morning bigmoose chums,

i have never written my blog so early in the week, today is wednesday, and it's only 10:25, and the day has been quite packed with stuff already, which will hopefully satiate your blog thirst.

as you may know, i am looking to climb mount everest in 155 days from when i write this, but 153 if you read it on friday, (152 if you read it on saturday, etc) you get the picture.

if this is your first read of my blog, i'm climbing mount everest next year by the way ;)

so, 150 or so days isn't long to go, and it will go very quickly, i totally know that, so i need to get the ticket paid for, and get my body and mind in the best shape i will ever have been in, to give myself the greatest chance of summiting successfully and safely.

so that's where i am, but where i have been has some relevance to today's story.

back in march i helped bigmoose ambassador and pal, mathew pritchard, with his thirty half ironmen in thirty days challenge, and as well as helping him with the logistics of the gig, i drove the support van, with the intention of driving slowly behind mathew, and on some days a peloton of up to 40 cyclists, keeping drivers aware that there were cyclists in front, and providing a modicum of protection for the team.

now i don't know if it was the repetitive clutch control, staying in first and second gear most of the four hour daily drive, or when the pilchard that was on his phone drove into the back of the van writing it off, jolting me forward like a live crash test dummy, but whatever the cause, by the end of the challenge, my knees, which i've never had a problem with before, felt cream crackered.

i knew they weren't right, but had the little matter of running mds, the world's toughest footrace in the sahara, and 250km across the desert in under ten days, so kept shtum about telling anyone, as i knew if i did they would worry, and kindly ask about my wellbeing, and questioning whether i should be running a bunch of marathons and a double marathon across sand dunes in up to 50 degree heat with moody knees.

i ran, the knees survived, and i thought by giving them a rest after april they would get back to normal, pain free.

they didn't, and every month i ran extremely slow at our running for emily training runs, and every month i knew they weren't improving.

i rocked up to the cardiff half, aiming to sweep up at the back making sure all our valiant runners got the tick in the box, and hopefully a lifelong lasting memory of achieving something amazing.

i completed the race with little fluffy, and the whole experience was awesome, but i knew my joints between my thighs and lower legs were a bit mashed.

after the race i decided to do what adults do, and go to see a doctor, as i had committed to go back to everest, and i didn't feel 100% that in their current condition i would be at the peak of my fitness. (see what i did there, peak....)

one mri scan later and the doc suggested i could need surgery, but i played that down internally, as a last chance thing, and hopefully some physio could right the wrongs.

i then trekked off to snowdon with the drone boys to shoot some footage for the everest website, and upon coming down the mountain i knew i needed to get something done, and i started a plan b.

in between snowdon and plan b, i set off to london to run in the midnight runners charity gig, and after my first 10k run, at a fast pace for me, i was broken, and i haven't recovered since, and last night was unable to walk at all, which wasn't pretty.

fortunately the gaffer had insisted that i go private to stand a chance of getting seen and to get an op, and a chance of continuing on my journey to reach the top of the world, so this morning i set off to the local spire hospital in cardiff.

as i sat in the glistening reception area, awaiting my appointment, with two other people in the area, i heard what turned out to be one of the consultants p.a.'s informing them both that the consultant they were there to see had been called out in the night to attend the local nhs hospital for a trauma case that had come into a & e, and he would therefore be running a little late, and they could either wait approximately thirty minutes longer or reschedule, and her manner was courteous, apologetic, and won the sympathy of the two waiting patients who offered patience, both accepting that a trauma case was understandably more important than their needs.

good humans i reckoned.

then he came in.

mr angry.

a silver haired chap, in his fifties, and as he strode up to the desk i overheard the extremely polite p.a. repeat the story, only for mr angry to retort loudly and angrily 'what does that mean in english?'

oooooooooh my hackles went up, just ever so slightly.

'one hour, two hours, three hours, how long?' mr angry goaded.

p.a. lady explained that the consultant had said he would be there as soon as he could be and shouldn't be too much longer, but she could reschedule if he preferred?

'no, i'm going to my car anyway', he bellowed loudly, and he about turned heading car park bound.

i carried on reading lydia bradey's book 'going up is easy' about guess what, everest, and how she became the first woman to summit everest without oxygen, which is a great read, and makes me happy when i pick it up.

as i drifted off with lydia to the himalayas, i was glad i was early to allow myself the treat of reading a few pages, i was in my happy place.

i didn't look up as mr angry returned, and sat on a seat that was two away from mine, but his row backed against the backs of mine.

the consultant's p.a. then returned to the room to inform the three amigos waiting that her boss had updated her, and he would be about fifteen minutes.

mr angry then proceeded to lambast our girl, reprimanding her that her boss should make up his mind whether he wants to earn money privately or through the n.h.s., and that he should get his priorities right.

as lydia trekked into base camp, i had to turn to look at mr angry, as i was shocked at his volume, and his attack on this petite young woman.

i glared in his direction as he spat more vitriol, and i wanted him to see me.

he did.

he turned to look at me, aware that my gaze was fixed on him.

'what are you looking at?' he exclaimed.

'you, you rude man, why don't you stop being so rude to this young lady?' i countered.

'why don't you mind your own business!'

'this is my business, as i am not going to sit here while you raise your voice, and bully this young lady, stop bullying her you rude old man!' 

'this has got nothing to do with you' he pressed.

