Thursday, 7 August 2014


Roisin continues to excel, having reached Horse Point 5.

Roisin is roughly position #15 -- a fantastic achievement.

We are very proud of her.


Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Roisin is doing really well.  She has reached Horse Station 2, completing the first 80km. Only 920km to go. 

Roisin is in the chasing pack behind around five riders who are at check-point number three. 

See below for picture of the day from The Adventurists 

Is this the way to Amarillo ... or Stonehenge?


Support our girl!


Finally, for those wanting a little light relief ... 

Friday, 1 August 2014

Testing, testing ...

Dear followers of Roisin's blog, 

Roisin is on her way to Mongolia.  Brockley expects.  

In her absence, the one and only LINDSEY SINGER (currently flying back from hanging out with Rio Ferdinand in Rio, as you do) and I will be caretakers of the blog.

Today's blog is about what YOU can do to help Roisin over the next two weeks:

1. Sponsor Roisin: To those who haven't already, please, please, please sponsor Roisin -- every little helps, and it would be fab if we could raise an extra £500 while she is Mongolia. You can support Seeing is Believing by donating at the following page:

Roisin is currently at £2,024.90.  Can we get to £2,500?

2. See how Roisin is doing in the race. The Mongol Derby's tracking site is live now: (the race starts next Tuesday). We will keep you posted with updates of Roisin's performance on a daily regular basis.

3.  Support this blog:  Please feel free to send pictures, anecdotes, articles for us to include on this blog.  Next Thursday we will be having a #tbt (throwback Thursday) special, so we are especially keen to receive FUN photos of our girl.

4. Support Roisin on Twitter and Facebook, using our delightful hash-tag: #teamroisin 

Lindsey and Tom 
Now, then, and always #teamroisin 

Post prepared by Tom 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

"How to follow the Derby", or, "Tom - sports journo extraordinaire"

My friend Tom (@iamcooling) is taking over my blog and twitter feed while I'm away in Mongolia.  Thanks, buddy!

Here he is, kissing a dog

If you'd like to follow the Mongol Derby closely, you can track the riders live here:

Bear in mind that Mongolia is 7 hours ahead of the UK, so the race will start every day at midnight UK time and the riders will have to stop at 1300 UK time each day.  

If you miss the live action, you should be able to read an update from Tom on this blog or my twitter feed (@rmmongolderby) later in the afternoon, although he obviously has a life and is doing me a favour so no guarantees!

Monday, 28 July 2014


Unusually, I found myself strolling along the Southbank at sunset.

That is all.  Bye bye London.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Pure gold: skincare tips

But not your average skincare tips...

This is for rowers, climbers and anyone who works with their hands.  Want to know how to make your hands harder?  Want to repair your hands after they've taken a bit of a beating? Want to glue your split nails back together and manage ragged cuticles?  File

This article tells you everything you need to know - product, care and maintenance.  It's fabulous.  Vogue beauty awards be damned!

Sky Running

An old housemate of mine, Liz Barker, recently ran the Dolomites Skyrace.  She's a serious athlete and I'm used to seeing photos of her cycling or running in scenic mountain locations, but the photos she posted recently are something else.

Image borrowed:

This is an event only for experienced mountain runners: the route is a 22-kilometre up-and-down loop which features 1750 metres of ascent and 1750 metres of descent.  The start and finish are in the ski and holiday resort of Canazei (1450m).  The highest point on the course is on the summit of Piz Boè (3152m), the highest peak of the 'Gruppo del Sella' massif.

I can't really describe how awesome this race is.  Just take a look at this video...

Chapeau, Liz!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Jusqu'ici tout va bien

I must apologise for the long delay since my last post.  As the race has drawn closer, I've been busier training but also at work and making sure that all the plates keep spinning.  One of those plates has been fundraising.  I have been immensely touched by the generosity of old friends, new friends, acquaintances and colleagues who have dug deep to raise over £3,000 for Seeing is Believing (with bank matching).  

You can join the fight against avoidable blindness here.

As for my progress in other areas, with nine days until I get on a plane and fly to Ulaan Baatar I can only repeat the immortal words:

jusqu'ici tout va bien

Clearly an excuse to post this video.  Enjoy!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Long rides

Maybe the next step for me is a long ride...  Horses are a great way to see the world.

This guy has just finished riding from Canada to Brazil.  You can read all about it here:

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Women who Dare

This is what looks like a great book about lady climbers, by Chris Noble.

It's stuffed full of great shots, like this one, but also features interviews with the climbers.

And what he had to say about adventure really caught my eye.

"Adventure is the antidote to our overly luxurious, risk-averse, materialistic society. Adventure is what happens when you are no longer in control, when things go off the tracks, the shit hits the fan, and we are confronted with our own limitations and mortality. It's when life gets distilled down to its essence. There are no guarantees, and no one else is going to save us. Adventure is when we all have to dig deep into our own character, in order to save the day. That's always been the hero's journey. It's universal and eternal."

