Happy 14th May!
|Chomolungma | Everest Summit, 14th May 2022
|I could not let today go past without marking the fact that this day a year ago I had the privilege of standing / sitting on top of the world. I use the ‘slash’ because obviously I was upright when I got there (the crawling came later – on the way down). But as soon as I arrived, I sat on the snow. I was exhausted. There was no punching the air in triumph. Or modelling by the prayer flags with pride. I didn’t even take my oxygen mask off to smile for the camera. It certainly wasn’t the end of the journey but it had taken six years to arrive.When I finally got down from the summit safely – after a descent in which I looked death in the face – I was so relieved to get back home to London. The green of the leaves on the trees outside my window dazzled me with their chlorophyll after months of living on thin air where no vegetation grows. I finished writing my (third) book in a white heat from the comfort of my bed. My broken leg in a brace. My broken heart fully exposed.By the end of last year I had two publishing offers on the table. And for the first part of this year, I’ve been editing – trying to make my book, the best it can be. For you, and for me. It will be published next March and will go on pre-sale this coming July – I’ll write to you again then.
|The Maldives, April 2023
|I’m not going to say too much more about the book now (let’s build some suspense!) But I will say that it’s a mountainous musical adventure – in search of a desert island. And I did find a desert island in April – in the Maldives. A treat I promised myself if I got to the top of the world, following on from running the London marathon and swimming 21 Miles from England to France. I loved it there (in the Maldives). I’ve decided I’m a 30C – turtle – kinda -girl.
|In other news I’ve started doing more public talks and podcasts about my adventures which is something that I want to do more of over the next few years. Over the last month I’ve visited two girls schools – Sacred Heart in Newcastle upon Tyne; and Fulham Cross in Hammersmith & Fulham, London. I hope that something I’ve done or say will change a young person’s life for the better in a small way. I see it as a kind of alternative form of mothering (don’t forget mother is a verb, not just a noun). And I truly believe there are many ways ‘to mother’ in the world. So as it’s actually Mother’s Day in some countries today – Happy Summit Anniversary and Mother’s Day to me as well.
|Fulham Cross – Where’s Wally? (highest arms in the air at the back!)
|My other caring responsibility at the moment is my 91 year old mum. She’s been in and out of hospital several times since Christmas. It’s been quite a challenge having someone else to think about 24 hours a day, other than myself. And I’ll confess I don’t always like it. In fact, it’s made me realise that my unrequited ‘pursuit of motherhood’ – which will always be a sadness – has also given me a lot of freedom. And without that sadness and freedom, I’m sure I wouldn’t have got to sit on top of the world which although it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, I wouldn’t change for anything. But, as I eagerly watch the progress of teams on Chomolungma (aka Everest) in this month – which marks the 70th anniversary of the first ever summit of the mountain by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay – I’ll also admit this… I’m glad to be at home in London working hard on the birth of my third book-baby. It’s my happy place.
All love until next time