The Latin certificate

April 24, 2018

Along the way pilgrims are supposed to get their pilgrim passport stamped to prove they’ve actually done what they claim to have done.  I’ve filled up three passports cycling through England, France and Spain. I went along to the

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Vineyard Valley

April 22, 2018

“Make sure you follow the road right down to the bottom…..” Said my hostel host.  Bellasar is worth a visit. I was enjoying a pleasant descent which became a 10 kilometre free wheel whizz down through the trees and

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Winter Camino

April 19, 2018

There are lots of different routes to Santiago de Compostela.  I’ve been on the way of the Plantagenets, the way of Tours, the way of Vezelay, and through Spain on the Camino Frances.  But now at Pontferrada there’s a

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The winter Camino – The Next Stage

April 19, 2018

There are lots of different routes to Santiago de Compostela.  I’ve been on the way of the Plantagenets, the way of Tours, way of Vezelay, and through Spain, the Camino Frances. But now at Ponferrada there’s a choice.  The

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The iron cross – highest point on the Camino

April 19, 2018

It’s 1500 metres up to the iron cross in the mountains of Leon. Higher than Ben Nevis.  I cycled up it on my lovely Giant E-Bike.  You pass by spiritual tributes in the fence and climb and climb.  At

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Animals on the camino

April 18, 2018

This route passes through lots of rural Europe so you can expect to see animals along the way.  I’ve seen pilgrim donkeys, but this was a first. Sheep sharing the road with me.  Lots of sheep!  Unbelievable!

Entertaining the pilgrims

April 18, 2018

Every person you pass calls out: “Buen Camino!”  Which translates as ‘good trip.’ It’s a really encouraging greeting and makes you feel like you are doing something special and worthwhile.  “Buen Camino,” we all call to each other. I’m

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Blokes at the bar

April 18, 2018

I needed a cuppa and a piece of tortilla.  I stopped at the bar and sat down to refresh.  And standing at the bar were a group of friends putting the world to rights. It was such an easy

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Donkey ho tee!

April 18, 2018

Today I met a pilgrim with four hooves, ‘Salome’ the donkey.  She woke me up this morning braying and I just assumed it was a local donkey.  A few hours later, she was with two French men walking the

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Martin Mallett and the legions

April 16, 2018

It’s half way along the Camino, but only if you start at Roncesvalles in Spain.  As I started at home in England I’ve already cycled 2000 kilometres…. Sahagun is an ancient Roman city and its gateway is truly astounding. 

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The barber of Carrion

April 16, 2018

There’s a lot of pleasure in having your hair cut somewhere new.  How about a different country where we don’t speak the same language?  This barber is next to my accommodation and he’s just won the lottery! 50,000 euros.

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Martin in St Martin’s

April 15, 2018

I came across a famous St Martin’s church in a place called Fromista. Looks just the place for a Martin Mallett moment. Let’s take a look…

Roosters in the cathedral!

April 13, 2018

This is my favourite story along the way of St James. In Santa Domingo Cathedral is an ornate hen house with two live roosters in it! Why? It’s a story of sex, miracles, and incredulity. Santa Domingo was a

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Rioja country

April 12, 2018

I am constantly thrilled to see the changing landscapes each day and over each hill.  How could the world vary so much?  But it does.  As Navarre gives way to Castile the big ring of mountains surround an enormous

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What does a bike ride have to do with Brexit?

April 11, 2018

I was cycling the Camino track and enjoying the constantly changing landscape. One of the highlights is the Van Gogh yellow oil seed rape and it’s overpowering perfume. In the south of France I saw acres of it, here

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Water into wine

April 11, 2018

Just out of Estella is a famous monastery with vineyard attached.  I was reminded of the first miracle at the fountain… Water or wine?!  Yes please!

