All That is Solid – New Stories 1

What with one thing and another I’ve neglected blogging and writing lately. So it was pleasing to publish three new stories at the back end of 2016. Over the next couple of days, I’ll post links to where you can find them (mostly for free!).

Here’s the first

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Ten Valleys and a Badger Sett – South West Coast Path Day 10

Hartland Quay to Bude
42,000 steps

imageBy the morning, the rain has disappeared, and the wind has dropped away, giving us unexpectedly pleasant conditions as we set out. The sky is overcast and grey, but there are occasional fragments of blue in the distance, promising better weather later.

 

My guide book has whetted our appetite by telling us that the route ahead is

“one of the most scenic and dramatic stretches” of the coast path…”but also one of the toughest”.

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Early Musings and Late Penalties – South West Coast Path Day 9

Clovelly to Hartland Quay
30,000 steps

When I returned from the last instalment, I told my good friend Jerry that the next two stages were described in the guide book as ‘moderate to strenuous’ and (oh joy) ‘severe’.

“Oh?” said Jerry, with a tone like I’d just told him Madonna was on the line, at a loose end after her date had cancelled. He was in.

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Bugs and Wet Feet – South West Coast Path Day 8

Westward Ho! To Clovelly

32,000 steps

2016-07-24 10.20.42For the past two days the weather forecast for today has been suggesting a chance of rain.  We wake up to find that chance has materialised. The road outside is wet. More rain is promised for the rest of the morning.

At breakfast, Sam has his iPad out and looks up maths puzzles. I can tell today’s walk will be one to savour. Continue reading

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Walking Games and Cream Tea – South West Coast Path Day 7

Instow to Westward Ho!

30,000 steps

Instow

Instow

Instow has a pleasantly nautical air, with sailing boats rooted in the low-tide mud, and a wide expanse of yellow sand. The town is pretty, with a parade of pastel-shade villas along the waterfront, many with boldly-coloured shutters. A cricket pitch perches above the estuary. Everyone seems to have a wet dog, and knows everyone else.

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Pokemon Gone – South West Coast Path Day 6

Barnstaple to Instow

10,000 steps

It has taken longer than I expected, but finally we set out to resume the coastal trek. This time I have company: my son Sam, making his long-distance footpath debut. His proud mother takes a picture of us as we leave the house.

Now taller than Dad. And thinner.

Now taller than Dad. And thinner.

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We’ll Meet Again – South West Coast Path Day 5

Braunton to Barnstaple – 12,000 steps

I am reunited with the Path in the morning, but it’s not the same.

2016-04-15 09.45.49I leave my B&B on the outskirts of Braunton, and pick up a muddy minor path downhill that soon brings me to the route of the disused railway line that takes the Coast Path into Barnstaple.

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