Mountain Motivation: brought to you by Marc Jacobs

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I have just 2 more sleeps to go until i leave the UK for lands afar, and i have to admit, that i am getting very nervous about it all. An excited-nervousness i will admit, but butterflies in my stomach all the same…

I’m not the most adventurous person in the world, i like my home comforts and i am really worried about how i am going to cope for 10 days without any of them. I say all this, but i am not actually doing anything to prepare myself any better. For example, i havent charged my ipod or spare iphone charger, (the little comforts i can take with me!) and i dont have everything that i have been recommended to get on my kit list, my bag is not packed and i can’t pick up my money until after 2pm on Friday…oh yeah, and i have plans for tonight. Last minute prep the night before i go it is then! πŸ™‚

One of the things i am really looking forward to though, is visiting one of the schools that the charity supports. Getting to see exactly where all the money i have raised goes and how it is impacting on the lives of those children will give me all the motivation i need to get to the summit…and boy am i going to need it!

I can be quite stubborn at times (for quite read very!) and i have way too much pride to quit before i reach the top – but just in case i do get close, i have promised myself, that if i make it to the top, I will treat myself to the Marc Jacobs handbag that I have wanted for AGES! (The one i should have bought in New York but decided to spend my money on my lovely family and their Christmas presents because i am so nice to you all! πŸ™‚ )

So yeah, as time draws near, I think that this is probably the right time to thank every single person who has supported me throughout the run up to this adventure, to everyone who has helped fundraise and to every single penny that my family and friends have donated in sponsorship to the cause. It really is appreciated, by myself, the Charity and the children whose lives will benefit from the investment in their country.

I would also like to say a huge thank you to Marc Jacobs for producing such lovely bags, without whom, i would definitely be more productive in the office and at home, and spend a lot less time daydreaming about how beautiful one would look on my arm!

So, i guess all that’s left for me to say, is THANK YOU to you all, and i will see you in 2 weeks! πŸ™‚


Do Bears Sh*t in the woods?

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Most people who know me are well aware that one of my biggest fears for climbing Kilimanjaro is having to go to the toilet on a mountain.

Laughable, i know. But its true. I already had an irrational fear of public toilets, so being faced with the concept of no toilet, well, it made me want to cry. What made it even worse, was finding out that there are in fact, toilets on Kili, (of a sort) but they are ‘long drop’ toilets and this fills me with dread.

I was explaining this to a colleague the other day, and she asked me, ‘what is it exactly you don’t like about public toilets’ Little did she know, this was the start of a 30 minute conversation about toilets and poo. I definitely crossed a line. Probably more than one if i’m being completely honest.

My response was this:

Firstly,Β  public toilets stink (apart from the ones in Tiffany’s, New York – now those toilets sparkled and smelled amazing!!)

Secondly, its bad enough hearing someone else doing their business, let alone thinking about them hearing you.

Thirdly, its just wrong!

Now i know that we all poo, and although on occassion i have been known to mention it, it is not something i really enjoy thinking about, especially not in a public place.Β  To be honest, i’m the type of girl who would hold a wee in for 8 hours, rather than use some horrid public loo.

Anways, 30 minutes in to this conversation we reached to conclusion that, no-one actually enjoyed going the toilet in public, but when it has to be done, its best to make the most of it.

So, now i am armed with tips on how to go, when you’re on a mountain…

1. Take lots of loo roll in a water resistant bag

2. Roll your trouser leg up, or take them off to avoid contamination.

3. Perfume a scarf and breathe in as much as possible before entering.

4. Practice a good squatting stance prior to the trip – you don’t wanna fall halfway through the act.

5. Get over it, everybody poo’s. Fact.

With this i mind, i have adopted a new mantra… “I am a bear.” If it’s good enough for them, then it’ll have to be good enough for me…

Q&A with an newly-wed!

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As a recent newlywed, the first question lots of people have asked when seeing me (after the obligatory, ‘how was the honeymoon?’ question has been; “how does it feel to be married, have things changed?” Now, at first, i started saying it feels exactly the same, but i was met with the reply of “ooh give it time, you’ll see.” So i decided to change tact and give a simple reply of “yeah, its good.” Problem with that is then people expect you to divulge into specifics about what is good and what exactly has changed, and thats when it becomes more difficult to answer.

So, over these recent weeks i decided that i was going to prepare an answer for the next time i am asked. This got me thinking. How does it actually feel to be married, and has anything actually changed?

What surprised me the most, was that when i actually started thinking about this properly, i realised that things did feel slightly different, and some things, had in fact, changed.

For a start, the husband was actually being a lot nicer to me than he used to be – for those of you who know me, you will understand what i mean, but for those of you who don’t – let me explain: I am not saying he was a horrible person and now he is not – its kinda just those little (almost romantic) things that i have noticed he has started doing – like saying ‘goodnight wife, love you’ – whereas before i used to get ‘night Maudo’ which was affectionate, but hardly romantic.

The other thing i have noticed is that people do treat you differently once they realise you are married. it’s hard to explain but i see them looking at my ring, back at me and i can almost hear them saying in their head ‘gosh she doesnt look old enough to be married’ or ‘hmmmm interesting’. If im being honest, i never know how to react to the either reaction so i have taken to smiling and going a funny shade of pink!

The most common question ive been asked so far though (and of course, the most controversial) is ‘are you changing your name?’ At the moment i explain that i havent as i am flying to Africa in 10 days and need my passport to match my name, but once that is over and done with then i probably will. This has been met with mixed reactions. Some people ask ‘ooh are you delaying it because you dont want to change it’ or ‘oooh how does steve feel about that.’ Others tell me i dont have to change my name at all. All these views i can appreciate, but I will be changing my name on my documents once i get back…

I mean, it’s not like it isn’t official now already – It’s changed on Facebook, how much more official can you get?!