Sunday, August 31, 2008

Grandmother, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather?

I must pay tribute to Rosie Swale-Pope, who this week completed a journey on foot which was far more epic than mine will be.

Five years ago, she set off from her home in Tenby to run around the world. The intention was to do it in two years, but in the event, she was away for five years. She arrived home with stress fractures and on crutches, but while away she conquered the freezing wastes of Siberia and Alaska, was hit by a bus, suffered from pneumonia and frostbite, and had a scare with breast cancer. Not to mention mad axemen and the like.

And did you see the size of the trailer she was pulling?

I have followed Rosie's exploits since she first hit the headlines when she and her then husband and two small children (I think one arrived during the voyage) sailed around the world in a small yacht. Of course the papers, being what they are, still talk of her as the blonde who "sailed around the world in the nude".

I think she has also sailed solo and she has trekked across the deserts of South America alone, except for a horse or two.

Read more about Rosie's big run here:

Headlines about Rosie now say "Grandmother runs ... etcetera". If there is any press coverage of my walk, it will no doubt say "Grandfather ..." I have a granddaughter, Alexandra, who will be 24 in November this year, two grandsons - Joshua and Matthew - at university, and a delightful bilingual scamp called Alessandro (that's him in the picture, teaching me to be a Power Ranger), aged 4, who lives in Italy.

There are nearly two years to go to the finish of VBW. Is it possible that it will be "Great Grandfather walks the walk?" ... Over to you, kids. No pressure.

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