A big bright sparkling morning saw me flying through Penzance to land on the decks of the Scilllonian – the rampant-with-school-children-ferry that delivered me and mount to the Scilly Isles – where it was grey and cold and raining.

After spending a leisurely morning cycling around every cyclable road (there’s not a lot of roads to be found on the Scillies) I turned to foot and walked the island coastal paths, spotting dolphins (dead and alive) and surviving vicious aerial attacks from divebombing seagulls.

With eyeballs still intact, I made it back to Penzance for the final assault to Land’s End. But rather than arriving fit and fine and in flourishing style at this westernmost theme park, I limped in lame and in pain. Ye olde dicky knee of yore had wonked.

In ungamely one-legged pedalling style I made it a few miles up the road where I collapsed in my tent on a farm campsite overlooking Whitsand Bay. SOS’ed a phone call to the builder who was mid-big-building construction so couldn’t get through. Had more success with mum who, after expressing true touching motherly sympathy (made me feel better immediately) threw her bike and the big Roadrunning tent in back of Fiesta and 6 1/2 hours later she was with me (a 6 1/2 hours mind you, that had taken me 57 days to ride). Camped together for two weeks – me: knee-resting; mum: cycling off on hunter-gatherer food missions. By the end of the fortnight felt fatter and knee had improved but not enough to carry weight equivalent of dead cow on bike up and down vertiginous Cornish coastal hills. Big head-crunching quandry – didn’t want to give up but didn’t want to ruin knee for life. So grudgingly relented to mother’s-always-right insistence that she should ferry me home where I could get writing and give knee proper tonic-boosting rest before venturing forth again.

So here I am at home – writing and knee-resting and getting thoroughly fidgety and unpleasant thinking I’m missing the best of August’s summer sun. Meanwhile, am religiously swallowing my Anatomix pills (MSM musculoskeletal and joint health support) and Glucosomine Plus potions (stimulates growth and repair of cartilage – for more magic potions zap onto muncaster@clouds-hill.demon.co.uk). Feeling knee department things are on the move and the mend so planning on setting sail again first week of September. But I’m treading cautiously and holding my breath. . .