Carpeway Gathering 6, Thursday 30th Jan 2020

The Way

The first Carpeway gathering of 2020 was promoted as a gentle 5-mile walk. Actually, this was more like a 7-mile walk with a lot more uphills than downhills (weirdly!), lots of mud (and I mean lots!) and wild winds.

So here we were, nine enthusiastic hikers. We were willing to brave whatever weather those grey clouds sent us, as we tramped Hadrian’s Wall.
Before the walk, I only knew two members of the group. What was really great was how easily we all changed paces and places naturally. One held a gate for everyone, someone took photos and others stopped to look at the view, which led to each of us chatting with someone new along the way.

The Craic

Here’s a funny thing – I have known Dave Algeo for two years as a fellow speaker and ‘Stress Tackler’ and my mentor. We chatted about books, films, our recommended reading and our favourite genres. Not once did we talk work, professional speaking or stress-tackling!

I talked with Russ about comedy and professional speaking and how being funny is a skill and developing a joke is a science. It was a fascinating subject made all the more interesting. We chatted and then for some reason got split up, then after our lunch stop we found ourselves walking together again and picked up our conversation exactly where we had left it.
Nadia and I chatted about our school days and how I wished ‘Horrible Histories’ had been part of our curriculum. Nadia is going to do some research! As well as this, we spoke about our work but unlike networking, this was about us as people and how our work fits with who we are and why we love to support people.

Interestingly, Radu talked calories, apps and life-changing decisions yet nothing about work, we could have discussed this important stuff for hours.
From Barbara I learned about her running, her (mega) kick-boxing skills and kids, yet I still don’t know what she does!
Paul – sorry we didn’t get to chat much – next time mate.

The Sycamore Tree

Strangely, I have lived in the North East all my life and have never seen the famous Sycamore Tree. I know!
As we saw it in all its naked glory, even in winter it remains impressive, leafless and iconic. None the wonder it is so popular.
I would highly recommend a visit to the Sycamore Gap without a doubt.

Catching it all on camera

Watch out for Ian – he takes snaps and videos and does not for one second ask if you want to make sure your hair is in place or which is your best side! He caught us unawares walking, talking, slipping, sliding and laughing – Class!
Radu took a time-delayed group photo on his phone. There were several ‘out-takes’ before we all said ‘sexy sausages’ and the camera fell off the wall!
Carl carries a camera – a proper camera – so he was doing his David Bailey bit as we all gathered around the Sycamore Tree. Then, he had the brainwave of taking the photo from a different perspective. Although he later admitted that the lady who had just left the scene gave him the idea. Whaaaaat??? You could have kept that to yourself Carl and we would have thought of you as a brilliant photographer as well as a canny bloke!

The stars of the show

Amid all of this walking, talking, slipping, sliding and lunching there were two real stars of the day – Barbara’s Converse shoes!
Unable to access her walking boots on the day, Barbara came in a pair of pink Converse! We had all slipped and slid a bit but Barbara slipped everywhere. She slipped on the grass, on the stones, on the downhill and somehow managed to slip on the uphill! However, when it came to the proper mud – Ian carried her!!
Each time she slipped, she shrieked and laughed. And we laughed.
Thank you Barbara for unintentionally creating such merriment, I look forward to seeing you (and your pink Converse) again.

I Love Carpeway

Thank you Ian for arranging the day. It was interesting and exhilarating, it wasn’t networking, it was relationship-building.
Additional to this, it was so much more than a hike and I loved every minute, I am very much looking forward to future Carpeway Days.

Gillian & Radu experience the Housesteads Latrine


  1. Ian Farrar on February 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Loved this muddy old get together and that picture of us all at the tree is unforgettable.
    Thanks for capturing the day so well Gillian, we shall see you soon!

  2. Carl Buckley on February 9, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    What a great straight from the heart and honest, (yes I am too hence the admission the pics) Gillian and summed things up perfectly. Wellies were the order of the day though!

  3. Paul Slater on February 10, 2020 at 7:17 am

    Cracking day and enjoyed reading your blog Gillian 🙂

  4. Bryn Jones on July 14, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Fantastic blog Gillian. I am sorry I missed what seemed like one of Ian’s “easy flat” walks. ;@) Always fun and never a dull moment to be had on such brain breathing exercises. I look forward to the next one of 2020.

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