jasmine inspires you, i know she would love to, and as i mentioned before the law of cause and effect plays out in lots of ways, so if you do anything down to being inspired by jas let me know, i'm sure it would make her happy.

have a delicious day, and a fun filled week, and we'll catch you here next week, thanks for reading,

blues skies,

jeff

 

 

 

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who believes in you?

ola bigmoose folks,
i hope 2017 has started well for you?
mine has been a bit frenetic if i'm honest, but then running my business, looking at opening a coffee shop, training and trying to raise the money to pay for my ticket to climb everest was never gonna be a quiet period of my life, and where last week i suggested living life to the max, i feel quite confident that i am doing just that, and will probably enjoy living in a tent for ten weeks starting in april just for a rest!
this week has been particularly busy, but brilliant fun, and we have had some great positives come from nowhere.
completely left field we have had two relatively new friends contact me separately to tell me that they are going to be doing some crazy adventures, and are going to raise money for bigmoose, which without wishing to sound wet, is really humbling, as it means they want to help us, and probably bigger than that is that they believe in us.
i hadn't really thought about this until now, but having people believe in you is really so important, and as i type this i am thinking that this is pivotal in much that we do, from when we are children and need our parents to believe in us, to when we enter the work environment, the boss that gets the best out of us is always the one that shows they believe in us, wow i'd never really thought about that before, this blog mullarkey works well for me sometimes :)
so, as well as the two rockstars who are going to be raising some bangers and mash for us, we also had support from one of my clients, peter alan estate agents.
i have worked for peter alan for ten years, and have done some great work with them, and their m.d. andrew barry is a refreshingly open minded client, who embraces technology, and lots of whacky ideas that i often bring to our meetings, and has been discussing how his company could get involved with bigmoose, and due to the success we have seen working with cotswold outdoor and david lloyd clubs on our 'grab your coat' project, has this week implemented getting all 28 of their branches across wales to become drop off points for people donating warm clothing and bedding for us to distribute to homeless people.
we launched this two days ago, and the response has been awesome, including wales online picking up the story, and reporting on it, which is really great, and hopefully bodes well for future projects.
as well as the 'grab your coat' gig, the g.m. at david lloyd clubs, wayne isaac, is going to be helping us with the coffee shop project in a number of ways which are really exciting, and great to have these big hitters really buying into bigmoose.
wayne and the david lloyd clubs cardiff are also supporting me on my everest quest, and have asked me to have a natter to their members during their forthcoming 'wellness week' so, lots of positive shizzle coming out of the journey to nepal.
oh yeah, and they put a big banner with muppet features on it, which i have to walk past every time i go to the gym, i may start wearing a disguise when i train!
talking of positives to come out of going to everest, we have been going to more schools to talk at their assemblies, and i have to say talking to the children that we have met so far has been brilliant, i wish i could share all of the funny, and also very sweet things that i have seen and heard, i only hope the kids are getting as much out of it as i am, coz i'm really loving it.
away from everest based activities, this week we have been to see a chap called pete who runs a successful independent coffee shop 'the plug' in a place called dinas powys, just outside cardiff, and pete is gonna train us, and roast our coffee for us as we start on the coffee shop project journey, and next week we are jumping in with both feet, and buying a big hessian sack of columbian coffee beans, we're gonna roast them, and then we're gonna sell 'em to anyone that will buy them, and that will be the start of our bigmoose coffee co., you probably can't get smaller beginnings, but hopefully a cool part of the story, so check pete and the plug out on social, they are great.
i am conscious i am rabbiting a lot today, and i don't want the 'long blog' police jumping all over me, so i'll try to wrap things up, but just a couple of other exciting things that have happened, the first one is a watch company have been in touch, and if the planets align hopefully i will be working with them on a project which will help fund my trip, so watch this space, and secondly buckle up for a proud dad moment, my first born, tiffany the actress, is a main character in 'casualty' tomorrow night on prime time bbc1, so get a new betamax out, set the timer, and support her by tuning in.
sorry about that, but i am super proud of her, she grafts really hard, follows her dream, and is starting to get some breaks, which is awesome, and as i conclude this weeks blog, her journey kinda symbolises what i guess i advocate. 
this week i had a question from a little girl at a school, who asked what i thought my best part of my trip to everest was going to be, to which i asked her what she thought it would be.
she paused and thought, before suggesting "the summit", which i told her i imagined most people would think, but that actually for me it is the journey.
the whole journey.
from the moment at my kitchen breakfast bar, with my mate glyn, who convinced me to follow my dream, to the trips to the schools telling children about trying to achieve their potential and never giving up, to hopefully raising the money to go, training hard physically, meeting some wonderful people, working hard, and hopefully summiting, and getting down safely, it is the sum of all the parts, not just one moment, and as I reflect back, probably  a great joy at the fact that so many people believed in me.
so to end this blog, maybe reflect yourself on how believing in people around you can inspire them to do great things, but that maybe we can all tell someone close to us how much we believe in them, and see how they react, you just might make a difference to somebody's life.
cool huh?
have a fantastic week, and i'll hopefully see you here again next week,
till then,
blue skies,
jeff

unfortunately, this week i am away as i type this, and i have discovered that the tec on the ipad i am using has some quirks, one of which is that it won't allow me add to add in the subscription bit, so it's not me being dull, blame steve, tim and the gang not me :)

 

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merry new year *said in an eddie murphy accent

at what point do we switch from wishing people happy new year and enquiring whether they had a good christmas?

as i am unsure of this date, unlike the date we rush to disarm our tree and pack into the loft, various sets of lights and hanging glass memories of christmases past, by the twelfth night, so i will wish you a happy new year, and enquire as to the condition of your christmas?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpqknwKbvDE

do i actually mean it though, and do i really care?

actually yes, i really do care, and definitely more so than the pre programmed most random of stranger that you happen upon for the first couple of weeks of every new year, who probably doesn't, or am i being cynical?

moi?

never.

