Saturday, November 04, 2006


Salmagundi - good word, eh? I might just as easily have called this rambling article miscellanea, potpourri or a smorgasbord of information...but salmagundi is so much tastier, don't you think?
sal·ma·gun·di (slm-gnd)
n. pl. sal·ma·gun·dis
1. A salad of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, often arranged in rows on lettuce and served with vinegar and oil.
2. A mixture or assortment; a potpourri.
[French salmigondis, probably from : Old French salemine, salted food (from Vulgar Latin *salmen; see salami) + Old French condir, to season (from Latin condre; see condiment).]
Anyway, what the hell am I on about? I just wanted to disseminate a few titbits of Kili information....
  • Fitness. Disaster. Since that challenging (ie knackering) weekend, Jon & Mrs M have both been struck down by a virulent virus (they're not blaming Esther as the carrier at all, really); Steve's ankle and Neil's knee are both giving cause for concern, with differing responses from their owners (one is being proactive, the other is thinking about doing something constructive....). Esther and I are fine thanks.
  • Hypoxic Heaven. Steve made it up to see Richard at The Altitude Centre for his hypoxic assessment and AMS susceptibility test (not complete mumbo jumbo...see this earlier article for a translation). Steve came out of it OK: he took longer than his old Uncle to adapt to, and then recover from, the rarefied oxygen level at a simulated 4,000 metres, but his breath-holding capacity was much better. The altitude sickness susceptibility was inconclusive, he came out right in the middle of the results band, meaning he may or may not suffer from the dreaded AMS. Steve assures me he found it a very worthwhile exercise, though the evening took a downward lurch for him after being soundly thrashed on The Motley Fool's foosball table. Several times.
  • the third space. I've just joined this achingly cool gym near our new office in Soho. All glass and mirrors (but definitely no smoke). In-house DJ on the decks. Foos table in amongst the iron-pumping equipment. More classes than primary school. Direct access to Fresh & Wild. And best of has a hypoxic chamber so I can work out at a simulated 8,500 feet over the final 4 months until Kili. No excuse now not be ultra fit and altitude-ready by February.
  • Rookery Nook.

  • We told you Chris & Jill's B&B in Shere was an oasis of charm and hospitality in the Surrey Hills.....well, Gill & I went back last night for a very relaxed and enjoyable supper with them. Chris & Jill were even more laid back than before, the house and village even more serene, their hospitality truly welcoming and greatly appreciated. They seem to have found a great work/life balance. Many thanks to both of them, and you've still got more than 3 months to train for Kili, Jill....
  • Fundraising. A few colleagues at The Motley Fool made generous personal donations to World Vision after I sent out a spam email this week, so the cumulative total is up to a very healthy £3,300. A long way short of the £25,000 target so it's all hands to the pump. A lot of hope is now resting on The Motley Fool's famous Foolanthropy annual charity drive in the US. Claiming to be the longest running charity raising initiative on the internet, Foolanthropy has raised a whopping $2.5m over the last 10 years for many deserving causes. From the many nominations the Committee select 5 charities each year that best meet the criteria laid out. The successful 5 then benefit over the festive season in a variety of ways. We've posted a nomination for World Vision on the Foolanthropy discussion board here. I genuinely believe that World Vision would be a worthy recipient and really hope that it is one of the 5 selected this year. Regardless of whether it is or not, and I'm aware of how cheesy this will sound, Foolanthropy makes me realise how lucky I am to work for a company that cares so passionately about others and really makes a difference. And whether the Kili50 fund ends up raising £5,000 or £25,000 for the Kisiriri community in Tanzania, it's worth recalling that the average annual income there is US$140 so either amount is significant. Peter Halewood from World Vision has reconfirmed this week that 97% of any funds contributed will go direct to Kisiriri, and also that the most pressing need at the moment is for a clean drinking water supply. And here I am, worried about whether to have a curry or fish and chips tonight...and whether Spurs can beat Chelsea tomorrow for the first time since 1990 .

I've rambled on aplenty. Perhaps it's time for salmagundi and chips.....that would make a nice change.


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