So, I’ve only been posting sporadically recently, mainly because a lot of the time I used to spend blogging I’m now spending walking. While both tend to be rather solitary and involve going round in wide circles to end up in either the same place or a completely new place with no idea how to get back to where you started, they’re not really compatible.

So, why has walking won out over writing? Because this summer I’m going to be walking from John O’ Groats to Land’s End. (And no, I’m not doing it naked and no, you’re not the first person to think of asking that)

Why am I doing this? It’s something that’s always been in the back of my mind as something I want to do, and the circumstances have finally come together to change it from one of those things that I’d get round to doing some time before I die to something I’m doing this year.

Last year, my brother Simon died. He was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1998 and after seven years of operations, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, all clears, relapses and lots of normal life in between, a third tumour was finally too much for him and he died on October 11th. It was around then that I realised I’d finally be doing my walk this summer. After all, Simon was probably the fittest member of our family – he’d run the Paris and New York marathons – so something like this seemed a perfect way to remember him. Plus, I’d sooner walk 1000 miles than try and run 26, but I’m strange that way.

Serendipity and Radio 4 came into play at that point, helping me discover the existence of the Brain Research Trust whose work includes studies into the causes of and possible cures for brain tumours and it gave me another reason to do this walk – to raise money for them in the hope that it might just do a little bit to help
other families not have to go through the same pain we did.

So, that’s the what and the why sorted out. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you about the where and the how soon enough.