20/10/13 What would you do?

I’d spent a most splendid afternoon with Michael, a man I met fleetingly in a car park next to the Ardnamurchan lighthouse about a hundred years ago on the ramble.

We hugged like old friends and talked, almost without stop, for the next 5 miles about things personal, political and mental healthy.

Contrary to the weather reports, the sun shone through the Autumn leaves.

He shouted me lunch in a coastal pub – we sat outside as tourists wandered by.

As we talked, I knew he had to walk the 5 miles back to his car – but I’ll let you into a secret – I really didn’t want him to go.

But he’d walked with me for 5 miles just to walk back again – how cool was that?

Still didn’t want him to go though…

Enough whinging – he left with offers of help should the good ship walk a mile begin to sink…

With his departure, I sped off and got lost, found, lost and found again.

I appeared in the South Eastern Wirral village of Neston, tramping around a field looking for somewhere to stick my new found tent.

A local couple helpfully directed me to an adjacent field. Obediently, I trundled off.

So, what would you do? You find a big bald guy in a kilt, who tells you about walk a mile at the same time saying he has a severe and enduring mental malady.

Rachel is an oncology nurse who lives with her ageing cats Charlie and Heidi and, as far as I know, has no martial arts as one of her unique selling points, and yet…

After a short discussion – that didn’t include an exchange of names – she said I could stay in her spare room…

And she fed me – and chatted about…well, everything really, looked at her photography – mainly of Cornwall…and I had a shower…and hot chocolate before bed and a hot water bottle!

This from someone who found me in a field.

I asked her, ‘What on earth made you invite me back…?’

She said she felt she was a good judge of character and that she thought what I was doing was worthwhile.

She told me many of her friends were similarly minded – I smiled at the thought of them having a hospitality-off.

Rachel is an absolute delight. With an early morning hug goodbye she went off to work and I trundled back to the Wirral Way.

If I’d had any doubts when I started back these have been truly obliterated by these deliciously typical walk a mile experiences.

Walk a mile


This entry was posted in economy, government, hospitality, inequality, kindness, mental health, walking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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