John-Paul Flintoff




Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 12

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Videos | Map | Weather report | Up next


In which we start where we stopped on Day 11, Rochester Cathedral.

Where we go

  1. Back along the Medway, through Borstal
  2. Under the flyover we decorated with grafitti yesterday (miraculously clean now)
  3. Aylesford Priory

Topics, stories


Photo highlights


Video (today in full)


Map


Weather report (real world)

Sunny, relatively warm, bit cooler than yesterday mind you.


Up next

+From Aylesford to Newington

Every weekday in April, 14.30 to 15.15 UK time. Just one week to go.

Participants: get in touch to join me “on camera” (via Zoom). This would be a lot more fun. Don’t be shy.



Posted: April 23, 2021

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Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 13

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Videos | Map | Weather report | Up next


In which we start where we stopped on Day 11, Aylesford Priory.

Where we go

  1. St Peters Church, Bredhurst

Topics, stories


Photo highlights


Video (today in not-quite full)


Map


Weather report (real world)

Sunny, relatively warm, bit cooler than yesterday mind you.


Up next

From Bredhurst to Newington

Every weekday in April, 14.30 to 15.15 UK time. Just one week to go.

Participants: get in touch to join me “on camera” (via Zoom). This would be a lot more fun. Don’t be shy.



Posted: April 23, 2021

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Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 14

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Photos | In hindsight | Map, Weather | Up next


In which we started where we stopped on Day 13, St Peters Church, Bredhurst.

Where we went

  1. Across the Downs, through Google Streetscapes that comprised a patchwork of different months and years, sometimes within a few feet
  2. St Mary’s Church, Newington, where we stopped outside and finished off telling stories. FYI, the church is famous as holding the unofficial shrine of a man supposedly murdered while making a pilgrimage to Canterbury.

Topics, stories

Photo highlights (no video today)


What others thought of it

I loved the individual morality and modus vivendi that springs from past experience and makes us who we are now
— Alex


I was invited to go on a story telling pilgrimage via Zoom, based on that of Chaucer’s pilgrims bound for Canterbury. I was doubtful – anyone who turns up to a story telling pilgrimage on Zoom is likely to be a bit of a weirdo, no? It could all be horribly earnest. Yet I was considering it – so perhaps I’m a bit of a weirdo too.

Then I thought about pilgrimage. Anyone trekking to Canterbury for the sake of their souls, has to be a bit of a religious nut, surely? It could all be horribly pious. Yet, if you start with a shared goal, there is something in common. Perhaps others are shy of the overly pious too.

So five of us gathered on Zoom, having no close knowledge of each other; a bit shy, a bit anxious, aware we must contribute – but mustn’t take over. We silently assessed our company. Who might entertain us? Who might put us down? Who threatened to be a bore?

And we agreed each to tell a tale.

And at the end of three quarters of an hour, we all knew each other so much better than when we started. We had decided to trust that no one was so very different from the other. We held each other in a web of story told and story received.

At the end we took stock and to our amazement found we had each of us bared a little bit of our souls. We had sounded some of humanity’s great notes. We had spoken of aggression and forgiveness; of the blessing of trust; of first love that does not entirely go away; of the death of a parent; of remorse and – once again – of forgiveness.

We had celebrated, in a small way, our common humanity. I will continue with the next stage.
— Deb


We gathered as strangers but immediately found ourselves in good hands and great company. Within minutes, the ice was broken, and we were off journeying through the countryside while being skilfully encouraged to exchange our tales. One by one, we volunteered stories sparking empathy, evoking memories, and generating giggles. There was a tangible sense of kindred spirits, touching on moving themes such as, surprise at a stranger’s instant trust, limbic overwhelm, unexpressed gratitude, the discomfort of decades of regret, fighting for forgiveness, and the beauty of vivacity in the face of vulnerability. In just forty-five minutes, we each opened our souls just a crack to reveal sentiments and memories held dear to us. It was a rather beautiful experience.
— Orla


Map


Weather report (real world)

Raining, actually.


Up next

From Newington to Faversham

14.30 to 15.15 UK time. Ends Friday 30 April.

Participants: get in touch to join me “on camera” (via Zoom). This would be a lot more fun. Don’t be shy.



Posted: April 23, 2021

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Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 15

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Video, Photos | Map, Weather | Up next


In which we started where we stopped on Day 14, St Mary’s Church, Newington.

Where we went

  1. Stone Chapel outside Faversham
  2. The Swan Cafe on Market Street, Faversham

Topics, stories

Video, and photo highlights



What others thought of it

asdfasdfasdf
— asdfasdf


Map


Weather report (real world)

Raining, actually.


Up next

From Faversham to Canterbury Cathedral

14.30 to 15.15 UK time. Ends Friday 30 April.

Participants: get in touch to join me “on camera” (via Zoom). This would be a lot more fun. Don’t be shy.



Posted: April 23, 2021

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Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 16

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Photos | In hindsight | Map, Weather | Up next


In which we started where we stopped on Day 15, in Faversham.

Where we went

  1. through more peaceful landscape than yesterday, by going sideways instead of on the main road
  2. to Chartham, where Rupert Sheldrake took his godson, as he tells in his book (from which I read aloud)

Topics, stories

Photo highlights (no video today)


What others thought of it

asdfasdfasdf
— asdfasdf


Map


Weather report (real world)

Quite warm today.


What next?

That’s it! “The End.”

But I did talk about how I might use the experience, the stories shared, the stories of the individuals. I joked that it might make a book, if only for me.

