As good for the soul as the waistline, walking is my most favoured pastime - after adoring the gorgeous dustbin-lids of course.
Walking fills my free time, my inbetween time, and my ‘I need to get from a to b’ time. It’s how I prefer to get about. Alone, or in a group, or with my best walking chum. For thinking alone, or chatting with a mate, whoever returned from a walk in a bad mood? There’s no special kit, membership fees, schedule nor rules – though it is always worth doing a quick weather check and best, really, to put something comfy on your feet.
This round of chemo has been harsh. It’s robbed me of enthusiasm. Watering eyes and nose kill any pleasure in reading or watching tv. Aching bones, fatigue, and sore feet keep me stilled. And, with a mouth as dry as dust, neither food nor chat bring any thrill.
So when life’s joys feel limited…thank goodness for the comfort and joy of Clare Baldings. Her Ramblings on BBC Radio 4 have a simple premise - she goes for a walk and talks to folk. At series 37 it’s obviously a winning formula. With the wind on the microphone, her breathy chats share the joy of walking about the UK and Ireland for different people. Laying down with my eyes closed, I hear why walking, in general, or in particular is important or meaningful to the folk.
I take in the sights and sounds, and the whimsy of people. I hear their history, I see their geography, and I share their interest. A group of women started to walk together upon retiring, another walks to wellness. Grief is walked away, charity walks are practiced, literary journeys are retraced, costumes are worn, and nature is explored and enjoyed.
From the comfort of my home I’m appreciating our glorious landscape in changing weather and seasons. From the Isle of Man, to Belfast, the Peaks to Yorkshire, Wales to Scotland.
Listening to Clare, I almost feel as if I’ve been out, got out of breath and been a bit sociable. Instead of laying here, in a can’t be arsed fug of a mood.
Thinking south coast next.