By way of introduction –
My name is Frances Grier. I’m 30ish. I’m born and bred in Scotland and have been working in London since 2009. I have pieces of paper claiming that I’m a classicist, a physicist, a musician, a fencer, a financier – but primarily I’m a strategiser, a list maker and a planning enthusiast who easily overcommits to projects.
By day I work as a business analyst* and much of my free time is spent piecing together weekends and holidays – camping, cycling, sailing, skiing, hiking, mountaineering, in Scotland, in the UK, in Europe, and once or twice a year I get out further.
In the last few years I have increasingly tried to push myself, sometimes finding my limit but more often finding that I have greater reserves than I thought. I have cycled Ireland coast to coast in two days; built snow caves in gale force winds in the Scottish Highlands; spent five days slowly loosing my sanity playing endless games of solitaire halfway up a mountain, captive in a cabin while deadly storms raged around (yes, deadly – a climber died nearby after his ice axe attracted a lightning bolt); camped in -15°C at 5000m with only yaks and eagles for company; sailed Scotland’s west coast in the most authentically Scottish weathers; summitted Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus, from the north; climbed to 6200m in the Himalayas while fending off a stomach bug which had me loose 8kg; and cycled 100 mile days in the “great” British weather more often than I care to remember. And all of these, and overcoming the hardship wrapped up with them, have given me such an enormous sense of “being alive” that I am determined to do more while I have the time and youth to do so.
*Business Analyst: my job is to keep my company efficient, competitive, and (hopefully) innovative. This involves thinking up new things to do and new ways of doing them, and requires planning, budgeting, forecasting and research. It’s all the aspects of planning a cycle trip across the world, though perhaps marginally less exciting.