Kathryn Harries - Soprano

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bloody government

No concert today; it was cancelled last week because there was no support. Also, astonishingly, not much interest from the press. What a missed opportunity for raising money. Which is WHY I’M DOING THIS WALK!!
I woke up this morning with a bad cold and the beginnings of a chest infection. Too many soakings and too many hours in wet shoes and socks.
I spent the morning in my night clothes tapping away at the computer and catching up on e-mails. I had a horrible suspicion that quite a lot had ended up in my junk mail and been ruthlessly deleted…whoops.
Linda gave me some lunch – and then took me back to the Millennium Centre for 2pm. Lorna arrived clutching all my belongings for walking and, in brilliant sunshine, I waved WNO goodbye – this time there was no one to see me off apart from Linda and Lorna – and I started the next leg of the walk. Pun not intended.
Linda said later that it gave her a very strange feeling to see me striding off; she knew intellectually that I walked here, there and everywhere but seeing me simply walk out of Cardiff with the intention of reaching Leeds brought it home to her in an entirely unexpected way.
I retraced yesterday’s footsteps towards St Mellons and branched off northwards to cut above Newport. Leaving Cardiff city centre and dodging ambling shoppers was really bizarre. It seemed odd to be walking through them with this strange goal and I almost felt invisible.
It was a bit like being a time traveller who was passing quietly by in a parallel dimension. This is the point where the men in white coats leap out and drag me away!
It was showery but not unpleasant and I had some really nice walking along country lanes and some cheerful phone calls from friends that helped the miles speed by.
There came a point where I had the option of walking a rather long way round to the village for which I was aiming or cutting straight across country. You may well groan. I took the ‘direct’ route and within a mile was more than a little confused.
As I ploughed up a narrow bridleway trying to avoid ankle deep ruts, I berated myself for my idiocy. Never mind, it was still sunny and I knew I’d get somewhere eventually.
Which I did. I arrived at a farm in the middle of the glorious Welsh countryside. I had to climb a few strategically placed obstacles to get to the front door and when the farmer answered my knock at the door, I could in all honesty exclaim, ‘I am so sorry to trouble you – I am the world’s worst map reader. Could you please tell me where I am on my map!’ What a plonker!
He was wonderfully helpful and barely raised an eyebrow when, in response to his question as to where I was headed, I replied ‘Leeds.’
We had a chat about this government’s appalling attitude to farmers and farming – total agreement on that issue. What good is it living in a country that is not self-sufficient for food? We’ve got the land and expertise (I’ve been walking through it for years) so why drive farmers into ruin country-wide? Bloody government.
It turned out to my amazement that I was where I thought I was. He gave me very clear instructions which I followed to the letter and I ended up in Bassaleg at almost the exact same time as Lorna. That was a very impressive piece of Nannying! 11.6 miles.
Back to Llandaff, yet another lovely supper in great company and some packing before bed. I was quite tired this evening because of the cold which has now landed with a thump on my chest. Thanks to my doctor I have antibiotics with me and I started a course tonight. This is an all too familiar scenario and if I neglect the infection now I’ll be really ill in a couple of days. BORING.

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