The Countdown nears
10:29 on Sunday the 22nd October, 2006
For Rosemarie and I, it is only 12 more days (incl. today) to go, before we head off towards Buenos Aires. I cann’t believe that it is now only 12 more days!
A year ago, it seemed like ages, and now it is snowballing in on top of us with great speed. Like a lot of you, I keep thinking do I have everything, what have I forgotten. Like Alan, Jack, Tim and Eva, I am going to do a trial pack today to see how it works, or doesn’t!
For over that year, I’ve been quietly getting myself ready for “The Big Trip”, whether it was reading books, newspaper, magazine, or brochure articles – Old National Geographical magazines at the doctors (from 2001) which dealt with the subject, or, over the past couple of months just trying to get fit.
It didn’t matter where I was, or going, on too many occasions to remember, I was being directed towards aspects relating to Antarctica. “Listen to the omens” wrote Paul Coehlo in his book The Alchemist. I listened to the omens and am amazed what signals are coming in my direction. Reading your blogs and sensing the rising excitement and enthusiasm makes me tingle (like after the ship to shore swim in October) and makes me also realise the dynamic forces that are growing!
People’s reactions here in Germany are generally awe when I tell them where I’ll be going on my holidays. Some very candidly say it is their dream to do the same, and I think “live your dream, just do it”, some think I’m mad “and you even pay to be in the cold” (!) and some have no idea at all what it all means.
Reading the books, and gaining a certain knowledge about the epic stories of courage, great enthusiasm, survival, tragedy, and above all achievements of “ordinary” people deepened my immense respect for all those who participated in the Polar exploration at the beginning of the 21st century.
Tom’s example of giving a presentation at St Pats Boys National School, Drumcondra has spurned me to think about doing the same here at two schools in Düsseldorf where my girl-friends triplets attend. Their Dad suggested though that I do it when I come back as it will have more meaning to them to have someone “who was there” talk about everything that happened. Perhaps Tom you can help me with the picture and map extracts.
On that line, who can tell me or help me download photos into a blog? How do you get the landmark pins on the map of Ireland to connect up to your blog entries?
Don I did not get a chance to thank you for your great help on our rib boat allocated to Eagle III, so I will do so here. You made the day very memorable for me.
Yesterday I did something that we could class as “obvious”, but which only dawned on me yesterday, I bought a book – yes, I really did!!! I bought the Lonely Planet guide to Antarctica which is great and has some marvellous pictures in it. Marie, I will be bringing it with me on the trip, maybe someone else will too.
Now I’m off outside on a beautiful mild autumnal day for a long walk…….
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