Kendal MF talk and new addition to family

20th Nov 2013

Kendal MF talk and new addition to family Pre-talk drink Marmot tent the boss Tim 50th Oli Edwards


Finally, my big talk happened last weekend (15-17 Nov) at the Kendal Mountain Festival. I’ve got to be honest, the last few weeks were very stressful and I wasn’t getting much sleep!
Although I started preparing my talk in August (I had visions of it being finished by the end of September), it didn’t quite go as planned and by the end of October I had thrown 4 versions in the bin. When you have a lifetime of stuff to put in a talk, it’s not easy filter it all out and choose the direction you want it to take.


So I decided that because I had so much ‘stuff’ whirling around my head I needed to write it out long hand and just get it out of my system. I wrote nearly 20 000 words in 3 days and it was a very cathartic process and helped me assess what the important bits were.
There were things that I really would’ve liked to have talked about but there just wasn’t time, you think an hour and a half is quite long but it flew by. But seeing as I’ve essentially written a short story on me, then maybe I’ll carry on with it so I can include all the things I didn’t manage to get in my talk, into a book.


The talk was on the Saturday night in the main lecture theatre in The Brewery Arts Centre. It seats about 350 people and one of my biggest fears was that it would be me and about fifty people dotted about the auditorium, well I needn’t have worried because thanks to everyone who came, it was packed out, which was lovely.


I was very nervous about the talk (see pic of me with my pre-talk drink, it did the trick!), although I have done talks in the past, I’ve never done one like this before, where I was just talking about ME. But once I got started I actually managed to enjoy it, I included things that were quite personal and you never know if you’ve gauged it right but I think on the whole, everyone seemed to really enjoy the evening. And there were some great questions afterwards and I managed to get some of the points I couldn’t make in my talk into my answers- so thanks to all those great questions from the audience.
After about an hour of signing posters and answering other questions, I could relax and listen to my nephew, Oli Edwards (see pic on the left), doing his thing (music) in the Marmot tent outside.

Winners of the 2013 Kendal Mountain Festival

I had been dreaming of that moment for months and I was almost disappointed when it arrived. I’m sure you know what it’s like, when you’ve put your heart and soul into something, when it’s over, it can be a bit of an anti-climax. Kind of what it feels like if you head-point a hard route after months of effort, it’s brilliant to do it but there’s a bit of a void until the next project comes along.


Because I haven’t blogged for a while, what I haven’t mentioned is that in the middle of October amongst all this talk prep, we decided to get a new dog. Why make life easy for yourself I say?! He’s another rescue and we think is a whippet/staffie cross and the first couple of weeks were pretty difficult to say the least. But he has really settled in well now, him and Buis love each other and I am looking forward to taking him away in the van to sample his first taste of being a crag-dog. He’s about 10 months old, and quite small which is just what we wanted. I don’t think the van would’ve housed another version of Buis-Bear. We’ve called him Tayo after a best friend of Kodo’s (our dog we lost last year), that she met in France. It’s actually Theo but pronounced the french way, Tayo, we thought it would be easier to spell phonetically.


So with my talk over, a new addition to our family and winter making it’s presence known, I think my first trip for a while to warmer climes in the van could be the next item on the agenda.
So I’m of to plan and train...


Oh nearly forgot, poor Buis gashed her leg open four days before Kendal and had to have a general anaesthetic to get it stitched up.

Tim had his 50th two weeks ago (yummy cocktail in pic with Tim glued to his phone as ever), can’t quite believe he’s 50. When we met he was in his 30’s and I was in my 20’s, madness.


Also, if the weather holds out, I’m heading over to the slate at the end of the week, to do some filming for The 1 Show. Could be the subject of my next blog all going well.

Me and my two dogs, Buis pretty easy to spot but the little man is hiding...

It was also our 14th anniversary the other day, who'd have thought it?