The long walk

Some of you may have been wondering why I don’t appear to have been writing much for The Sharpener in the last few months. It’s because I’ve been working on a new project, and unlike so many of the other new projects that get mentioned here, this one doesn’t involve sitting at a desk typing. Instead, starting next Sunday, I’m going to be walking from John O’ Groats to Land’s End to raise money for the Brain Research Trust.
Last October, my brother Simon, after several years of fighting against it, died from a brain tumour. He’d always been the fit one in the family, having run the New York and Paris marathons, and I wanted to do something to mark that. While running a marathon might have seemed the obvious solution, I tend to recoil at the thought of running any distance further than that required to get on the bus, as I much prefer to walk. So it seemed fitting that I should go and do something that’s always been in my ‘One day I’m going to…’ list – walking the length of Britain. That I could combine it with helping research into brain tumours and other neurological conditions and perhaps help other families not have to go through what we did, made it seem even more like something I should do.

After much preparation, though when I actually stop and think about how far I’m going it all seems rather inadequate, I’m finally ready to go and later this week, I’ll be making my way up to the far north of Scotland to begin. The fact that it’ll take a couple of days just to get to John O’ Groats is rather daunting in itself, but it’ll give me a lot of time on a train to see some of the country I’ll be walking by a few weeks later.

Still, while you can drag the blogger onto his feet, you can’t kill the  blogging instinct that easily, and I will be attempting to use my blog to keep the world up to date with where I am, how far I’ve got to go and just how many families of midges I’ve kept well fed on my way. It might even give me ideas of things to write about here when I return a seated position sometime in October.

I’ll end with a plea for help – if you can afford to donate, then please do, as thinking about the money I’m raising may make the blisters slightly less painful. Also, if you happen to be on or near my route, or fancy a short break in the wilds of Britain, then I’ll be glad of any company on the way, or just for someone to stick my rucksack in a car and take it from the day’s start to the finish. Whatever you do – even if it’s just telling people about the mad long-distance walking blogger – it all helps somehow.

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