A slightly sad day today. It is Good Friday and the sun is shining. So why sad? This morning I trudged around my three-mile village route for the very last time. The removal van arrives next Tuesday and by Wednesday lunchtime I will no longer be living in West Adderbury. According to my virtual walk records, I have completed this route 154 times including 23 litter picks, which totals 462 miles of the 778 miles walked to date. I thank all the dog walkers I have met, the lady that jogs every morning, and the middle-aged couple who always say hello to me as they too trudge around the village together.
The months ahead are going to be odd, but a telephone call earlier this week has now added a touch of mystery and intrigue to our future. The financial advisor of the couple we are buying our new home from near Skipton called them to say he had miscalculated what mortgage they could get on their new property. The revised amount is much lower and therefore the couple have decided to stay where they are and have taken their property off the market. Absolutely terrific. We now have nowhere to move to. I am told we have the best legal system in the world. Really? Then it doesn’t say much for the legal systems in the rest of the world, does it!
So here is our agenda for the next month or so:
April 24 to May 3 Staying at our caravan in Swanage.
May 3 Driving to Harrogate.
May 4 to May 11 Staying with friends in Kenmore in Scotland.
May 12 to May 14 TBA
May 14 We have to be in Oxford for an appointment.
May 15 to May 16 TBA
May 17 to May 22 Short trip to Malaga and Granada in Spain. Flying from Heathrow.
May 22 onwards A complete mystery. Watch this space.
But of course, as soon as we settle into our caravan in Swanage, we might have to dash up to Yorkshire to view a house that has just come on the market. The same applies during our time in Kenmore.
So, interesting times ahead. But you can keep up to speed on everything by just clicking onto my blog. Although I still have nearly 150 miles to go before I reach John O Groats, leaving the village does not mean I stop my virtual walk. I pledged to raise funds for Adderbury library, and I will complete the walk wherever I am. And that could be all over the place by the sound of things.
And it was on my 154th walk around the village when for the first time, a man approached me and said, “You must be Mr Britton.” He was one of three men working at Adderbury Lakes. One was chain-sawing logs, and the two men I met were removing the sawn up tree trunks off the site. I mention this for two reasons. First off, let’s appreciate the fact that here are three volunteers giving up their bank holiday to make a public amenity a better place for the rest of us. Well done them. This week alone I have spotted a treecreeper, two chiffchaffs, and two visiting mute swans, along with all the normal array of birds that normally live there. And secondly, one of the gentlemen gave me a tip to write about when I get up closer to Inverness. I will certainly be looking into General Wade and his military roads.
And this brings me nicely onto where I am on my virtual walk. I have done over 50 miles since my last report and I have travelled from Calvine to just north of Carrbridge. The surrounds are starting to get lumpy with the Cairngorms National Park starting to rise up to my right as I make my way through numerous small towns and villages like Newtonmore, Kingussie, Aviemore, and Boat of Garten.
Let’s start with Newtonmore, home to the Highland Folk Museum. I assumed this to be a museum for folk music, but I was wrong. It is an area of land that has been developed to show how Highland folk lived from about 1700 to the start of the 20th century. Checking their website, and reading up on the Trip Advisor comments, I must say here that most people thought the place was either excellent or good, but I like looking at the minority reports, and one caught my eye. The headline was “The only thing that brought history to life here was the plastic cow.”
Newtonmore is also home to a very good shinty team. What do you mean you don’t know what that means! Surely everyone has heard of the game of shinty? It is probably the most famous sport ever……….…..in the Scottish Highlands. Basically, it is a cross between lacrosse, hockey, and rugby. You can hit the ball in the air with the stick, you can hit the ball with both sides of the stick, you can seemingly hit your opponents with the stick, and you can shoulder barge your opponents at any time you like. Basically, anything goes, and it appears to be the 21st century way of settling all differences between all modern-day warring clans. The only difference between now and the 15th century is that it is now all played out on a sporting arena.
Just up the road is the small village of Kingussie. And they are renowned for one thing. It is in the Guinness Book of Records. They had the best ever shinty team to have ever walked this earth. They went unbeaten for over twenty seasons. So there.
But of course, the best is held back to the end. Tonight I am resting my virtual head in the village of Carrbridge. And that’s right, you’ve guessed it. We all know what this village is famous for. It hosts the world- famous annual event – The Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship.
It has strict competition rules. Take a look.
And clever dick Google even provides a list of all past winners. But there is a worrying factor. Last year the winners were not Scottish. They hailed from Sweden. It really is a world-wide event then. Here’s the press release:
I particularly like one of the quotes “After I won the speciality porridge category last year, I have thought about winning the Golden Spurtle every day.” Well you would, wouldn’t you.
I wonder what I‘ll get offered for my virtual breakfast tomorrow morning?
Right. That’s it. My last Adderbury-based blog. But keep tuning in. More blogs will follow. I just don’t know where I will be writing them.