My name is Dario Tognini and I am 66 years old. There, I’ve done it so there is no going back now. I have agonised for months about whether to do this blog at all, and, if so, whether to use my real name. I am a very private person so flashing my details over the internet has not come easily.
The reason why the blog has been created is to hopefully record my journey and experience as I attempt to walk from Lands End to John o’Groats (LEJOG), a distance of over 1,000 miles. I am not a complete idiot, so my initial target is to exit the South-West Peninsula and reach Bristol. If I manage that, then there is the prospect of the dream possibly becoming reality.
My witterings will mainly be recorded for family and friends (both of them). However, I found other people’s blogs an invaluable help when planning this adventure, so it would be nice to think that I, in turn, could provide some guidance to anyone coming along afterwards – even if only to flag up what not to do!
Over the last 30 years I have been lucky enough to enjoy in excess of 40 Way Walks covering all parts of the British Isles. All, bar the last one, which I did on my own, have been enjoyed in the company of regular walking friends. None of this would have been possible without the full support of my very understanding wife, Elizabeth, and my 5 children, Peter, Anthony, Christopher, Francesco and Madeleine. From the minute I first floated the idea of LEJOG they have been supportive at all times.
As I write this, I am on the train from Glasgow to London where I then catch my connection to Penzance, and the start of my adventure. My son, Christopher, is meeting up with me there to accompany me for the first 3 days.
Why the name of blog: ‘Pensioner goes for a Walk’? Well, I have always been aware that when you reach a certain age, in the eyes of the media you lose your individuality. Think of the story headlines: ‘ Pensioner falls down pothole! ’, ‘ Pensioner injures finger while toasting cheese! ’, ‘ Pensioner goes missing in fruit aisle of local supermarket ’. Now, we may collectively do these things, and I know it sounds petulant, but we are still individuals even in the shadow of advancing years. So this is my small blow for all those pensioners who still retain an identity.
Finally, if you are elderly, and have been directed here in the frantic quest for an item of Chinese cooking equipment…then, I’m sorry, I can’t help you. (Think about it.)
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton