Sun 22 Mar: Fin

Well, I’m back onto motorised transport and I have a motion-induced headache. This walk has been such an intense and substantial part of my life over the past few months that settling back into society is probably not going to be completely straightforward. Still, I’m very glad to have taken on the project and to have completed it. As you might expect, I have dozens of stories that I should hope to share with you one day, and have taken a great deal of perspective and adventure out of the entire experience – next time that I drive a car, I shall definitely slow down as I pass a walker!

For those of you who are interested: here is the map of my route. You can also view the complete route and distance chart, in miles and in kilometres.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As for what waits ahead, I really do not know. I’m inclined to take on another walk-and-write project, following the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome; but perhaps I have walked enough in recent days. We’ll see where life leads.

I am always happy to hear from anyone, and equally happy to answer any questions. My contact details remain as published.

One last time, thank you, for all of your messages, emails, calls and prayers of encouragement; they were so very uplifting at the end of each day’s walk. Now seems an apt time for me to deploy Marlowe’s neat phrase: terminat hora diem, terminat auctor opus.

Tony/.

Sat 21 Mar: Helston to Lizard Point

At Lizard Point, 12.05pm.

At Lizard Point, 12.05pm.

The rocks that jut out from Lizard Point. After so much walking, it's quite a good feeling to know that it's just not possible to walk any further, and that the only thing to do is to turn around.

The rocks that jut out from Lizard Point. After so much walking, it’s quite a good feeling to know that it’s just not possible to walk any further, and that the only thing to do is to turn around. (PS. Spot the walker with a rucksack on the rocks.)

So it is done: this lone exploration
– Of seventy-eight days, three pairs of shoes
And fourteen hundred miles – between and through
The extreme four points of mainland Britain.
Maybe, by a certain definition,
I might rightly claim that I, faithfully,
Have walked the length and breadth of the country.
What, you ask, has been the greatest lesson?
In life, in living, is so much to see
That the fundamental resolution
To Hamlet’s famed existential question
Is unquestionably, ‘To be’. To be.
You have been beside me in my walking:
Thank you, sincerely, for your kind reading.

Note: How co-incidental that I complete this walk/project on World Poetry Day.

A final postcard image. Here, Poldhu Cove, overlooked by the Poldhu Care Home (a scene which, to me, is reminiscent of Newport's mansions).

A final postcard image. Here, Poldhu Cove, overlooked by the Poldhu Care Home (a scene which, to me, is reminiscent of Newport’s mansions).

The entire collection of poems from this project was published by Eyewear in 2016. Only a sample of the 78 poems remain accessible on this website.

Fri 13 Mar: Ilminster to Honiton

There are a near-dozen charity shops,
Full of what were once somebody’s treasures.
A newly-employed shop attendant mops
Round the piled junk of unwanted pleasures:
From oil portraits of unknown figures and
Hickory-shafted sand wedges and woods,
To sets of second-hand furniture and
Multifarious superfluous goods.
Farther up the road trade the antiques shops,
Each with postcard windows of old treasures,
From bureaux inlaid with various woods
And early twentieth century mops,
To vintage toys of nostalgic pleasures:
Cast off chattels revamped as Veblen goods.

The entire collection of poems from this project was published by Eyewear in 2016. Only a sample of the 78 poems remain accessible on this website.