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Homecoming Reflection–9 September, 2017

‘If you want to walk fast–travel alone. If you want to travel far–travel together’ (Chinese Proverb)

It is exactly a week since Xuelin and I arrived back in London following the walk.

A week is about the right amount of time needed for me to think about what the walk this year achieved and where it might go in the future.

It takes less than a week for the Zhejiang UK Overseas Chinese Association to organise an amazing Homecoming Dinner with seventy guests all seated with name cards, a list of VIP speakers and a room and tables at the Bright Garden Courtyard Restaurant wonderfully decorated with banners, flags and flowers.

This is the fourth time that Zhejiang UK Association of which Peng Huang is President and Xuelin is Chairman have organised a Homecoming Dinner. The first was when we returned from a walk from London to Berlin in 2014; the second after our walk in China in 2015 from Beijing to Hangzhou; the third after our walk last year from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro.

As we had not been away, our walk was around the UK, this year we had said we shouldn’t do an event. That wish was over-ruled earlier in the week and on reflection I so glad it was because it was a very special evening:

It was special to see friends again who had met on the way such as Anna Wong from Bristol who had travelled to London especially for this and also representatives from New Beacon College in Stafford. Dr Zu who had travelled from Nottingham to offer advice on my Liver had also made the journey down. Anna Reaich from the British Red Cross also came along to receive the final cheque of £53,110.69 from Xuelin. I was amazed at the turnout at short notice and despite it being the first in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1.

Counsellor & Consul General Mr Fei Mingxing was our first speaker who brought good wishes from the Chinese Embassy in London on the walk and complemented the way in which these simple acts of walking and writing had been such a powerful way of increasing friendship and understanding between the people of UK and China. He looked forward to seeing how they might develop further in the future. This seemed to spark a series of impromptu interventions:

Dr Chan, who as well as being a dear friend to Xuelin and I, is leader of the Chinese overseas Community in the UK spoke up saying that he was concerned about my health and how long I could keep doing such long walks without doing irreparable damage to my health and urged us to re-think how they were done.

Then Mr You from Tangshan in China who has developed a network of amazing Caofeidian vocational colleges which we have visited in China stood up with a suggestion–he invited Xuelin and I to walk in China next year from Beijing to Tangshan (about 160km/100 miles). Mr You went on to say that if we did this then his company would build a Hope School for children in a poor area of Hebei Province. I had to ask Xuelin to translate a couple of times before I actually believed what I was hearing.

Then Peter Ren who established the UK Chinese Entrepreneurs Association stood up and said could we not do something in the UK as well next year as these walks were gathering momentum here–his suggestion was a short walk, “What about getting 100 people to walk 10 miles with you and raise funds for charity.”

There seemed to be quite a bit of agreement around the tables and then he said, “Why not do this before the Chinese New Year Celebrations in London?” The Chinese New Year Celebrations have grown incredibly in recent years and are now the largest outside of Asia with over 700,000 packing the streets between Trafalgar Square and Chinatown. Another amazing idea.

Then two ladies stood up bringing greetings from our friend Stephen Ng, MBE President of the UK Association for the UK Association for the Promotion of Chinese Education who said that they would like to use some of the blog pieces for their ‘A’ Level Mandarin classes as a way of improving understanding of Chinese and British culture.

We then heard from a journalist who was covering the event Nouvelles d’Europe (UK edition) who said how appreciated the blogs were by their readers–they had run the series from the walk. He suggested that having more pieces walking in China about British perceptions of China would be very popular.

I could go on but I am conscious that I am placing a final burden on our wonderful team of translators of these blogs into Chinese. I hope however that they feel from this feedback that their dedication and efforts have been appreciated by others as they are by Xuelin and I.

What an evening!

Xuelin and I travelled home in the car which took over an hour to travel three miles as our journey coincided with the end of Last Night of the Proms which had been screened in Hyde Park and Park Lane was closed. It was a good opportunity to discuss what we had heard.

