Switzerland Photos

Added: 25-3-2007

New photos, back from when walkingthestates was just learning its trade…Switzerland 2006, altitude preparedness, uphill walkingness…check the Gallery here…means I really must get round to finally writing up the Journal for that time…

Stuart                           Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

Living The Dream

Added: 23-3-2007

From an early age I was obsessed with air brake units, the sort used on large haulage trailors. As a kid I would spend hours with my crayons sketching crude drawings of braking systems and dream of all those trucks going on the all the motorways of the land; all those trucks stopping safely and efficiently, employing pneumatic technology as they eased up to a junction.

While the other children in school had posters of their favourite football teams or Look-In approved pop stars, the walls of my bedroom were covered with pages torn out of the glossy product catalogues of air brake suppliers.

When the time came to decide where we would be going on holiday, the family would gather around the kitchen table and pore over the brochures. “Mountains, walking” my Dad would say “Beach.” my Mother would counter. “Yes, the sea.” my sister would agree. “AIR BRAKES FACTORY” I would scream, to unanimous disinterest.

On Christmas morning, as all the kids in the neighbourhood were riding around on shiny new Raleigh Burners, I would be sat inside dejectedly applying the battle damage stickers to my Luke Skywalker X-wing fighter wishing it was brakes.

Well finally, finally, I am living the dream, working for a real-life air brakes factory nestled in an idyllic industrial estate in a West Midlands newtown. Its an almost perfect existence; my office has no windows so I have no distractions, no pesky sunlight on my screen and I can give my whole self to keying in the tracking numbers of the consignments of brake parts entering and leaving the factory. My happy days are interrupted only by a half hour lunch break when I eat my tuna sandwiches and find out which rehab celebrities are in celebrity rehab.

To think that, now that I have finally got a shot at perfect happiness,  I will have to give it all up all up in a months time to go back to a life of walking fills me with a despair too black for words.

Dave                            Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

New additions

Added: 16-3-2007

It’s here: the Route page has gone live. now you can see where we stopped in Kansas City, in all its GoogleMap glory. quite a neat trick actually, and we should be able to put in a new location everytime we go online in the US so you can see exactly how lost in the desert we get.

in other developments, I am yet to to find the philanthropist I need for bloodtests and x-rays in the States. it’s a no-go for Livestrong as they can’t afford to set a precedent by sponsoring a cancer survivor directly. while I kinda understand (I wouldn’t want to encourage a mass exodus of uniballers to head west on foot across the US) I have say I’m a bit gutted – I would have thought it a very good fit, our walk and such a specifically related charity. still, there must be plenty of other willing sponsors out there mustn’t there? come on, it’s only for about 5-6 grand and if I get sick I cover my own flight home…

some kind people have suggested I set up a foundation or accept sponsorship of me directly to pay for my tests. I can see this is an idea that might work, but I’m not quite there with the idea of running the StuartHamiltonCampaign. just feels a bit odd, like Dave and I will get stuck in a bar somewhere and blow all the funds on daquiris (nb. potential sponsors: this will not happen, promise). I’d rather get some help from an organisation and then raise some money for them in return. For a start this would be easier to administrate and there would be a pot to draw on. still, desperate times call for desperate measures (see the story of The Trials) so I guess I have to consider all possibilies. only a few weeks to sort things out…

and in those few weeks work continues to be very hectic. I am working an awful lot on library things, going to Leipzig next week to give a presentation and I’m not finding as much time as I’d like to work on WTS. Dave is working hard too and it means that we’re desperately seeking periods of time where we can sit down and work out route things etc. (Jon, we will come back to you soon on those dates for water drops, it’s all still on!)

anyway, we have done some things. in addition to the Route page there is now a new entry in the Project section – the English version of the article I wrote for Forum Bibliothek und Information. true excitement (for some reason some of the text is in white and some in black…odd).

read it, and sign the Guestbook. or just skip it, and sign the Guestbook. we’re kinda low on signatures recently, and feeling unloved. what is everyone up to if not reading Walking The States?

Stuart                           Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

More randomness

Added: 8-3-2007 1

Greetings from the Hague, near Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Home of, er, the International Criminal Court, a couple of coffee shops of the type not to be found in small town America, and the mighty International Federation of Library Associations. I’m here on work, doing my bit for the future of the planet by travelling only by train instead of budget airline. So far I have used the Eurostar (very slow in England, like a bullet once it gets to France) and something called a Snelltrain which I believe should go fast but instead kinda crawls along. Nevermind though, it’s all good.

So, what is new…Dave and I did the presentation, as you know, and there are now a whopping six new pictures up in the Gallery (we kinda forgot to take more pictures, although some fascinating video footage of the presentation still survives somewhere, likely found in the future by survivors of a nuclear war. it would be a good thing, I believe, if WalkingtheStates materials were all that future generations had to work with). since then Dave has returned to his role as King of the Midlands, attempting to get a bit more work in preparation for our imminent departure back to the US. it’s strange to think about it, but we actually will be setting off again in seven weeks or so. this, of course, is dependent on me staying fit as a fiddle until then but for now I feel absolutely fine and ready to go (lack of any physical preparation aside). I’m still a bit stuck on how the hell I’m going to get my medical tests done in the US though – Livestrong have been contacted but I’ve heard nothing back, and in the meantime I’ve been checking out prices of various tests in the US and the results and logistics ain’t pretty. it can be done, but at quite a cost. if any out there is a lonely female millionaire who wishes to subsidise a talented walker for a period of six months or so, in return for an extensive slide show on return, please contact me immediately.

so I keep working – on book research, a bit of writing (German journal article out this month, link coming soon for Teutonic followers of the walk), a bit of library stuff. word on the street is that the website really will soon contain a map section that does its stuff (this is only the 900th journal entry I’ve written saying that) and I know we’re all waiting for that.  will send a message as soon as it’s up…

Stuart                           Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

Entry with not much to say...

Added: 2-3-2007 1

Tremendous Danish action. Three words perhaps not normally associated with the giving of presentations about walking but Dave and I have never been people to go normal. We came, we gestured with a pointy thing at the giant Powerpoint projection and we answered questions as best we could. All in all the whole thing was a succcess, a full lecture room (40-50 people?) and not too many technical problems save the worrying tendencies of some slides to go paisley coloured. Could have been worse…

We’re back in England now after good times in Copenhagen. It was good to see Dave again, his hair has got much shorter but thankfully three weeks of medical testing had left him looking pretty much like last time I saw him. I was worried there was going to be some sort of pale deathly aura about him but was thankfully wrong about that, and I was relieved to hear that they only let you on these tests once every three months – meaning there is no chance of another dice with medical disaster before we head back to the US.

We managed to get a little bit of planning done in between surveying local bars and watching Will Ferrell DVDs, and I think we’re looking pretty sharp to start walking around about the 7th May. A quick stopover in DC hopefully, then off to Kansas City to resume our westward trek as soon as possible after that. In between now and then I can tell we need to work on our fitness – I certainly do after running around briskly for five minutes of a football match last Saturday and then slowing quite considerably to take huge lungfuls of air. Not a good show really, and a situation that needs to be remedied as soon as possible. How this will happen is, however, a mystery to me as I head off to Holland for a couple of weeks of work next Tuesday and then I’m in Germany after that. Where will I find a gym…

Anyway, all for now – a holding journal entry until I have a way of putting some presentation stuff online. Not much happening here in North London, it’s time I finished up and headed into the centre of the city to see what’s going on…

Stuart                              Have a comment? Please sign the guestbook

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