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Wednesday, 13 May 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #26 – 13 May 1995

On 13 May, 1995, a British mother of two became the first woman to conquer Everest without oxygen or the help of Sherpas.

Alison Hargreaves, 33, was only the second person ever to reach the peak of the world's highest mountain unaided. 

She reached the 29,028ft (8,847.7m) summit at 12.08 local time on Saturday (07.23 in Britain) and immediately radioed her base camp. She wanted to send a fax to her two children, Tom and Kate, aged six and four, at home near Fort William on the west coast of Scotland.

The message was: "I am on the top of the world and I love you dearly."

The only other climber to have reached the top of Everest unaided was Reinhold Messner in 1980.

On 13 August, 1995, she reached the summit of K2 but died during descent.

 Alison Hargreaves 
There is more on Alison Hargreaves, her family and her challenges on Rock and Ice here:

Sources: BBC, Wikipedia, Rock and Ice.

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