Day 59, 08 March 2016

The closest thing to crazy….

Not sure how to start my first blog; maybe at the beginning, and for now anyway in the first person.
Last Thursday afternoon I was on a small hill in the Lake District. Conrad called to tell me Hilary was injured and they would have to abandon their trip. We talked for a while, he was typically phlegmatic, but he (and Hilary) were obviously devastated.
To try to cheer him up at the end I joked “well I could always come and finish it with you”. He laughed, he’d experienced my cross-country skiing 17 years earlier and it wasn’t pretty. The next day I got a text from him. “If you’re serious” he said “I’d like to take you up on that”. 24 hours, and a lot of logistical tweaking and soul searching later, I’d said yes.
So here I am, sitting on a plane en route to Trondheim and from there to wherever it is that the trip got to. All bar a few items of my gear are borrowed from C and H, even the merino underpants (2 pairs is the statutory limit but thankfully they are new :-). The last two days have been spent trying to get my head around what I have signed up to and packing a lot of things into a large, but not large enough, rucksack (why are there two eating bowls and only one spoon?). There were a lot of things to sort too. Calls and mails to cancel commitments, conversations with family and friends; sanity was a recurring topic.
I also had to uprate my travel insurance; question for the insurance and pensions industry – why aren’t you singing from the same hymn sheet? How come at 65 I struggled to get insurance for longer than a 42 day trip and yet you say everyone is living longer and want them to work until 70?
Well I better stop now. If me and C alternate blog writing you will soon wise up to avoid these discursive ones – mine will be the odd ones, in both senses.
Thanks to family and friends for being so kind, to C and H for the opportunity, and to Gill for being so supportive.
Now, which of these boots goes on which foot?