Dreaming of a big blow-out

Published on 30.03.2010 - One Man Epic Mission North Pole

Things seem to be going better for Tom Smitheringale. He is having fewer technical problems, has been able to repair two or three minor breakages and the frostbite on his fingers isn't hurting as much as it was. All of which means he can finally turn his mind to food, glorious food...

There has been little news of Tom for the past few days, but Jim Pizzey, his webmaster is still confident. The terrain is becoming less arduous and it's getting easier to make progress (nine hours of skiing every day). Better still, the wind has eased off and in particular, Tom's frostbitten fingers seem to be recovering slowly. All of which means that the Aussie adventurer is making progress and is trying to reach and maintain a pace of 20 kilometres a day. Also, he has stopped talking about giving up. Instead, he waxes lyrical each day about the magnificence of the scenery all around him.

Meanwhile, Tom and Jim continue their intimate little private conversations. Jim was particularly elated when on 25th March Tom was the first to ask how Jim was during their satellite hook-up, rather than the other way round. And in a memorable update, Tom revealed how he had had problems defecating (to keep things polite!) and had even lost his balance squatting over the pan in the tent one evening...

With these crumbs of comfort restored to him, Tom has had the opportunity to dream about food -and plenty of it. Each day sees the explorer talking about this or that little delicacy or this or that favourite café in Fremantle: on 28th March his couldn't get the pasta and spinach his grandmother used to make out of his mind, a thought that kept him going when he was wondering what to do in the forbidding wastes of the ice. On the 27th, he dedicated his day to Tim Tams, which are extremely popular chocolate biscuit bars in Australia: "I need fresh supplies, Jim, a pallet of Tim Tams, please -quickly!!!". On the 25th, he confided to Jim that he had only thought of one thing all day long: cheese on toast. "Oh, that French patisserie close to home in Fremantle, Jim, I'd just love to spend a few hours there...". Then, on the 24th, to some schoolchildren who asked him during a satellite link what wish they could make come true for him if they could, Tom replied that there is a place in Fremantle called "Little Creatures", where he'd like to go for a beer or two before wolfing down a few pizzas, or even eat a nice greasy cheeseburger...

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