Time to do nothing – except walk 200 miles.

I’ve just listened to a rather good Thought for the Day. They can be banal or tedious but this was spot on.

Today is St Bede’s Day and he, it seems,was very interested in time. He didn’t have our current obsession with squeezing as much into our day as possible. He didn’t see time as a commodity to be spent, saved or wasted but as a series of moments, held and marked out in the day, season and calendar in which God was present to be worshipped and known.

Not everyone has that focus of course. But conversation about modern life and mental health is often about anxiety, distraction, FOMO, (fear of missing out), and a generalised sense of inadequacy. We have so much available to us at our fingertips and yet are less happy and satisfied than previous generations. I went to see Bill Bailey recently and he said, that in the West we are more likely to die of obesity than starvation, and of suicide than at the hands of a terrorist. So “Death is coming, but on our terms.” I digress.

Anyhow this morning’s speaker was encouraging us this weekend to put down our phones, unplug the the earphones and spend time just being with our family and friends. Nothing to argue with there.

But I still find it hard. I am in the middle of packing for the Next Big Walk which starts tomorrow, and I’m massively distracted by texts and emails and general nonsense.

However the very good thing as I’ve said before about walking is the simplicity of it: one foot in front of the other. And I carry only just enough stuff for that time away. And you know it’s getting less and less.

Here’s Helen’s list. It’s impressive and comprehensive and actually quite simple. This is what we bring.

2T shirts ( not cotton)

Fleece

Lightweight padded coat

Waterproof coat

Waterproof trousers

Warm long sleeved base layer

Buff

2 bras

3 knickers

Vest/t shirt for evening

Zip off trousers

Trekking skirt or second pair of shorts

Warm hat

Leggings for evening

2 thin socks

2 thick socks

Walking boots

Lightweight trainers for the evening

Phone

Charger& wire

(Juicer for phone)

Glasses & sunglasses

(Clothes line)

( head torch)

(Space blanket)

Shoulder bag or equivalent for evening

Notebook and pen

Guidebook/map

Stamps

Rucksack and waterproof cover

Earplugs

Safety pins

Tweezers

Penknife

(Gaffer tape)

(Playing cards)

Face/baby wipes

(In my first aid kit

Plasters

Painkillers

Antihistamines

Nail scissors

Compeed)

Anti mozzi spray)

Comb

Deodorant

Face moisturiser with SPF 15/20

Sun cream SPF 30

Lypsyl SPF 30

Razor

Small bottle Shampoo which doubles as body wash/ detergent

Tooth brush &toothpaste

Lightweight cup

Spork

Water bottle

Purse with cash and cards

(Pilgrim purse to share)

(Lightweight stove

Teabags)

This year I’m bringing flip flops as I yearning to get my toes out in the evening last year. And spare laces and ends for my poles. And for some reason I carry cable ties. Ready to construct a stretcher – of course.

And yes we carry it all. But we are not averse to a willing Sherpa should the need arise.

Yes my clothes all fit in those zippy bags. And I’ll be wearing some tomorrow. Phew. I’ll try and post again later. Just priming the blogging pump so to speak.

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