Simon Armitage relates a tale of finding a signed copy of one of his books in a bargain-bin in a charity shop. On opening it, he finds the words, To Mum and Dad...
This is exactly the sort of self-deprecating writing you will find in Walking Home. Yes, he's walking 14 miles a day and more in mud, wind and lashing rain (it's summer in Yorkshire after all!) but he's not gonna make out he's some kind of hero.
Infact, I'm quite in awe of his ability to walk all day and then give a poetry reading in an assortment of venues, some more suited to the occasion than others, with a willing/not-so-willing audience in tow.
From the warmth of my bedroom, I really enjoyed this tale of walking the Pennine Way - in the reverse direction to normal. It made me laugh out loud in places and of course, the man's a poet, so the writing is often beautiful.
Armitage is responsible for a longer than expected walk of my own. One Sunday we set out to find one of his newly revealed Stanza Stones. These are a series of six poems carved in stones along a 67-mile route from his home in Marsden. We were searching for Dew, couldn't find it, so decided to find Puddle near Ilkley instead. Which we did, eventually...
(Follow the link here to see more) Stanza Stones
It rains a lot you see in the Pennines. And Armitage encounters plenty of it on his walk. His book hasn't inspired me to walk the Pennine Way, but it has made me go and hunt out some more of his poems.
Walking home. Simon Armitage