A big week in England. Spent the first night with Mike Perham and his family and I am happy to report he has put on 8kg since the Talisker Bounty Boat training in in Sydney in Feb and is now fully recovered..he also happens to think Jessica Watson is pretty cute! I have put on 4kg by the way!
The reception by the Duke and Duchess at Chatsworth House was absolutely fantastic, incredibly relaxed and really special. Yes that is me in the dress on the sofa! With the Duchess on my left and the Duke is fourth from the left at the back. Most are holding a ship's biscuit, the very same ones that we had on Talisker Bounty Boat..I had brought them with me to include in the menu. We dined in the private dining room and the conversations were unique. I will never forget this special moment with sponsors, SIF friends and supporters with the Duke and Duchess being so warm, welcoming and really interested in everything that had happened since we were at the country fair ten months ago. I have been to some very regal occasions in the past but this was all of that but more like a dinner with old friends. I am so grateful for everyone’s involvement in this expedition and the kind words that were said that night. We did not leave till after midnight.
Next day I headed to Sheffield with my mate Stuart Keane to meet up with Prof. Pam Shaw to look at progress with the SIF building that is now due to open in Nov. this year. I was stunned. It is so exciting to see it for real. The work spaces are very modern and the work environment will encourage creativity. It is a huge facility and will house 150 researchers. This to me is like watching the logistics of a great adventure fall into place, an adventure simply because it really does have an unknown outcome, but we all know and hope that it will lead to something very special on into the future!
Then it was back to London for media and a presentation to our sponsors Talisker/Diageo at their headquarters. I had to pick up Chris at his home in a little village on the way and I had a better understanding of his “Quiet life” before becoming involved in this voyage..it is a little village with only a few hundred people in it…
Today I checked out a replica of the James Caird in Lowestoft, that has been built for another Australian Tim Jarvis for a future Shackelton recreation, but that is another story?
For now it is back to London and a visit to BBC Breakfast just before 7am on Sunday 11th..we will be on a second time, same day, just before 9am and this will also go to BBC networks around the world and be on BBC online so that is cool!!..we also managed another story on CNN online to 30 million people, so there are a few smiles at Greyling our UK PR company! They and Splendid our Aust. PR company, have been doing a great job. Talisker are all smiles!
Next on the agenda are discussions about the Book and Plans for the Documentary. The eBay Auction planning is underway and looks like the donations for SIF will climb through 100,000 pounds soon which is very exciting. To all who have been helping this fundraising challenge..THANKS..it will continue as part of the Talisker Bounty Boat expedition right through till the book comes out sometime next year.
Dave Pryce has recovered from the teeth issue, Dave Wilkinson arrived in the UK a few days ago with his daughter to go camping and Chris..well he is just in party mode!!..Me??..I am trying to slow my eating now and feel very healthy so life is good..