By: Blonde Two

You would imagine that the excitement of something might wear off as you enter your third year of doing it but for The Two Blondes, our association with Ordnance Survey as Get Outside Champions is something of which we are very proud and our attendance at the 2018 Get Outside Champions launch was just as eagerly anticipated as our first one, maybe even more so because we were meeting so many old friends. We are also very proud of the fact that there are only a handful of us left who have been championing that long, between the fabulous Ordnance Survey staff team and our great fellow champions, we once again find ourselves in most excellent company. Not only that, we find ourselves in company that really is starting to see the Get Outside message take hold and have an impact.

Day one of the launch was a busy one, no sooner had we arrived and said our ‘hellos’ than we were whisked off, down a long corridor, by a strange man, to a dark bedroom with cameras! Luckily the strange man turned out to be very nice and the cameras were there to film us talking about our Dartmoor walk to Bowerman’s Nose with ITV’s Britain’s Favourite Walks: Top 100 (which is a very long title for a program). We spent some time sorting out chairs and arms before filming and were out of the dark bedroom, back to the dining room to enjoy talks by (I think this is the right order and timing) Sean Conway, Ben Fogle and Kenton Cool. Sean had a beard, Ben had a scarf and Kenton did the most teasing, it was all very entertaining and I think most of them are going to climb Everest this year. By the way, Ben Fogle did insist on having a selfie taken with us so that my mum can have another one on her toilet wall… we really must talk to our agent!

We are not planning to climb Everest (well actually I wouldn’t be surprised if B1 was) and neither are fellow Get Outside Champions Jason Rawles or Zoe Homes but I enjoyed their talks very much indeed. After talks and signing and photos (it all sounds very ‘Hollywood’ doesn’t it) it was time for lunch and then we were sent off on a mapping scavenger hunt to find Post Offices, cattle grids and deserted forest campsites. Our team, Team Unicorn, were a lively bunch but we seemed to work well together and had the benefit of the drone belonging to fab new champions Andy and Georgina (aka Two_Travlrs). The teamwork paid off and we were awarded first prize later that day.

Copyright – Two_Travlrs

On returning to our room we Blondes were thrilled to find that OS had arranged for a bottle of bubbly and a birthday card to be delivered. We had a grand time sipping, supping and doing girly ‘Which shoes? Which top? Which way is the door?’ things. Dinner was delicious (at Careys Manor it always is – I should know because I stayed on for two more nights as a birthday treat!) and we enjoyed getting to know Team Unicorn better. The evening ended for me with a gentle slide into slumber on one the the hotel’s sumptuous sofas (well I was very nearly 50!)

The next day saw the Get Outside Champions doing what they do best and getting outside in the New Forest ‘muddy’ as my nephew would once have called it. There was plenty of mud for everyone and we came back to a joyous carpet picnic in the hotel bar (sorry).

Blonde One and I would both like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Ordnance Survey, not only for hosting such a brilliant event but also for their continued commitment to the Get Outside message. Long may it all continue!