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  • Chris Jones

Offline copy: Time to reflect. Week 4. Whitby to Seaton Carew.

The end of week four but also in a few days, the end of the first month on this little walk. Let's start with a few stats which I completely forgot at end of week 3, I've had a good telling off by senior management !!! The wife... 😬🫣

The journey so far...

Week 1 - 70.05 miles - 203,736 steps

Week 2 - 71.12 miles - 183,859 steps

Week 3 - 57.20 miles - 147,863 steps

Week 4 - 54.90 miles - 136,797 steps

Total - 253 miles - 672,255 steps

In this first month, my overnight sleeping arrangements have been fairly evenly matched. I've been hosted for 11 nights, in my tent wild camping for 10 nights and in hotel/B'n'B's for 8 nights. I was hoping for more nights in the tent but I'm sure this will come later when the weather warms up a bit and as campsites start opening up for the new season, I will be able to cut down on the hotels/B'n'B's for my rest days. Of course, I don't know if any of this means anything, I have nothing to compare it with and I had no real plan when I set off, it was all about taking that first step every day and seeing where it took me.

I know I set off far too quickly in the first two weeks, not intentionally but I was doing exactly what I shouldn't do, regularly looking at the map of the entire country and then panicking that I was never going to get round or if I did, it would take me five years !!! The cold days also meant that there wasn't a lot of standing around, the need to keep moving to keep warm. I intentionally slowed down a bit on week 3 and it's been less demanding on my feet and legs and therefore I've started enjoying the journey much more. A number of people have reminded me that it's not about the designation but the journey to get there so I need to lift my head, slow down and take it all in.

I visited 15 Masonic Centres, 2 in Lincolnshire, 10 in Yorkshire and 3 already in Durham with more to come as I've only just moved into this Province. Of these visits I've also managed to attend 3 Masonic meetings so probably a bit down on what I would do if I was living at home but of course I'm relying on a certain amount of luck that there just happens to be a meeting on the day I am in that particular place.

Emotionally, this first month has been a rollacoaster. The entire process of living like this has been challenging. Crawling into my tent cold and exhausted on some days has been tough and having to get out of a nice warm bag when it's -4C has been tougher... that said, I have been incredibly fortunate with the weather, January has been very gentle with me.

What has challenged me emotionally more than anything is scale of the support I've received. From complete strangers I've met on route, from Freemasons I've met either intentionally or accidentally and from the continuos calls, texts and emails I recieve every day from you all wishing me well and sending love and support. Quite overwhelming and very humbling.

There is a purpose of course for this challenge. I'm talking to lots of people about lots of very interesting things but specifically, the minefield that is poor mental health. I'm learning and I'm making notes so the content of the book is being gathered. The funds I am trying to raise for the Masonic Charitable Foundation are also increasing daily. I think we will have collected over £5000 in the first month and I'm soo grateful to everyone that has been generous and donated in these challenging times.

A month in, we've started. The path behind me has been a pleasure to walk, the path in front of me is unknown and long. I'm not thinking about how long, I'm just focusing on getting up in the morning and taking the first step.

Please stick with me on this adventure and please feel free to share the blog link, funding link and my face book page.

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Darren Bolton
Darren Bolton
Jan 30, 2023

Inspirational stuff Chris. Currently looking at getting some support from the brethren of the Northumberland Light Blues Club to come and walk some 'legs' along the Northumbrian coast with you. I believe you are forecasting reaching Tynemouth perhaps this Friday (3rd Feb) ? We look forward to receiving and supporting you in the Province of Northumberland.

Fraternal best wishes,

Bro. Darren Bolton


Northumberland LBC

Jan 31, 2023
Replying to

Fantastic support Darren. You should be rightfully proud of your Province.


Jan 30, 2023

Stick with you ?? ......... better believe it mate. You, and this walk, and Freemasons, and Joe public......... just awesome 😎😎


Jan 30, 2023

Well done Chris, keep going . You give us pleasure in reading your blogs and much to think about and ponder from reading them 😊

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