i really do care, and i hope you did some cool stuff, spent time with loved ones, were more present, rather than just giving presents, and hopefully feel invigorated to start another journey around the sun, possibly using the striking of midnight on the 31st to herald some changes in how you live and work, though if anybody says 'new year new me' without guffawing after i may turn ugly.

don't, it's not big and it's not clever!

you're asking how my christmas and new year were, well thanks for asking.

christmas was very traditional, famalam central, great grub, zero booze for yt, and a new parlour game that saw the highlight of my year, as our friend shelley did an impression of a dancing robot, i may release the video upon signoff from shells, but needless to say it is a tonic i feel every person needs to watch at least once a day.

new year was spent with lovely friends, and resulted in all of us telling respective children who weren't with us, that we hadn't gone to bed until gone 4am, with the same pride as the kid who had come first in an exam at school, i kinda chuckled as i watched and heard this story recounted repeatedly by mature adults, the underlying story way more interesting than the headline i thought.

so, new year new me.

no booze, no twirls, or other cocoa based treats, and currently no carbs as i try to trim my fifty three year old body down to the shape and size suitable for climbing mount everest.

man that scares the you know what out of me, within six months i will either have some pants story of failure, or some great story of success, and as i type this my senses heighten, and i am pretty sure my blood pressure is increasing with every keystroke.

in for a penny in for a pound as they say.

now i doubt too many of you guys will be following in sir edmund hillary's footsteps like i will be dreaming of doing, however, you can do your own everest this year, something that makes your blood flow suitably fast, almost scaring you as you think about what it may be, and that i reckon should be something for all of you lovely bigmoose gang to try to do, your own everest.

stretch yourselves, broadening the circle in which you live.

i'm pretty sure i have talked about this before, but indulge me as i say it again, this time of year is quite good for reflection, and as such i would encourage you to do the rocking chair test, which consists of mentally fast forwarding to a place in the future where you are close to end of your days, and are sitting on the porch of your house in your favourite rocking chair, watching the beautiful sun go down, (symbolic huh?)

and as you bask in it's glow your mind turns to your life that you have lived, and you reflect on what you have done, and indeed how much you have actually 'lived', the opportunities you have taken, and the opportunities you have missed, for whatever reason, and you play things through.

if you look back, you won't be able to change those actions, as they will be in your past, and that may cause regret, which is a real shame, however, luckily we are living in the now, and you have a chance to take those opportunities, in fact create even more opportunities for yourself, which will in fact make that rocking chair experience more enjoyable, so why not choose now as the moment that you grab hold of life and live the rest of it to the max, it is after all a very short journey, shorter for some than others, and the truth of the matter is that you really would not be reading this blog had life not ended for somebody too early.

i am sure moose would have wished he could have said yes more, stepped out of his comfort zone more, and had more time to really 'live' his life, however he didn't get that chance, so maybe we, bigmoose mates, can use his experience to use our lives to the maximum, full speed, so that when we are on that porch we reflect on really giving it our best shot.

the day moose died changed my life.

in a very bad way, as i lost my best friend, but it appears in a very good way too, as it has injected me with a fuel that has made me brave, and when i get to that last sunset, i want to smile, knowing that i have had the best life i could live.

come along with me, nobody expects you to climb the highest mountain in our world, but you can try to attempt some pretty high ones in your own world, you'll know when they appear, we all do, and remember, it's a cliche, but we really do only get one go, so embrace it, live it, but not just live it, really LIVE it.

have a great week,

i don't even know most of you guys, but i love that you are reading this, so i guess i can actually say that i love you, and maybe that's part of the process, love each other more, live life even more, and try to serve our world along the way.

until next week, i'll be seeing ya,

blue skies,

jeffers

 

 

 

 

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two more sleeps

festive felicitations one and all bigmoose gang.

today's blog is gonna be unusually short, as this is a super busy time for everyone, and i don't wanna stop you doing that very long to do list that i'm sure you have.

which reminds me, as i dropped youngest daughter chloe and her friend, (morning beth) into town last night, both girls mums have recently had hospital visits, and as such were getting their respective families to help with the old christmas mullarkey this year, and the conversation was very much based around 'i didn't realise there was so much to do, how do they do it?' 

so in conclusion, mum's rock.

as i dropped them off at the bar in town to meet up with some of chloe's old school mates who had arranged a spur of the moment christmas reunion, she had a quick bit of nerves for meeting some girls she hadn't seen for four years, to which beth, who didn't even attend the same school exclaimed 'you're nervous, the only girls i'm going to know will be the ones i met at your fifteenth birthday party seven years ago, where i was wearing a candy dummy round my neck, yeah hi, what have you been doing since we last met, oh you're a doctor, oh nice, me, oh i'm waitressing, yeah brilliant chloe, thanks for inviting me!'

beth does have a degree, and is only waitressing temporarily, but she works it well.

i did chuckle.

so, i was just about to write that this week has been pretty quiet, but then i remembered that me and a mate went to the bbc's sports personality of the year awards on sunday, which was a pretty well polished event, and at times emotional, so that was fun.

i have also just booked with another mate to go up to llanberis in north wales to do some training for everest, as i really need to start ramping things up, and if i'm honest i feel behind where i want to be training wise, so i need to really push myself over the next 100 days till i go.

jason rawles is a very interesting chap, who i connected with some years ago when he was still working in the traditional world, and i have since admired his chutzpah to quit a high paying job, and follow his passion to work outside, guiding, leading outdoor trips, and building his dream, making his living working outdoors.

http://www.jasonrawles.co.uk/

we are going to have a couple of days, where i have asked jason to try and break me, which with my knees in their current state of repair, might actually happen, so watch this space.....

we also have some news on another potential coffee shop site, so that is ûber exciting, but is still very much at it's embryonic stage, however, we must dream.

we've also had a fantastic response to our 'grab your coat' campaign with cotswold, david lloyd, and a secret benefactor who doesn't wanna be named for security reasons, all donating a shed load of warm gear which we are distributing to homeless folk, showing that we have some very generous, caring, co-humans, who just need a direction to aim their kindness, and we will always try to help them bring it out.

