Through a combination of bad decisions and bad luck – a friend who turned out not to be a friend, and a toxic investment – they had lost the farmhouse that was their home and their source of income – renting to holidaymakers. It was also the place where their children had grown up and to which they returned during university holidays. When the bailiffs came banging on the door, it seemed things could not get worse. But the bombshells didn’t stop. Around the same time, Moth was diagnosed with a rare degenerative brain disease, CBD.

the salt path

The specialist told him that death usually comes six to eight years after the onset – and that he had probably had it for about six years.

The idea of walking the coast path came to Raynor when she spotted a book she had read in her 20s in one of their packing cases. Five Hundred Mile Walkies was written by a man who had done the South West Coast Path with his dog. The walk gave Moth and Raynor some sense of purpose, and, she says: “We really didn’t have anything better to do.”

Raynor wrote an article about their walk for the Big Issue, and then wrote a book for herself, but mainly for Moth. It was a gift to him: a big fat love letter, and maybe a reminder for when his memory began to fade. Their daughter read it and said her mum should try to do something with it.

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