How's your arse (Southease - Plumpton) - In the name of Thiago - Day 260


Christ I was stiff as a fucking board when I got moving this morning, and all this despite doing my stretches last night - a little apologetically admittedly - and some more again this morning. The realisation has hit me that although I have done a lot of training for this monumental event, it would be impossible to train for the repetition aspect of walking 300 miles over the next month. No-one has that sort of time spare.

The good news is that my feet are bearing up remarkably well, the bad news is that my arse is aching - arse ache now that's not one you read about in too many medical dictionaries - and the backs of the knees are fairly painful and not to mention creaky.

The upside, at least until I get to Three Bridges, is that I am being richly rewarded with views such as this pretty much the whole time. This weekend has been utterly extraordinary for weather. It's always said that September weather is some of the finest that we experience in this country but I could not have wished for anything better from the weather Gods over the weekend. It has been simply stunning for the entire two days. 

For today's twelve miles we had from left to right, Aussie Dan, yours truly, Nunners, Jamie and Moose. After the overwhelming nature of yesterday's events with the sheer numbers of people supporting to seeing old school friends and the excitement of hurdling electric and barbed wire fences as nightfall loomed, today's was a more sedate affair, but nonetheless was still a brilliant day.

I rinsed a few quid out of some very well-meaning cyclists at a cafe in Southease before we left and we set off with £30 in the bucket and the equivalent in contactless donations. Now that little beauty is coming in supremely handy. A sense of deep satisfaction comes over me when someone says they'd love to make a donation but they haven't got any cash on them. Sometimes they don't mean it but of course they've made a rod for their own back and if they're with friends, they don't want to lose face. This may sound terribly contrived, but hey, it's all for charity!

I got to lead the pack for a half mile or so today and was complimented for my respectable walking pace. Jamie tends to lead quite often, which is fine but he can be a bit bloody keen. And there's nothing I hate more than an insanely enthusiastic walker smiling all the fucking time. But this is where I cannot find fault in my extraordinary friend Mr Jamie Hickey. Enthusiastic walker he may be, but cheery bastard he most certainly is not with his love of death metal and lots more besides, which one blog entry alone could never do justice to.

I saw this sign immediately as we pulled off the South Downs Way today and for the first time I felt like I'd made some progress. Where we ended today, Plumpton, Wivelsfield and where I'llwind up tomorrow Haywards Heath are very mid-Sussex places. Before you know it I'll be moving from East into West Sussex and then on to Surrey. Progress is most certainly being made. 

This was an absolute find today and in one of those rare moments of stars aligning to produce magic, it was about 100 yards from the road sign image. It wasn't quite so ideal for Moose, who had parked his motor at Plumpton railway station this morning in order to give us all a lift home afterwards but as he is a supreme athlete, he thought nothing of walking another mile and a half while Nuns, Jamie and myself enjoyed a nice pint.

I got back on my bucket duties and I can report that the good patrons of the Half Moon are very generous folk indeed. I enjoyed a lengthy conversation with Chris and Aaron, who having both donated are invested in my walk and my fundraising. I'm finding that I'm gaining an increasing amount of respect for what I'm doing and people don't mind hearing my story. At the end of the day, proud though I am of how I've got off my backside and done something with this truly annus horribilis, I'd clearly rather not be doing this at all. 

But we are here now and that is all I can deal with: the here and now. As I sign off with my usual plea for your social media shares and donations, I'm pleasantly resting in the home of my brother Judd and his girlfriend Livi and have been treated to a lovely roast and a bit of a chinwag with the thoroughly entertaining Uncle Mike. Finally, I'd just like to say a special thank you to Langney Wanderers for raising £86.17 at their FA Vase game with local rivals Eastbourne United. I like to think I played a small part in them turning round a 1-0 deficit inside 30 seconds to a 4-2 win. Well I like to think so anyway! 



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