With less than six weeks to go until the big day, my preparations continue to go well. I'm going to the gym at least a couple of times a week, and as far as I can tell I still haven't made a complete arse of myself yet. I've also been taking long walks as often as I can, although the lack of company can be vaguely depressing now that the novelty of walking for four hours straight has well and truly worn off. In addition, my Tanzania visa has arrived, my kit list is almost complete and the fund raising continues at a steady pace. In fact, the only thing that might stop me now is if something really improbable were to happen. You know, something like a flu pandemic that will either knock me off my feet or cancel my flight. Take your pick. Suddenly, the Greg Preston post I made back in January seems eerily prophetic...
But never mind the swine flu, let's have some rabies!
Yes, I had my second rabies jab today. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I'd find myself in a situation where I'd have to be vaccinated against one of the scariest diseases I'd ever heard of. Well, until last week, that is.
When I was growing up in the 70s I was utterly terrified of rabies. I vividly remember the posters and the TV adverts, the novel about that mad Saint Bernard, Cujo, and the 1983 film The Mad Death (right), which had a profound and lasting effect on me; in short, it did for cats and dogs what Jaws did for sharks and mayors.
Incidentally, there was an episode of Survivors that featured rabid dogs but Greg Preston was nowhere to be seen so I have absolutely no idea what he would have done. Which is a bit worrying.
Anyway, it turns out that the rabies vaccination it isn't even remotely mandatory for my trip! This wouldn't bother me so much if the side effects weren't so awful. I feel bloody terrible and my right arm is killing me. And I've got to go back for a third installment in three weeks time. That's if I the health centre hasn't been overwhelmed by Captain Trips.
In other news, a couple of weeks ago I made a guest appearance on the Doctor Who podcast Radio Free Skaro, and if you can bear to listen to me banging on about Michelle Ryan and Red Dwarf then you'll also hear me outlining some of the details of the trip whilst simultaneously begging for money, a tactic that appears to have been quite successful given some of our recent donations. Thanks for that, lads.
And finally, I received some instructions concerning our itinerary from Charity Challenge today and I was immediately drawn to the final paragraph:
May I take this opportunity to remind you that this is a challenge and that you may experience extreme conditions, unpredictable weather, and last minute changes to the itinerary, so please bear this in mind and be prepared for “anything”.
What the hell does that mean? Is John Barrowman going to magically appear on the summit? Will the snows of Kilimanjaro turn out to be polystyrene? Or perhaps we'll end up being the only survivors of a global plague that wipes out humanity while we are huffing and puffing our way up Kili. Yeah, and pigs might fly...