Question Time ……

Last week I visited Abbots Ann Primary School to talk to the children about Challenge, Olympic Values and in particular my challenge in the Arctic. I did a short presentation, asking them about challenge, what challenges they had done, or were doing; and gave them some information about my trip and preparation. We then had a quick practical session. One of the daily challenges in the Arctic is tent management – putting up and taking down the tent with gloves, goggles, big coats, hats etc. So three children and one teacher got togged up for the Arctic and helped me put up a tent. It is always a bit of a laugh for the helpers and the audience; it also gets home the message of how hard it it can be to do straight forward tasks when you change the parameters a little. Imagine how much harder it will be in the Arctic with temperatures down to minus forty and strong winds…

We then had question time. And the children from Abbotts Anne school were fantastic. The questions were non stop for 20 minutes, and even then we had to call time; there was school work to be done after all!

Some of my favourite questions:

Building igloo

Building an Igloo

  • Why don’t you build an igloo every night!
  • How do you keep clean and wash (we don’t …)
  • How do you go to the toilet (very quickly … this one worries me a little!)
  • How do you find your way ( with a GPS, the sun, snow patterns etc etc)
  • How long will it take you (around 4 weeks)
  • How long will you be walking each day (10 – 12 hours)
  • How do you keep drinks warm (thermos flasks)
  • How do you make hot drinks (using melted snow)
  • How do you carry all your stuff (In a sledge which we pull)
  • How heavy is the sledge (50kg – about my body weight)
  • What kind of animals do you get in the Arctic? (Polar Bears, Caribou, Wolves, Seals, Owls …) 

    Polar Bear 2

    Visit from a Polar Bear

  • Polar Bears …. what if they attack you. (we frighten them away with a gun)
  • What if they steel you food (we keep all our food in big plastic storage containers)
  • What if they come into your tent …….
  • Can we follow your progress (yes
  • Can we follow you during you race in the Arctic? (yes …..hopefully I will be able to blog on this site, sharing with you all the many daily challenges. and on the Race Site
  • Will you come back and talk to us when you get back from the Arctic and share all your adventures (Definitely ….I am already looking forward to a whole new range of questions, and being able to share photos)

I have three children of my own, but never ceased to be amazed about how inquisitive a child is. We lose so much of this as we get older, accepting life and all our own rules, barriers and limitations. Why not think about yours this weekend? ….. have fun!

North Pole Day with Arctic-Mummy

Sponsored Walk at Abbotts Ann Primary School

Sponsored Walk at Abbotts Ann Primary School


At last I have managed to edit the video of my day at Abbotts Ann Primary School! You can see how much fun the children (and I had!)  Here!

Long Haul

Long Haul

On Wednesday 15th December just under 200 pupils from Hampshire Collegiate Junior School participated in a sponsored walk,  raising funds for Arctic-Mummy and the Junior School’s charity “Schools in Madagascar”.

The Children walked the walk for as long as they were able from 9.30 – 11.30am. Every class from nursery to year 6 took part, and walked as many 1 mile circuits as they could. It was a lovely dry day with a hint of sunshine, and the children happily and enthusiastically completed lap after lap. The route took us up a short, but mean incline to the Florence Nightingale seat, through the woodland areas and back down the hill. You can imagine Florence Nightingale resting on the seat and admiring the views and enjoying the peace and quiet. Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to share the same experience!  Mr Meaden kept me company for most of the walk, and we talked the walk! which was easy on the flat, but slightly more challenging on the ‘mean hill’ as I was working quite hard pulling the tyre!

We were provided with refreshments after an hour… coffee and kit kats for the grown-up, squash and fresh fruit for the kids! (There are some benefits to being a grown-up!) After two hours Mr Meaden & I had completed 8 laps – eight miles! The more energetic children, who had run round some of the laps completed 10 and 11 laps … very commendable!

Gaggle of Wellies and Boots

Gaggle of Wellies and Boots

After a quick change and warm up with more hot coffee, I joined Teresa Rogers, the Head of the Junior school for a  roast turkey lunch. It is a long time since I have had school lunches ….. I think things have improved hugely since then!

Generous Support from HCS Junior School

HCS AwardJust before the end of term before Christmas Hampshire Collegiate Junior School organised a sponsored walk with ALL the children to raise funds for Arctic-Mummy and their chosen charity “Schools in Madagascar”.

The sponsored walk was a truly successful event. We all had a very enjoyable morning walking round the beautiful school grounds, and the children raised so much money (over £2,400), that the money was split three ways, also raising money for Jovhan, a Ugandan child, which the school sponsors – what a fantastic result!

Year 2 Thank You Cards

Year 2 Thank You Cards

I recently visited Mary Collins year 2 class at Wherwell Primary School. They were a lively group of children, who clearly enjoyed learning, and were very participative.

The children were keen to know how I would keep warm out in the Arctic, with temperatures up to minus forty degrees Celsius. I took in most of my arctic clothing, so that they could try it all on, and see how the layers worked. They particularly enjoyed trying on the goggles, which make everything yellow and sunny!

After my visit the children sent through a generous cheque of £40 for my charity –  The Jamie G Sporting Trust; and all drew me some lovely cards, with great messages in.

I know the children are now working on a banner for me to take to the Magnetic North Pole. If the drawings on the card are anything to go by, I am sure it will be a very colourful and personal banner!