A while ago I attended an Arts Council Wales training session, where I met an artist called Richard. He told me of a project he was about to start which involved walking from Yorkshire to Wales. This is the kind of project that I always fancy doing, but never do because I need to look after the children. This time I spoke to Owen about it, and his response was ‘we’ll figure it out’. AMAZING. Turns out I was putting the block in my own way and the girls are old enough now to cope with me being away for a week.
On Saturday I’ll be joining Richard for the second leg of ‘The Great Big Walk’. It’s organised by The Eden Project, inspired by the Great Get Together. Friends and family of the late MP Jo Cox started the Great Get Together, with the aim of connecting people and building stronger communities.
Jo was murdered last year and fittingly, I included her name in two pieces of work about 118 women killed by men in 2016. Jo’s belief that we have far more in common than divides us, is something that I’ll be honoured to celebrate with this project.
I’ll be walking from Llanwrtyd Wells, taking in Carmarthen, Llanelli, Swansea, Neath, a moonlit walk to Merthyr and on through Caerphilly to Cardiff. Along the way I’ll be meeting and talking to community groups about their projects. I’ll be finding out what people are doing, but not necessarily shouting about, to strengthen their communities. And I’m SUPER EXCITED!
I know it’s going to be tough going as my knees are pretty weak and my hips aren’t great, but I’m taking a tennis ball to roll out my muscles along the way. Thanks to Caryn for the boots and to Pyklops for the bag of PROPER gear, I feel up to the challenge. Follow my progress, and the progress of the other walkers (heading to Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall and London) on twitter #GreatBigWalk.
Maybe you can build up your own appetite for The Big Lunch – taking place all around the UK on 18th June, when all the walkers will be arriving home from our adventures…