Bonnet de douche,
It’s only a week till I reprise Del Boy’s Batman for a 300 mile trot to Lands End. As ever my preparation’s been meticulous. It’s important to ‘begin with the end in mind’, so practising drinking Cornish beer and eating pasties has played a major part in my recent training. Clearly I don’t wish to get lost so I’ve invested in the finest navigational guide money can buy. OK so it’s a laminated map - but it’s got pictures of pirates and smugglers, and I can see exactly where the treasure is! But most importantly I’ve been in the workshop developing my own Robin Reliant for the journey.
Vorsprung durch not very technique…
I’m quite proud of my handiwork. I’d like to say she goes like a dream, but I haven’t actually got as far as a road test yet! With sound system, lights and sports suspension there are going to be some envious teenage boys out there. I’m still waiting for an invite to do a lap of the Top Gear test track. But failing that I’ve got my name down for the Mumsnet 100 metre challenge!
Robin was never quite the same after a chance encounter with Rolf Harris…
I’m told a trip to Cornwall is like visiting a foreign country - a bit like going to Scotland (whatever the result of the referendum). Or indeed Luton. Anyway I thought it important to learn the lingo. Whilst I’m already fluent in 7 languages (assuming that knowing how to order a couple of beers counts as fluency) Cornish wasn’t one of them. My Cornish phrase book has got me up to speed (although ‘speed’ is probably the least appropriate word for that part of the country)! It’s a strange dialect, presumably comes from spending too much time talking to cows. Allycumpooster! As they say in Penzance.
The Cornish and ISIS seem to share a similar flag!? That’s where the similarities end. One’s a group of fanaticals with extreme views, demanding the creation of their own State. The other group is ISIS…
I have also managed to squeeze in a bit of ‘proper’ training. I completed The Cheddar Gorge marathon last weekend – more assault course than running event. Certainly the toughest marathon I’ve ever undertaken. It took the best part of 5 hours to stagger and slide around the (admittedly stunning) Somerset countryside, which still gave me a top 25 finish. My race highlight was a swallow dive - after one of many stumbles - face down into a ‘bog’. When I say ‘bog’ I mean that in a quite literal sense - it was the slurry infused corner of a field. Still I was very grateful for a soft landing, even if it didn’t taste so great. Though no worse than the motorway services on the way home, and a good deal cheaper.
Disappointingly they didn’t stock Wotsits or Cheese Straws…
So, just another 2 weeks till I depart from The Nags Head in Peckham. It really would be great to see some friendly faces along the way – my route summary is below (which may or may not make sense to you)!
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Day 1 – Sunday 7th September
Peckham to Fleet (41 miles)
Peckham – Clapham – Wandsworth – Kingston – Weybridge – Addlestone – Chobham – Camberley Heath – Frimley – Cove – Fleet
Day 2 – Monday 8th September
Fleet to Salisbury (48 miles)
Fleet – Hartley Wintney – Hook – Basingstoke – Oakley – Overton – Laverstock – Whitchurch – Hurstbourne Priors – Andover Down – Andover – Middle Wallop – Salisbury
Day 3 – Tuesday 9th September
Salisbury to Yeovil (45 miles)
Salisbury – Wilton – Barford St Martin – Compton Chamberlayne – Fovant – Donhead St Andrew – Shaftesbury – East Stour – Henstridge – Milbourne Port – Oborne – Sherbourne – Yeovil
Day 4 - Wednesday 10th September
Yeovil to Exeter (45 miles)
Yeovil – East Chinnock – Crewkerne – Roundham – Cricket St Thomas – Lydmarsh – Chard – Stockland – Honiton – Fenny Bridges – Fairmile – Rockbeare – Broadclyst – Clyst Honiton – Exeter
Day 5 – Thursday 11th September
Exeter to Launceston (41 miles)
Exeter – Whitestone – Tedburn St Mary – Cheriton Bishop – Crockernwell – Whiddon Down – South Zeal – Okehampton – Lewdown – Portgate – Tinhay – Lifton – Lifton Down – Launceston
Day 6 – Friday 12th September
Launceston to Truro (48 miles)
Launceston – Daw’s House – South Petherwin – Bodmin – Whitemoor – Nanpean – St Stephen – Tresillian – Truro
Day 7 - Saturday 13th September
Truro to Lands End (34 miles)
Truro – Comford – Lanner – Praze – Leedstown – Townshend – Relubbus – St Hilary – Goldsithney – Marazion – Penzance – Buryas Bridge – Drift – Sennen – Lands End