Faversham, 28 March 2014
I hope this finds you well.
It’s been a while since I’ve written – February plays tricks with time, being so short, and made the end of March gallop along, so that it feels like not very long ago at all.
And suddenly – it’s Spring! Aside from the occasional failure to judge which footwear would be most appropriate for a walk, it’s been a busy and pleasant month.
One of the highlights of being out walking a couple of weeks ago was running into Mike and Magz Roberts on the Saxon Shore Way along Faversham Creek. Magz is a mixed media and textile artist – she was collecting colour, texture and impressions in her sketchbook. Mike is a cartoonist (and photographer) and was out with his camera. While we are in touch on Instagram and Twitter, we hadn’t spent any length of time talking in person. I, of course, had to photograph them, in my bid to to be brave about asking people to be my photographic subjects – more on the reason for that in a minute! They invited me to call in for a cuppa on my return journey.
When I turned up on their doorstep, the cuppa evolved into breakfast and I was treated to a bowl of porridge (jumbo oats soaked overnight, then simmered with milk added in the morning), a slice of Wildbread sourdough with homemade marmalade, and really, really good coffee.
They told me about finding Faversham on a journey round the coast not long ago, and how they have made it their home for just about a year now. They were delightfully open and generous and I look forward to seeing them again. They’ll be taking part in East Kent Artists’ Open Houses in October, and I’ll be there, for sure.
I’ve met and talked to lots of people along the way in the last 9 months of walking – some of whom I knew already and some who I still don’t know at all. Some I have had to really pluck up the courage to request a photograph, and some perhaps felt they didn’t have a choice! (These would be my obliging friends – Thank you!)
And, of course, for those of you who follow Instagram, here’s Roy, Toby, and Lulu, who are my neighbours and so frequently met that the last photo was preempted with “I haven’t changed much since the last one!”
So, as I’m feeling brave, I have a request. I’d really like to meet more of my ‘neighbours’ – does anyone fancy sharing a walk or making me a cuppa? (Breakfast is not necessary!) I haven’t over-planned it and I’m open to suggestions, but I’d think a 5 mile maximum would be in order! I’d like to have a chat, share any interesting stories about the places that are important to you and why, take photographs (that’s a given!) and write your story here. I would be happy to share photos from our visit, too.
I’m hoping this meeting up with my nearer neighbours will be a taster for a project planned for the summer. Walk Swale Medway is an Ideas Test funded Small Experiment. I’m going to walk across Swale and Medway for two or three weeks, photographing the journey, talking to people, walking with people, relying on the kindness of my neighbours further afield for accommodation. I will be asking for suggestions on Twitter, Instagram and the Walk Swale Medway blog about where to go, what to see, and who to talk with. It will be a grand adventure, right on our doorstep!
Thanks to Jemma Elliott for the beautiful logo for Walk Swale Medway. And thanks to Neil Brown from Beamtwenty3 web design for what is going to be a gorgeous record of everything Walk Swale Medway. They have both been patience personified, and their suggestions and help have been brilliant.
If you’d like to get involved with walking in and around Faversham with me, please post a comment below. If you’d prefer not to have your initial contact made public, please let me know and I won’t publish it – cause I can do that! (Boy, I sure do love WordPress!)
Write when you can!