We arrived in sun drenched Grange yesterday evening – immediately being whisked away by the folk at the B&B to go and see lovely outdoor production of Alice in Wonderland, featuring Lucia, the daughter of the household.
Do you know how tempting it was to draw that parallel to today?
Well, of course you don’t – that’s why I’m writing this blog…
We had a leisurely start to the day, ambling around Grange, taking some pics for the August edition of ‘Corby Spirit’ a local magazine serving the town of the same name.
Not without first scoffing a delicious brunch of a bacon roll and the creamy delight that is the ‘Bee Sting’ – a custardy, rolly thing – a perfect mixture of carbs, sugar, protein and fat to launch me on my way.
The sacrifices I make for this walk….
I just knew things were going well today…
Ella and I had said our goodbyes – I was striding out manfully seizing the day when I heard…
Someone had thrust £5 into Ella’s hand for the purposes of contributing to the ramble…
I walked off into the coastal countryside, the sun high in the sky and the pungent aroma of wild garlic gently coaxing me on my way.
I met a couple from Liverpool who have recently moved up to sunny Cumbria.
I told them what I was about and before I knew it I was in the middle of a typical walk a mile kind of a chat.
Here was a couple who’d been slapped in the face with mental ill health. The woman, cheery, enjoying this sun drenched day, told me about her sister’s suicide in the ’70’s.
She’d been a business woman – with a family – keen to project an image to the world of someone who was capable…successful…
A woman, according to her sister, who never spoke of emotional stuff, who played her cards very close to her chest.
It was interesting to hear men don’t have the monopoly on this.
It was sad to hear of the anger of her son – how he felt abandoned…deserted….
As she pressed money into my hand, the woman told me what a great thing I was doing…
It’s funny, after an experience like that, meeting these lovely, open people…it doesn’t feel like I’m doing a great thing, it feels like I’m doing the right thing.
Over 5000 people take their own lives every year in the UK. If we can make that just one less…
I walked on in true British style, looking for shade out of the sun.
All the time thinking that talking about all this must be the right thing to do.
I was manfully sitting in the shade when 4 walkers wandered up. They asked my about the ramble and all the bits and pieces around it.
And, as so often happens, off they went.
I was just gathering my things together when I heard running, and a voice behind me,
‘Have you got a pen?’
‘Er, no,’ I said rummaging in my sporran, ‘er, yes…’ I concluded.
This was one of the women from the group – she wrote down her phone number and told me there would be hospitality on offer when I got to Heversham tomorrow night…
Excellent (Bill and Ted circa some time in the 80’s?)
I wandered on for a while – stopping regularly – the heat was most impressive.
No worries – there’s no rush.
I happened across a couple of cyclists – Mr male cyclist told me about his meanderings – he loved to stay outdoors – he wasn’t a huge fan of staying inside. In his younger years he’d taken to the roads with little more than a hammock and a belief that somewhere there’d be two trees the correct distance apart.
Another couple of cyclists turned up and the story exchanging began again.
With a chipper, ‘We’re off, you’re beginning to repeat yourself,’ the first couple rode off.
The very enthusiastic male in this couple fired off lots of questions – and answered a few himself.
He told me they’d just come back from the Outer Hebrides where they’d met a man on a similar mission to me. Only he was doing it on an electric scootery thing – the very sort sold at disability centres and the like.
He was towing a small caravan with his two cats on board.
Complaining that his buggy wasn’t quite making the distances promised to him by the manufacturer…
Not really that surprising.
There’s always someone doing something that’s just a bit more…
After this most entertaining exchange, the cheery bearded man an his partner made off…not before thrusting £10 into my hand and telling me that, not only do Jain monks walk naked, with a gentle sweeping person in front of them so as to cause minimal damage to the worlds fauna, they also have, on occasion, gauze over their mouths to prevent the digestion of errant insects.
I’m still smiling as I think of Satish Kumar and how his peace march was one of my big motivations.
I’m wearing a balaclava backwards – I don’t think this is having the same impression on passing folk though…that and the risk of being run over…I’m back to my hat.
What a day – where somehow my whole journey was jammed into 6 hours.
Walk a mile