Blog by Lewis Pugh, endurance swimmer and the UN Patron of the Oceans.
Have you ever watched a bridge being built? It is fascinating.
I lived on the Thames while the Millennium Bridge was under construction. The engineers didn’t start from one bank and progress towards the other. They started on both sides – and met in the middle.
First they built stable platforms on the edge of each bank. Then they erected two strong concrete piers in the middle of the river. And when they were ready, they lowered the bridge, in three parts, to meet in the middle. Finally, they reinforced it with strong supporting cables, so when it was complete, the structure was firm and united.
Diplomacy is a lot like building bridges.
Last month I flew to Moscow, just two weeks after I’d had an operation on my back. My surgeon had advised me to stay in bed for six weeks. But timing is everything, and I had a crucial dinner to attend – which was all about bridge building.
The flight was excruciating. I spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling of the plane, counting. When I swim in freezing water, I count.…Continue reading »