Monday, October 23, 2006

Champagne Moments

One thing the Kili 6 learned recently was that you've got to set expectations correctly. So this is just a quick blog. Five minutes to read, max...
So we walked in the Surrey hills, the Kili Six of us. 40-odd miles from Friday afternoon to early afternoon on Sunday. Two good days walking. And we had a lot of fun, although poor Steve was injured, so he suffered somewhat towards the end.
This was the first time I'd met half the group. Thankfully we all got on. It's good to know, because otherwise it could have been a long trip up Kili (or a swift tumble down, depending on how badly we failed to hit it off).
I got on with Eszter despite accidentally mocking her (whilst simultaneously making an appalling maths error. Not good for a personal finance writer. Don't tell my boss!) Anyway, it's not my fault Eszter; it's because I'm weirdly focused. Ask Andy and Jon. Besides, you got off lightly: I intentionally mocked everyone else. Haha!
Clock check: just another twenty minutes to go in this blog.
So how did we do? The Martinet* proved his fitness, didn't he? Nearly fifty, but like a gazelle. Something for the rest of us to aspire to. Gill sprinted most of the way.
Steve clearly has a natural fitness that helped him through a lack of training. (Just four months to go Steve!) It was just the unfortunate injury that slowed him.
Jon and Eszter have the stoic walk of experienced hikers the world over: a pace that can be kept up hour after hour, footpath (FP) after bridleway. Plus, like James Bond taking off his wet suit to reveal a tuxedo underneath (I can't remember which film), they came prepared for all occasions with extra clothes and smart shoes. Very stylish...I just feel sorry for the Tanzanian porters.
Just an hour's more reading and we're there.
I did well too, but my training's taken a sudden turn for the worse as I've injured my knee. I had a similar injury years ago, caused, possibly, by too many stupid stunts that I shouldn't admit to.
It's an injury that may take some work, but I feel more positive about it than six days ago when it emerged. Rest seems to do it good, so I'm not going to move for a week and see what happens. Plus I've got medical people all over the place: my GP and BUPA, plus a GP, acupuncturist and physiotherapist at my gym, so I've got it covered. I AM CLIMBING KILI!
Andy, you asked what my 'champagne moment' was for the walking weekend. Well, I'm no good at those sorts of happy memories questions. My mind doesn't work like that. Still, I can now identify one. My champagne moment was when I got home (bare with me) and I was trying to sleep, but my mind was buzzing without my consent for about an hour. I went along for the ride. It took me through fantastic green valleys and past gorgeous slow streams. It sifted through images of unself-conscious deer, myriad horses and beautiful vistas. I recalled the tingle of expectation at the beginning of every day. This mingled with the joy and camaraderie of the walk and the satisfied feeling when we arrived back in Godalming. Basically, it was the realisation that the weekend couldn't have been any better. That was my champagne moment.***
Thanks for being there guys; it was great fun.
By the way, there was some partner-swapping going on, I understand, at the second B&B we stayed in, but I still ended up with Steve again! What the fetlocks was that all about? It's symptomatic of what's wrong with this country today...
*That's Andy to non-Kili 6ers...We picked up a few in-jokes at the weekend and this blog is littered with them. You see, I'm talking rubbish. This is a rubbish blog. Get it?**
**Sorry, I was speaking in Kuoatian. I don't want these play on words to go to waste.
***Who was it who said we get poetic as we get older? I must have aged a lot on that walk. Ha!


Blogger MRS M said...

Great post Neil. Glad you appreciated our little known, and very special, Surrey Hills. One thing you missed - "You know what annoys me...?" I'm sure you'll fit that in somewhere else!
Hope your knee gets better soon and doesn't affect your training too much. I saw the doc today because I've lost my hearing (apart from a very annoying ringing in my ears) and can't speak or breathe properly, and he told me to rest.... Doesn't he know I've got a mountain to climb?

9:31 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Hello - Martinet here. Great post indeed, Neil - glad you enjoyed the Surrey Hills but what's wrong with you lot? If you're all being struck down with bad knees/ankles/hearing/karma after a short stroll in the country, how are you going to survive That Rather Large Mountain in Africa?
Wanna borrow some Philisan?

9:44 PM  
Blogger Esther said...

Hi Neil! Bit late, I know... Don't worry about accidentally mocking me. At least I knew it was a genuinely mistaken mock (is that a word?). With Andy on the other hand, you can go round calling him names and he doesn't even know what they mean! Hope your knee gets better soon! Est

7:15 PM  

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