When I first started to research this journey throughout various blogs and online sources I came across the following: ‘It is customary if one endeavors to join and be certified by the Land’s-End John o’ Groats Association, one must provide a photo of oneself before both such signposts located at John O’Groats and Land’s End’. I’m assuming that one would need a tad bit more evidence than just a couple of photos to lay claim to walking over 1000 miles, but there you go. According to various tabloid newspapers the ‘official’ photographer at John O’Groats has allegedly retired, packed up and moved to southern England. There also seem to be rumors that the original signpost has since been removed, although I believe it has simply changed location. The originals of these signposts were owned by a Penzance based photographers studio that sought to capitalize on the popularity of this epic journey by charging participants a fee to have their picture taken in front of them. The directional arms of the sign were removable and taken down on a daily basis to prevent any would-be opportunists seeking to make their own fortune when the official photographer was not on duty, or, heaven forbid, journeyers having the insane inclination to take their own photographs without paying.
The photo attached to this entry is from a google image search. Hopefully I will have my own to replace it when I make it up to the most north-easterly point of mainland Britain, which, incidentally is actually a place called Duncansby Head, and not John O’Groats, as previously assumed. The photo caught my eye as the date on the signpost reads ‘2nd June’, which was precisely when I was to originally undertake the long walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End (JOGLE). Due to circumstances beyond my control I have had to postpone my journey start date to the 5th of July. A date which now looms before me.
Apart from mild panic attacks that I haven’t prepped enough and random defeatist thoughts of impending and inevitable failure, I think I’m doing alright. I have probably read far too many blogs and books about others peoples journeys, as I find that I am overthinking and overanalysing the many aspects of long distance walking (not rambling) when in reality I should just be focusing primariy on putting one foot in front of the other.