I began making notes as I sensed that this was one of those evenings which are like a hinge on which doors of service might open in the future. Our conclusion was quite simple and yet I think quite profound for our small charity and initiative–The Walk for Peace for Foundation. Our charity was started on our wedding day in 2012 and is our life’s ambition to fulfil. My note said this:

‘In the quest for understanding and friendship is it not far better that 1000 people share walking 1 mile together in the name of peace than any one person who walks 1000 miles alone.’

Like all good journeys thanks to our friends we felt we had unexpectedly discovered a better path by which we may be able to reach our destination.

To be continued…….























原文 / 英国资深媒体人李文编辑

排版 / 赵一凡

校对 / 雪琳



今日徒步: 18.40 英里 / 29.60 公里

累计徒步: 636.10 英里 / 1025.00公里

累计募捐: 过五万英镑,等待最后统计结果,会尽快公布捐款清单鸣谢捐赠单位及个人




当然这种奇异的平静感仅限于我,而雪琳则是不达成捐款目标就绝不罢休。为了实现目标,她可谓是废寝忘食,最后几天她每晚工作到凌晨三点才肯休息。一周前,我曾经建议把捐款目标从五万英镑降到三万英镑,因为三万英镑对我来说已经是非常可观了数目了,但是雪琳怎么可能妥协呢?她反问我:“那你会愿意把承诺的625英里/1000公里一下砍到400英里/640公里吗?” 我迟疑地答道:“我不愿意。” “那么我也不能轻易放弃我承诺的五万英镑筹款!” 商讨结束。







原文 / 麦克·贝茨勋爵

翻译 / 洪幸子,陈彩

翻译校对 / 刘艳琴

微信编辑 / 赵一凡

总校对 / 雪琳























原文 / 英国资深媒体人李文编辑

排版 / 赵一凡

校对 / 雪琳


Day 44: The Final Mile

Today walk: 18.40  miles

Total walk:  636.10 miles

Total raised: over £ 50,000.00, detailed donation list will be published shortly 

At 4PM on July 20th 2017 Xuelin and I set off from Finsbury Park Mosque in north London with the aim of walking 625 miles in 45 days and visiting each of the four capital cities of the United Kingdom and to raise £50,000 for the UK Solidarity Fund of the British Red Cross.

At 4PM on 1st September 2017 (44 days later) we arrived at the Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh having walked 636 miles to Cardiff, Manchester and Belfast and having raised £50,000 for the British Red Cross.

Job done!

But…. the job wasn’t done by us it was achieved by the over 300 people who donated money to the UK Solidarity Fund. That was achieved by the tremendous efforts of our English/Chinese blog translation team. We were encouraged every step of the way via social media by friends and family. We were inspired by the random acts of kindness and hospitality we received along the way.The funds they gave will be translated into practical care and assistance from those who suffered as a result of the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London by the British Red Cross.

The final mile was a ‘Royal Mile’ literally. ‘The Royal Mile’ runs between Edinburgh Castle and Hollyrood Palace (the official residence of the Queen in Scotland) and stands opposite the Scottish Parliament, the end point of our walk.

Walking is a learning experience and one of the things I have learned is to build in lots of time to the final day. Often when people are kindly coming to welcome you at the end of your efforts it can be frustrating for them when I am running late because you took a wrong turn.

It is also exhausting for me because increasing my pace even slightly over 3mph sends my heart into overdrive. I didn’t want to be pounding up the hill to the castle to be there for 3:15pm and find my heart decides its had enough–that would just be embarrassing.

So I set off from Livingtson at 8:30AM for the 18 mile walk to the finish. Over the last week of all our walks a strange peace descends for me. It is difficult to describe but it is perhaps that feeling that a Marathon runner feels when he first sees the finishing line and all the pain, anxiety, fatigue seem to evaporate.

