Newer, fresher, improveder…coming to a soggy field near you really soon.
Gatehouse of Fleet was damp and overcast as I waved goodbye to the lovely Ella.
We’ve had nearly 3 months as she dusted me down; where we had a hoot over the festive period; where I had an annoying false start and where I’ve been collecting little snippets to share over the next few weeks.
It’s a little weird to be back on the road – I’ve utilised the Derek (Mclachlan et al 2012) technique to shunt my stuff. Basically I’ve tied darth 2 (my rucksack) to Hubert (my trolly) and this keeps any weight off my back.
I have a new tent that doesn’t smell of dead bodies and a sleeping bag – the Chrisalis (thanks Tom for the name) which promises me survival in temperatures down to minus 25c.
I’ve been lounging about. I have had access to the wild luxuries of food in the fridge, American cop shows and unadulterated love and comfort.
Walking is different. I can’t say I was immediately immersed in the walk a mile experience – it took a good few hours of rain, of sky, of lamas (?), of buzzards and their mournful cries, of puzzled sheep (how did I ever find them attractive?), and loads of smiling,waving drivers.
After 8 miles I’ve made my temporary home on the edge of Kircudbright – a small coastal town in Dumfries and Galloway. I’m listening to radio 4, the hiss of traffic on the road and the distant rumble of tractors doing their thing.
Following my departure from the road back in November – the worst loopy episode I’ve had in a number of years – and my recent false start, I’ve come back with more of whisper than a bang….just in case…
Don’t get me wrong – I still have the faith – I still believe in the fine people of the UK, their kindness, generosity and compassion; I still believe there is a story to tell – not necessarily mine – the story of people in a similar pickle to mine – people who feel isolated – misunderstood – embarrassed – at times attacked – the subjects of discrimination – by individuals and institutions.
I want to shout from the highest steeple that suicide is still the biggest killer of men under 45.
Every year over 5 thousand men and women in the UK take their own lives – that’s more than 15 every day.
I want to talk to people who don’t know about this plight – I want folk with mental health problems to realise there is hope – there are people who care – who want to help – and show compassion.
I’ll continue to talk about the people I meet, mental health maladies – mine and those of others – what’s going on in the media and the political world and anything else that comes to mind.
If you’re new to this please go along to my website (still under construction but perfectly functional) where you can find the links to twitter, Facebook and my virgin money giving site.
My goal is to walk around the edge of the UK to highlight the experience of people with a mental health malady. I’ve nearly completed Scotland…
Oh, and I forgot my kilt – so I’m walking in my shorts…
You can take a look at what the media are saying here…
Go on, join up, get your friends to join up…accost me in the street….
Walk a mile