Today I got a pleasant surprise! I take everything back that I said about Simon being a wind up – he called me this afternoon and it turns out he has been away in Ireland. He arranged to come down with a photographer (who was very pretty, by the way!) to take some pictures of Roman and I. He reckons that he should know by the end of the week but thinks it will be in the nationals as early as Monday. This is probably the best bit of news I have had so far. The publicity this can generate for us and the potential donations to be had are enormous. All of a sudden I feel that the £100,000 target I set myself is actually achievable!
I took Roman out today for a run – his paw seems much better but I didn’t want to rush him back in to anything too soon so I took him on the field. It’s the first time he has been out since last Friday and I have felt so sorry for him. I feel like a really bad owner! He was obviously so happy to be out too – he charged around the field for about half an hour without stopping for breath for more than a few seconds. I could actually see the joy on his face! At the risk of sounding sad, I really do love that dog!
I have been looking at tents and sleeping bags today on the internet to see what kind of price they go for. They are actually really cheap for what I will need but I will try and get back in touch with Vango tomorrow to see whether they are prepared to supply them as sponsorship – it’s now been over two weeks since I emailed them. I know that the lady who would be dealing with it was off to Germany for a convention for a week but I have still heard nothing so I will see if I can get a yes or no answer out of them.
I’ve spent some more time today trying to learn Italian and I must say I am starting to feel a little more confident now. I am having very little trouble now with the pronunciation stages – these were probably the ones that were causing me the most trouble but I am beginning to get used to the way that I need to pronounce things. I will be stepping it up from here on in – if I can get 3 or 4 hours a day in then I am sure I will be able to have conversations once I get to Italy at the very least.
The thing that I am most nervous about with the whole event is actually getting started over there. The walking and sleeping rough does not faze me at all, even having to transport all of our stuff is not really worrying me. The thing that worries me the most is not being able to speak Italian well enough to go to a job interview or open a bank account or even to speak to the police to sort out my residency card!
I think the thing I am most looking forward to though is the unknown. I have lived the majority of my life nicely tucked into my comfort zone, pretty much like the majority of society. This will be the biggest test I have ever had. Not only am I moving away from everything I am familiar with but I am going to a new country that has a different language and different customs and culture. It’s really quite exciting to think of how I anticipate I will change as a person – I will be forced to speak to people I don’t know if I want to integrate and live a full life there.
In England, people rarely even say hello to each other in the street. I have been making more of an effort to do that when I am out walking with Roman and I find that people approach me now I have been on the television. This will probably be the biggest change for me. I will no longer be able to live in my little circle of friends and not make acquaintances. If I want to live a full life over there then I will have to adapt and become a more outwardly confident person.
I am pretty certain now that my friend will definitely not be coming along for the ride. It’s a shame really as there are so many opportunities out there to be had and I regret never leaving Chester and experiencing what the world has to offer. I think it is too easy to get stuck in a routine – get up, go to work, see your friends, eat tea, watch television, go to bed – and live it day in, day out. I now realise that this is not what I want. I want to experience life, I want to live every moment. I don’t want to simply exist.