Nǐ hǎo Dà tuólù Péngyǒu,
i'm sure you know what it means.
today it's mandarin, it's the future, just ask my friend mari who has just put together a trade deal with a far east company who have agreed terms to put solar panels on the principality stadium up here in cardiff, taking it 100% off grid, how exciting, and now she is looking at stadium's all over the uk.
mari works with cynnal cymru, or sustain wales if you're cockney, http://www.cynnalcymru.com/ and she is a very intriguing lady, who i met a few months ago, and have now teamed up with her on our prison project, but she is doing some very cool and interesting work around sustainability, including working with riversimple, a company based in wales that have developed a hydrogen car, and are now crowdfunding, and who are really worth five minutes having a look at, check them out
pretty nifty eh?
as well as working with mari on the prison project, i am also asking her lots of questions about the coffee shop project, which i want to be as sustainable as it can possibly be, and having watched hugh fearnley whittingstalls recent programme on non recyclable coffee cups, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/jul/29/hughs-war-on-waste-fearnley-whittingstall-coffee-cup it seems to me we should start how we mean to go on, and i am hoping mari's input will be invaluable.
wow, i've only written a little, and have had to head east to the kitchen to get my second cup this morning, well ahead of schedule, so watch out for fireworks as the caffeine kicks in!!
as i emerged from my duvet covered cocoon this morning i noticed a chill in the air, and whereas the last few months i have written my blog in just a towel, sorry for ruining anyones ready brek, today it was sherpa hoody, and obligatory towel obviously.
winter, she's a comin'.
i love winter, in fact i love all the seasons, in their own way, but the way the trees shed their summer coats turning beautiful gold and brown, and cover the ground below with their leaves, takes me back to my childhood and walking through woods full of trees, kicking up leaves, and the squishing scrunching noise they make, and discovering a hidden puddle below a leaf disguised booby trap, and the feeling of water going inside your shoes and socks, fond memories.
i seem to have tons to write about today, and am wandering off on visceral tangents, apologies.
right, back on track smiffy, 'running for emily'!
wow, what an amazing day sunday was, running the cardiff half with chloe, and twenty two thousand others, and being part of what felt more a like a jamboree than a race, music, cheering, huge crowds of well wishers, more high fives than i could wish for, more strangers offering sugar based confectionary than i'd ever witnessed, and an atmosphere of real joy, i loved it.
our running for emily running crew were amazing, and every one of them finished the race, and as we printed 104 shirts, and they all went somehow, i think including last minute randoms that was the number that took part, and at last count we were just over £27k raised, which is pretty amazing considering barnardos a mainstream charity, with tv adverts and everything, were extolling the virtues of their team who raised £10k, my goodness bigmoose crew, we punch well above our weight, and if you were involved in this project in any way, thank you so, so much, the amount of good we have done is, in my opinion immeasurable, the love and warmth i felt in the bar before we all ran, and after the race was electric, human energy in this way turns me on so much, and is so what drives me to do bigmoose, the sum of all the parts is just amazing, and speaking to emily's mum and dad after the race i think we helped them in some way have a focus on this project, and as donna said before, helped them with their grief.
there are loads of people to thank, anthony from colour house in merthyr who made and printed all of our motivational signs that we did, free of charge, the geezer in travis perkins merthyr, who when i told the story of what the wood and screws were for, gave them to me free of charge, james morgan from redrow homes, who single handedly raised the most money we could have dreamt of, and is now playing a big part in bigmoose going forward, and my postman phil, who when i told the story of emily found a fiver from his pocket, and asked if he could donate it to the cause, and most of all to you, you little rascals, if you're reading this you must have a really big heart, and must have contributed in some way, running, fundraising, sharing on social media, telling other people or even just opening this blog week in week out, which helps encourage me to carry on, and finally my friends and family, many friends who drove from london, bristol, etc to join in, and family who worked tirelessly arranging all sorts of stuff, for no pay, we ain't barnardos with some big wage bill (sorry barnardos, i love you guys work, but just wanna highlight how brilliant we are, and for no dollar)
this is what we are, this is who you are, never underestimate how you help make what we do great, and united we are phenomenal, and from the bottom of my heart thanks, for this and everything you do to help, and hopefully grow a great future for bigmoose.
i warned you didn't i, that second cup packed a punch alright!!
phew, i'll turn it down a notch.
actually no i won't.
