A visit to the palace

It was the Autumn of 2015 and I was zooming down the side of St James’ park, on my usual commute-route home. All of a sudden there appeared a commotion up ahead. Cars stopped, guards materialised, and two young American girls began running along the pavement screaming at the top of their lungs: “Aaaaaaahhh maaaaayyyy Gaaaaaaad!!!! It’s her! It’s really herrrr!”. Intrigued by their excitement, I pulled alongside them at the entrance to Green Park, expecting perhaps to see Taylor ‘Tay-Tay’ Swift, Rhi Rhi, or even Beyoncé.

And then there she was. Like a china doll, beautifully dressed, perfectly poised, encased in a glass-topped limo, and waving. Of course she was waving. It was then that I realised I had never actually seen the Queen in the flesh before. To me, she was like the Golden Gate Bridge. Something I’d seen so many times on the tele-box, that I’d become blasé about. And, just like the first time I saw the Golden Gate Bridge furreal on my 50 state cycle, upon clapping eyes on Queenie – my heart skipped a beat. Only, with the Queen it was different, the wonder at seeing her in the flesh was coupled with a real sense of national pride. One I never knew I had until that moment.  Continue reading

The Next Challenge Adventure Grant

Calling all budding adventurers, we’re here to make your dreams come true! Well, sort of. It’s a well known fact that the largest barrier to hop-skipping off on adventures is often (but not always) spondoolies. Wonga, moola, booty, dollar – whatever you want to call it, its ability to evaporate into thin air just as adventure calls knows no bounds. 

Last year, Explorer extraordinaire and man-with-a-plan Tim Moss of The Next Challenge came up with a way to bring the existing adventure community together in a bid to help people get their adventure plans off the ground. This year, I’m stoked to be one of the adventurers who’s thrown into the pot to create The Next Challenge Grant. 

You can read all about the grant below – which offers awards of between £100 and £1000 for original, independent microadventures and expeditions Continue reading