Of course my horse - In the name of Thiago - Day 40

And so it was that at the ungodly hour of 4.29am I roused myself from my slumbers, grabbed a quick bite and chucked some walking clothes on. Or to be more accurate: the clothes I walk in. Thirty two minutes later and I was out the door.

Pissing down it was to begin with, which made me smile ruefully about still not having bought the right clothes but then I thought, fuck it I’m doing this my way. And besides by about 5.45 the rain had pretty much eased off and I had a certain bounce in my stride. Well until the uphill parts began in earnest at any rate.

There is a certain joy in a long walk which starts in complete darkness, drifts into sunrise before – if you’re lucky – ending in sunlight. My favourite part of today’s walk was in complete darkness, not even a lamppost in sight, when I made the acquaintance of this chap. I love the way he turns towards me.

When I posted this on social media earlier, I was tickled to see Twitter asking me ‘Who’s in this photo?’. Regrettably I’d moved on before we got to move our relationship on to the next level.

It was just around this point of the journey, I guess 3-4 miles in, where I’ve already passed the industrial estate when I start to see a couple of motorists coming the other way. They were probably heading off to work at that same industrial estate. I imagine them thinking ‘where the fuck is this bloke going?’ Because frankly there’s nothing else for miles. And I allow myself a smile knowing that they’re right. I ploughed on.

Now thanks to Fivestar I had a much better route today as you’ll note from some of the other pics in this blog. This time I went to Alsager on purpose – a terrific feat – and then joined up with the Salt Line a lovely footpath, which in turn joins with the Trent and Mersey Canal. It all meant that there was no hanging on to hedgerow for dear life or traipsing up dual carriageway. I carried on in a calm measured manner, well until the canal path anyway.

The early morning downpour probably didn’t help me in this respect but hell it was all good and at least I had suitable footwear on, even if the rest of me looked like an absolute muppet. But you know what, I am as comfortable in my own skin as I’ve ever been, so that really doesn’t trouble me one little bit. In truth I’ve never given much of a shit about what people have thought about me.

Eventually the canal path brought me out at this Italian restaurant at which point I was absolutely shagged. It was only then that I realised that I still had a good mile and a half to go and time was pressing on.

Eventually I arrived at work at 10.05, thoroughly exhausted but feeling a true sense of accomplishment and that’s not such a bad feeling to have before you’ve even got to your desk. The lovely Claire brewed me up and also brought me home tonight. So today I feel happy and blessed and that’s a pretty good note to finish on.


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