Day 1 - Friday 8th July.
As I walked to Arnside station at 7:45 am, coincidentally, daughter Jill came the other way by car with Katie on her way to school and baby minders so we had a little chat.
Changing at Lancaster I bought the Guardian and managed to finish the cossword before I arrived at Reading, a great triumph for me, even though the setter was Rufus, one of the easier ones.
Reading station concourse is massive, and I found myself using the compass to establish direction to the town centre.
Although this not a huge town it is crammed with modern buildings and architecture and has a sort of bustling capital feel. A contrast with the drabness of some of our northern towns and the affluent south.
I walked the couple of kilometres east on the Kennet and Avon Canal to its junction with the River Thames and then back again. There were a few undesirables here and there but plenty of other people, but I was wary.
Beggars are frequent sat dolefully on pavements in Reading which makes a poignant comparison with the aforementioned apparent affluence.
I am now in situ at my strangely named hotel, Great Expectations. I'm not sure what the name is about, but so far it is quite ordinary.
The first bit of canal I Iwalked on going east out of Reading.
I know its a bit of a cliche, but one I like - a feeding frenzy of Swans and Canada Geese.
Where the Kennet and Avon joins the Thames.