So it’s Wednesday morning, 1.10am and I’m sitting here in my flat in London with less than a week to go. This is my first recording and a bit of an experiment as I’m thinking audio recordings will be the simplest way for me to record what’s happening. This update is to see how well it flows, how much I can get in a 5 minute recording have the detail transcribed and posted.
I am wrapping up some loose ends, of which there are many when you pack up your home and life in a way to disappear for 4 months but I’m sure I’ll get this all sorted before off on Sunday 10th January.
My first destination is Brisbane via Guangzhou, China. From there I make my way to Proserpine and Whitsunday Island, Airlie Beach to join the team on Derry-Londonderry-Doire.
Some of these loose ends include sub-letting my flat in London, packing up my life for the 4 months I will be away. I also just received the last of my vaccination jabs today. I am tidying up some personal banking and bills and my last visa is due to be sorted by Thursday this week, which is the one for China. Other than that I have some logistics to set up for my ‘blog fairy’, ok maybe that’s a bit harsh but I’m calling Ross my blog fairy as he will be the one transcribing and posting these. I have no doubt Ross will also escalate the requests for donations to my chosen charities, CATS Foundation and NMO UK.
It is also my last week in work, so I have a few days to bring some projects to a close or at least hand over so they can be picked up while I am away.
Being the week that is in it I, last Saturday evening had some leaving drinks in the New Rose, Islington/Angel, which was great craic and was overwhelmed by the turnout. Counted over 30 people at any one stage and it was really nice to get to see everyone, enjoy a drink and a natter before I leave. We stayed until after closing and as is customary we retired to our flat for some afters, more drinks, pizza, falafel wraps, chips and snacks all appeared from somewhere. Our neighbours were not at all impressed, more so with the absence of an invite I think! Sandra looked after neighbour relations and arranged a bunch of flowers and apology card for the excessive music, singing and general shenanigans, which went on well past 5am.
Christmas was great, not only as a chance to catch with all the family and friends at home but also due to the amount of well wishing and support for what I’m taking on. It has been humbling and encouraging and I want to thank you all and I promise to honour your support and donations with a sterling effort and bring home many a story to tell.
Over Christmas I also had the opportunity to promote the race and my charities with an interview on Irishtv.ie, which was arranged by a friend of mine, Enda Grace who got me some air time and greatly appreciated exposure. This is due to air at the end of January and we will post a link to it for all to see. I also did a radio interview with Ciara Plunkett on the Career Focus program on Kildare FM. The response from this was great, a testing interview, but happy with the outcome and feedback.
A quick look at my https://www.justgiving.com/teams/archityper page is great motivation seeing all the individual and business pledges for the charities. I hope you will all continue to support these causes while I am rolling around on the Pacific Ocean!
I hit dry land for the end of my trip around 24th April in Seattle. Otherwise, I will keep you all updated each time I hit shore, in DaNang, Vietnam around 20th February then Qingdao, China mid March before the crossing to Seattle. Look forward to seeing all next May when I get back, weather and sea beaten and hopefully a bit wiser from the experience. See you on the flip side,
Please don’t forget to support CATS Foundation and/or NMO UK, who I am raising funds for as part of my Clipper Round the World Race.
JC signing off.