» I know what I’m doing this summer ¦ What You Can Get Away With

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.

Trackback

9 comments untill now

  1. Great idea Nick and good to read you again.

  2. My goodness; good luck, and don’t forget to post instructions for how to sponsor you…

    … Is there a standard route that all walkers from L’s E to J o’ G (or vice versa) use, or does everyone have to work out their own route with whatever OS maps (or Google Earth) that they have to hand?

  3. There are actually a few routes you can take – I’ll be posting details of the one I’m plannng soon – but they tend to be roughly the same as there are certain bottlenecks on the route that you have to go through if you’re not going to add on an extra 100 miles or so. For instance, the Great Glen is about the only easily navigable route through Scotland that doesn’t involve lots of mountains, and you normally have to go through the Bristol/Bath area to get into the South West.

    The main decision is which route to take through England (and sometimes Wales, if you take the eastern route and use Offa’s Dyke).

  4. Brendan Hogg @ 2006-05-11 12:01

    Will we be able to sponsor you?

  5. Yep, I’ll be posting details of how to do it soon.

  6. Wow. That’s amazing.

    Did you know exercise is the one sure way to grow new brain cells? My mom (and now maybe my brother) have an incurable neurological disease, and the only people who have managed to postpone onset are those who exercise. A lot.

    So it’s entirely appropriate to walk to raise money for the brain.

  7. Hi Nick

    I remember you from our Open Diary days (I was lazylinepainterjane back then) and stumbled across your weblog via another blogger.

    Sorry to hear about your brother, but good on you for taking on this walk…I hope you enjoyed Scotland and I’ll check back to see how you are doing

    Take care

  8. [...] Another quick plug for Nick Barlow’s walk. Five weeks since I joined him on the stretch from Linlithgow to Edinburgh, long-time blogger Nick has arrived in Cornwall, and is due to arrive at Land’s End on Saturday afternoon. [...]

  9. carole moody @ 2006-10-10 23:51

    I have followed your website walk postings & photos, & have thoroughly enjoyed the journey from my chair, & also truly admire your achievement.Well done,enjoy your rest.Due to a prior engagement, we are unfortunately unable to attend the Woodland Cottage on Friday.Enjoy the evening.