Everest Olympic Torch Relay: Paws For Thought

SOME of us blog on the world wide web.
Others go out into the wide world and make a difference.
Former MEN reporter Simon Spinks sounded a touch tired when I spoke to him on the phone in Kathmandu.
But then he had just come back from hosting the world’s highest teddy bears’ picnic – 18,000 feet up at Everest base camp.
The Olympic torch relay is due to make its ascent to the summit any day now for what the Chinese authorities view as the ultimate photo opportunity.
Until that happens, all other attempts on the Everest peak have been banned, to head off any high altitude pro-Tibet protests.
So Simon and his group – complete with furry friends – brought a smile to the faces of dozens of frustrated climbers, while also providing an alternative vision of international unity.

Having completed a seven day trek to base camp, the teddies, and their “sherpas”, sat down with a pink picnic set.
And, yes, there was honey for tea.

You can read the full story of the Everest Teddy Bears’ Picnic, in aid of children with heart disease, here.
Granted, it’s not a story to change the world.
You could view it as one of those quirky tales which sometimes grace the “…And finally” spot on the TV news.
But I also happen to think it provides a rather magnificent and typically British comment on life, the universe and anything else you want to throw in.
On the one hand, Everest plays host to a troubled Olympic torch relay, ruthlessly stage managed by China behind a wall of censorship and security.
On the other, 30-odd charity trekkers provide a rather different beacon of hope and humanity by carrying their teddy bears to tea at the peak of the world.
I know which one lights my flame.
Not forgetting those strong silent types covered in fur.
As Simon said: “It’s an incredible feat for teddies with very small feet.”
For more details of his appeal, click here: everteddy.com
Teddy Dares Picnic
Olympic Torch Relay Official Site
BBC News: Everest Base Camp Closed To Foreigners