Tuesday, 19 October 2010

As time goes by

Yet again I've failed to keep up with the blog but I suppose that my excuse is that I've been pretty busy for a retiree. Since my visit to the Wirral we've had Helen's birthday, I always let her down with naff presents unless she tells me in advance exactly what she wants. This year she asked for me to get a job as a present to her - needless to say she got flowers. Although I have appied for a temp job working on next year's census.
After the birthday I went to Corsham to help Aaron and Katy with some decorating, the house is coming on well and it's always a pleasure to help. Aaron is about to set up in business as an electrician, so if you need one let me know.
Last weekend we were in Norfolk for my sister Jan and brother in law Mike's 60th birthday. It was a ceileidh in their local village hall, unfortunately I wasn't allowed to play the sore walking feet card and was made to dance. It was a great weekend, lovely to meet up with my Mum and all my siblings and their offspring, and their offspring.
Good to see that the Haresnapes drank the place dry of Old Speckled Hen. Everyone was really interested in the JOGLE and I suppose I was the party bore. I did get some interest in my proposed return to the WHW.
The w/end got better when the mighty Everton put Liverpool to the sword and left them languishing in fear of relegation, then Mr Rooney decides to leave Man Utd and upsets the Mancs. Can life get any better I ask myself?
Todays pics are a view of my decorating handiwork and one of 4 generations of Snappers, Great Gran (Pat), Grandad (me), Dad (Stu) and baby Zack

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Rain drops keep falling

Sitting at Reg's looking out at the rain which is doing it's best to spoil an otherwise good weekend.
We drove up on Friday in very wet conditions so I could play in the annual Old Instonians golf competition at Caldy Golf Club.
Despite the rain stopping and sun coming out there weren't many of us. It was really good to meet up again with ol school mates and team mates from the rugby field. It was my first time at Caldy and I really enjoyed the views over the Dee estuary to Wales. Even better, after 4 hours I emerge as the winner.
After a quick change we were joined by more old boys for the annual dinner. Great to see John Tuohy, Pat Whearty and Len Davies. Also met up again with Joe and Richie from my walk.
The headache on Saturday was a small price to pay. Helen and I went into Chester in the afternoon for a stroll around its ancient splendour.
The day got better when Everton won, for a short while they are now above Liverpool - brilliant. All I need now is for Europe to beat USA in the Ryder Cup.
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Thursday, 30 September 2010

Thanks for the memories

Woken up early this morning so I thought I'd bore my readers with a blog post. I'm currently in the guest room at my Mum's sheltered housing complex, its very comfortable and allows me to visit Mum without putting her to much trouble.
Yesterday I gave a talk about my jogle to the residents here, they collected a lot of money for the charity on my behalf and it was my way of saying thanks to them.
The talk went well, getting lots of questions and clearly evoked memories for the audience of places they'd been.
It also brought the good times of the walk right back to me. I really must start thinking about writing that book.
The more I think about it, the more I'd like to do the West Highland Way again with a group.
Anyone fancy it?

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Monday, 20 September 2010

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?

Well I meant to be a prolific blogger while away in Jersey but typically my blackberry failed me. Probably because I was on the wrong tariff.
Nevertheless we had a good time, marred only by the extremely noisy bedroom antics from the adjoining room on our first night.
Two good sea crossings, lots of sight seeing, good food and lashings of Liberation Ale - a thoroughly good holiday.
Many of the tourist attractions are centred around the occupation by Germany in the last world war and the underground war tunnel museum is really eerie.
We also got to see the excellent Battle of Britain air display, Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and Vulcan - not to mention the Red Arrows. Just great.
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Sunday, 5 September 2010

We're all goin on a summer holiday

Sorry Viv, decided not to update my profile after my birthday - I reckon 57 is as old as I want to get.
Just boarded the Jersey ferry for the start of our holiday. Its raining of course.
I am lucky though as I originally intended to start JOGLE to arrive in Cornwall this week. If I had done that I ould have had to walk well over half the distance in the rain.
Travelling today has made me laugh. I've just spent 10 weeks with only 3 shirts and 5 sets of socks and undies. I've brought 15 of each for this week.
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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

