Friday, 30 April 2010

I hear you knocking

Arrived at my B+B to find nobody in. After knocking for a while I saw the note that Mrs Gunn was at the hairdressers.
Got to say that the views of the Orkneys as you approach JOG are stunning.
Wetherspoons tonight, think I'll wear my crocs.
Hard luck to the reds last night. Rafa must stay.
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The long and winding road

Spot the theme?
Probably need suggestions for more song titles.
I'm overwhelmed by the number of good wishes coming in and the way the donations are going. Every comment and every penny helps me to keep going.
Even at brerakfast today the family on the next table promised to follow the blog and donate.
It seems like only yesterday that I was in Tescos in Wick and here I am again having a well earned cuppa. Hang on, it was only yesterday.
So far it's all good news, nice weather if a little chilly and making good time on the road. The only slight down was when it struck me how far I was going. This road sign didn't help.
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It's only just begun

Sitting in the sun by the roadside. 10 miles under my belt
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Thursday, 29 April 2010

On my way at last

Thought I'd post while waiting at Edinburgh for my flight to Wick in 2 hours.
Had a good curry last night as predicted, pic as evidence.
Tony tells me that his Mum has declared me "Molto stupido", I think she orinates from Wolverhampton.
I'm sitting near JD Wetherspoons and, even though it's only 9.10am I'm not sure I can resist temptation much longer.
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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

All my bags are packed

The dirty deed is done and I've crammed as much as I can into my miniscule backpack. I have then packed that into a large kit bag which I intend to send for recycling when I get to JOG, I reckon that it should protect the much more important inner bag on the two flights.  We wait and see. Probably will have to pay a little overweight though.
There doesnt seem to be any hold ups on the flight yet, so given fair wind I'll be at JOG this time tomorrow.
Yesterday I spoke with most of the family and then talked to Dave, Cliff and Clive - all of whom have been kind enough to offer me accommodation on route. Dave and Cliff are even walking some days with me. Respect guys.
Finished gardening this morning, cut the lawns to within an inch of their lives and then made a tearful trip to the tip, how I'll miss that place while I'm away.
Also we've brought forward our Thursday curry night to tonight, we'll probably end up in the Shahi Palace in Redditch, if you're ever in town I can recommend it - bring your own beer. Aaron and Katy called yesterday, they've just got back from JOG and stopped in Wick where I'll be on Friday night. They reported a good curry house there so maybe I'll give that a go.
the flight is at 7.15am so its an early start tomorrow, probably end up with lots of room around me on the plane after my meal tonight.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Last few days

I'm getting pretty nervous now, only 3 more nights at home and then I'm off. I'm trying to push the charity issues a bit harder and raised over £100 at the weekend at golf, but to be honest I havent yet raised anywhere near as much as I'd hoped. Theres still plenty of time.
Theres also been plenty of advice coming in about what to do in various circumstances. Particularly liked the advice to buy something from the bodyshop. Sorry Sandy, thats one of the shops that I cross the street to avoid, now if they started selling best bitter I might rethink my attitude.
Weekend just gone was filled with golf and gardening, I seem to play better when I dont play often - I should be great when I get back from the walk. When I got home from golf I discovered that Helen had attacked the garden with a frenzy, so I reluctantly had to get stuck in and help clear up. If I visit our local tip much more I reckon I'll be invited to their Christmas party. Still the garden does look a whole lot better for it. We then went to see a Heavy Horse show, didnt know these big animals could run and jump, but trust me they managed it. More to follow tomorrow

Friday, 23 April 2010

Isn't technology wonderful

Stu has just informed me that he's pimped my blog page. That's a first for me. Hope you like the new pimped version.
Here's another Malvern pic.
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Malvern Hills

This is my first go at posting while out on a walk.
My apologies for not posting for a while but I haven't done much.
Today though I am at the top of the Malvern Hillsm its only 425 feet but its the only chance I have of trying out the walking poles on steep terrain.
I reckon that I certainly don't come from a long line of mountaineers.
If people want to go this high they should use a plane.
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Saturday, 17 April 2010

Days off

Since my walk from Brum Ive had two days off, I had planned for yesterday off and it was certainly needed as on Thursday night I couldnt quite make the 15 min walk to the pub. Fortunately Helen offered to be chauffeur. My blistered feet are still tender so I decided to have a second day off, but we've been for a stroll by the Avon at Evesham, finishing with a pint of Doom Bar in the Four Alls at Binton - then the news that Everton managed a win.
I will definitely kit up and go for a 4 or 5 miler tomorrow morning.
The last few days have shown me the wisdom of putting breaks in the itinerary and have also taught me that I can do this - whats a little pain if it helps people?
Have been working out how to post from the blackberry but it doesnt look easy so I might use Stu as editor in chief and simply email him the daily copy for him to post it.
Here I am ready for chasing Ian Botham, perhaps the spare tyre expalins why I couldnt catch him

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Blisters galore!

