A few months ago, as has happened many times before, walkamile UK ground to a halt.
Today I returned to that very point where it happened – a bench in a small park next to the Menai Straits.
I remember that futile battle – not now, please, not now – using all I’d learned from mindfulness to try to fend it off – stay in the moment – I watched a variety of sea birds doing their thing, doing my best to stay connected with the world.
But bugger, damn and blast, it was not to be.
At least it’s not as inconvenient as it once was – Ella was able to get to me in just a few hours, to whisk me away, to stick me in front of loud American cop shows…to safety.
Today I was back there.
What a beautiful part of the world. Lovely people full of ‘Hello’s’ and ‘Isn’t it a beautiful day’s
The dissociation I felt then is as alien to me now as I’m sure it is to folk I tell about it on my travels.
Enough of that though.
What a great few months it’s been.
I’ve talked with folk around Corby in organised walks in conjunction with the Core at Corby Cube;
I’ve been part of a team who fought, successfully, to get funding for Safe Haven to keep their valuable service going, meeting and getting to know I wide range of lovely and interesting folk on the way;
I’ve spoken with a sixth form in Sibford, a rotary club in Banbury and a bunch of undergraduate psychiatric nurses at Hertfordshire University.
More recently, me and Ella met up with, and delivered a cake to, the fabulous service users doing a sit in at Lifeworks in Cambridge in an attempt to keep it open.
And spending time with the lovely Ella, seeing friends and family,
What’s not to like?
It’s all been rather fabulous.
Today, I thought I’d make a small film to celebrate my return. To shout, ‘Look, we’re back!’
To be fair it was a little more faltering than I’d hoped it would be – but that’s a reflection of reality.
I’ve lost fitness. The pain of stingy nettles and insect bites that I’d taken easily in my stride all those months ago, are altogether a bit more ‘Ow, you little bas…’
But what a great thing to be doing. Walking outside, hearing the birds, the sea, the wind in the trees…seeing the cuckoo spit on stems of grass, big juicy caterpillars ambling their way across the path, the fresh green of new leaves…
The wind on my face and faith, once again, that the people of the UK will help me on my way.
Will you be anywhere near the coast of West Wales, you know, the bit just after Caernarfon, during the next few weeks?
It would be great to see you.
Walk a mile