Pamplona alona

April 11, 2018

This is a city famous for a mad week every July when the foolhardy take on the famous bulls to run the streets and try and escape death… Or worse! The great way to arrive in Pamplona is by

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The hill of forgiveness

April 11, 2018

High up on the mountain is a string of wind turbines.  You know you are in a windy spot when you see these graceful turning in the breeze.  Or whirring like demons in the freezing rain and gale force

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Don’t miss the village church

April 10, 2018

Every village has a church and on an adventure like this I find I can’t go past without taking a look. Is it the history?  The special story?  The architecture?  It can be anything. Take today.  I was just

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The day I dreamed big and lived the big dream

April 10, 2018

It began with rain which lasted all day…. The Alberge team in St Jean Pied De Port gave me an encouraging send off through the gate and up the mountains.  Kings and Princes and simple pilgrims have passed this way

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Pamplona painting

April 10, 2018

I always ask the nice people at the tourist office what their favourite view of their city might be. In this case they did along the city walls…  So that’s where I headed. I set up paints, brushes and

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What’s the weather like on the Camino?

April 9, 2018

It is, as I keep telling people, not a jolly….There is always weather you contend with, to begin with snow and Arctic cold. Last week biblical rain that Noah would have loved. This week sunshine and wind.Full on in

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Foothills of the Pyrenees

April 9, 2018

The undulating rolling foothills of one of Europe’s great mountain ranges….  It’s a joy….. Until it rains biblical rain.  This is a winter which doesn’t want to end and the weather has it in for the cycling artist.

St Jean Pied de Port

April 9, 2018

The tiny old town of St Jean at the foot of the pass over the Pyrenees is small enough to fit in your pocket.  It’s basically a steep cobbled street or two between three ancient stone gateways.  It feels

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The 10 second stop that lasts all day

April 7, 2018

I caught a glimpse as I cycled past… Blue shutters, wisteria in full bloom. As I took a photo, the owners of the home fell into conversation.  Their English was perfect and the conversation flowed easily. I was invited

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Delightful Dax

April 6, 2018

It’s a city that dates back to Roman times when they discovered the healing power of the thermal waters. Today it’s the thermal capital of France. The cathedral had undergone some changes over the centuries. It’s a baroque wonder

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In the Alberge

April 6, 2018

Along the chemin de St Jacques there are Alberge for pilgrims.  Inside is a kitchen, bathroom, great shower, and a beam lined dorm with sheets pillows blankets. They cost a few token euros a night, I arrived late into

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Everlasting trees

April 5, 2018

The ride through the uniform lines of trees is extraordinary.  All the pine trees in all the world appear to be grown in South West France.  Black trunks, grey green pine needles, the smell of pine, it’s amazing… And

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Has the Archbishop of Winchester been promoted?!

April 5, 2018

Thanks to the French press for their support of my Chemin De St Jacques. I see the Bishop of Winchester has suddenly become an Archbishop.  And why not?! Billy asks what league is he playing in now? Click here

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The Ancient Fortress

April 4, 2018

All around France are ancient fortresses like this.  Citadels they call them and they all have a similar look.  Designed by the great military engineer Vauban they are a legacy of that French king who excites derision and admiration

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My Camino in Scotland’s Sunday post

April 4, 2018

Lorraine Kelly surprises fellow TV star Timmy Mallett on charity cycle challenge, as reported by Scotland’s Sunday Post. Click here to read the full article.

Bridges Bring Us Together

April 2, 2018

Great bridges inspire us.  Down on the Dordogne at the entrance to Bordeaux there at four great bridges in less than a mile.  I stood in awe of them.  Majestic, everlasting, imposing.  They are meant to be impressive and

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Martin Mallett in a vineyard

April 2, 2018

The Bordeaux region is wine country. The best red wines in the world come from here and every field is given over to vines. I cycled asking looking at how the tired of vines were interspersed with yellow oil

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Nearly halfway

April 2, 2018

Pons is a good place to stop and ponder. Fabulous castle.  I could paint that! On the way out of town the usual little Chemin De St Jacques clues… The sign by the door. The circle on the ground.

