Left, right, left, ouch, left, ouch, ouch, ouch,…

Forgive me, blogosphere, I have sinned. It’s been bloody ages since my last effusion.

Anyway, apologies* out of the way, I have something to say. And it is this: THANK YOU.

Rewinding slightly. A few weeks ago I found myself walking the Great Glen Way, as part of the “Domino Dander for Dosh 2013” team. Prior to this, I’d really never walked more than a handful of miles in a day, or at last not more than half a dozen times. Never 20+ miles in a day. And certainly not 80 miles in 4 days. It was what they like to call in daft business terms a “stretch target”. And I wasn’t alone: 5 of the 9 walkers were similarly inexperienced.

And we made it. But that isn’t the important bit: the really important bit is that, in doing so, our friends, family and colleagues sponsored us to the grand tune of well over £11,000. Every penny of which went to charity, almost all of it to the Children’s Hospice Association of Scotland. So if that was you… again, thank you. You made a difficult task infinitely more bearable and rewarding.

In advance of the walk I really wasn’t 100% sure I would be able to do it. But at no point was my belief more shaky than at the end of the second day. Less than half-way into the walk, my legs were like jelly, and my feet were covered in blisters. I was in proper pain. As I was the following morning when we set off. And for the next 40something miles, frankly.

Which is where we come to my fellow walkers. They are an amazing bunch: Tony, Coatsie, Dawn, Eileen, Bill, Steve McD, Maureen and Steve L. It was a joy and a privilege to spend the week with you all. But I do particularly want to thank the people that got me through the walk: Tony for the latter part of day 2, which was an horrifically dispiriting and punishing walk along the Caledonian Canal; Steve McD for the last few miles of the exhausting 12-hour-long day 3 (I have never been so glad of a hip flask as I was then); and Eileen for sticking with me, and putting up with my daft blistery banter, for the whole of the 4th day.

It sounds corny to say so, but it was a life-changing experience. Not in a finding-out-I’m-the-second-Jesus way (it turns out I’m not – who knew?), but in a never-being-quite-the-same-again way.

And I’ll do it again. But perhaps not in the same boots.

* Yes, I KNOW you’re not supposed to apologise for failing to blog. Call me a rebel.