Sunday, August 10, 2008

Blackpool to the Pyrenees or Return

My name is Vic Heaney and I’m running for President – not quite, but that is my name, and instead of running (although I have done plenty of that), I am intending to walk a long, long way.

I was born 23rd July 1940. So on that same date in 2010 I shall hit 70. To mark the occasion I intend to set off on my 70th birthday from the house where I was born, in Blackpool, northern England, and then to walk to my present home in the village of Puivert, in the French Pyrenees. A possible alternative is to walk in the opposite direction - and there are good practical reasons for doing so – and to arrive in Blackpool on my 70th birthday. In whichever direction, the objective is to take 70 days for the trip. Obvious symbolism - 70 years of life, 70 days walking. 70 years getting to where I am now – 70 days to repeat the trip or to reverse it. The distance covered will be somewhere between 1500 and 2000 kilometres.

Why? I want to do something memorable (for my memory – I don’t expect it to go down in the history books) to mark the occasion and to celebrate the fact that at what used to be regarded as an advanced age, I am luckily still fit and healthy. I want to do something which will give me a sense of achievement and which will give me plenty of thinking time to dwell on the long journey from then to now.

All this is almost two years away, but a lot of planning has to be done. Also a lot of thought about the perils and pitfalls, the roads and routes, the accommodation, the feeding and watering, whether this is for my own satisfaction alone or if I should use it as an opportunity to raise sponsorship for a good cause.

This is my first attempt at blogging. In the next few days I will go over my thought processes to date (just on this matter – you don’t want to know all the other junk in my head). Then I will officially “open” the blog by informing family and friends of its existence.

One of the aims of the blog is to encourage and receive comments, advice and help, not only from the above family and friends but also from anybody else who strays onto the blog and who feels they have something to contribute. Please feel free to have your say, even if you think it is something obvious that I will have already dealt with.

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