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Discovering new towns

April 2, 2018

Saintes is a dream city on the Charente half way between Poitiers and Bordeaux. The Romans liked it and built the usual, an arc de triumphe, and amphitheatre and a temple or two.  Later the locals used the stone

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The brand new pilgrim shelter

April 1, 2018

In the village of St Leger I came across an extraordinary piece of new infrastructure. A pilgrim resting place, a shelter, made out of stone and huge timber Beams with maps and sculpture and a visitor’s book.  On the

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My lovely Lorraine surprise

March 31, 2018

I was having a cuppa in Saintes in a rare moment of sunshine when who should come up and tap me on the shoulder.  Steve my Wacaday cameraman and wonderful cycling pal and lovely Lorraine Kelly.  Such moments seem

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The lantern of the dead

March 31, 2018

It seemed fitting to find myself at Fenioux – the lantern of the dead.  This is a huge church with spire and a matching stone lantern nearby. The church has fabulous carvings around the door and nicely weirdly a spare

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Why do you wear a tie cycling?

March 29, 2018

It’s a strange thing to wear at any time but cycling?  Are you nuts Timmy?  Of course I am. When I went to Christchurch Oxford to meet the bishop for his blessing for this trip, the Porters in the

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Meeting the vicar general

March 29, 2018

It sounds like a military figure – the vicar general – turns out he’s the Archbishop’s fixer. It was a pleasure to spend an hour with Jean Paul Russeil at the Archbishop’s palace in Poitiers.  We talked of St Hillary,

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A minute’s silence

March 29, 2018

The gendarme volunteered his own life for the hostage.  In last week’s terrorist attack in the south of France this man was courage we exemplified. “You can die in your struggle against France.  Well I can die for my

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The unexpected library

March 28, 2018

I came across this impressive building in a tiny village.  It looks like one of those scary horror homes in the movies.  It’s open briefly for a few hours a week. Today it just happened to be open hours. 

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The castle or the painting?

March 28, 2018

“We have a friend who owns a castle, do you want to visit it?”  “Of course I do!” Avantan Castle on the north of Poitiers was bought as a run down ruin.  The owner had spent loads doing it up

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Reasons to undertake this big adventure

March 28, 2018

There are four reasons for my Camino de Santiago: Historical. This pilgrimage route to the tomb of St James the Apostle has been around for a thousand years.  And in another thousand years someone else will be doing this.  Pilgrims

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Martin Mallett moments

March 27, 2018

Each day I look for somewhere special to leave a Martin Mallett name tag. Actually that’s not strictly true. Each day my dear downs syndrome brother Martin comes into my thoughts and it becomes easy to spot the place

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The journalist

March 27, 2018

Daniel came to interview me for the regional paper.  He arrived bringing macaroons and when asked what he’d like to drink said ‘Pernod please’.  Crikey!  The interview naturally went swimmingly….

Chinon Castle

March 27, 2018

It’s only another 45 mins away.  But it’s in the wrong direction.  Of course I went! I’m standing across the river in awe at one of the great fortress / palace of history.  The yellow stone glistens in the

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My second Prime Minister sends me support

March 27, 2018

Theresa May came to my home to hear about the Camino and reasons for cycling and painting it. In my twin town St Benoit, my good friend the mayor, Dominique Clement, shared my story with former French Prime Minister

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Thanks Komoot

March 26, 2018

Navigation is always an issue in a strange place.  I like maps.  There’s a logic to them and browsing over them you can plan and dream and wonder… What would it be like going that way?  Now with GPS, you can

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Eleanor of Aquitaine and a detour

March 25, 2018

How would you feel if didn’t go and see your hero 20km away?  Never have regrets in life.  Always pursue your dream. So I went out of my way to Fontevraud Abbey to the resting places of the giants of

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The mighty Loire

March 25, 2018

It’s the mightiest river in France and flows through a valley of chateaux after chateaux.  At Angers it meets the river Maine and they come together in an enormous sheet of water. I got to stay on an island

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Kindness

March 25, 2018

“Where will you stay?”  That is a question I’ve been asked a lot and I ask myself each day…. I have a list of suggested accommodations from the Pilgrim Organisation in France. However it’s early in the season and things

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Timmy in his twin town

March 25, 2018

What a welcome!  800Kms from home I rode into my twin town of St Benoit to be met by Dominique Clement the mayor. Thank you for a fabulous welcome and a spectacular banner! Are you sure it doesn’t mean

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Big skies, big adventure!

