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Your childhood heroes and your Camino life now ...

Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#1
Hi - just a few thoughts. Life is strange really, childhood heroes and all that - when a child I noticed that In every Famous Five film (50's English posh children on holiday in the country and getting up to solving mysteries) when the children were looking for spies or similar sooner or later they would walk alongside a hedgerow on the field side and come across a gentleman of the road sitting on the soft green bank, who would be wearing an old black suit, a collarless shirt and a colourful waistcoat, sitting there with a napkin on his lap, with bread and cheese on it, a bottle of brown ale by his side, his battered top hat to the other side and would be slicing sausage with his pocket knife. All unshaven and completely timelessly relaxed, he would tell them about the bearded man with the bomb he saw that morning or similar - I wanted to be that tramp, seemed like a pretty good life to me - I still do think that! Then there was Robin Hood on tv in black and white (30 minutes UK tv serial, was marvellous) - I wanted to be Friar Tuck, his life looked pretty good to me as well - I still do think that! I have never craved wealth or possessions or fame or power, only an observant life that had good red wine and laughter in it ....

Here is that Friar Tuck!

robin2.jpg


.So ... here I am, a Unitarian Franciscan, almost as tubby as Friar Tuck, and I go regularly on Camino to offer first aid and pastoral care and find myself on grass verges looking at the world with a napkin on my lap, having lunch, and timelessly relaxed. Sure, I am usually in brown rather than a coloured waistcoat, and no top hat, but otherwise ....
I was pretty busy during the years doing the things that we do but I never forgot those two characters and how I longed for that type of life (plus dear St Francis but they didn't do a tv series or children's adventure books about him!) and since I retired ten years ago I think in my life I have accidentally sort of merged those childhood characters, seems to be working out ok so far ... ;)
oh! and I have carried a pocket knife since I was twelve!!

so ... I was wondering if this was unique to me or if any of you could look back to that childhood you were immersed in and relate it to your current life style and Camino life?? Just a thought.
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#2
When I was a teenager I was fascinated with stories of long walks. I read about a big race from John O'Groats to Lands End organized by Billy Butlin, a famous entrepreneur, to publicize his holiday camps. Most of all I read books by John Hillaby about his journeys. I remember reading his book "Journey through Europe" about walking from the English Channel to the Mediterranean. It seemed impossibly ambitious to me at the time. Three years ago when I walked the Via Francigena I was probably more excited at doing the same by reaching the coast of Tuscany than I was later on finally arriving in Rome.

PS. I've just refreshed my memory of the story of the Billy Butlin walking race. The winner covered the distance in a little over 14 days - an average of just under 100km per day. Through atrocious weather including blizzards and snowdrifts in the early stages. They made them tough in those days :)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#5
As a kid (say age 9 until around 20 or so ) I used to often just wake up on a Saturday - get it into my head to wander around for a day trip , and then I would grab an apple , banana and just step out the door & walk 'wherever ' I felt like from my family home -in any direction .

. Usually i would be gone - for quite a few hours- I would wander through bush lands and into areas that I hadn't been to before . Sometimes I got lost and just sat down and felt at peace -then I would return home .

Sometimes I would tell my parents or brothers and sister where I had walked to and different things I saw -like animals or reptiles near the river and they would laugh and just think I had a wild and vivid imagination .

I also used to call it ' going on adventures' and sometimes go with my brothers and friends to bush lands 'to the cliff' and then down into underground drainage tunnels and explore .

I think it was just a desire to be free and connect with nature and to have silence and some peace and quiet .

I also really connected with Michael Carradines character in the tv series 'Kung Fu'.He was a Shaolin priest/monk and wandered around the desert bare foot with simple clothes and took each day as it came -he was fit and strong & able to handle himself in hand to hand fighting if this became necessary -but otherwise he was quietly spoken & lived a gentle life in tune with nature and spiritual ethics and was on a continual spiritual and physical 'journey '.

I can see now that this was good preparation for the Camino's I have been doing over the last few years .
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#6
What a fun thread.
Growing up I read anything I could get my hands on. As a very young teen, I loved Gerald Durrell...My Family and Other Animals, A Zoo in my Luggage, etc. I remember some years later, visiting Bruny Island when hitchhiking around Tasmania during a uni holiday. It’s a ferry ride to get there so I bought a single (though not three) to Adventure :). Just looked at google maps and the town of Adventure doesn’t seem to exist anymore :( but there is still an Adventure Bay.
After Gerald Durrell, I discovered Dervla Murphy. She was and remains to this day, my favourite author.
Probably needless to say, the theme is travelling with a purpose, preferrably under one’s own steam, and with the odd adventure thrown in. ;)
 

spagirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances(Sept 2018)
#7
Well David you have certainly got me thinking back. I lived with woods and a large field behind my house in the city. I walked in those woods as a child and replayed scenes from adventure shows and movies. Id act out scenes in my head. Id take my letters newly arrived from pen palls out to the field to read and reread. I would be gone all day. As an adult I bought a house on the other side of those woods and walk my dog through them every day. Still thinking, dreaming and planning. I thought that was just a coincidence....

