Coast Walk Dressing

Anyone connected with the military will understand NBC Dress Cats [civilian translation = Nuclear Biological and Chemical warfare dress categories (nothing to do with an American news channel or felines)]. This is my take on coast walk dress cats. 

 

Dress Cat Zero – Ready for bed
  
Dress Cat Zero Romeo – It’s cold in bed

  
Dress Cat One – Evening dress (good for the pub)
  
Dress Cat Two – Warm weather walking
 

Dress Cat Two Romeo – Prepared for midges
Dress Cat Three – Cool or windy weather walking

Dress Cat Four – Walking in the rain
 
Dress Cat Five – Cold weather walking
     

One Day to Go and First Problem

My tooth has just broken. Well, the veneer broke and came off (I think I swallowed it) while I was eating a pretzel last night. Very annoying as I will now have to sort out trips home to get it fixed. Just to add a small complication I’m not sure I have a dentist anymore now that I’ve left work. Yikes. 

So I’m thinking I can look at this one of 2 ways, either:

a) The pessimist’s view – this is a sign that it’s set to be a disaster-ridden trip and I should abandon now while I still have the chance, or

b) The optimist’s view – this is a reminder that things will go wrong and it’s good practise at being adaptable. 

View a is my natural position but I’m going for b this time. 

Easter Egg Hunt Before I Leave

So it’s that time of year and I couldn’t possibly start my walk before the annual Egg Hunt. We were fortunate that the Easter Bunny had visited and deposited hundreds (yes hundreds) of small eggs around the garden for children to find. This year there was a fancy dress theme of ‘coast’ and visitors included pirates, a pirate ballet dancer, a mermaid, a Hawaiian hula boy, seagulls, an Easter chick and superman…oh and I mustn’t forget Charlie dressed as a signpost (apparently it’s 304 miles to Land’s End and 650 miles to John O’Groats from Chinnor). Awesome. Here is the gang.  

 It certainly seemed like everyone had a great afternoon and to top it all off Sally made a special cake to celebrate the start of my trip. 

  

  

It was one of those days when I was reminded just how lucky I am and what lovely friends I have. With such support behind me I can’t wait to get going. 

2 Days To Go

Apart from understanding how to blog and sorting out all of my maps I think I’m nearly ready to go. I practised packing yesterday and fortunately managed to get everything in my rucksack without it being too heavy (11.5kg without food and water). There are so many things running around my head and so many unknowns that I think will only be solved with less thinking and more walking. I am nervous about the first few days though as I know from experience that physically they will be very hard. The last time I walked with a big pack (South Downs 2008) by the end of day 2 it took me 20 minutes to shuffle from my table to the bar in the pub in order to pay my bill, and I was in better shape when I started that trip. So far 2015 has been an eat-and-drink-athon for me…skiing (or rather apres-skiing) has been a major part of this. The good news is that I feel in need of some serious exercise, which is lucky as that’s what I’m about to get.

I am excited about the new kit I’ve bought (PHD down sleeping bag, PHD synthetic jacket, MSR micro rocket stove and pot) and hope that it all works out well – I’ll update more on that as I go. I did a lot of research on kit as it is generally perceived wisdom that you find out you’ve bought the wrong kit once you start your expedition. However, I need some kit, that is both lightweight and compact, to start with in order to determine it is the wrong kit once I get started – catch 22!