Friday, 21 August 2009
It doesn't seem five minutes ago since I took the hasty decision to sign up for the WSPA Charity Trek through the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. In lots of ways my brain acts like a two-year old - if I can't see it it's not there - if it's not happening today it can be worried about tomorrow - etc. I blame it on being left-handed and right-brained - or something like that. I believe it also makes me very untidy. Therefore, when I signed up it was so far away that I didn't really think too much about actually going on the trip!
However, I have learnt quite a lot since signing up. I now know that as a blogger I am about as good as a chocolate teapot. So much for blogging every week. I'm not quite sure why I have been so useless, perhaps because I don't know who, if anyone will read my ramblings. I have also learnt that I really do have the best husband in the world. He has made my trip possible, has walked his socks off with me training, and has put up with me doing far less cooking and cleaning than I would normally do. (And I don't normally do vast amounts!) Even when we went on holiday earlier this year he was happy to spend most of the ten days we had in Spain walking up hills! Most importantly, when my spirits have been low and doubts about the whole adventure have crept in he has given me unlimited reassuring hugs - thank you Chris - you are a star!
Another thing that I have learnt is that I now have complete admiration for anyone who does any fund-raising. I had thought that the walking would be the hardest part and that the fund-raising would be relatively easy. Not so, we are living in difficult times and I have really hated asking people for money. Having said that, I have had a brilliant response and now, having raised over £2000 I am not too far from my target. I really am very grateful for everyone that has helped me to get this far. Every donation no matter how much for is really appreciated by me and will help to save these poor bears.
I already knew that I lived in a very special place, but since I have been fund-raising and training it has made me realise just how brilliant Todmorden is. Lynn and Glyn from our local pub, The Masons Arms have been amazing, they have collected sponsors for me and have had collecting tins as well. The regulars have been incredibly generous and lots of the Pub Quiz Teams have given over their prize to me. Local business have been generous with their donations and complete strangers responded to an article in the local paper.
Also, walking various routes in the hills above the town I have seen some breath-taking scenery. The people of Todmorden are very friendly and age is no barrier. I have recently been on some long walks with a lovely woman who is less than half my age and we have had some brilliant times. At times we have had to stop and pause for breath because we are laughing so much. Thank you Kylie - you are brilliant.
Yet another friend organised an event at work to raise money for me.
I make teddy bears for a living and the bear world has also been very kind to me in terms of fund-raising. I was particularly touched that one Artist, Lynne Bowie, Madabout Bears, auctioned a beautiful bear with all proceeds going to WSPA. Other Artists and Fair Organisers have been very generous as well. I thank you all and apologies for not updating my website to include everyone - it will be done, it is on my list of jobs to do! I really do appreciate everyones help.
So not long to go now. This morning I went to the Mountian Shop to buy bits and pieces for the trek. I was ridiculously excited to find both a pink rucksack and pink water bottles. Sadly, the trekking shorts are khaki coloured oh well!
I thought that the walking would be the hardest part. I think I have now trained hard enough to say that the walking part should be achievable. I am now worried about the other aspects of the trip. I don't know anyone else who is going on it, and I don't know what the food or accomodation will be like. I am scared that no-one will talk to me and that I will be Dawnie No Mates. I also have a few scary thoughts about toilets or lack of them but I am trying not to think about that!
It has been a bit of a whirlwind summer. My dear son and his girlfriend both finished Uni and moved in with me then he got a job and moved out again fairly quickly. In one week we had two graduations, one wedding, a 21st birthday and then it was our wedding anniversary as well. Phew! I had carefully written out a list of all the people I wanted to write and thank. It is here somewhere and when I come across it I will write and thank them.
On Tuesday I shall be going to London to meet the team that are organising the trek and some of the other trekkers. I am looking forward to that, but I don't know whether it will make me worry less or more! The night before the trek I will be staying at Heathrow as the flight is early on Sunday. On the Friday night I am going to a local restaurant for a send-off dinner. Since starting training I have given up alcohol almost completely (would have been completely except for an unfortunate sambucca incident when Mark left Tod) I am looking forward to a few glasses of wine when I return. Or maybe I will just stick my head in a bucket of Baileys!
Thanks again to everyone who has helped me with the fund-raising and training, and my sincere apologies for not mentioning everyone by name. xx
My fundraising page is www.justgiving.com/dawnjames1