So, here’s a sign that I have walked past almost every day for a over a decade. It marks the start of The Dales Way, a walk from my home town of Ilkley to Bowness-in-Windermere in The Lake District. If I had a pound for every photo that I’ve taken of walkers about to begin then I’d have enough to buy myself a guidebook!

Anyway, this being the year of the Big Birthday I decided that I should stop just looking at the sign and actually DO something and with that I announced my intention to walk The Dales Way on Facebook, a surefire way of making me commit to something.

This bold step enabled me to identify a walking partner, someone much wiser and more experienced in these things than me and, crucially, with a sense of direction which I lack.

Next came new boots. My trusty old ones ( leather on the left) last saw action on the Isle of Aran in 1985 and whilst I’m awfully fond of them, I felt that walking boot technology ( and fashions) might well have moved on. I was right and the nice man in the walking shop helped me buy something suitable. ( Nice new and disconcertingly bigger boot on right.)

So now I’m all sorted. I have a date in the diary ( 11th June 2018) and the motivation. I even have that guide book. I am breaking with convention a little though. I reckon it’s psychologically better for me to start in The Lakes and then walk home so I may need to read my book backwards!

And now I’m ‘in training’. It’s a six day walk and I have to be able to walk 16 miles for two days on the trot and still get up and walk again for a few days after that. This feels quite daunting but not impossible. I imagine that it might hurt a bit but I’ve had four children. I can handle a bit of pain!

We’re doing a long training walk each month and gradually building up my stamina until I’m ready to go. And of course, me being me,  I’m going to write a book as I go along. So watch this space for news of how I’m getting on!

In other news, the eagle-eyed amongst you will have seen that I had a book launch last week and I want to say thank you to everyone that came along to support me. I am more grateful than you can possibly imagine. Sales of Postcards From a Stranger are going well and I’m getting some lovely reviews (and my mum hasn’t written all of them!)

There’s a new book review up HERE which might be interesting to those of you trying to find inner peace. And I have decided that the Book Group Book for the summer will be Eleanor Opliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman which The Yorkshire Post described as ‘Brave, smart and funny… the most refreshing and heartwarming debut I’ve read in some time’. 

So if you fancy reading along with us then you know what to do. Read the book and then join in the chat on the Forum which I will open for discussion from 1st August but which is always open.

Have a great week. Happy reading.