Charity Walking is the name of this blog. The dictionary tells me charity is all sorts of things related to giving to the poor….and also leniency in judging others…and Christian love too. The next chapter of Charity Walking is a celebration of love. By the end of the month Rob and I will have been married 25 years. Showing charity to each other – in the sense of being lenient in judging, expecting the best of each other rather than the worst – is probably a significant factor in us sticking together since we were 15-year-olds. As we have grown in love, charity for others has also grown…..to the point that on our last wedding anniversary we were at opposite ends of the earth for the sake of others – Rob was in New Zealand and I was ending a fundraising walk for charity: water in Spain.
This year will be different. The actual day of our wedding anniversary will be spent (in part) with our children, those kids who *are* because of our love. The three weeks leading up to that will be spent without them; no children, just Rob and me. It is the first time we have left them all for more than two nights.
What will we do? Laze on a beach? Go bungy-jumping? Take a shopping holiday? No, we’ll simply be walking. We have always walked; from our newly-wed days in Poland when we couldn’t afford a tram ticket……to our years with babies strapped to us and then toddlers who took their own steps but soon needed to be hoisted onto our shoulders……to more recent times and greater distances.
Three years ago we walked our first camino in Spain and discovered we really enjoyed and were refreshed by the simplicity of carrying everything we needed on our backs, and getting up and walking day after day after day. We were invigorated by the new surroundings, laughed a lot with the new language, ate deliciously different food and relished the solitude and simultaneous camaraderie the trail provided.
On the spur of the moment just a few weeks ago, we decided to walk another camino to celebrate this milestone wedding anniversary. And so here we are, about to head to Portugal at the end of the week. As much as we’d love to walk the entire route from Lisbon, we don’t have time. So we are going to start in Porto and head to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Maybe we’ll come back and finish the rest another time!
Big interruption to the Refugees Walk series……we’ll be back to that in a month. But there is a new blanket. Colourwise, it’s reminiscent of last year’s camino memory blanket. That’s because it’s another camino blanket! But instead of being created after the event, it’s all finished before we even go anywhere. It was made in a hurry – just like the decision to walk another camino!! Rather than having lots of ripples like the last blanket, this one has squares; instead of crossing mountains, we’ll be tripping over cobblestones. The squares will also remind us of windows peeking out of Porto windows, buildings made of stones and tiled roofs. There are crosses in this blanket too – we’ll be seeing wayside crosses and churches in abundance. I’ll be taking photos of the moments and monuments that will hopefully become memories…..sunsets, forests, paths, the Atlantic Ocean, cathedrals and castles, bridges, arrows……memories already captured in the colours of the blanket. It’s edged with shells, the symbol of the Camino de Santiago. Oh, and there is a heart too.
More details will follow <insert happy expectant grin>
I’m really keen to use up all my spare wool making blankets for Syrian refugees escaping to Turkey. The thing is, I don’t think I can crochet fast enough….so if there is someone(s) out there (preferably in Auckland) who would like to do some charity knitting or crocheting, I can provide the wool. My one request would be that you agree to finish by December. Any takers?
Some other developments have meant limited refugee-blanket-crocheting-time, but here’s the next one started…..
Blanket Number Five
GrandpaBear might have a dozen screws in his back, but there are none loose in his head! He kindly pointed out that June 2014 is not exactly a year before May 2015….which, pedantically-speaking, means yesterday’s post was NOT a year ago, but eleven months!
So I went back to see what we *were* doing a year ago and was delighted to discover one of our most momentous days. It is a day which still – a year later! – feels hard and desperate and unbelievably rich.
You can read about it by clicking here.
Look where we were…. (it’s the tenth now in NZ, but it’s still only the 9th in Spain and it’s wonderful to remember our Most Favourite Day on the Camino del Salvador)……https://charitywalking.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/9-june-poladura-to-pajares/
And tomorrow we will have a hard day walking 17km on a muesli bar or two each before we find substantial food (and continue walking of course) and there will be a pre-dawn fall and a grueling downhill and Mama-tears and icecreams…..https://charitywalking.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/10-june-pajares-to-pola-de-lena/
Then the following we will end up walking over 37km without one grizzle despite the searing heat….and the hospitalero will not be able to contain his disbelief and we will plan on having a pilgrim meal to celebrate but have to be satisfied with microwaved ready-made supermarket fare…..https://charitywalking.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/11-june-pola-de-lena-to-oviedo/
Waving a big hi to the people I met at the home education conference today who asked for a blog address and were directed here…..a word or two of explanation would be in order.
This is the blog that is current. Right now I’m in the middle of a project making blankets for refugees who have escaped to Turkey from Syria….the previous few posts have been devoted to that (nothing to do with travel or kids or education at all). Prior to that was a series of posts on Oxfam’s 100km Trailwalker event which I entered earlier this year. If you’re looking for the posts about travelling with children, any under the category “2014 walk-for-water” will fit the bill. Alternatively, there is our first blog which included both our “Big Trip” (15 month overland adventure) and the seven-week Paris-camino-London-canalboat trip. These stories can be found here.
Finally, many years ago I started a blog about our education adventure, which is in a sad state of repair and requires a large amount of work, but I offer it here in case it helps someone even in the sorry state it’s in. I’m not sure about spending the time on it when there are already so many other good resources out there.
Was lovely to meet you all today – thanks for the kind words at the end of the workshop.
Blanket Number Four
Some of these socks have been worn by three of my boys – but there’s still life left in them, so they will join the blanket made with the leftover sock wool (and some unravelled lone socks) to head to Turkey. May they walk many miles yet.