The message appeared in my inbox with the heavy thud of a bundle of letters hitting the doormat. It had arrived! Sue and Ali had received my challenge application form and cheque for the 2015 crossings.
Only a week or so before, I was torn between a very generous offer of an assured place on a team with a 9-timer and applying in my own right. I can't tell you how grateful I was for the offer, nor how tempted I was to ignore my gut feeling and accept it. I kept turning things over in my head. The overriding feeling was that I wanted to walk to my own tune, my own pace and spontaneity. And, in the end, I was prepared to forgo a fine opportunity, and great company, in favour of autonomy. I hope I haven't offended my would-be challenge partner by choosing the gamble of a solo application. I'm pretty sure I have not.
Back to the moment... ...not this one......but the one where I had received THE email. That's it! I'm in the draw at the very least. I was sat in the Howgills with two pals on a hiking (drinking) weekend in my caravan. The weather was fickle, and we had only managed about half the walking we had planned as a result. No matter, I was in the hills.
So this time next month, I will be eagerly awaiting the second email confirming my place on the challenge. I do hope I shall be fortunate, it's my fortieth year, you see, and I really won't be able to get a pass so easily in any other year. This will be my present, to me, the ultimate gift.
So yet again I hold everything crossed; fingers, toes, legs, eyes and wires. That darned 'Standby List' looms like an eastward cloud, threatening to offload it's burden of saturation. Or will it pass over without a drop of further waiting?
Maybe, just maybe, I will make the first draw.
I'll be back in November with the news.
I know you can't wait.