Monday, May 28, 2012


Well it's Monday now, we seem to have made it unscathed through May 27th. Just hanging on for December now. But what does an organisation like The Church of God do now, when it has made a prophesy as specific as this:

Ronald Weinland, who is the pastor of God's Church on earth, has also been appointed by the God of Abraham to be His end-time prophet and one of the two end-time witnesses (and spokesman of both), preceding the return of Jesus Christ on May 27, 2012. 

By a strange coincidence we picked up a copy of the film 2012 yesterday at a vide grenier (car boot sale) and watched it last night. Awesome stuff.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

End Of The World Tomorrow

It's time to say goodbye.

Some people believe that the world will end in December this year and that few places will be safe. One of them is at Bugarach, not far from where I write. Not only will it be a safe haven on December 21st but the price of houses there has been going up as a direct consequence. Those Mayans were devils at manipulating the markets!

But not smart enough. It has just come to my attention that some people believe the world will end tomorrow. That is not very long to prepare but if you really must keep yourself informed about what will, allegedly, tomorrow be a very current affair, you should go to the website which tell you what you need to know. Just click

Thursday, May 24, 2012

More Than £10,000 Raised For Pancreatic Cancer Research

Although it is almost 2 years since I completed my big walk to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research, donations are still trickling in. And more would be welcome, of course.

Yesterday there was a donation from Angela. I know several Angelas but not this one, I think. She did not leave an email address on the JustGiving website so I have no way of thanking her other than through this blog. If you are reading this, Angela, thanks very much - you clearly know this is going to a good cause because you said it is one dear to your heart. You also said you look forward to reading my book. I assume that means you already have a copy. I hope you will enjoy it - reviews are good.

Although the JustGiving icon on this page seems to be stuck at 100%, the 202 donations so far received total  £8,555, which is 122% of the £7,000 target. Gift Aid added by the tax authorities is £1287.51, giving a total so far raised in connection with my walk to £10,042.51.

My book "Vic's Big Walk from SW France to NW England is also raising funds. 100% of the proceeds go direct to Pancreatic Cancer UK.That is in addition to the figures given above.

More is needed. There has been no progress in the past 40 years in finding a cure for this dreadful illness which can see off sufferers within a few short weeks of diagnosis.

So go to it - make a donation by clicking on the blue "Donate" button under the JustGiving logo and/or get a copy of the book. The e-version into your Kindle or other e-reader will cost you about the same as a cup of coffee. The paperback, due out in June, will clearly cost more. Find out details of where to find the book by clicking on, believe it or not, "Where to find my book" at the top right of this page.

Thank you in advance.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Like Minds

I already put this post on my writing blog but am repeating it here because it may be of interest to walkers.

The above is Susie Kelly's book about walking across France from La Rochelle to Switzerland. I recently read and enjoyed this book very much. Susie has a wonderful sense of humour and a nice turn of phrase.

And this is Susie's book about she and her husband cycling from Fontainebleau to Paris and then out of Paris and back in again, following in the steps of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI of France as they were captured by the revolutionaries, escaped and were recaptured. Unlike the royal couple, Susie and her husband cycled. This is another very amusing and also very informative book.

Susie has recently read my book "Vic's Big Walk from SW France to NW England". She has done a wonderful review which I reproduce below. The review appears on Amazon and Goodreads. In addition Susie has blogged about my book, Tweeted and Facebooked.  Here is the review on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars La Grande Randonnée, 16 May 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vic's Big Walk (Kindle Edition)
To celebrate the debut of his eighth decade, Vic Heaney decides to walk from his current home in the French Pyrenees to the town where he was born in England. A distance of a mere 1900 kilometres, or 1,100 miles, in 70 days. The second reason behind Vic's Big Walk is to raise money for research into pancreatic cancer, which killed his first wife. With the whole-hearted support of his second wife Gay, who plans his route and drives the campervan in which they spend their nights, Vic sets off to walk the length of France and almost half the length of England.

La Belle France has a vast network of hiking trails through glorious countryside of hills and valleys, waterfalls and tumbling streams. On websites and in brochures you see images of tanned and joyful GR hikers striding out in groups beneath cloudless skies. But, when you are walking a very long distance in a relatively short time you have to opt for the shortest route, and unfortunately that doesn't always mean the most scenic. And contrary to what the tourist brochures might suggest, mid-summer in France isn't always hot and dry. Vic has set himself a strenuous schedule that means he had to walk every day. He's pretty fit for his years, but its still a physical challenge. And then there's the coffee problem. Unlike England, a far smaller country where even the remotest village will usually have somewhere you can find a cup of coffee and something to eat, you can walk all day in rural France without finding anywhere, and even if you do there's a fairly strong possibility that it will be closed for no apparent reason. And for vegetarians like Vic and myself, meal choices, if you are lucky enough to find somewhere open, can be rather restrictive.

Written in the form of a diary, Vic's Big Walk records his journey as he trudges, scrambles, and sometimes just ambles along, undeterred by rain, roads that lead to nowhere and campsites operating on the lines of prisons. He meets friendly people (but never on the beautiful hiking trails!) who instantly donate to his cause, others who promise to but don't. People happy to stop and chat, and others who ignore him.

I so much enjoyed this read. His easy and chatty style, spiced with his dry humour, carries you along effortlessly, and I could totally relate to his highs and lows, triumphs and frustrations. having done something similar myself. I was SO pleased when he got lost even with the benefit of GPS!

Chapeau, Vic. A tremendous achievement.

All the proceeds from Vic's book sales go to Pancreatic Cancer Research. It's a good read for a good cause. Download a copy.

Reviewed by Susie Kelly, author of Best Foot Forward - a 500-mile Walk Through Hidden France

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


We drove up to Andorra yesterday. We collected a few bottles of Spanish wine which we can't get in France, but really we go just for the drive, especially when there is still some snow on the mountains. And the trip pays for itself because we fill up with petrol there. It is currently 25 cents a litre less than it is here in France.

The picture was taken through a window from inside one of the sports good stores. In the winter from that same position you can see people whizzing past on skis.

I managed to get hold of a 2-litre water container to fit in my rucsack. I have started doing a few longer walks again (24 kms, 30 kms coming up) and in the heat I definitely need to carry water supplies. The previous 2-litre container I had started leaking a few days before I finished VBW, so I discarded it. I must admit I had become a bit disillusioned with these things after I found out how slimy they become inside. So yesterday I made sure that I also got a kit which includes a brush to clean the inside of the bag, another brush to clean inside the tube (although I have yet to work out how to disconnect the tube) and a "spreader" which will hold the bag open while it dries.

Friday, May 11, 2012


A familiar walk today, but one I have not done for a while - the 24 kms from Lavelanet back to Puivert. I walked this many times while training for VBW but I think I gave it the go-by for all of last year. It has a bit of a sting in the tail with a steep road climb of about 200 metres at the 18kms mark.

The shot above is taken looking back over Lavelanet from the start of the Voie Verte - the old railway track which makes up most of the route. There is still a bit of snow up there.

The following picture is one I took for our neighbours, who are absent at present, showing them the colour of their irises - they had planted the bulbs some time ago then forgotten what colour they would be when they arose.

The bike is probably one left behind by one of the riders in a long-ago Tour de France.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Before And After

We arrived home on Monday after almost four months away.

I managed to get a decent walk in this morning - 16 kms from Quillan to Puivert, with the first hour spent climbing from 290m to over 600m. This was how Quillan looked from the top of the hill before the walk.

And this was how it was after my climb.