Date: 19th March 2015 at 10:02pm
Written by:


Walsall fan Graeme Brookes is now less than forty miles from Wembley and here is his latest blog which he has labelled ‘grump day’

Today may as well be called: ‘The day of grump`.

I started well but it ended badly. I slept a little crap, a number of times I woke up with cramps and throbbing in my legs and then the joy of sleeping in the beautiful countryside as the birds get up super early and have the manners of crowds of folk coming out of WS1 at 2am! ‘Moooooorning`, ‘Alright mate`, ‘Seen the limping fat lad in there?`, ‘Yeah, lets wake him up`, ‘Come on then`. That`s what I imagine anyway.

I started off initially lovely, cutting a good pace. Then I met up with Caroline from MK Dons Supporter Association. What a star, she had arranged to meet me and walked with me for a good 15 minutes. It was so nice, really made me smile. We spoke about their old ground, spoke about Swindon away costing £27. The irony that she was from Stourbridge! Still a bit of Black Country sneaking inside that Milton Keynes blood. Ha ha. She then made a kind donation too which he didn`t have to do considering she already did on Saturday and we raised £200 in the game against MK Dons, their fans made enough of a donation but hey, more money the better I suppose.

Then as I am walking along I get told that Colin Murray spoke about me on his national TalkSport show. I was buzzing. Then we get on and I have to listen to a Brizzle fan talking about how they never get any time focused on them in a good 3-4 minute conversation and I got cut off after about a minute! Oh the irony! However what a legend of a man he is, he then donated to the cause (the fan that is)! Then dinner hit and I knew that I was closing in on – THE HUNDRED MILE MARK. When I hit, 11.2 miles – I did it. It felt pretty amazing to be honest, thinking back to that initial walk by Tame Bridge or Digbeth to now walking through Bletchley but then – grump struck dramatically.

I suddenly just slowed down. I mean my feet hurt but no more than usual over the past 36 hours, my legs hurt, my knees throbbed – I think I pulled a muscle in my ‘glute` (I cant say arse can I? I just did and I am not going to change it). I found it difficult even walking in a straight line. Imagine a child being told he cant buy something from Toys`R`Us, that weird kind of huffing walk where you let your feet drag behind you. I was doing that but I cant explain why. I suddenly became really narky and agitated and little things. You want to know how grumpy I was, you ready? I walked on tarmac twice and didn`t acknowledge it or care. I was just too fed up. I even saw a Swan and it came over to me, I gave it ‘the look` and it swam away – it knew that I would drop it like its hot, if it tried it on. Anyway, an example of my narky-ness, rubbish – if you live in a beautiful place and there is a beautiful canal, don`t throw your crap either in it or on the towpath. It is annoying. Please don`t interpret this that I am suddenly going to start jumping on oil boats in Iceland or insist on having 47 bins for different variations of kitchen waste – that is not me, but come on! Use a bin or hold onto your mess. Like joggers – I keep coming across little sachet, packets and juice stuff for relinquishing stuff, I know its for this because they tried to push it onto me for this walk. If you`re in the marathon or the Great Northern run – there are people cleaning up after you! If you`re just running through your local town, stop pretending you`re Paula Radcliffe or Mo Farah and wearing that grose tight lycra crap with no pockets, wear something with pockets to put your bloody rubbish in, you dirty beggar! Have that. And whilst I am on a roll – fisherman, I know you like being isolated, I know you like sitting with maggots in your mouth (so many jokes I want to make), I know you like sitting in silence – but does it really hurt to crack a bloody smile! Honestly, I have had 1 fisherman talk to me out of at least a 100 and about 3 acknowledge me.

To embrace the grump I decided to listen to some abrasive metal to wallow in it (mistake I know), so for tunes of the week (to grumpy to do the theme tune) – most of you wont know what I am talking about or care at this point and for that I apologise but I do know there is at least one old friend who I haven`t seen or spoken to for years got in touch (Kiddddha Singh!) who cares, so here is what I was blasting:

In Flames – Take this Life
Killer Be Killed – Wings of Feather & Wax
Fear Factory – Cyberwaste
Hacktivist – Elevate
Collisions – Fire, Fire

Anyway – at this point I am very tired now. I cant get rid of the rasp in my voice making me sound like Betty from Coronation St. If I sit anywhere for longer than 10 minutes, I kind of lock up a little bit and make those ‘getting up` noises that old people make. I don`t know what I am trying to say – the buzz and glamour of the walk just isn`t there at the minute, each step is a chore right now. I really feel that I need to get tomorrow out of here. Once I do that – I will be in a better place. Once I hit Berkhamstead tomorrow, I know I am super close to London. I know when I am in London I will pick up and then when I see ‘the arch` – I will turn into Roadrunner. Just a fatter, balder, slower version that doesn`t meep meep and making ‘getting up` noises. I will try though.

I must share this with you – a beautiful and lovely offer from Johnstones Paint Trophy that if I got to the ground early on Sunday, they would give me a guided tour. I promise I am really grateful and honoured, very sweet to have been thought of by such a thing. Just the thought that – what do we give the fella that`s walked 140 miles to get here, how about a guided tour to walk around a massive stadium up and down all those stairs, he`d love it! Thinking about that today really made me chuckle. I do appreciate the gesture greatly though.

At this stage – I have nothing to say. I need to be up and out early, got a good 6 ½ hour day tomorrow as I am back up to the 17+ miles so I need to be ready. On that note I wish you all a good night. Thanks for reading and take care. Enjoy your last day of the working week because this weekend is THE weekend. Up the Saddlers!

Distance – 14.3 miles. Time – 4 hour, 56 mins. MPH – 2.89

34.9 miles remaining. 103.1 mile walked***

3 days to Wembley

***somethings gone off somewhere because I am walking 17 miles tomorrow, 16 miles on Saturday and 6 on Sunday – which means 39 miles left – but after getting lost twice and on two unexpected detours I demonstrated that I am crap a map reading and I should have paid more attention in Geography! And also I am actually walking 142.1 miles and I am a grade A idiot!