As I sit here in late December, I find it difficult to remember what I was doing last week, never mind during last year. It’s a good job that I still write my daily diary…
Though I’m a man of particular habits, 2018 began with uncertainty and change was on the cards. I skied and climbed in the winter, enhancing my Ice Climbing with a trip to Norway. Here I continued to push my physical and mental boundaries, but suffered withering nerve pain in my right arm. I made new friends and explored the future year with open eyes, but numb fingers. My hospital investigations continued, but with little avail. Tests passed by, but there seemed no real answers. During December I underwent Surgery to my right elbow to release the Ulna Nerve and only a few days ago the dressings came off. Now I wait and hope for the sensations to return. We shall see…
Speaking has been up and down and I’m still constantly amazed about peoples perceptions. Many still think I make a fortune out of presenting and don’t have to work. Well, as many of us know, perception is a dangerous thing. I’ve been lucky enough to negotiate a job share with my employer as I still need to bring the money in, but time is more important to me now. My parents are ageing and at the start of 2018 we went through a very difficult time together. Though the worst is past, the die is cast and the future changing. As my dad says ‘Growing old is a privilege, but it’s also hard work’. Family has always been incredibly important to me and I’m thankful that we’re all very close knit. My parents cared for me as a child, and also through my accidents and injuries. Now its time to turn the tables…
Speaking of family, I travelled to Canada during the summer to catch up with some cousins and also friends who have emigrated across the provinces. The internet is useful, but there’s nothing like being with the people that you love. I came home with wonderful memories and will return to the Rockies during 2019.
Back to speaking – I was delighted to speak for ‘Becoming X‘ at Mosimann’s in London during the year. I’ve also spoken to hundreds of schools children about Mountaineering and the Environment, supported the Mountain Heritage Trust in my role as Ambassador, and worked at numerous outdoor events and festivals. I helped the BMC’s ‘Mend Our Mountains‘ event on the Great Ridge above Castleton and Edale and found people around me complaining of the cold and moaning about frostbite. I soon put them in their place..!
I travelled to Jordan with ‘SayYesMore‘ and discovered a little of the old me again. Before Mountaineering took up much of my life, I used to travel a great deal across the world, searching for archaeological and historical sights. Jordon certainly has plenty of those..!
I’ve written a great deal about depression and mental resilience during 2018. We shouldn’t shy away from the subject, or belittle sufferers, but rather embrace people and help them understand their issues and use the great outdoors to give release and peace. Talking of which…
For a brief moment of 2018, my eyes filled with tears of joy. I was sat in a bustling room full of media interviews and felt, for the first time in years true peace. I can’t describe my inner feelings in words, only that my heart sang with joy. It was all over as quickly as it had begun, but during 2019 my search for continued peace will continue.
I’ve listen to and worked with a number of #outdoorbloggers during the year. I have to admit feeling rather old compared to many of them, but I have used my seasoned head and years of experience to balance and advise. I’m not someone who feels the need to write almost continuously online as quality has always outweighed quality in my point of view, but it’s been refreshing to join the debate and hear other peoples thoughts and ideas.
I was delighted to be accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Brand Ambassador for Grangers, alongside with my ongoing work for the Ordnance Survey, Terra Nova Equipment and Buxton Mountain Rescue Team. Partnerships are built on trust and I hope to represent everyone to a high standard during 2019.
Standards are something important to me. In a society racing for the ‘Lowest Common Denominator‘, I try to stand above the crowd of cheap, fast, no effort work, but it is an ever more difficult mountain to climb. Making your voice heard over the cacophony of common is hard, but I have set my course and I will not waiver. I stand by the decisions that I make and live with them.
2019 promises to be a busy year with travel and media work. I’ll be mountaineering in the UK, Morocco and India, and undertaking something a little different for me – cycling. I’ve ridden my touring bike for years, but I’m now training for the JoBerg2C Mountain Bike Race and will also be leading a cycling trip through Vietnam and Cambodia.
My thanks to everyone who has shared their friendship, time and experiences with me during 2018. I’m constantly amazed by peoples kindness, caring and patience. I hope that I have managed to somehow repay your efforts.
I hope that 2019 will be an exciting time for you all and may I wish you a peaceful and prosperous year…
Lots of good mountains to climb in New Zealand! Have a look at the Great Walks website too – I have done a couple including Tongariro and around Mt Ruapehu (a 7 day “tramp” as they call it here). There are others in the South Island that would suit a seasoned mountaineer like yourself! I stumbled across your blog and have enjoyed reading your many posts :)
If you need anyone to pump up your tyres in Cambodia and Vietnam let me know. X
Told be very welcome to join us Helen. I’m leading the ride for 360 expeditions and it looks to be great fun…! https://www.360-expeditions.com/expeditions/vietnam-cambodia-cycle/
And no mention of playing snooker.Do you still go to the club? or has it had to give way to all you’re other activities. Normanp
We still go to the club Norman, but my Dad knees prevent him from playing now. I’m afraid age is catching up on him. Wishing you a wonderful 2019…
A great testament to a very busy year sir ! Looks like you are set for another busy year to , relaxing with family and friends is rewarding in its self, time to rest , yes it can take its toll our health is very important, some like your self gets more of the challenges in that regards , pain barriers mental barriers , there is no one that knows you best only you , some days are harder than others or should i say easier than others , your get up and go and just getting on with it is an amazing thing . Well done Nigel you are inspirational have a great 2019 and we will get out and do our thing and in a relaxing way , here’s to an exciting coming year Mick
Thank you for your kinds words Mick. Looking forward to some 2019 fun..!