Monday, 26 March 2012

Task 11...6 Years On And Still Mountains To Climb

I have always believed the phrase 'time is a healer' is a cliche, but this weekend I actually understood the true meaning. The 23rd March marked the 6 year anniversary of my brother Oliver (the inspiration of my blog) passing away. Anniversaries are always difficult no matter how many years has gone by and no matter who has been lost. This year was different to the anniversaries before as I wasn't going to be spending it at home. This year I was going to Wales- my second home after (reluctantly) spending many weekends and summer holidays there from the age of 6. I am pleased to say I have grown to love Cymru and it is the only place I truly relax. However this weekend was going to be anything but relaxing as I had arranged to complete another task off the list.

Oliver, David, Me, Adam...enjoying an ice cream in Wales

I am lucky enough to have a truly amazing group of friends. The 10 of us have stuck together through tears, giggles, heartbreak and many many hangovers, since meeting at school and I wouldn't be where I am today without them. We couldn't be more different yet more similar at the same time and I am proud to introduce them to you-

Emily A- has been been my best friend for as long as I can remember and I dread to think how many phone bills we have rung up over the years. There will never be enough hours in the day for all our talking as there is no-one in the world that knows my better than 'our Em'.

Alison- is the best housemate anyone could ask for. Since I met her in Junior school as the girl with the bright blue fleece who stopped laughing our friendship has grown and she would do anything for anybody.

Alice- is one of a kind- partial to a cocktail (or six) and the ability to talk the ear off anybody..there is never a boring moment with Alice around.

Sophie- our very own style icon. My partner in crime when it comes to Saturdays nights in wearing pj's, eating curry and drinking wine discussing the highs (and many lows) of the male kind.

Laura- honoured to be her bridesmaid in October and one of my oldest friends. She takes laid back to a whole new level but we wouldn't want her any other way.

Emily B- my fellow gambler and one of the nicest people you could meet. In stark comparison to Laura, Emily is miss organised and the mother hen on our girlie weekends.

Eve- we will always share a special bond, and whilst we would both wish it was through different circumstances I know I can always turn to Eve for a cup of tea and a chat about life.

Amy- brings the glamour to the group. Never to be seen without heels and a designer bag she never fails to turn heads but we will always know her as the girl who can barely handle her bacardi breezer

Christina- there are no words to describe Christina, she is one of a kind but has a heart of gold- hence the reason she knows everybody..and I mean everybody...your neighbour's, Brother's, Son's, Auntie will probably be related to Christina somehow.

So there you have my friends and the lucky girls who were persuaded to complete a task with me. When I first suggested they all do the bungee jump with me I was met with a series of 'No's' (I cant repeat what some of them said back) so when the idea of Snowdon came up they were all happy to get involved...and relieved my second choice wasn't the streak!

I decided to choose my brothers anniversary as I felt the climb really did symbolise the last 6 years- uphill without an end in sight..a struggle..hurdles in the way..but helping you each step are the people that care for you most.

We woke at 6am- from the noise of Eve putting on the kettle (she really does love tea) and slowly all began to get ready. I would like to say that we were all dressing for sensibility and comfort but with 8 girls there was always going to be discussion on style. There are not many people that can pull off thermals, walking boots and an over sized pair of ear muffs but we did a pretty good job...

Laura, Em A, Alice, Alison, Me, Emily, Eve, Sophie

I think it is fair to say we had all underestimated the next 2 and a half hours. Even though we had 2 guides in the shape of Jerry (an old friend of the family) and his friend Ron, my description of 'its just a dirt track' couldn't of been further from the truth. As we began our trek at approx 8:20am we were met with an extremely challenging start. Not knowing where to put each foot next I genuinely began to get concerned that we weren't going to make it. As the suns rays got stronger and more layers came off the novelty of such an experience had positivity decreasing by the minute.

Still smiling at the first break...and a lot less clothes
The girls did little to reassure me they were enjoying the experience, when I asked them if they all hated one replied. However, they remained in good spirits and after an hour and a half of climbing we all took on the most challenging part- pure uphill agony- and all took on our own pace. A new wave of motivation of took over and I really wanted to reach the top first and have a quiet moment at the place my Brother had enjoyed many years before. 2 hours and 10 minutes from when we started and I was at the top of Snowdon. It was a truly beautiful sight and worth every ounce of sweat and muscle pain. In the next 20 minutes the rest of the Snowdon 8 (unfortunately 2 of the girls couldn't make it) joined me at the top and I am so proud of each and every one of them. I am sure as much as it hurt they will all agree it was an experience we would never forget.

proudly ticking Task 11 off my list
The relief of reaching the top was soon replaced with fear as we realised that we had to get back down again- equally as challenging. There was a few slips along the way but we did get to see some amazing views. The weather could not have been perfect and the sun literally shone down on us all day...

I want to thank Jerry and Rob whom we could never of done this without them, my Parents and Shaun & Paul for supporting us at the beginning and end....and bringing along the champagne. But most of all I want to thank my friends who were willing to help me complete this and also raise some money for C-R-Y. They know I am not one for saying how I feel but I love you all. They made a weekend that could of been so difficult into one that celebrated Oliver's life- thank you, thank you, thank you xx

If you would like to sponsor us for what we achieved or if you have enjoyed any of my other tasks please visit-

Please keep reading to hear about me completing all my other tasks and remember you can come along and watch me complete my bungee jump on Saturday April 7th at the address provided on my previous blog task- taking the plunge.

Many thanks for your continuous support,

Grace xx

1 comment:

  1. Hi Grace

    I came across your blog today and it has struck such a strong chord with me. I also lost my brother 6 years ago (on 1st April 2006 - so we have his anniversary next week). He was just 20 and nothing prepares you for losing your brother.

    I think what you are doing is truly wonderful and your blog has made me cry but really inspired me also. I will look forward to reading more Grace and following you on your journey.

    Kelly x one life, live it!