I wrote the below last week - and never hit the publish button...

My tummy was rumbling as I drove to the gym on Monday.

I usually go late in the morning, before lunch, so this wasn't particularly unusual. For most of my life, the thought of a treadmill has induced a faint nausea in me, but I quite enjoy it now, so I was surprised to find myself feeling peculiarly peaky.

Drawing a veil over the detail, I've been in the loo ever since, and it's Friday afternoon. I'm framing it as a shot in the arm for the weight loss plan. Glossing over the whimpering on the sofa under a blanket, weak as a kitten and with a sore...well, you know.

I've no idea the cause of my affliction; it's some viral bug, I suspect, but I'm not keen on getting it again.

However, the latest news is encouraging. My appetite has come roaring back, and lunch has been consumed, with, as yet, no need to resume the position in the smallest room. Huzzah!

No more updates, I promise.

Have a great weekend.


Much better this week and rapidly regaining the weight I lost.

My thoughts turned to Camino 24. Stu and I are keen to continue the tradition of a walking holiday. I came across the "Chemin de Stevenson." Named for Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish author, it is a 225-km meander through Southern France. No, seriously, it is. He wrote about it in "Travels with a Donkey." My interest piqued, I started looking into it. The deal was sealed when I discovered we could rent a donkey to accompany us.

Once I got into the logistics, my immediate enthusiasm waned. The Stevenson starts from Le Puy-en-Velay and ends in Ales. Have you never heard of them? Neither has anyone else. The French call this "La France Profonde," which translates as "Deep France." A more accurate translation might be "the middle of nowhere." It's doable but a bit of a pain, particularly in the year France is hosting the Olympics. I put a pin in it.

We may have settled on starting another long multi-year route—this one being the Camino del Norte. It is quieter than the Francés and hillier, too. This one is 830 km or so.

Why the Norte? The first section is, relatively speaking, an easy one logistics-wise. We can fly in and out of Bilbao, which is direct for Stu and only one change for me. A week's walking in the Basque country begins at Irún, taking us along the coast through San Sebastián to Bilbao. We'll also see Guernica, made famous by Picasso. Obviously, the sprinkling of Michelin-star restaurants and excellent local wine had no impact on the decision.

That's the working plan for now.

Oh - and we've got walking kilts now. I mean, why wouldn't we?