Tag Archives: Kilimanjaro

I’ll have what he’s having…

A friend of mine had an idea to walk from London to Rome over a six month period – sauntering through the wine regions, taking in the culture, losing some weight and writing a book about his experiences. On a whiteboard behind our desks we are currently counting down to the birth of his first child – a fantastical event, but one that also effectively puts his Rome idea on ice for at least a decade.

A number of people have commented recently that they envy me for my freedom to up-sticks and move about without dependants. Meanwhile I’m planning to go off on an adventure at the end of the year, but am keen to settle down.

Everyone wants what the other has…

That’s not to say we all miserable – far from it – but restlessness is a curious human condition – seemingly nothing to do with flight-fight / hunter-gatherer and everything to do with matters of the soul.

I for one write my best prose when angst-ridden, and yet am striving at all times to be happy!

I’ll be climbing Kilimanjaro in July. One of the people doing it with me is in Tanzania tagging turtles(!). This morning she sent one of those ‘follow your dreams’ type e-mails. Whilst she herself recognised the sentiment as cheesy I found myself annoyed at my own cynicism.

Joni Mitchell once wrote ‘We’ve got to get our way back to the Garden’ (of Eden). I need to get there via some beaches, a few sunsets over the Pacific and a stack of manuscript paper…

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The Eponymous Double-flush (or ‘Escape from the Middle-class’ part 1)…

A group of us spent the bank holiday in Betws-y-Coed, Snowdonia preparing for a planned trek to Kilimanjaro in July. My mental training began early when I was subjected to a seven-hour gay-anthem / disco-odyssey on the way up from London.

There was a momentary respite from The Village People in Abergaveny where we stopped for lunch – a strange town that boasts a fancy dress shop, but no open restaurants (the former allowing us to replace ‘The Sombrero of Shame’ – an essential for any bloke weekend).

Arriving in the evening we immediately started loading up on sugar (beer) and protein (cheese-burgers) to see us through the gruelling assault.

The next morning one of the guys announced that he’d recently fallen off a horse while playing polo (!) and was unable to climb the mountain – Instead he would catch a train to the summit. He was quickly overcome in a torrent of abuse (‘God is punishing you for attempting to escape from the middle class’  and‘Throw another poor person on the fire Sebastian‘) etc.

A dodgy breakfast resulted in a condition branded ‘The eponymous double-flush’ (a gesture that implies you are trying to banish something truly monstrous).

…And so – deafened by Donna Summer, limping, hung-over and violently ill, we began our ascent…

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