Sunday March 27th

After another very poor night’s sleep I got up and continued to write this account of the past week.  Noelene and I started to try and sort out all the things that we needed to do, people I needed to thank and contact and we decided then that I would do the GMTV interview on the Tuesday, hoping that that would be the end of all the publicity.

We actually did the housework together, cleaning, polishing, washing and generally tidying up; preparing the beds for Jon, Dawn and Alex who would be staying with us that night.  And you know, I actually enjoyed doing something as mundane as the housework (only on this one occasion, though!).

Jon, Dawn and Alex drove over from Rochdale and we walked in the cold, damp air, more like autumn than spring, to the best pub in Bolton – The Howcroft, where we met Claire and Carl, demolished several plates of butties (that’s sandwiches to you non-northern British readers) and downed quite a few pints of the best bitter beer available.

We walked home, Noelene cooked and looked after all of us as Jon and I sat on the sofa in the living room testing out our new loudspeaker/amplifier system to it’s fullest volume, until the sofa shook and smoke started coming from one of the speakers; they’re all right then!  Fortunately our next door neighbour, Steve, seemed to be away (or maybe we drove him away).  We ate a wonderful tagine, drank many a bottle of good wine and just caught up on the things that I’d missed out on over the previous weeks – simply being with my closest family.  It was great, but by about eleven o’clock I was fading fast and we went to bed.

Monday 28th March

Still not a good night’s sleep and I awoke at about five o’clock again, continued writing for a few hours until, at about nine am, Noelene, dawn, Jon and Alex rose and we went for a spiffin' breakfast at Morrison's supermarket café!  Later, on our own, we busied ourselves with sorting out the press cuttings, people I had to phone and thank and didn’t do a great deal at all.  It was great.

Those boots- made for walking!Marika from GMTV came around, after I’d contacted them to say that I would do a couple of short interviews on the Tuesday morning programme.  She went through what she thought would be a few good ideas, asked me to dress in my good old Cambridge Folk Festival hat and the disgusting, unwashed, Rolling Stones tour tee shirt that I’d worn during my five days of walkabout.

I photographed my Brasher walking boots for posterity.  After all they'd only taken me in the direction in which I'd pointed them and they certainly hadn't let me down!

©John Gillatt, 2005