Thursday, July 1, 2010
Day 48. JustGiving And Giving
The campsite we were in last night was a goodly drive from Sherborne St John, where I finished yesterday’s walk and had to start today’s. The pitch next to us was still empty when we went to bed, although clearly occupied, as we could tell by a few chairs which were arranged as strategically as German towels. When we awoke this morning, it was obvious that the wanderers had returned while we were unconscious. It was also apparent that they had parked the front wheel of their Kon-Tiki on top of our electricity cable. So they had to be knocked up, if you will pardon the expression. We expected aggression but received only contrition –“It was dark when we returned” – so there were no on-the-spot executions.
It was all roads today – the only time, I think, that this will happen in England. The first third was pretty quiet. The next third was a bit frightening – driving in England is much faster and more aggressive, which doesn’t go down too well with a pedestrian on roads with no pavement and with hedges which meet the road, leaving nowhere to go, and with lots of blind bends.
The last third was pretty horrifying. I used to be very familiar with Reading, and it has been a building site for 40 years, in my experience. But the remoulding of the vehicle -bearing landscape at the M4 junction exceeds everything I have seen before. It is probably very alarming for a motorist to navigate it, but you ain’t seen nothing unless you try to get past it as a pedestrian. But it was very nice of the hard-hat man, when I was asking him how he would do it, to say he would round up some of the guys and make a donation.
Just as it was very generous of the man at Reading Bridge, when I was asking him which direction I should take on the towpath to Caversham Bridge, to dive into his pocket to make a donation on the spot. I gave him a card and said that, if he still wanted to make a donation when I was not looming over him, he could do it online.
Which reminds me, when we were booking into last night’s campsite, the proprietor gave Gay half the money back to go into the fund. It is now in the purple container and will eventually find its way onto the JustGiving page.
It was strange to find myself outside Reading Bridge House. The company I worked for long ago was based there and I had to visit that building at least once a month, frequently more often. But I have not been to the building for 30 years. Rod and Caroline, with whom we are staying for the next two nights, both worked at Reading Bridge House in the olden days.
Because of the cock-up on the estimation front, we are re-configuring the rest of the trip. We have arrived in Reading a day later than planned. By the time we are on the canal network, we shall be two days behind schedule. Further information will be on this blog when we have finished scratching our heads.
28 kms today. Total so far 1334 kms.