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  • ben--taylor0

Preparing to do a long wiggle

Updated: Apr 8, 2021


(If you have come here looking for inspiration, I think that its quite possible that you may in fact have potentially taken a slightly wrong turn some way back. If I could point you in the right direction, I would, but, I do believe that inspiration is, by nature, entirely subjective, and I would only end up sending you in another wrong direction...)

So, in less than 3 weeks I will be setting off from Glasgow - I have a sneaky suspicion that this time is going to slip away very quickly.

I still have a long to-do list of things that I really ought to be getting on with before I go, but, instead, I find myself writing about what I'm doing on a boring Monday afternoon to a completely imaginary audience; as well as numerous other things that aren't really work related, but I have managed to convince myself that they are related. I mean, isn't everything relative? Things like eating (maybe putting on some weight would be good?); going for lengthy walks in the woods (need to keep fit?); watching crap films (because if I watched great films then I would feel more inclined to stay at home?)... things like that, I think maybe you get the picture.

I'm not sure how often I will be doing these posts, maybe every week, every fortnight, something like that. Every week would be nice. Maybe Monday is a good day to post things? We'll just have to see.

The inflatable raft arrived today.

Its a big green thing that looks like an aliens spawning nest, and squeaks when you touch it. I inflated it in the back yard and then sat in it for a while; I felt simultaneously like an 8 year old kid, and a complete twat.

Its presence is really exciting, yet heavily daunting.

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this yet, but I will be taking this raft with me, and paddling some sections of the coast, parallel to where I would otherwise be walking; when it feels right to do so. The reason for this is because it will hopefully make the 'walk' into something more like a 'journey'.

My ambition has always been to immerse myself into these different coastal ecosystems that I pass through. I know that I am able to do this partly by walking, and through the occasional swim, but it is my firm belief that only by being on the water will I begin to see a more complete picture of this islands coastline, and really get to grips with it somehow - if I could kayak or swim around Britain, I rekon I would, but I am currently too much of a wet blanket to even bother dreaming about such an endeavour.

I still get afraid when swimming in open water, mainly when the water appears black and seemingly-bottomless beneath me. I guess its to do with feeling out-of-control, and being exposed to this huge void of unknownness, a dark hole of potential monsters, serpents and otherworldly forces that would seek to swallow me up, drag me beneath or take me back to its lair laughing; but maybe it just boils down to an expanding comfort zone thing, that will, probably, become more relaxed with experience.

As far as preparation goes, I have actually managed to get some things sorted out.

The food situation is the most recent development, I have blown a bunch of moneys on a big heap of dehydrated food. Thanks to Firepot Foods for their assistance in sorting this out for me! They can do their meals in compostable bags (rather than just recyclable ones) which makes me giddy in ways that don't really add up; it has been one of the concerns for the journey, as camping food tends to produce a lot of packaging, and it seems a bit counter-productive when I'm so bothered about unneccesary amounts of plastic.

I've been told that these meals taste really good, so I guess at some point I will probably write an intricate in-depth and in-detail review of each meal I try, for all you lucky readers out there. Careful you don't salivate too much on the screen...

So, at least there's something to look forward to; if everything seems miserable, bleak and completely beyond hope, then at least we can just sit down, relax and think about a juicy food review.

At some point I will have to wander around a big scary supermarket and buy some food to supplement these meals (wow, this blog is really hitting the high notes). Lightweight, long life food that can survive the inevitable heatwave. Things like noodles, oats, couscous, red lentils, biscuits, nuts, crackers, dried fruit, tea and coffee. I will portion them out with the Firepot meals, put them in boxes and send them to certain towns, villages and post offices along the way. I imagine that 10 days is the maximum amount of food I can carry at any one time; so at some point I am going to have to sit down with some maps and do some counting.

Apparently, the coastline of Argyll is longer than the coastline of France.

This does take into account the islands, but its still quite a cool fact. One that I have repeated to more people than I really needed to. It just seems a bit bewildering to me, that the coastline of the first section of this journey, before I even get to Fort William, is longer than France's coast. Anyway, its a random fun-fact that you are welcome to hold on to; you could always bring it up if you find yourself in the icy grip of an awkward silence.

Anyway. Spring is here! Woo! Yeah! Flowers, and bees, and birdsong and stuff! The year is looking positive ahead.

I'm going to stop chatting shit now and go for a walk, or maybe do something else, either way I'll try to convince myself that I'm definitely not procrastinating.

You're welcome to email me any time to express your feelings on how deeply rubbish this post is, or if you have a question to ask, some thoughts, ideas, musings, or even if you just want to say hi five! If you do, I will no doubt return the gesture with enthusiasm.

Stay safe. Or don't. Up to you really.


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