Sidmouth – Seaton (10.4 miles)
Distance from Minehead – 538.1 miles / Distance to Poole– 93.6 miles
Today, after the severe climbs between Sidmouth and Branscombe and the strenuous climbs from Branscombe onwards, we came across Beer. Now anyone who knows me will automatically think that I am talking of a pint of amber goodness, but in fact I am talking of the Devon fishing Village of Beer.
The weather has not been too kind today and there has not been much opportunity to dry out, so I was surprised to see that lined up across Beer’s beach was a whole host of deck chairs. They were all ready and waiting should someone want to relax on the rainy beach and get the true British holiday experience…not that anyone was!
This bizarre scene made me think of a time when I became a World Record Holder. Back in the summer of 1988 I was part of the 5499 strong team of people playing the world’s biggest game of musical chairs – I have the certificate to prove it too! We were all lined up in Weymouth with our deck chairs and we paraded up and down waiting for the music to stop. I didn’t win but I took part, and as they say, that is the most important thing. I am sad to say that since that great day when I became a World Record Holder (albeit in one of the most inconsequential ways possible) lots of people have beaten me and the 5498 others and taken our glory in the musical chair stakes.
So I can add ‘previous world record holder’ to my list of things which describe who I am, along with beer drinker and quite possibly I could now also be described as a walker! But I am not sure those are the words I would use to honestly describe myself – I would honestly use words which are much more self deprecating, words which describe how I see myself, words which describe characteristics I try to hide from the world. I once heard someone talk of the way in which we often compare ourselves to others, always in a way in which we come off worse – we compare the good things that we know of them, with the bad things we know of ourselves. Maybe you don’t think in that way, but I know that I do. The idea that if people really knew me, they wouldn’t like what they see.
Perhaps there is one word which describes each and everyone of us. ‘Precious’. We are all known and loved by God, the God who created us and made us all these weird and wonderful things we are, who gave us our likes and dislikes, our gifts and abilities, our characteristics. Perhaps when I only see the negative things, the things I wish I could change or at the very least tone down, I am in fact causing a great offence to my creator. Perhaps now is the time to pull up a deck chair, grab a beer and consider all the positive things I am, starting with the fact that I am precious to my God and King!