The last couple of weeks have had a sense of 'one step forward, two steps back' and as a result the East Anglian division of the team has begun to bond. The first week of fundraising and training didn't start well, with Andy having to cancel the activity days as a result of no firm bookings. This was a real disappointment to us all, but particularly to Andy, who had put in so much work - along with Mark's support. They were gutted and we are at a bit of a loss to understand why there was no interest. Perhaps people had already organised their half term activities, or maybe the idea of filling out forms was too much, but they would have been really good, fun days, and not just for the children!
We attempted to make use of the planned time well though, as Rob had come up from Oxford, and so we contacted the Fire service to see if they'd let us have a go at pulling a fire engine, as you do... The idea being that if we could manage it then we could set up a fundraising and PR event, where we attempt to pull an engine through Southwold. I'm so pleased we had a trail run. It is not as easy as I had expected, although I'm not really sure why I expected it to be easy, they weigh about 15 tonnes. The Fire Service were amazing, helping us to find the best way to use harnesses and ropes, but making sure we pulled the machine uphill, not sure that was so helpful!
Mark decided we should let him try to pull it on his own first, just incase he could but it soon became apparent that it wasn't budging. Andy joined him, then Rob and they did get it to move. once we had all of us attached it was just about possible to keep it moving, but certainly not a walk in the park.
Later that day we met up with the Lovely Gaynor (yes, Lovely is her first name) and she talked us through the kit needed and showed us a number of photos from her recce trip with Milos. I was surprised to see how sunny it was and she assured us that the temperatures would probably not be as low as our last trip (-40). There again she had warned us to expect - 25 last time...