Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Cleadon or bust

Before savaging the hoard of parcels under the tree, Chris' family has a tradition of taking a very very very long walk to work up an appetite for the turkey and trimmings. The walk intersected with a section of (The Venerable) Bede's Way, and the villages of Whitburn and Cleadon. Charles Dickens spent a short time in Cleadon ,where he was supposedly inspired to create the character of Miss Haversham in Great Expectations.

While the walk may not have left me totally carb-neutral for the season, Chris did make sure that my wanderings this year were more eco-friendly via a dedication of some trees through CarbonNeutral.

The evening's lethargy was initiated by watching the traditional Doctor Who Christmas Message ( "do not exterminate thy neighbour" etc etc), which now outrates QEII's offering.

I finished off Charlie Stross' new Bob Howard book The Jennifer Morgue, this volume parodying the James Bond oeuvre (the first - The Atrocity Archive, is a pastiche of Len Deighton). I then buried myself in an advance reading copy of China Miéville's new novel, Un Lun Dun. Despite being aimed for younger readers, it showcases both Miéville's invention and a delightful subversion of the heroic quest fantasy. I did work out how it would end from the clue laid midway through the book, but it didn't spoil the fun getting there. NB the links above do contain story spoilers.


  1. Hello Mike!
    I found your blog by looking to the Next Blog, I read a few post and I think on how do you survive so long traveling with a dog, do you have sponsers? just curiously.
    wish you a happy 2007 for you and Bondi.

  2. Hi Bety - no, I'm not sponsored, just living off my savings which ar healthy enough due to a combination of good fortune and 20 years hard work!

    The main thing with a long break like I'm having is to have sufficient interests to keep you busy wherever you are.

    It's also been said that having someone else to look after keeps you looking after yourself, and so I've been extraordinarily lucky to have Bondi as my companion throughout these travels.