Who will I meet? (Everest Base Camp -19 weeks to go)

Sunday 23rd June 2013

I came to thinking this week about the people I will be going on The Trek with in November. This came about through me reflecting on life in junior school. I keep writing about my favourite books because it is one of the things I think about as I am walking the various hills, dales and mountains. Anyway, as I was climbing up to the top of a little peak in The Dales this week I started thinking about a lovely part  in Lark Rise to Candleford where Flora Thompson writes about school and school life. That in turn reminded me of the way we used to walk home from school in the next village (our village did not have a school, too small). We rarely did it in winter, except when the buses did not run, (snow!). Normally it was spring or summer and the fields were full with hay or crops, the lanes and roads were full of wild flowers (cowslips, bluebells chervil, long grasses, campion, the now evocative red corn poppy and so on) As the summer wore on the grasses would dry and turn to a yellowy green colour. What was a one and a half mile walk, twenty five minutes, seemed to spread to nearly an hour as we messed around chasing each other with lengths of grass, carefully plucked nettles, sticks, cow parsley and sticky buds. Anything to keep us amused, arriving home hot and bothered we were always ready for a reviving quick something to eat or drink, (a habit now extended into adulthood; home and the first thing I do is dive into the pantry for a snack!). Then out again into the fields or the street for a game. Looking back is always rose tinted but I do feel grateful  that my Dad once replied  to my question why did we live in the village with; ‘We wanted you all to be brought up in the fresh air, with fields around you and space for you to run around, to eat simple food, grown locally, and for you to appreciate the countryside and everything that is in it.’ I think my Dad would have liked William Morris!

How are the two connected? Everest and Primary School. It is this. Going to school at the beginning of a new year (it was mid August in those days) I sometimes had that sense of adventure, excitement, trepidation, call it what you will about meeting new friends, a new situation, new routines, a new seat to be in, a different group. Will I be a milk monitor? (favoured job!). Will I sit next to Michael or Suzy? Who will sit next to the window? Will I finally win a race on Sports Day? Can I manage, just once, to win a game of British Bulldogs before the Head stops it for the year as it steadily grows too rough? These hopes and aspirations recur in their own way as we grow older. Although we have a Facebook page for the group, the majority are still a mystery to me. So I wondered what will they be like and how will we mix together trekking up the mountains and up the valleys. What I like is that I am excited by the prospect of meeting new people in a place so different to where I was brought up, where I live now or where I have worked.  I sometimes get giddy and daft thinking about it all. Alcohol without the headaches after!!!!

This week I received a fantastic letter of support from an acquaintance who has been to Base Camp. It had really helpful down to earth advice, observations about the little things that niggle away at you, what to take, or not, experiences that lie ahead and how to deal with different things that happen, or might happen. It was brilliant and  left me feeling really uplifted. So far this week I have done one Yoga class, had another yoga session, one physio session having my back scrunched and completed five circuit sessions. (My letter said it was important to build up your muscle because it will waste away on the trek through lack of oxygen. Hence the weight lose). Completed one bike ride; 21:3 miles, 2hrs 1mins & climbed 1335ft (mainly up Embsay Crag, very, very steep lung buster and a hair raising decent to Barden). Two walks; 21:5 mls, 7hrs 58 mins & 4224ft climbed.

Two photos from the Spring Walks


Approaching Pen y ghent via Arnside & Halton


The infant River Wharfe going into Langstrothsdale.

Fundraising events are planned, not all by me,  and these include two more car boots sales, I cannot get rid of all the stuff I’ve been given, it keeps rolling in.  A cricket match. A  golf day. A coffee morning. Maybe a star gazing event. (I know, in The Dales…is this a good idea you say?)

Finally, someone explain this to me! I went to visit a friend the other day. Arriving late in the afternoon the conversation turned to sport and I asked him if he knew ‘The Cricket Score!’ ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘England have won.’ I replied ‘No, not THAT score, I mean the Yorkshire score!’ He went into a real old strop about Yorkshire and muttering things like…not the centre of the universe! I just don’t understand!!!

To support this quest for Macmillan Cancer Support pass the blog on to anyone you know and ask them to ‘follow’ it at http://www.charleseverestbasecamp.wordpress.com. Alternatively, they could also do this by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/Charles-Appleyard.

Have a good week. Goodbye.

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2 Responses to Who will I meet? (Everest Base Camp -19 weeks to go)

  1. To answer your question Charles, you will meet some amazing people. Your fellow trekkers will all have different reasons for doing this and most will inspire you. You will meet people on the track who have done more, summited great mountains and trekked in remote parts of the world and they will be unassuming and supportive of what you are doing. And don’t forget the locals, they are some of the friendliest people I have met who live a hard life and smile through it all. Take it all in, you’ll make many new friends. 🙂

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