now then, i haven't bored you with details, but veeeeeeeeeery long story short, we are really close to getting a premises, and last week a buddy of mine collected his running for emily shirt, donated a river's worth of bottled water for our team, and then nonchalantly offered me a premises to open our coffee shop in free gratis.
so, what this means is, we have option one, where we get a shop in the magnificent st davids centre in cardiff, with amazing footfall, in a prime location, with a big old rent and rates bill, or option two a slightly smaller premises, with less footfall, but for rates only.
if i'm honest, i hope we can come to terms with our potential landlords, as i think the long term visibility of their premises, and the fact that they have almost twenty other shopping malls around the country, will give us a fantastic route to market to expand, once we have made cardiff a success, but to have option two is brilliant, thanks mr d, your generosity is endless, so watch this space, but once we get a green light it is going to be full steam ahead, and i will without doubt be asking for your help.
i want to do a kind of d.i.y. s.o.s. style project, and get operational super quickly, so if you are, or know any tradesmen or tradeswomen, or suppliers of building materials, please get in touch, as we need to get this done at minimal cost, and as fast as possible, i have a really good feeling about this, and would love for us all to rally the troops and show again what people power can do, shoot i feel energised this morning!!!
a couple of everest things to end with, it has been a pretty good week this week, and i have been ramping up my training, and feeling strong, so that's good, as well as getting a nutrition company called huel, who sponsor our mate mathew pritchard, who have agreed to sponsor me as well, and i have just started using their product, which is very exciting, and i really like their ethics, so check them out, they're a pretty interesting company https://huel.com/
also, i have secured sponsorship from a swiss running company called on running, who are going to supply me with training kit for my everest journey, and have been a joy to deal with, extremely supportive, and passionate, my kinda people, and it was quite thrilling to be told 'we have given you a code to enter, which gives you 100% discount at checkout' which for me was like being given the keys to the chocolate factory, so if you need any kit ;) (just kidding on running chaps, if you're reading)
have a look at their wares, i think they are pretty sick, and i am expecting my first delivery today, not that i'm excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i have just thought, i will ask them if i can get a discount code for bigmoose folk as well, and if they agree i shall pass it on, watch this space.
next week i'm off to do some filming with the global drone systems crew in snowdonia, and i'm pretty stoked at what they are talking about doing, and slightly nervous, at how actually grown up this all is, i recently went to a seminar where a very well respected public speaking coach talked about how the voice inside her head often accuses her of being an impostor, and having just googled this, there is actually a thing known as impostor syndrome, which on this journey to everest from time to time scares the bejesus out of me, and as i type this my mood changes as quickly as the colours and patterns as you turn a kaleidoscope, and fear takes over.
a lifelong mate from london who came up to run the half last week, sat eating his pre race carbs in my house, and told me of how he had just watched the movie 'everest' and how he seriously wanted to 'have a word'.
i warned him not to mention this in front of my gang, and brushed it under the terrazo tiles.
however, every now and then impostor syndrome gives me a little dig in the ribs, and i have to breathe deeply, but that's half the fun right?
oooo er, scarey.com
i just had this urge to sing 'bob the builder can we fix this?' and then shout 'yes we can!'
seriously, me and coffee are a bad mix, can you imagine being on the summit of everest, with a satphone in my hand ringing home and singing 'bob the builder', ha ha ha, i'm not sure about my sanity, oh well, i might as well enjoy the ride while i'm here.
i think i have shared enough of my insecurities with you today, which actually reminds of a thing i went to last to night for sport wales, where a gang of sporty folk including myself, did a five minute jibber jabber on what they do, hopefully inspiring people to get involved in sport.
this was lovely to be invited to, and my old mountaineering mate richard parks was speaking as well, but the interesting bit was that he spoke about being insecure, and how this always caused him problems in all he does, very impostor syndrome i guess, but very brave of him to admit publically, and not something i had ever realised about him, as his outer shell never showed this, and i have just had a memory of sitting in the g.b. dressing room, playing in the world championships, and really doubting why i should be there, i wasn't worthy or good enough, wow, get me a couch someone, interesting though, i think we probably all have these fears, but hide them as best we can.
my name is jeff smith and i am scared of raising the money to climb everest, and of actually climbing it successfully, there you are, catharsis complete!
i also subscribe to the theory that if your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough, right?
on that note, i'm outta here, have a lush weekend, do something kind to some old bugger that won't expect it, hug more, and i'll hopefully see you back here next week, thanks for reading, x