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Rodeo! Polo!

I have wanted to go to Argentina to play polo for ages; no-one plays polo like the Argentinians and I haven't quite reconciled myself to always being completely rubbish.  For the avoidance of doubt, I am completely, completely rubbish.

I ever found myself in Argentina, however, I would definitely travel to Patagonia.  Patagonia is a wild and inaccessible corner populated by gauchos and, oddly, a Welsh-speaking Welsh colony.  

As a teaser, here's an astonishing photo from a Patagonian rodeo:

You can see the original here:

If that sparks any interest, look up Bruce Chatwin.  Everything he ever wrote was absolutely fantastic, but his most famous book is probably In Patagonia.  Thoroughly recommended.  

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Wolf of Wall Mongolia

In one of the more bizarre
Mongolian news items of late, it turns out Jordan Belfort has visited Mongolia and would like the world to know...

... That he thinks Mongolia is on the up and up.  As this is something everyone has known for quite some time (, what on earth could Jordan's bizarre trip and announcement mean?

Is this in fact some kind of warning of impending doom?  A bad omen from someone who surfed the US boom but wiped out before the boom did?

Or did Jordan just fancy a trip to Mongolia but wasn't prepared to pay for it himself?  In which bad luck, Random House, happy days Mongolia...

Friday, 6 June 2014

Just when you think you've done something crazy...

You find someone who's waaaaay crazier:  like this guy.

He likes to climb volcanoes, sleep on them...

and then ski down.  Read all about him here:

Thursday, 5 June 2014

All good things are wild and free

Here's a little something for all Thoreau fans, brought to you via the ever-wonderful Adventure journal.

Friday, 30 May 2014


In a fit of efficiency, I've paid the final instalment of my Derby entry fee, taken out insurance, and submitted my visa application to the Mongolian embassy.  After a small but wistful moment looking at the flag.

I can't quite believe I've even got this far...

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Wet and windy Wales

The Hay Festival is great when the sun shines....  And not so great when it chucks it down.

But I didn't mind, because some Derby training was planned.  After a hearty breakfast...

Catherine and I went for a walk...

And then got on two tiny and very fat mountain ponies and spent a happy couple of days charging around the mountains...

Heading towards the Black Mountain

On the ridge

A ger!

Dancing pony

A cheerful Catherine - looking forward to Mongolia!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The call of the steppe

Seems like even for those who grew up on a horse in Mongolia, the call of the steppe is irresistible...

Mongolians on horseback project begins


The Mongolians on Horseback project, which aims to travel on horseback across a distance of 8,538 km in six months, through 100 soums of 15 provinces of Mongolia, launched two weeks ago.

Five Mongolian men started their trip from Tsonjinboldog to Umnugovi Province on May 9. Students majoring in geography and tourism at the Mongolian State University of Education, N.Ganzorig, M.Batchuluun and Ts.Davaakhuu, initiated the project.

The three are accompanied by photographer from Photo Pictures Studio Ch.Boldbaatar and cameraman of ETV D.Natsagdoo. A documentary film about the project will be created during the trip.

In addition, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, General Authority for Border Protection, Mongolian Democratic Union, Tumen Khishigten project and G-Mobile are sponsoring the project. Designer Ariunaa Suri made the outfits for the team.

 The following is a brief interview with one of the students, N.Ganzorig.

 How many horses will you travel with? How will you ensure your safety?

Preparation was huge because our goal is big. We are planning to travel with three horses per person. We have 15 horses in total. We prepared barley flour and dried meat for food.

There is not much water in Umnugovi, Bayankhongor and Khovd provinces. How will you travel across the Gobi?

It is difficult to cross the area on horseback. That is why we will travel close to soums.

How will you pass the taiga of Khuvsgul and Khentii provinces, and the Altai Mountains?

We will change our horses in Bulgan soum of Khovd Province. The Altai Mountains is one of our biggest obstacles. So we will go through soums.

How will you arrange your study during this trip?

Teachers and director of the Mongolian State University of Education have not supported our project. We took a year’s leave from school. There is nothing to regret.

Can you ride a horse?

I was raised in the countryside. I have ridden horses since I was six.

You can read the original here:

Thursday, 22 May 2014


One can no more approach people without love than one can approach bees without care.  Such is the quality of bees...

My friend Clem is a traveller by trade and vocation, lately by vocation more than trade perhaps.  I seem always to be saying goodbye and good luck or hello and how was it - she's a journalist though, so I follow some of her travelling by reading...  Here's a great post she wrote about my home city, Manchester, for the Weekendist.

