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Kit, fitness, funds and hounds

February 19, 2010
Rosie and Hazel, my dogs after a long walk

Dog tired

This week has been a lot about boots.  It’s a long, exhausting and tedious saga which would bore the pants off you (especially if your pants are elasticated and beige…more of that anon).  After weeks of trouble (and contributing to global warming in the amount of short car journeys to shopping malls) I’m now the owner of a brand new pair of comfortable, well-designed, walking boots. These replace a pair of uncomfortable boots which had a manufacturing defect.  I won’t name names but the clue is ‘like the rapper’.  This retailer’s systems in Dubai seem specially designed to make life incredibly difficult for the customer.  I’ve done a tour of most of their shops and had conversations of a degree of absurdity that only shoppers in the Middle East can truly appreciate.   The systems aside, the staff at head office and in-store are delightful and I finally walked out this morning with a big smile on my face ready to start breaking them in (the boots not the staff). I’ve been trying to get the rest of my kit list this week while the Dubai Shopping Festival is on and I have now learned all there is to know about breathable hiking clothing.  It comes in many, many shades of one colour – beige.  I now possess trousers that wouldn’t look out of place on a Saga holiday.

The aching caused by doing squats last Friday only abated on Wednesday.  My girls didn’t have a twinge and did not disguise their complete derision.  Marjan who has done three challenges with Gulf for Good gave me some really good advice about preparing for my trip.  My dogs are getting very fit with their two hour walk everyday (the picture is of them in recovery) but I need to do something more serious.  A visit to the gym is the only solution.  I can’t quite believe that I wrote that last sentence.

I’m spurred on by the brilliant encouragement and generosity of my friends, family and sponsors.  And yes, I have sponsors in plural now.

BASF logo

BASF - the world's leading chemical company.

First off the post was BASF UAE.  They take corporate responsibility very seriously and the contribution to these children’s charities is a small but very welcome part of this.  I’m really grateful for their help in fundraising for refugee and orphaned children in Lebanon.  Visit the sponsor page to find out more about them and more about sponsoring this trek.  News about some other great supporters coming soon.

Donations are also trickling in, for instance a friend’s car screeched to a halt when I was on my dog walk this morning and a 200 dirham note was waved out of the window.  With this sort of help and people contributing ‘Gold for Good’ I could actually exceed my target which is fantastic news for the charities.  Please contact me if you can help in any way.  A mention for my husband who has had a daily, blow-by-blow account of my boot saga for the last 3 weeks and finally begged for mercy.  Thanks everyone.

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