Today when I got home from a therapeutic stroll in rain-sodden Wunderlich Park, I found a large parcel waiting for me at the guest cottage that I currently call home - a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator. This is my intended solution to the unavailability of healthy and wholesome expedition meals - I plan to make my own.
Since my New Year retreat I've been a bit of a health food nut, and have been unable to find any expedition meals that live up to my high new standards of nutrition. If you don't want to eat additives, trans fats, wheat, white rice, dairy or non-organic meat, that doesn't leave many options. And a rower cannot survive on beansprouts alone.
It may take some experimentation to figure out what works and what doesn't - I need to come up with some recipes that are tasty, nutritious, dehydrate well and will last for several months if packaged in vacuum packs. This is quite a tall order, considering that I have only a few months left, and my time is already heavily scheduled.
But where there's a will there's a way. And fortunately there will be a mother as well. Mum, once again, is coming to the rescue. When I was preparing for the Atlantic she came to stay with me for a month to help with everything from sewing to packaging food to boatbuilding. This time around she will be joining me in San Francisco in May to help with final preparations for my May/June launch (precise date and location to be determined by the weather). She might have hoped that by now she'd be through with cooking for her offspring, but no such luck...
P.S. Voiceover artist for speaker showreel now found. So no need for further action from previous blog, but thanks for the suggestions.
I need a British voiceover artist for my speaker showreel (see earlier blog).
I am looking for a youngish male voice, neutral accent, not too posh. Ideally the speaker should have access to equipment for recording an MP3 file of the voiceover. Any potential candidates should please contact me via the Contact form on this website.
Today I received this helpful advice from Steve Moore of the Royal Navy. He works at the Institute of Naval Medicine in Gosport, where I go for regular physiological testing.
From Annex C of Chapter 3 from MoD's Joint Service Publication 539 entitled "Climatic Injuries in the Armed Forces - Prevention & Treatment"...
"52. Anecdotal experience suggests that patients may improve if, once their acute injury has fully resolved (by 3 months after injury at the latest), they rewarm their feet each evening using a foot spa. The aim is to immerse the hands and/or feet in water maintained as close to 40?C as possible for 20-30 minutes, following which feet should be placed in insulative but slightly loose bed-socks. Patients should perform this when they are able to relax, and additional vasodilation may be aided by no more than 50 ml of their favourite spirits, such as whisky, consumed at the start of rewarming."
Footbaths and tots of whisky - sounds like my kind of a cure!
It would be especially welcome as I am now back in Woodside, and my spirits are suffering from the wet and squelchy winter weather. After spending much of the last two months in pristine snowy wilderness, it seemed strange as I drove south to return to weather that would seem more at home in Britain than in California - pouring rain and dank chilliness. Yesterday in the gym I overheard some people complaining how cold it was. "You should try Northern Minnesota," I thought...
Or how about Antarctica? I spent yesterday working with an editor to create a showreel to show future clients how I perform as a motivational speaker. I was introduced to Minette by Alison Levine, who has been writing a highly entertaining blog from the bottom of the world.
"There is a saying that no one who goes to the Pole comes back unchanged. I truly believe this. I can already see some changes in myself. I went out for dinner last night and when the waiter put bread and butter on the table in front of me, I ate the butter straight up -with a spoon. Instead of drinking Evian at home I now prefer to melt ice from my freezer in order to get my water. I don't plan to wash my hair anytime soon. I can wait 43 days again. Maybe 44 just to see if I can break my record. I plan to wear a ski mask during the day - all the time now, and not just when I am robbing banks. And of course I plan to lobby the Miss Universe pageant officials in order to convince them to allow the first contestant from Antarctica to compete."
Click here for more...
[photo: Alison Levine - although in the future I hope I might have a similar photo!]
Where did January go? I was getting that alarming feeling, and I suspect that I may not be the only one, that life was speeding up like a runaway train, and if I didn't jump into the cab and take a firm hand on the controls the next 12 months were going to whizz by in an ever-accelerating blur.
And that blur might not be taking me where I wanted to go.
Mixing my metaphors horrendously, I was reminded of the saying that "A sailor with no destination never has fair winds", meaning that if you don't know where you are going, how can you expect the universe, Lady Luck, fortune, God, the law of attraction - whatever you want to call it - to give you a helping hand?
So I spent much of yesterday working on defining my goals for the next 12 months. A fun way to do this is to cast your mind forwards into the future, and imagine yourself in 12 months time. 21st January 2009. What will my day be like? How will I feel when I wake up? How will my body look? What good news will my emails bring? What will my workout be? What friends will I spend time with? And so on. This really opens up the scope for some blue-sky thinking without the constraints of what might be feasible. Just daydream.
Then, figure out what needs to be done, day by day, in order to get to that ideal vision. By this point I was feeling inspired and enthusiastic about this dream day, and this fuelled my determination to make it happen. So I broke it down into its elements and put them in a spreadsheet, with columns for dependencies and deadlines i.e. is there something else that needs to happen first? and when am I going to achieve this by?
Of course, some elements of my daydream are outside of my control - I definitely need a helping hand with those - but by writing them down and putting out a powerful intention that I want these things to happen, i have just improved my chances that they will indeed come to pass.
If they really DO all happen, it's going to be a heck of a year. I'd better hang on tight to those train controls - it's going to be quite a ride!
[photo: blue sky thinking - a photo I took last month in the Badlands of South Dakota]