Hiking the Pilgrims’ Way

Ken Haigh launched his new book, On Foot to Canterbury: A Son’s Pilgrimage, at the end of September. The book is a finalist for the 2021 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Collingwood Public Library hosted Ken as part of its Simcoe Authors Talks. There was a fine online turnout and lively discussion after Ken’s presentation, built around the photographs he took as he walked from Winchester to Canterbury. For those who were not able to join us, head over to our YouTube channel and watch the hour-long recording.

The walk is not as popular as El Camino, but participants suggested that Ken’s new book will do much to bring attention to the Pilgrims’ Way. Hopefully with his book in hand!

As always, we enjoyed the chat feature of the launch:

“Thank you so much, Ken. This has been a wonderful journey through my home country. How I miss the old churches and the villages.”

“From one English major to another, that was fabulous! Thank you so much.”

“Fabulous talk! Really enjoyed it – can’t wait to read the book.”

Thank you, Ken. Fantastic presentation! Good for the soul.   : )

And, as often happens, some comments about the cover:

“Beautiful cover!” “The cover is gorgeous.” “I love the cover too!” Note: the artist’s work featured on the cover is by Liz Somerville and was chosen by Alan Brownoff, designer at UAlberta Press.

And finally, some excerpts that will give you the flavour of On Foot to Canterbury, to take away with you:

“The Wife of Bath, we are told, had been to Jerusalem three times, as well as to Rome, Compostela, and (perhaps for the sake of rhyme) Boulogne and Cologne. She had also outlived five husbands. If she were alive today, we would probably find her dancing in the conga line on the Lido deck of a Caribbean cruise ship, seeking husband number six.”

“The broad path leading down to the river is wet clay and as slippery as a children’s playground slide. I try to avoid the clay by stepping on tree roots, but this proves to be a mistake. The roots are, if anything, more slippery, and my feet shoot out sideways and down I go. It will be the first of many pratfalls that day.”

“Day eleven is a turning point. It’s the day when I stop thinking about the past or worrying about the future and start living in the present. Every good holiday reaches this tipping point where you realize that you have discarded the baggage you have been carrying along with you, and you begin to exist in the present tense.”

“This book of pilgrimage is my boon to you.  Make of it what you will. I hope it inspires you to take journeys of your own.”