Warks Centenary Way Planning

The Warwickshire Centenary Way
By Mark Walford

Route: Sitting at home watching all the weather
Date: Saturday August 4th 2012


Gene Kelly might like to sing in it but he can kiss my ass ....

Note to self: Never make plans that rely on A. The Weather or B. the vagaries of other people’s lives. But most particularly – the weather.
After the debauched excesses of Christmas 2011 were safely out of the way I started to look forward to the year ahead, and where my legs might carry me; I wanted to complete another recognised LDP (that’s ‘Long Distance Path’ to the uninitiated) and certainly there’s no shortage of routes to choose from; I know of at least ninety scattered across the UK, only four of which I have completed either fully or in part. However I had one major problem. I couldn’t afford it. A weeks walking in, say, Scotland, doesn’t come cheap and the economic gloom afflicting the world had managed to heap a small amount of misery over my own finances. I’d already reluctantly turned down an offer by my good friend Bod to tackle the first half of the Wainwright coast to coast walk and so it was that I entered into January nursing a bit of a sulk.
But then I realised that there were in fact three (yes three) LDP’s in my own back yard. Apart from using up a bit of diesel money I could do these, in sections, based from home. I could walk again – it was a miracle!
I set a date to start walking in April, as soon as the days started growing longer, and chose the Warwickshire Centenary Way as my walk for the year - it being the closest, relatively, of any of the options. There was the minor issue of only having one car and the daily routes not being circular in nature but I enlisted the help of some good friends and colleagues and worked out lifts to the start of each day. All I had to do was sit back and wait until April.
Eight sections to complete the walk; all done by August.
Simple? Well I thought so.

Ah yes, 2012 – one of the wettest years on record.
April passed by like a soggy nightmare and May’s rain hammered almost incessantly on the roof of my utility room to remind me, every day, that I wouldn’t be going anywhere. June hardly improved, but at least the rain got warmer. July offered some hope, except that each day I selected for the start of the walk was the day that all of my friends and colleagues had other duties to attend. 2012 – also the year of the many family weddings, as I was to learn.
And so the year slipped by, sloshing along like Noah’s wellies, whilst I sat and drummed my fingers and considered emigration. Finally, late into August, everything seemed to come together. I had time off, my good friend Dave had time off, he had a car and we made a date. I watched the long range forecast with a certain fatalism on the days leading up to the first walk, but the Met Office foretold sunny spells and isolated showers.
The Met Office obviously hates me. They only changed their mind about the weather the day before the walk.
Heavy rain.

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