Moving On, Walking On

The past three weeks have been manic at times. Ever closer to the end of November when MA results will be announced, stress levels are climbing, day on day. Walking has helped and continues to do so. It is the one time when I can clear my head and creativity has a chance to peek through, though walking with the dog has been problematic in windy weather – he gets a wild streak in the wind and pulls me all over the place.

I’ve been working with my iPhone camera whilst out on foot rather than carrying my beloved but much heavier and bulkier Canon 500D. This has met with varying degrees of success and some abject failures but is, I feel, worth going on with.

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The landmark event of the last two weeks is that I have begun the process of application for PhD research. I experienced an almost biblical realisation regarding my proposed research project which has concreted my ideas and enabled the first draft of the resultant thesis proposal flow from my pen with relative ease. There is still much work to be done on it but I do have a skeleton on which to hang the flesh of the proposal – which is good. I will publish the outline of the proposal here in time, but would rather not tempt the fates into blocking it any time before I have applied for and hopefully achieved, funding for the project. Suffice for now to say that walking will be one of my primary sources of research. I will be walking in the fens of Lincolnshire, along the spine of Wales on the Sarn Elen trail, and around Colchester and North Essex over the next two years. I also hope to spend some time with a travelling community. The first walk will be along Sarn Elen in the Spring of 2017 if all goes according to my plan.

The next two weeks will be spent refining the proposal and getting it submitted along with the other paperwork required – really would like to have it submitted before the end of the month so that I have some chance of a decision before the end of the term in mid-December. I’ll report back here on progress.

Till then, keep on walking on!

On Walking, Writing and Inspiration

I’m a walker, writer, and thinker among other things and not always in that order. I write as I walk, though sometimes I just think I’m writing and have to try to remember my thoughts till I get my hands on a pen again. I write in the good, old-fashioned way – with pen and paper. I also resort to using a pencil in the rain.

This website will chronicle the preparation, research and writing process of a project I am beginning in late October of 2016 and which will continue well into 2017. I intend to walk from the north to the south Wales coasts and will be writing about the things I see as I walk, as well as the way it makes me feel. I’ll be writing about the history of the places I visit and about the people I meet on the way. In that way I hope to emulate the great George Henry Borrow whose book Wild Wales has been by my side for the past three years as I have written my way through a BA and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing. It has inspired and provoked further research and writing during that time and I expect it will continue to do so for some time to come.

The spirit of the places in which I walk is very important to me, as is treading as lightly on the land as I can. The journey will be a pilgrimage as I seek enlightenment, both spiritual and intellectual.