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.


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,