Christmas comes but once a year, and when it comes, it brings good cheer, oh and decorations, shopping, wrapping, panic and bedlam. The modern world is possessed with the desire of want rather than of need, and constantly demands more. I mentioned this to Zena Hawley of the Derby Telegraph as we talked about my recent invitation to Buckingham Palace (see my blog on a Royal Night to Remember).
Before I knew it I was writing an article about 20 years in adventure, but had to constrain it to 1000 words. The more I wrote, the more I had the desire to write my third book. I have ideas galore strewn across sheets of paper in my office. The time to act is upon me.
Being a festive soul, I volunteered to speak at the Christmas Bettakultcha evening on December 20th at Leeds Corn Exchange. These quick fire speaking events have become a bit of a tradition for me, attracting large audience and a diverse array of speakers. They are also great fun. Basically you present 20 images at 15 second intervals with no control of the presentation. You’d better have your timings right. On previous evenings I have talked about my frostbite and mountaineering epics, but this time I decided to inject a good deal of comedy and bring out a collection of my hats. I love collecting them whilst on my travels and have a suitcase full at home. I wore everything from Ethiopian Goat and Bolivian Llama wool to Ladahki silk, and Kyrgyz felt. It was all done with a great deal of humour and I got a huge cheer when I held up a tinned meat pie. The use of props as a presenter can be beneficial, but not many will have used pies before! The secret with props is to make them relevant to your message and not just have them for pure show. If you need to question using them – don’t!
May I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year…