And immediately afterwards, looking for something else, I stumbled on the website of a man who does walks, with real-life and online companions, and turns them into books.

Watch this space


Posted: April 23, 2021

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Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 11

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Photos, Videos | Map, Weather | Up next


This video was recorded beforehand, to entice friends of Kamin (it worked!):


Where we go

We start where we stopped on Day 10, Badgells Wood Camping. And then…

  1. Through remote countryside
  2. Through a rather anonymous suburban bit
  3. Through more countryside, near the Medway
  4. Under a big flyover
  5. Rochester Cathedral

Topics, stories


Photo highlights

The flyover before we got to work on it.


And afterwards.


A view of the Medway from Borstal.


Videos

Today in full:


Map


Weather report (real world)

Sunny. Mild.


Up next

From Rochester to Aylesford Priory

Every weekday in April, 14.30 to 15.15 UK time

Participants: get in touch to join me “on camera” (via Zoom). This would be a lot more fun. Don’t be shy.



Posted: April 22, 2021

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Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 10

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Videos | Map | Weather report | Up next


A Kentish oast house

In which we start where we stopped on Day 9, St Edith’s Well.

Where we go

  1. Across the Downs
  2. Past a rugby club
  3. Into the woods!
  4. Badgells Wood Campsite

Topics, stories


Photos

Beautiful open country on the Kentish Downs.

Typical tunnel of Kentish trees.

Oops, wifi failure.

Phew, wifi is restored and David continues his tale.

Yikes, this is where we camp.


Video (today in full)

Click on video to watch full-screen


Map


Weather report (real world)

Sunny. Mild.


Up next

From Badgells Wood Camping to Rochester Cathedral

Every weekday in April, 14.30 to 15.15 UK time

Participants: get in touch to join me “on camera” (via Zoom). This would be a lot more fun. Don’t be shy.



Posted: April 21, 2021

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Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 9

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Videos, photos | Map | Weather report | Up next


The road to Sevenoaks, with many orchids on the verge.


In which we start where we stopped on Day 8, the Number 10 Bed and Breakfast in Swanley.

Where we go

  1. Eynsford “Lido”, and the tea shop
  2. The viaduct, on the way to Lullingstone
  3. St Edith’s Well, Kemsing

Topics, stories


Photos (highlights)


Video (today in full)

My favourite bit starts at 17 mins. Second-favourite bit is about St Edith, near the end, approx 36 mins 30 secs.


Map


Weather report (real world)

Sunny. Really quite warm/hottish.


Up next

+From Kemsing to Badgells Wood Campsite

Every weekday in April, 14.30 to 15.15 UK time

Participants: get in touch to join me “on camera” (via Zoom). This would be a lot more fun. Don’t be shy.



Posted: April 20, 2021

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Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 8

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Video | Map | Weather report | Up next


The journey starts where we stopped on Day 7, The Wrong Un pub, in Bexleyheath.

Where we go

  1. the M25
  2. quite a few suburban back-roads
  3. a pathway between fields, with horses
  4. a Bed & Breakfast in Swanley

Topics, stories


Video (highlight)

Click on video to watch full-screen


Photo (highlights)

Though there were long stretches of “walking” through suburbs and along A-roads, this was the day we crossed the M25 and felt we had really encountered countryside.


Map


Weather report (real world)

Sunny. Mild.


Up next

Swanley to Lullingstone Roman Villa and chapel, then Eynsford

Every weekday in April, 14.30 to 15.15 UK time

Participate: get in touch to join me “on camera” (via Zoom). This would be a lot more fun. Don’t be shy.



Posted: April 16, 2021

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Desktop Pilgrimage 2021 | Day 7

Previously | Where we go | Topics, stories | Photos | Map | Weather report | Up next


In which we start where we stopped on Day 6, Well Hall Road in Eltham.

Where we go

  1. Oxleas Wood
  2. Welling, a conurbation on the old Roman road
  3. Danson Park, where we were plunged into January, and went looking for a dog.
  4. Kaspa’s Desserts, which had sounded so good, but proved to be a disappointment.
  5. Bexley Bikes. We looked around at the photos that have been uploaded.
  6. The Wrong Un, a Weatherspoon pub, where the crockery looks like Spode.

Topics, stories


Photo (highlights)

We walked into the park, and against the low sun of January we saw a dog running about. We clicked all over the park to see it from other angles, as we were curious to identify the breed.

Eventually we found another dog, which looked as if it had been badly photoshopped into Google Streetview. We speculated on whether Google might employ people to do such a thing.

And finally we achieved a close up of the dog we had first spotted.

Some kind of setter, we think…?

The picture at the top of this page shows our satisfaction as we finally lay eyes on this elusive hound.

We carried on, and I mentioned my interest in the use of parables as stories, used in Sufi and Christian traditions to baffle and provoke discussion.

Steve C mentioned the similar function of Buddhist koans. And as we were discussing this, we reached one of the destinations we had set in advance, Kaspa’s Desserts.

Alas, this turned out (as far as we can tell) not actually to exist after all, and can be regarded as a kind of baffling, frustrating koan in its own right.

Kaspa’s: Does it even really exist?

Bexley Bikes, which would appear to be an independent

Looking for other independent stores


Map


Weather report (real world)

Sunny. Mild.


Up next

From Bexleyheath to Dartford, and beyond

Every weekday in April, 14.30 to 15.15 UK time

Join in: Just ask, and I’ll send you the Zoom link



Posted: April 13, 2021

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