Bristol to Kazakhstan; Pumpkins to Mars

bristol pounds

It’s been another busy week in The DoNation. It started off down in Bristol, brewing plans for Big Green Week 2013 and meeting the children taking part in the Green Shoots program. Whilst there I also had the fun of using some of the new Bristol Pounds, which I got unnaturally excited about (just look at them – they even have bikes on them!).

Meanwhile, back in London Ruth and Harriet were beavering away over plans for People and Planet’s Shared Planet conference next weekend. Halloween hit and we all celebrated in style, with mulled wine and toasted pumpkin seeds to fuel the carving.

Whilst carving these ‘Jack o’ lanterns’ with some old friends from Canada who were visiting, I couldn’t help but smile at how many times reference was made to their new seasonal eating habits – the result of making a pledge to support Mark Wood last year (although I must admit, some was in a mildly resentful tone… I don’t think December was the best time to be eating local seasonal food in Vancouver!).

Back in the office briefly, to prepare for the launch of an exciting corporate program on Monday, to oversee the development of swish new league tables (watch this space), and to help Ruth rustle up a couple of hefty applications.

When I am going to find time to train for this mud run, I have no idea…!

Then came the really exciting triple whammy to end the week on:

1. The launch of The Accelerator (a pretty intense three month ‘mini MBA’ at the Young Foundation, kicking off with two full-on days of ripping our business model apart and then getting under the skin of our users)

2. My birthday (bleugh!);

3. And most excitingly of all, the return of ‘the Spicycle girls’.

More on that last bit.

If I ever had a ‘co-founder’, Sara was it. It was Sara who was mad enough to jump whole heartedly onto the bandwagon when I suggested cycling from London to Morocco back in 2009, and whose excitement at this weird and wonderful sponsorship idea helped me to make it a reality. Only when we returned from that adventure, rather than joining me on the journey of The DoNation, she got herself ‘a proper job’ and started planning and saving for the next big adventure.  That next trip of hers was ‘Spicycle‘, which saw her and three other girls heading off to Asia earlier in the year, to cycle unsupported through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, India and Nepal. AKA over the Himalayas. Epic.

Tying that trip to our original London to Morocco ride were two things: The DoNation and Mars.

Yes, naturally Sara and the girls were backed once again by many great DoActions. But they were also backed up once again by a trusty old friend: the emergency Mars bar. The very same one that travelled across Europe and the Atlas in my pannier back in 2009. Delighful.

I think ice cream and Mars Bar sauce is on the menu tonight.

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