What's another year

My birthday went by on Sunday with lots of cards and presents and then a trip to see Aaron and Katy. Stuart, Beth and Zack couldn't make it.
We met at the Air Balloon pub in Birdlip, about 45 mins drive for each of us. Some of these place names are great, I went through loads of strange sounding villages on my walk, you really know when you're in the English shires.
Yesterday it was our 36th wedding anniversary, a quiet day as Helen has a cold and has lost her voice. How careless is that?
The weather has been atrociously wet, I've only been able to get outdoors to mow the lawns and play some golf. Let's hope it improves when we go to Jersey.
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Friday, 20 August 2010

As time goes by

Another week seems to have slipped by and this time I've lots to report.
Firstly, I didn't get an interview for the job I applied for, not to worry I'm sure something will turn up.
Then we had Clive and Jane over for the weekend and had a really good gossip covering the 13 years since we last met up. My walk seems to have had the added bonus of renewing our old friendship, hope we can get over to Derby soon for a rematch at golf.
I've booked my golf break in Spain for March with 5 old friends from SDC (old being the operative word).
During the week I've built a small garden wall, its not a class job but it'll do. I certainly won't be getting a job as a bricklayer judging by this.
Last night we went to Peppers in Studley for our weekly curry. Its not our usual venue but we were celebrating my birthday on Sunday so thought we'd have a change.
Looking forward to Sandy and Chris's visit next year, if they're here mid August I will get us some tickets for the Hells Angels Bulldog Bash, I reckon that Chris will really enjoy the bikes.
The charity pot now stands over 3000 pounds.
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Friday, 13 August 2010

It's been a long time

Again I am apologising for not posting for such a long time, it's not as if nothing has been going on - it's just that life at home is nowhere near as exciting as life on the road. Last night Jenny told me off and today Wayne said that he was  fed up looking at a picture of a hedgehog.
As you can imagine I've played a fair bit of golf over the weeks , not well I have to admit but I do try.
We've booked a holiday in Jersey in early September, only 3 weeks to go now and we went to Stu and Beth's the other w/end. It's always great to see them and i can't believe how Zack grows in the short time between our visits. He's a really bonny lad now. Check his photo, he's clearly got Scouse genes.
While on the visit Stu and I assembled and fitted a new storage unit in the new extension, talk about Bodgit and Son. At least it gives me an excuse to go back and put it right.

Today I went to a leaving do for my old mate Mick McCracknel from SDC, lots of people there and I was given the charity collection funds from my walk - another £200 which brings me uo to £2900. Now I'm hoping to make £3k before it's all collected. Well done SDC staff.

If you're squeamish, look away now. This is the last of my blisters which lasted me from Radstock in Wiltshire to Princetown in Devon, about 100 miles.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The concrete and the clay

Good to get the comments on my last post so I'm enthused to write more.
Heard this song on the radio today and it reminded me of my attempt to dig the garden yesterday, the ground was like concrete.
Decided to go out on the bike instead, nothing too taxing - about an hour over fairly flat terrain. Its only my second time out so its a start. Don't know how Cliff can go all day on onem
Played 3 rounds of golf over the last 4 days, with another tomorrow, and not feeling too bad physically. Even came 3rd on Saturday.
Helen and I walked down to the local for a meal, and a couple of Banks,s Milds ( its pronounced Bonks's round herre).
Saw this little fellow on the way.
My latest scheme is organising a golf trip to Spain next spring, I promise you I will be using a buggy, not walking.
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Friday, 23 July 2010

