Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 57. Nostalgia

Today I entered Staffordshire, and nostalgia territory. I have lived in Staffs and Cheshire and Lancashire, the next two counties, for much of my life, so will be meeting people and seeing places which will inevitably stir up memories.

I didn’t expect that to start with the view I had for some time today, of the enormous television transmitter aerial near Lichfield. Jim Gregson and I sat in a layby on the A5 for 2 hours in the very early 70s, or possibly late 60s, staring at that mast and waiting for a rescue vehicle to tow my broken-down car to a garage in Stafford (that drive was quite exciting, I remember, on the back end of a rope).

The first of the expected nostalgia treats came last night. Bill Davies, an old friend from the same era, who was very sadly recently widowed, came to take us out for dinner. He drove us in his Jaguar to a pub about two and half miles from our very rural campsite. The pub was built in 1245, and the heights of the ceilings and doors reflected that. We had a good time with Bill, who insisted on paying, then went home and made a generous donation to the cause.

Today I pressed on from Atherstone to near Lichfield. We were unable to find a campsite anywhere near Lichfield, so we have driven to a point well north of there, nearer to tomorrow’s finish, in fact. It is very rural. We are quite near to Rugely Power Station, which is a very ugly site in what is otherwise again a very rural vista. The telephone signal is again poor, as it will be tomorrow, because we shall be at this same camp tomorrow. But somehow I managed to get photos up for the past 3 days.

Today was a day for several attempts upon my person by badly-controlled dogs on the towpath. One of which was a huge Newfoundland, and another, part of a pair who jumped from a boat to attack me, landed up on its back after a swift uppercut from my foot.

I seem to have swiftly progressed from crossing 1500 kms on Wednesday, to nudging 1600 kms on Saturday. Today’s walk, again in very hot circumstances, was 28 kms. The total is now 1591.5 kms. I hope to be having some shorter walks in the remaining 13 days, and even a couple of days off so that Gay and I can do some nostalgia sightseeing in V-Force One.

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