Friday, February 29, 2008

Try not to fall off the edge!

It's lashing with rain and no allotment work is do-able on what is a day off so I'll tell you a bit more about the biking trip. Basically it is riding round Europe. But I sometimes have a very literal mind, and this is literally riding round Europe.

Starting at the top end of Denmark, where North Sea and Baltic meet, it's following the coast (keep the sea on the right and it'll be fine) all the way round to the Galata Bridge in Istanbul, where the Black Sea and the Mediterranean symbolically meet at the Golden Horn. It goes, pace McGregor & Boorman, by the working title of Short Way Round.

Of course it's anything but short. Denmark to the top end of Italy is almost 6000 miles, then there is all the way down Italy and all the way back, then down the other side of the Adriatic. It's an awfully long way round the in and out bits of Greece, and Albania promises to be 'interesting'.

And then you ask - "so OK Woody, you've got to Istanbul; now what? How do you get home?" Ah well, you see, I keep going, round the Black Sea coast, across the Danube delta to Odessa. I've always wanted to go to Odessa and the Potemkin Steps. By now, of course, I'm in the Ukraine and it really is time to turn home. So it's a sharp left from Odessa into Moldova, through Chisinau, back into the Ukraine and Lvov, over the border to Poland, call on our friends in Lezajsk (damn fine brewery in Lezajsk) and back to the North Sea coast, having gone all the way round.

"Hell's teeth, Woody", I hear you say; "you must have chuffing good holiday entitlement." Well, not exactly, and in truth it's going to take several stages and several years to finish this. I reckon I'll be around 63 when I finish it (almost 58 now).But if you don't start you never finish and I'm a great believer that "A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step". I remember, aged about 12 and living in a council house in Co Durham, realising that I could get to anywhere, literally anywhere, by walking down the garden path and keeping going. That's never left me.

More details, preparation etc in due course. You'll want to know how Wilma Wibury fits in this too I guess. But, for the moment, allotment service will resume shortly!

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