The final step is in sight - (Little Haywood to Stone) - In the name of Thiago - Day 284

 

I had thought about writing today's blog about the impossibly pompous twat that we met on the canal path, who refused to engage with me on any level today, justifying his recalcitrance on the fact that he already donates to a local hospital in Southampton. This led to my learned friend Rob launching into some wonderful north v south stereotypes, which I was only too happy to indulge him in. Rob has been an amazing support to me - frankly he can do what he bloody likes!

But no, to give pompous man from Southampton more editorial space would be a terrible injustice. And the reason for that is because it has been another absolutely phenomenal day spent with truly wonderful company, which Mr shit for brains shall not be permitted to overshadow. I make no apology for boring you with reading these platitudes. The fact is that I've got some pretty special friends, who are making me feel like a champion at the moment.


And here are your starters for seven today. From left to right starting with my two blonde bombshells and wonderful colleagues from work Anne Grace and Claire Hand, then moving along to Adam Parkes who was on his fourth day on the bounce today then yours truly of course followed by the magnificent Rob Crossland and fellow skating Dad Alex Barnes. These guys have been absolutely awesome today, giving me all the encouragement I needed and so much more. 


We set off from the immense disappointment that is the Red Lion in Little Haywood at just after 11 having T-shirted everyone appropriately. It was a pretty slow start to be honest as we just stood around having a chat with partners and - would you believe this - simply enjoying standing in the sunshine. Yes, you heard that right, the sunshine. This isn't a weather phenomenon that I'd had any recent experience of but bloody hell it was definitely needed. 

 
I've seen and experienced a lot of things on the canal path. I've spoken to a man cooking up sausage casserole and cannabis simultaneously, I've seen a gymnast performing wonders on a ring, I've met people from all over the world. I feel like I've passed time with the very best that humankind has to offer. But this is the first time that I've seen what I can only describe as a road traffic chevron assisting through traffic on which way to go. It raised an eyebrow.


We found this boozer en route today. I honestly can't remember where it was but it certainly served our purposes. It was a bit gastrowanky but Rob and Adam enjoyed their posh fishfinger sandwiches and I had a pint of Titanic - mid route pintage has now become a more regular occurrence I'm afraid Mr Hickey; well it was Plum Porter. 

I look at this bloke above and I do have to pinch myself sometimes. I'm going to give myself credit here and say that if I had to walk another 350 miles, I really think I could do it now. My incredible little boy Thiago is driving me towards more and more incredible things. Stuff I never thought was possible now seems within reach. This is the legacy of the little man that changed my life forever. I'm so fucking proud of him.

 

The yellow army marched on and on - we were unstoppable today. For me of course every step of my trek has been incredibly personal but the support I've had fon my journey from far too many people for me to list here has been so moving. I know that what I'm doing is really special but I'm still so emotionally overwhelmed by the reaction of people I've walked with, people I've met and talked to. I know that when this is all over tomorrow, it ain't 'arf going to feel weird. I will do something else but I know I need time to stop to think about what that might be. I'm just staying in the present for now.


Here we all are supping on some well deserved refreshments at the simply superbTen Green Bottles in Stone. This is another place that has been so supportive towards me and my family. James Froggatt put some drinks on the house today and is giving my last day walkers a send off from here again tomorrow. I've been drinking in the Ten Green Bottles in Newcastle for a while and James and his splendid staff also looked after me and Angelica when they hosted Thiago's wake. It's a long and special association. Thank you James. 

So now it's all about tomorrow and the final lap. It will be raw and emotional in places but it will be a lot of fun too. I'm looking forward to it. Right at this moment, I need to nip out and get some supplies, as Angelica and I are welcoming visitors tonight. Let's crack on. And just before I go... incredibly I now only need to raise another £122 to reach my target of £20,000. I cannot keep up with the generosity that is being shown today. I am humbled.
  


 

Comments

  1. Honour and a privilege to walk with you today, I have no words to describe how hard that must have been because after one day my feet are battered!! Well done Chris. Rob

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  2. Thank you mate, there's a little boy with the heart of a lion who's pushing me nearer and nearer the finish line. I owe it all to that incredible little boy 💜

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  3. I am incredibly overwhelmed too CG by your amazing effort and the generosity and support of all your fellow walkers enroute. Thankyou one and all. Well done. Mum

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  4. It's been a team effort. I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends. They really have stepped up to the plate!

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