That's life

It's over a week since I last blogged, so apologies to anyone who's still reading this. It is difficult to get a new angle each day now I'm home, as most days are the same for an old bloke with not much to do.
We did go up to Wirral last w/end and stopped with Reg (my father in law) and I'm delighted to say that he's looking really well, so well that he accompanied me to the local tip and bought me a  pint on the way back. I seem to be a  tip groupie at the moment, I've been to several dotted around the countryside, including Worcs, Warks, Berks, Wilts and now Merseyside. That would be a new spin on LEJOG, visiting the waste sites in each town that you go through - think I'll leave it for someone else.
I got my first round of golf on Wed, not having picked  a golf club up for three months, and finished leg weary and with sore feet. I'm going to have to start some exercise before I drop back into my previously non energetic lifestyle. 
Finally got my official photo and certificate for completing the walk so all I've got to do now is to add up all of the donations, currently standing at a total of over £2600 - truly amazing.
Also applied for an application form to apply for a job, more about that if any progress is made.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Just been for our regular Thursday evening curry with Jenny and Tony and we decided to stop at our local Wetherspoons. A chicken bhuna, spiced with some hot chiles but washed down with a couple of Titanic Ales (sorry but I've already got out of the habit of carrying a notebook to take details) was just what the doctor ordered.
Weatherwise it was pretty awful today, I had to use the intervals between showers to repair the conservatory gutter, and then I decided to do the ironing. Suddenly long distance walking is looking quite appealing.
Still, the Open golf is on TV so I've got to be happy.
A couple of pics that haven't been posted yet, Helen and Zack, me being greeted at the finish line by Sue from SOS
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Monday, 12 July 2010

Back to life, back to reality

We left Cornwall on Saturday (Katy and Aaron and Beth and Stu went on Friday) and took our time getting home. We stopped in Bodmin for coffee and Exeter for lunch so that we made Redditch around 5.00.
Our friends Liz and Adrian had stuck congratulations banners to the house for our arrival, what a great surprise.
Sunday was a chill out day, sitting in the garden with the newspapers and a little gardening before a long afternoon watching sport on TV.
I've checked on the justgiving websites today and I'm overwhelmed at the generosity of everyone. Seeing a donation from people I met in Fort William, which seems so long ago, was amazing.
Now I have to start collecting the pledges before I can finally pass on all of the donations. So I'd like to ask anyone who has got any collection sheets on the go to let me know and also to collect the pledges for me please.
Tomorrow I need to start replying to some of the many emails received and also get my CV into order to look for work.
Exeter cathedral and the handywork of Liz and Adrian
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Thursday, 8 July 2010

Everybodys gone surfin

Sorry people but I'm getting addicted to blogging, could be worse - the addiction could be walking.
I'm going to keep it up, at least until I have a chance to sort out how much money's been raised and been able to thank everyone properly.
Sun was shining today so it was off to Gwithian to catch some waves ( that's surfer talk - I'm a quick learner). Helen and Katy looked after Zack while Stu, Beth, Aaron and I went in the water. Two firsts for me - I've never worn a wet suit before and I've never been on a surf board. So glad that I've lost some weight on my way from JOG, I looked porky enough in the suite anyway.
I did get my feet on the board a couple of times but I'm glad that I walked better than I surfed.
The day nearly ended badly when Aaron lost his wallet, fortunately there are some honest people about and he was able to collect it intact from St Ives police station.
Check out the surfer dudes in the pic
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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

King of the road

That's what I feel like today after so many messages of congratulations.
The celebrations yesterday went on so late that it was actually dark when I went to bed, I've been that tired recently that I've got used to going around 8.30.
No beach today as its been foggy, so we opted for a walk around Falmouth - and, of course a pint of Skinners Heligan Honey.
Its going to take some time to get over yesterday's buzz.
Some of yesterday's pics which I forgot to include and one of my chin in the trimming process.
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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

So what happens now?

That's it, I'm an ex walker.
What a day, a lovely walk through Marazion, and along the coast path into Penzance. Beth and Aaron were with me and it was the most amazing section of the whole walk, who couldn't be impressed with close up views of St Michael's Mount. Only Beth could make her walking debut on such a section.
When we stopped for a cuppa Stu took over from Beth and we powered on toward LE, at least he and Aaron did - I was grimly hanging on at the rear.
Stu kept us going by declaring 'Snowy, I can see the pub from here' every time we saw a building.
Got to LE about 3 o,clock after a brief stop at the Last Inn for a couple of Skinners Betty Stoggs.
Met up with Sue from SOS then walked on my own down to the finish line were I was greeted by Helen, Katy, Beth, Aaron and Stu together with Sue and Jeannette from SOS.
I have to admit that I was just a little emotional, but not so much that I offered to buy any drinks. The weather was glorious and the Scillys clearly in view, picnic and champagne provided by Helen just finished off the most amazing experience for me. Its a day on the beach tomorrow and then who knows what.

