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Tom's Trek

Edinburgh to London Diary

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Day 1 - Monday 20th September 2010

Restless night. Woke up sweating. A number of people have told me that they thought me plain mad seeking to tackle such a walk: “Too long and too fast and you’re too old,” one said, “You’re not a natural walker," referring to the fact perhaps that I walk like a crab. If only I had said York-London or better still Cambridge! But why oh why did I say London? Perhaps I might develop the galloping Ab Dabs and cry off. But what would all the donors say then? Perhaps they would demand their money back! “Poor old sod!" they would say. They would be very nice to my face but in their heart of hearts I would lose credibility and the staff in Zimbabwe would be gutted.

But then I recall what Archbishop Fisher told Laud as he was being burned at the stake at Martyrs Memorial in Oxford, “Play the man!”


We set off in the warm late summer sun to the sound of bagpipes, all the old songs I knew from my days as a soldier: to the sound of the Black Bear, and all the regimental tunes I well remember. Our driver Harry Campell was unused to seeing what we usually look like in the early morning and was convinced we would both collapse before we left Edinburgh. However we strode up the Lammermuirs and made good time covering the 18 miles. The day was glorious and all in all it was a surprisingly fine start to our trek. Jane and I were downcast by the fact that our dog - a Staffordshire Bull Terrier - hurtled over a cliff after a rabbit the day before and badly strained, or perhaps even has broken, her shoulder. So there she sits in our car staring sadly at us with her liquid brown eyes.

We were shown wonderful hospitalilty by our hosts the Donaldsons and we would like to say a huge thank you to Grants at Gorebridge who gave us a free lunch.

The countyside is covered with a thin layer of litter...

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ZANE - Zimbabwe A National Emergency

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