Five Years Ago

I had a double reason to celebrate yesterday. It was my Sister’s birthday and five years ago on 7th September 2014, I staggered into the ancient island town of Chinde in the mouth of the Zambezi River.

That was the end of a 3200 kilometre walk and I was but three months short of my seventieth birthday so I think I was probably justified in feeling rather pleased with myself. I can remember gorging on fat Mozambique prawns and the local gin – pretty awful in cold blood but a real treat then – and finding it difficult to accept that it was all over and I had become the first man in recorded history to walk the entire length of the Mighty Zambezi.

Back in 2014, I had dinner surrounded by a film crew and my two friends Moffat Banabasssi and Isiah Tito but last night, I ate alone and can’t remember what I had! I did raise a glass or three though, to Little Sister, to Moffat and Isiah, to Timm Kroeger and his film crew, to my Zambian sponsors and all the people who helped along the way. Then I toasted the Mighty Zambezi and of course, Myself.

That is probably more than ‘a glass or three.’ No wonder my teeth are vaguely itchy this morning!

For me, the memories of that walk will always be with me and I am reminded of both the hardships and the wonders involved every time I give a motivational talk or public presentation on Walking the Zambezi.

If you haven’t read the two books I wrote on the walk, you really should. Halfway through I brought out Cowbells Down the Zambezi and after it was all over, In Livingstone’s Footsteps. Both are doing well.

So am I for an old Toppie but as that was five years ago, it follows that seventy-five must be just around the corner. Have I got time for another little adventure I wonder?

We shall see.

I think everyone knows that the NHS is overstretched. Possibly the greatest need throughout the service is for funds to deal with mental health, especially for young people, with suicides among teenagers at a record high. So why on earth are precious resources being spent on providing counselling sessions for fans of Bury Football Club who are allegedly experiencing ‘emotional distress and upset’ after their club was kicked out of the football league.

How can there be any justification for that sort of nonsense? So those poor distressed fans will have to find another team to support. Soldiers suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as do victims of serious trauma. Football fans do not, at least not from the game of ruddy football. Talk about an own goal by the NHS. This is an own goal for sheer ruddy stupidity.

Sorry, I had to get a bit of a rant in.

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