MyTIME Blog

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Development Director Steve Mills is taking on the Bournemouth Half Marathon to raise money for MyTime. Learn more.

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World Mental Health day is on the 10th October with events happening across the UK to help raise awareness. MyTime will be Bournemouth University talking about the challenges faced by Young Carers.

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Pauline Belloni (an ex young carer) is hiking 300 miles from Mindhead to The Lizard in aid of young carers respite.

Read Pauline's photo diary blog - MyTIME On The Path - by Pauline Belloni.

http://www.mytimeonthepath.com/?p=558

 

Hartland to Bude - 9 June 2016

Day 8 – Hartland to Bude – 18 miles up and down!

Pauline, is raising funds for MyTIME charity, hiking the South West Coast Path. www.mytimeonthepath.com

There is so much to say about the beauty of this walk, but as I lay beaten by the cliffs, I will let the pictures describe it and leave the writing for another day.

Butterflies - 9 June 2016

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Pauline, is raising funds for MyTIME charity, hiking the South West Coast Path. www.mytimeonthepath.com

Day 7: awful start, better ending

I leave picturesque tourist trap Clovelly behind. The humid air is laced with thousands of flies and the path smells like a damp dog in a conservatory. 

At the top of a headland, the path opens up into a field. I follow the trampled grass around its edge and look up to find cow horns a few metres away and cow hooves stamping on the ground. I stop. There is nowhere to go. The barbed wire on my right follows the cliff edge which drops hundreds of feet down to a pebble beach. I take a few steps back and decide that if I stay here long enough, the cow will get bored and I will be on my way.

She gets bored and I can progress, but I am slightly on the alert.

This section of the path crosses cowgirls upon cowgirls. There is nothing to see here but cows and hedges which obstruct any seaviews. When I am not crossing a cow field, I am walking through narrow trails overgrown with waist high nettles. I even loose the path as I miss an overgrown fork and end up walkinv in circles from one field to another, then back on myself towards Minehead to find the trail again. I am feeling exhausted and I have only walked 4 miles. 

I approach another cowfield, there are hundreds of them! Half way up the field and one of them takes offence and charges. I just have time to swing my bag off my shoulders and throw it and myself under the electric fence, diving into a field of nettles in my shorts. The cow stays the other side of the fence but won’t move, she just stares at me. I empty my bag, find the pasty I bought the day before and eat. I resolve I am going to have to skirt the edge of the field on that side of the fence for as long as I can amongst waist high nettles. I zip the trouser legs onto my shorts and proceed at snail paste x surrounded with flies and movies, until it is safe to get back under the fence. walking through the fields is difficult as the slight slope pulls on my achilles on every step.

8 miles after leaving Clovelly, I arrive at Hartland point, which is 6 miles from camp. I find a cafe shed by a car park near the radar station, which is unexpected. I must look dishevelled, the cafe owner is incredibly kind, I don’t have any cash and the signal for card payment is on and off. I have a coffee, cake and elderflower and he tells me not to worry, I can leave my number and his other half will text me bank details so I can pay later.

I am so touched by his kindness, I feel restored and ready to carry on. I remember George Macaulay Trevelyan’s words: “after a days walk, everything has twice it’s usual value”. This sense of value has been on my mind since the start of the journey. I give thanks for each meal and simply for being here. I take pity on those who do not see: the holiday makers in Ilfracombe and woolacombe, the glampers from London, the merchants who do not extend a kind hand for feat of loosing profit. Pity rather than scorn, for they have not tasted the beauty of life and the beauty of our world.

1 mile from camp and I come slightly off the path to bathe in the river and it’s waterfalls. It is wonderful. 

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Pauline, is raising funds for MyTIME charity, hiking the South West Coast Path. www.mytimeonthepath.com

Day 6: Those who give and those who don’t: a thought for Sunday

I am touched by the generosity of so many as I make progress on the path. People I meet on the trail as well as landlords and patrons of inns have given donations for young carers and  words of encouragement. Campsite owners have allowed me to stay free of charge to help me with this project.

