Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Expedition-A Near Death Experience

As many of you will know, (if you read my last post) I cancelled my training last week in preparation for my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition. I needn't have bothered. There was no training on Earth that could have prepared me for that weekend.

I was packed and ready and got up early on the Saturday. We got to the squadron head quarters early and then got on the minibus, the 6 of us were a bit tired but we thought ourselves ready. How wrong we were. Of course Saturday wasn't too bad, we only got lost the once, ending up in a sheep field instead of Keevil, and the public footpath (as was not specified on the map) went straight through a field of cows. I thought cows were docile creatures, but when a person in your group insults them by saying their meat is worth 99p in McDonalds, they charged at us. 5 of us panicked and ducked under barbed wire (successfully) to get into a neighbouring field, but 1 of our group stayed slap bang in the middle of it, nose in the map, she just continued to walk. We were all shouting at her to come back, but she was being, what I call, selectively deaf. The cows amazingly just slowed down and congregated around her, then proceeded to follow her around in a fashion more suited to sheep then cows.

It was Sunday that finished me off however. It was longer then Saturdays journey, it was after a very bad nights sleep in a freezing tent, it was over 2 big hills and it was going through even more fields. This was horrendous. Never in the history of the universe has anyone hated hills as much as I did on that Sunday. The first hill was hell, the second hill was worse. At the top of this hill was our finishing point, it was the steepest and biggest hill and I almost died going up that muddy, slippery slope. I got to the top, met the assessor (our flying Officer) and cried.

I barely survived.

Saturday, 20 October 2012


I have had to cancel training this coming week as I will be doing a small amount of training for my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Expedition on the 27th-28th. And oh my word am I going to suffer. As I said in my last post, I am an Air Cadet and with this organisation I will be undergoing my DofE with 4 other unlucky cadets who are stuck with me, probably the biggest moaner in the history of the universe, as proved by this blog.

I was not with the cadets when some of them did their practise, so some of them are doing their Qualifier, I am doing my practise. Now in their practise, they got lost. And I am talking lost with a capital 'L'. They had their bearings right, their fitness was (apparently) perfect but their observational skills appeared to have been lacking. They had to walk right past two massive radio masts. After 2 hours of extra walking, none had realised the masts were not present in their view. Another hour past and suddenly a light bulb moment caused them to stop and turn back "Radio masts!" and back off they went down the way they had just walked.

I am fairly observational (hopefully) and unlike them, I am glued to my watch (which all of them in their practise forgot to bring) however, my map reading skills are dire and with my feet being used to being flippers rather then feet, I doubt my walking skills are much better. Hence the change in plans, this week I shall not be Swimming for Comic Relief I shall be walking as the Comic Relief of the other Cadets. Hooray.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Swimming...but for Air Cadets?!

Once again, I cannot apologise enough to you wonderful people who are bored enough to search the web and find my tiny, quite irritating little blog and find I have not updated it for almost 2 weeks.
In case you have forgotten or are unaware, my challenge is taking over much of my life, and it seems, even in an organisation that was set up for flying, I must swim in it too. I swam for my Air Cadet squadron and won my backstroke race (but it was a close run thing) and then on Saturday I competed for Dorset and Wiltshire. Although I enjoyed meeting other cadets (ok, well some of them) I cannot help but feel disappointed. In my backstroke race I came 4th out of 6th, meaning I am definitely not eligible to swim for the South West, and then in the relay I fear I let my team down with my front crawl, I did quite well, but halfway through a length, something snapped in my leg. It was my knee in fact, and I think I pushed it a little too far, as when I got out of the pool, I had to limp a little to get back to the changing rooms. I would say I am glad that my knee is working perfectly well again, but I feel down that it didn't do well when I needed it too.
So, I am sorry Dorset and Wiltshire because my stupid knee cost our very capable relay team of a place in the regional competition, and although my fellow swimmers were kind, the injury has shaken me quite a bit.
Although this was a set back, think of how miserable I will be if my knee does the same in my actual challenge.
 I will have disappointed everyone as I am sure I did in that relay.