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Monday, 5 July 2010

This could be the last time

It's finally arrived, one more day to go and I become an ex walker. Brilliant.
I know that I couldn't have got this far without the support that you've all provided. There's been many a time when I've felt like there's been a whole crew of people walking with me and that's kept me going when I've been at a low ebb.
Today was a bad day simply because I started so tired. I never felt that I got into any rhythm or pace and it was just a long hard plod for over 20 miles. Amazingly I was still in the pub just after 4 for my end of walk pint of Tribute, even collected 8 quid at the end of the day.
Tomorrow starts with Beth and Aaron ( obviously a glutton for punishment) joining me before Stu takes over from Beth for the end of the day. Half the walk will be along the seafront, right past St Michaels Mount, should get a good pic to post.
Tonights photo is one of the many Cornish disused tin mine engine houses
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Yes, its the big day tomorrow, but first I have to tell you what's been happening recently.
Yesterday was something of an enigma in that I really didn't feel like going, it was forecast to rain and I left without my trusty first aid kit. Nevertheless, I walked well and finished the 21 miles in under 8 hours.
I was reminded that pride cometh before a fall when I walked past a large party of scouts who were strolling along the other pavement, as I caught them and started to pass I could here the comments about the remarkable old man walking from JOG to LE. Full of pride I puffed out my chest and increased my pace, they were soon left trailing and when they were out of sight I just had to stop to get my breath. A little later on I got to St Austell and tripped over a pavement, ending up sprawled on the floor. I suppose I had it coming.
I got my first view of the sea since Scotland just after leaving Lanlivery.
The predicted rain arrived and I ended the day soaked, despite a mercy dash by Stu at halfway with dry gear.
My feet are much improved although I did develop a new blister which appeared in the early hours this morning.
Pics, a couple of interested bystanders, the pub that I didn't stop at, a different view of Truro
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Sunday, 4 July 2010

There are 3 steps to heaven

Yesterday was day 52 and really exciting for me. It started with my last B+B breakfast in Callington.
Also there were Gordon and Eilleen, who were both cycling from LE to Taunton as a 70th birthday present to each other, amazing!
They also made a healthy donation to my charities.
Later in the day I met up with Helen, Stuart, Beth and Zack for lunch and then I was able to off load most of the contents of my bag before setting off for the remaining 13 miles accompanied by Stu.
It was a long, hard afternoon resulting in yet another blister but having company certainly made it easier.
At the end of the walk we collected the car from the Crown and drove down to Helston to join the rest of the family. Shugborough bitter was fine but the earlier Doombar wasn't up to scratch.
While walking we spotted this scooter for sale, tied to a lamp post at a busy road junction, couldn't resist the opportunity of a pic.
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Friday, 2 July 2010

This is it

Gunnislake, CORNWALL. Friday 2nd July at 1.10.

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Manfred Mann I seem to remember.
Yes folks I now have 5 days to go, 95 miles.
Awake early with excitement so posting while I've got a signal.
Yesterday I walked across the high moor in very strong head winds, it felt like I walked half as much again but I managed to check into the Prince of Wales hotel just as the torrential rain was starting.
What a bonus that was as it lashed down most of the night.
The other bonus was this pub is the home of Dartmoor brewery, so Jail Ale was again on the evening menu.
The landlord and his family come from the Wirral, Little Neston. A pub full of scousers next to the prison - make your own jokes up.
Got quite a surprise yesterday when an Adder slithered out of the grass right in front of me, a first sighting for me.
Pics across the moors and Dartmoor prison.
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Thursday, 1 July 2010

Take walk on the wild side

I'm heading toward Dartmoor and the forecast is for wild and windy and wet weather. Suppose it makes a change from heat.
Loving all the comments, keep them coming.
Come on Zack, act your age. You'll find that drinking namby pamby milk won't help the pain, try a couple of pints of real ale instead.
Dunsford was lovely, a good quiet resting place where I walked no more than 100 yards the whole time I was there, also managed to have some of Dartmoor brewery Jail Ale, excellent.
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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Go west

