Two days ago was the eighth anniversary of nine Team Graeme trekkers (plus about one-third of Graeme’s ashes) reaching the summit* of Mount Kilimanjaro. Graeme hitched his ride to the top with the six-strong speedy splinter cell who reached the summit first:
Dad scattered some of Graeme’s ashes near the summit (how amazing, inspiring and heartbreaking that Mr Rent was motivated to exercise for the first time in about 25 years to do this for his boy):
On their way down, the Speedy Gonzales group handed over the ashes baton to our smaller, slower and not-always-steady squad as we approached Uhuru Peak. We finally made it:
Ms B (soon-to-be Mrs B) and I scattered some more of Graeme’s ashes immediately behind the sign (if you watched the documentary chronicling the Comic Relief Kili trip less than six months later, you’ll have seen Wor Cheryl lying on his resting place!):
There are two things in particular that I think would have pleased Graeme about the way our summit night/morning worked out:
- Graeme hitched a ride with the fastest group and didn’t get slowed down by his little sis; and
- he made it to the summit twice, once more than anyone else on the trip!
For those wondering why we only took one-third of my brother’s ashes, we saved the other ashes to be scattered with my Mam there to be part of it. Eight years later, we still haven’t done anything with the remaining ashes as we’ve not yet decided where to scatter them. Any ideas, Mile High Hooker? (It was MHH who came up with the idea of planting the Team Graeme flag on the summit, and that idea developed into scattering ashes as well.)
My Dad told me a few days ago that it was on 11 October that we succeeded in reaching the top of Kili. I had forgotten to follow the advice of a former boss to heed Ronald Reagan’s favourite Russian proverb “doveryai, no proveryai”. Everyone should have a favourite Russian proverb.
When I came to write the post yesterday on what I understood was the anniversary, I thought I’d double-check the date. I realised we had actually reached the top (and not had to stop) on 10 October and that’s what’s botherin’ me. D’oh! As I was already a day late, last night I chose sleep over finishing the post (and I still haven’t watched all of the debate, would you believe it!).
Some people will, like me, be shocked that I took my Dad’s word for it as I have been known to challenge and argue with him once or twice (a minute**). I’m embarrassed by it and I can’t see that I’ll make the same mistake again. If this was post-surgery, I would definitely consider blaming Mr H for taking away a key part of me but I accept full responsibility for my failure to verify.
Living with Lions
Leo had a day off nursery yesterday to recover from his virus. His temperature was back to normal so he didn’t need any Calpol. He’s going back to the petri dish of nursery today to pick up his next illness. I just had a FaceTime chat with the three Coles who haven’t deserted our family home. They were all on good form.
[*Summit is a noun; just to warn you, I get distressed when it’s wrongly used as a verb.
**MHH and Ms B wanted to run a sweepstake of how many times I would “correct” my father throughout the Kili trip. However, they lost count before we even boarded the first plane at Teesside airport so that idea fell by the wayside.]