Well with exactly a week until I fly I am writing this blog post from hospital, fortunately it is not me that has been admitted, but my daughter Alice, admitted yesterday for suspected glandular fever! Luckily the tests were negative, but she has severe tonsillitis and has spent the night at Fairfield Hospital. Four bouts of IV antibiotics and she certainly feels a lot better when I pitched up early this morning for my ‘shift’, so hopefully we should be out today with a bit of luck.

Hospital was really not the place I wanted to be anywhere near a week before I fly, and I confess to a mixed set of reactions to the circumstances. It certainly put paid to any chance of training over the last couple of days, so my tapering has been more of severing ?. It also made me contemplate having to cancel the trip, what if Ali had been really poorly and I was unable to go?! All sorts of stupid thoughts go through your head to be fair. That set of circumstances created several conflicting emotions that I have tried to reflect on.  Worrying about Alice and whether she will be ok, vying against anger and frustration that I will miss out on the experience of a lifetime and be unable to follow through and make good all of the hard work and effort so far. They were juxtaposed against a sense of relief, bringing to an end the uncertainty, the effort and the hard work, it would all be over at least. Funny feelings, clearly the worry and the frustration were the overriding emotions, but to even have felt that relief I guess demonstrates the level of self imposed stress I am beginning to feel.

Hospital also created a set of additional experiences and emotional responses. Sheer panic at picking up any illness myself, I have been so defensive over the last couple of weeks – in bed very early, sleeping all I can, dosing with Ferguson Farm honey and lemon daily, trying so hard to stay healthy. Having Alice poorly and Maisy itching and complaining of sickness and sore throat has not been the highlight of the week. As a result, being in hospital itself, surrounded by poorly people has me reaching for the hand sanitiser on a regular basis. On a more positive note it has also enabled me to reflect with a huge degree of gratitude, I am fit, healthy and about to embark on an incredible experience, unlike so many of the people on the ward or that I see as I walk around the hospital.

So the week has not panned out quite like I expected, good training on the weekend but not much progress since then. I feel I am becoming a bit lastminute.com, still need to get money (US Dollars) for the park fees, silk balaclava (having a panic looking at forecast) and of course toilet rolls. Now that has been the subject of several ‘maths’ conversations with Maisy, how many poos, how many sheets per poo and therefore how many rolls. Fine planning it maybe, but necessary ?. So once we get out of hospital, it is all systems go for the final preparations, packing and weighing decisions.

More importantly it is coming to the stage when I can do nothing else and what will be will be, I have to trust to my 7 months of preparation, relax and use the Christmas season to rejuvenate, charge up the batteries emotionally and physically and get ready to rock a phat one!

Have a wonderful Christmas and hopefully catch up again as I embark on my travels.