I caught her on a brief visit to London before she heads off again to Nigeria, somewhere I have always wanted to
go to see this sort of thing...  

No better artists anywhere

It is always hard to say goodbye but we ate well and drowned our sorrows with excellent beer at the Garrison on Bermondsey Street...

Bon voyage Clem: what an awfully big adventure you've got ahead x

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Mad dogs and Englishmen...

Go out in the midday sun!

Marrakech has to be one of the most wonderful, extraordinary places I have ever visited.

We stayed at the beautiful Riad Akka...

Please note appropriate reading material 

Ate breakfast on the Riad's roof terrace...

Saw all the sights...

The Koutoubia

The Bahia Palace

Saadian tombs

And dinner at a selection of great restaurants- the v.Euro Euro darling cafe Arabe for the sunset...

Dar Essalem, a restaurant in a 17th century mansion, to follow in the footsteps of Doris Day and James Bond...

Where we giggled as a delightful old chap in red trousers was transfixed by a wobbly belly dancer - no photo, but oh - the look on his face!

And Riad Monceau for the birthday treat of a dear friend - Nick Mead, scourge of the Souk.

We did lots of shopping, naturally, as I was visiting with a superb negotiator...

Buying Berber jewellery

Shopping in Marrakech with Nick Mead was one of the most amusing things I have ever done.  It was even funnier to translate backwards and forwards - here are some choice snippets:

At the Maison de Kaftan Marocain
(Shopkeeper, gazing dreamily at me clad in a wizardy robe)
"Monsieur, your wife is beautiful.  She is like a gazelle.  If I had a wife as beautiful as yours, I would not just buy her this [overpriced jelaba]; I would buy her all [gesturing expansively at the entirety at Maison du Kaftan Marocain] this and more."

...some negotiation...

(Nick to shopkeeper, very firmly)
"I'm afraid this (1/5 of price quoted) is my final price."

(Shopkeeper to me, looking at a Nick as if his stinginess was an indication of wife-beating tendencies)
"Wah!  He is a hard man.  Madame, I am sorry, but your life is hard."

...following conclusion of negotiations...

"Madame, your husband, I think he is a Berber."

At a Moroccan bric-a-brac shop 
(Me, clutching a silver-edged item to my heart)
I think we could manage a bit more...

Absolutely not.

(Me, apologetically, to shopkeeper)
I'm terribly sorry, but he makes the decisions. I am a sad lady and my life is hard.

(Shopkeeper, looking daggers at Nick)
"Madame, you are kind but this is a Good Price and you, Monsieur, are a Bad Man."

Happy birthday Nick Mead - I won't say how old you are, but you'll always be 27 to me xxxx

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


I've been bad, very bad.

Why haven't I updated for ages?  Car crash, resultant gloom caused by the inevitable travel and financial nightmare (am now back in happy denial) and, honestly, not much to report.  There's only so much you can say about riding horses, however lovely and character-ful and there's a serious limit on what you can say about other training.  Which only leaves my personal life.  And no-one is interested in that!

So...  I'm pinching content again.  Here's a video in packing light. No rocket science, but one or two lols...

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Travel disasters

This week, travelling has been fraught...

But, thank you God, here I sit at Gatwick gate 567, cooled by the lovely aircon and waiting, yes, waiting, for my flight to Marrakesh.  It's a miracle.

In no particular order, here are my travel disasters of this week:

1. Car ends life due to accident;
2. Last minute change of flight due to disorganisation at great expense;
3. Forget passport. Panic;
4. Trains not running because it's the weekend and I live in broken Britain;
5. Get on wrong train once I'm past the apocalyptic zone of Central South East London. Board tram (wtf?!). Run;
6. Lock on suitcase breaks. All cash and credit cards are locked inside;
7. Living life on the edge, spend last £20 on trashy novels and San Pellegrino.

What's your worst travel disaster? And was it salvageable?

Friday, 25 April 2014

Looking on the sunny side

Sorry for the radio silence - I have been very busy sleeping very little and achieving not very much.  I know I'm tired when I start sleeping through alarms, or forgetting things...

So this morning, after sleeping in, I locked myself out, forgot my purse and all the trains were cancelled.  And it was raining.

Then the coffee ladies gave me a free coffee, I found out I'd won Wednesday's industrial injuries appeal for an awesome client, had a great lunch with friends, smashed training and you know what, life doesn't look so bad!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Getting older

Full time work ages you.  I am quite tired.

I had a busy weekend...

Karaoke in the O2

Riding in the sunshine...

Saturday night in bed with Willings and the dog (again) after time ran out to get back to London 

A disgusting breakfast

A final hard work out for the girls

A walk in the sunshine

And a girl on fire

Phew.  Looking forward to the weekend. And taking some advice from

Because if I didn't, I would explode with my desperation to head straight for the open steppe!