I’m a bit late with my monthly bog; life is very busy. When I’m not working, I’m walking and when I’m not walking, I’m writing! My big news is that I’ve started my book, after a couple of months in the planning stage, I’ve begun to write, I’m up to Chapter 3 and really enjoying the experience.
Its not as easy as I’d originally thought. I’m hoping my book will be good enough to entice a Publisher, so it needs to be quite meaty. By that I mean I need to write between 3,000 and 5,000 words per chapter for about 30 chapters which isn’t easy. I’ve figured you need to know a lot about your chosen subject and be confident in your research to produce something appealing enough for people to want to read. As my fiction book features the Cornish coastal path, Jamie and I also need to have completed it – the whole 260 mile stretch from Bude on the North Coast around Lands End and The Lizard and up the South side to Plymouth. We’ve probably walked about 75% of it since we started last year so we need to get cracking and walk the missing pieces, one of which we did on Tuesday. It definitely brings a book alive when the author has experienced their subject matter.
We’re keeping a log (so we can get our completion certificate), and by far the largest segment missing for us is from Bude to Padstow, too much to tackle in one day so we’ve taken the advice of the coastal path walking guide and broken it down into manageable sections. So, on Tuesday we walked the section from Bude to Crackington Haven, what a day!! We left St Agnes at 7.45am to make sure we arrived in Crackington Haven in time to get the 9.23am bus to Bude. We’d parked up in Crackington Haven, so the car would be waiting for us on our return.
After a pleasant bus ride to Bude, complete with masks, the walk started off relatively easy on a grassy path along the back of the beaches to Widemouth Bay. Widemouth Bay was OK but very busy, and not one of my favourite Cornish beaches. I knew from our research on this section that this easy start should not mislead us into imagining the whole day will be like this. The Southwest Costal path notes had described it as challenging and strenuous! I could only remember one other section I would describe using those words.
The Path soon proved their description was right as it became rough and narrow in places and plunged into steep valleys, including Scrade which is one of the deepest and steepest valleys on the Cornwall section of the whole walk. One of the things I love the most about walking the coastal path is the wide, open views of the Atlantic from high cliff top paths where you’re always conscious of the force of the sea and winds. This walk didn’t disappoint. It was baking hot, I’d forgotten my hat, the sea was relatively calm for the North Coast, but it still looked wild and feral as we stood and stared out at the different shades of blue while catching our breath.
We were starting to get tired, and I was quietly relieved when we saw a coast path sign saying Crackington Haven 2 miles. Now, I’ve walked 2 miles on many occasions, but these 2 miles were endless. The person who put up that sign was definitely “having a bit of a chuckle”. Jamie made me laugh by likening the 2 miles to “a public flogging that goes on all day”. They were the most challenging 2 miles I’ve ever walked, and I’ve been up Scafell Pike and Great Gable, not on the same day I might add. At one point I seriously thought they’d moved Crackington Haven 10 miles down the coast and so did a group of 4 walkers I’d mentioned this to who we’d been following. We’d all stopped to take in the views AND catch our breath, and as one of their party was struggling a bit, Jamie and I went on ahead eating the refreshing mints they’d provided.
My legs were burning from all the “ups”. I was finding the “downs” harder still as you have to engage your core to stop you slipping and my toes felt bruised because my feet were pushing forward into my boots on the endless downward slopes. As the path rounded the 400-foot Pencarrow Point we could finally see Crackington Haven and our car! It’s a pretty village, with a relatively small surfing beach compared to some of the larger ones near St Agnes. It also has a gaggle of pretty cottages, two café’s, a shop, and a pub. It was a bit early for a pint, so we passed on the pub in favour of an ice-cream.
Given the walking still to do and the interference of work, I’ve allowed myself 12 months to finish my book so watch this space.
Finally, as I write, Joe Biden has arrived in Cornwall ahead of the G7 and the others are arriving today. I appreciate people have different opinions about the usefulness of this forum and perhaps it would’ve been easier via Zoom. Jamie asked me if I knew who the 7 countries were, I guessed 6 – UK, Germany, France, US , Japan, and Canada but I couldn’t get the 7th (sorry Italy). Apparently, Russia joined in 1998, creating the “G8”, but they were excluded in 2014 for their takeover of Crimea.
I’m pleased that China has never been a member, I’m still cross with them over Covid. Despite its large economy and having the world’s biggest population, its relatively low level of wealth per person means it’s not seen as an advanced economy in the way the G7 members are. India, South Korea, and Australia have been invited this year which is nice. We also bumped into Extinction Rebellion today when we went to Godrevy to spy on Carbis Bay. It’s probably the closest you can get to Carbis Bay. One of the things I noticed about their protest was they all still had Covid hair; come on guys, the hairdressers have been open for weeks now. It appears that the whole of the British Navy has turned up too. Cornwall certainly disappoint with the mist and fog 😊.
Finally, before I pop off, an update on the reason I write this blog, to raise awareness for autoimmune disease. My consultant and I (note the correct use of grammar) are still going through the alphabet of autoimmune disorders to establish the reason for all my new symptoms. It’s a full-scale operation with more blood tests last week and other stuff to follow, I’ll keep you updated.
Thank you for taking the time to read and share my blog. It regularly features in the top 5% now, I’ve no idea why!
Until next time xxx