What on earth were you thinking???

May well be what those who know me well will be saying to themselves if they’ve stumbled across this blog…..I’m not exactly renowned for my love of exercise or my sporting prowess!!!  However, it has been a long term ambition of mine to do a long walk.  Various options have crossed my mind from time to time – Offa’s Dyke, The Wye Valley Walk, The Worcestershire Way – even the Via Francigena – but the problems were always twofold – partly logistics – organizing accommodation, working out break points on the route etc – and partly that none of these major long distance paths was personal to me.

That all changed during a recent holiday in the wonderful county of Dorset, when we were blessed with glorious weather and fantastic walking.  I casually mentioned to Mike that maybe I could do a 150 mile walk to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of All Saint’s, Hollybush.  Within what seemed like minutes but was actually a few days, he’d come up with a circular route that involved starting at Hollybush, walking via places that were of personal significance to me and my family, and then returning to Hollybush 3 weeks later.  Clearly the prospect of 3 weeks of peace and quiet were too good for him to pass up!

He’s continued to work on the route, breaking it down into sensible sections, and to do lots of other backroom stuff like setting up this website for me.  I’ve managed to set up the JustGiving pages.  I decided I wanted to raise money for All Saint’s Hollybush, but also for a wider cause.  I chose Macmillan because I know what great work they do and so many people I love have suffered from and died from cancer.

So, I’m doing this because its a physical challenge and if I don’t do it soon I’ll be too old and creaky.  I’m doing it to visit and pay my respects to the ancestors.  And I’m doing it as a pilgrimage, and a meditation.  I suspect I will learn a lot about myself in these three weeks – not all of it good by any manner of means.  So I’m half looking forward to it and half dreading it.  I’m planning to use this blog to record my training walks – just to make sure I do do some – and to share memories of those I’m visiting and those who have inspired me to do this walk.  And if any thoughts worth sharing occur, I’ll bung those down as well.  The plan is that when I’m actually on the walk, I’ll do a daily update here too, so that you can track my progress and my pain!