Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sunday Summary and Awesome April Day 19

I write the last dregs of this post sitting here, at 3.20pm 5.30pm (yes, it really does take me this long to get my Summary Shizzle together!) on Sunday, in my PJs with a cup of verystrongveryhotandverytasty coffee before me. It's been that sort of weekend. In a good way. But before you think I've gone all inert and lazy on you, think again!

This week, I have mostly been...



...London Book Fair

{Now hosted at Kensington Olympia}
And it was mental. Really busy, really buzzing, which is a positive sign for the industry. Plus, added bonus, I got to meet up with me lovely mates Georgina (who was there with her book, prospecting!):

{QB and GCP @ the LBF | Photo by Georgina with interference
from my finger on the shutter release}
and Clarey McClareyson, and see some old colleagues. Not to mention clocking a few new titles, though most publishers now have 'closed' stalls which makes it frustratingly difficult just to, er, browse.

{LBF photobomb... |  Photo by George}
{"Yah, Lavinia, dahling, this book is The Next Big Thing,
Bigger than Rowling. Bigger than Dan Brown. Bigger than Fifty Shades.
BIG, dahling. Clear your diary, we're going out for a Long Publishing Lunch
and the Prosecco's on me. ...No, you're amazing...
No, you're amazing. Mwah. Love you." | Photo by George}

{The Tower of Hachette | #awed | Photo by George}

Walking (quelle surprise, mes amis!)

Oh, the training schedule is looking more and more bonkers by the week, people! On Saturday I popped up toon on the train to Richmond, for the first of two four-hour trots, where I circumnavigated Kew Gardens (as in, did not go in as was not willing to find out if I really had to pay £16.50 entry just to walk round).

{Ain't nobody got time fo' dat}
I then found a delightful path alongside the river, spotted a few rowers in training and some beautiful buildings on the other side:

{Syon House Estate, apparently | ain't Google Maps wonderful?!}
{OK, drawing a blank on this one. Any ideas? It's in Isleworth, I think!...}

before cutting back into the Old Deer Park, and eventually wending my merry way to Richmond Park proper.

I then performed a strange little back-and-forth route across the park before heading out for a cheeky 99 Flake (needs must), then taking the Sawyers Hill route back through the park

and wandering all the way to Barnes station. I shortchanged myself by 15 minutes, though, and had to make them up when I got home (with a trot round the park). Which Map My Walk seemed to translate into "I walked the additional 17 miles from Barnes to home rather than do the sensible thing of catching the train". Yep.

{And no, I hadn't been drinking. Though you'd be forgiven for thinking
as much, looking at my tracks on this route...}
Then, today (Sunday) I was up with the lark (or, less prosaically, the urban pigeon) to throw the rucksack back on and clock up another four hours of foot-led fun, around Nutfield and Outwood.

{That portentous-looking sky? It was just joshing with me.
Beautiful weather all day!}

Somehow I managed to get myself tangled up in an oncoming cycle event but all the wardens and cyclists themselves were lovely and gave me a wave.

...Either that or they were frenetically signalling for me to get out of the road, ya silly tart. ...No, they were all very polite and thanked me for jumping into hedgerows as they passed.

Today's route, which garnered me another 13.98 miles on the eternal milometer, looked a little bit like this (which looks a bit like France on the wonk, don't you reckon?):

The route gave me my first proper yearly sighting of...

 just behind Bransland Wood; and my first sighting of...

{the Outwood windmill}
I made it back onto my road almost exactly four hours after I left the house. I'm getting really flippin' quite good at this walk malarkey, if I do say so myself (!)

{Obligatory "I'm still aliiiive" selfie...}
Once again, double-thanks to me little Georgina for being my check-in chick and letting me message her hourly on both days to report on my progress, and assure her that I was still mobile and fully functional. I appreciate it -- while I have no issue with walking alone, I'm not daft, I know I need to be responsible and accountable in some way.

Just over two years ago (two years and one week, to be precise) I wrote this post, ruminating on "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Walker", while I was in training for my last MoonWalk. And although I've had to abandon the dance tracks in favour of quiet mindfulness, so much of this still rings true! Allow myself to quote... myself (to paraphrase Austin Powers):
I have a playlist of carefully selected music (mostly upbeat dance tracks), and I have a pace. A style. For the first fifteen minutes sometimes my shins ache. Later on my lower back and right hip (traditionally) start to hurt. And then at some point I break through the pain barrier. That's the physical part of it. 
Mentally, well, every mile brings about a new inner monologue. 
Sometimes I think about walking. About finishing the walk I'm doing, anticipating the triumph of it. 
Sometimes I think about the distance. How I want to, need to, go a bit further. Push myself. 
Sometimes I think about where I am, and where I need to be. And how the heck I've managed to get so off-track. And why wasn't this road shown as a dirt track on my map!? [This is less of a concern with my new mapping technique*, though I do enjoy looking out for my next turning especially on a lane that stretches a good 2 miles]  
Sometimes I think about how Surrey Highways have so often failed to acknowledge the existence of walkers and leave us running from roadside to roadside in pursuit of safety and pavements. [This is still so very, very true!]
Sometimes I don't think about walking at all.
Sometimes I'll be remembering moments from my past. Other times, plotting stories. Making plans, lists.
And the next thing I know, I've missed a turning, or I've clocked up another two miles and not even noticed. Physically walking and emotionally walking involve a satisfying disconnect at times. 
Walking gives me that time and liberation to think about all those things I shelve, put aside to consider at other times, and then often forget.

* Unsurprisingly, I am a more verbal than visual thinker. To that end, my mapping technique involves, well, yes, looking at a map first -- or, more specifically, checking out the route that Map My Walk's Route Genius has picked for me -- and then writing the directions down in a way I'll understand. 

I then laminate the written route, hole-punch it, and wear it round my neck on a lanyard, to follow as I go.

...Did I mention, I'm just a little bit:


(I also follow my progress on the MMW app, to make sure I'm still going in the right direction...!)


House... and I'm worried I just witnessed the show Jumping the Shark. Y'know, when something so ludicrous happens that devalues the show, and makes it (almost) not worth watching after that?

This be the moment that House just got too silly:

Oh, that and the End of Huddy. No. No. NO. I won't have it.


... this song:

{Ben Howard | Keep Your Head Up}

Blogger Jennifer Davis of Live. Life. Create. Art, who I've followed for about five years, shared three really great songs in a recent post, and since I empathised with the points she was making in that post, I decided to seek out the songs themselves. This one particularly spoke to me, and I might have to do a bit more listening to Ben Howard as a result. My kind of dude.

And I love this simple but effective sentiment.

Literary Linkage

Non-Literary Linkage

  • The Everyday Sexism project celebrates its third birthday... and inequality is still rife: Here and Here
  • Single and loving it | How to enjoy living by yourself (and I rilly rilly do!) | {on Apartment Therapy}
  • Why are we gender-stereotyping our children? | {on Dame Magazine}
  • It's time to re-wild the child | I love this idea | {on The Guardian, thanks to Monika}

Right, I'm signing off for now -- and just to warn you, I have 12 hours of walking to clock up next weekend plus a couple of social engagements (!) so if I don't post a Summary, please don't send the heavies round to duff me up.


qb xx

Oh and finally... before I forget... PIGGIWIGGAGE!

Baby Piggy Prancing Through The Grass!
Posted by Meetville on Tuesday, 24 March 2015

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