Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Milos and Gaynor's triumph

We are all so proud of Team Milos! Here are some wonderful shots of them on their way to the winning line taken by Dana Václavíková and Helmut Dietz

The dogs look so happy, he also won the prize for the Musher who looks after his dogs best, you can see why!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

75 days to go!!!

I had forgotten that when we first set up our fundraising we were due to leave on the 15th and then the trip was brought forward due to flights etc. which means that we actually have 75 days to go, rather than the 79 that are showing on Virgin Money Giving. Whilst this shouldn't really be a problem for anyone it has an impact on my bet with myself that I couldn't go without alcohol for 100 days as I started using the original countdown. Ultimately it means no booze till the trip is over...oh dear...

Thursday, 20 January 2011


A combination of "Blue Monday" at the start of the week and various practical problems of life meant that my mood was very dark when I set off for my run on Tuesday morning and when I couldn't reach the beach due to flooding I thought the week may simply continue in that vein but a happy set of circumstances, along with the support of friends have dragged me up.

Milos and Gaynor worked so hard for the win yesterday and beating the competition was not just a testament to the hard work they put in but also, as becomes clear in Gaynor's blog, down to Milos's understanding of his dogs' needs. It was wonderful to see someone who does all the right things coming in first. Heartwarming.

The power of the internet came to the fore in another heartwarming moment. A friend with more creative talent in her little finger than most have in their entirety has always been very supportive of my Arctic endeavour, both financially and psychologically. Last week she mentioned that she had been making some bags out of off-cuts of furnishing fabrics and wondered if I'd be interested in selling them for the fundraising pot. As usual she was not convinced that anyone would want to buy them, and as usual I was convinced that she was putting herself down. Once she had sent me a shot of one of the bags it was confirmed, she's brilliant with colour and she'd made a delightful feminine bag, which looked not unlike the kind they sell in Liberty for about £200. She put the shot on Flickr and within moments a mutual friend in the US had seen it and asked if it was for sale! 24 hours later and our American friend had made a contribution to our fundraising and the bag is winging its way across the sea. Hopefully this will start a trend and she'll realise how fab the bags are (maybe she'll even read this...?)

The full story unfolds here.

Finally I had a call last night from the Village Hall Committee; always a bit scary when a committee of any kind calls you, especially when the lady who called used to coach the England Women's Hockey team. I was quaking in my boots. No need though. A couple of months ago all the lamps in the hall were replaced with new funky ones and they removed the old ones, which I loved. They are huge 60's/70's pendants with opaque glass shades so as an habitual recycler I asked in I could buy a set to split up and hang in my 60's/70's style house, and they obliged. It transpires that no-one else likes the style (perhaps this also applies to my house...) and so they were going to chuck them, but remembered our charity, so have offered them to me to sell to raise funds. I'm delighted. There is an auction of modern design coming up, which should be perfect for them and usually does well, so I'm off to pick them up on Saturday. More heartwarmingness.

So all in all I'm feeling somewhat better and what with Sheyne's tip on apps to help you do 100 press ups and 200 sit ups, things could be back on track soon. All I need now is an app that keeps a food diary for me, which adds up calories/protien/carbs etc. and tells me how much I need to eat if I've eaten too much or too little, whilst all the time encouraging me to eat fresh veg instead of Green and Blacks.

(Amusingly the disclaimer on this app says "the two hundred sit ups logo is not meant to be an indicator of how the exercise should be performed")

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Milos and Gaynor - More drama!

I had no idea how very political and dramatic the life of a race team could be. Yes, I had a taster from Sally and Ali in the UK, with their team always doing so well, but what is happening in the Alps at the moment seems to be the stuff that screenplays are made of... now there's a thought.

Alpine dramas unfold here

On the UK drama front we only have 43 days till we have to pay our essential costs to secure the dogs and support team - eeeek! Anyone thinking of sponsoring us, now would be a good time!

Please donate via our website here!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

More HUGE Thanks!

 09.01.11 What a challenge, but a good cause will benefit from your frost bite!! Good luck to you all. Jo, Cat & Chloe
09.01.11 From one Ice Queen to another. . . enjoy the vistas and keep warm!

And to the Walberswick WI, who donated £40 following my talk in the village hall. Also thanks to Vida Connick, who gave me £10 yesterday.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Go Outdoors...?

I have just discovered this wonderful chain of shops as a new one has opened near us, oh dear... this could be very dangerous. I could have spent a fortune on my first visit.

Fortunately I have no money to spend but I really was blown away by their range of clothing and sleeping bags. I am now determined to start saving for the Rab womens' 700 Ascent sleeping bag, as I had no idea that they made a smaller version, what bliss that would be! I think it might take quite some time to save up though...

Thursday, 6 January 2011

La Grande Odyssee 2011

Milos the Magnificent is about to start an exceedingly difficult dog sled race, covering 900km in the Alps. He and Gaynor have just set up a blog so that we can follow them here:

Good luck guys!

More Thanks

A great start to our countdown is seeing sponsorship coming in, thanks to:

 06.01.11 Good Luck !
 05.01.11 Good Luck Buddie! x

I'm going to start my talk this afternoon with "My Name's Claire, and I'm Arcticohlic." Too much...?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

99 days to go

Scary or exciting...? I can't quite work it out.

We need to start raising some serious funds now that the holiday season is over as our total is currently only £1,355. We want to make it a grand total of £20,000. Whilst we still have 99 days to do that we need to get to the £7,200 mark by February to ensure that all the costs are covered.

So here's the link, incase anyone reading this is inclined to help:

In the mean time it means that tomorrow, when I give a talk to a local group, I can actually say "We are going to the Arctic THIS year"! I have to say that I am a little frightened as although it is only a local event, and I will know 50% of those attending, they are a formidable bunch here. Many of them are very used to pubic speaking and the standard of speakers  over the years is rather intimidating, still I can only do what I can do....