so i suppose it hasn't been a bad week at all, all in all, and as i reflect, probably my biggest smile moment was where a friend who has been having a bit of a rubbish time just lately, met me for some joe, and it seemed she had rebooted, and was back on fire with an infectious energy, which reminded me that we all need to recharge and re-energise at times, and when we feel a bit pants we need friends to give a little encouragement.

so at this time of year especially, maybe have a think about someone you know that would really appreciate a text or a call, sometimes a little bit of time, and just knowing people care can help more than you imagine.

have a delightful christmas, thank you for constantly opening your e-mails to read what bigmoose is up to, and supporting us in all ways. the last coupla years have been fun, but i have a feeling that 2017 is gonna be a ripper, and with your constant support we can do some great stuff, and touch lots of lives in amazing ways, so please don't stop doing your monthly mooses, telling us about what you're doing, and inspire others to follow your lead.

this whole bigmoose thing is only a biproduct of losing my best mate, so at this time of reflection, i miss you moose, but we're carrying on your legacy mate.

 

blue skies,

jeff

 

 

 

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heroes and heroines, i think we need 'em all

g'day bigmoosers,

how's your week been?

busy?

boozy?

busy and boozy?

hopefully you’re coping ok?

this time of year sees some people behave very strangely, and a recent dinner with some friends somehow brought up the conversation of corporal punishment when we were at school, and one of my mates, morning bulldog, told of how he had received the slipper when he was at school, prior to his p.e. class.

when quizzed as to why he had received the slipper, he told us that his class were going to the sports hall to play 'pirates' as a treat, and that his enthusiasm had spilled over, and resulted in him running aroung the gymnasium shouting “pirates, pirates, pirates”, like a human catherine wheel.

unfortunately, his passion for the lesson ahead saw his teacher decide to reward him with six of the best in order to curtail his effervescence, and he duly removed his adidas beckenbauer trainer, and delivered this punishment, in a very 70’s manner.

strangely, since this discussion, i have on more than one occasion stood still while watching crazed christmas shoppers rushing from high street store to store, inserting my own soundtrack, which has them all screaming “pirates, pirates, pirates!” try it, boxing day at the sales it should work perfectly :)

so the talk of corporal punishment at school in the 70’s was not normal conversation for me and my dinner chums, but this leads me into an experience i had this week, as i ventured north to manchester to do an everest based presentation for the william hulme grammar school, where a new friend of mine and chloe’s, caithy walker teaches.

our plan has been to get into as many schools as poss, to tell our story, and hopefully inspire some dustbin lids to believe they can achieve their dreams, and they should try their hardest to achieve their potential, and whilst this was my most challenging school to do this at to date, and at points i searched high and low for a modern day equivalent of that adidas beckenbauer, it had some lovely children, with some great interactions, a few of which i really liked.

the little girl who told me her dream is to be a doctor, a little boy who asked if i was going to be the oldest person to ever climb everest, and my favourite when i asked the room if they had any dreams, was a very tiny little boy who passionately told me that his dream was that he wanted to create something that would live on after he died.

what a little legend, i would so like to see how his life pans out.

so as we drove home with smiles in our hearts, i didn’t expect the balancing negatives to come into my world quite so quickly.

i woke the next morning to read a message that had been posted on my instagram feed informing me that as i had used oxygen to climb manaslu that i was a doper and a cheat.

really, i’m just a 50 year old geezer trying to get up a hill, throw me a bone wouldja, i’d love to climb 8000m peaks without oxygen, but i know my limitations, and this ain't no olympics dude, so i toyed with engaging with this keyboard warrior, but reflected that blocking him, and paying him no heed was probably the best course of action, oh my how i’ve mellowed :)

so that was dig number one, dig number two came when I went out for a hastily arranged sherbert and nosebag with a couple of pals one of whom talks more than the other.

i was asked what i’d been up to, and mentioned the school trip, which then prompted the one that uses words more to enquire about everest, and i could see a glint in his eye, here we go i thought as he pulled the pin out of the grenade, “but why everest?”

i felt happy to be able to air my new found response to this question, that fitted like a very comfortable pair of shoes, you know like the ones that when you put them on you know they will never cause your plates of meat to get sore or achey however long you wear them for.

“i want to achieve my potential” i slowly said.

he digested my answer, and i could visibly see this had rocked him, and left him no chink to insert his sword.

but this man was trained in his art, controversy was his middle name, he would not leave without having disrupted, “ah but everest is just a tourist climb”

seriously, you knob, when was the last time you went to 8000m, there are no “tourist climbs” i’m sorry, come and try with me, we’ll see how fricking easy it is you argumentative drainer of energy!!!

no, i didn’t say that, i just thought it, he had drawn blood!

i rationalised, and answered that i wanted my journey to inspire people to realise that they can aspire to do whatever they set their mind on doing, and if we show them that we can all do tough stuff that might have some good results.

he countered “i don’t think the world needs heroes”

i gave up and ordered a pint.

some people love a good fight, and to antagonise, it’s a strange phenomenon, but one i seem to encounter more and more as i do stuff like i’m doing, weird huh.

anyway, that was the negative stuff, there has been lots of good stuff to take from the week, and i think leaves me with a positive balance.

my manaslu guide bruce text me to say “looks like i’ll be taking your summit pics on the big hill” as he is confirmed to be working on my team in 2017, which really makes me happy, bruce is a top geezer, and i will love sharing my everest experience with him.

the cabinet office called and asked me to write a piece for them, which is kinda cool.

we had a call from the b corp folk, to tell us that we are going to be accepted as a b corp business, which is uber cool, and if you are new readers of my blog here is what b corp are all about, and if you wanna change the world check them out.

https://www.bcorporation.net/what-are-b-corps 

i have encouraged two businesses to join b corp so far, and hopefully by working this way we will encourage others as well.

one of the businesses that are joining b corp are my inspiration to open a coffee shop, which employs and trains homeless people, who i have spoken about before, the house of st barnabas, where my first born tiffany works, in between acting jobs.

we will be working with hosb, and this week i received a beautiful e-mail from them extolling the virtues of their recent graduation ceremony, and i really wanted to share it, it's long but hopefully you enjoy reading it.

