The leading Walking teams should be reaching Fort William this evening. This area of Lochaber is strongly Clan Cameron country which probably explains why some have problems finding their way about as this is truly unfamiliar territory to Clan Abbott.
Meanwhile, Clan Chipembere have been disseminating scandalous literature impugning the integrity of the editorship of this journal. As an open minded and totally impartial organisation, Walking4Norfolk will of course publish this (see below), but with a Twitter warning as to its factual accuracy….
We are also pleased to publish an account (also below) of the one who got left behind. Kit Hesketh Harvey had to remain in Cornwall for reasons he explains. But with his co-cabaret star James Mc Connell they have had time to write the latest song in their extensive repertoire: The Song of the Pangolin…’Enjoy!’
While the Walking teams fight it out…
…on the banks of Loch Linnhe, and head up the Great Glen Way to Inverness, let us have a look at how the biking teams are faring. Well, they have reeled in the PC Plodders who heroically are putting in their miles after a night on duty; and indeed, we are told one of their number recruited in as the eighth member of their team went and broke her ankle. We have asked to see photographic evidence of this but have yet to receive it.
Two Cranks and the Chain Gang are bringing their family with them. This appears to be something of a pattern. We have written about Willoughby Richmond buggying from Putney to Whitehall and back. The ladies of Team Chipembere are also battling to do their mileage.
While Lucy and her son Gus of The Carefree Wheelers appear to have been on a massive and rather unnecessary detour, Alec and Vivvi of the Chain Gang have been taking us on virtual tour of Hardy Country, but having encountered some inhospitality there, moved on to safer(?) ground at the burial place of Lawrence of Arabia.
They have also suffered the odd puncture and even attributed this to the fact that the PC Plodders are said to be carrying a sack load of tin tacks. But they appear to have struck lucky bumping in to this:
Finally, on the subject of bikes, one Walky Talkie, indeed their Captain Jill Husselby, appears to be on something of a hybrid.
The excuse is that they are all of an age where they should not be out at all, but they have been sorely shown up by another real hero of the Challenge, Martin Forsyth. He can also boast a certain vintage but is currently third placed on the individual leader board with 117 miles to his own name and that certainly deserves a round of applause and possibly another knighthood. Tom Bagge, now otherwise known as Bin Bagge as he never seen without his orange bag, is on 126 miles; and the leader is Michael Gurney on 130 miles, but it looks as though he and his faithful companion are nearly out for the count!
‘The brakes are off!’ No maximum daily limits . Those teams which have walked their daily quota now have 188 miles to go. The bikers have 338 miles to go. Can any team (be bothered to) get to John O’Groats in two days? The race is on.
Team Chipembere: Lockdown Challenge Latest!
Harry Bucknall writes:
Its all about Infographics and from the tumble down shed on the edge of the turkey farm that Walking4Norfolk use as their HeadQuarters, reams of propaganda are pumped out on an almost hourly basis to confuse and mislead as to the inescapable fact that Team Chipembere is now well in the lead; it may only be a kilometre but the turkeys have been left flailing in the Zaney Rhino’s wake.
As you can see, with only 338 km left to run, the infographics fall woefully short in displaying the actual disposition of the teams – everyone likes to back a winner and, as the saying goes, (if we were able to have one) who ever remembered the runner-up in the Derby?
The going of late has been arduous. To see from a beautifully narrated video clip showing the female elements of Team Chip as they valiantly battle the harsh conditions high on the Dorset veldt, sorry, Dumfriesshire beacons, please click here.
Outbreak of Morale
Not surprisingly, given the stonking lead and thanks to Team Chip’s very own Jumping Jack Flash, George Williamson, there has been an outbreak of morale; the temptation to burst into song, however, was mercifully short lived but if you must and to see our Arts Correspondent’s exclusive footage of the only man to own a radio station that doesnt broadcast in full song, click here.
Everybody is now sporting a Team Chipembere T-Shirt – seen here modelled by Bumble Hadden-Paton, looking surprisingly coy which is a novel development, no doubt brought on by the arduous pace being set at the front. A little tight over the top of a dinner jacket in the evening, these sought after designs by Kilo Kennard will be collector’s items as soon after the Challenge is over – Oxfam I know collect, and maybe Save the Children too.
Jokes aside …
But, jokes aside, to remind you the reason we are going thru such virtual pain and self induced digital delirium, to understand why ZANE needs our help, to see Jean’s story, please click here. And to hear Reilly Travers sum up the situation at IMIRE, please click here.
We would like to raise £7,000 by the weekend. To meet that target we only need £505!
Thank you so much for your generosity and support thus far, we so appreciate it.
We know only too well that times are hard, but in Zimbabwe, times are desperate; more so now.
As we now head North through the Highlands of Scotland, guest contributor Kit Hesketh Harvey explains why we had to leave him behind in Cornwall:
Even Dominic ‘and goings’ Cummings, whose grasp of geographical detail is evidently sketchy, would have to acknowledge one hard fact. Land’s End to John O’Groats bypasses Norfolk entirely. And another thing. I don’t possess a bike, not one that isn’t entirely immobilised by rust.
But I am glad to report that, although I am locked down here amid the tombs, I have walked my stretch. Porthcothan to Padstow, now on the North Cornish Coastal Path. Yep, walked. With feet. And all because Mrs Gammon’s gardener reversed into my wall.
The Gammons live next door to the house that I built in Constantine Bay. They own the golf course which it overlooks. That same golf course which contributes shedloads to the local economy. Yet even the Gammons, (because Nick went to Radley or something bcGd DH by were being vilified by Devolutionists, the anti-second homers, who have been hitching their wagon to the Covid emergency. Even Nick, a permanent resident, has been confronted by an irate Corn ordering him off his own land.
But … the wall was unarguably dangerous. To the locals, I mean. The locals whom my grandfather baptised. The locals whom my uncle delivered. The fact that I am more Cornish than most of them apparently doesn’t apparently count.
And so it was that I made my mercy dash down under cover of darkness, admittedly. I’d expected pitchforks and flambeaux as I crossed the Tamar. I parked deep in the escallonia hedge and scuttled into my own house clad in a balaclava.
Come dawn, and to have that unequalled beach to oneself was a treat more guilty than I dare describe. The police were prowling the lanes: (paid for out of my penalty-surcharged council tax)’and so I tried to look as Cornish as I could, my lover, my handsome. Faded shorts, surfboard, skin tanning in the fierce sun, that same sun that was boosting my Vitamin D resistance and keeping me from cluttering the hospitals, which are staffed by my Cornish cousins.
And – because driving through the tamarisk lanes would be to attract vigilante attention – from there on I walked. While scab-but-oh-so-grateful Cornish builders repaired the wall, there were the cliff paths to pass the heavenly days. Head out of the house one way and, by afternoon, you come to lowering Porthcothan. Strike out the other way and it’s Trevone. Just me, barefoot, and the peregrine falcons, the dolphins and the shout of skylarks. The silvered south, to St Ives, and the blue-ochre north, to Bude. I’ve walked this every year for half a century. It doesn’t change. It’ll still be there when all this is done.