I had intended to update my blog last Sunday with a (hoped for) tonne of good news. As it happened, things didn't go quite to plan, and after a day off work with bad guts, it is only today that I'm not heading to bed early and I get the chance to update the blog.
So, I had hoped that by the end of last week I would have agreed with a van hire company, whom I am still in discussions with, that they would be willing to grant me the use of one of their vans to take the RockPod shelter down to Foamspray to get it insulated, to move the shelter around during the testing weekend (date still to be confirmed - see below), and to take the RockPod and my kit to Harris at the start of the expedition, by CalMac ferry, and back home again at the end of expedition. However, the van hire company are still to make a decision.
Secondly, I had hired another van, just in case I had not agreed the use of a vehicle by last weekend, to go to Foamspray. Unfortunately, due to a mix up with the booking, only a normal sized 'transit' type van was available. After several attempts to get the pod to fit, at a variety of angles, with a change of van manufacturer, and with the help of my neighbour Ben, I had to concede that I really did need the high-top I had booked. A very apologetic phone call to Foamspray followed, and I will not now be able to get the RockPod insulated until early in the New Year.
However, the good, sorry, great news is that I am pleased to announce a new financial sponsor. Leven Brown of Ocean Row Events has very kindly pledged to contribute towards the expedition costs. This not only helps with the continuing quest of fund raising, but is also a great personal morale boost when I was at a low mental ebb. It just goes to show that the old adage, that if you keep throwing mud at walls, some of it will stick, is true. I just have to keep that in mind.
In respect of the testing weekend, where I will check that the RockPod floats, and practice winching it up a cliff near home, with a Portable Winch. I have decided to go ahead with the testing, without it having been insulated, before Christmas, as I believe that the foam will only make the pod more buoyant, so if it floats anyway that will be fine, and the weight increase should not be that significant. If necessary, I can always carry out a second round of testing in the New Year. However, I can't set a date quite yet as I am also about to sell my flat, and have to keep all my free weekends free for moving, until I have a date for completion, which should hopefully be early next week!
Finally, I am in talks with a well know property company to come on board as a financial sponsors, potentially as Title Sponsor, so everyone please cross your fingers and toes for that...