Maybe our childhood longings create the adult longings......
 
Camino(s) past & future
The Camino Frances 2005
The Portugese Camino 2014
The Camino Ingles Easter 2015
The Camino Ingles April 2016
The Camino del Norte/The Primitivo 2016
#8
This is a wonderful thread!
It got me thinking about my childhood in the 70ties. I was always ready for a walk but nobody wanted to walk with me, back then walking for pleasure was not something people did. At least not in my neighborhood. And I was afraid of getting lost if I walked by myself. The urge for walking is still with me and I'm no longer afraid of getting lost, actually it adds to the adventure.
I also read the Famous Five by Enid Blyton, I wanted to be George, she was such an adventurous spirit.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#9
I guess wanderers always are! I know even as a small child I was a walker/wanderer. We would visit my grandparents in Nurnberg often. After dinner we'd go for a walk. I always wanted to know what was around the next bend. I would push, cajole and drag my Omi & Opa with me, till at last they would find a bench and send me off. Opa would remind me to remember to pick them up afterwards. He'd also remind me that however far I went, I'd have to walk it back again! Ahh but the itch to walk ...it's always there.
 

yaying

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somehow someday...
#10
i love wandering on something with blue skies & green lands, apparently those times rebels in my area are prominent and rumors that you might got back down.
I always got spank from my mom going home late & cant be seen around.
I love 'Dorothy' lately i realized it impacted me growing up so much with her friends characters i'm an average brain, big hearts though i fear but very courageous! for me Home doesn't limit to place of here but to wherever.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#11
David, thank you for this post. I am really happy to see how much positivity is being released into the atmosphere with your invitation to remember. I will take that idea out for a walk with me today and see what surfaces. Straight away, my mind went to the books I devoured on what kind of job to get as an adult. The one that took my fancy was the Almoner. I knew no Latin at that point, I just loved the taste of the word, and the job was about making life a bit easier for other people. I guess, although through a different medium - education - my job was/is about that too. As for adventure, my plan to take a one way ticket to Australia fell flat...what I am thinking right now, though, is this: I want every child to have the chance to have dreams, and realise them. What adventures will our ten year olds have by the time they have topped 70, like me?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#12
David, thank you for this post. I am really happy to see how much positivity is being released into the atmosphere with your invitation to remember. I will take that idea out for a walk with me today and see what surfaces. Straight away, my mind went to the books I devoured on what kind of job to get as an adult. The one that took my fancy was the Almoner. I knew no Latin at that point, I just loved the taste of the word, and the job was about making life a bit easier for other people. I guess, although through a different medium - education - my job was/is about that too. As for adventure, my plan to take a one way ticket to Australia fell flat...what I am thinking right now, though, is this: I want every child to have the chance to have dreams, and realise them. What adventures will our ten year olds have by the time they have topped 70, like me?

Agree! Almoner is a fantastic word! I think we are already what we are as children and that certain characters we come across in life or books or tv or films resonate with us and we think "I want to be like them" not realising, as we are children, that we are already "like them" and that is why they resonate with us - don't you think?

I always felt like a stranger in a strange land growing up in my rather odd family .. the two worst things said to me about work and friendship when still at school by my step-father were "you're not there to be happy, just get any job with a good pension" and "Friends? The only real friend you have is the wallet in your back pocket" - I ran away to sea when I was fifteen.

Forty-five years ago, when I was twenty-five I was invited to go for an analysis, which included many questions and an IQ test (165) to find out what career I would be best suited to. I never followed what they said .. but it broke down to the need to travel, caring for others, healing in some way, independence, and the desire to take full responsibility for my actions. As it was a government scheme they then matched me to what careers were available - they came up with 'peripatetic chiropodist' - and if that isn't what I do now when on Camino, with all those damaged feet then I don't know what is!
I should have listened to them forty five years ago!! ;).

As for ten year olds today - I am seventy and oh how I long to see the world in fifty years time!!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#14
I used to watch Pippi Longstocking on television as a kid. I loved her solo adventures around the world; her ability to chide wrongdoing adults; and her caring spirit.

As a young child, around 8 or 9, I also wanted a life of service: listening, caring, and helping others with their vocations.

On each and every camino fellow pilgrims have saught me out. I've listened to Catholic priests, an engineer who ran his company into bankruptcy and was trying to find his way; the angst of a med student and a veternarian; and many others.

Pippi's adventurous spirit must still be within so I walk caminos. And, I have been a hospitalera for two full weeks twice, and one day in Ponferrada to repay a kindness. The parochial albergue there allowed me to rest my sprained ankle for a week during winter camino.