Simple acts of kindness have touched me the most.  At channel view campsite, the owner gave me some bread, tomatoes and some tuna.  At Incledon Farm, fellow campers offered me a drink as I was setting up my tent, they saw I must have walked a long way. At the Rock Inn, despite being fully booked with holiday makers, I was allowed to stay for a meal and looked after as I explained how far I had walked, I was hungry and I didn’t have any food.

‘Giving’ has been predominant along the way, it is comforting that travellers still hold a special place in people’s heart.

But so far, I have also been turned away twice. The first time, I was refused food, at another inn that was too busy to accommodate one walker. The second time, I was refused shelter, by a merchant who would not allow me to use their wifi to call home and reassure my family I was safe.  

 To those who close their hearts, there is a simple verse:

‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home.’

Matthew 25:41

Aerial of Cornborough and Westward Ho (Medium) - 3 June 2016

Pauline, is raising funds for MyTIME charity, hiking the South West Coast Path. www.mytimeonthepath.com

Day 5: heading to Westward Ho!

The past few days I have been averaging 18 to 20 miles per day, walking for 12 hours per day. Most of the campsites are a few miles off the coast path… and always up a hill! WiFi and phone signal has been limited but I will catch up with a blog for the first few days as soon as conditions permit.  Uploading photos has also been problematic, I can tweet them but can’t upload on Facebook or blog. I will put together a photo diary on my return home mid- June before the second leg of the hike, the photos are stunning and I can’t wait to share them! 

I am so glad I have made use of the luggage transfer service so far, the back pack feels heavy today, temperatures are soaring already and I am setting off from Appledore… there are sand dunes on the way.

My feet hurt so much yesterday that I took my boots off and walked the last 3 miles barefoot.  I am averaging 3 to 4 hours sleep per night, getting up at around 5 am. I think this is possibly the most challenging thing I have ever done and my legs are starting to suffer, with the start of pain from my injuries. I will take it easy today, I have about 10 miles to go with the bag and have booked some additional luggage transfers for the next 3 days. I feel so blessed to be out here and, the rewards from all the effort are unfathomable. I rounded a headland yesterday and the beauty of the landscape before my eyes made me sob uncontrollably. I am looking forward to having a bit more time in the next few days to write about the last few days.

Today is a day for pacing slowly to get to the next campsite uninjured and rest a little. 

Pauline Belloni - Porlock day 2 and 3

Pauline, is raising funds for MyTIME charity, hiking the South West Coast Path. www.mytimeonthepath.com

Day 2 – Porlock to Lynton

I woke up to the most unwelcome sound of rooks and ravens shortly after 4 am. First night in the tent is never really restful with 2 to 3 hours sleep in total. I decided to get up and make an early start.

I  left sparkhayes campsite and caught up with the trail in Porlock Marsh. It was a beautiful, if somewhat eery landscape, with the outlines of trees sapped of life by salt set against an already hot sun.

At Porlock Weir, my only chance of getting a coffee was gone with my early start. I followed the path past the hotel’s breakfast advertising board and Started climbing up the cliff and into the woods. 

Practically the whole section is in the forest and filled with bird song. A few miles in, I stopped at culborne church, the smallest church in the UK, parts of which date from the saxon period. 

I had walked about 7 miles in the forest when a fellow walker and his dog caught up with me – I like walking on my own, but this was welcome company, as the woods, although of magnificent beauty, can play tricks on your mind… with every creeking bark my senses were on alert. 

The forest then gives way to a carpet of pink and purple rhododendrons which cling to the side of the cliffs and contrast wonderfully with the sky and the sea. Eventually, the trail takes on a more rugged aspect as we walk through the moor and begin some steeper climbs under blazing sunshine.  The approach to Lynmouth is steep, going down towards the town is quite an effort. I am told In the days of horse and cart, from Lynmouth at the bottom, it would take 6 horses to get a carriage to the top of the hill and the horses had to be changed over to continue onward journeys.

