As many of you know, I am setting off on Monday for a 1,000 mile walk from Lymington to Cape Wrath. A bit bonkers, but it’s not exactly Mount Everest.
Part of my plan is to raise a good amount of cash for the small curlew charity (www.curlewaction.org) that I helped to establish a couple of years ago, and of which I am proud to be Chair of Trustees. This evening, my blog was going to be all about how much I needed your support. It might even have contained a joke about big bills (you have to know the curlew to understand), and I like to think it would have been quite persuasive.
Since then, Vladimir Putin has single-handedly turned the world upside down, or at least the Eurasian bit of it. You don’t need me to replay for you what is going on, and the vileness of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man playing out within the Ukrainian cities. I have Ukrainian friends- (most of us do, these days)- among whom is the wonderful Viktor who sold me my original bees, and helped me to become a marginally less rubbish beekeeper than I once was. This evening, not one Ukrainian adult wouldn’t give their eye teeth to be setting off on a nice, long, peaceful walk through the British countryside like I am.
So I have come to the reluctant conclusion that it would be completely inappropriate for me to ask for your money at the moment, with all this going on. The grim plight of curlews (many of whom come over, ironically, from Belarus) is a slow burner, and the seeds of their rehabilitation are being sown all over the place, by many people and organisations. Right now, this weekend, they will have to wait their turn a little while.
So I will come knocking energetically at your door, if that is OK but it will be at a less desperate time. In the meantime, I am sure that you have your own plans for how you can help our friends in Kyiv.
This blog will pause now, and until late May. If you would like to follow my trip in images and shorthand, and I would love you to, please do so on Facebook or Instagram. You can also follow my progress on the Curlew Action website, where there will be regular updates.
Meanwhile, your good wishes for the holding out of the various mechanical bits of my body are always appreciated. April 10th is the key date: that is the end of 100 days of being dry, and it happens just south of Edinburgh (if not slightly before!). May 4th is when I hope to finish.