Despite my reservations this morning I forced myself to go through with another walk home from Birmingham, this time making sure that I knew the way.
I started in the full knowledge that every step would be painful, and I wasn't disappointed. I ended up hobbling but triumphant and with blisters on blisters. Still it proved that determination can get you through. A pint of Hobsons Mild in the Coach and Horses did help.
Just have to be determined for 11 weeks.
Two things did amuse me, firstly that its now taking a good half hour to tape up my feet before I can start causing me to miss the train to Brum. It seems that as I get older it takes longer to do most things apart from comb my hair.
Secondly, I listened to Jack Dee's autobiography while walking, this one was in the right order and I laughed out loud at a few points, getting strange looks from people on passing canal boats.
Donations continue to come in to both charities, many from people who I dont recognise, so thanks to you all - its a great incentive to think that while I'm out walking people are being kind enough to donate.
In case you missed them these are the two just giving pages  Support our Soldiers  Alzheimers Society

A note for Sandy, maybe I can get over to you one day and try some of the Lake Taupo walk with you.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

After the sunshine

Well, I duly completed my walk to Stratford as promised, about 15 miles, not counting the wrong turns on the various footpaths that I vowed not to use. Most of it I was listening to Marcus Brigstock on my Ipod. Its not a good idea to download a book and in several chapters and then press shuffle. Mind you it was iunteresting trying to work out what had gone on before each out of order chapter.
Survived the walk, but sadly both heels are now sporting blisters.
Still, met Griggsy for a pint in Wetherspoons - it certainly seems that I left SDC not a moment too soon judging by what is going on there now.
I see the blisters as part of the trial, when I'm on the walk I will have to carry on regardless - Ooh Matron!
and if I can go out tomorrow for the Birmingham walk it will stand me in good stead for the future.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Snapperh goes international

I'm finding all this pretty weird, but also exciting. Not only are people donating money to good causes and I havent walked a step in earnest yet but Ive now got followers to the blog from the other side of the world. The wonders of technology.
Since my last post Ive had a weekend off, the nearest to a walk was a stroll by the Thames with a pint at the end. On Monday I had the privelage of walking 4 miles with the great Sir Ian Botham, well I walked about half a mile behind as i couldnt catch up with him, Check out the photo, it really is me talking to him - I bet he's so proud.
Today, Tuesday I walked the 18 miles into Worcester, half of it along the Worcester and Birmingham canal. Its my longest walk yet and a good taster of what is to come. I'm pretty much aching all over, feet and legs of course but also shoulders and neck. No blisters!  I just hope that I'm OK in the morning as I hope to walk into Stratford Upon Avon to see some of my old workmates.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Work in Progress

Started the day with a slight headache - could it have been the last pint?
Got in from the pub last night, turned on the Masters Golf and promptly fell asleep, must do better tonight.
No idea how to set up my new Blackberry, so its off to see Stu - the fount of all techno knowledge in our family.
Walked from Birmingham to home today, about 15.5 miles after getting lost, will be doing it again next Thursday, so hope my direction senses are better then.
Got home to find I'd gad teh first official donation - Thanks our Pete, come on you Toffees.
Mostly followed the Birm/Worcs canal and saw parts of the city that Ive never seen before.
having the weekend off before I join Beefy Botham on one of his charity fundraising walks.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Progress at last

Things are now coming together on the charity front, and Ive got two JustGiving pages set up. I have to be fair to the guys at both Support Our Soldiers and Alzheimers Society, I didnt give them much time to work with and they've all worked hard to get me this far. I'm still waiting on one peice of paper then I can hit everyone with my begging emails for sponsorship.
With hindsight I should have only supported one charity, its far easier.
I've also just purchased a Blackberry so Ive a little time to learn how to use it before I go.
Despite this flurry of activity I managed 90 minutes out walking  yesterday and 2 and a half hours today - the best weather so far. To celebrate I'm off to the pub with Jenny and Tony tonight, well actually we go most Thursday nights.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Another day without walking

This is mission control, colleagues at SDC will wonder how Ive kept it so tidy. Been too busy again today to walk anywhere and I'm now getting worried that I wont have the charities set up in time, I'm really not sure that I can walk 20 miles in a day, but if I can't it looks like I'm in for some bad nights ahead.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Back on track

Well, the intervention of all sorts of things have kept me from making as much progress as I wanted to. The worst winter for many years meant that walking regularly was out of the question, then I went to Spain for a short golf holiday, only to find out that my Mum in Law had sadly died just after I got there. The build up to, and aftermath of the funeral kept me from walking for another couple of weeks. Then there was the happy arrival of my first grandchild - Zack. Again very distracting for a budding walker.I'm still experimenting with blogging so will try and attach a photo of my new best friend.
Here I am then with only 3 weeks to go and trying to step up training. I am regularly doing 15 miles or so and plan next week to have a 3 day tial walk with full kit. Before that though I'm off to Worcester to walk a few miles with the great Sir Ian Botham on his latest charity escapade.
I've booked all my accommodation now so there is no way I can give up.
Still not sorted out the phone technology, probably will get an Iphone and hope I can learn to use it in time.