March 25, 2018

Coming over the brow of the hill into a new region – Haute Poitou – I noticed the big skies, tree less landscapes.  Have a look and tell me what you think…..

Early start when the clocks go forward

March 25, 2018

We lose an hour as the clocks spring forward.  No time to lose. Up with the dawn and get out the brushes.  Inspired by my visit to Great castle of Chinon.  The painter paints.

Brilliant new cycle path

March 25, 2018

It’s been open a matter of days and it’s a dream come true.  Investment in leisure is the mark of a courageous country.  This old railway line had been converted to a voice verte, a green way, with wide smooth finished

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Martin Mallett with Kings and Queens

March 24, 2018

I found a Good place for Martin, my brother, today. Next to King Henry 11 and Richard the Lionheart and alongside Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.  Like them, Martin more than reached his potential and that’s all we have to do

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Dead flies in Angers

March 24, 2018

I’ve been through parts of France before, never on a bike, or like this… Last time I was in Angers was a football tour and we arrived by train to be greeted by a particularly spectacular fountain. The stunning

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Prince William supporting me

March 23, 2018

In the middle ages you need the blessing of your lord of the manor before setting of across Europe on pilgrimage.  So I wrote to my lord of the manor, Prince William to tell him of me adventure.  I’m delighted to

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The land of chateaux

March 22, 2018

The Loire valley is famous for its ornate Louis XIV style chateaux. I am surprised to round every corner and come across another one. So many of these are slightly shabby and have seen better days but it doesn’t

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Eric and jumper the street entertainers

March 22, 2018

Well these are Street entertainers from another era, another century…. I saw them standing at the organ grinding machine that had definitely seen better days. Eric started to turn the wheel, there was nobody else around.  Jumper the dog looked

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The woodcutters and the beetles

March 22, 2018

It was a young sapling when Henry VIII met Francis of France in the field of the cloth of gold. 500 years later this ancient oak tree toppled over a victim of the Capricorn beetle. I came across George

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Why are they called Plantagenets?

March 22, 2018

Geoffrey of Anjou was a colourful character in the early 12th century. He was married to Matilda the empress, grand daughter of William the conqueror.  It wasn’t the happiest of marriages but it did produce Henry 11. Geoffrey preferred

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The cyclist in shining armour

March 22, 2018

It was brilliant cycling into the ancient medieval city of Vitre in Brittany.  The streets look like something out of the 15th century. I expected to come across Baldrick and Blackadder at any moment…. Instead I came into the

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No Apple blossom this year?

March 22, 2018

I was saddened by what I saw.  Along a pleasant country lane I came to a crossroads with a bus stop, a line of trees in the distance and a huge field of neatly piled logs in rows. In

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Life is what happens while you are busy making plans

March 22, 2018

An air traffic controllers strike in France.  No flights, trains full, busy roads, I’m on my bike. Why would this affect me on quiet lanes?  Mrs Mallett due to fly to Poitiers today to meet me for the weekend.  That’s not going

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The cycling artist pedals and paints

March 19, 2018

Inspiration is everywhere.  It’s not hard to see it or to register it.  It is hard to do and do something about it.  Sometimes I just have to sit in the moment and do it. Here I saw the

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The way of the Plantagenets

March 19, 2018

The Camino de Santiago or Chemin De Saint Jacques has many routes across Europe….. From Mont St Michel I chose the way of the Plantagenets which starts with the Normans and William the Conqueror’s grand church in Pontroson then

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Timmy finds his way to World heritage site

March 18, 2018

We all do this when we get somewhere impressive.  First thing we do is get out the camera, or in my case the paints.  On a bike tour/pilgrimage you find yourself in unusual places, and Mont St-Michel is no

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From the Bayeux tapestry to Timmy on tour

