Shouting from my shed

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It started with a kiss

5

It started with a kiss. Years later I was married. As the plane hurtled my bride and me towards sunshine and a Hawaiian honeymoon I absent-mindedly looked out of the window. Through the mysteries of Great Circle flying routes, our flight from London to the sunshine was going via the Arctic. Below was a vast whiteness. Excited, I walked to the back of the plane to get a better view out of the bigger windows there. I was transfixed and I stared out at the unchanging emptiness for ages. Even thousands of metres detached from it all I felt humbled by its enormity, excited by its different-ness. I had never seen frozen ocean before and now I was greedy for more.
I asked the air hostess if I could pass through the galley to look out the other side of the plane. I was not deterred by her reply of “I wouldn’t bother; it’s exactly the same both sides.”
Wow. I needed some of that. So the plane landed and the honeymoon began and all was lovely and sunny and warm and happy. And I sent my friend
a text message from my honeymoon.
“I’LL REGRET IT IF I DON’T ASK, AND YOU KNOW ME WELL ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO SAY “NO” WITHOUT OFFENCE: PLEASE CAN I COME TO THE SOUTH POLE WITH YOU?”
And eventually in a crappy, deserted Indian restaurant a couple of months later Ben confirms that I’m part of his team. I’m very, VERY excited! Together we’re going to attempt the longest unsupported polar journey in history. Absurd? Neither of us are in the habit of taking on things we consider absurd.
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Shouting from my shed

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