It has come to the point where I think a few thank you’s need to be given. So... this is to all the people who have so far helped me in some way on my quest to trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, Nepal to raise funds in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Some of you may not even know how much you’ve helped, encouraged, believed in me and most importantly inspired me! Huge thanks to you all...
Firstly, my mum and dad (Katie Boo and Jimuck) for just being you. I thought when I mentioned the idea of a trek to Mt Everest base camp you’d be horrified and try to talk me out of it but you’ve surprised me and have been really supportive. Cheers for the laptop last year too Dad, it has been an invaluable tool in my preparation. My beautiful baby nephew Ryan (not so much of a baby now, he’s a big boy at 2!), thanks for making me laugh/smile at least 10 times every day. He’s so cute and even more special now since we found out about his health issues the other day. To my sister Karen for just being you and for giving us Ryan – can’t imagine life without him now.
Cath and Bri (my cousins) for your runs in the car, enthusiasm, encouragement and telling me to go for it! For laughing til we cry and crying til we laugh! Kelly Anne my beautiful blonde haired blue eyed cousin. If Carlsberg made cousins these three would be it. To my brilliant family (too big to mention but here are some of the main players): Auntie Ann; Auntie Norah; Uncle Kevin; Auntie Mary; Auntie Tricia; Uncle Brian; Auntie Ellen; Uncle Sandy; wee John – gone but never forgotten; Granny; Granda; Gran and Pappy (I hope you are all up there looking down and are proud of me).
To friends old and new (Julie, Bernie, Elaine & families) who have ventured off on new journeys to live their dreams in Australia. You've made me realise that I can live my dreams, I should be living my dream and to go for it! To Donna for not going off to Australia and for being a dear friend. Lynne for bringing me out of the doldrums and into the fold a good few years back (she's fearless), for being there and listening, and for getting me to wear a dress for the first time in years to her wedding last year. Happy 1st Anniversary in July Lynne & Rick! Linda, for being there, for listening, for your laughs (& Friday scones) in the office, for your encouragement when the first flicker of thoughts of a trek were in their infancy and also for your cake baking skills – I hope we sell loads of cakes to get my sponsor money going up!! Brigitte, for your positivity and happy outlook on life, when I mentioned the trek to her she said in her elegant French tone – ‘Why not!’, what more can I say. Both Linda and Brigitte for your help, support and 'never give up' attitude during the whole framework process – we did it girls!!! Woo-hoo!!!! Dorothy for your encouragement and a great dinner that night – when are we coming back? Susan for listening to me rant on about stuff and for continuing to push me into making that final booking, thanks and what have you done!?! ha ha, also for the long walk we went on when you were training for Moonwalk, we shall do some more. Sharon, ever present walking buddy, source of advice & enthusiasm and joint chief kit adviser - along with Ian. Ian, joint chief kit adviser, outdoor enthusiast and a great boss (a good guy). Douglas, Big Boss Man, office gossip and the guy who helped me get a grade 5 and a pay rise without which I would never be able to take part in this challenge of a lifetime – many, many thanks! (See Douglas you do get thanks sometimes).
At this point I should also mention Team DASS hill walk: Ian, Douglas, Sam, Sharon and Christine, for that day on the BIG hills when I hit a brick wall – twice! and you kept me going. That really taught me a lot about myself and once I got over the doubts about the trek I thought, hey I can do this! Huge thanks to you all. PS sorry for the snotty nose that day... & the 8pm finish, ha ha. Kev for his chat and happiness when he comes into the office, he brightens up our day! Chris for his tip off about the bargain Rab Atlas 1000 sleeping bag – cheers mate! Happy and safe climbing in the Alps! Billie for her straight talking, no nonsense attitude. Thanks also to all at work who have already sponsored me: Alan, Paul, Susan, Isobel, Brigitte, Cathie, Richard, Iain, Nika and Julie. Really, really appreciated.
Kevin Clarke, University Secretary, for his invaluable advice and encouragement at the very beginning of my journey. Rab Robertson, for the books on trekking in Nepal. Ginnie Willis, excellent Springboard programme leader. She taught me to be assertive like I never knew I could be and gave me the confidence to seek out these many new adventures I have taken over the past 2 years. My fellow beginner Spanish classmates & teacher (Noe, Alex, Margaret, Andrew, Robin & Elaine), Wednesday evenings have never been so fun. Don’t like the Monday evening phone calls though - sorry Noe! Ha ha I’m just kidding. To all the cool students who have come and gone and passed by the office over the past 4 years. I know I shouldn't have favourites but I do, (you have to sponsor me for this!): Jamie W, Ally, Kerry, Paula, Frazer McF, Angela R, David C, Andrew H, Fraser G, Ian H, Nicola H, John, Heather and the one and only Nina... the list could go on & on but I’d be here all day!
Victoria from Charity Challenge and Isla McLean from Marie Cure Cancer Care for answering all my emails, allaying my fears and providing really useful advice about the trek. Tori for alerting me to Trail magazine. Claire and Tom from Trail, and Alison from Glenmore Lodge for making me scramble over rocks and taking me to the summit of my first munro! Had a wonderful day guys, I hope the article turns out ok – eek! ..... and finally, Martin for being a fab source of information and advice (there’s a bakery at Base Camp!, slow & steady walking pace and no singing in the shower!), a great blogger (how will I fill up the first 10 minutes of my working day now!) and a true inspiration, you just don't realise it yet ........ remember ‘What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?’
To all, quite simply...... Thank you!
PS Linda - I hope you're not sitting in tears after reading this! Get the tissues :-)
PPS now everyone sponsor me for saying all these good things about you ;-)