Keeping up the momentum - In the name of Thiago - Day 226


With 15 miles in the bag from Saturday, the worst part of getting back into a walking routine was already over. Nevertheless, after getting up at 5.30 – which was in no way intended – I dillied and dallied under the pretence of doing some admin work for the blog before eventually setting off shortly after 10.


The day went pretty much to plan: gees I hope I’m saying that fairly frequently once the week gets underway proper in September. I walked southbound down the A34 for a bit, took a bit of a detour off the most direct path to pass through Barlaston and Meaford, grabbed a sarnie on the move and picked up the canal path northbound for the last two hours back up to Trentham.



I like the old Stone return journey walk that I do occasionally, although to be fair once I hit the 16 mile mark today, as Angélica was coming through pretty much where I was passing, I skipped the last four miles and took a lift. My legs were grateful. I was very good today, stopping at a roadside café only for a brew and no bacon buttie this time. Honest.


The good lady went to see an orthopaedic doctor at the hospital where she works having broken a couple of bones in her hand on Friday. The good news is that the break will pretty much fix itself in three weeks according to the medic she saw this afternoon. If you’ve ever read Adam Kay’s book ‘This is going to hurt’, you’ll be familiar with the way that different surgeons are viewed.


Orthopaedics were classed as butchers. Within that class of savages though, there can be distinctions according to Angélica. Seeing the hand doctor is the equivalent of being at the deli counter, thinly sliced quality rather than take a great, big fucking lump off!


This is the point where I dropped back onto the canal path and got a bit of a shift on as I had a meeting with a fellow bereaved parent and Kev at 4pm. Kev’s the little bald fella who made me cry the first time I met him – to be fair he is a grief counsellor so it’s probably a sign that he’s hitting the right spots – and the chap who arranged the meeting in Longton with Adrian today.


I shed a few more tears this afternoon as well, as Adrian and I reflected on our shared experience as fathers that have lost children. Jesus Christ, what a club to be a fucking member of.. Ade is a nice bloke but I don’t know if we’ll meet up again, not for grief support reasons at least. This is going to sound a bit weird coming from someone who’s experienced the loss of a child, but the thing is that most of the time I feel like I’m doing very well. I’ve got the blog and the walk: if anything, it’s after that where I may really need some help.


I feel like the group sessions might be good maybe when Covid allows but then again, maybe I’m just fine for now. I’m not sure that I need another outlet of support right now. I’m doing pretty well on that score.



This is Johnny Fartpants, who I encountered as I did the final section of canal path before getting back on to the main road for my counselling session. He was using his walker’s stick thing to beat back unruly hedges and in between was letting rip with the most extraordinary explosive guffs.


I’d packed a full bag to carry with me today in the interest of getting used to the reality of the walk next month and so had with me clothes and toiletries and all sorts. I felt pretty close to offering him a pair of crackers as he’d undoubtedly battered his own to the point of submission.


Anyway, rather than end on the subject of trumptastic guffing from random canal walkers, let’s return to the happier subject of fundraising. Big Kev (big in heart and spirit he’s not a chunky lad) my grief counsellor donated £80, which was an extraordinary gesture. He really is a very good bloke. So, come on good people: follow Kev’s lead – all donations are very, very welcome.  


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