On sponsors, fitness and a benefit gig

Added: 24-4-2006

Last week was quite a week for walk preparations. New sponsors have come on board: the excellent Maurice Gowen at MSR has kindly donated tents, Thermarest mattresses and water equipment to the cause, Deb Lazenby has helped Thorlos socks become our official sock sponsors by donating six pairs of their finest hiking socks for us to wear and on Friday morning I attended a fantastic meeting with Michael and Thomas at Fairpoint – a Danish company who are able to provide us with invaluable GPS equipment manufactured by Garmin. This last donation is especially needed – for those of you who don’t know already we have to go to the desert in the winter of 2006/7 in order to bury water. If we don’t do this it’s impossible to get across Utah – too many long stretches with nothing to drink. The GPS equipment will enable us to bury water caches every ten miles or so and therefore not die of thirst alone in the desert. When we return later in 2007 the water will (hopefully) still be there and we stay alive. It’s that easy.

The website keeps drawing visitors – we now have over 100 messages in the Guestbook (no one is allowed to ask where the first 26 are. Sjoerd, here’s a tip, aim for another message when the number gets to 126 😉 and it appears that people Dave and I are not immediately familiar with are finding their way to the site. Many thanks all new visitors! Oh, and thanks to those of you who have pledged some money to the British Heart Foundation – if anyone else is in the mood to donate to a worthy cause, please click here in the knowledge that the BHF’s webpages are secure…

Other developments this week…Despite three months in the gym I wasn’t really in top form in the first game of my team’s football season. It’s never easy when playing on pitches that resemble WWI trenches but I had for some reason imagined that my time in the gym would have me returning as a Frank Lampard figure, or at least someone with  the odd moment of skill like Gordon Durie. Sadly, this was not to be, and instead I resembled nothing but a player from the Danish 7-a-side Workers’ League, which I guess was more appropriate. We lost 3-2. Can you ask for money back from a gym?

Finally, news of our going away thing. I can’t believe we haven’t put this on the site yet but here goes. Over to Dave’s email:

“fellow travellers, a date for your diaries

if you can squeeze your way past the a&r hordes and the lines of hysterically moist teenage girls, you can once again witness the awesome experience of the crucks live show.

ladies and gentlemen this is an event that will live long in the annals of music history. as you may now be aware, cruck #2, hotfoot Toolan, will be shortly leaving the band for an 18-month-long sabbatical brought on by the unceasing pressures of writing, touring and recording cruck music. this gig will be your last chance to cruckify for the foreseeable future; this will be hotfoot’s last weekend in brighton for quite some time.

complimenting the crucks, and featuring a line-up that’s countrier than rutland, will be the majestic dials

due to the delays in the construction of the new wembley stadium, the hastily rearranged venue is the upstairs of the hobgoblin. the music will start at 9.30, friday the 12th of may.

we will unburden you of £5 worth of your materialistic shackles on the door in the name of the heart foundation (and to buy the crucks the gold lame and burberry rhinestone suits they so richly deserve.)

history demands your presence.”

And so say all of us unconcerned at the use of 100% lower case. Hopefully see some of you there (nb. for those who don’t know Brighton that well, the Hobgoblin pub is at 31 York Place, opposite the Sainsburys on beautiful London Road)

All for now. More exciting sponsorship news next week I hope. Dave, it’s your turn to do a journal entry now, speak to your people…

Stuart                               Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

Big packages, fantastic underwear

Added: 8-4-2006 1

Yesterday our preparations took a turn for the better with the delivery of a package of quality Swedish thermals from our brand new sponsor, Craft. Craft Scandinavia is a Swedish performance clothing brand for serious athletes – like Dave and I. Their functional underwear uses three layers to create a perfect microclimate (!) and they sponsor cross country skiing teams and also CSC, the Danish cycling team that takes part in the Tour de France. On their website they state: “The elite put on our underwear, while in return we strip them of their experience” oo-er.

Anyway, I arrived home at 12.30am to find a large box of delights waiting for me, high quality underwear if ever there was any. We’ve got kit for regular and cold conditions, and we also received some very nice lightweight windbreakers in extremely neon yellow which will be a boon when we need rescuing from mountainsides in blizzards. I am very very happy about all of this and would like to say a huge thank you to Esa Bergqivst of Craft who has been really generous in helping us out – thank you Esa!

So yes, it is nice to be fully stocked up with high quality underwear. Coming soon, the photos…

But in the meantime you can check some new pics I posted today from February this year when my mate Jim (aka Colonel) came over to Copenhagen for a few days. we went walking in the snow – extreme conditions…

Stuart                                     Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

Post-London update

Added: 4-4-2006 2

Well, I’ve finally found five minutes to sit down and write something, even if I am multi-tasking by watching Milan-Lyon play football and my flatmate Casper dismantle his phone. I’m also chatting online with Dave and discovering all sorts of problems with our plans to edit video footage on the road…

Things are moving on. Last week I was in London for work and managed to find two days to hook up with Dave and marvel at the price of everything in the world coast-to-coast-walk-related. There are £260 one man tents out there, £150 rucksacks and £20 socks. There are £1600 video cameras, £1000 laptops and £120 camera lenses. It’s a whole world of financial woe for the ill prepared, which is why we are investigating all possibilities carefully and trying to get advice from everyone and anyone about what we should buy. If anyone has any thoughts on what cameras, laptops, MP3 players or socks to buy, please let us know. At this point I figure the only thing we can say about our eventual efforts is that they won’t quite be Industrial Light and Magic, although I am fairly certain Dave and I will be able to conjure up some sort of low budget special effects on the way which will amuse anyone who views our movie (Ed Wood-type UFOs for the Midwest, that sort of thing).

Apart from the London planning, which went very well (see the new pictures in the Gallery), the whole walk is gaining momentum in terms of people who know about it (now including the very nice lady at the US Embassy who looked at me like I was completely insane today at my visa interview) and want to help out in some way. We’ve had a few more donations to the British Heart Foundation and it would be great if anyone else feels like donating to get on board there too (click here to go to our secure sponsorship page on their site). We have a couple more potential sponsors but the superstitious side of me doesn’t want to reveal any more until it’s a done deal. And last but not least we now have nearly 100 messages in the Guestbook, an area of the site which is shaping up nicely (please sign it if you haven’t already, or please feel free to add more messages if you’ve already left a small nugget of wisdom).

Anyway, over the next few weeks things begin to get a lot more serious. Both of us have to finish our jobs and get prepared for the road. Our training camp begins in Switzerland on the 18th May. We start the walk itself on June 3rd. World Cup starts on June 9th. Roll on the summer.

Stuart                          Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook    

Says Jaimie

Added: 2-4-2006 0

Its not what you have done its what you can do.

Dave                              Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook           

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