Show me the rupees

They say the best things in life are free  (bah bah bah bum)

But you can leave them to the birds and bees, I want money!

(ooh, ooh-eeh ooh – that’s what I want)

It being less than two weeks before I risk life and limb in the nether regions (Not to be confused with Netherlands (disambiguation)) of the third world, I’d like to point out to all and sundry a couple of things

  1. I’m not doing this for my health. The ancillary benefits are no doubt great, but if you know me then the idea of an ‘exercise high’ is about as likely to arise in conversation as ‘I like what Cameron is doing on NHS reform‘, i.e. no chance.
  2. This does actually involve a certain level of risk. Sadly last week one of the tourist flights from Kathmandu crashed, with the loss of 19 lives. This has happened at least once a year since private airlines started in Nepal in 1992, and is unlikely to decrease given the terrain, weather and commercial pressure to keep flying.
  3. There is a secondary risk when going to altitude of cerebral edema or pulmonary oedema due to the reduced air pressure. I am less worried about this, having been high before, and this being in my control in terms of how high we go, but it can hit anyone even if they’ve been high before
  4. I am doing this to raise money, but I am funding myself. This is an mportant distinction compared to other options where the money raised goes towards the trip. I will point out that the linked site does also offer a self-funding option, but most people don’t go that way.
  5. I am doubling up on the self funding by adding in the frankly stupid idea of making a film at the same time. For example; is an utterly pointless wander around the block, but demonstrates the principle I will be using for filming it as stop-frame
  6. Most importantly; I am proudly raising money for Tommy’s

OK, not the Tommy’s I meant, although they do a mean burger, I mean, just look at the diagram –

they’ve got arrows pointing out all the lovely bits of gristle and everything.

Want one..

anyway, I meant to say I was raising money for Tommy’s

Damn, that’s not right either

Let’s face it, no-one is going to donate to a borderline alcoholic to go to a bar… Unless they really do (or don’t) like them…

One last try. I’m raising money for Tommy’s. OK that is a link to my Justgiving page, here’s a link to Tommy’s charity page so you can read it. The most important thing is this –

And I know myself, and for many others it does not.

one month to go celebration blog!

Woo Hoo! Only a month to go until we fly to Kathmandu and start our adventure. I feel like I should do a little dance, jump up and down and shout huzzah! at the top of my voice, as I’m getting quite excited about it now.

The only thing dousing my enthusiasm is the amount of stuff left to do before we go.

And that I’m pretty knackered now I’ve started training properly.

And that I’ve got a major project at work to deliver that looks like it is going live 5 days before we fly.

And that I’m still a bit worried about our complete lack of contingency for weather delays on the internal flights, particularly looking at the current Kathmandu weather forecast. It looks suspiciously like the monsoon is still going, which really should have buggered off by now.

Oh well, looking on the bright side, if that work project had been on time I’d originally planned on going out at the end of next week, which could have meant major delays and absolutely no chance of getting close to Everest base camp. At least going a month later there’s a far better chance of stable weather.

It’s also a far brighter outlook than portrayed in the image I found when looking for one to go with this post.

What makes this creepy is it is from one of those oh-so-worthy and deeply spiritual yet somehow very well funded American Christian sites that happens to have numerous helpfully priced packages to distribute the message to other churches. Who could resist the One Month to Live Churchwide Challenge kit, or the perfect gift for your child – a one month to live wristband.

Sorry, just me being cynical. I digress…

So with a month to go, what’s the situation?

Well on the positives, I think that all the organisation and kit list are pretty much there. I’m still waiting for a couple of pieces – a new rucksack currently in the post for one – but I think everything is bought, listed, weighed, calculated etc, at least from my side. As for my companion, that’s anyones’ guess, but we’re meeting up on Monday so I’ll get a better idea then.

For the Film, I’ve got all the technical doohickies, geegaws and whojamaflips you could need – guess which of those I’ve actually got – and I’ve also started to play around with the intro to the film, which I have mostly storyboarded now. Latest test below, which is a first attempt at part of the intro sequence covering the planning & preparation. I call this the Flight of the Memory Cards.

As you can tell this part of the film relinquishes some verisimiltude. I also forgot to reset the white balance so it’s rather orange, but will fix along with doing the rest so I can post the intro up as teaser before we go. By the way, if anyone knows anyone who works at the Heathrow Media Centre, can you tell them they are rude so and so’s as they still haven’t even acknowledged my request to photograph there.

What else is there? Oh yes there is still one thing missing. You. We know who you are..

Come on, give me a bit of sponsorship love. I’m not doing this just for fun.

Have I gone off track?

Looking back at the last few posts, it has occurred to me that I may have gone a little off track. What I mean is that this should be about raising money for charity, and not some vanity art project-come-jolly in the mountains. All a bit self indulgent perhaps?

Perhaps. Then again, this trek was originally just something that a friend and I really wanted to do, and would have done anyway. The idea of filming it is an add on I may have thought of otherwise, but has been triggered by the charity aspect, and I want to follow it through to see where it ends up.

I really do want to raise money for Tommy’s, but if I’m honest I’m not particularly selfless and I certainly haven’t a clue about fundraising. I’m learning, but in the meantime I’m only doing what I can. And hopefully what I can do is keep people interested or entertained enough with what we’re doing to tempt them into donating the odd fiver or tenner to the cause.

p.s. No animals were exploited or injured in the writing of this post….

Oh, and another p.s. if you want to see a decent fundraiser (and contribute) go here