I say for me because for Xuelin if anything the intensity increases as she seeks to bring in the final donations and make arrangements for our arrival. It is incredible how hard she works, she didn’t get to bed until 2:30AM in the morning. A week ago I thought we would be lucky to bring in £30,000 for the UK Solidarity Fund and suggested lowering the target. Xuelin would hear none of it she said, “Would you give up on your target at 400 miles short of the 625 miles you promised?”, “No” I said hesitantly,”Then I am not going to give up on the £50,000 I promised to raise.” Discussion over!

It was a beautiful day and a beautiful walk along the Calder valley. At one point I could see the high suspension towers of the new Queensferry Crossing due to be opened by Her Majesty on Monday. It is in the nature of these things that having a final day when you walk 18.4 miles is deemed to be an ‘easy day’.

I keep reflecting on my first 16 mile sponsored walk to Wylam when I was 15 years old and I had to be picked up after 10 miles because I couldn’t walk another step. Of course as you get older your body gets weaker but your mind gets stronger.

I arrived  at Edinburgh Castle at 3:10PM ahead of schedule and met up with Stephen Fyfe from the Red Cross in Scotland who had very kindly come out to walk the last mile with us. The British Red Cross have been terrific partners on this walk and Anna Reaich, Philanthropy Manager in London has been amazing.

Also joining me at the Castle were John, Ronald and Ringo Chan who had travelled down from Perth; Xiao Fei from Glasgow; Linda Hu from Edinburgh. The whole team had been brought together brilliantly by Jessica Guo who is a member of the Zhejiang UK Association and who is a successful businesswomen in Edinburgh.

We set off down The Royal Mile at 3:30PM and I was surprised that rather than taking 20 minutes to reach the Scottish Parliament it took 30 minutes. The difference was later explained in that The Royal Mile is a Scots Mile which is 1.81km compared to the English Mile which is 1.609km.

We arrived at the parliament to be greeted by about 25 well wishers from the Chinese Community in Edinburgh organised by Jessica complete with welcome banners. It took us all the way back to the wonderful send off from Parliament Square, London on 21 July by the Chinese Community there.

There might be a couple of British friends thinking that perhaps the Chinese community are getting a little too much credit but just for the record:

Over 90% of the £50,000 donations to the UK Solidarity Fund have come from the Chinese community;

Each day Xuelin overseas a team of around 10 dedicated Chinese community members who patiently translate these blog entries and add pictures. In English the blogs are read by less than a dozen each day, which I actually thought was quite high but in Chinese they are read by thousands.

It was then into a round of pictures for the record in which Stephen from the Red Cross Scotland was in huge demand to take. It was a great end to an incredible walk.

The last word is from me is a thank you to a very special lady, Xuelin. It is an understatement to say I could not do these walks without her constant care, support, encouragement and organisation. Every day she amazes me with her resourcefulness and dedication to the cause. Every day she makes the impossible possible. She is my inspiration. X.




勋爵踏遍英伦故土,赤子再续慈善新篇!—— 祝贺贝茨勋爵夫妇2017英伦同心慈善徒步抵达终点爱丁堡







贝茨勋爵夫妇今年原计划是去非洲做穿越尼日利亚和塞拉利昻的慈善徒步,但今年伦敦,曼城等地多次发生的恐袭事件改变了他们的初衷,”我们迫切需要重新认识共同团体和精诚团结体现出来的精神,无论我们有怎样的不同,那些团结我们的力量远比将我们分离的力量伟大 ” 贝茨勋爵感叹,他引用了黑人领袖马丁·路德·金的名言: “黑暗无法驱除黑暗,只有光明可以做到;仇恨不能驱除仇恨,只有爱可以做到 “。









原文 / 周霄飞

微信编辑 / 李念容

总校对 / 雪琳
















《卫报》报道,日前强行勒令16名成绩未达标高一学生退学的伦敦东南部著名文法中学St Olave’s 在该报的报道发表后又改变初衷,宣布所有受影响的学生下周可以无条件地回校上课。









