Sunday, 17 March 2013

Last personal blog from Les before he leaves the UK

Hello everybody, Maureen has been on to me about contributing to the blog, she is right of course, I haven’t contributed as much as I should. I'm not making excuses but I have been running around like a headless chicken for months now as we have a preparation team of one, that’s me. The guys help out where they can, but it seems like I have various parts of the project that I would call spinning plates on sticks and I'm running up and down a line of these plates on sticks giving each one a spin when they start to wobble, trust me when I say I have had some serious wobbles but no breakages.
It’s raining at the moment so I can’t work outside on the vehicles, my lovely wife VI has locked herself in the cupboard in case I got bit amorous so nothing was happening there. The only thing left is to bring you all up to date through the blog and keep Maureen happy at the same time.
We have been working on the project for best part of 2 years now and with the help from everybody out there and Maureen, who manages the Press and PR, my good friend Keith who looks after the web site and tells me what buttons to press and talks me through how to use the electrical equipment that we have for the journey, we're almost ready to leave. The guys taking part with me, Alan Butler, Glyn Maher, Roger Winkworth and Graham Higgins, make up the 5 guys now, including myself. It only seems like yesterday that I decided to take on this mammoth challenge, yet here we are. We have 15 days to go before we start our journey. It’s a credit to everyone.
I mentioned about the series of wobbly plates, we had two training days 12th & 13th February, it was really good we covered most things first aid, equipment familiarisation, putting up the tents for when we are camping, loading of the vehicles, maps and route, and so on. It was on the second day that one of the guys who had joined us recently, suddenly informed us that he could no longer take part. When someone decides to pull out of the project it leaves a hole in the route and itinerary where he was taking part, and when you are short of people in the first place it’s difficult to reshuffle everything to make it work. I guess when you are putting a project of this size and diversity together, and bearing in mind those taking part who are in their 70’s it's more than likely that not everybody will be there at the start on 31st March. But are we down hearted, no we are not.
Let’s push to one side the things that go wrong and let’s smile! And look at what’s gone right. The vehicles are ready and fully equipped, at the moment the crew is ready, we have most of the paperwork in place, I have had more inoculations than I care to mention and we have in place an interesting itinerary as we travel through Europe. So IF NOTHING UNFORSEEN HAPPENS we will be ready to go on the 31st March, departing from the NOVOTEL West Quay Road Southampton at 11.00 am. If you are coming to see us off to make sure we go, be there by 10.00, there is a reception.
Me, I'm a bit battle scarred, but still smiling and ready to go. Heaven knows what lies ahead of us but I will promise to keep you posted as to how we progress. Keith and Maureen have organised the web site so you can see where we are and there will be updates on Twitter, Facebook and the blog, so keep checking in as we travel around the world.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the 31st.


  1. Hopefully there will be an update on the blog before you go. Who is going to keep the blog up todate you or the crew at home. If you going to do a daily blog on the trip you may find it hard work on the trip so you might want to update it a once or twice a week if you can. Good luck and look forward to the updates.

  2. Hi Bill, thanks for getting in touch, yes the blog will be kept up to date while we're away, my trusty Publicity Manager, Maureen (a little secret, she keeps all this online stuff going on my behalf anyway)will be keeping everything updated. Our Yellowbrick tracker will be sending position reports back 3 or 4 times a day to the website and if the technology doesn't confuse me too much I will be sending back a photo a day as well ... yours with eyes crossed looking at the Yellowbrick ... Les.

  3. Hi Les

    I hope to be at Southampton on Sunday to wish you guys ‘Bon Voyage’
    Having just followed a rally driving in South America I do hope that the ‘Yellow Brick’ map displays a ‘Road Map’ & not a Satellite view, which is nothing short of useless for a journey on land.

    I wish you God Speed & most of all a Safe Trip for all.

    See you Sunday


  4. Hi Terry look forward to seeing you at the set off. Les