Monday, 10 August 2009

Ross & Fin on tour - Summer 09

We’re just back from our tour of Europe!

The first week was a thoroughly enjoyable week in the south of France with Rich and his family where we had a great place to stay in the middle of the beautiful French countryside with it’s fields of golden sunflowers in bloom, all thanks to Rich’s aunt. We spent a full week by the pool and generally doing very little, venturing as far as the nearest supermarket to stock-up a few times. The biggest thing I fretted about was which pair of speedos to were in the pool (photos censored).

The following week Clair and the boys spent in Scotland at her parents, where I joined them at the end of the week from London where I had been on a course and we travelled over to Northern Ireland with my parents.

There we actually had beautiful sunshine and spent a few days on the lovely beaches in North Down near our family farm. Ross even dipped his toes in the Irish Sea, albeit briefly…

Rich did point out that I’d managed to make it a few days into our holiday in France before mentioning Mont Blanc. Perhaps I will end up becoming a bit of a bore about it, but why not. It was a fantastic, unique experience, one which required dedication of time and energy for training, support from our wives, thorough preparation on Rich’s part to ensure our safety, and a huge effort on both our parts to get up there. But we did it, we were the highest people in Western Europe, and in doing so we raised over £26,000 for two fantastic charities.

Two great kids inspired us to do this; Archie was never given a chance to climb his mountain, and Ross has many, many mountains ahead of him. I doubt if I’ll ever be back at the summit of Mont Blanc, but every time I go skiing in the Alps and catch a glimpse of it the distance, or board a plane and fly over it, or even just see it marked on a map, I’ll remember what we achieved, and why we did it.

Over and out.

Karl Donnan