Friday, 14 August 2009

So Much To Do, So Little Time!

It’s been another pretty hectic day today really. I managed to get up even earlier this morning and was out of bed by about 7.30am – not quite what I would like it to be but it’s certainly another step in the right direction! Nathan is going to ring me at 5.30am tomorrow to get me up as I have another really busy day planned. I will be taking Roman out early and then have loads of things to do in the morning before getting more walks in followed by a night out with the lads.

Once I was up this morning I took Roman for a five mile walk and we were home just after 10am. My younger brother, Jamie, stayed last night so once I had woken him up and sent him to the shop I sorted us some breakfast before heading off into Chester on a publicity drive. I went armed with a bag full of posters with the sole aim of getting as much publicity as I could.

After being told in the first five or ten establishments that they didn’t put posters up in the window but would put it in the staff room I decided to start targeting the bigger companies. My original aim was to try places like pubs and cafes with the idea that they would be busy places with a wide target audience. Unfortunately, there would only be five or ten staff likely to see the posters in places like this so I changed my tactics.

I must have visited about fifty shops once all this had dawned on with the sole aim of getting them to put the poster up in their staff room. The shops ranged from supermarkets like Tesco and Marks and Spencers to clothes shops like Next, FCUK and Tessuti. My bag was certainly a lot lighter by the end of the afternoon when I headed off home and I calculated that if each shop had, on average, forty employees, then I was potentially hitting up to two thousand different people!

Some of the people I spoke to actually knew about me already. Some had seen me in the papers and some had seen me on Granada Reports. It is nice to be recognised and it’s a real conversation starter with some people. I must say I actually enjoyed doing it and it was nice to speak to so many different people in one day. I’m not normally the type to approach people in shops so it was definitely a change from the norm for me.

The goods arrived from Vango this afternoon too – I got a pop up tent, sleeping bag, self inflating sleeping mat and a top notch ruck sack. I’m really happy with the help that they have provided and the way in which they dealt with me. I really got the feeling that they wanted to help and that I wasn’t just an inconvenience. I will be putting the tent up tomorrow at my brother’s house so that I can get Roman used to going in a tent – it will be the first encounter he has ever had with one but he will have to get used to it quickly!

I really can’t wait to get started now and I am becoming more and more excited about it with every passing day. I’ll admit to feeling a little nervous too but only about the change my life is about to undertake. I am still nervous about exactly what I will do when I get there but am convinced that an intelligent person with ambition, drive and determination will succeed anywhere they go – I certainly hope that this is the case!

Day Fourteen

Our last day on English soil will again be a chance for myself and Roman to recuperate and try and update my blog, as well as doing some laundry if needed. I don’t know whether there is much to do in Dover – I will be checking this out in the coming days – but I am sure I will find a way to while away the time! My friend, Nathan, is going to get us on the ferry as I cannot take Roman on as a foot passenger due to his size so we will just be waiting for him to arrive really.

The ferry ticket is booked for 7pm so we will need to board at around 5.30pm as the check in closes at 6pm if you are carrying pets on board. Hopefully Nathan will arrive into Dover mid afternoon and we will have the chance to get something to eat, if not we will eat on the ferry. I believe the trip will take about an hour and a half but, due to time zones, it will be 9.30pm when we arrive in Calais. As a result we will have to find somewhere pretty sharpish to camp for the night!

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