Great achievements deserve a great celebration. Well this week we were brimming with pride and excitement for our participants, who celebrated their many successes with a graduation ceremony in our Chapel of St Barnabas. Over the past 12 weeks each participant has clocked up 80 hours of work experience in the club, working towards their City & Guilds Awards and developing essential skills, ready to move into work.

Graduates, their families and friends, mentors and Employment Academy supporters all came together for the ceremony, we heard about their experiences on the programme and the positive changes it has brought to their lives. 

One of our graduates, Denise, wrote a beautiful speech that she’d like to share. It tells her story, from the pages of her past to those exciting chapters yet to come…

 “Alan Jay Learner’s musical adaptation of Shaw’s Pygmalion My Fair Lady described the working classes passing through the thorough-fare of Soho Square as “dropping h’s everywhere”. Eliza Doolittle being the flower seller from Lisson Grove who is “condemned by every syllable she utters” her phonetics requiring tutoring to improve her life chances. This is to me was a magical tale that I watched on television during Christmas holidays sitting in my families G.L.C. flat in Shepherd’s Bush.  I would imagine being Eliza played by the elegant and beautiful Audrey Hepburn being taught how to be a lady so she could work in a flower shop.

My paternal grandmother Nell grew up slightly after the fictitious Eliza during the great depression years on Portland Road, Notting Hill that both Booth classified at the turn of the twentieth century as being from the “lowest class, vicious and semi criminal”.  Nell was illiterate, saw the good in everyone and used the word ‘garn’ as did Eliza to show astonishment with an almost identical West London accent.

If you wish hard enough and believe in your dreams then they will come true. With Lerner’s Song “Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak” singing in my head I first rang the oversized bell and met the inspiring HoSB.   St Barnabas being the patron saint of encouragement. Just as Eliza met her tutor on the streets of the West End I met mine. It was not a human being but a physical building with over three hundred years of stories unfolding from its walls, ceilings and floors.

My heart was full of hope, for me this was an opportunity just as important as Eliza’s, it was to help me help myself into employment.  After two decades of being just a mum, ill health, bad decisions and addiction, I wanted a purpose.  Just as for Eliza I no longer wanted to be a “prisoner of the gutter” but to better myself and earn a decent income for a hard days work, to feel part of society again, not excluded or ashamed.

When Eliza entered Professor Higgins’ house the fictitious 27a Wimple Street it was to change her life forever.  Half a mile away and over a century later, Soho Square has done the same for me.  Eliza squawked and fought Mrs Pearce (the housekeeper) as she was made to take a bath; Eliza having had never seen indoor sanitation or running water. It was indeed in this very house (the amazing House of St Barnabas) that Bazalgette invented the London sewer system.  I did not however require bathing!! But what I did need was confidence in myself.

Eliza had the gentle Captain Pickering who was so sure of her he was willing to pay for her tuition.  My Captain Pickering was a six foot tall football mad Liverpudlian who grew up in Thatchers 1980s Britain. His story was one I could relate too.  Indeed David O’Koro was my motivation and confidence maker.

It was with that out of the box thinking that I asked if I could be considered for work experience as a commis chef.  I had no nurturing as a child in the kitchen and for me this was a huge challenge and completely out of my comfort zone.  The kitchen is located in the basement of the building and has its own tradesman entrance. There are wooden panels on the walls, and the servants bell is still located above the door.

The magic behind good food was to be my elocution. In ten weeks our Head Chef Nick and his incredible team have shown me patience, belief in my own abilities and shared their own hard earned skills with me. I have met Hollywood A-listers, and been supported by members and staff alike.  I have been part of a professional photo-shoot to promote Benugo’s Christmas Sandwich will raise money for the Employment Academy so others can follow in my path and realise their potential and dreams.

I start working officially for Benugo as a commis chef this month and hope to spend many happy years here.  Just as Eliza I have had a happy ending. I am sure it is the end of one chapter and the glorious beginning of the next.”

these guys are my heroes and heroines, and i do need them, they inspire me, and hopefully as readers of this blog you feel the same way, and as we get our coffee shop inspired by hosb and the likes of denise, we will make real changes, and that is my dream.

keep inspiring fellow bigmoosers, they’ll try to stop us, but they won’t.

have an amazing week, don’t be afraid to love, and i’ll see ya next week,

blue skies,

jeffers

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hinduism, cake and beer (what a lineup)

buenos dias bigmoose amigos,

how was your week?

hopefully it was a goodun, and the crimbo madness and consumerism hasn’t consumed you too much?

i woke today to read a lovely message written by our bigmoose friend nicky stefan, wife of my streatham redskins team mate of thirty five years ago, gary stefan.

this facebook post was a very heartfelt message to us all to remember the folk that don’t have great big supportive families, if any, and that have lost loved ones, and will have an empty chair at their festive table this 25th, and was a beautifully written piece, that i would endorse wholeheartedly, nice one nick.

i smiled as i read her thoughtfully crafted message, as part of my trip to london last weekend was to go out friday night with her hubby gary and a couple of other line mates from the same redskins team, and then to stay with gary and nicky for the weekend.

the sunday at the stefs had no planned agenda, but whilst in india recently, as reported in my blog, we went to a very cool hindu temple that made a big impression on me, and whilst in delhi an old indian woman informed me that they had another temple in, of all places neasden.

now I had never thought of neasden as being a place of culture, and learning.

i was wrong.

a trip on the m4 the day prior, had us pass a brown signpost showing the neasden temple to be close, and prompted a discussion about it’s delhi big brother, and resulted in a planned trip the following day.

as we entered the place a calm serenity washed over me, and a peacefulness that felt good.

now this wasn’t the anesthetic from my knee op wearing off i promise, it genuinely felt very tranquil, and as we wandered around with no shoes on, our gang of four all seemed to be feeling the same.

