I am actually recovering tonight from a sinus operation, so I have a few moments to jot down what has been happening. I have been that busy that I have just not got around to posting a blog, no excuse, I have been slack.
Allan has gone back to work, but has still managed to get time off to accompany me to various speaking engagements.
We were so lucky to be invited to join the team from Engineered Environments based in Sydney, on a week holiday to Bali. We had a ball, and enjoyed pure luxury in a private villa with a spectacular horizon pool, all set in the rice fields. Our close friends Robbi and Di, along with Ross and Kim, Craig and Tanya, and their two girls Samantha and Chloe all enjoyed the Bali experience, sampling some exotic food and the occasional Bintang or two. It was great to go somewhere and not have to do too much but simply relax, and we certainly managed plenty of that. Thanks so much guys for inviting us, it was a truly memorable experience, and may have to become a yearly pilgrimage.
St Augustine’s School
We were invited to speak with the Grade 8 and 9 students at St Augustine’s in Cairns. They were a great bunch of kids, and loved the presentation. It’s great fun and very satisfying speaking about the climb and showing the footage. We even dressed up a few of the students in my down suit, boots, gloves and oxygen mask, which was hilarious.
On the 30th of November, I took part in a photo session for the Cancer Council calendar. The photos were taken by Blue Click photography, and I had a ball, complete with pampering, including hair and make-up. I am not sure in which month I appear, but I am dressed as a 70’s air-hostess.
Keep an eye out for the calendar, which is released next week, as all proceeds go to the Cancer Council. If you are not in Cairns, and would like one, let me know, and I will try and post one to you.
On the 1st of December we both headed down to Brisbane to speak at the Summit Restaurant at Mt Cootha for the clients of Lifetime Financial. What a fitting venue for a presentation on Mt Everest. This was the 1st time Allan and I co-presented in front of adults, as we normally both speak to school kids, and the feedback was great. Allan spoke about the Breast Cancer journey from a carer’s perspective, relaying the personal pain, struggles and even depression that comes with watching someone you love go through the emotional and physical affects of the disease.
We both shared our climbing experiences, and showed some of the great footage of the climb. Thanks Mark, Anthony and Stephanie for looking after us.
On the 8th of December, we attended the Fern Tree Gully Cricket Club, for the retirement function of Dr Jack Fidler, a Melbourne gynaecologist. The venue was at full capacity with around 150 people in the room, which showed the popularity and great career of this wonderful man. Jack, a fanatical Essendon fan, had invited me along as his guest speaker.
I was so honoured to present for this wonderful occasion, and Allan and I had the opportunity to meet some great people after the event. I am always blown away at the response from the audience, and love chatting to people about their own personal journey’s and triumphs.
We were invited to speak at a function for Dorevitch Pathology the following night at the Groove Train in Chapel Street. Dorevitch, the largest Pathology group in Victoria, invited their VIP doctors along for a great night. Once again we were made welcome, and everyone responded really well to the Everest story. At the end of the night, Allan and I were even signing autographs, which was a 1st for us.
Unfortunately we could not catch up with our good mates Louise and Everett, due to a hectic schedule, but were lucky enough to spend Sunday morning with my old school buddy Craig, his adorable wife Kate and their four kids. We spent the time relaxing in the park, catching up on the latest, whilst the three boys spent the time kicking the footy and wrestling Allan to the ground, or maybe it was the other way around.
Some friendships just last forever, and I am so grateful.
I am just sorting out the finer details for the Everest Film night, which is scheduled at Whitfield House on the 14th of January 2012. It is going to be a great night, with Sumit, our expedition leader flying over from Nepal to share his experience and climbing stories. I will be posting the final details in the next few days, so please come along and share with us our climb to the summit of Mt Everest.
Apart from Bali, I do not have any photographs, as we have not replaced the camera that is still lost somewhere between Camp 4 at 8000m and the summit of Everest. Our little spare has finally packed it in. Maybe Santa will be kind.
On behalf of Allan and I, we would like to wish everyone a magical Christmas, enjoy it and cherish the time you spend with loved ones. It has been a roller coaster of a ride this year, having experienced a wonderful high and a dreadful low. Life is like that, you never know what is around the corner.
It is what it is – Shoemark