I AWOKE absolutely ravenous on the morning of the 22nd of May. I had pretty much gone to sleep the previous evening without eating very much at all.
Fortunately, a full Welsh breakfast awaited me downstairs and, for the second morning in a row, the inexcusable vileness that is fried tomato was magically substituted by some delicious black pudding. It was, and the pun is entirely intentional, bloody good.
A WEEK ago (as I write this), I awoke bright and early from a rather odd dream which left me wondering, for a moment: where had all the lobsters gone? Reality gradually asserted itself and I realised three things in quick succession…
Firstly, that I had awoken before my alarm and that it would go off any moment.
I had a cunning plan to make the best possible use of Easter and its attendant four-day weekend by walking great distances along the Pembrokeshire coast. It was a good plan and I liked it, but the common cold virus had other ideas and decided to prove that it’s not only Martian tripod pilots that it can bring low if it wants.
I thus spent Easter feeling somewhat sorry for myself and occasionally wondering if I’d somehow stuffed a hagfish up my nose.
THE THIRD day of September was the two-year anniversary of the first of these coast walks, when I walked from Gravesend to Strood. It seemed only right to celebrate this by doing some more walking, although this time I would be making my way from Swansea onto the Gower Peninsula.
I WOKE up early on Sunday morning, stretched, yawned, turned off my alarm and got out of bed, ready to do some more walking. As I stood up, I almost swore under my breath but I didn’t, mostly because that breath had just exhaled itself involuntarily. I had, it turned out, most definitely got blisters on the balls of my feet.
Clearly I wasn’t going to be walking all day. Or if I was, it was going to be with pain accompanying every single step. And that would just be silly. Right?
I MAY, as the twilight began to lighten the horizon on Saturday morning, have wondered to myself why I thought it was a good time to be sitting in Cardiff Central Station (or Caerdydd Canolog in Welsh). The answer, of course, was that it enabled me to catch the first train to Barry and so to resume my walk around the coast. It didn’t, on the other hand, do much for sating my body’s desire for sleep. But hey, it had had a two hour snooze on the overnight coach from London. That would just have to be enough…
MY TUESDAY morning began with waking bright and early and devouring an excellent full English breakfast. I then checked out of my hotel and went in search of a shop that could sell me water for my walk. It wasn’t a difficult search on account of the hotel receptionist having already told me where to look. As I ventured outside, I found myself once again stepping around the Blackbird Without Fear.
LAST Monday, I awoke bright and early, stretched out in an enormous bed in a rather large room and, for a moment, didn’t feel like getting up at all. But the lure of walking beckoned, so I arose and performed my ablutions before pausing to look out of the bedroom window at a view across the River Torridge.
I awoke early on the First of April, vaguely convinced that my phone alarm must be playing some sort of April Fool’s Day prank. Alas, it was not. Blearily, I crawled from my bed and prepared for a full day of walking.