XXVII – The Isle of Portland

Hasteful MammalSUNDAY’S walk began and ended at Ferry Bridge, being a circular walk around the Isle of Portland.

I awoke not so much with the lark as with a surfeit of alarms, my phone being joined by the alarm clock in my room, which the B&B owners had thoughtfully set for me. I was too early for a cooked breakfast but they laid on cereal, which I declined, and toast, which I munched upon merrily. They then scored highly on the Helpful Mammal Scale of B&B Excellence by asking if, since I wasn’t eating the cereal, I wanted some extra toast instead.

Continue reading “XXVII – The Isle of Portland”

XXV – Kimmeridge Bay to Durdle Door

Hasteful MammalYESTERDAY was a much shorter walk of only eight miles, into which I managed pack a heady mixture of pain, fear, nausea, exhaustion and sheep.

I knew from the outset that I had limited time for the walk. Kimmeridge Bay has no public transport whatsoever, which meant catching a train to Wareham and then a taxi to Kimmeridge. I asked the taxi driver for an estimate of the cost before we set off and, very reasonable chap that he was, he turned off the meter when it turned out to be more.

Continue reading “XXV – Kimmeridge Bay to Durdle Door”

XXIV – Swanage to Kimmeridge Bay

Hasteful MammalMY LEGS hurt. Actually, I think even the hurt hurts. But on balance, I’m feeling pretty good about it.

It’s been a while since my last walk on account of a number of factors including, but not limited to, being a bit busy, my finances dwindling and not wanting to climb hills in the heat of the summer.

Continue reading “XXIV – Swanage to Kimmeridge Bay”

XX – Portsmouth to Southampton

Hasteful MammalTHIS time last week, I thought about going for another walk but only managed to prove to myself that an alarm clock is just a device which incorporates a loud beeping sound into the malleable narrative of one’s dreams.

This week, I reverted to Plan A, which consists of three simple instructions:

Continue reading “XX – Portsmouth to Southampton”

XVIII – Bosham to Emsworth

Hasteful MammalFRIDAY’S walk was mostly enhanced by the colour yellow (narcissi, celandines and gorse flowers) and the smell of coconut (gorse flowers smell of it. Although, since gorse is native to Great Britain and coconut is not, surely from a British perspective coconut should smell of gorse?) Less delightful ‘enhancements’ involved becoming festooned with the webs of what seemed like every single spider in West Sussex, the occasional aroma of decomposing seaweed and an extremely unwelcome case of sunburn.

Continue reading “XVIII – Bosham to Emsworth”

VI – Westgate-on-Sea to Sandwich

Hasteful MammalLAST week, after getting home from my walk to Westgate-on-Sea, I sat down and kicked off my walking boots. Or so I thought.

As I looked at the sole I had kicked across the room and waggled my toes in the boot upper still on my foot, I thought to myself ‘time to buy some new boots’. I was impressed with my boots’ longevity though—they were old, battered, had missing eyelets and in some places were held together with two-part epoxy resin but they had lasted an amazing fifteen or so years.

Continue reading “VI – Westgate-on-Sea to Sandwich”

V – Whitstable to Westgate-on-Sea

Hasteful MammalORIGINALLY, yesterday was not going to involve any walking as I already had plans. But then I got to thinking that my plans mostly involved the evening and, if I got up really early, I could also go for a walk. Which is how I came to be catching a train at the ungodly hour of not quite six in the morning. Even with this early start, the complications of a Saturday service and multiple connections meant that I only arrived at Whitstable at about 8 am. I immediately made my way back to the harbour, which is where I left off last time.

Continue reading “V – Whitstable to Westgate-on-Sea”

III – Swale to Faversham

Hasteful MammalYESTERDAY, I was up with the metaphorical lark and, in a break with recent habit, actually caught the very same train that I had intended to catch. The world didn’t end or anything, which was slightly disappointing.

A series of trains carried me away across North Kent to Swale with enough time between connections to buy a coffee and some breakfast, which I sorely needed. I arrived at Swale halt by twenty past nine and stood in the shadow of the colossal Sheppey Crossing.

‘It looks big in daylight,’ I thought. ‘I wonder how small it will look later?’ And so, I set off at a suitably brisk pace…

Continue reading “III – Swale to Faversham”

II – Strood to Swale

OVER the weekeHasteful Mammalnd it started to occur to me that I might not be entirely well, a development that threatened my further perambulation around Kent.

I first suspected on Saturday when I was wrapped up in a jumper and coat and still shivering, while others passed me in t-shirts enjoying a balmy evening. Given that I normally am impervious to cold, this was a bad sign. Waking up on Sunday morning drenched in sweat after a night of surreal, feverish and oddly disturbing dreams (involving my OS map of North Kent, characters from the original Swedish series of Wallander and Harry Lime’s theme from The Third Man) was pretty much the icing on the cake.

Continue reading “II – Strood to Swale”