The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 13 September 2008

An Explosion Of Rice, All Over The House

(Subtitle: Coast to Coast Preprations)

Bright and early on Tuesday morning, after our pleasant few days pootling along the canals, we made our way back over to Wolverhampton to continue the work on my late mother’s house. We planned to return home briefly on Wednesday night to get some chores done (like the mountain of washing and some more dehydrating; the fact that we’re imminently off for a two-week C2C walk is pressing on our minds).

Events (and workmen) conspired against us and it was late yesterday when we finally found ourselves at home again – with a now rather urgent list of chores.

First on the list of things to do was to get some food cooking so that it could be dehydrated. By bed-time we had eight more trays of food drying. That extra dehydrator really is a blessing.

This morning we finally took stock of the dried meals that we’ve accumulated over the last few weeks and, to our surprise, found that we have plenty, not just for this trip but also for most of the WHW trip in October.

That just left us with some rice and pasta to prepare, so the dehydrators have both been whirring away all day. Is it just me, or does everyone find that the process of dehydrating rice leads to grains of crunchy rice over every floor and surface in the entire house?

Then came the packing bit. That involved lots of shouting (mainly from my direction) of ‘have you seen the XXX?’. Surely having cleared out the kit-cupboard recently it shouldn’t be so difficult to find stuff? (Surely I should put stuff in the kit cupboard if I want it easy to find, rather than throwing it into all four corners of the house and then covering it with eight layers of junk.)

Most kit has now been found and tomorrow we’ll be packed all ready to go.

The printer has been clanking away too (it used to whir, then it broke, then I fixed it, now it works, but not in a smooth whirring sort of way). We have maps printed and (pretending at being organised) an itinerary that tells us where we may like to stay each night.

So, that’s all the preparation (or nearly all; I still need to cut up a guidebook so that we’re just taking the useful information without the unnecessary stuff like ‘wear a sturdy pair of boots’ and ‘if you’re not camping you should be able to get away with a 65 litre rucksack weighing not more than 15kg’). All we have to do is go and walk it now; and hope desperately that the weather improves a little. A couple of weeks of sunshine will suit me nicely.

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