《每日电讯报》报道,保护自然生态的慈善机构National Trust在其网站上披露狩猎组织开会时间和地点等资料,因此被狩猎人士指责为故意教唆反对狩猎人士进行破坏。





原文 / 英国资深媒体人李文编辑

排版 / 李念容

校对 / 雪琳



今日徒步: 18.30 英里 / 29.40 公里

累计徒步: 617.70 英里 / 995.40公里

今日捐款: 150.00 英镑 +  13,888.00元

累计募捐: 23,034.09 英镑 +  118,678.66元















原文 / 麦克·贝茨勋爵

翻译 / 洪幸子,陈彩

翻译校对 / 梁珍

微信编辑 / 赵超

总校对 / 雪琳





《都市报》形容至今进展缓慢的脱欧谈判“针锋相对(barbs fly)”。英国脱欧事务大臣戴维斯称,欧盟方面应该在谈判中展示出更大的“灵活性和想象力”,而欧盟首席谈判代表巴尼耶则反唇相讥,指英国提出的要求犹如“怀缅过去”。























原文 / 英国资深媒体人李文编辑

排版 / 赵超

校对 / 雪琳


Day 43: Food for Thought

We were blessed again by another great B&B to stay in North Lanarkshire, Ridgeland House I am just amazed as to how Xuelin seems to be able to find these incredible places on the walking route. Ridgeland House was started by Margaret Lawson as a way of diversifying their farm income.

It was a great decision and in their lounge they have three large maps with pins indicating where people visit from. The answer is literally from all over the world but the largest number I would say came from Holland and Germany. After a full cooked breakfast prepared by Margaret including haggis and black pudding I felt I needed a long walk.

One of the things that I immediately noticed as I set off along the B7066 towards Shotts was that my aches and pains were gone. It was now two days after the acupuncture treatment in Glasgow by Dr Michael Mei and I was amazed there was no pain. As I neared the end of the 18 mile walk I began to feel just a couple of small twinges in the hip but nothing like the grinding pain I had felt before.

We began with some very good news on the fundraising side from Anna at the British Red Cross: All the paperwork and standard checks had been completed on the very generous donation from Wenli Song, President of the UK Sichuan Business Association and the funds could now be credited to our fundraising total for the UK Solidarity Fund taking the total over £30,000 within a couple of days of the end of the walk. Wenli Song is someone who has been passionate about education and has worked closely with the University of Cambridge and the City of Cambridge to promote stronger UK-Sichuan ties.

As always happens towards the end of a walk, and this is Xuelin and my sixth, we start to reflect on what has been achieved. Specifically we ponder whether we might have been able to achieve more for our chosen aim, The UK Solidarity Fund, by doing things differently.

I am not getting younger and I am struggling to do 15 miles a day where I used to be able to do 25 miles. Xuelin’s business is growing fast and taking seven weeks out, or four months last year, to support me in my ‘crazy walks’ is coming at a higher cost to the business each year. We need to start thinking about more sustainable ways of achieving our aims. I will perhaps return to this in the final blog piece.

As I walked through the former mining town of Harthill I was struck by a statue of a miner with the inscription ‘Harthill we remember the past’ and then on the side ‘All things change’. I sat on a seat and pondered this message for a little while. It seemed to fit with our thinking about not being stuck in the past but building a better future on the foundations of the past.

Seeing I was looking at the statue a local man, I guess in his seventies, out walking his dog asked me what I thought of it. It was a sunny morning and neither of us looked as if we were in a rush so he sat down on the base of the statue and we got talking.

Jim was from Glasgow but had moved to Harthill 45 years ago because he married a local girl. He reflected on how much larger Harthill had been in those days when the mines were in full production and the B7066 which runs through the town was the main road between Glasgow and Edinburgh (before the M8).

Jim was interested in my walk but just kept saying ‘Why would you do something like that?’ I guess my answers were inadequate so he kept asking the same question whilst his old dog ‘Morley’ tried to sniff out an answer from me in other ways.