we entered the understanding hinduism exhibition, and without going all religious on you, a lot of it made sense, and i just wanna write a little excerpt from the guidebook.

care for humanity

we are all birds of the same nest

we may wear different skins

we may speak in different tongues

we may believe in different religions

we may believe in different cultures

yet we share the same home – earth

born on the same planet, covered by the same skies, gazing at the same stars, breathing the same air, we must learn to happily progress together or miserably perish together.

for humans can live individually, but can only survive collectively.

now, i’m not a hindu, or at all religious, but i do like the message, and reading nicky’s facebook post, i think it may possibly have been influenced by this, which is kinda cool.

flipping heck, that got a bit deep didn’t it!

ok, we’ll soon stop that, i’ll share with you a lovely message i got sent by a bigmoose blog reader last week, that was serious and funny in equal measure, and made me smile at both ends of the spectrum, literally, but it’s nice to get such messages, as it shows that this weekly injection of randomness into your lives is received by some in the way it is hoped.

cheers dai

so the other reason as i mentioned for going to the smoke last week was to hook up with my hockey pals for our dinner club that we have, and at the end of our nosh the waiter appeared with a cake, which as i knew it wasn’t any of our party’s birthday, confused me, until i looked a little closer, and saw an uncanny resemblance of a sugary effigy of myself, complete with ginger beard, on a cake based sand dune, and the iced letters mds.

and before you ask, yes we all have the same hair stylist :)

uncanny likeness!

now i ran mds almost eight months ago, so i was a little surprised to say the least, but the fact that these big butch hockey players held this feat so highly in their esteem as to make such a beautiful piece of confectionary was quite emosh for me, hockey players just don’t do this.

i’m not sure if it was the three negronis i had drunk prior to this sweet saharan cake being presented, but i really was touched, and still am.

cake eaten, hindu temple visited, and back in cardiff, i ventured back into the gym to attempt to get back on my everest training programme, and after three days on the bounce, really pushing myself, i feel like my body is healing well, which i am chuffed with, yes chuffed, i don’t think chuffed is used enough these days, so will be using it quite a lot today.

i am also chuffed that we have collected the duvets and pillows from the holiday inn in cardiff, and distributed them all to needy folk in the principality, so a heeeeuge thank you to andrew walker for facilitating this lovely gesture, if we all make a little effort in our own lives, we can help so many.

2017 looks like being a busy one, and we have been putting a bigmoose plan together which looks quite daunting, but hey we get one go, let’s make sure we make the most of it i reckon, so we’re not going to announce anything yet, but one of our events next year is going to involve running (*coughs really loudly and says new york marathon really quickly), so if you fancy a bit of running action let us know, and watch out for updates.

in other news we have our eyes on another coffee shop site, but won't mention too much about it, for fear of jinxing it, but we are still 100% focused on doing this project, we won't give up, as it really does seem like it can be a vehicle to make change, fingers crossed.

now for all my criticism of crimbolina being a tad too commercial for my liking i am going to end todays blog trying to sell you something, and it is for purely selfish gain.

i am trying to raise the money to get to climb everest, and am trying to show that anything can be achieved if you truly believe, and to do that i am having to hustle, hard, so here comes the sales pitch.

we are now selling everest at 53 beer online, and in cool crafty devil christmas packs, so you can give it to your loved ones, not the dustbin lids obviously, enabling you to play your part in enabling me to attempt to climb to the top of the world, and, when i have, you can say 'remember that beer i bought you for christmas, well the geezer that brewed it has just summited everest, cool huh, i bet he's chuffed.'

http://www.everestat53.com/beer/

sincere apologies for such blatant misuse of my blog, but i've gotta do anything i can to get to my dream.

finally, to end with, some news about our venture into schools, we are looking at taking our everest story, and the theme of achieving your potential into as many as possible, and encouraging them to follow our journey, and on monday we travel north to manchester to present to our first school outside south wales, so wish us luck, hopefully we do a good job, and if you know anybody that would like us to rock up, show pictures of frostbite, dress up teachers in down suits and goggles, and encourage kids to go 'woooooooah' at every other slide please get in touch.

so until next week, i'll be seeing ya, but as the hindus say 'care for humanity' in whatever way you can :)

blue skies,

jeff 

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alpine club, jaguar's and harley davidson's

good morning bigmoose chums, live from the bunkhouse at the alpine club in london.

yep, the rab 1200 expedition sleeping bag and i spent the night again in the famous alpine club, and as i unfurled my toasty red friend i notice some of the reading material on the wall adjacent to my shoreditch based bunk.

in a place like the alpine club stuff is just there on the shelves for you to read, and as my eye scanned some of the musky and dusty books and magazines i spied hillary and tenzing on the cover of a glossy mag, which closer inspection showed that it was actually a programme for the royal gala performance, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of mount everest, in the presence of hm the queen and hrh the duke of edinburgh at the odeon leicester square, london.

 

reading material sorted.

there is something about this place, and it’s history, that i love, and just unearthing this programme, which felt untouched, and the pages unread, for me, especially with my task ahead, is thrilling.

everest, wow, reading and thinking about it scares me the closer it gets, especially after having my knee op this week, but as i sit here now, progress is good, my range of movement is improving, and i am trying to stay calm and focused, geez it’s a good test though, and if/when i summit it will be pretty mad to think that this week i had surgery on both knees, the human body is pretty amazing dontcha think?

so my op was monday, and prior to that i was in london again last saturday, where i attended a seminar by a chap called andy harrrington who is a public speaking coach, and i learnt a lot just in one day, and have now signed up to a three day course to improve my methods and style, rather than just blabbing on unstructured, as if i am going to do a few bits of speaking i would like to be the best i can be, so that should be interesting.

what andy talked about was storytelling, and how to tell stories effectively, and with no prior training that i am aware of, one of the bigmoose crew, the adventure mad kris king rang me last week to have a chat and a catchup, and told me a very interesting story, which has nothing to do with bigmoose at all, but i just thought i would share it with you.

