Monday, 23 March 2009

A Surreal Experience

We have just had a press conference in Beijing for the Chinese media. Both Li Jing and the trusty Mr Peng were present, but I had the surreal experience of taking part via Skype. Slightly disconcerting to catch echo of my voice over the loudspeaker at the other end 5000 miles away - do I really sound that posh? David did a sterling job of translating, and I was impressed to hear him bandying equestrian vocabulary such as ma an (saddle) around.

There was a certain amount of media concern that a doddery old senior citizen such as myself would be able to hobble her way across China. They seemed mollified when I pointed out that a British woman even older than me (Rosie Swale) has just RUN round the world.

While waiting for feedback, I was called by ITV Wales, who want to cover the ride. A palpable media frenzy for Pumpsaint!

I am pleased to say we have three new sponsors. Charles Owen have donated a ProII skull cap to replace my decidedly dodgy old riding hat. To the highest safety specifications for which Charles Owen are renowned, it is also lightweight and well-ventilated with gold heat reflective paint. To complement this I am being sent a safety helmet shade all the way from Australia by bush hat company Cutana, who make wonderful shady brims in a variety of colours to fit on safety helmets. My fears re sunburn are thus gone!

On the first stage of the ride I forgot to sort out safety reflective gear, which I bitterly came to regret after a couple of scary moments riding on Chinese roads after dark. Shires Equestrian have kindly offered to provide said gear to keep me safe.

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