I asked about his life–he had a well paid job as a mechanic and would travel a lot around Britain and Europe. Did he enjoy it? I asked. No, he said, if I had my time again I would have done things differently. I was waiting for him to say–I would have set up my own business; I would have gone to University or I would have travelled the world. It was none of these, Jim said, his regret was spending so much time away from home from his wife, from his children as they were growing up and from his friends. Morley barked as if he agreed but wanted to be added to the list.

Perhaps Jim was saying this in a way to offer a bit of advice to this ‘crazy walker’ to say life’s too short. Its not a dress rehearsal, its the real thing. Spend your precious time investing in the lives of those who really need you. We walked slowly along the High Street for a while together. I wanted to ask for a photo as we parted but it seemed this was one encounter for the memory rather than the iPhone.

As I reflected on my encounter with Jim and Morley I was noticed an unusual marble plaque on the wall of Polkemmet Community Park. It was dedicated to Neily Baxter who had been killed at that spot in 2006 at the age of just 16. His parents wrote the following:

‘For all those parents who read this. Learn this today. A child’s love is priceless in every precious way. Don’t be slow to tell them just how much they mean. Don’t take life for granted. Please don’t take that chance. Tell them that you love them whilst you’ve got the chance.’


【贝茨勋爵】徒步第41 & 42天(2017.08.29&30)——为终点爱丁堡冲刺做准备

累计徒步: 599.40 英里 / 966.00公里

今日捐款: 10,685.00 英镑 +  7,526.00元

累计募捐: 22,884.09 英镑 +  104,790.66元



昨天和朋友晚餐时,在座的梅海军医生(Dr Michael Mei)和岳霖医生邀请我到他们的中医诊所——东方草药诊所体验一下中医会诊,看看能否用针灸帮我减缓徒步中的各种疼痛。他们已经排满了预约但还是设法挤出下午四点钟让我过去。我其实不怎么去医院,最近的一次看医生也已经是五年前的事了。但现在我右侧身子一直疼痛不已,于是一切可以解决这个问题的方法我都愿意尝试一下。我猜想中医也许能比我带的布洛芬止疼药更有效一点吧。










原文 / 麦克·贝茨勋爵

翻译 / 洪幸子,陈彩

翻译校对 / 刘艳琴

微信编辑 / 赵一凡

总校对 / 雪琳























不过,报道也同时指出,保守党内不少议员认为,特雷莎梅在大选失利后已经是一个“蹩脚鸭(lame duck)”领袖,因此希望在2019年英国脱欧之后撤换她。










原文 / 英国资深媒体人李文编辑

排版 / 赵一凡

校对 / 雪琳



今日徒步: 20.00 英里 / 32.20 公里

累计徒步: 599.40 英里 / 966.00公里

今日捐款: 56.00 英镑 +  800.00元

累计募捐: 12,199.09 英镑 +  97,264.66元





利文斯通游客中心坐落在克莱德河堤上,前身是利文斯通一家租住的公寓楼。19世纪初,楼里曾经住了24户人家,都是当时的平民百姓,大卫·利文斯通就在那里度过了他的青葱岁月。当时,教育对于楼里的每一户居民来说都是一种奢侈,大卫·利文斯通刚满10岁就和兄弟们一起到当地的一家纺织厂工作,他们每周工作6天,每天工作12 个小时,负责把碎布系起来放入纺纱机,操作起来极度危险。





因为参观了利文斯通的出生地,也发现他之所以攻读医学,是为了实现日后到中国行医这一理想,“中国和医生”成为了我今天热烈讨论的主要话题,还有亚当·斯密——与所有伟大的人物一样,他给我们留下的思想遗产看起来都是复杂的、难以理解的经济学原理,不过, 如果把这些理论转化一下,譬如解读为专业化的价值以及自利主义带来的动力,那就比较容易理解了。



原文 / 麦克·贝茨勋爵

翻译 / 洪幸子,李敏杰

翻译校对 / 梁珍

微信编辑 / 李念容

总校对 / 雪琳