 

kris has recently been working as the event co-ordinator and race director for beyond the ultimate, extreme race company, and was head hunted to run some events for bear grylls.

now kinger recently received a ransome worthy of his name for this work, and had some decisions to make, the main one being should he deposit this bag of swag into an isa, or buy a jaguar car.

so, decision made, kris is in the jaguar garage with his new car, getting some adjustments made to it, and he tumbles into conversation with another chap in the waiting room, and they start discussing their cars, and how they got to where they are.

now kris’s story of growing up, and his background, to end up with a car that growls is a pretty cool one, but his compadre in the dealership’s story was a bit more involved.

so dear reader, we shall start, on what might appear to sound like a shaggy dog story, but please, bear with me.

the fellow jag owner, we’ll call him mr jones, starts to tell kris that he has a couple of motorbikes, nothing flash, but he is now looking to get a new bike to add to his collection, but his wife insists they don’t have enough room, and if he must continue his collection, he must build a shed or suchlike to house the soon to be three speed monsters.

our hero of the story, decides the best thing to do is invest in a metal shipping container, which will be dry and secure, and can be positioned at the end of his garden, and his wife will be happy as it will be out of site.

he does his research, and after some time discovers a suitably priced container locally, and upon telephoning the owner, discovers it to still be for sale, and available for inspection.

the chap selling it informs him that it is watertight, but a bit dirty, and has some old bike parts inside which need to be cleared before he sells it, but he’s welcome to come and have a look.

the thought of bikes parts sounded interesting to the two wheel enthusiast, as he set off to view the metal storage device.

as the doors creaked open, the light cast shadows over an array of bike parts just as the owner had said, and as our man shone the light from his phone on them, he felt his heart beat a little faster when he saw that they were in fact harley davidson parts, his dream bike manufacturer, and there appeared to be quite a lot of them.

the price of the container was discussed, and no haggling was done, this was the north of england, not some moroccan bazarre, and our man agreed with the seller that he would take the unit without needing to clear the parts, as he loved harley davidson stuff, and would enjoy checking them out, so the deal was done.

the container was delivered, and as it was lowered into mr jones garden he was excited to start look at the dusty old parts that were contained within.

with more light on the situation, it transpired that, there were actually parts from a fully dismantled bike, and the excitement grew every moment he found another piece in a crate or strewn on the floor.

after spending quite a while putting the machine together he knew he had struck gold, and as he turned the key in the ignition, and the beast growled into life with a huge puff of smoke from the engine he couldn’t believe his luck.

it worked.

aware that he had been extremely lucky to have been almost gifted this dream bike, he decided to find out its history, and set about ascertaining its heritage.

he dialled the nearest harley dealership, where his story wasn’t received quite so well as he had hoped, and they didn’t seem quite as excited, until they asked for the chassis number of the bike.

he had this number already, and read it out slowly to the chap at the other end of the phone.

“mr jones can you repeat that number please?”

once repeated there was a short silence.

“can you bear with me mr jones”, and a longer silence.

“mr jones, my dealer principal and i would love to come and have a look at your bike if we may, would that be possible this afternoon?”

and so they arrived, that afternoon, and played a canny game of poker with our hero, but as they offered him four thousand pounds for the bike there and then, he knew it must have been worth more, so he thanked them for their offer, and said he would think about it.

it was literally seconds after they left that he was dialling the harley davidson head office in milwaukee, and he repeated his story, which kind of panned out the same way, ‘can you repeat that number please mr jones?”

“would you be willing to send us some pictures of the bike mr jones?

half an hour of calls and e-mails resulted in another call to our boy.

“hi mr jones my name is lawrence g hund, and i am the president and ceo of harley davidson in milwaukee, and i believe you have a bike that would be of interest to me, would you mind if we came over to the uk to have a look at it?”

a date was agreed, and the american party of three arrived to look at the bike in the metal container.

as they entered the unit, the ceo told mr jones that he though he might have a very special bike in his midst, and as they approached the bike he asked mr jones to lift up a secret leather flap on the bikes seat, and to read what it said underneath.

as he lifted the flap, he read the engraved words “to bob dylan from elvis presley” out loud.

as his heart nearly burst out of his chest, the ceo explained.

“mr jones, back in the early days of his career elvis presley bought ten harley davidson motorcycles for ten of his friends, and over the years i have managed to find and buy nine of the ten for my own collection. yours is the tenth, and i would very much like to buy it from you and ship it back to america where it will go on display, and if you would be willing to sell it to me, i will pay you a quarter of a million pounds, and i will also pay for you to come to the states, and you can pick any harley davidson motorcycle you like, and i will shipit back to the uk for you”

and that was why mr jones was in the jaguar dealership that day as he was collecting his new car that he had bought, and was getting ready to drive it back to the new extension he had built on his house to house his toys.

cool story kinger!

i definitely can’t top that, but just wanted to update you all that we have found another possible coffee shop site, and will be making a return visit next week to see if we think it can work for us, the bigmoose coffee co. is raring to go, we have so many ideas, we just need a premises that will work, keep yer fingers crossed.

on a final note, we will be announcing a bigmoose challenge for 2017 next week if you are looking for something to push your boundaries, and this will be our first event outside the uk, so check back then for more details.

until then have a fab weekend, keep doing your monthly moose’s, and as december is now upon us, don't party too hard, and think of those less fortunate than yourselves, and until then i’ll be seeing ya.

blue skies,

jeff

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india, being green, grab your coat 2.

good morning bigmoose blog readers,

i owe you an explanation for the lack of blogs for two weeks.

two weeks ago i went to india with the intention of blogging from jaipur, and took my trusty laptop full of great intention.

unfortunately the freneticism of india, the wedding we were attending, and a lack of time where i could sit down and scribe caused me to rationalise my behaviour, and kick back and be present.

i won't lie, i'm glad i did, india is amazing.

i don't often wish to return to countries i visit quite so quickly, but india, you got me!

the wedding i mentioned was beautiful, and heads to number one spot for me in my all time wedding list, and i've been to a few gooduns in the past, but this one, being hindu was pretty much booze free, but i don't think i have danced so much for years, and the general love that washed over us all for the whole four days of the ceremony was electric.

