I have received a couple of comments on my blog over the past couple of days expressing displeasure at the progress I have made so far. I deleted the first comment and have now put comment moderation on my blog as I did not feel that anything said was particularly constructive. As a result I have decided to try and address some of the things that I have been criticised for.
One of the criticisms is in relation to Roman not being with me. Nobody is more gutted than me that he has not been able to start the walk with me but his paws were simply not in a good enough condition to start the walk with me. As I had committed to a starting date I had to make the decision whether to start without him or whether to delay the starting date. I didn't want to delay the starting date as I had organised a lot of things based around that date and didn't want to mess people around. As it is, I am actually glad that he has not been with me as there have been some very dangerous situations on roads along the way that would surely have seen us both killed if he had been with me.
Another thing that I have been criticised for is accepting a lift when the roads have been dangerous. I would just like to say that the times when this has happened have only been for a few miles and have been at times when I genuinely feared for my safety if I continued to walk in these areas. I know for a fact that my family and friends would not be best pleased if they thought I was putting my life at risk at times and, although I would have preferred to have walked every mile, I am not prepared to put my life at risk either. I understand that there is, of course, the charity aspect to this but what use would me being hit by a truck have?
I have also been accused of basically having a holiday and going on a booze tour of Britain. I assure you that this has not been a holiday and, in fact, has been very difficult so far. I have had so many problems early into the walk and my mental strength has really been tested at times. As for the comment about a booze tour, I can understand the view as I have been to a few pubs in the evenings but it's not like I am on a binge tour at all. I have drunk socially with the locals and have tried to use the angle of having a meal and a few drinks in the pubs I have encountered to help as a bargaining tool to allow me to pitch a tent on their land. There was one night that did end up with quite a lot of alcohol consumed and that wasn't the best choice to have made but just because I am doing this doesn't mean that I should turn into a robot and avoid alcohol completely.
I am sure that when I get into France this type of thing will be less common anyway. As I am not fluent in French it will be much harder to strike up conversations and make social connections with people. As a result I would imagine that I would not be drinking on a social level with people and therefore turn in for bed at the earliest opportunity. Having said that I do wonder what people are expecting me to do between the hours of 5 or 6pm and 10pm. Personally, I like to mingle with people and have a few drinks with them. I don't see anything wrong in that to be honest.
There was also a comment saying that the poster was glad that they hadn't donated and felt sorry for anyone who had. I am sorry that the poster feels this way and hope that people who have donated don't feel that way. If they do then I would appreciate it if they would contact me and let me know. I hope that the majority of people understand the reasons for me having to accept a lift a couple of times - I am sure that anyone with children would want their own children to act exactly as I have done.
Strangely, the same person also left a comment today stating that they wished they could get their money back. I find this quite strange as they had previously stated yesterday that they hadn't donated. The comments have been left anonymously but there is a facility on your blog that can track people and their pageloads so I can see from that report that it is the same person posting the comments. I feel that this person is now trying to discredit me and this is why I have decided to moderate comments. I can accept criticism from people and am quite happy to leave constructive criticism publicly viewable, as I have done in the past, but I felt that the comments that had been left added no value whatsoever and basically amounted to a personal attack.
Please feel free to give your opinions on what I have written today as it would be appreciated and I would be interested to see what the general consensus is amongst my readers. On a finishing note I would like to add that when I originally came up with the idea that I wanted to do this it was a personal thing and I had given no thought to charities whatsoever. I only added the charities later as I thought that at least somebody could benefit from what I am doing. I know I am not going to please everybody all the time and I am sure, as has already been the case, that some people will totally oppose me but I just hope that people can understand the troubles I have had and the reasons for my actions so far.