Author Topic: Have you been out today?  (Read 620 times)

librarian

  • Quiet please
Have you been out today?
« on: April 14, 2016, 11:54:15 am »
I went for a walk yesterday. Does that count? No, of course it doesn't – this isn't Yet Another Walking Forum* – but obviously I'm going to tell you anyway. I took a bustitute into Bath then walked up the hill past my old house to look at the other Beckford Tower and on to Keynsham via Kelston Round Hill, where it hailed on me. After a minute the hail turned to sleet and at the bottom of the hill, the sun was shining. And it's only a little hill! North Stoke, where they have one of those hill top churches and water spout, Pipley Bottom, which was a stream masquerading as a footpath – I rather enjoyed that! – and into Upton Cheyney and Bitton, where I got a sandwich.

Someone once said they ride a bike because they're too lazy to walk. How right they were!

*Imagine the splits and controversies they must have on Yet Another Walking Forum! Walkers, Hikers and Ramblers all sniping at each other. They've probably got a Militant Pedestrian Campaign: "We are not Walkers, we are People on Foot," and its rejoinder, "Don't call me a Person on Foot, I am a Leg User!" They'll have Hardcore Trekkers: "A four month trek across the Karakorum, unsupported, culling yaks for food and taming yetis for additional transport," side by side with Casual Wanderers: "I went to the letter box with a letter for my mum. The sun was shining." There will be old traditionalists rubbing dubbin into their hobnailed boots, retro hipsters raving over the first pressing of a Mike Harding LP, and modernists in carbon fibre running shoes. Weight weenies with helium-filled soles, tech freaks exclaiming over the latest way to make fire, people obsessing over trivia: "My carbon fibre boot laces have totally revolutionised my whole life!" and the laid-back: "As long as I've got my trousers on, I really don't care." They'll have post-hippies walking barefoot in the mud and neo-Edwardian ladies in ankle-length tweed skirts. They'll have the forgetful: "It was only when I got to advance base camp I noticed I was wearing two left boots," and the ultra-preparative: "I can't go further than the end of the road without my Fell Walker's Multitool and survival bag." Nordic poles or Alpenstock? Yodelling or smoke signals? "I'm a cyclist myself but these mountain bikers think they own the trail!" And the potential for grammar pedants is enormous: On the road or in the road? On or at the top of the hill? Ramblers Association, Ramblers' Association or Rambler's Association? Do we need a new campaigning organisation for unenthusiastic shoe wearer? And of course the great redesign controversy: the drunken boot or the winged sandal?