i totally had extended family envy throughout the gig, and longed for such a solid, fun bunch of folk, and the bride and groom were a pretty photogenic duo.

 i have enough tales to fill ten blogs, but i will tell of but two, the first happened as we headed from delhi to jaipur in a prearranged hippo cab, that would drive us the four and a half hours to our destination for a mere thirty five pounds, insane value.

as our friendly driver drove through a small town, he decide to stop for directions, and pulled over in the brightly lit nights streets, full of colour, and people, and a vibrancy that my imagination had painted as an expectation.

my window was open to listen to the street sounds, and just as we were observing our new indian world two elephants appeared one on either side of the taxi, and i'm not sure dear reader of your experience of elephants, but this was a first for me.

bemused, and somewhat shocked i did nothing but lower my jaw as one of the elephants manoeuvred it's rectum to be positioned inches from my face.

i risk assessed the situation in lightning speed, and saw an 'only fools and horses' moment about to happen, and fumbled to close the window, before the worst could transpire.

'they're fricking elephants' i exclaimed, as if my family in the back weren't able to distinguish these jungle animals, and we all let out lots of laughs and oh my god's.

i decided to get out to see these beautiful creatures, and was beckoned by the elephant owner to have a picture, which i duly did, and became a wide eyed tourist within seconds.

again without wishing to wax too lyrical about india here, i would just say if you get an opportunity, go there, and if you are building a go to list, put it on the podium, for me it is a medal winner.

last indian reference, even if you don't go, check out this gaff we went to that totally over delivered, and even the website is beautiful http://akshardham.com/download/photo-galleries/

so india consumed me, and was week one's excuse for non blog activity, and last week is quite a shameful reason.

now, i always teach my children that whatever the experience, good or bad we can always learn from it, and that we never lose, we either win or we learn.

all very well smiffy, but adhere to the rules you eejit.

a while ago my laptop crashed, and two hours worth of blog writing went awol, and i vowed to write my blog as a word doc, and then copy and paste it into the squarespace blog that then sends it out, simple solution, to a somewhat deflating problem.

you know the ending to this story already.

last week full of indian exuberance, i typed, and i typed, and i typed.

i then went for coffee number two, rookie error.

my eight year old mac is starting to have a few senior moments, and chose this day to decide to test me, and unfortunately it won, i just couldn't face attempting to write such brilliant prose again, so unfortunately the best blog i have ever written, which probably had pulitzer written all over it, has slid off the page like mercury seeking it's resting place after a thermometer is broken.

oh well, as the french would say c'est la vie. 

onward and upward.

i have a few bits of news this week some good, some downright pants.

pants news first.

we have been knocked back on our coffee shop, the powers that be have decided that our lack of coffee shop running expertise, and the homeless people training academy worries them as to whether we can make it work, and i quote 'whilst very enthusiastic, our business acumen was somewhat green'

i would like to list my complete vocabulary of expletives here, but will refrain from this line as we may be here a while, needless to say 'watch this space' and the fact that disney, gates, jobs, huffington etc, all received equally scathing comments whilst being rebuked early in their business lives, fills me with drive and determination, and will only make the taste of success that much sweeter when it happens, we're not out yet, we've got lives to change.

consumerism eh?

whilst not wanting to get political on this black friday, i will just share a stat that i discovered today, that over 1/3 of crimbo stuff gets sent to landfill or is unused, wow that's a lot of rubbish.

so as i read this stat and headed to my office this morning i concluded that i am actually a hippy, and upon reflection have always been, and only these last few years have i broken free from my shackles, vive la revolution!! lol

in the good news column we are going to be doing our 'grab your coat' campaign again this year, which consists of lots of lovely bigmoose type folk donating used warm clothes that can be given to homeless people living rough on our streets, trying to survive our cold wet british winter.

this year our mates at cotswold outdoor are again providing drop off points for people to drop donations off, and have confirmed eight stores that will be participating across the west, and we are waiting to hear if the whole company will be getting involved, powerful huh?

also, my gym the david lloyd that sponsor me for my everest trip, have embraced the campaign and will be encouraging their members to donate warm clobber in the club, which i'm really proud about, small acorns eh?

the other cool news we have is that we are looking to work with schools on my everest trip, to basically go to visit as many as possible to present to the children about the whole journey, and hopefully encourage them to follow the adventure online, and inspire them to do things that they dream of, and reach their potential, whether it be going to university, playing football professionally, etc, but to dream big, and never ever give up.

i did my first presentation in ebbw vale yesterday, and loved it.

my favourite question being from a 9 year old little girl, who had her hand up patiently during the q & a, and when i asked her what her question was, she quietly whispered 'what will it feel like walking in sir edmund hillary's footsteps?' needless to say my mind was blown, and even writing it now i'm melting, lovely lovely little girl, and what a sweet mind.

best question of the tour award so far!!

so if you know of any schools that would like to get involved, please get in touch, even if internationally, we can always do skype calls, i really think this is positive stuff seeing the kids faces yesterday, and i was kinda thrilled when the deputy head, who we had dressed up in full down suit, goggles and boots said this to us after the presentation.

so as we head into december and the use of the 'c' word becomes acceptable, keep rocking those monthly mooses, and if you're a new subscriber this is a monthly moose http://www.bigmoose.co/monthlymoose/

please let us know when you do cool stuff, your efforts inspire others, it's a positive energy source which builds and grows.

so apologies done, india discussed, coffee shop tbc, and monday beckons for my double knee operation, fingers and other digits crossed, if i get up that big hill in may, it won't be for the lack of obstacles, but i guess it will make it a more fun story to tell the kids after!

onward and upward, have a great week, and be yourself, be the hippy you've always known you are,

i'll be seeing ya,

blue skies,

jeffers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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trick or treat :)

my name is jeff smith and it is nine days since i nearly had a fight.

