The game’s afoot!

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

I don’t usually quote Shakespeare but I am a bit antsy and am looking forward to being back on the “sceptred isle” in time for St. George’s Day.  The quote also contains a phrase used by one of my favourite fictional characters and so it seemed appropriate as I’ll be spending considerable time trying to solve the mystery of my great-grandfather’s disappearance.

After much deliberation I’ve decided to walk the Thames Path from the Thames Barrier to the source.  I would dearly love to be heading off on another 1000+ mile adventure but unfortunately my time is limited this time around. That said I’m looking forward to the Thames Path as I’ll have a chance to visit a few places I’ve never been to before and when it’s over it will place me exactly where I need to be to begin my family history research.   I also like the idea of walking out of London and following a river all the way to its source.

I’m giving myself a full 14 days to complete the walk and the average daily distance will be just under 13 miles per day, considerably less than the 16.2 miles I averaged on my LEJOG.  My pack should be a couple of kilos lighter too as I’m not bringing my GPS or packing a stack of Ordnance Survey maps.  I subscribed to the OS Getamap service last summer and I’ve printed out the entire route on 36 letter-sized sheets of paper which I will carry with me. I may not be referring to them often as I understand that the route is well signed, and of course having a river as a way-marker is pretty handy too.

I will be blogging while I walk although it may not be in “real time”. This is my first holiday since I returned from Europe in July 2010 and so my number one objective is to relax and decompress from what’s been a frustrating year of nagging health issues.  Fortunately I’m feeling pretty good these days and my intuition tells me that when I return to doing what I love I will feel even better.  Although I haven’t trained as hard for this walk as I did for LEJOG I have managed a 14-mile walk every month for the past year.

Although this is my first End to End in 2010 blog post since last November I have been very busy with my other blogs.  When I dedicated my last walk to the memory of my great-grandfather it had been my intention to write about him as I walked. This never materialized in 2010 but I did finally publish his story on my Family History blog several weeks ago. The story’s not complete but I’m hoping I may make a breakthrough on this journey. I’ve also been busy on Historypin and now have 154 photos on my Historypin channel.  If you’re a history buff you might also enjoy checking out my Ephemera blog which includes stories about some interesting bits of paper from Canada and the UK.

I’ve decided to end with another very appropriate quote from Henry V (this Shakespeare fellow is very handy):

Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.


9 thoughts on “The game’s afoot!

  1. I had begun to wonder if you were using another blog for this years walk. Glad it is going ahead for you and I hope to see you at some point ….so please could I view your itinerary ?
    Bill W

    • Hi Bill! I will try and post an itinerary but first I need to figure out how I’m going to shoe-horn a Thames Path walk into my LEJOG blog without messing it up. I may need to study Mr Parson’s blog for some tips! If worse comes to worst I can email you something. FYI, I will be in your neck of the woods for several days after the walk … it turns out my Clifford’s hail from Gloucestershire and so I have several dozen to look up at the Gloucester Records Office. Thanks again Bill … look forward to meeting up with you. Cheers, Steve.

    • It’s nice to hear from you Ken. I like the idea of it being a “continuing” adventure so lets go with that. Thanks Ken! Cheers, Steve.

  2. Good to hear of your plans Steve. I’m currently walking the Thames Path myself, on odd weekends, have completed the source to Oxford so far and enjoying it. You did say in your blog when you start and whether your going with the flow or against it? Look forward to following the blog and reading the book? enjoyed the last one
    Russ (

    • Hi Russ … I just checked out your blog and read of your first three legs on the TP. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for quicksand and the flooded fields! Hmmm … no spare shoes this trip.

      I begin the walk on April 22 but will be taking the odd full day and half-day off for research. I’ll be walking up river so I begin in London at the Thames Barrier.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the book and although I don’t have plans for another one at this point, who knows! Thanks again, Steve.

  3. Hi Steve good to see your soon back in this green and pleasant land!
    Was hoping to meet up when I saw the post, unfortunately I’m starting a walk of my own design in the lake district on the 20th of April! Maybe next time!
    Andy n Alfie
    (Still no agent! ) 😉

    • Thanks Andy n Alfie … have a great ramble in the Lakes and as you say maybe we’ll meet up next time! Shame about the agent, although I’d be happy to handle your North American engagements.

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