"I'll hae nae hauf-way hoose but aye be whaur extremes meet..." Hugh McDiarmid

Friday, 29 March 2013

ellen macarthur. and other ramblings...

six weeks today I will be sitting in the portsmouth guildhall listening to ellen macarthur giving the clipper 13-14 race crew a talk about her own incredible round the world adventures, and latterly setting up the ellen macarthur cancer trust. this is the official charity of the clipper race.

I'm very excited about this. I've read the book of her solo circumnavigation and it was absolutely brilliant. it'll also be great to be with some of the crew the night before we get allocated. I'll still be doing the 5x50 challenge then, so will be reasonably sensible... luckily I'd booked the travelodge for two nights to make a weekend of it, so I don't need to find somewhere to stay. one of my friends from level 1 is staying as well so I'm looking forward to catching up with her too :)

got my yellow fever vaccination the other day as well, and the very important certificate that goes with it. I think that's me now for paperwork - american and australian visas are done too. china we can't do until a certain time before, so that'll get done while we're in australia. and I am only two payments away from my berth fee! I'll be so relieved when that's paid off, although it means I'll be skint until I get back and start working again... but that's the decision I made when I ticked 'RTW' on the contract and I'm happy with it. folk are talking about how expensive stopovers could be, but I'm planning to stay on board as much as possible so insha'allah it won't get ridiculous :)

I need to start making lists of what I need to get done before I leave beautiful oman on the 1st of june. I have two boxes to get, pack and ship back to my parents. I'm trying to get that done this month, but I need to get accurate dimensions and weights to the courier before I can get a price and delivery estimate. this is so I can go back on my flight with only my hold case and my small hand luggage case. I'll need to sell my car and any of my furniture as well, although that will probably end up being may.

I also have to get a list of stuff I still need for the race, then try to pick it off bit by bit. I think I'm nearly there but we'll see. my sister is down at the parents this weekend and was very interested in my HL midlayers. she reckons she might need to borrow them as there is so much snow and it's so cold... as long as I get them back for the race I don't mind!

big purchases like boots and my sleeping bag are done. they were made last year for my level 1. living in oman there is no need for wellies so it made sense to get my race boots then. I also don't have a sleeping bag here, so that got delivered to the clipper office - they are very understanding :)

I can't explain how excited I am now. it's getting really close. this time last year it seemed so far away, but we leave in 4-5 months time! and 2 of these will be spent here, working! hopefully that will keep me focussed on not being too excited... I've been watching lots of youtube videos of last year's race. the more I watch them at work, the more folk there think I'm mental. every time one of the yachts is filmed crashing into a massive wave or the folk on board getting a soaking, they look at me pityingly and go 'rather you than me. we'll just be here, in the sun, putting on shows' and I think 'rather you than me'...

so the brilliant article about the open water championships went into Y magazine this week. there is a little bit about my experience at the bottom of the piece :)

training wise, I have a week off crossfit as ben is away all week. obviously if ben is reading this I'll be at the gym every other day...honest guv. I start the 5x50 challenge on the 31st of march and I'm frankly a bit terrified. I don't have a bike any more and walking anywhere in this heat may actually kill me, so my choice is run 5km every day for 50 days. oh god. one of my friends here offered me the use of his mountain bike so I may take him up on that! then at least I can bike into and out of work a couple of days a week and rest my old knees. I just hope that it's a 5km round trip...

anyway, back to work tomorrow. off to the gym first, then a muscat road runners committee meeting in the evening. busy busy. is it may yet?


  1. Thanks for the "brilliant article" bit, glad someone is reading my work ;)

  2. Good morning, how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Oman? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Oman in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez