Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Little by Little

the miles are added each week as I now cycle part of the way to work (the flat part). I cycled with the Chichester Cyclists from Chichester to West Wittering (changed by predictive text to "West Suffering" although it was anything but...!) and with the Chichester walkers I panted uphill from Grayswood through Hurthill Copse, to get a splendid view of the Surrey Hills and a bird's eye view of the Hindhead tunnel - now in use for exactly a year.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


it seems that there is still some interest in this blog and the project, even after such a long gap between posts.

The past year heralded many changes. This is from the Celtic Wheel of the Year by Tess Ward, who I heard speak at the Soil and Soul Festival a couple of weeks ago.

Spirit of God,
surround me this quiet night.
I offer you all the fears that come with change;
the changes in the world that make it strange to me;
the changes in my work and community that I have not chosen;
the changes in my family and friends that mean I must adjust;
the winds of change in my life that have blown me in a different direction

Oh Spirit as I lie down this night,
help me to trust your changing me unawares;
your gentle beckon when I want to return to the known,
for the bloom cannot show lest the bud break open.

On the Edge met at 4.30am for a Dawn Chorus walk in Stansted Forest. We made our way up to the avenue in the dark and paused under Peter's Beech Tree Cathedral for a poem and prayer before walking slowly and in silence as the sky brightened and the birds sang. Most of us could only identify the cuckoo and the woodpecker but we were all enriched by experiencing this special time of day when the veil between the worlds is noticeably thinner. We finished by sharing breakfast here at home, where we discussed the Emsworth Arts Trail and the amazing boat project. This puts the walker somewhere around St Helens and heading towards Blackburn. Margaret has promised me a genuine Lancashire meat and potato pie recipe, so it's time to get a date in the diary for that.
Warming up again after the extended break I enjoyed(?) a challenging ride to Buriton, fighting the wind all the way, and then joined the Chichester Cyclists for a ride from Bramber to Brighton with a detour to see the amazing houseboats at Shoreham on the return leg. The virtual cyclist is just about to leave the Cairngorms National Park.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Celebrating 9/10/11

9/10/11 found me in Grasmere with Chris and Rachel, celebrating their first anniversary. The weather was typically 'Lake District' even though the rest of the country was sweltering in an Indian Summer. The mist came down on our first walk up Silver Howe, but lifted - mercifully - to reveal our position above Easedale. High spot (literally) of the week was Fairfield where I was glad of Tim's bivvy bag at the summit to provide some protection from the blustering winds. We finished the week with an easy walk around Grasmere itself and a coffee in the Faery Cafe. We did the maths on our return and calculated 40 miles for the walker. At this rate I think the walker and cyclist could actually meet in the Lake District - what fun!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Croeso i Cymru

Both Christine and e-Christine are spending a bit of time in Wales, where I am (self-styled) "staff nurse in residence" and trying to train Jen to hammer on the bedroom floorboards when she needs something.

I'm on a mission to fill a toybox for Ava, so a 3-mile walk saw me scouring the charity shops in Wellfield, Albany and Whitchurch Roads - sadly with no success on that front, but I walked as far as Slunks hairdressers on Whitchurch Road, where Heloise curated her exhibition earlier this year.

Roath Park is just around the corner, and a 2- or 4-mile walk gets me around the recreation areas + rose garden, or right around the lake and back. I did the 4 miles and the lake looked beautiful.

Jen wants me to borrow her bike and ride the Taff Trail. I think I'll save that one for when she's recovered and we'll do it together and celebrate.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Tre Pol and Pen - and Jen

It's that time of year again, and Mum is spending three weeks in Cornwall in a caravan at Mother Ivey's Bay. Jen came too and we had a day and two halves to walk and talk, and to reflect on the belonging that we feel when we're in Cornwall - daughters of two "Cornishmen and true". In the short time available to us we added 12 miles to LeJog, revisiting Booby's, Constantine and Treyarnon Bays - all 'thin places' that connect with something deep within.

Here are the photos we took.

Jen is starting her own journey soon, and she is blogging it here. It comes with a (literal) health warning, and is not for the faint-hearted.

Jen - I know you want to be the first on the dance-floor at Anna's September wedding. In the meantime here's the promise:

you'll never walk alone

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Enneagram, Mwnt, Bara Brith and Quiddler

Well, it's 'bogof' this week - two for the price of one.

Sat 14th May dawned with "Hindhead Tunnel Walk" crossed through in the diary (all tickets sold-out) and "Enneagram Day" re-inserted.
The Enneagram is all about an inner journey and Simon Parke introduced us to the subject at a Spirituality day in the Anglican Cathedral in Portsmouth. There was only time to 'dip a toe in the water' as the scope is huge and really requires individual sessions with a mentor, but we were given plenty of time to ask questions and to catch a glimpse of this fascinating self-awareness tool.  Click here to read more about Simon Parke and his new book.

The following day I joined the Chichester Walkers at the Red Lion in Chalton and walked somewhere-or-other (eyes down, chat chat chat). Christian assures me it was 7 miles and here we are, all neatly lined up!

And then it was off to Mwnt - West Wales's best-kept secret. I waved to the virtual walker as I crossed into Wales, having plotted her position pretty much on the Welsh border, halfway across the Severn Bridge.

When I reached Mwnt Valerie and June had already been for a walk on the beach and met someone who was (really) walking from Fishguard to John o'Groats. Annie eventually arrived after taking a detour via Lampeter.... On Saturday morning I saw a pod of dolphins crossing the bay and on Sunday morning there were seals just off the beach. We visited Cardigan to buy Welsh cakes and Bara Brith to celebrate the walker's arrival in Wales.
Quiddler was new to me - a word game played with cards - and as usual it brought out my competitive spirit.
Thanks once more to Islay for letting us use her caravan and 'drink deep' in this truly special place.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

GPS and Galley Slaves

So, how are they doing?

Well, the walker is skirting around Bristol and heading for the Severn bridge. Miles were added this week when Peter and Margaret joined me after work for a saunter along the foreshore followed by soup and fruit at home.

I need to help LeJog along a bit so my challenge for the next week is to ensure that by the time I drive across the bridge into Wales on Thursday, the virtual walker will be there to meet me.

The cyclist is still north of Inverness and heading towards Dingwall.

Now that I've been in the new job for over a month I'm not feeling quite so wiped out in the evenings. The commute to the ship is 8 miles and I'm exploring all the available routes, trying to find the one with the least challenging hills on the way home.

Centre Manager Jon pestered Denise and me to pose for this photo -

as you can see, we're just a couple of shrinking violets really.....or are we galley slaves?

The full blog for the new ship can be found here:

Some time ago I came across Project 1p. At that point Luke had made the news by becoming a 'landowner' in Bulgaria just weeks after starting his swapping project (starting with 1p).Now it seems he has a wedding dress to swap. If Anna hadn't already got hers for September I might have been tempted to contact him. What do you think I could have offered in return?

oh - and RIP RB10. Can't win 'em all.