A few thoughts from me about the year we have endured and the troubles ahead.
Those of us in our middle years in the West have seen and lived through a lot. From fear of nuclear war, to the collapse of communism. In our lifetime we have watched the Berlin Wall Fall and famine sweep through the African continent. We’ve seen the rise of extremism both at home and abroad and wars in the Middle East.
We’ve lived through recessions and stock market crashes. Many have lost faith in our institutions of power: our governments, and religious leaders. We’ve adopted technological innovations that were the stuff of science fiction when we were children, from the internet and mobile telecommunications to social media platforms - we are now used to living in an interconnected society. Like it or not, we have become global citizens.
Thanks to globalisation, we’ve seen the collapse of our mass manufacturing industries, and the rise of the Knowledge Economy in its...
There is no one more inspiring to me than a person who is strong and independent, who maintains a happy, positive outlook on life. Randi Skaug is just such a person.
Having spent 26 years as a desk bound executive, Randi quit her job, aged 44, to become a mountaineer. Despite severe back problems, she climbed the highest mountains in all seven continents and was the first Norwegian woman to conquer Everest. What a feeling that must have been!
Speaking to presenter Ben Fogle on an episode in the Channel 5 series, New Lives in the Wild, that featured her, Randi says she placed that feeling in her heart and still draws on it.
"Fear is normal. The important thing is not to fear the fear."
Having skiied on expeditions in Antarctica, Norway and Greenland, kayaking round the coast of Norway and visiting more than 70 countries, Randi bought the 33 acre island of Naustholmen, situated in the Arctic Circle, off the Vestfjord, near the Lofoten Islands.