Wednesday, 9 July 2008


As Gayle & Mick try to settle back into the hum-drum of normality, I contemplate my own position.

I am sitting in my favourite place; the settee is my friend. Watching Marco go about England, being a hunter gatherer. A nice Bordeaux in a lovely big glass. Lynnie is on her way back from a day in Budapest where the weather was gorgeous, unlike the gloom and miserable rain we have had here.

Our home is comfortable. It is warm. The beds are big and wonderful and warm. The pillows envelope and snuggle me softly all night long. The soft down quilt drapes floatingly over me as I sleep soundly. The drinks fridge could have a little more in it though.

But there is something missing in my life.

It's been seven weeks today since I have slept out with my Wanda. That's a long time! In that time Mick & Gayle must have been 'out there' for about forty nights! They have woken to warming sunrises, rain hammering against the flysheet and ice lining their boots. I miss it so badly!

What on earth have I been doing to keep me away from all this adventure and fun?

I suppose you could say: BBQ's, Flower Festivals, a weekend hoteling it in the Lake District, and before that I was 'proper poorly' for quite a few weeks.

This weekend we have the Hemingford's Regatta (Britain's oldest village rowing regatta) and Rachael & Rod coming up, which will be smashing, as they live miles away. Oli, son number one, is coming round to join us for Sunday lunch so it should all be very jolly, combined with dinner round the Mistress and Short Tony's, which is always a good time.

But the following weekend - at last - Freedom! Dartmoor in torrential rain with a chance to bump into a whole heap of the Outdoor Bloggers on the Friday night. Then a bash south over Yes Tor and hopefully a whole load of other knobbly bits and camping just short of a pub for a night of rehydration and relaxation. Then another day marching through the bogs and more torrential rain to put us somewhere near where we left the car, so we can have a morning wandering like lost souls through Dartmoor mires.

So that's about two and a half days of daundering and three nights out in Wanda, with the rain lashing against the sil-nylon and walking in soaking wet socks and pants.

It will be heavenly.


  1. Waterproof – check
    Gaiters – check
    Tent – check
    Waterproof trail shoes (don’t tell Chris Townsend) – check

    Dartmoor has a fearsome reputation with all those bogs and the like. Be interesting to test that reputation out wont it. Wonder what local brews they have down there – check that out as well while were at it.

  2. Martin - great point:

    I remember Sharp's 'Doombar' and Princetown's 'Jail Ale' and St. Austell's 'Proper Job.'

    Wasn't there another wonderful pint called 'Betty Stogs?' Ooh - and 'Otter' too?

    Any of them will do - they were all fabulous! Can't remember all the breweries though.

    Any help with them, anyone?

  3. Hi Al,Know exactly how you have been feeling.I love my own house-It is very comfortable with all mod cons and I always look forward to getting home each night to see my beautiful family.But hang on a minute there is something missing.I need an adventure in my life,I need to have a goal to achieve,I need to see more of our magnificent British countryside,I need to get out and feel the wind on my cheeks and probably the rain as well!In recent weeks I have taken the train up to St Bees(Bargain price of £10 from my home station)and walked again the first 2 days of the Coast to Coast Walk with my camping gear.I am now contemplating another Llangollen to Prestatyn walk(I so much enjoyed that walk back in 2006)It must be done soon as the family holiday is not far away.So despite all the luxury and comfort of my home,I must get out and do things whilst I can.Have a good trip-You always tell a good story.

  4. Yes! Yes! Yes! I'm only back a couple of weeks from Coast-to-coasting from St. Bees-Robin Hood's Bay, with all the joys already mentioned above ...

    but I'm already sensing that yearning for hills, tent and the simplicity of it all. Escapism? ... perhaps, bliss ... certainly!

    Have a great time on Dartmore Al!


    PS I met a chap called Doug Scott at the Lord Stones Cafe ( a true oasis!) who said he knew you from TGOC and your LEJOG!

  5. Hello Jeff - Thanks for your kind words.

    Ah, His Holiness is back from his stravaiging then! I am afraid I cannot place the gentleman, David - I am sorry and I feel embarrassed by that! If Doug, or anyone that knows him reads this, perhaps they/he can give me a kick up the pants to remind me where I met him?



Because of spammers, I moderate all comments, so don't worry if your comment seems to have disappeared; It has been sent to me for approval. As soon as I see it, I'll deal with it straight away.
Thank you!