Sunday, February 28, 2010


On Friday ,I went out for a few beers with two good friends Keith and Anthony.Keith is a veteran of some of my previous expeditions, whilst Anthony regularly enjoys trekking with me in the Peak District, and has attended survival training courses with me in the Brecon Beacons. Whilst I do not expect either of them to be accompanying me on any of my next expeditions, it is always useful to have considered opinions on potential routes to traverse , and equipment to bring.In this case ,we were discussing an area of the Indian-Bangladeshi Border that I am considering travelling to this year, on the lookout for the Mande -Burung, or Indian Yeti.

After we had discussed options and routes, and mooted some of the other potential ideas for expeditions ,our minds turned to other more frivolous matters, and we hit a Club. After several beers, and I cannot recall how,we started talking about which was the worst chocolate in the selection box. `For me, `I said, it has to be Coffee cream. The mixture of a sweet yet ultimately bitter taste, is always a dissapointment`. `Nah, said Keith, you guys have got it all wrong, Nougar has to be the worst. `No no no , said Anthony,displaying a passion only someone who has had a little to much to drink can have for these matters. `Cracknell is definately the worst!!`
`What is Cracknell?`I said `You Know -you bite into what looks like this lovely long chocolate, and just under the surface is this nasty toffee filled with sharp bits of rotten peanut.Together, they form an evil combination, that sticks to the back of your teeth. Thus, you hate the stuff, and yet it LINGERS for ages` Don`t just take my word for it, hey you guys`, you must hate Cracknell too`,he said and began to regale a couple at the bar about it.
`Leave confectionary boy to it,` I said, and Keith and I went and ordered a couple more drinks.
By now it was 2 a.m. A work colleague of Keith`s recognised him and came over. He was about 20. `Wow I have seen you guys around quite a bit recently, and you party hard, he said.`thanks`,said Keith. `Yeah, ` he went on, I hope I can party like that when I get to your age`,He added ,before scooting off to join his mates. `Cheeky bastard!`, said Keith , slugging back his Jack.
At that point, a girl came over to me.Tall , with long blonde hair and blue eyes, she could only be described as a genuine beauty. `Would you like to dance?` She said through a smile. `Sure`, I said smiling back , `lets go.`
We hit the dance floor .The girl moved like liquid , writhing and gyrating across the dancefloor.
Suddenly, as the record stopped, so did she .`Thanks , that was great, but I have to go now, she said ,fluttering her eyes, and she turned towards the door.
Then, I felt another arm around my shoulder. However this time, it was one of consolation.It was Anthony.
`Cracknell` , he said shaking his head.
`Yeah, man Cracknell` I replied, as we both watched her go...

Paypal should be up and running soon.I will let you know when.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hanging By A Thread..........

Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you to Mr.Thomas E Finley, who very kindly sent me some excellent Sasquatch art this week. I would definately like to turn my attention to some serious personal field research on Sasquatch. Whilst I was filming `China`s Wildman` for Monsterquest, I spent a lot of time talking to Dr.Jeff Meldrum about the subject.I made a vow then to go on the hunt for Sasquatch one day. I have no firm plans yet, but I am optimistic that the opportunity will present itself.
Dave Archer is always on the look out for kit, and on Saturday, he phoned me to say that he had secured some excellent new camo gear for us. Being self funded , kit is a serious and expensive business . For example, the jacket I bought for the Himalayas last year, which I really needed, cost me about 400 bucks.
I suppose my resolution has been hardened by the news this week that scientists reckon that half the worlds primate species now face extinction. On the same day, my guides in Indonesia, reported a fresh sighting of the Orang-Pendek in Sumatra. One of the values I tried to impart in my book ,was that time is running out for some of these cryptids. For some , such as the Mongolian Almas, I cam to the conclusion that they were already past the point of saving, and woud surely slide to extinction.Some, however, may just be hanging on. In my experience ,`leaving them alone` just isnt an option. Verifiable scientific proof , combined then with organised human conservation, are their only hope,no matter how hopless it seems. Looking at these latest results on primates, I will admit that that the situation seems desperate.However, I , will have to continue trying, because I believe so passionately in their existence.
I was pondering this melancholic news , when my five year old daughter Ella , brought me back to Earth, as she so often does. I have been looking after her today, and we went to buy some `supplies` of our own at the local Supermarket. As ever, there was an odious queue . Like all Brits, I bore it stoically, and joined it, engaging in some gentle banter with others in the line about the wait. Two minutes before we got to the end of the line Ella said in a loud voice, ` Daddy I want a poo!"
`Just wait two minutes darling,` I said. `The toilets are only just at the end of the Supermarket , and we are nearly at the front now`, I muttered this a little nervously, for I know that Ella will argue to get her own way.This time however, Ella said nothing,but looked at me with reproachful eyes. Shortly afterwards, we arrived at the front .As I went to pay ,Ella picked her moment `I really wanted a poo, she said to the woman on the till, `but Daddy wouldn`t take me so I had to SUCK it back in!` I smiled weakly at the woman on the till. She stared sternly back. I packed my things quickly and left, left to the chuckles of the queue behind me, feeling like the worlds worst parent.
`That will teach YOU Daddy , ` said Ella, as she broke into some sweets.
I lead expeditions all over the world. I am often responssible for the lives of others. Yet I find myself convincingly out foxed by my daughter.............

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Toilet Tigers.

This week I had the first opportunity to download and listen to the excellent interview Tim Binnal did with me .I really enjoyed it, and Tim and I get on very well together.
I am back in my old job now so, with less travelling I will be able to knuckle down to more training.I am clearly very committed !I went to the gym this morning. Nothing unusual in that ,I hear you cry. No,except last night I was on the lash with my old friend Andy Sanderson, a veteran of many of my expeditions a few years back. Andy is in the Royal Navy, so because he has been away on his ship, this is the first time we have had to meet up together in over six months. A pub in Didsbury (Manchester U.K.) we know serves some excellent scrumpy, and we ended up there.
Over a few jars, I explained to him what had happened on my recent expedition to Sumatra, and how both Dave and Sahar had had a sighting of the Orang-Pendek. I also reminded him of his own `close encounter` with another of the Sumatran Jungles rare animals, the Tiger.
We had been in the Jungle for three weeks, primarily eating the local bitter tasting fish. Which are curried. For breakfast , lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, we both had bad guts. In the middle of the night, Andy shakes me `Ad ,Ad, I need to go for a crap` he says. There was no surpressing the urge, given our diets! `Okay ,I said, `I will shine a light in the direction of the bog` Our toilet, a hole in the ground, was located about 150 yards from camp, through some rattan bushes . Andy gets to the other side, drops his trousers and `begins` .At that point, he hears an almighty `ROAAAR` behind him . Crapping himself in more ways than one, he rushes back to me .He was obviously very alarmed by the time he got back. `I thought I was a goner there ,Ad ` He said.
`Yeah` I said , `but it would have been worse for me.I would have had to tell your Mum how you died!!
After we finished laughing about this ,Andy said `I bet you are going to put this story on your damn website tomorrow` . Yes I did Andy .But take heart, at last I didnt put what we did for the REST of the night up!!

P.S. You cheeky devils at the Natwest Bank. I know you adore me, its simply no good disguising my valentines card as a bank statement...........

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Red Deer.

I am narrowing it down people. Last weekend I went for a long hike in the Peak District to chew over where I want to go next, and took some time out to watch a herd of red deer feeding.
One of the key factors is obviously cash, so I am grateful for the comment given about setting up a PayPal account. I will look into doing this over the next few weeks.
Today , more than ever I am itching to go again. I have a definate vibe that good news is on the way soon......