The here and now

This is a now page. Coined by the marvellous Derek Sivers, a now page is a place to spit the blurb you’d give to a friend you hadn’t spoken to in a year. If an about page is heavily contextualised and a journal entry is lightly/locally contextualised, the now page occupies that liminal space in between, offering a snapshot of what I’m doing now and what I’m working towards in the near term.

So far (mid September) we’ve crossed the South of England, France from top to bottom, Switzerland from West to East through the Alps, Lichtenstein in a day, danced along the border of Austria and Germany, crossed the Dolomites in Italy, summited Mount Triglav in Slovenia, gotten drunk on several occassions in Croatia, and, on day 100, crossed the border into Bosnia.

As of Saturday, September 16th I am 100 days into the walk, having walked 3053 kilometres, in 4,409,355 steps, across 10 countries.

Bienvenue mes amis! Welcome to my little post-it note on the inter-web. I’m currently walking from England to India so if I’m slow in replying to your messages that’s my excuse — even though I’m always slow in replying regardless of what I’m doing, anyway…

Last I heard I’m in France. Updates from the road are mostly going on in a WhatsApp group, if I forgot to add you then flick me a message. If you don’t have WhatsApp then I will slowly be adding those updates to this site too.

Click here to see the little that is already online.

If you’re in the group and following along, I have marked the messages that were sent to the group with an envelope/✉ so that you know what you’ve already seen. Anything without a ✉ was never sent to the group and exists only on here.

I’m three weeks into ’the walk’, it’s going well. I have my legs under me again now, the pack begins to feel lighter, the going easier. I still want to accelerate a bit in order to get through France within a month, but the beauty of the countryside, and of the many small villages that dot the landscape, make that difficult. A good problem to have.

Reading The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Getting ready for ‘the big walk’. I don’t know what else to call it really, so it’s just that. Plan now is to set off on my birthday, this Friday I’ll be turning 27. There’s a neatness to that that suits me. From there, who knows. Could be 9 months on foot, could be years. I’ll try and maintain something of a public journal here for those that want to know and see what I’m doing.

Reading The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Winding down the life I have lived in New Zealand. In February I am to walk (well, fly) away from the woman I love, and the life I have built over the last three years in this country that I love. I walk away from comfort, certainty, pleasure, and beauty, in search of answers to questions I have difficulty articulating.

Reading Identity Crisis by Ben Elton, as recommended by ma

Working hard on the cabin after a short hiatus. This weekend was spent digging a trench by hand through saturated clay in order to lay conduit for an up-to-code rewiring. Jim (Isobel’s son) gave up a weekends surfing and came up from Dunedin to oversee the re-wiring effort so it can be signed off as legal (he’s a sparky). Went with four sockets, two-up two-down, and a single main lighting run.

May only be another week of wilding pine before we’re back to planting again, more Manuka and other native species to go in on the west coast.

Reading Slowly Down the Ganges by Eric Newby

Recently negotiated a second raise at work, the last was in December. Intending to continue in this role that I cherish – native forest conservation – for much of the remainder of my time in New Zealand. The plan after my visa expires on August 20th is to return to the UK for a limited time. Earlier ambitions to stay and pursue a residency visa here in New Zealand have been clobbered by my growing desire to continue travelling, if I can continue saving at my current rate I think I should soon have enough funds to travel for five years or so without a need to work.

Reading Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane

After three weeks spent tramping the south of the south island over Christmas, Mizuki and I are back in Nelson. We put out some feelers for a place to stay and heard back from Isobel. In exchange for helping her to build and maintain her large permaculture garden we will live rent-free on her property. Looking forward to having very low fixed expenses and, even more so, to learning a great deal about gardening.

I have been living in New Zealand for the last 20 months. After walking 3300 kilometres across New Zealand between October 2020 and February 2021 I am now living in Nelson and working as a wharf hand. Or was, until I was forced to take time off following an injury, I should be right as rain by the end of July.

In the last two months I have taken up playing chess and liking it a lot, not least for it’s social element.

Reading Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle by Dervla Murphy and Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse