CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Review: An Evening with Adventurers at the Daffodil

PUBLISHED: 13:15 28 April 2015 | UPDATED: 13:22 28 April 2015

Katie Jarvis and Ben Miller

Katie Jarvis and Ben Miller

Archant

Katie Jarvis enjoyed An Evening with Adventurers, organised by Rock the Cotswolds at the Daffodil in Cheltenham

I sat next to Ben Hooper at the Rock the Cotswolds Adventurers’ night! I SAT NEXT TO BEN HOOPER. How amazing is that! The thing is, I can’t swim. And he’s the man who’s planning to swim from Senegal to Brazil - 2,000 miles. In other words, the first person to swim the Atlantic. So not only did I get to speak to a true hero; I potentially made friends with someone who, given the right circumstances, could save me in a (specific) emergency. Result!

Plus, we both eat a lot, but for differing reasons. He, because he needs something in the region of 7,000 calories a day for his on-going training (breakfast: two bowls of porridge with cream and sugar; toast with peanut butter; chicken breast; banana; coffee, orange juice – then I lose track); I, because whenever I’m at the Daffodil in Cheltenham (where this wonderful, fundraising evening was being held), I always make it a policy to eat 7,000 calories, if I can. (The meal is wonderful, btw: Double Gloucester soufflé, belly pork, lemon tart.)

So, to explain. Rock the Cotswolds – if you haven’t heard of it. And, if not, why not? – is a movement founded by the inimitable Oli Christie (ice-cold award-winning CEO of Neon Play himself) to showcase all the cool things happening in the area. The thing is, Rock the Cotswolds doesn’t diss the tea shoppes and the honeyed stone. Quite the opposite. It just points out that there are amazingly state-of-the-art designers and photographers and jockeys and rock stars and cutting edge businesses here, too.

And this evening was put on especially to promote two outstanding ‘rockers’ – Ben Hooper (whom I sat by) and Jamie McDonald (whom I didn’t. His loss).

Not only that but Alexander Armstrong (who may be Pointless but who also has written, alongside Ben Miller, some of the funniest comedy sketches ever. Check out ‘Origins of hairdressing’) interviewed them on stage for us all. Under Xander’s pin-point questioning, we discovered that Ben’s feat will involve two six-hour swims a day when he sets off in November (the equivalent of swimming the English Channel each day); that he’ll be swimming six days a week, if not seven; that he’ll be accompanied by a team that includes people who’ll scare off sharks for him, particularly when he’s passing over the trench where they breed; that depths will reach 48,000 feet; and that he’s completely mad (my interpretation).

“For three to four months, I won’t see land,” Ben explained. Apparently, even the psychotherapist who’s helping gets weepy from time to time. Ben is training in various places, including the US, Cheltenham and the Cotswold Water Park – as a lady walking her dog shockingly discovered when he stripped bare, thinking he was alone. His message to her is, Please don’t judge; it was very cold.

The swim isn’t completely insane, it has to be said. Ben is raising money for Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, Addaction and SOS Children’s Villages – as well as showing his five-year-old daughter that everyone should dare to dream.

Then we had Jamie McDonald, who also redefined insanity. He has equally raised huge amounts for charity, after deciding that he didn’t want to put a deposit down on a house in Gloucester. Instead, on the spur of the moment, he booked a ticket for Bangkok, bought a second-hand bicycle, and cycled 14,000 miles back home.

After that, in case you hadn’t guessed, he did the obvious and ran across Canada – running, in fact - even more than he strictly needed to after turning left instead of right when setting out one morning. It was only when familiar landmarks began cropping up that he realised his error.

He’s taken pictures in a war zone (he got shot at). Discovered that Manuka honey is a sure-fire cure for an inflamed posterior (possibly the only cure). And cried a lot. Especially when his bottom hurt, I assume. Oh, he’s also single.

And each was presented with a £750 cheque towards their causes.

What a fantastic evening, sponsored by the wonderful luxury travel firm Abercrombie & Kent, which meant I got to see the lovely Annabel Tremaine, marketing director, whom I tried to persuade to give me a free holiday to review. (Result pending.)

So. Do log onto Ben’s website - www.swimthebigblue.com - ESPECIALLY THE CROWD-FUNDING SECTION, raising money to stop him from being eaten by sharks. (Always a sensible precaution.)

And have a look at Jamie’s fabulous website, too: jamiemcdonald.org

And I also sat next to Ben Miller (on the other side). I SAT NEXT TO BEN MILLER!

--------------------

Rock the Cotswolds announces five new Rockers every month. To nominate a rocker, and to find out more about Rock The Cotswolds, visit www.rockthecotswolds.com.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Yesterday, 12:03

The Cotswolds are abundant with picture perfect locations ideal for a ramble. Gather loved ones, wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with one of these winter walks in the region

Read more
Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search