Monday, 14 July 2008

The Weekend and what a weekend it was!

Manu and I arrived in Oulston (Ewen's destination on Friday) in the rain, it was starting to get dark and no sign of Ewen . . . I'm sure its a lovely place but some of the locals had not even heard of it! No phone signal, no way of contacting the wanderer. We hitched a lift to the next village of Coxwold - at least this had a pub where we could shelter and think of a plan. The pub was / is called The Fauconburg Arms and is one the the nicest and most friendly pubs I've been in (i've been in a few). The landlord Simon offered us a place to camp in the garden, breakfast the next day and a bottle of vino and one of the regulars 'Mr H' took us out searching for Ewen who we found in a damp car park. We got him back to the pub where he was fed and 'watered'. If you are ever in this area of Yorkshire, go to that pub - the biggest chips I've encountered (and I've had a few chips).

Ewen, Manu and I were then scooped up by the Reverend Ian Kitchen and taken to Crayke to stay with him, his lovely wife Helen and the handsome Monty dog. We had food and beds and more food. It was a real pleasure to meet them and want to thank them for disregarding our lack of contact and treating us so well. The next morning our friends Mark and Pierre met us in Crayke as a great surprise. So we were a grand party of 7 setting out on Saturday morning as Helen and Monty joined us for the first few miles.

The first half of the day was a combination of country lanes and footpaths but we then had to hit a B road which was very busy. We couldnt tell if the cars were beeping in support or road rage at having to slow down. Half way through the walk we met up with Jim and Julie Moxon who had travelled from Leeds to walk with Ewen. It was brilliant to have such a physical display of support - they even carried Ewen's rucksack to York and spurred us on with the thought of that first pint! Ahhh.
Arriving in Yorkwas really exciting as it marked the half way point. The John Smith's Race Meet had just finished and thus the city was awash with lads and lasses dressed in their best dresses and ridiculous hats. We manouvred our way through the drunken crowds and eventually found a pub or two that would let the bare feet in. Pints and pub grub courtesy of the Moxons and then that post dinner quiet wilting set in. We said our goodbyes to Julie and Jim who had already missed several trains back and to Mark and Pierre who set off to find a camping spot. Ewen, Manu and I were accommodated in the comfort, peace and tranquility of The Bar Convent - highly recommended (!

After a lovely breakfast in the Convent's stunning atrium we headed for York Minster and a meeting with Keith Jones, The Dean of the Minster. After a chat and photo call, The Dean took Ewen off for a private prayer and blessing which touched him deeply -I'm sure Ewen will write about this when he can. Manu had to leave for her train back to Edinburgh and Ewen and I stayed for the Sung Eucharist service which was hugely powerful in many ways. During the sharing of Communion a lady came and blessed the feet and this coupled with the choir and the surroundings was enough to set us both off in tears. We had coffee in The Chapter House after where many members of the congregation stayed to talk and sign the petition. Ewen also received a personal letter of support from the Archbishop himself John Sentamu.
By lunchtime, the rest of the day was ours to have a holiday from Bare Feet For Burma and enjoy our anniversary. I left Ewen at York train station at lunchtime today where his plan was to head for the library and plan the journey to London - posted here soon!

Ewen wants me to re-post the link to the donations page:

Thanks to everybody who made this weekend so special and well supported!

Eleanor x


by the seaside said...

What great support! so glad you had a good weekend, that will spur Ewen on to the next part of his journey. Looking forward as always to the updates.

Best wishes

Aline and Colin

Richard said...

Bed, breakfast, pints and porters -can it get any better than this? Yes, I'm sure it can. Your journey keeps on exceeding expectations, and I'm so proud of you I could burst. Friends and colleagues not only understand - they're joining in. I've just done a telephone interview with BBC Burma - I hope I did you proud. Love the pictures - I hope you'll see them in the next local paper. Rock on, my son.

Sheena said...

I have just caught up on the posts from the weekend and have been sitting with tears streaming down my face! I keep thinking I surely cant get any prouder of my big brother but yet I do! I can only imagine what this amazing trip is doing for him.

All my love and support Sheena xxxxx

Jim and Julie Maxon said...

Ewen - it was a pleasure and a privilege to walk with you, carry your rucksack, and share just a small part of your journey. You are truly inspirational.

Words in Sanskrit text (circa 700BC) come to mind:
Walk together,
talk together
O ye people of the earth
then and only then
shall ye have peace

We pray you will have a safe journey and that you will continue to meet friends old and new along the way. We will try to get to London to see you at the end of your trip.

With love from
Julie and Jim Maxon, Leeds

Murray said...

Dear Ewen and Eleanor

I've been catching up with your journey and continue to be
amazed and inspired by your journey.

I have spent the last week with friends at the Burmese
Migrant Worker and Refugee Learning Centre in Chiang Mai,
which BEST helps support, were we looked at your blog pages
and I told students and staff there about the background to
your journey.

This week, I have been taking a third Scottish teacher to Mae Sot on the Thailand side of the Thai/Burma border to join the headteachers of both Forthview and Pirniehall Primaries in Edinburgh, who have been linked up in our
Global School's Partnership Programme.
See: www.forthview.blogspot

We will update it with tales of your progress next week!

Love the story of your being joined by the wee barefoot boys and your meeting at York!

I'm not surprised that you are creating warm waves around you
and it is heartening to hear of the friendship you are encountering
along the way!

BEST wishes my friend

Metta Sutta!

Burma Educational Scholarship Trust, BEST Scotland