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Simon Parker

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(calm music) – So, the whole idea of this project was to cycle around pandemic Britain, to see how Britain wasnfeeling and reacting to the pandemic at ground level, as seen at the gentle pace of a bicycle. I started off at thenMuckle Flugga Lighthouse, and then I traveled all the way down to the Bishop Rock Lighthousenin the Isles of Scilly. And then it’s taken me aboutnanother four or five weeks to reach here. And I’m about to jump on this ferry, and it will take me rightnup to the top of Britain to the Muckle Flugga Lighthouse. And that is where I begannthis journey nine months ago. (upbeat music) I’ve traveled all overnthe world on a bike. And as a journalist, it reallynis just a very unique way of seeing the planetnand meeting new people, farmers, fishermen, musicians, artists, different people withndifferent perspectives. (upbeat music) As we’ve all experienced,nthe last year and 1/2 has been very testing. And all I can say is that cyclingnand cycling around Britain has become my therapy. It simplifies life. I get up each morning, I don’t really know where I’m gonna go, and I end up somewhere different, and along the way I meet dozens of people. This has been the mostnincredible experience. We can only hope one ofnthe most tumultuous times in our modern history. (upbeat music) The great joy of this project has been to reach thenperiphery of Britain. And although I’ve loved zigzagging around the coast of mainland Britain, the real highlights for me has been going to thenislands right on the edge. And this three and 1/2nthousand-mile journey around Britain has shown me that evennin the very corners, even in the periphery of the country, everyone has beennimpacted by this pandemic, and that has been reallynthe most fascinating part of this journey. (calm music) Now, nine months ago, when I left this extremencorner of Britain, I had absolutely no idea thatnI would be coming back here. But here I am three andna 1/2 thousand miles, having traveled roundnBritain on a bicycle. And I’m right at the top of the country, right at the top of Shetland. And I’m heading out to anplace called Muckle Flugga. And that really is the end of the line. (upbeat music) That’s it (laughs), yeah. I never thought I’d make it back here. Here I am, back at thenMuckle Flugga Lighthouse, and I got a bottle of champagne, which we’re gonna crack into. So, here’s to an amazing trip. (bottle pops)nHey! (laughs) I’ve been visualizing this place for all those tiring miles around Britain. And to have a drink andnto look out on that, well, this has been one of thenmost incredible experiences, one of the most amazing adventures, and I’ve done it in Britain.


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Simon Parker
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