31 March

31 March

Dear Humphrey

Reached Ely and a bit beyond. We have just spent a very comfortable and entertaining night with the Bishop, who took great pleasure ( at least he said he did) in cooking us a delicious dinner. We greeted us at the front door wearing a pint! We (Tom, Tocky(daughter) and I) looked like the genuine pilgrims bedraggled, soaked through and  quite weary.

But let me rewind a couple of days to the beginning. I promise not to go on too much as I know you get bored of a lot of writing but there is a bit to cover. Having handed over to Charles Watt as High Sheriff at the Town Hall in Lynn, we were given the best send off. Carol Bower the Mayor had turned out with all her mace bearers in full attire .. wonderful! Canon Chris Ivory was there to stamp the passport. Lots of friends and supporters including the West Norfolk Befrienders with a special placard. 5 hours later we got back to Daisy. Only one sharp storm and great walk down the Nar Valley seeing many familiar sights from a totally different perspective. My drive in to Lynn will never be the same!

It was lovely to see you and home. Your mistress  prepared a really delicious supper. But it was heartbreaking to have to say farewell to you the following morning and I am sorry we could not take you with us for the first day but we had to do a little trespassing and crossing electric fences ( which I know you don’t like) and also quite a trek down the A10 which was horrible. Big roads are not fun. One depressing fact was that we hardly covered a yard of the road without seeing a ghastly array of bottles, cans and plastic bottles. After all the news coverage and David Attenborough programmes how can we all care so little?

Our second night was spent with the wonderful Charlesworths and once again we were made so comfortable. Mum came over for dinner. Sadly Tocky was trapped on a train from London and unable to join us but she appeared the following morning to walk with us to Ely. We set off  in lovely sunshine with Annabel. I should not tell you but Brian had very kindly agreed to transfer our back packs to the Bishops house. It later proved obvious he had had a long conversation with Bishop Stephen who was fully briefed on our life’s history by the time we arrived.

This is going on a bit but just a couple more things. My physio Bob Wood suggested I collect a series of photographed images on the way and it occurred to me that Village signs were the answer as they all tell a story. We picked up some good ones in Southery Littleport and Ely. But the latter meant we had to go via the road to Ely rather than the river bank and once again we don’t liked roads.

The afternoon proved wet. very wet. Enough said. Tom had his waterproof trousers Tocky and I did not!

So about 44 miles done and 1456 to go!

take care of Mum!

your friend and master 😅

 

27 March

27 March

Dear Humphrey

This is the night before hand-over and my departure and full of mixed emotions. I say good bye to a wonderful year meeting so many lovely inspiring people but it is time for a change. Charles my successor has lots of new energy and ideas and that’s what makes the High Sheriff’s role so enduring  (1300 years).

I leave you and dear Tor behind for a while at least. You have no idea  what is in store nor why. She knows and knows why but it is not entirely enthusiastic. But if you watch this short video you will realise it’s all in a good cause. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKm0xiw4Bn4

Meanwhile Tom who comes with me has been checking his activity app on his IPhone . It is telling him to ‘sit less, move more, get some exercise! ‘ He thinks he has not got it set right! We will see what it says tomorrow evening!

Humphrey, if you will forgive me I will post tomorrow evening covering the departure but after that I will not bother you more than two or three times a week

your friend and master

22 March

22 March

Dear Humphrey

In less than a week I will be on my way. Not something I know you want to hear about. And all frankly rather daunting having created a bit of a hype about it all. I do hope I  ‘pass Go’ and collect the money! A lot of people have been so generous. We are more than a third way to the target but let’s hope we exceed it.

I visited the young carers group in Terrington last week run by the amazing and dynamic Carly Hain and have had some video interviews generously recorded by Martin Strals of Riarmato which I will post on the website at intervals telling the stories of young carers. There is also one of me which may help you understand why I am abandoning you for a short while.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4RvCVdKMqI&feature=youtu.be

I am still waiting for my boots to arrive and snow is forecast for Easter. So no pressure.

Finally Matt Gudgin of BBC Radio Norfolk had me on his show last week sharing my six discs a la Desert Island Discs. It goes on for a bit (an hour) But if you really want to listen to it it’s on their website (start at 2.08 hrs in)  and is repeated this Sunday lunchtime. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05zj1hy

Enough for the time being. But you said you wanted to be sure I took a photograph of you with me..is this one ok?

With love

your friend and master

9th March

9th March

Dear Humphrey

You were’nt able to come to the launch I am afraid but I thought you would like to read a note of the account which one of the Young carers Lucy Penfold  gave and then may be you would understand better why I am going to be leaving you for three months. It is all in a really great cause and really important that we raise money to give these young carers a bit of a break..

“Being a young carer can be very stressful and get really hard because you want to hang out with your friends.

“You’ve also got school work and have to be at home all the time so you don’t feel like you can be a proper teenager.

“It’s really hard with my brother because his mental age is that of a toddler but he’s actually 9-years-old so he can be a handful.

“My dad can’t drive us to school all the time so sometimes I miss class or I’m late because I can’t get in.”

I am hoping to make arrangements to get these accounts videoed and put on the website so that you can see for your self

Your friend and master.

8th March

8th March

Dear Humphrey

I realise you have been waiting for news as to how the launches for this venture have gone and I am sorry but I am in a bit of a rush at the moment. Suffice it to say that they appear to have been a great success. The young carers who spoke were the stars of the show and I am planning to get some of their stories on to my website as they really make the case. Also I want to get the older carers in to the picture as well. Lots of work to do but I am so encouraged by the response so far. No time for training except taking you for walks or rescuing your pekinese brother (Cocoa)  from under the thorn hedges in the dark..what he is after I have no idea but he is very keen.

Must rush..more later.

Friend and Master