Three men, a woman and two canals (Stourbridge to Wolverhampton) - In the name of Thiago - Day 281

 

It feels a little strange going back to the place you finished previously when you've had a day off in between. I don't know why but it just does. Today's been a successful day - about 16 miles in all through a variety of canal towpath, woodlands and road. Mr Dave Taylor's been on maps today and doing a sterling job I might add with one ever so slight aberration, which he very quickly put right.

I met Adam for the second time and first time since March and he's with me for the whole week, which is a bloody excellent thing. In many ways it tops and tails how the walk has been. I had Jamie for company for the entirety of week one and now I've got Adam with me for the final homebound stretch.


That's Adam on the left and in the middle are Lisa and Dave Taylor. The Taylors are a wonderful couple and proud parents to Niamh and Zak. Elisa and Niamh are both at Madeley School and that's the connection to me being walking with Dave and Lisa parents today. 

We started off the day at the exact same point that I polished off three lovely pints on Saturday. Regrettably, though on reflection perhaps that should read thankfully, as it was only half eleven it wasn't open, so any thoughts of an early morning snifter were soon put to bed.


We walked alongside two canals today - this was the first of them - the Stourbridge Canal. We later meandered along the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal too. I was at the end of the Staffordshire and Worcester when I did my first live interview of the week with BBC Radio Stoke. The station are taking me on their afternoon programme each day this week. If doing that helps get a few more donations then that's brilliant but more importantly I just hope it might help anyone that's struggling with grief specifically -because I think they will be able to relate to my journey - or more widely anyone that's just having a tough time.

I'm no superhero, I really am just an average type of bloke but that fact alone I hope lets others see that anyone can make a positive change, something that gets them in a better mental head space. And if you can do something to help someone else then even better.


I'm going to miss the canals. I know they'll still be there after this week but I won't be rattling the bucket along them after Friday. That's the part I've really enjoyed. The talking to complete strangers, which is probably something that terrifies most people. It's something that has really got my adrenaline and blood pumping at the start of each day. It's a challenge, a positive one.


This was a big moment for me today, turning round the corner and seeing the Staffordshire sign. Christ, walking from Eastbourne to Staffordshire, that's a seriously long way. But I've done it, and I've really not got all that far to go now. I'm conscious of the benefits of staying in the moment and I'm trying to enjoy every part of this incredible experience, particularly as work is looming its ugly head and demanding me back on Monday. There's the crushing shitter right there.


One of the features of the canal walking element of this walk has been the graffiti. Lisa, who is the fountain of much knowledge in a fairly understated way, assures me that this is Little Mix. I thought this was pretty good. That's about all I can offer on the subject. 


We stopped by at the Posada - our end destination today - shortly after 5pm and what an odd place it was too. I got stuck talking to a bloke, who started telling me how he hated seeing any sort of violence towards children, fair enough I thought - that's a starting point no-one is going to have any truck with. However, he then started to tell me how he was essentially a non-violent chap but did find himself in situations where having violent options was a handy get out. It was a strange end to the day to say the least.

Only four days to go and I'm going to need all your help to reach that challenging target of £20,000. Today brought another £350 to the pot. Every donation gives me a tremendous fillip so keep going and keep sharing. Thank you everyone! 




  

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