'as long as you're bullying this woman, it has, now stop being so horrible and loud' and i felt myself physically shaking as my mind raced ahead to the consequences of my actions, was he going to get angrier, possibly start a fight, my mind sped ahead, i knew i could take him, even with gammy knees.

what are you doing smith, you're 53 with a family, a business, a non profit that professes to do good stuff, and you are contemplating duking some irate posh bloke in a bupa hospital, geez that escalated fast.

'keep you snose out of it' he growled.

'snose, snose, what's a snose you idiot?' i said feeling the comedy of the situation, and really wanting to laugh as he said 'snose', i am actually laughing as i type this.

'that's your snose' he said 'and yours is big'.

absolute comedy gold, 'my snose isn't big actually, but just stop bullying this young lady you silly old man' and i returned to lydia as she entered b.c.

mr angry calmed down, and the p.a. walked past me and mouthed 'thank you' as i smiled, and as i read the printed words, none of them now meaning a thing as i was still shaking, and thinking about how this man could behave in such a way, and i wondered about his life, and if he had always lived in this way, poor sod, he probably has quite a few issues, and as i heard my name being called i greeted my consultant with a smile as i entered his office calmly.

within ten minutes we had concluded that both knees were knackered, and i needed a double knee op to sort out the cartilage in them, which was causing the problem, and we discussed a game plan.

another mri on saturday, just to make 100% sure, another consultation in a week to confirm we are on track, and then take advantage of the november buy one get one free offer, one month till total recovery, and everest is still on track.

however, to get to the level of fitness i want to be at, i am going to have to absolutely rock it training wise, so the path ahead is definitely gonna be tougher, but hopefully nothing we can't overcome, and it only makes the story even more interesting, so onward and upward.

i left the consultation room, and mr angry was still there, and the devil inside me told me to give him a little slap with my book across his head as i walked past, but luckily the angel countered, and won as i left him to his day, though i did laugh at how childish it had ended up with me challenging the fact that he had said 'snose', how immature am i at all times??

i drove home to see my gang to update them on plan b, or plan 'knee' as it should be called, and both my girls were out, so i decide to save time, and update our family whatsapp.

our family whatsapp is where we share all kinds of madness, including silly pictures of ourselves, and even sillier videos of various dancing and mucking around. it is a sacred place, private to ourselves, and what goes on whatsapp stays on whatsapp.

until today that is.

i updated the gang on the next steps of sorting out my 53 year old knees, and at first i had the sympathy vote, but quite quickly this grew into a competitive family joust of sorts.

first born tiffany suggested that as she had a knee op some years ago that we could be 'knee op budz' to which i proffered that i would be having a double op on mine so whilst not wishing to get competitive, if it was a competition i'd probably win 2-1.

tiffany came back to me stating that she had actually had two ops on one knee, which i then highlighted that i would have had two knees, and two hips operated on.

youngest of the litter chloe, not to be outdone suggested that her kidney biopsy probably wins though, as part of her organ was extracted whilst she was awake.

she had a point i thought, and the whatsapp silence seemed to suggest we all thought the same, until 'tania is typing' showed up at the top of my screen.

what could she possibly offer to top a kidney biopsy i thought.

'i had two kids come out of my vagina.'

we all collapsed into hysterics, as she rocked us with this startling news, and i think in life there are times to admit when you are beaten, and this dear reader is one of them.

so, that has been the day so far, the week has been a goodun, with lots of things ready to take off, so we're on tenterhooks in bigmoose land, the coffee shop is very very close to happening, the prison project, which we are thinking of calling 'the hope project', has had some things that we just need to get confirmed before announcing, and everest stuff is rumbling along, with lots of work going on building foundations.

our instagram for everest has gone a bit radio rental, so have a look if you aren't in the gang yet at @everestat53, and from the insta account an indian chap called siraj has sent me a cool mountain pic, and offered to paint an oil for me, very kind indeed, he's kind of like the yin to mr angry's yang, lol.

three mountaineers - siraj mukadam

three mountaineers - siraj mukadam

i am actually off to india in a couple of weeks to a wedding of some friends, and am looking forward to wearing traditional dress for the occasion, and can't wait to get my kurta's on!!

i digress.

finally, i mentioned last week i was going to meet mark shayler, who does some very cool stuff on our planet, and can be found here and meeting him at tiffany's part time work place, the house of st barnabas, we sped through two hours of nattering about a myriad of subjects, but i kinda felt like i'd met another goodun, and he has agreed to make the aprons for our coffee shop, as he wants to weave denim, which is the kinda chap he is!

i thoroughly enjoyed adding mark to my list of off the wall creative folk that like to say yes, and he has a piece on his website that i love about wearing your festival trousers every day, and it goes like this....

Don't retire wishing you'd been to more festivals, wishing you'd taken your whole self to work, wishing you'd backed yourself and that crazy idea you had. Wear your festival trousers (or space helmet) every day and be who you want to be not who you think you should be. Do the things you were born to do.

Better people make better businesses, better businesses make a better world.

cool huh?

me and mr shayler

me and mr shayler

so that kinda wraps things up for this week really, so to recap this week, be nice not rude, keep yer fingers crossed for me that my knees recover enough to do what i require them to do next year, wear your festival pants more, and i heard something today, that will now be my answer for why i want to climb everest, 'i want to achieve my potential' and i think if we all strive for that simplistic goal in all we do, we should do pretty well, and we will help make the world better than when we found it.

have a smashing weekend,

i'll be seeing ya,

blue skies,


books to read : darren hardy - the compound effect

                            mark shayler - do disrupt

hold the front page!!!

everest at 53 beer lands, and early reports say it is delicious, so if you want any drop me a line :)







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