Lands End to John o Groats

Something that I haven’t done for years is go to the cinema on my own during the day. In my youth when I was a student I did it a lot, and really loved sitting there in the dark with some popcorn and disappearing into fantasy for a couple of hours.

I’d wanted to go and see Morgan for a couple of weeks now – and so far no-one had been available to go and watch it with me. Since I’d recently signed up for discounted tickets at my local cinema on Tuesdays I decided today was the day. I’d go on my own and just enjoy the film. 

I can’t have the popcorn anymore though. 

Well – actually I can have the popcorn. I just choose not to. A large sweet one is 48 syns, which is a bit unfair but also a fact of life. 

Instead I ate some ham pieces and cherry tomatoes shortly before I went in and smuggled in a flask of coffee. 

I’m not sure why I hid the flask in my pocket under my shirt. The lone attendant clearly couldn’t have cared less, but smuggling in contraband made me feel a little naughty. 

I’d avoided adult prices with my discount (I paid child rates) and didn’t buy any over priced sugary snacks to make me feel like crap later. I was a paragon of economy. 

When I sat down I soon realised that I also had the cinema to myself. 

A private screening!

I sat right at the front and stretched out my legs. It was nice to take a weight off and relaaaaax

I’d started the day in the park with my mate and Boris – his French bulldog. We’d done a couple of miles and were deciding whether or not to do a third lap. 

My foot had been hurting all morning and initially I hadn’t wanted to move. I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to go too far either according to my mate. 

By all accounts when I roped Boris into a 3rd lap last week he was all achy and creaky for a whole day afterwards. The poor little fellow only has teeny tiny legs. 

He’s also got a curved spine, and walks slightly at an angle with his back legs about two inches to the left of his front ones. My friend calls it crabbing. 

He seems content enough though, and after a couple of miles (at least from my perspective) any aches and pains that the three of us started with had melted away. 

The human body is a wonderful thing – it’s always repairing itself! I was good for more, but maybe Boris wouldn’t see the same benefits. We called it quits and headed for a coffee instead. 

As we headed to our cars we met a blonde lady with a Doberman – a lovely friendly animal with a proud pointy nose and a sleek black coat. When we strolled past she was busy rewarding its good behaviour with little biscuits from her right hand pocket. 

Boris could smell the dog treats in her body warmer immediately and stopped to look up at her longingly, putting both paws on her leg and sniffing the source of the biscuity scent. 

She laughed and stroked him. We said hello and began to slowly walk and talk together as we headed out of the park. 

‘Did you have him as a puppy?’ She asked my friend.

‘No – I got him later on. His previous owner used him for breeding.’ He replied. 

‘Awww – the poor little thing.’ She said smiling at him. 

I bit my tongue and smiled. It didn’t sound a bad existence to me. Boris had a start in life (back when he still had his family jewels) that most dogs would envy. His chief concerns extended no further than eating, sleeping and procreating. 

The stoic little fellow did not suffer unduly from what I can see and his expression now shows a contented dog with only fond memories of the past. 

I do however have a tendency to anthropomorphize when it comes to dogs and pets so he could just be thinking ‘sausages‘. 

Who knows?…

While we sat drinking and talking at Starbucks (it’s easy there to sit outside with a dog) I showed my friend the new goals I had set myself in my post yesterday.

We talked about segmenting my weight loss into managable chunks with memorable goals and I mentioned that one of the ladies from Slimming World had come up with a really good idea. 

She’d commented that it would be a nice to add up all the miles that I’d done day by day and plot it against a virtual geographical walk – similar to the channel tunnel approach from the other week

I liked the idea so much I immediately started wondering where I could (virtually) go, and it struck me that I was really impressed as a young boy when the cricketer Ian Botham walked from Lands End to John o Groats in 1985

This is a pretty epic distance (by road it’s 847 miles) but what the hell – I’m in no rush. I’m going to do it!

I’m going to use Apple Watch to track it as it keeps tabs on everything I do and saves a daily log to my phone. I can’t think of anything more impressive than saying many months from now that I managed to walk that distance while loosing weight. 

Since I could hardly walk at all when I started Slimming World in April I think it’s a good idea to take my first meeting as my starting point. Firstly I’d like to see month on month how I’ve improved and then exactly how far I’ve walked since I started to lose weight. 

Apple Watch is a little imprecise sometimes in my experience – so there’s a some margin for error, but it will definitely give me an accurate(ish) total based on total daily steps counted by the pedometer and distance moved in GPS on my phone. 

I’ve had a look at how to export the data into a spreadsheet and once I’ve made it look pretty I’ll share the results. I have no idea how far I’ve walked since April as I only started looking at the stored data recently. 

I’m excited to find out!

As I left the cinema all of this was on my mind. I’d thoroughly enjoyed the film (although the twist was blindingly obvious within the first 10 minutes) and was mulling it over along with my goals as I walked to the car – parked a mile or so away. 

Every step now had a bit more meaning – and by the time I was putting on my seatbelt I’d spent an hour meandering and criss-crossing all over town. I suddenly felt just a little bit closer to John o Groats!

I’ll hopefully see you on the way Internet! Check back tomorrow to see how far I’ve travelled to date and what the difference has been month by month. 😄


15 thoughts on “Lands End to John o Groats

  1. I can’t wait for the blog post we’re you jubilantly and triumphantly inform us that you have just virtually circumnavigated the planet on foot! No hot air balloons. In yer FACE Richard Branson! You’re not still a virgin are you? I can see a hostile takeover of his company name happening!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the idea. This is actually a feature on the Wii fit plus and I on my fitbit app as well. Apparently, I have walked the length of Italy since I got the app.
    Your blog made me decide to use the app a bit more to track distances. So the first step is the “Vernal Falls badge”, which is only 15.000 steps, but will unlock other distances :D.

    Liked by 1 person

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