Though a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between 2 points, life has a way of confounding geography. Often it is the dalliances and the detours that define us. There are no maps to guide our most important searches; we must rely on hope, chance, intuition and a willingness to be surprised.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Baaaaaaad Karma

So I’ve made it to 250 miles, but The Graph tells me there’s no room for slacking, and on Monday night I did another long walk with Stuart around West Linton. We went south this time on an 11.5 mile round trip to the unusual and picturesque hamlet of Garvald. Loads of history in this area: a fair part of the walk used one of the key Roman Roads between Scotland and England, we also passed a couple of 4,000 year old cairns.

The trip was also remarkable in that I had an opportunity to save a sheep which had somehow got its head stuck in some solid wooden fencing. I’m a big fan of My Name is Earl, so hoping this turn of events will bring me some good karma…

The walled garden near Garvald. Love the colours in this picture.

A few people have asked about the photos on the website. Apart from my weekend up north (when I used a Canon Powershot A520), all the photos are taken with a Sony Ericsson (K750) camera phone. Really good quality for a camera, but no timer, hence the close-ups!

Also, I’ve been asked about posting comments on the site. Unfortunately, despite trying a few different things, I’ve concluded that it’s not possible to comment on the website without setting up your own. I know this is a real pain and very offputting! I’ve had a lot of feedback from people reading the site anyway – it’s good to know it’s causing a fair bit of interest.

261.5 miles

H-A-L-F-W-A-Y !!! 250 miles done

When I got back to Edinburgh on Sunday afternoon, I walked another 10 miles along the canal to the bypass and back. Not an exciting walk but enough to take me to a big milestone – 250 miles!!

So how’s it gone so far? To be honest, I’ve twice thought I’d never even make it this far. First I had to take two weeks off with my sore right foot. And then just as I recovered from that I got badly bruised ribs in a high-speed (go-kart) crash. But in the last 2 weeks I’ve started to make a comeback, and, like a cross between Lazarus and the naked rambler (but not actually naked), I may have a fighting chance of getting to the finishing line.

But hold on. What’s the point in talking about anything that can be just as pointlessly converted into an Excel chart?

Entering the golden cone (© Dave Gorman)

My flying-out date is the 4th of September. Realistically, I’ll need to finish up a week before then, and in any case the 10 weeks I set myself will be up on the 27th. I have done 250 miles in 7 weeks and have 3 to go. So, with miles on the vertical axis and days on the horizontal axis, you can see my initial modest progress in the bottom left hand corner. Podiatric disaster struck at the 2 week marker, resulting in a period of flat-lining (I know how to make a sore foot sound dramatic), followed by a return to a steady trend and more recently an increased inclination back towards the target line. Conclusion? I have less than 3 weeks to do 250 miles, which is about a half-marathon a day… help!!!!!

250 miles done, way-hey!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


After Friday’s record breaking day, I managed to walk another 12 London miles on my blisters on Saturday and Sunday. I was joined for part of the walking on Sunday by Jackie, Kate and Tony. We set a rather leisurely pace after Kate and Tony’s house warming on Saturday night.

Kate and Tony's new house is lovely, with a cracking sun trap at the back where we had a top quality barbey. (Hello to the other top of the pops veterans - Fiona, Graeme, Jill, Min and to everyone else).

It would have been quite a relaxed evening too… until someone got out Singstar Karaoke on the PS2.

Being a veteran of Dancing Stage Euromix on the PSone, Dancing Stage Unleashed (One and Two) on the Xbox and Donkey Bongo on the Nintendo Gamecube (am I really admitting to all this?), I am a complete sucker for any kind of party/dance/bongo/singing console games. I wasn't disappointed with Singstar Karaoke. I think the photos say it all, and probably too much.

Girls Aloud brings out the worst in Tony and I.

Kate and Jackie rock Balham to its very foundations.

240 miles and counting.

The London Marathon

Had a great day’s walking on Friday. My uncle, Tom, and I walked the route of the London Marathon. A huge thanks to Tom (and friends) for helping me enormously with my fundraising - it is much appreciated. And double thanks to Tom for putting himself through the full 26.2 miles into the bargain!

Tom and I at the start - a full 26.2 miles to go. Still no excuse for the gurning I’m doing in this photo.

We started on the southern edge of Greenwich Park. Every year this spot is the focal point for one of the largest sporting events in the world. Every year... in April. For Tom and I there was no big send off. Rather than 35,000 runners, there were just 2. Instead of a TV audience of millions, our spectators were just a few donkeys…
…we would later rue the decision to leave the donkeys behind.

It was great to have Tom along for company, and also to keep me on the right path – I’m not a big fan of maps. We did still manage to take a couple of detours, and with some walking at the start we clocked up 29.5 miles on the day.

The Cutty Sark, an Ayrshire connection and early milestone on the route.

Canary Wharf. We didn’t hit too many red lights, though we were struggling a little after about 20 miles. This may, or may not have had something to do with our pub lunch. I’ve been told that Paula swears by a pint of John Smiths at the 13 mile mark.

A little foot sore, we finally made it to the 'finishing line' in St James Park at about 7.45. Not bad going I'd say, having started just after midday.

Marathon efforts pushed me on to a blistering 228 miles.