- Pub. Date:
'They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn, but people can be stupid. The darkest hour - at the end of daylight saving - was five past one in the morning.'
Any Porth in a Storm - The Long-Distance Walk that Goes South is the story of an escape from the City to the country amid economic uncertainty and growing urban homelessness. In a brief moment of sanity an international public health worker, armed with a tent, sleeping bag and latrine trowel, leaves London to begin a literary and artistic walk of the 1015 kilometre (give or take) South West Coast Path from Somerset to Dorset. It was to be an exploration of the landscape, history, literature and art which make up the Path; to follow in the footsteps of le Carré, du Maurier, Woolf, Christie, Turner, Hepworth and Jeremy Paxman.
The few plans that were hastily wound together unravel, when faced with extreme weather, disappearing daylight, tide, excess packing, failed electricals, the military and unpredictable personalities. Encounters with decay, disease, destruction, and refugees from the city gradually expose civilisation's fragility. All societies are vulnerable to collapse, and perhaps those which think they are not - more so. Did we have the foresight to recognise the coming storm and enough sufficiently skilled people to survive it? And would any of them be able to make Nutella® from scratch? This was no journey of self-discovery, the aim was simply to reach the end in one piece. Most importantly, he took pains not to inspire others to repeat his mistakes.
A story of loss, dereliction, improbable coincidence, hope and responsible defaecation.
Any port in a storm. Said when in difficulty and one must take whatever refuge, literal or metaphorical, offers itself.
Porth (n) a creek or harbour (Cornish).
Go south (v) deteriorate or decline; to die (North American).