I've signed up to a writing course titled Travel, Memoir and History writing - Life and other journeys at Ty Newydd, the Welsh Literature Centre, .
What better course to attend if I'm writing a book about my long long journey and what better way to enter into the mindset of the book I'm trying to write about than to relive it physically. I've decided to walk to Ty Newydd, roughly 90 miles from Llanidloes to Criccieth, taking in a climb of Cader Idris on the way.
I'm hoping it will be a return to wilderness, a forgetting of the structured and busy life I'm living now, of all the ways I rush and never think.
I want to strand myself in adventure, just an unprepared body trying to sleep in a wet field, feel the difficulty again, more intensely.
I don't have a tent any more, I had to give that back. I'll shove some clothes in a bag tonight, along with a sleeping bag and a piece of green tarpaulin. A tupperware box and a spoon to eat with. A notebook and pen. Maps. Washkit. A switched off phone. Tins of mackerel, couscous. My bright orange water bottle. A loaf of bread and cheese.
Then I'll walk to work tomorrow morning, bleary eyed at 5am. Make bread in a bakery until 10am, then shower and leave.
I will return to the outside and return to discomfort, allow it to refresh my brain, shock it into real, raw memories and physical sensation.
I haven't done the same thing for five days in a row for months and months, life has become a series of hitch hiking journeys between varied and interesting events. I'm not complaining, my life is both easy and brilliant, it's just that the walk and the book I'm trying to write about it sometimes seem very hard to grasp. Events have receded to distant memory and I need immediacy, it's how I thrive, it's what I feel the best.
So this week I'll treat you all to a redux of my previous walk, a few tales of uncomfortable sleeping and foot pain, a few photographs of beautiful views. I hope you enjoy it.