Monthly Archives: April 2013

Blogiversary

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Today is my one year blogiversary, so there you have it, a year in the life of me. Pretty average if I’m honest. In fact, looking back, I’ve thrilled you all with my experiences in serving coffee, playing dodge ball and getting a Chinese takeaway. But, a year ago today, I started rambling on about my life to those I don’t see often, those interested in what I get up to and those bored at work. In that time, I’ve come across many new blogs of both friends and random interesting people, written forty posts and somehow managed to acquire 2,474 views of my own. So, thank to all those people in Great Britain, Australia and the United States for loyally reading this little diary and the occasional viewings from Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Chile, Brazil (just to name a few) that stumbled across this little corner of the interweb, if by accident, I hope you enjoyed your visit (and of course also if it was intentional). So a word of thanks to those who have read, commented and got married in the last year, giving me something to write about. (My congratulations given to friends who have got married just this month, wishing you much happiness and blessing for the rest of your lives together).

A fun little fact about my blog to keep you all intrigued – apparently, the ‘new Boeing 787 Dreamliner’ is some kind of airplane or something and can carry about 250 passengers so would take about six trips to carry the amount of people that viewed this blog in 2012 (although, a lot of those views were probably by the same people and a couple of them me). So, unless it makes you want to physically tear your eyes out (which I do hope it doesn’t as I wouldn’t wish that on anyone), keeeep reading 🙂

A Path Less Traveled

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So, when going half the length of Dartmoor on foot in a day, you wouldn’t think that the night before would be the challenge. It would seem that when doing Duke of Edinburgh, you need to pass a challenge of survival before attempting the expedition. We were about to embark on a four day hike crossing the length of Dartmoor and took a night in a luxury bunkhouse the night before.

Here’s what we were indulged with…

It was a classic fit-as-many-bunk beds-in-a-small-room situation and it was absolutely freezing. You might say, when spending four days outside in this weather, it was hardly surprising however we were actually putting on sun cream outside to go on our walk when just moments before we could physically see our breath in the bunkhouse when talking. We thought we could could try and rectify this situation ourselves but, note to self, when giving your coins to a large, old, cast iron heating meter, check there is indeed a heater in the room. Then there was the uninvited fragrance of the room, which again we tried to rectify but of course the window didn’t open (a blessing in disguise I suppose, considering the lack of heat).

Then of course there was the nice décor of peeling paint, a nappy found behind one of the beds and sweet wrappers furnishing the floor. And when talking about showers, never has the term “water closet” been more apt. One could just about fit in this tiny little cupboard as long as you didn’t have a desire to move or indeed shut the doors. Talking of small things; the beds. I was actually quite glad to have a bed the night before a Duke of Edinburgh expedition, however mine was ridiculously narrow and relatively low to the ground. As in, it was the top bunk and if my friend reached her hand flat out in front of her, it was resting on the bed with her hand against the wall. I’m not saying I need king size here but with just a plastic mattress, a slippery sleeping bag and no ladder or barrier facilities at all for the top bunk I was quite worried about the ability to stay on the bed. Not to mention, I’m fairly sure a lot of them weren’t actually bunk beds but rather just one bed placed on top of another. This was particularly evident when the legs of one top bunk didn’t align with the top of the bottom bunk and so was held in place with a precarious diagonal wooden splint on one side between the two.

With this less than modern interior theme, we were quite surprised to find a plug socket in the room, although after our heating escapade, I don’t know why we thought it would be a good idea to try it out. Nevertheless, a phone was plugged in to charge, although not for long because we heard a small ‘pop’ only to find the USB lead had been forcefully ejected from the plug and the plug, the lead and the plug socket had all been burnt black.

Anyway, after that little adventure and a not all that much sleep, we took the path less travelled down Dartmoor, although not always via actual paths. We walked through every weather Dartmoor could throw at us until one time we were hit with a downpour and within seconds we couldn’t see twenty feet in front of us, let alone the hill we were supposed to be climbing shortly. It also happened to be right at the end of the trip, just when we thought it had actually been going quite well and suddenly realised that if you moved at all you would have no idea where you were and if you didn’t, there was a small chance of hypothermia. Not the best final hour, but as always, there was a bit of good-natured singing to lighten the mood, until finally we got to our end point at the golf course. Unfortunately however, I’m not all too familiar with golf courses, not being a golfer myself and so when we reached it and I thought we were finished, it seemed as if we were only about halfway through the whole walk after the amount of time it took us to actually finish; if it had been a crazy golf course (the only type I’ve ever actually had to navigate around myself) we would have finished days earlier. Nonetheless, another little challenge overcome with many valuable things learnt and as always, on wards and upwards 🙂

We’ll Weather the Weather Whatever the Weather

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Like I true Brit, I’m going to talk about the kaleidoscopic rollercoaster we’ve been on with the weather recently. Two days ago it was positively hot, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the hose pipes were banned for the day given our usual state of worry and yet today, we can practically make our own ice caps to sort out climate change given that it’s been snowing all day.

Not to mention, it was the coldest Easter to record, I would know, I was stupid enough to sleep outside in the minus five raising money for the homeless. Then again, it makes you think about the people who do it every night, I guess the less you have, the more you value it. Done in true homeless style of course, finding materials form local bins to make shelters, handstand competitions and yoga at three o’clock in the morning and a full cooked breakfast the next day to start our Easter. Then of course a good old Easter egg hunt, although I was told I wasn’t allowed to hide the eggs next year as apparently I made it too difficult. I should have known, when children and chocolate are involved, you don’t mess around.

Well that was my Easter, we made five and a half hundred pounds for the homeless Easter morning and who knows, maybe we’ll see a hurricane or a heatwave in the near future, there’s just no knowing, you’ve just got to ride it 🙂