Driftwood - Disastrous Expeditions, #17 of 100 Bloody Objects
'Because it's there'. George Mallory
1. Reality Bites 2. Cannibals 3. Desert & Jungle 4. Mountain 5. Sea 6. The Odd Triumph 7. Aviation 8. Outer Space 9. postscript
I hope you have calibrated your compass and zeroed your altimeter - for we are about to set off on a journey of exploration. Anyone who has led any sort of life will have embarked on an expedition or two: some more hair raising than others, but things can still go awry at Centre Parks as they do paddling up the Limpopo or straddling Crib Goch wearing your grand father's tweed suit and a pair of wellies.
But in the field of human endeavour there are some expeditions which end in a truly disastrous manner. Humans love to explore and set records: on land, at the Poles, at sea, in the air and in outer space. And some of these are undertaken by the amateur, who may be ill prepared or subject to bad luck. So let's get in amongst the bodies dangling from mountain tops, frozen in the ice or bobbing amongst the waves awaiting a call from Bruce. Jamie and Tom summon the ghost of Phileas Fogg and describe how often, on expeditions, reality bites.
So it goes,
Tom Assheton & James Jackson
Cannibal Song, Flanders & Swam
Michel Montaigne Essays, Of Cannibals
Ronald Reagan broadcast, Space Shuttle Challenger - disaster
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