Alphabet Dating: L is for Levison Wood

Alphabet Dating – L is for Levison Wood

An evening with Levison Wood

ABCDEFGHIJL… something’s missing?!

Our ‘K’ date should have occurred in February but we went to Costa Rica (which unfortunately begins with a ‘C’ so doesn’t count – I’m not gonna start pulling that Kardashian shit on you) and then March happened along with our ‘L’ date sooooo….. here it is – L is for Levison Wood!

We went to see Mr Wood on his UK tour, giving talks about his various exciting escapades. For those who don’t know who Levison Wood is, he is a British Explorer famous for walking everywhere. But when I say walking, don’t be expecting some gentle National Trust type stroll through the English countryside, oh no, his first television show called Walking the Nile showed him walking the length of the Nile from Rwanda to Egypt, through some quite harsh and dangerous climates.

An evening with Levison Wood

Levison’s second television adventure Walking the Himalayas saw him walking the length of the world’s highest mountain range. While his ‘thing’ is walking everywhere, there was one point on his journey where due to some political unrest of some sort in Nepal, he and some people who were accompanying him on that particular part of the journey ended up having to take a short taxi ride to a nearby village. Ironically, the one time Levison decides to get into a vehicle, it shoots over a cliff and hurtles 150m down a mountain, nearly killing everyone in the car.

Thankfully no one died, although this isn’t the first time tragedy has struck one of Levison’s adventures. During Walking the Nile, he was accompanied at one point of the journey by some journalists. Tragically, an American journalist named Matthew Power died from heatstroke while accompanying Levison in a remote part of Uganda. Reminding us just how dangerous these expeditions can be.

Levison Wood’s most recent adventure saw him Walking the Americas. Starting in Mexico where he met his friend, a Mexican fashion photographer named Alberto, who walked the entire journey with him. And ending triumphantly in Colombia. Me, hubby and my two work friends who also love Lev actually got to meet Alberto on the night. He was incredibly funny and charismatic. I asked him where his favourite place was and he said Nicaragua but Costa Rica was his second favourite. He told me that Nicaragua was alot cheaper than Costa Rica too!

me: * adds Nicaragua to the ever-growing bucket list *

Meeting Alberto from Walking the Americas

We didn’t get to meet Levison himself but we enjoyed listening to him tell his stories, from backpacking along the Silk Road in his youth, to the time he lost his wallet at a theme park and it was returned by post to him from someone in the Army. He wrote back to thank them and then to ask advice on how to get into the army. Because that was how he was going to fulfil his childhood ambition to become an Explorer!

He inspired me by saying that you should take opportunities when you can, because even unpaid jobs can lead to bigger things. For him, this was an unpaid job he took after leaving the army where he delivered a couple of ambulances from London to Malawi for a charity project, which, to cut a long story short, ended up with him landing his first television gig!

At the end of the talk there was a little Q&A session which if you’re curious – his scariest moment was the car crash in Nepal. He was also pretty scared of a situation involving walking into a field where there were landmines in Africa. He wouldn’t tell us where his next adventure was but I know wherever it is, he is there right now as I am writing this. And there is another expedition in the planning for next year which will see Alberto accompany him again. As for Alberto, the thing he missed the most about his everyday life while he was walking the Americas was in actual fact his toilet!!!

See, I told you he was funny 🙂

Now hubby and I are playing a guessing game of where we think Lev might travel to next but I guess we will just have to wait and see!

Walking the... Nile, Himalayas, Americas - what's next?

Alice’s Adventures Underground

Alice's Adventures Underground London

Last weekend I went to wonderland.

Now you know I’m a fan of Alice in Wonderland, what with the snowglobe, the theme restaurant and meeting the White Rabbit, so when I heard about this interactive show in London, I hopped, skipped and jumped to book tickets.

Accompanied by eight curious friends, dressed (as required) in red and/or black, we made our way to Waterloo Station, where our underground adventure down the rabbit hole was to take place. I wore black leggings covered in playing card suits underneath a simple red dress. I also accessorized with a playing card suit necklace as well as my Alice in Wonderland bag which I purchased in Tokyo – so I definitely looked the part! Comfy shoes are also a must as you are standing and walking for the majority of the event.

alice in wonderland bag
My Alice in Wonderland bag from Tokyo

Our experience began in a dimly lit room filled with books, old photographs, mirrors and other vintage curios where we were soon surprised by the White Rabbit and, just like Alice did, we followed him through a passageway filled with torn pages from books as we ‘tumbled’ down the rabbit hole and began our 90 minute adventure underground.

I referred to this as a show but really it’s more of an immersive theatre experience, as the White Rabbit led us to a room where we were to make the decision that would set the course for the rest of our adventure…..

Do you pick EAT ME or DRINK ME?

As one of the world’s most indecisive people, I asked what some of my friends were planning on doing. Most of them chose EAT ME, so I decided I would be contrary and pick the DRINK ME route. I walked up to the little table in the middle of the room, picked up a small bottle of the drink (which tasted like sweet lemon) and proceeded through the large door on the left. As it turned out, three of my friends also chose this route too.

The decision making was over but we were then each handed a random playing card, half of those who chose the DRINK ME door became clubs, the other half became spades. I was given the 3 of clubs. Funnily enough, 3 is one of my lucky numbers.

After an encounter with the Cheshire Cat, we bid farewell to the Spades and were taken on our mission as Clubs to deliver the jam tarts to the Queen of Hearts. After being taken into the kitchen and then on to see Tweedledum and Tweedledee spin around on harnesses above us, we met the Knave of Hearts who had the jam tarts and encouraged us all to eat them so the Queen didn’t get an incomplete batch. Naughty. Little did we know, our friends in the Diamonds were spying on us at this point!

Without giving too much more away, we met some other wonderful characters including Alice in the looking-glass, as well as Mr Caterpillar and Bill the Lizard, the latter even gave each of us Clubs a badge for his Anti-Queen movement W.U.R.M. (Wonderland Underground Resistance Movement, if I remember rightly?) when he found out that it was us who stole the Queen’s tarts.

Alice's Adventures Underground card and badge
My 3 of Clubs card and W.U.R.M badge

Soon we were reunited with all of the other suits for the tea party with the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse. We could have paid extra for tea but decided to just enjoy the spectacle. We were all sat around a huge grimy table decorated with broken crockery, while the performers paraded along the table like a catwalk, the March Hare in her slinky black dress was certainly catwalk ready – she looked awesome!

After the tea party, we skipped (we literally skipped) to the Queen of Hearts courtroom where we finally got to meet the fearsome Queen herself who had called court to find out who had stolen all her jam tarts. Gulp. The Diamonds pointed the finger at the Clubs, the Clubs claimed innocence, while the Hearts hailed the Queen. The Spades didn’t do alot but I hear they had been painting the roses red…

Fortunately, we were spared losing our heads as Alice appeared and saved the day! Unfortunately I don’t have much in the way of pictures as photography is not permitted in Wonderland… but that would ruin the magic of it all anyway!

Alice’s Adventures Underground has now ended for this year but the good news is – they are back next year! And I would love to go again and see where the EAT ME route takes me! Callooh Callay!