Brentwood, Essex to Preston, Lancashire
Difficult to know where this adventure actually begins. I can’t see that it started the moment I set out from home as, admittedly, I don’t normally carry a large backpack to work and I have never felt the need to hunker down outside Liverpool Street in a bivvy bag during the one hour commute from Brentwood to Shad Thames. The departure point was surely then FMP HQ: the point at which my journey took a trajectory different from the norm, just me, the countryside, dangerous squirrels (apparently) and a 16.5kg back pack!
First step though, haircut. Now, at first glance it may seem as if I am taking this whole travelling light business far too seriously and in actual fact, I am able to describe the individual contents of my pack by weight to the nearest 10 grams. In reality, however, the reason for the new bouffant was actually because I couldn’t stand the thought of my long hair becoming a matted, disgusting greasy lump on my head after two weeks of camping. It does mean that I will have to start washing my neck, but, on the upside, it gave me something to do in the first class lounge at Euston: posting a selfie on Facebook to show off my new look.
Despite this highly important and time consuming task, I did manage to squeeze in a quick pint of Tilting Ale in the lounge before moving down to the train where I ensured that I got best value out of my £40 ticket by eating and drinking everything on offer from the regular trolley visits.
And then to my stop over for the night: Preston. A place where everybody is so infuriatingly friendly and pints are only £3 a go. A perfect place to contemplate the journey so far . . . nah, don’t worry. I am not getting all spiritual on you all and I can pretty much guarantee that if sheep start to talk to me in the middle of the night, it will be due to food poisoning induced hallucinations and not an inner awakening of my soul!
The real journey starts tomorrow . . .