As I left the campsite I was handed £40 to spend on my cause-litter picking. It was a very generous gift and it afforded me the ‘self permission’ to walk, and relax, and pick up litter for at least a day.
I walked down the Coventry canal and joined the Oxford canal a few miles later. In all I walked about 17 miles arriving in the town of Rugby yesterday afternoon with sore feet, the beginnings of a(nother) blister, sore hips, and a very heavy rucksack.
I spent the night in my hammock-in a small grove of trees-at the second tee of a very smart golf course-many thanks! A near full moon plus a red raw sunrise just about made up for the nippyness of the night time temperature. (I must get myself a better sleeping bag. £3 from a car boot sale is a bargain-but not the best).
On this mini trip I decided to collect just the plastic rings that hold four and six pack drink cans together. They can be killers for wildlife. I also would pick up lottery scratch cards, to clear them from the ground-and potentially find a misread winner! (I found a ticket for last nights Euro millions too). I had hoped it might have been the answer to the professional litter picker’s financial situation. But it wasn‘t.
The Waterways Trust past Coventry have taken away many of the litter bins as they just cannot afford to maintain them-hence the public hang carrier bags on the railings-and presumably kind hearted souls empty them regularly. It’s a good idea.
The blackberries were out.
The Waterways were looking for funding. Text the word Special, send to 70007 and they will receive £3.
And a lady was looking for sponsorship for her blockbuster 300 mile bike ride, also for the Canal and River trust.
I swapped a Bill Bryson travel book for a banana with a lady I met in a car park.
I off loaded my Halfords air mattress with the landlady of a canal side pub.
I off loaded a few clothes in a ‘Planet’ recycling bin.
I cut up my dozen or so plastic beer rings.
I saw some nifty boat names.
I thought of the state of the World…and wondered what good on earth I was doing to help…by walking along a towpath. Well, I wasn’t drinking copious amounts of coffee, stuffing myself full of wine gums or ordering another curry. Walking can be gentle on the Planet.
The ducks were out, plus the swans and moorhens.
Forty English pounds paid for breakfast/dinner/a night in a B and B-and a superb hot bath-a £3 donation to the Canal and River Trust and I even had some change left over.
I picked up some litter, took photos, talked to people, have written this post and have had time to take stock. Thanks for the trust generous man! It really helped.
I could go on. But I won’t. What’s my next move?…Lord?!
(ps. Is this post too long do you think? Comment?).
Loved the blog post Si. Easily on a par with Emm in London blog. The story and pictures kept me interested, as I joined you on your day. Giving “stuff” away. Swapping a book for a banana. Enjoying being alive. Especially sleeping under the moon and stars and then the amazing red raw sunrise. I wished I was there! May catch up very soon my friend.. Dp
Cheers for the comment and constructive feedback Dave. Thinking of just sitting on the canal bank tomorrow…and see what passes by! Have a great break wherever you may go. Cheers, S.