The day started when we arrived at St Nicholas Hospice.
We were met by ‘Ant and Dec’ AKA Jordan and Simon from St Nicholas Hospice (wearing Ant and Dec smiley masks, which was very odd!) They drove us to Bishops Farm in Bradfield St Clare, where we were lulled into a false sense of security with bacon rolls and tea, what a lovely start to the day!
The first challenge started at 10am with a cockroach challenge, it involved putting your hand in a box and pulling out five stars, sounds easy – however, there were cockroaches and millipedes in there, at one point I had a Death’s Head Cockroach jump onto my hand and take hold, they really do have sticky feet! It looked like I was wearing a ring on my finger that was rather large and moving. So I had a word and asked it to hop off as I didn’t want to hurt it.
After the challenge we could pet the cockroaches and millipedes, I just need to let you know that a millipede has feet that attach themselves to your skin, someone likened it to velcro and I agreed – it was a very odd sensation indeed.
The second challenge was labelled ‘feely boxes,’ we were blindfolded and lead into the barn one after the other. In the barn we were asked to put our hands out and we had to identify the animals that were put in our hands or on our arms – far harder than it sounds when you cannot see and rely on feel alone, especially when you are presented with animals that are not encountered on a daily basis, (I have yet to meet a Skinny Pig in your average British household!) The animals were a Skinny Pig (a hairless large Guinea Pig with a beard), a scorpion, a skunk, a snake and a chameleon – all very calm, many were calmer than some of the CEOs!
Challenge three involved reversing a tractor with a trailer attached. I can only say that when the person in the cab helping you says ‘turn right, oh no, I mean left’ interspersed with ‘oh no, the trailer’s playing up again’ or words to that effect, it is quite difficult! Looking across the field to see ‘Ant’ laying on the grass enjoying the view did nothing for my confidence levels! Needless to say I cannot reverse a tractor and trailer, and nor can a lot of CEOs! This has now made it on to my list of things to learn to do!
Lunch – the Hospice provided a lovely Ploughmans lunch with cake, I had far more than I should have eaten given the last challenge of the day…
The fourth challenge involved a forklift truck, a barrel of water attached to a pallet and a truck. We had to lift the barrel on the pallet, put it on the truck, lower the forks to the ground, pick the pallet back up and return it to its place of origin, ready for the next person. This challenge was timed and penalties were awarded for loss of water. I got in the zone and got on with it, having no idea how long I took or how much water I lost I was most surprised when one of the CEOs told me he thought I had done the best, lost the least water and the farmer told me he would give me a job unloading anytime!!
On to the final challenge – eating. I always knew this was on the agenda, and that this would be the hardest challenge for me. Four of us sat on bales of straw facing plates. The lids were lifted to uncover 3 freeze dried insects – a cricket, a worm and a beetle, plus a pig’s penis and a testicle (both of which were cooked). I can only say it was grim, not as bad as it could have been if the meat had not been cooked, but pretty grim nonetheless. I felt more sorry for those who had to watch us, knowing it was their turn next! 6 of us ate all the items on offer, 2 were a little green around the gills and drew the line there!
The day for me was all about fun and not about competition, which is just as well because I came 4th out of 8!
A great day was had by all, at the time of writing I have raised £1,000 for St Nicholas Hospice, but I would like to raise some more, so, if you feel that this challenge is worthy of your support please visit my Just Giving page and donate today.
Video evidence from the day is now available on Facebook.
I look forward to seeing what they do next year!Find out more following this link to Google+