Big Moose blog: New relationships

good afternoon bigmoose gang, and specifically good afternoon catryn grundy!
ha ha ha, that will make one person go omg, and will mean nothing to anybody else reading this, yet.

i’ll explain.

i have a very cool mate, james harper, who works for the principality building society in cardiff, who are clients of mine in my day job, but also employ two of the most lovely people you could ever meet, james and pat ashman, aka auntie pat. pat organises all of the principality’s events, like their annual ball, sponsorship events, etc, and james is tasked with the company’s corporate social responsibility and charity activities, and they are both fireworks of people. the principality have funded our tee shirts for the supertri both years, attended the events with a big gang of their staff as volunteers, and have recently supported me on my quest to climb everest, saying that still feels weird, and gives me butterflies by the way!

when i left for nepal i met pat and james for a last minute coffee, and as we got up to go we all hugged, and it felt more like saying goodbye to my family, rather than friends, and as i write this i think that is what they are, family.
upon returning to the uk i hastily met up with james, and due to pat’s mum being ill, get well soon pats mum, i haven’t yet seen her yet.
as james and i chatted about my adventure, i got the feeling he was genuinely pleased to see me back safe and sound, and i think it is testimony to chloe’s telling of my story that his emotions were stirred.

that meeting was where james mentioned that i should meet up with one of their charities they are working with, ‘the school of hard knocks’, and invited me along to a meeting with their director of programmes catryn grundy.
james had a proposal for catryn, and as i sat there observing, i thought about how passionate catryn was, and how she obviously absolutely loved her job, which made me smile inside, because i kind of idealistically want the world to love their jobs, which whilst being a utopian dream, unfortunately is never going to be the reality.

catryn loved james’s proposal, and i could see made him feel special when she answered his question of what did she think, it was a meeting with lots of energy, and i was hooked.
the school of hard knocks is a brilliant idea, and if i didn’t do what i do, i would want to work for them, i really think their work is outstanding, and rather than me try to tell you about it, here is a great video that does.

how cool is that?

one of the videos on their website talks of discipline, respect for yourself and others around you, and in these very difficult times we live in, i think these are things that are missing from our society, and with broken families everywhere, a lack of discipline results in apathy, a lack of hope, and a terrible place for future generations to grow and flourish.

school of hard knocks reverses that cycle, and gives young people a chance, by giving them hope that they can actually amount to something in this life, and i love the concept.
in our meeting we discussed whether i could go to meet some of the youngsters to tell them about my everest journey, and being from a one parent family myself, and memories of going to school with holes in my shoes that let the rain in, hopefully i can relate to some of the people on the courses, and if i can help sohk inspire them to do something with their own lives, then my everest adventure starts to have value, and i will be using it in a way that i hoped would be possible.
climbing to the top of the world was never just about me, it has always been about doing something that could inspire people to do more, and effect their world positively, so being involved in sohk could be brilliant.

the reason for saying good morning to catryn earlier, and telling this story is because i see who subscribes to our weekly blog, and catryn slid onto our subscription list very quietly, but the thing i get from the fact that people subscribe, is that they get it.
and that they want more of it.
so catryn signing on the dotted line, like you did, and pressing subscribe, tells me a lot.
so, now you know about sohk, and if you like their vibe, don’t be afraid to give them a shout, as the video says there are three ways you can help, and if you decide you want to, please let me know, i would love to know that my action has caused a reaction.

right that’s the end of this weeks blog!

juuuuuuuust kidding, i’ve got a shed load to tell you, and i am hoping to catch a train down to london to meet my hockey mates (thursday) for the first time since everest (i’m not sure when i become irritating talking about everest, but let me know) and i can’t wait to see them, so i don’t wanna be late.

so stuff that’s happened this week

– in discussion to do talks in two schools in barcelona and madrid
– in discussion to do a talk for one of the big four uk banks in london
– did my first ever podcast for ‘beyond the ultimate’, and my mate kris king
– been asked to write an article for western mail education supplement about our school journey

i do find it rather ironic that at school i was forever getting in trouble for talking in class, and this skillset is actually becoming a big part of my life, and for good reasons, and for the more mature subscribers amongst you bt had a marketing campaign saying ‘it’s good to talk’ which i’m sure my careers teacher would have disagreed with.

it was kind of nice to get back to writing a blog last week, i have missed it, and i had some truly beautiful messages from people saying nice things about the whole bigmoose concept after i posted it, so thank you, every bit of feedback helps.

finally this week i have been to see a few people who helped me on my nepal adventure, and it was lovely to catch up with my knee surgeon angus robertson, to say thank you for getting me strong enough to climb, and i think he was happy that we got there as well, and as in everything in life, it takes team work to do anything worth doing, and i believe always, always, always surround yourself with experts.

nice pic of me and angus, although i didn’t know he kept a part of my knee on his desk!!!
well i thought that was the final piece of the blog, but after writing the above i had one of the best e-mails i have had for a very long time, which for me was extremely exciting.

last week when i travelled to widecells plc to see joão andrade, who i mentioned last week is their ceo, i also met alan greenberg, who is on their board.
alan is the former head of education for the worlds largest company, apple.
he was responsible for creating podcasting, itunes u, and his strengths lie in digital, and research shows a very impressive resume.
after my presentation alan approached me and said my video of everest nearly broke him, and paid me some lovely compliments about bigmoose, which i won’t share for fear of blushing.

i really liked alan, and had this feeling we would get on, so this week i decided to try my luck, and ask him if i could have an hour of his time to discuss bigmoose, and our future plans, the worst that could happen was he would say no.
you know he said yes already, what you don’t know is what else he said.
i’ll tell you.
he said that by getting involved with joão and widecells plc that i was ‘family’ already and ‘his help, network and resources were available anytime’.
i’m sorry, but how flipping cool is that???????
the former head of education for apple wants to help bigmoose!
he also has a great sense of humour, and i just know we are going to get on, so bigmoose has a new ‘mate’ the likes of which i could not have imagined possible, and what he may bring to our world is amazing, and i am a bit overwhelmed at where this may lead, so watch this space, i am due to meet him the first week of july, you know when you get ‘that’ feeling, well with alan i’ve got it, how very exciting!

so i am writing my second part of my blog today being friday, and apart from going to london yesterday, i did make it in time, to see my hockey mates and watch some tennis, that has been my week, and yesterday was great, with my mates all being brilliant in their support for me, everest, and bigmoose, and all confirmed they will be coming up to our party on july 1st, and will be running in the cardiff half for bigmoose, raising bangers for mind on october 1st, so if any of you lovely lot wanna come to join them at either event just get in touch, we’d love to see you partying or running 🙂

that really is it for now, and will finish off by telling you about my week next week, which consists of going to a huge number of the schools that we went to see prior to leaving for everest, and i absolutely can’t wait to see all of the children, and their teachers to celebrate getting to the top of everest, and i have a plan.
my plan will carry health and safety issues, but then so did everest.
my plan is to walk around every assembly high five-ing every single child and teacher!

this may not come off, as chloe frowned at me when i told her of my plan, but we will take it one school at a time, i just think it would be super cool to high five over three thousand schoolchildren, making them feel a real connection, but maybe it’s too big a dream…………………

until next week, i’ll be seeing ya,

blue skies,

please excuse any overenthusiasticness above, but i have drunk two cups of strong guatemalan, and just engaged with the former head of apple education, alan greenberg, did i mention that???????? woah is that my mic on the floor?

Thank you!

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