last weeks blog had the biggest response ever (one text) about mr angry's behaviour, and apparently i wasn't the only one shocked by his outbursts, and i am now finding myself referring to the central part of the face as a snose, which i should probably stop quite soon, not yet though eh!

anyway, good morning!

last weeks blog also had one comment from a reader who i shan't name, actually yes i will emma pakes, who suggested i should warn people it takes 15 minutes to read my blog, apologies indeed, but there is no blog reading law that imposes spot fines if the whole blog isn't read em, you can come back to it if so required.

so, following on from my bupa experience my week got less fractious as it progressed.

friday evening was fun, as i had been invited to talk to bristol and avonmouth police sports club, which consisted of a 150 'ish group of sports clubs within the force, and i had been invited by my mate jim, who i met while on mathew's 30 day challenge back in march.

jim is a triathlete, but not just any triathlete, he is one of the band of nutters that i know who have completed a triple ironman in one go, and in case you need reminding, that is a 7.2 mile swim, then a 336 mile cycle, and then a 78 mile run, absolutely radio rental, but for me it's like a calling card, if you can do that kinda stuff, you've got 'it', and jim and i kinda clicked pretty quickly, and i started following his adventures, as he was just about to embark on a cycle with his son jake to cycle up and down the length of the country, which he did successfully, and his blog if you like that kinda stuff can be found here http://www.triblogs.com/blog/Ironjedi/?id=3284

i accepted jim's invite to talk to his co workers, as i now don't say no to any opportunity to tell people about bigmoose, but whilst putting together some slides for my talk i found a new angle.

i sometimes struggle when people ask me why i want to climb everest, and i have wished i could come up some super cool inspiring piece of prose, but alas until now no.

however last week i heard a guy talking, and as i listened intently he gave it to me.

the simple answer to that question.

'i want to achieve my potential.'

simple as that, this absolutely nails it spot on, i want to see if i can do it, physically and mentally, and that's all.

so energised by this simple sentence, i felt like i wanted to include it in my keynote, so i added a few more slides, and thought i would take a chance on trying something.

so, as i landed at the golf club where the event was taking place, i had slightly fewer nerves than i normally have, and i actually felt excited to talk, wow, i've made some strides there then.

 i met the chap in charge tony, and he introduced me to a guy who looked like a rugby player, 'this is jason, jason played rugby for england, and he'll be speaking before you, you're the main attraction'

you know those nerves that had kept pretty quiet earlier, well i duly discovered they had been on a fag break, and were back now revved up and ready to go.

'played rugby for england' are you having a giraffe i thought, whilst trying to keep a very calm look about me.

'how're you doing jason' i enquired, wondering if i had cheered him on at some time, which i must have done, and we chatted about rugby, hockey and everest, and the strange thing is, that because everest is a big part of my life, i sometimes lose sight of other peoples perceptions of it, and the recent everest movie has shown people who had never been aware of the conditions on the mountain before, what it is really like, and jason seemed pretty interested in talking about it.

jason was a lovely guy, and i hoped he wasn't too brilliant when he started his talk.

he spoke of his career, and life post career, which resonated, and at the end of the night we both discussed having friends who struggle with no longer have their sport in their lives.

however cometh the hour, cometh the nerves, and i prepped my slideshow, ready for my time.

as i addressed the audience, i explained that i wanted to try to change at least one person in the audiences life, and try to get them to achieve their potential, and do something they had always wanted to do, but never pushed through to do.

risky strategy, i knew, but i really want to leave these kind of things touching people in a way that makes a change, hey ho off we go, and i presented my various slides of pictures and video of bigmoose stuff.

the audience seemed pretty in tune, and i didn't have one sleeper, an expression i heard a mate of mine call the first person he had fall asleep at one of his talks.

as i came to the end of my talk i took a pretty bold step, which could quite easily have crashed and burned, as i asked for a show of hands to see if the stuff i had talked about had inspired anybody in the room to push themselves to try achieve their potential, and thank goodness for me there was a healthy double digit response, and i felt the reward was well worth the risk.

after i finished i spoke to a number of people who were very supportive, and spoke of now setting out to push themselves harder as they had more in them, but just needed a shove, so hopefully i've made a difference in some way.

i was very pleased with how this risky plan played out, as i had no idea of the consequences, however if it had gone pete tong it could have cost me thousands in therapy.

the result for me is that i now feel more confident to entwine this 'achieve your potential' theory into all that i do, and as such today me and chloe have a meeting with the headmaster of a school that i am going to see to discuss engaging their students with my everest journey, and encouraging them to always try to achieve their potential, and hopefully following my adventure to the top of the world they will be inspired in some way.

so that is well and good, but emma is probably checking her watch by now, so i will wrap up this week with a quick story involving phil our postman.

phil as you may have read recently is our lovely postman who recently donated a fiver to our running for emily appeal, and is a genuine top bloke.

well on tuesday morning, november 1st phil knocked on our door and gave some post to be signed for to chloe, and smiled a big smile saying 'trick or treat?' which chloe smiled at him politely, and signed for the post.

'phil was very strange this morning, he said trick or treat as he gave me the post?' she said.

hmmm, that's weird, maybe he's a big fan of halloween, strange though.

we didn't think anything more of it until we left to go to a meeting later that day.

our house is a bit secluded, and we have never get trick or treaters, ever, so in my hilarious way, and knowing tania was coming home on halloween evening i stuck a cheeky little sign on the door, as my way of spreading the halloween joy, which when she came home she laughed at and told me i was funny, mission accomplished.

unfortunately, i completely forgot to remove said sign off the door, and super phil, the fastest postman in the west was subjected to my little halloween prank, sorry phil, at least we understand your gag now.

last week i used the v word, and had one person unsubscribe, so hopefully this week i haven't offended anyone, i won't make a habit of it i promise.

anyway emma is tapping her fingers now, so i'd better cut this short,

hopefully see ya next friday, have a marvellous week, and try to achieve your potential in everything you do, push harder, step outside your comfort zone, do that flipping scary thing, say yes and worry about it after, but mainly live your life.

i'll be seeing ya,

blue skies,

jeff

 

 

 

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