My mate, Marmite

How do you feel about Marmite?

Me, I love it. In fact I could eat it with a SPOON.
Obviously, some people hate it. I mean REALLY hate it.

But what if, just imagine, you’d gone through your whole life without ever trying it. Ever.

Well, one morning, out in the middle of Damaraland, that’s exactly what we discovered Manzoor had done.

Something which, of course, we had to rectify…

It wouldn’t be a NaVloPoMo post without tipping you off about someone else’s efforts…
So why not go give one of Benny Crime’s videos a whirl.

You’ll never feel the same again…

πŸ˜‰

Windsocks and toilets

“Houston. We have a problem.”

It would seem that the 30-day video marathon that is NaVloPoMo has arrived slap, bang in the middle of the first decent writing stride I’ve had in donkeys.

This is largely in part thanks to the wealth of written content I have hidden away in my new best friend and travelling partner, my moleskine.

Alas, as video cannot be held inside its tender pages, the ‘tales from my moleskine‘ series may have to take a back seat for the time being.

We’ll pick it back up again in December. Promise.

If you’ve missed it all so far and fancy a dive, by all means, just click on the word moleskine and you’ll be magically transported. However, if instead you’d rather stick around and see what ocular treats I have lined up for you today, then please, make yourself comfy… We’re off to Africa.

The date is July 8th, we – the first batch of Lucozade Winners and I – had left Damaraland that morning and boarded our own private Cessna to fly up to a place called Haartmann Valley. From there on in, it’ll be a three hour drive to our next camp. Eesh.

It’s pretty remote, but we’re told it’s paradise.

This short video, put together soon after we arrived, hopefully gives you some kind of insight at just how remote ‘remote’ is when you’re in Africa.

Hat tip to @reyes who duly pointed out the base for this month’s shenanigans.

Notes from Namibia

Moleskine entry: July 9th, 2009

I’ve never flown this far South before. Cape Town is 10hrs straight down. Damaraland, Namibia 2hrs back up again.

The stars are very different here.

Last night we slept out under the skies, in the middle of a half-million hectare concession, where people, wildlife and animals all co-exist together. Rhino, Springbok, Zebra, Giraffe, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant and Ostrich. We’re told there’s no real danger, but we’re quiet all the same.

On the way out, Eric – our guide – remarks that the stripes of a Zebra are as unique as that of a human fingerprint.

“Zebras have human fingerprints?”…asks a not-really-listening Suhel.
“Yes Suhel, Zebras have human fingerprints.”

We laugh, uncontrollably.

Lions walked past through our camp, right past them. There are paw prints outside my door. I heard them late, out there in the dark, purring their deep, low grumble. Not quite a growl, not quite a roar but still… that sound.

A glimpse through the window revealed nothing. I could see the light from a distant toilet-tent knocking gently in the trees, but that is all. The moonlight, so bright out here in the middle of nowhere, shines down clearly, basking all in pale illumination.  But I see nothing.

Still, I hear them mumble.

Read my Palm: A Random Encounter

Greetings from Wyoming!

I’m currently on part two of the five part Lucozade Energy Challenge social media gig and as you might’ve guessed from my last post, I’m having an awesome time.

On the way here I had to fly via Chicago; an amazing city (from what I saw of it coming into land) and one that I wish I could’ve stayed longer in. Not least because as soon as I touched down no less than three different mobile geeks were in touch to let me know about the Mobile Camp that was happening just down town from Chicago International, and I was invited! Unfortunately I only had an hour between my connections though so alas, it was never meant to be

Sad times. However, on the flight itself I happened to find myself say next to a guy called Grant Rostad, a young American chap who was on his way back home after a two month internship working in the UK. He also has a part-time job as a sales rep in a particular mobile store.

The conversation started when Grant spotted me handling my N97 and asks: “Hey, is that the N97? Would you mind if I had a play with it? I’ve heard great things…”

Palmistry, it kinda sucks
Palmistry, it kinda sucks

I hand it over, of course – exchanging pleasantries and mobile geekeries in doing so – and then go on to extol the virtues of the N86, my new favourite handset. It’s at this point when Grant reaches into his bag and pulls out the two bad boys pictured to the right over here…

Recognise them? I know Ben Smith does.

The red one is a Palm Centro and the black, a Palm Treo Pro – Grant tells me “Treo means ‘it sucks’…”

He’s not wrong. Anyway, we’re close to landing and I decide I should capture some of our conversation (below) for posterity and of course, for The Really Mobile Project Hope you like it and of course, as always – your comments are welcome πŸ™‚

UPDATE: For those that want to know, the interview was recorded using the native voice recorder on my N97.

[audio:http://thereallymobileproject.com/wp-content/uploads/read-my-palm-a-random-encounter.mp3]
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MP3 download Get Adobe Flash player
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Plans for the Summer

About a month ago I entered into the running to be Lucozade’s Social Media Reporter this Summer, covering each of their ‘Energy Challenges’ as they happen across the globe. Phase one was an initial email pitch that answered the question ‘why should we pick you?’

I threw some words together, detailing some of my social media credentials – or ‘whuffie‘ as my dear friend Vero calls it – and was soon after awarded a place in the next round.

Phase two stepped it up a bit. This time we had to create a ‘multimedia diary’ based around reporting on a physical activity.
The requirements were as follows:

  • One two minute video
  • Footage of the physical activity
  • Interview with the person undertaking the activity
  • Piece to camera introducing your diary
  • A written blog of no more than 150 – 200 words
  • 10 photographs

With that I went off and spent the afternoon at a secret location with my good friend and neighbour, Richard Mills. I think you all know how that turned out.

πŸ˜‰

James Whatley meets: Richard Mills” got me through into the third and final round; a sit down face to face with the Lucozade team. Two hours later my phone rang.

“Hi James, we’d really like it if you could be the Lucozade Energy Challenge Social Media Reporter…”

That was two weeks ago.

My feet haven’t really touched the ground since.

The Lucozade Challenge is one big competition. You can enter right now. Each week winning a place to on one of the challenges for you and three of your mates.
There are five challenges in total and they are as follows:

  1. Sandboarding in Namibia
  2. Cattle ranching in Wyoming
  3. White water rafting in Zambia
  4. Yacht racing in the Caribbean
  5. Glacier climbing in the Alps

Over the Summer, I’ll be blogging, tweeting and filming every single one of them… and I cannot wait!  πŸ˜€

Thing is, I leave for Namibia on Saturday.

Best pack really…