✉ A warm welcome to the walk

Good morning/afternoon/evening/night to you all, scattered about the globe as you are.

I think word has reached most of you that I’m going on another walk – half of you are probably tired of hearing me talk about it already – and to the few in here that haven’t heard: the gist is that I’m going to be walking South-East ish for the foreseeable future. Inexplicably, many of you have asked to hear about the walk so here I am making a token effort in that direction. I’ll not be too offended if any of you leave the group because you only asked for updates feeling confident that I wouldn’t be sending any. 😉

And don’t forget you can always mute the group if you get weary of yet another picture of a field with a tent in it, or my bad jokes — I think I’m hilarious but only because if I didn’t then no one would.

The ‘format’ of this Public (Dis)service Broadcast channel will be pretty loosy goosy but expect so-so photos, occasional written messages, and probably a bunch of rambling voice messages that are just so annoying because you can’t skim through ‘em or listen to them at work without untangling your earphones, putting on a serious face, and pretending you’re actually on an #importantbusinesscall. I’ll apologise now for that but never again, because voice messages work alot better for my brain and naturally that’s all that matters because obviously Im The Main Character and you can’t stop me or complain because of the next paragraph…

I’m turning off replies in this group not because I don’t want to hear from you all (I very much do! except you Manu ;) but rather so that no one feels any pressure to reply to every mundane update I’ll be sending your way. Direct messages warmly welcomed (Please send messages 🥺)

I also make no promises of consistency, I might message twice a week, twice a day, or once a month, dependent on mood, schedule, laziness, flat batteries, lack of service, yada yada

The last bit of admin (that I can think of now, at the end of Day 1) is for you to please invite to the group anyone who I’ve forgotten (and strenuously apologise to them on my behalf :D), and feel free to invite anyone else who might be interested in my meanderings even if they don’t know me from Adam.

A sign points to Bath

So I’ll be off to bed, it’s near 10pm here but here’s a little summary of Day 1.

Hot. Mr sunshine was hard at work keeping the ice cream men and women in business all day today. I set off from Bristol at about 11am after having a birthday breakfast with mum (I’m 27! If nothing else, it’s sure to be an odd year) and immediately took a wrong turn 😂 headed towards Bristol instead of Bath on the aptly name Bristol to Bath Cycleway (obvs I’m walking but it’s okay it’s allowed). I blame the fact that I was having a quick phone call with my favourite person and wasnt paying attention to the whole ‘just go South East’ thing. So, an unexpected wander through norf Bristol pre-walk-walk. Found my bearings again, did a bit of East, reached Bath about 4pm, bought some toothpaste because I’d forgotten that. On the way I met a woman named Margaret who’d been to India over 50 years ago, she was lovely, we talked for about 3 kilometres. Well, we were standing still but time is kilometres in this walking business so she owes me 3. And then her husband arrived and we stood around for another kilometre. It felt very lovely to chance upon a connection to the distant land I’m nominally headed for on Day 1 of the effort.

After Bath there was a hill, which was rude because I wanted to walk forwards not upwards, but after the hill was my first glimpse of the Kennet and Avon canal, which is bridged over the Avon River by the very impressive Dundas Aquaduct. Canals are dead flat so this was excellent news. Canal + afternoon sun was also excellent so I decided I’d do that for about 4 hours (Spoiler alert: three days of canals still to come, so remember that WhatsApp doesn’t tell me if you mute this group 👍). Legs were getting a bit heavy as I neared Staverton, north of Trowbridge (very fascinating for the most of you that don’t live in England, I’m sure) and I thought about stopping for the day, but a spirited and spiriting conversation with a fella by the name of Dan Dove 🕊️ gave me a boost and I went on walking.

Now I’m in a field next to the canal and my thumbs are getting more tired than my legs so I’m gonna end it there. The gizmo reads 42.34 kilometres/26.3 miles, a very slow marathon, but completely perfect. Hopefully my legs work tomorrow. Love to all, g’night. x

A mannequin sits on a narrowboat, looking out over the water.