No walking for two weeks and so a need today for at least a reasonable jaunt, three weeks without walking would be just too much to expect then to do the thousand+ miles over the 11 weeks. The weather forecast was not too bad, possible light showers but winds of 20-25 miles an hour from the west.
The decision was whether to walk into the wind and then return with it at your back, or to take advantage of the wind and then hope that it would die down later. Well, I would sooner be walking tired with the wind behind me rather than against me, so go west it was. Cue that song in my head with the words “One-nil to the Arsenal” soon replacing the lyrics of the Pet Shop Boys hit single. Oh, how I laughed inside at the irony. And later how I marvelled at my genius as a five minute hailstorm lashed at my back, with golf ball size stones ushering me in the right direction toward home. Golf ball size, that is, if you’ve ever played Subbuteo Golf. Incidentally, going slightly off topic now, I loved Subbuteo as a child, playing numerous matches of both the football and cricket version. The latter almost caused my death on one occasion as my friend once launched a shot over deep midwicket straight into my cup of tea. It is very possible to die laughing (see http://mentalfloss.com/article/24796/quick-10-10-people-who-laughed-themselves-death) and we both must have been perilously close to joining that list. Did you know there were also Subbuteo versions of rugby, hockey, snooker and, er, angling? No, neither did I: http://www.peter-upton.co.uk/sports.htm.
Anyway, I knew that today was going to be a good one after realising first that I had forgotten to take a pen with me, so that it would be difficult to make blog notes while Costa-ing, and, after asking in a petrol station whether they sold pens and being knocked back (quite pleasantly though by a not unattractive young lady), I spotted one of those small blue ones on the pavement that you can pick up in Argos or any good bookies for which no doubt they have myriad boxes of 100 for about £1.99 from the local Cash and Carry. It is remarkable what such a seemingly trivial slice of luck can do for the spirit. Having been feeling a bit sorry for myself with the dying embers of a cold still lingering, the mood transformed and I suddenly had a spring in my step. Very much an on-road experience today with even alternative routes in Southsea, Weston Shore and Hayling Island seemingly off bounds to a non-swimmer like me, I really felt full of beans until getting a bit tired in the last couple of miles. 20 miles total. Fantastic.
A further boost as I checked my total raised – now £4,618.70. I’m intrigued as to which of the four people who are delaying their donation is to be the one to take me over the £5,000 target and it may be getting to that point where they will check the running total more often. I’ve no idea how much each are intending to donate but I would find it hilarious if it was someone else who pushed me over the edge, as it were. I won’t embarrass the gang of four by naming them, but I know and they know who or whom they are. Anyway, by this time next week, I’ll have finished the first leg, from Land’s End to St. Ives.