Friday Afternoon - Symposium

The exhibitors are starting to arrive at the symposium, but there's still an hour to go before registration opens. It feels lke the calm before the storm!

However, my weekend is already complete.

I've just bought the new copy of The Canoe Boys which has some excellent photos and newspaper cuttings in it. Ninnian Dunnett has apparently raided his Dad's archive to find all the material, and this is a larger format book.

There are also some "new" old words from Alastair Dunnett himself.

Take this passage from the introduction. Back in 1934, Alastair wasn't happy with his job as a bowler-hatted junior bank clerk and felt truly happy about the hills. His journal entry for the final night of a snowy May hike was:

"Tomorrow my feet will walk a city's pavements. Tomorrow I shall know again the full horror of respectability. Tomorrow, pilloried in collars, surmounted by unyeilding headgear, I shall prepare to shoulder again my infinitesimal burden of responsibility in the financial transactions of a wearied world. But tonight - tonight I am free. I am cold. I shall probably soon be wet. But I am happy. And to the servants of nature who have made me so - to the rain, the snow, the smoke of my fire, to the sun's brief appearance, to the cukoo, whose song has haunted me since my start - to them all, my heart sings "Good night".

You can order the book from Neil Wilson Publishing and read about the radio programmes I'm making about the journey at

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