Day 4 - Washing in Wellingborough
There are certain things that need to be done during the 400-mile walk. Neil needs to spread the messages behind the Stop Heathrow Expansion campaign and he needs to do all the essential housekeeping chores - cooking, cleaning and washing.
In Olney, Neil and Ray were able to get up a little later than usual as the walking mileage was only about 12 miles, when it is usually nearer 20 miles. Then, before breakfast, Neil selected some of the signs that he'd taken with him to help illustrate a little information video. Ray looked a little glum but he may have just been concentrating on not dropping the boards and forcing a re-take that would delay breakfast further.
The brilliant sunshine continued for the Northamptonshire leg of the walk. The forecast is excellent with warm air coming up from France - although there's rain heading down from the North so it should be cooler on Monday.
Neil's schedule has been organised so that he has some pre-arranged stopping points so there is limited opportunity to adjust the walking miles according to the conditions. Pubs have been seen as a good stopping point at the end of the day as they are open into the evening and can often provide a hot meal. A refreshing beer wouldn't go amiss either. There is also the issues of car parking for a van and possible replenishing of the water container. Phone calls have been made to the pubs by the organising team to ensure Neil and Uncle Ray will be welcomed.
It can be hard to communicate with Neil as we're conscious that battery life on Neil's technology is precious. He's also been busy with radio interviews, which we wouldn't want to interrupt. So it's good to get a voicemail, photos or video to keep us up to date.
With a shorter walking schedule, there was time to get down to the housekeeping - cleaning and washing. Frequent sock changing is recommended so it's worth keeping on top of the laundry. We were keen to know how Neil is coping with all these additional tasks and we're pleased that he found the time to send some photos, although it did raise one question; "There are no floor tiles in the van so who offered to dry them indoors?" We know there are some very friendly pub landlords and landladies along the route but drying Neil's underwear is a service we hadn't expected.