Fellow walker, dog and I parted company at Lynmouth after purchasing a pasty and I still needed to go up a very steep hill to my campsite which was a couple of miles inland from Lynton. I made good time as I arrived just after 4pm – about 10 hours walk. 

Campsite owners were really generous, allowing me to stay free of charge and providing me with some tomatoes, bread and tin of tuna – all would become very much needed the next day! 

I made my way to the pub for a well deserved drink and diner – again I was touched by people’s generosity as the pub made a donation for the charity. The day ended with the most beautiful sunset as I made my way back to my tent, hoping to get a better night sleep. 

Jurassic Coastline - 31 May 2016

Pauline, is raising funds for MyTIME charity, hiking the South West Coast Path. www.mytimeonthepath.com

Minehead to Porlock – 1st day!

Started in Minehead this morning at the South West Coast Path Marker and said goodbye to my family. A few tears as I waved goodbye until I could barely see them through the trees.

The path lulled me into a false sense of security as it rounded castle hill, only to find at the end that I had to go up the hill anyway. The trail was carpeted either side with ferns and blanketed overhead by the calmness of oak, pine and beech. It was a wonderfully peaceful start to the hike, drenched in birdsong and pale green light.

The forest was brightened here and there with the pink and purples of rhododendron. With progress came the gradual decline of the thickness of the blanket above and every variety of bush and tree became drawfed by nature. Lupins replaced rhododendrons for colour as heather blooms later.

The heath and steep inclines and declined under blazing midday sun were challenging but of rugged beauty. The sea so far below that vertigo overtook me. The freedom of such wonderful landscape stays with me as I prepare for my first night in the tent at spark Hayes campsite in Porlock.

Wonderful campsite and wonderful hosts.

South-West-Coast-Path-Minehead-stamp - 25 May 2016

Pauline, is raising funds for MyTIME charity, hiking the South West Coast Path. www.mytimeonthepath.com

One Week to go and the Star of the week is.....

Firstly, I wouldn’t be at this point without George’s help.  George is an exceptional sports physio who has provided treatment for my leg injuries for nearly 12 weeks now. Since last week, my back is also much better.  

I can’t thank him enough: the sessions were tailored to what I needed to get me ready for the hike and he provided a full rehabilitation service. George has a clinic in Wimborne and in Poole, go and see him for your posture if you don’t have an injury 

Thank you George, I promise to keep out of trouble the next few days! 

Thank you also to all those who have supported my efforts so far.  In particular Holmans of Wimborne and Le Petit Prince Patisserie, it means a lot to me, personally, to set off knowing local businesses have contributed to this project.

A special thank you also to Gateway Church in Poole for their generous donation and prayers, I will be writing a separate blog about my recent experiences at Gateway so watch this space! 

Thank you to the Horns Inn, Colehill, who have been busy collecting donations… Keep going, you are doing great! 

Thank you Joanne, Director of MyTime Charity for young carers for your positivity, ideas and encouragement. I extend my thanks to the Trustees whom it was a pleasure to meet, we will cherish memories of a special weekend together. 

And finally, thank you to my family and friends for moral support, donations and encouragement. A special mention for Sheona has been exceptional, spending many evenings with my maps and blog between us and giving up an entire weekend to help with the young carers outdoor centre renovations. Thank you Jo for spending a whole week looking after me when I couldn’t even walk on crutches, your support meant so much. Thank you to my sister and brother for reading my blog, I know it is as difficult for them reading it as it is for me writing it – it has somehow brought us closer together and for that, I am so grateful, thank you for your understanding.

If I haven’t mentioned you individually, don’t feel left out, you are all in my heart and my backpack… Keep reading the blog, you might find yourself in there on the way! 

The rest of the week is going to be incredibly busy so if you don’t hear from me, I will catch up at the South West Coast Path marker in Minehead next Monday! 

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Fancy being a guest blogger?

We are looking for enthusiastic writers to tell their story. This can be in writing or a video blog it is up to you. We would love to hear from you. For more information email joanne@mytimecharity.co.uk 

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