FOR yesterday’s walk, I once again stayed up all night to ensure that I could catch the earliest possible train without having to worry about snoozing through my alarm or anything. And indeed I could have caught that train had I not been distracted by something else in my tired, slightly trancelike state.
Fortunately I am no stranger to starting a walk half an hour behind schedule, my schedules being nominal at best and designed to accommodate an ambling pace. It should perhaps be no surprise then that I eventually finished my walk before sunset and a good forty minutes ahead.
MY CUNNING plan for my fourteenth coastal walk was to walk from Newhaven to Shoreham on Saturday. Indeed this plan was so cunning it mutated to keep everyone guessing.
In truth, the weather forecast for Saturday was one of bucketing rain, which didn’t sound a bundle of laughs. The best day this week, according to the Met Office, was yesterday (Thursday). So yesterday I went.
ON FRIDAY night I decided that I needed to boot up Cleopatra, the old Windows 98 machine that lives in a corner of my bedroom, because I needed something on her hard drive. Perhaps because she is ancient in computing terms, or perhaps because she is still sulking over her replacement, Pandora, she repeatedly refused to boot up. But I am a stubborn mammal, and helpful, and eventually I got my way.
YESTERDAY, 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…
OVER the weekend 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.