After a long break, and happy to be here again. I haven't actually been away, I've just had difficulty finding the time to update this blog. So, what has happened since I made my last entry?
Well, Tommy - our Mission Nutritionist - wasn't in the best of health for a while, but seems far better now.
Though his spirits have suffered - as have mine, and Sparky's - because the people who organise the internet forum through which the walk was conceived and arranged have decided to update it. That's 'update' in the sense of 'ruin.'
Previously it was a no-frills forum, with quick refresh and response times - now they've 'improved' it by slowing down the response times, altering the appearance of it, and . . . .and doing heaps of other things to it, almost all of them making the experience of using it worse.
As for the appeal - that's going very well indeed. We've progressed rapidly since the last blog entry - we reached the original target of £1000. Sparky raised the target to £2000 and, as I type this, we've raised £1195. A cause for celebration, indeed. And an opportunity for us to thank all the people who have made donations so far.
I've managed some fairly long walks over the past few weeks - a couple of times walking from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, and once walking from Wolverhampton to Penkridge.
Penkridge seems to be a bit further away than I thought it was and that walk took me far longer than I had hoped it would - I'll try it again in the next week or so and I hope that I can do it a bit quicker then. It's very different from the first part of the walk.
The Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal was built to link the Severn and the Mersey - the northern end of it forms a junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal. The idea, when all these canals were built - which was at the end of the 18th century - was that the manufacturing industries of the Midlands would have quick links to England's four main river estuaries - the Humber, the Mersey, the Severn and the Thames. The canal network has Birmingham as its hub.Hence the Birmingham Canal runs largely through an industrial - or, now, post-industrial - landscape. The Staffs & Worcs runs largley through a rural landscape, and it's very different.
It's really strange for someone like me, spending nearly all my time in a big city, to be able to hear birdsong. I didn't, sadly, take many photographs on that walk; that's something I hope to put right next time.
All in all, then, things are going quite well. I continue to be inspired by Susie Hewer, to whose blog there is a link on the left side of this page. Click on it, and take a look at her entry for May 3rd.
And here is another link: a restful piece of music for you, a cover version of Kate Rusby's "Who Will Sing Me Lullabies."