Hi everybody. My body and mental time clock has been trying to play catch-up ever since arriving back in the UK. I am still not back to normal, well at least that’s what I tell my wife Vi when she wants something attended to around the house. However, I can usually keep Vi at bay, but Maureen is another matter. She phoned me this morning, it was like being poked with a cattle prod. I need you to write something for the blog and being to weak to argue I thought I had better get on with it.
Over the past months I have, through the Blog, given you some idea as to what has been happening as we have travelled around the world. What I wrote was in the main governed by what time I had left after dealing with everything else that I had to do at the end of the day and at some point falling asleep. But to be truthful what you have read about is but a small part of what we experienced, the people we come in contact with, the situations we got ourselves into for one reason or another, the highs and lows of the journey, and the physical risk to myself when driving alone for anything up to 10 or 12 hours a day, day after day, to make sure that we kept on schedule. Full credit to Keith Twyford, Roland Spencer, Graham Higgins, Mike Bailey, Glyn Maher, and Roger Winkworth, as the going was just as tough for them as it was for me.
I have always looked at the Ultimate Challenge as being a team effort; I could not have achieved what I did without the support of the guys that drove with me and the project would not have been so well organised if it hadn't been for the guys at home helping me with the build-up and departure. Also as we travelled by keeping the information flowing to enable Keith Rimmer to manage the Website, Maureen Wycherley to keep the Press interested and manage the Blog, Facebook and Twitter at the same time.
The other and most important member of the team at home is of course my long suffering wife Vi. At one point I thought it might not happen. Vi doesn’t usually swear but I guess that she must have had a crash course on vocabulary update at the Open University, what she didn’t call me isn’t worth mentioning. To say that we had a communication breakdown is an understatement. It got so bad that when she went to bed at night I would wait until she was asleep before I got in bed and then I would sleep with my eyes open in case she did something nasty to me during the night. I played the waiting game, she had no chance. I applied the charm and within a few months I had her eating out of my hand. She helped me through the preparation period and right up to departure. Now I come to think of it, she was 'too' keen to see me go, I wonder why!!!! I guess that you have realised by now that I tend to elaborate when it comes to my lovely wife Vi, but in truth I love her to bits and missed her a lot and looked forward to phoning her as I was driving around the world. That is, apart from the time when I bought the motor bike at a town called Sturgis without telling her. Boy did the poo hit the fan that day. It was ok though, I had two weeks before I got home, plenty of time to get back in her good book.
That’s enough about us for the moment, so where do we go from here? Well I promised you that I would write something every two weeks or so, focusing on what happened as we travelled. Now that I am back home I would like go back over the journey with you, but this time giving you more detail about what happened. The highs and lows, the mistakes and what went wrong, the tension and fun time of the crew and so on. I promise to make it interesting and in addition to this I will be writing articles for magazines, working on the book and film covering the whole project, along with on-going fund raising, and anything else that comes along.
The next and most important item is the home coming reception for the vehicles and crew. It will be held on 26th October 2.00pm at the Novotel, West Quay Road, Southampton, SO15 1RA. Refreshments provided. There will be a number of posh people attending but it will be nice if as many friends and supporters could join us for this very special occasion so put it in your diary. All the crew will be available to chat on the day but if you would like to ask me questions about the Ultimate Challenge or the journey just go to our website and use the Contact Form http://heavencanwaitimbusy.com/contact-us.html I'll attempt to answer as many questions as possible.
Until the next time keep upright and drive straight Les