Its west, west , west from here on in. Every step taking me towards Cornwall, the last of the 13 English counties that I go through. Sorry but I haven't a clue what the Scottish ones were, perhaps someone could help on that.
I'm composing this over a pint of Cotleigh Nutcracker in a Wetherspoons in Exeter. Sorry but my vow of daytime sobriety didn't last long, I succumbed to the lure of Otter bitter yesterday in the Vine at Honiton and who in their right mind could resist this place - check out the pic.
On my way this morning I passed the local airfield, that certainly would have been easier for me.
Just a thought, when I see Aaron and Katy at Lands End they, too, will be End to Enders. They drove up to JOG the week before I started and will arrive at LE on the day I do. I will have walked it a week quicker than they've driven it.
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Monday, 28 June 2010

Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home

I've lost count of the places I've stayed at and but each night they've been a haven for me, and I've always been greeted with a friendly smile and wished well as I've left. I was even upgraded in Chard so I had my own bathroom. I suspect because guests from other places have phoned their complaints about me.
I've stopped in Stockland, about one third of todays journey done, and the landlord has taken pity on me and sold me a lemonade.
Its another hot day but with a pleasant breeze and my right foot is painful but a little better than yesterday.
I wonder why I bothered to get in in time for the footbal yesterday. Watching it was more painful than walking.
I'm in Devon now, I can tell because the wheelie bins have changed.
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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Its been a good year for the roses

A chance remark this morning by Rob led to this title, and there's a pic to show it.
After a hearty breakfast I set off at 9.00 with 3 companions - Rob, Jo and little Alexander. They walked with me for the first 1.3 miles (Alexander ran most of it) and it was a great send off.
Less hills today but just as much sunshine led to another fairly slow walk but who can complain when walking through villages with names such as Compton Pauncefoot and Queen Camel ( must win a prize for that one).
I stopped for a lemonade in QC and collected some donations. Honestly, when I say lemonade that's what I had. I'm a big boy and don't always have to have beer.
The good news is that my left foot is no longer hurting, the bad news is that's because I've developed an enormous blister under my right foot and the pain from that blocks out everything else.
Still, only 180 miles to go and a ccouple of pints of Banks's Best should help numb the pain.
Pics today are my companions, roses and the church at Compton Pauncefoot.
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I am a cider drinker

I'm in Somerset now so today's title had to be something by the Worzels. I'm stopping with Jo and Rob, and little Alexander. I was treated to a glass or two of Rob's home produced cider last night, very palatable.
I think that Alexander believes that Santa has come to stay as he's on his best behaviour and is being very attentive to me.
White whiskers clearly have their uses.
I hadn't realised how hilly this part of the world is but I had 5 or 6 fairly long climbs yesterday and together with the heat and a couple of new blisters it turned into a pretty tough walk. I intended to celebrate getting to Shepton Montague with a pint at The Montague but it ha closed for the afternoon when I arrived, oh well these things can't be helped.
Off to Yeovil today, when I arrive I will be only 10 days from finishing.
Pic is a view across the Mendips
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Thursday, 24 June 2010

Come on Eileen

My companion today was my future Son in Law Aaron and he was really good company, he had me in fits of laughter when he was discretely attending to a call of nature only for a lady in a 4x4 to drive through the gateway into the field. Don't know who was more embarrassed.
Our route took us through the lovely town of Bradford on Avon and right past Eileen and Derek's (Aaron's parents). We spent a good couple of hours there and dined on a sumptuous lunch. Thanks very much Eileen, both for lunch and the donation from the both of you. All I need now is for Eileen to get a caravan and get in front of me each to provide lunch.
I'm well impressed with Aaron as I walked him hard today and despite his blisters and aching legs he completed the day without complaint, well done.
The days I've spent in Corsham have been great, I've been really well looked after and will have to walk hard over the next few days to get back to my fighting weight.
Pics show Bradford on Avon, happy walkers after lunch, Radstock and tired walkers with Butcombe bitter
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