Monday, 23 March 2009

BBC Look North to cover the expedition daily

Thanks so much to BBC Look North who have teamed up with True North to cover the expedition before, during and after. You'll be able to see regular images and voice updates on Look North (weekdays on BBC1 1830) and online, either here on this blog or on another linked website. We may be able to send through some video footage as well but it depends on connection strength. It is pretty remote up there...

Here's the first installment of coverage from Friday night (20th March), edited courtesy of Shenton Creative.

One week to go...yes, I'm a bit nervous!

Its been a while since I last updated and it was a month to go before the off then. How fast 3 weeks disappear. As I type I have litterally 1 week until I take off from Newcastle airport, destination: Longyearbyen, Svalbard, which is an island archipelago right in the Arctic Circle.

There's so much to do in this last week. Final training, although I've had a really bad cold for the last 10 days that's not helping me do much. I did have a few beers on Satuday night so I don't think that helped much. I will be fit and ready to go next Monday.

I have my skis now and almost all my gear. I'll get my hands on my sledge tomorrow. It's such an exciting time but I'm nervous as hell about stepping out of the Russian crago plane and into the frozen unknown of the Arctic ocean on April 2nd.

Fundraising is picking up pace again so I'm chuffed to have raised over £11 grand now. If you haven't yet donated, please do so. Every penny will help spur me on, and I will need all the help I can get. I'm going to print out the whole list of messages from people who have sponsored me and take along it to keep me motivated. I know there's going to times when I find it tough so I'll read all the messages of support to spur me on.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Only 4 weeks to go....

It all of a sudden seems very real. Last week I took time out from training to meet Doug Stoup (my guide and main chance of survival at the Pole) in Leeds. Doug gave me all my equipment and briefed me ont he dos and don'ts of Polar exploration. It was as though having something tangible to hold and feel set the realisation clearly in my mind about what I'm undertaking. I'm so excited about seeing first hand the beauty of the Arctic wilderness, but I'm crapping myself about frostbite, falling through the ice and the shear remoteness of where I'm going.

So, with 4 weeks left before the off I'm going to be working hard to galvanise people into supporting the expedition. If you are reading this and haven't yet got round to sponsoring me - please click here to donate. Justgiving is totally secure but if you are worried about internet theft then you can donate by sending me a cheque or make a cash donation. I can even manage to take a credit/debit card, so there really is no excuse. Unless you are absolutely destitute.

One inspiring gesture tonight came from a woman I met on the beach while I was plodding along, fully laden, pulling my sledge. This lady came over to ask what I was training for and actually repeated the justgiving address 6 times so she could make a donation when she got home. And that from a complete stranger. Then there's the likes of my customers Steve and Mike who are doing a 10K run and donating all the proceeds to True North. Both are true gentlemen to the core. It's gestures like this that remind me why I'm putting myself through all this grief.

So, please keep telling eveyone about what I'm doing. Donate, help out and think about how you can do something extraordinary for charity. That's what it's all about.