Thursday, 14 November 2013

Lucky 13

Over the summer, Pauline and I were busy touring Scotland with our talk show of our travel across the USA, Sleepless 'til Seattle.  The show was a huge success with great audiences, quite an achievement considering we are not household names.

When we took our final bows on Friday 30th August in Helensburgh we thought it was all over. However, just a couple of weeks later the Royal Geographic Society in Scotland invited us to be part of their winter season of lectures, alongside names such as climber Doug Scott, Professor Iain Stewart and expedition leader Col John Blashford-Snell, all most definitely house hold names in terms of their achievements.

We were to give two talks, the first in Perth and the following evening in Stirling, at the university's lecture theatre.

The first night went very smoothly, with an audience close to 200, our biggest so far. At Stirling the following night, things were a little more nerve racking. Once again it was a good size audience of well over 100, and as always we were well prepared to give an entertaining performance.

But the gremlins decided to infest our technology. For some strange reason, that we were never able to fathom, the charging cable for the computer created interference all over the image on the screen. The only way to solve it was to remove the cable and run on battery power. That would have been fine, but experience had told me that the battery would only last somewhere around one hour, as it had to power an external hard drive.  But the show was around one hour and five minutes long!

I have to admit to feeling increasingly nervous as we got closer and closer to the end. A clock on the wall went past one hour. I was now planning in my head what I would do when the battery power failed, and more importantly what I would say to the audience.

We reached the end and the final slide went up. We'd done it. We'd reached the end of our journey. 30 seconds later and the power died. We were very lucky.

It was a great relief. This had been the 13th show after all.

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