Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 59. Enter The Soup Dragon

We were sitting in V-Force One yesterday evening, minding our own business, when I saw this hot-air balloon looming over us. We went outside to get a better look, and noticed that two other balloons had already gone past without us noticing.

Despite all that excitement, we slept well – for the first time in years, Gay has been sleeping well every night during VBW, I never have any trouble, even when not walking 30 kms a day. We awoke this morning to the good news that the heat wave was over. The weather man said there would be rain today, but nothing sustained – I realised later that I must have accidentally been listening to a comedy show. It was spitting when I set off, but after half an hour or so it started lashing down. This went on for some hours. The towpath was mainly grass, so my shoes and socks soon became uncomfortably sodden. The rest of me was as snug as a bug in a poncho.

As I approached Stone, I saw the Soup Dragon striding towards me. This was not a surprise. Tonight we are staying in his house in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The original plan was for Soupie to walk today’s stage with me, but an injury put paid to that. So he parked up in Stone and walked along the canal towpath to meet me.

We had a coffee with him in Stone, then he cleared off to take care of business while we did a bit of nostalgising in Stone. I lived here for 4 years or so in the very early 60s. After Derek (the Soup Dragon’s alias) had gone, we drove over to Walton where I took a photograph of the tiny flat where I once lived. My eldest daughter Karen will not remember the place.

Then we drove to Derek’s home where we have the rest of the day off. Amazingly, after 59 days walking, we have tomorrow off as well.

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