Umph, I never fully appreciated how much of my 8/9 year-old self appeared on camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#15
As a kid I was either wanting to be like Joan of Arc or Jane Goodall.
It was loving to walk and sit in nature that won out in the end. Besides, being burned at the stake doesn't offer much in the way of a role model. ;)
But I think I most appreciated the gender- and class- bending aspect of Joan's life, as well as the purity and decisive fearlessness of it. Same with Jane Goodall, come to think of it.

I was a pretty timid kid, but much has changed.
"I am not afraid... I was born to do this."
If we are lucky, we get to live out what we admire in others.

Wonderful thread, @David, thank you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#16
When I was a teenager I was fascinated with stories of long walks. I read about a big race from John O'Groats to Lands End organized by Billy Butlin, a famous entrepreneur, to publicize his holiday camps. Most of all I read books by John Hillaby about his journeys. I remember reading his book "Journey through Europe" about walking from the English Channel to the Mediterranean. It seemed impossibly ambitious to me at the time. Three years ago when I walked the Via Francigena I was probably more excited at doing the same by reaching the coast of Tuscany than I was later on finally arriving in Rome.

PS. I've just refreshed my memory of the story of the Billy Butlin walking race. The winner covered the distance in a little over 14 days - an average of just under 100km per day. Through atrocious weather including blizzards and snowdrifts in the early stages. They made them tough in those days :)
That was some race. I am planning about 120km over 6 days and feel so brave!
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
#17
Terrific thread David - thank you for your OP and thank you to everyone who has contributed.

The Enid Blyton books I read as a child set me up for a lifetime of reading and a huge love of books which I will never lose. Reading of the adventures of the plucky children in the Enid Blyton books made me want to have my own adventures, which I did, in the company of the other kids in the street and friends at school. Our adventures were small-scale, but wonderful!

It was a book about an adventure that led me to the Camino and the great presence it has in my everyday life. It was Shirley MacLaine's "The Camino". This book opened a door which I stepped through several years later after reading Colin Bowles' and Elizabeth Best's book "The Year We Seized The Day". That first step on the Camino in April 2012 was incredible - what an adventure it was - so much to take in - history, religion, people, landscape - and so much was brought home after treading those ancient and sacred paths. How can one not be affected by this experience of adventure and blessing? It's one of the reasons why so many of us return again and again. Each camino is a new adventure - there are always lessons learned and gifts of new understanding received.

We are certainly blessed through technology to have the Camino with us every day, for example, via this Forum. It helps keep our pilgrim experiences alive and the community within the Forum is something that is so very special.

Cheers from Oz - Jenny
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - September '2018'
#18
A couple of heroes of mine once did a long walk to throw a ring into a volcano. I think their names were Frodo and Sam, but I could be mistaken.

Truthfully though, I have always loved the idea of walking until I didn't want to anymore, then laying up somewhere simple and just enjoying basic food with a glass or 6 of wine...my favourite books about this kind of simple life include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Into the Wild and even Wild (by Cheryl Strayed). I haven't done my own Camino yet, but I'm very much looking forward to it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#19
A couple of heroes of mine once did a long walk to throw a ring into a volcano. I think their names were Frodo and Sam, but I could be mistaken.

Truthfully though, I have always loved the idea of walking until I didn't want to anymore, then laying up somewhere simple and just enjoying basic food with a glass or 6 of wine...my favourite books about this kind of simple life include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Into the Wild and even Wild (by Cheryl Strayed). I haven't done my own Camino yet, but I'm very much looking forward to it.
Your post reminded me straight away of a long forgotten ‘dream’: walking along the banks of a river, fishing. Of course, someone else carrying my stuff and practical details like eating and sleeping were outside my responsibilities... in other words, being totally in the present and not a care in the world. Thanks for the reminder of an essential attitude, and a key one on the camino of life.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Somport Jul-Sep 2018
#20
Frodo and Sam, yes... I read it a long time ago... as I read it again (as a bedtime story for my children) I noticed the detailed description of the walking much more than the first time. Walking is in the books much more important than in the films, I think.

...
I also really connected with Michael Carradines character in the tv series 'Kung Fu'.He was a Shaolin priest/monk and wandered around the desert bare foot with simple clothes and took each day as it came -he was fit and strong & able to handle himself in hand to hand fighting if this became necessary -but otherwise he was quietly spoken & lived a gentle life in tune with nature and spiritual ethics and was on a continual spiritual and physical 'journey '.
...
As I stood on a hill in the Toscana on a small training walk a few days ago, I thought again of Caine / Michael Carradine. Maybe I will watch the series again, I liked it very much as a child.

As a child I was not very interested in walking. Now a small training walk happens almost daily... and my first camino starts in less than 6 weeks.
 
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