Monday, August 11, 2008


I had been thinking for a while of doing something to celebrate my arrival (I hope) at my 70th birthday in a reasonable state of health and fitness. Most of my reading is non-fiction and over the years I have read a number of first hand accounts by people who have undertaken long walks. The idea appealed to me but I struggled to come up with a route which would be meaningful to me.

During our annual 3 month sojourn in New Zealand earlier this year Gay and I were, as usual, doing a lot of walking, including a long spell of doing 25kms before lunch, with a few extra kilometres during the afternoon. It struck me that I should be able, with little trouble, to walk 30kms a day for an extended period.

And out of the blue, I came up with the idea of symbolically walking, in 70 days, the journey which, at the first attempt, has taken me 70 years. The route, or a route, from the house where I was born to the house where I now live.

Which means from 65 Bardsway Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire, in England, to my home in Puivert in the French Pyrenees. The house in Blackpool was occupied by my parents from 1937 until my mother left it early this century, my father having died in the 1970s. I have no idea who lives there now but I will contact them. It would be nice to arrange to set off from the doorstep of that house. Or to arrive on the doorstep.

This last because a slight variation of the plan occurred to me, which is that I could do the walk in the other direction, arriving in Blackpool on my birthday. For various reasons which should become clear in later postings, I have more or less decided to do the walk that way round, from France to England.

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