March 18, 2018

Standing on the huge ramparts of Mont St-Michel I was reminded how dangerous the sands are around this island. The tide sweeps in at an alarming rate. It’s got a huge tidal bore that sweeps all before it and

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Ma bubba

March 17, 2018

Martin’s name tags… We sew them onto clothes.  So they won’t be lost.  So we know where they belong. Among Martin’s possessions are his name tags.  I hold them and feel the threads, the threads of family, of how

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Happy Hampshire

March 17, 2018

It’s one of our biggest counties and had such variety and riches to appreciate. On a cycle, you see it, breath it, absorb it, love it. Amazing Stoke Basingstoke.  Home to my lovely cousin Katy and her family. Blooming

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Meeting the Bishop of Winchester

March 17, 2018

I was delighted to be invited to meet Right Reverend Tim Dakin bishop of Winchester at his palace next to the cathedral. “Nice tie” he commented “where you at Christchurch college Oxford?” Sadly not, it was a gift when

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Soundtrack to my Camino?

March 16, 2018

Every adventure needs a soundtrack. Billy said I have to have some music to cycle to. What should that be? So let’s ask Stephanie Hirst the Queen of vinyl!

The day the chain snapped!

March 16, 2018

A mile into the adventure my chain snapped. Thanks Paul from Flat Harry’s Cyclery in Cookham who came and fixed it. The adventure was rather delayed. But we came across flooded footpaths and lovely lanes. Made our way through

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A pilgrims prayer

March 16, 2018

Do I look nervous? Rev Nick Plant sent me off from Cookham church on the way to Santiago. I also look over loaded!

I’m singing and cycling in the rain

March 15, 2018

I start today. It’s a fine grey soft English drizzle. My tummy is in turmoil. Should I take this? Will I need that? It’ll all be chucked away as I get going and down to the bare minimum. For

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Bishop’s into battle!

March 14, 2018

In the city where the American war of independence broke out, the bishop of Boston popped up to wish me well! Cheers Gayle Love the Timmy coloured vestments! The right reverend Gayle Harris shared Christmas with us in North

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I’ve got butterflies!

March 14, 2018

My good friend Wendy Craig, star of Butterflies, the Royal, and Nanny have me a sweet and gentle messagr of support for my Camino. Thanks Wendy.  Always room on the bike for a friend!

Professor Brian Cox and wing commander Timmy!

March 14, 2018

In all the wonders of the universe I am thrilled to get this message of support from my great friend the star man Brian Cox. We first met when he did great little teenage jingles for my Piccadilly Radio

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Got everything!

March 14, 2018

Got the gorgeous Giant bike, the great Daler Rowney paints, and my messages of support.. What have I forgotten?  Now just a small matter of 2000kms and open to the possibilities along the Camino de Santiago. Wish me luck! Listen

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Emmanuel Macron sends a message of support for Timmy

March 14, 2018

I wrote to Emmanuel Macron to tell him of my Camino cycling and painting adventure. He kindly sent me this very nice response and encouragement: Translation: “The President of the French Republic has received the courier that you sent

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Timmy is interviewed on BBC Radio Berkshire

March 13, 2018

Listen to Timmy’s interview on BBC Radio Berkshire, where he discusses his huge 2,000km cycle trip to Camino de Santiago and of course his dear brother Martin, who sadly passed away last week.

Martin Mallett tributes

March 11, 2018

Thank you so much for the kind comments about dear brother Martin. We are greatly comforted by the support and condolences. Never doubt it is a great comfort like a warm blanket. We are touched to see how Martin’s

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Portrait presentation

March 11, 2018

I’ve enjoyed the challenge of working on this portrait. Canon Michael Smith of York Minster is the subject and I’ve put him by the altar in his vestments. I presented it to him at whitewall gallery, York who framed

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Thanks Flares!

March 11, 2018

Had a great night at Flares party venue in York. It’s a top club with a great team led by Sam and DJ Jay. Thanks for the beers and good luck messages. Can’t wait to come back again!